67 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 3 - Book 6 - First Fruits

67: Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 6 – First Fruits – Gleanings – Old Testament Saints – Resurrection: Daniel 12 & 9

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 6

FIRST FRUITS: GLEANINGS:

OLD TESTAMENT SAINTS: RESURRECTION

Daniel 12 & 9

Let’s turn to 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2. Now, just for a little recap from the last lesson. I hope I didn’t leave any questions unanswered. The first resurrection of believers of all ages is really broken down into the three categories as indicated by Israel’s harvest of grain. That is, first there were the ‘first fruits,’ which was of course epitomized by Christ, and those that came out of the graves in Matthew 27.

We have the Main harvest that came from the Church Age and the great resurrection day at the Rapture, or the trumpet sound when Christ shall leave Heaven and meet us in the air. The Old Testament believers as well as the Tribulation Believers who will have been martyred and died, seemingly are represented by the gleanings and the corners that were left in the Jewish harvest, and they will be resurrected shortly after the kingdom has begun.

Then, I hardly had time to explain at the end of the lesson, but you see this is why we have that picture in the parables, and in the Old Testament, that the Jewish believers will be the guests at the wedding feast. We won’t take time to look at that, but if you want to, you can pick that up in Psalms Chapter 45, I think. It’s also alluded to in the Song of Solomon. Lots of people don’t understand the Song of Solomon as being so typical of Christ and His Bride, the Church. Now on our Time Line we’re coming to that next event. The Church Age will have ended with the Rapture, and then we know that the Tribulation will be ushered in next. It will be that seven years not associated with the Church – because the Church Age has ended – it’s gone. Instead, we’ll be coming back to God’s dealing with the Jew once again. I’ll never forget a little lady in one of my classes, all of a sudden she just happened to see it. Then she exclaimed, “In other words God’s going to pick up with the Jews where he left off.” She hit the nail on the head perfectly.

Now, he has taken this Old Testament program, as we saw back in Psalms Chapter 2. God’s time table stopped when He turned to the Gentiles with the Gospel of Grace. When that period has ended you will find Grace and Law cannot mix. Israel is going to have the Temple, she’s going to go back under the Law. If ever I have any argument that we will not go into the Tribulation, it’s that one purpose right there. You can not mix Law and Grace. Therefore, Grace cannot go into the Jewish economy, as it will pick up again in that seven-year Tribulation period. It has to be removed, so they cannot be mixed.

Paul, here in 2 Thessalonians, is coming as close to prophecy, if you want to call it that, as he does in any portion of his writings. He is introducing us to this seven-year period of time which Jesus in Matthew 24 calls the time of Tribulation. Now in 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2 verse 1 Paul writes to the Thessalonians believers who, believe it or not, had gotten to the place with all the persecution that they were under, and all the pressure, they were afraid that the Rapture had taken place, and they had missed it. So, Paul had to quickly come back with 2 Thessalonians and reassure them that they hadn’t missed the Rapture, that, yes, things were going to get tough, but it wasn’t their situation.

II Thessalonians 2:1,2

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”

Do you see how that little bunch of words sets that completely apart from the second Coming. See, at the second Coming Christ won’t be gathering people unto Himself. He’s coming! But here Paul is referring to an act of Christ where He’s going to gather His own unto himself, and that’s the Rapture. Verse 2: “That you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled.” In other words, Paul is setting their mind at ease that they hadn’t missed the Rapture. And he’s going to give them points to look for so that they’ll know that they haven’t missed it. “Neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that day of Christ is at hand.” Here is a time to stop and define. The Day of Christ is referring to that outcalling of the Church, the Rapture. The Day of The Lord, the Day of Jehovah, the Day of God; that is this period of time, including the Tribulation and into the Second Coming and the setting up of the Kingdom. That’s all referred to as the Day of The Lord, etc. But, the day of Christ is that time when Christ will call the Body of Christ unto himself.

II Thessalonians 2:3

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;…”

Let’s look at what he says. “that day”, the day of Christ, the calling out of the body, “shall not come except there come a falling away first.” Now, that word in the Greek is ‘apostasia,’ from which we get the word, apostasy. Now, I’m afraid too many Christians, churchgoers and members, do not know what apostasy is. I can remember when I was young, I thought it had something to do with the Apostles, but I wouldn’t doubt that a lot of other people think the same thing, because it is so close in pronunciation. But apostasy is that turning away from the revealed truth of the Word of God.

Isn’t that exactly where we are today? The churches, for the most part, have apostatized. They have turned their backs on the basic truths of Scripture. And this is why all the false teachings are having such a free run in so many of our main-line denominations. And this is why so many theologians and pastors and preachers are denying the Virgin birth. They are denying the literal, physical, visible Resurrection of Christ as just so much methodology. They have turned their backs on the revealed truth of the Word of God. We’re in it, so now then, what does that tell you and me? We could be expecting the Day of Christ at any time because the apostasy has now come about.

Let’s look further. ..there shall come a falling away first…. (apostasy). There’s also a second definition of apostasy. We see it here and other places in our New Testament. It is actually translated, “departure,” as a person departing from one place to another. So, you might say that within verse three, you not only have the apostecia of Christendom turning it’s back upon the truth of the Word of God, but also the departure of the Christian himself; we’re going to be taken out. And then, as soon as the apostasy has come on the scene, there shall be the revealing of whom? That ‘man of sin,’ who will be revealed, the son of perdition. Who is that? The Anti-christ.

The Anti-christ will be revealed, I think, immediately. Not maybe within an hour or two, but a relatively short period of time after the Rapture, and this great world political leader, who is going to come on the scene. A very charismatic individual. The Book of Daniel says he is going to come in with flatteries, promising peace, prosperity, telling the world’s population that he’s got the answer to all their problems. Don’t you know the world is looking for that kind of a person. Oh, the world has got so many problems that they don’t know which way to turn. But, when this fellow comes on the scene, he’s going to seemingly have all the answers and the world will fall at his feet.

I remember right after World War II, when Europe was in a shambles, and before the Marshall Plan had really started taking hold. One of the European leaders, who was a Belgian general, said this in 1945, “What the world needs is a strong leader. And if such a man would come on the scene today, by tomorrow night the world will be falling at his feet!” Now, he said that in 1945. How much truer that is today. I maintain with all the turmoil that is going on in Eastern Europe and Russia and Europe itself and America, and even prosperous Japan, the world is suddenly realizing that we’ve got problems we don’t have any idea of how to cope with. Our leaders don’t really know which way to turn. And this man is going to come on the scene with such a charisma. He’s going to seemingly have all the answers and the world indeed will fall at his feet. He will have the world to rule and reign, as The Bible says he would.

II Thessalonians 2:4

“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

This man is going to be godless. Now remember, he is the Anti-christ, so he is the counterfeit Christ. He’s going to receive this power from Satan. And remember, Satan can perform a lot of good. I’m afraid too many people have the idea that all Satan promotes is skid row, the gross immorality. That’s the least of Satan’s concern. Satan’s main area of activity is in the upper of ecclesia. In the upper levels of our so-called religious leadership. The seminaries, our large denominations. Now, that’s where Satan works overtime. He doesn’t have to work on the poor guy who is down and out. He’s already got him. But if he can get the ecclesiastic leaders in his camp, then that power just funnels on down to the average person in the pew, and then he’s got them all.

We have to remember that Satan will promote good things, beautiful things, that the world is just in awe of, in order to accomplish his own end. Paul describes him here in verse 4 as one who opposeth and exalteth himself…. Now, that’s what it takes to be a good political leader, doesn’t it? An egotist. And this guy is going to be the greatest that ever was, so far as personal egotism is concerned. who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he as God…. You see, he’s going to set himself up as the god of this world. And he’s going to sit in the Temple of God. There’s only one place on this earth where God has ever had a Temple and will have it again, and that’s in Jerusalem. The Jew is getting hungry for their Temple to come back, and one of these days they are going to have it. I think it’s going to almost come up overnight. I personally think it’s prefabricated, and I think that the Israelites, when they get the go ahead, will raise that Temple so fast the world will hardly believe it’s happened. And we’re going to see in a little while, when we go back to the Book of Daniel, where the Old Testament introduces us to all of this. But, Paul is merely putting the capstone on it. Read on:

II Thessalonians 2:5

“Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?”

Paul writes to the Thessalonian believer. You know how long he was with the Thessalonians? – about two weeks. He saw them converted out of paganism. He taught them the doctrines of Grace and even took the time to teach them end-time things. I remember many years ago, I only had one person who ever brought it up. But, as soon as he said, it I thought of that previous verse. He said, “I’m not concerned about end-times because God will probably take care of it in His own way, and it doesn’t make any difference if I know what’s going to happen, or how it’s going to happen.” I said, “Now, wait a minute.” If Paul took the time, way back there in about 55 A.D. with new converts out of paganism to teach them things concerning the end of our Church Age, then don’t you think it’s good that you and I know it when we are actually in it?” Absolutely; we have to know these things. And we have to know what the Scripture teaches so that we know what to look for.

You remember what we read in Daniel in our last lesson? Oh the wicked shall do wickedly, but the wise shall understand…. And like I told you a lesson or two ago, a gentleman that we led to The Lord a couple of years ago, how all of a sudden (and I’ve had people tell me that down through the years, as soon as they got a true insight into the Word of God and the end time things), every headline, every news item is telling them that this Book is true and it’s all coming as God said it would. Now, let’s look at verse 6:

II Thessalonians 2:6

“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.”

Let’s pick that verse apart. We’ve got two personalities involved here. We’ve got one personality that has to put the brakes on things so that the other personality won’t come in and do his work before the appointed time. Do you see that? Read it again: “Now he who withholdeth” (or is holding back), “that he (the other person), “might be revealed in his time…., (and not ahead of it). Because God is a stickler for His own time-table.

For the last 1900 years or so, I’ve always taught that God’s time clock has stopped. But as soon as the Church is taken out of the way, God’s time clock kicks back in gear and it’s going to be right on schedule. So, Paul is saying here, that as we come to the end and the Church is taken out of the way, or just before the Church is taken out of the way, there has to be a person that will hold back this man, Anti-christ, from usurping the power that he’s going to have for the seven years. He has to hold it until the right time.

II Thessalonians 2:7

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.”

Paul says, “For the mystery”, (or the secret), “of iniquity doth already work.” Do you know when the mystery of iniquity began? Basically, at the Tower of Babel. Oh, I know it goes back to the Garden of Eden. But at the Tower of Babel, is when all things began that are now reaching a crescendo, right before our very eyes. The explosion in the Oriental religions, the New Age movement. And what’s the heart and soul of the New Age movement? That we can become our own god! Oh, this whole idea of positive thinking sounded so good a few years ago didn’t it? But, we can expose it now for what it really is. It’s New Ageism. The whole concept is that you can become your own god, and if you can become your own god, then who do you not need? The real One. And this is what is exploding all around us. That’s the only word I can use for it. It’s coming into the churches. And people are blind to it. It’s the mystery of iniquity already at work. only he who now hindereth (now I’m using the new language rather than the old). only he who now hindereth will hinder, until he, that hinderer, is taken out of the way.”

Just think for a moment. What person has the power today to hold back, like a dam on a river, the forces of Satan, so that things won’t break loose and start bringing in the Tribulation until the right time. It’s the Holy Spirit. So, the Holy Spirit here is the hinderer. Now, where is the Holy Spirit dwelling today? In you and I! In the heart and life of every believer. So, the only break that God has on the earth against the influx of all this evil work is the believer and the indwelling Holy Spirit. That’s God’s brake on the system. And that’s why we have to know our Book; to know what we believe and we have to stand on it. I was thinking the other night, how many of us (and I asked myself this same question) would endure the torture and martyrdom of the believers back in the Reformation? I doubt if I could. Their torture was unbelievable. They were laid out on the rack and cranked up until every bone in their body was broken, and yet they survived to walk like a cripple. How many of us could be peacefully tied to a stake and the brush piled around us, waiting for them to light the torch? It happened all the time.

But, you see this is where we’re to stand. We’re to be so rooted in the Word of God that none of those things would scare us. They do me. It’s like an old pastor of mine told me years ago: when I was just a young believer. he said, “Les, don’t worry about it. When the time comes, and if it does come, God will give Grace.” Well, I’m resting on that because evidently He does, because those people back there would have never been able to survive and go through what they did. So, the Holy Spirit dwelling in the lives of the believers, are like a dam in the river to hold back this flood of iniquity. And then when He’s taken out of the way, it will be just like lifting that dam out of the river, let’s look at verse 8:

II Thessalonians 2:8

“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming….”

The newer translations have the word “One” after the word “Wicked” in the first part of this verse. That is the Anti-christ. He will be revealed. Now, that comma skips you seven years to the end, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.” In other words, that’s when the Anti-christ will meet his doom. But he’s going to have seven years. Let’s go back to Daniel Chapter 9. We’ll see if we can finish down to verse 27 in this lesson, in order to validate this seven- year period of time as definitely in our future (not our future, because we’re going to be gone, but in the future of the planet).

Daniel 9:24

“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”

That “seventy weeks are determined upon thy people,…” and that word `weeks’ here is used as we would use, `dozen.’ If I would say so many dozen, what would you automatically do? You would multiply it by 12. A week is always seven, and so seventy weeks of years is (a lot of the new translations have already calculated it for you and what have they got?) 490 years. Four hundred and ninety years are determined upon thy people Daniel’s people. And who are Daniel’s people? The Jew – Israel. “…and upon thy holy city, (Jerusalem) to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity,…” That all took place when? When Christ died on the Cross. And you remember several lessons ago this was one of the verses that we split with a parenthesis and a dash, because the next part of this verse is still future. It didn’t happen at Christ’s first coming. that is to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy. That hasn’t happened yet. It will when He returns and sets up His kingdom, but it didn’t happen at His first coming.

Come down through these next verses, but what you really figure out here that even though 490 years were in God’s time table back here for the Nation of Israel, leading up to the rejection of The Messiah, would only total 483 years. Which means that there are seven years left that were not fulfilled at Christ’s first coming.

Chronologists and archaeologists have teamed up and they have actually found the decree that Daniel mentions here, that gave the Jew permission to go back after their Temple had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar; it was dated, and from that date, it was March 14, 445 B.C. Up until Palm Sunday, was exactly 483 years. That was fulfilled. But, the prophecy said 490 years. And so that’s why Bible scholars have sometime referred to the Tribulation as Daniel’s 70th week. Sixty-nine of them were fulfilled at the Cross, but the 70th week, or that final seven years is still unfulfilled. It’s been pushed out into the future. Let’s drop down to verse 27, it says, And he (the Anti-christ) shall confirm the covenant with many for seven years.” Now, there is the triggering mechanism for the Tribulation!

66 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 2 - Book 6 - First Fruits

66: Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 6 – First Fruits – Gleanings – Old Testament Saints – Resurrection: Daniel 12 & 9

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 6

FIRST FRUITS: GLEANINGS:

OLD TESTAMENT SAINTS: RESURRECTION

Daniel 12 & 9

Let’s pick up where we left off; we had covered the first aspect of the first Resurrection, which was Christ who was the first fruits, and then, those that came out of the graves in Matthew 27, who would comprise the fulfilling of the type back in Leviticus when they had to make a sheaf. Now, let’s go into the second part of the first resurrection. And again, come back to I Corinthians Chapter 15 and let’s just start all the way back to verse 20 so we can pick up the flow here, because this is all dealing with this first resurrection.

I Corinthians 15:20-22

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept (or died). For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

Now, you want to remember that Paul is always teaching that as Adam was the head of the human race, the first Adam, so Christ is the last Adam, and He is the one that makes it possible for mankind to come out of that death. And so here he ties the two together, once again, “For since by man (Adam) came death, so also by man (The Christ, the God-man), came also the resurrection of the dead.” Look at verse 22 now. “For as in Adam all die,…. How can anybody reject that teaching, that our whole nature was precipitated by Adam’s sin? And you know there are those who reject that. But, how can they when this makes it so plain. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Now, we have to be careful here. Going back again, to John’s Gospel, Chapter 5, the believer will be resurrected to life by the work of Christ, the work of the Cross. But, the unbeliever is also going to be resurrected one day, according to the same power of God, but to a totally different end.

I Corinthians 15:23

“But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”

Now, whenever you see that word, “but” you’ve got to look at something different here. All are going to be resurrected, “but” every man in his own order.” Now, if you’ll look it up in the Greek, that word “order” implies a military organization. Now, those of you who have been in the service know that the military starts with a platoon, then a company, and then the battalion, regiment and division. Those are all orders of command. In other words, the resurrection is not going to be general. It won’t be everybody at once, but Paul says every person in his own company. And that’s the wording I prefer to use. Everyone will be resurrected according to their organizational company.

Now, we’ve already had the first fruits, remember; indicated by Christ. But now, in verse 23, it tells us that every man in his own order, Christ the ‘first fruits’ (that one is the company), they that are at Christ’s side at his coming (now who are we talking about?). We are talking about the Church Age believer. Those who are in Christ, who are part of the Bride; who are part of the Body of Christ, they will be the next ones to experience resurrection. After Christ and the first fruits, comes this great group of believers of the Church Age. Let’s go back and pick up the Old Testament description of harvesting that field of grain. Go back to Leviticus 19:9:

Leviticus 19:9,10

“And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard: thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God:…”

Now, remember, this is God’s instructions to the Jew when they come into the land to occupy it. “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly (or completely) reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.” Now, let’s put that in a square of 40 acres of barley. They were to harvest the whole field, the very center of it, but they were to leave the corners, as well as a certain amount of gleanings. Now, that was according to Law. Now why? Look in verse 10 again. “And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, in other words, they weren’t to pick every last grape in their vineyard. “…neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard: thou shalt leave them, (for whom?) the poor….” That was mandated by God. Now, as they would go into their field of barley, they went in first and took out those ripening heads of grain, the ‘first fruits.’ Then they came in and they harvested the main field, but they had to leave the corners and the gleanings. But the main harvest was taken all at one time.

So, that is what I would call the Rapture, or resurrection of the Church Age believer. He is that main harvest, because just think now for 1900 years or so, God has been calling out people by His Grace. He has offered Salvation to everyone. No matter what color or creed, although it is predominately for the Gentiles, yet always remember that this has been God’s primary harvest. Now, let’s go back to I Corinthians 15 and look at the verse again; we’re going to pick up those who are the gleanings; the ones indicated by the corners that are left, and the gleanings.

I Corinthians 15:23-25

“But every man in his own order (his own organizational company): Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s(who are members of the body, the main harvest) at his coming.” Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God,even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he (Christ)must reign (as a king), till he hath put all enemies under his feet.”

Now, if you’ll turn with me back to Daniel 12 – and I think this is the third group that are indicated by the corners and the gleanings. Not near as great in number as the main harvest, and they also are going to be resurrected at a time slightly different from the Rapture of the Church. And in Daniel it lays it out so specifically as to when these Old Testament believers, and I’m also going to include the Tribulation saints, are going to be resurrected.

Now, when I say the Tribulation saints, that hour after the Church is gone, and we feel that we’re getting awfully close to it; and the Tribulation comes in we know that there are going to be a multitude of people saved by virtue of the 144,000 Jews (12,000 from each of the 12 tribes who will go around the world and will be missionaries and evangelists). So, there will be people saved during this seven years, but they will be killed almost as fast as they are saved until we get to those that survive at the end. So, now, the resurrection of the Tribulation saints has to be included in the gleanings and the corners because they certainly are not in the Body of Christ. And yet, Daniel now is speaking of the resurrection of the Old Testament saints at a point shortly after the end of the Tribulation; or after the Second Coming of Christ, and into the Kingdom. Here it is in Daniel Chapter 12.

Daniel 12:1,2

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy 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. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

The previous 11 chapters have been an outlaying of prophecy. In fact, Daniel and Revelation just fit together hand in glove. You can’t study Revelation without studying Daniel and vise versa. So, now, as you come into the last chapter of this great book of prophecy, Daniel writes this: ..and at that time shall Michael stand up, that great prince which standeth for the children (Israel), 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 (Israel, the Jews) shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Now, this is what Paul refers to in Romans as that remnant. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth,In other words, they have died and they’ve reverted back to the dust. many of then shall awake, and here we have a parallel with John’s Gospel, Chapter 5, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt…. Again, you’ve got the believer and the unbeliever listed here. Now let’s skip over to verse 8:

Daniel 12:8,9

“And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, ‘O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?’ And he said, ‘Go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.'”

Daniel is saying that he heard but he understood not. Now, I’ve always maintained, as I’ve taught the Old Testament, that all Scripture is inspired of God. Peter says so clearly that prophecy came not in the old time by will of man; and, you remember, I ridiculed the concept several months ago, of these things having originated around the camp fire and then just having been handed down as legend. That’s not what our Bible is at all. Our Bible is the very inspiration of the Spirit of God and as Peter says, that these holy men of God wrote as they were moved along by the Spirit. Now under those circumstances, do you think they understood everything they wrote? Why, no way! And here it’s so plainly.

Look what Daniel says, after writing this great book of end-time prophecy (and he’s writing it 2500 years before it happens). And look what he says in verse 8. And I heard, He realized what he had been writing, but look at what he says next. I understood not (!),” He didn’t understand what he was writing. “And I said, ‘O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?'” Now, that much he could comprehend. There were some terrible times coming upon this planet. But he couldn’t understand it. And so he said, “‘what shall be the end of these things.'” And The Lord said, “‘go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”

I always like to look back and read about men from years ago. You will find that it wasn’t until near the turn of the century that men began to get a comprehension of prophecy. Before that, there was not a clear cut teaching of how these things were going to unfold. And that’s exactly what God told Daniel. It wasn’t for men to understand until we get close to the end times. And now, every week, it is so much easier to understand. I know, 20 years ago, when I’d teach the Book of Revelation, it was hard to get people to understand what it was saying. Now, I can teach the Book of Revelation and people are almost running ahead of me with current events and news.

And the Book of Revelation is as simple as ABC anymore. A lot of people won’t agree with me, but I think any of you who have heard me teach the Book of Revelation will admit that it’s not that difficult, because we are now so close to the end. For example, I can remember when I was a kid and I heard a fellow preaching prophecy out of the Book of Revelation. He came to those two witnesses in Revelation Chapter 10 who would be killed; and their bodies would be left in the streets of Jerusalem; and the Scripture says so plain that all the world will see their dead bodies. They are actually going to celebrate by the exchanging of a gift. And what did we say? “How can that be.” How can the whole world see two bodies laying in Jerusalem? That’s not a question any more. It happens everyday with our communications and satellite television. We see everything that’s taking place on the other side of the world at the very moment it’s happening.

So, the Book of Revelation is now very believable. And when we read some of the other things in the Book of Revelation, all you have to do is attach it to a modern technology and it all makes sense. But Daniel said, “Lord I don’t know.” And God says, “don’t worry about it. It’s not for you to know until we come to the time of the end.”

Daniel 12:10

“Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”

Look at what he says about the wicked shall do wickedly: Now, you remember a few weeks ago, I said the times for the Gentiles is actually a filling up of their cup of iniquity? And it’s going to reach the full mark when we come to the end of the Tribulation and the Battle of Armageddon. Men have become so wicked. We haven’t see anything yet. It’s getting bad, but the worst is yet to come. Daniel saw it. and none of the wicked shall understand.” Just recently, a gentlemen that we lead to The Lord a few years ago, and who has just grown in the Word so fast, said to me, “You know, five years ago, I could watch all this that is happening in the world and it didn’t mean a thing to me. It was just news. But now every news item I read or see on television, fits with the Word of God.” It just makes it so exciting that we’re living in the last moments of this Age of Grace. but the wise shall understand,…. because The Book is so plain. Verse 11:

Daniel 12:11

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”

We’ll look at this further in our next lesson. But, look at what it says. “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, which will be in the middle of the seven-year period. The Anti-christ will cause the Temple to be shut down, and he will usurp it, and force the Jew to worship himself. Now that’s the abomination that’s spoken of here in verse 11. and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” Good Bible students know that three and a half years are 1,260 days. But, now, Daniel is going into 1,290, or an extra 30. But, it doesn’t stop there.

Daniel 12:12

“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.”

God says to Daniel, “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” Or, seventy-five days after the kingdom has been set up, Daniel can expect what? To join all those others who have been resurrected before. Look at it again. “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” Now, let’s look at verse 13:

Daniel 12:13

“But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.”

As a believer who is now in the presence of God, these saints are in bliss. I don’t believe in soul sleep; they are there, but they are not there bodily. They are there in soul and spirit in the presence of The Lord, somehow or another, waiting for the resurrection day. Let’s reconstruct. The Church Age believers who have been dying now for the past 1900 years or so, as soon as they died, Paul teaches that they went into the presence of The Lord in Heaven. But they’re only there in soul and spirit. Their body is in the grave. And no where in Scripture is there any kind of entity of valid operation of the soul and spirit separated from the body.

You just study your Bible and there is nothing valid about a human being while he is separated soul and spirit from the body; and that’s why Paul is always teaching, “what are we to be looking forward to?” Oh, the resurrection of our body. In Ephesians Chapter 3 he makes it clear, that, even though we have been redeemed, have been bought back by the blood of Christ, yet our redemption will not be complete until we’ve got that new, resurrected body. So, the bodies of these departed saints will suddenly be reunited with their soul and spirit which have been in the presence of The Lord. Now we’re complete! And we’re ready to come back with Him at the end of the seven years. But you see, the Old Testament saints are going to have to wait until the Kingdom is set up, because remember, Israel is not going to enjoy the elevated roll that the Body of Christ will enjoy. And again, it boils down to terminology.

The Church is referred to as the virgin pure Bride of Christ. Israel is referred to as the adulterous, restored wife of Jehovah. Now, be careful, that does not mean that we’re talking about bigamy, because we’re not talking about sexuality. We’re merely talking about a position. The Church is the Bride of Christ, united to Him. Israel is that adulterous; and if you don’t quite understand what I’m talking about when I call Israel the adulterous wife of Jehovah, go back and study the Book of Hosea. In the Book of Hosea, what is Hosea instructed to do? Go out and marry a woman of the street, a prostitute. And he’s going to live this thing out, literally. And he brings this prostitute home as his wife and she’s not there very long and what does she do? She leaves him to go back to her lovers out on the street. But, as you get to the end of Hosea, she finally has a real conversion of heart and she comes back and becomes the obedient wife of Hosea and the mother of his children. What is that all a picture of? The Nation of Israel. Oh,listen, Israel chased after the pagan gods of the Canaanites. Let’s turn to Jeremiah 44. Just to show you how adulterous spiritually Israel was always chasing after those pagan gods. But, the time is coming as God says in:

Jeremiah 31:31

“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel , and with the house of Judah:…”

“A new covenant…” I will make with my people; and they won’t have to be instructed; they won’t have to be taught. Why? God says he will put a new heart within them and they will be His people and He will be their God. But, that isn’t the way it’s always been.

Jeremiah 44:17a,18a

“But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven.” And this is Israel. Oh they were burning incense to the queen of heaven. Let’s read on a little bit further: “We’ll pour out our drink offerings unto her, as we have done . We and our fathers, our kings, and our princes. Since we have left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven and have pour out our drink offering unto her we have wanted all things.”

They had the idea that the worshiping this female goddess would bless them more than Jehovah would. So, Israel won’t enjoy that elevated roll in the kingdom that the Body of Christ will. Listen, when it gets to pagan idolatrous worship, nothing is ever as grossly immoral as the worship of the female goddesses. I don’t care whether it was in Egypt, Babylon, Greece or Rome. When they went to worship of a female goddess it was gross immorality.

Jeremiah 44:17b,18a

“…And to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes….”

“But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things….”

They had the incredulous idea that this worship of a female goddess was blessing them more than Jehovah would. Now that’s spiritual adultery, and that’s why Israel is not going to enjoy that elevated roll in the Kingdom, and in eternity in the Body of Christ. Now let’s go back to Daniel 12. Let’s look at verse 13 once again. “But go thy way until the end be. Thou shalt rest and stand in thy”, what’s the word? “Lot.” Now, I liken that to a military term of a company or battalion. So the Old Testament saints will be resurrected in their own lot; they will be a smaller group thus representing the gleaning of the corners. They won’t be resurrected until after the Kingdom has been set up. So they will be guests of the wedding feast.

65 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 1 - Book 6 - First Fruits

65: Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 6 – First Fruits – Gleanings – Old Testament Saints – Resurrection: Daniel 12 & 9

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 6

FIRST FRUITS: GLEANINGS:

OLD TESTAMENT SAINTS: RESURRECTION

Daniel 12 & 9

We’ll briefly review our timeline as we’ve looked at it over the last 14 or 15 months. How Adam and Eve came on the scene about 4,000 B.C. You remember regarding that generation of humanity; God dealt with them as one race of people. They all had an equal opportunity at God’s Salvation. Relatively simple; always based on their faith, of course, but back in the pre-flood dispensations, it was as if they were convicted of sin on their conscience. They were to bring their blood sacrifice by faith and God would accept it. And the best example of that is Abel. The great faith chapter in The Bible tells us that by faith Abel brought a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. But, as all through human history, that generation of people totally rebelled against it until finally there were only eight left, and we had the bringing in of the Noah flood.

That takes us up to about 1600 from Adam to about 2400 B.C. and then, in between, the flood at about 2400 B.C. and I usually say, just in general terms, that half-way between the flood and the call of Abraham, we have the Tower of Babel. And here we have Abram, who later on was called Abraham. Now, always remember that the 8 souls that came out of Noah’s Ark, as they began to re-populate the earth; instead of scattering, as God had instructed them to scatter, they all stayed together and were united under Nimrod at the Tower of Babel. The main thing I like to have people remember about the Tower of Babel is: all idolatry, and all of the paganism that has saturated the world ever since, has it’s roots in Babel. All the occult religions, and even many of the cults that are coming on the scene today who are, in one way or another, associated with the occult, have their roots at the Tower of Babel. Then, God forced their scattering by the confusing of the languages.

Then, after another 175 or 200 years, the whole new generation of people…well, everybody is now steeped in idolatry. What does God do? He says He’s going to do something different.And so, out of the midst of idolatry (and Ur of the Chaldees, and we know that from the Book of Joshua where God says plainly in his Word, that even Terah the father of Abraham served other gods. They were all in idolatry), God calls out one man Abram-Abraham, and he becomes then the great man of faith. It was at this point that God leaves off dealing with what we now refer to as the Gentiles, or non-Jew. God begins dealing with the Jew only, but with exceptions. I never want anyone to miss that. Now, one of the primary exceptions in the Old Testament account was what great city? Nineveh.

You remember God told that good Jew, Jonah, to go and minister to that Gentile city of Nineveh. Did Jonah want to go? Of course not! Why? He was a good Jew, and he understood that God was dealing with Jews only. He wasn’t about to go and see his arch-enemy, a Gentile city like Nineveh be blessed of God and enjoy God’s Salvation. You know the story of Jonah. He finally got there, and the Ninevites repented; but it wasn’t long before they went right back into their same old way. Anyway, from 2000 B.C. then, all the way up into the New Testament, it is primarily God dealing with the Nation of Israel – Jew only. It’s based on the Covenant and promises God made with Abraham. So then, we have the appearance here of John the Baptist and of Christ; to fulfill the Abrahamic promises made way back here. But, what did that generation of Israelites do? They rejected Him; they crucified Him.

Come back to Acts. Peter is still appealing to the Nation of Israel to repent of the fact that they had killed their Messiah, their King; and Peter is still pleading with the Nation of Israel to accept their king, so that they can have the kingdom. But they reject it. Someone asked me recently, when did Israel really come to the place of final rejection. Well, it isn’t exactly final. But they reached the crescendo of their rejection when they stoned Stephen in Acts Chapter 7. And from that point on, Israel slides down into her dispersion; her Temple is taken away in 70 A.D., and God now turns to the Gentiles. So, this is what we’ve been looking at for the last several lessons. This calling out a people for His name. The Bride, or what Paul normally refers to so often, as the Body of Christ. The Church, which is His body, or the Body, which is the Church.

In our last lesson, we got to where the Church is Raptured out. Those of us who are alive and remain, (I Corinthians 15), will be changed and all those who have died during this Church Age, are resurrected bodily, visibly, physically, with a new body; and they meet The Lord in the air, with the souls of those departed saints. They’ve been in Heaven in His presence. They’ve been in a place of bliss and blessing, but without benefit of a body until the Great Resurrection Day, when they are caught up to receive their descending soul and spirit; reunited with their new body, and then, as Paul teaches, those who are alive and remain will be caught up; changed on the way; and so shall we all ever be with The Lord.

Now, I thought before I’d go back to Genesis and pick up where we left off several lessons ago, that we should delineate some of these basic doctrines of end times teachings. We’ve had several people ask that we spend a little time on our end-time view. Now, I think before we actually go on into the Tribulation and the Second Coming, it might behoove us to take a good look at this terminology, resurrection. There is probably no other word in Scripture that has been so maligned and so twisted completely out of it’s truth.

I remember reading a pastor who was certainly bound up in what I call the fundamental definition of resurrection (visible, bodily). And on Easter Sunday, he was visiting in a large midwestern city; and he was going to visit a church where he knew the pastor did not believe in a literal resurrection. And he wondered how that guy could preach a sermon on Easter Sunday morning and not believe in the Resurrection. I read as he reviewed that man’s sermon that, yes, he talked about Resurrection, but he had no concept of a visible, bodily Resurrection. His definition of resurrection was just something into an invisible spirit realm and that he totally rejected the genuine Resurrection as most of us understand it to be. So, I think in order to clarify for some that might not be real sure about the bodily Resurrection of Christ, as well as our own resurrection some day, we’re going to look at what The Bible calls the first resurrection. Let’s turn to John’s Gospel, Chapter 5 and let’s look at verse 28. Most of you that have heard me teach, know that I am a stickler on what The Book really says and not what somebody thinks it says. Here, Jesus is speaking during His earthly ministry:

John 5:28-29

“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth (now isn’t that plain English? Everyone who has lived and died, at some point in the future, when God calls they’re all going to come forth. Let’s read on) ;they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

Now, how many resurrections have you got? Two! You’ve got the resurrection of the just, (the believers) but you’re also going to have the resurrection of the lost. Many people don’t realize that. They think that when a person dies and goes to Hell, that’s the end of it. But oh no it isn’t! They’re one day going to be resurrected out of Hell and brought before the Great White Throne. From there, they go to the Lake of Fire. Earlier I told you about a question that came in one of my classes about, “What is the difference between Hell and the Lake of Fire?” Well, there’s all the difference in the world. I have been shrinking from teaching it in this lesson because it takes quite a long time to teach it correctly. So, for now we’re just going to look at the first resurrection, the resurrection of the just.

Here again in verse 29 is a good example of what Peter meant when he wrote in his epistle, “that no Scripture is of private interpretation.” I’m sure you’ve all seen that verse and you’ve probably wondered what he meant there. All Peter meant was, that you cannot take one verse of Scripture and build doctrine on it. That’s what the cults will do. They will take a verse here and another verse there and then they build their doctrine. You can’t do that!

So, this verse, if you took it alone, and, even though The Lord Jesus is speaking of Himself, if you lifted this verse out of context and used it to build a doctrine, what could you teach? Well, you could teach that people will go to Heaven by doing good. Isn’t that what it says? Look at it. “They who have done good, will go to the resurrection of life and they who have done evil unto the resurrection of condemnation.” Now see, if you took that verse all alone, you could say that you could go to Heaven by doing good, and people are going to go to Hell because they are doing bad. But, if you study all of Scripture, there is only one way we can please God, and one way we can do good in God’s eyes, and that is by faith.Without faith, Hebrews says, it is impossible to please God.” So, what is Jesus really alluding to here when He says, those who have done good are those who have become people of faith? Whether it was back in the Old Testament or in the Age of Grace, there’s only one way we can please God, and that is by believing His Word. So, we’ve got two resurrections. The resurrection of believers (the just), and a resurrection of the lost.

Next, we’ll look at the resurrection of the believers. So go back to I Corinthians Chapter 15. This chapter deals with nothing but resurrection. The fact that men die; that we can revert back to the dust; that we can be cremated; that we can be burned at the stake: that still will not stop God from actually bringing the smallest particle of that original body back together. They are still someplace and He knows where they are. And He will take at least some of those original cells and reconstruct a new, resurrected body.

Now, I’ve often, over the years, had people ask me what I believe about cremation. And my only answer is that I don’t see that the Scripture forbids it or encourages it. Personally, it’s an anathema to me because I feel that when someone cremates a body, they’re in so many words telling God, “Now try and bring that back to life.” That may not always be their mindset, but that’s the way it looks to me and so I am certainly not in favor of cremation. We also know that especially during the reformation, a lot of God’s choicest servants were burned at the stake for their faith. Now, they were cremated and God is going to have no trouble resurrecting them. But all I want you to see is that I don’t care where a person may go to their grave; whether it’s in the deepest ocean, or cave, or whether they’re cremated or blown apart in an explosion; never doubt for a minute that God is going to be able to resurrect that body. That’s what resurrection is all about. He does not start with something new; He brings back that which was before and makes it new. Now, Paul teaches that throughout I Corinthians Chapter 15. Now, let’s go to I Corinthians Chapter 15 and verse 20:

I Corinthians 15:20

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.”

We’re going to look at this first resurrection. Remember, this first resurrection is primarily attached to this Rapture of the Church. That’s a coined word. It’s not in the English. I read where the word `rapture’ is in the German translation, but we don’t have it in the English – but we know what we’re talking about. It’s that up-calling of the living believers as well as the resurrection of the Church Age believers. I’m taking the time to point this out.

Not everybody, from Adam all the way up to present day, will be resurrected at the same identical moment, as we’ll see Paul teach here in I Corinthians 15. When he speaks of them that slept, he’s speaking of those who have died physically. See the words, ‘first fruits’ … the only way we can put a definition on it is to go back to our Old Testament to Leviticus Chapter 23, and in this chapter we have the seven feasts of Jehovah, as they were given to the Nation of Israel there at Sinai. When they were given the Tabernacle; the Priesthood; God also gave them instructions for their seven feast days. It was to begin, of course, with Passover, which was the feast day that Israel was celebrating at the time of the Crucifixion. And since Passover was about to begin at 6 o’clock on Friday evening, they had to hurry and get the body down off the Cross because it could not be out there once Passover started.

And so, that was the feast of Passover, and then, of course, Paul goes on to show us in Corinthians that Christ then became our Passover Lamb. And so, these seven feasts of Jehovah all have an indication of a New Testament trust. But, we want to look over to Leviticus 23:9 where we’ll see what ‘first fruits’ is all about. Now , you have to remember that back here in Israel’s ancient history, they were primarily an agricultural people. That’s why so much of our Bible, including Christ in His earthly ministry, is constantly using what we would call, just ordinary farming language, because they understood what he was talking about.

Leviticus 23:9,10

“And the LORD spake unto Moses saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, ‘When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf (bundle) of the first fruits of your harvest unto the priest.'”

In other words, when they went into the Promised Land and they have planted their crops, the first thing they would do as that crop would begin to ripen, and here again you have to have a little basic understanding of grain farming. Wheat farmers understand this. You know that, as that wheat field begins to ripen (I prefer to think it was barley, because barley was the early spring crop), all through that field of green; all of a sudden will come some golden stems that will ripen early. Now, if you ever happen to be driving through the wheat country in the spring, and it’s turning from green to the golden yellow of harvest, watch for it. As a field is just preparing to turn, and become ripe, scattered around you will see some golden heads of grain. Now, the Jew was to go into that field and pluck these early ripened stems and make a sheaf of them, and take that sampling of a crop and wave it there before the Temple, as a wave offering unto The Lord. And it was called first fruits, because it was the sampling of the crop that is soon to follow.

Now, Paul says here in I Corinthians 15 that Christ has become the ‘first fruits’ (plural). Now, you couldn’t make a bundle or sheaf of grain with just one stem, so what did they have to do? They had to pluck many of them as they were ripened throughout the field and with it make a sheaf. And so, Christ could not be the only one, although He was definitely the first. Come back with me quickly to Matthew Chapter 27. A lot of these things I’ve come across because people have asked questions. And that’s why I never discourage people from asking questions, because that’s the way I’ve learned over the years. I’ll never forget, 18 or 20 years ago, somebody asked me about these verses in Matthew. What were these people who came out of the grave while Christ was on the Cross. I said, “Now wait a minute. No one came out of the grave while Christ was on the Cross.” So, we went and found a Bible and looked it up and, as so often is the case, people don’t read right. Now, let’s look at it.

Matthew 27:50,51

“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.” Do you see where we are? Christ is on the Cross and He has just yielded up the Ghost (He has died).

“And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;…” Now, you remember the veil that is spoken of here was that huge veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the sanctuary. And, as an act of God, that veil was rent from the top to the bottom.

Matthew 27:52,53

“And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared to many.”

“And the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints (believers, believing Jews) which slept arose. Came out of the graves after his resurrection. Not while He’s on the Cross. But after His Resurrection. Now, you see it had to be that way, because Christ had to be the first to be resurrected from the dead. This has never happened before. Oh, there were people that were raised from the dead by the prophets, Elijah and Elisha; but they died again. Even when Jesus called Lazarus forth from the grave, that was not resurrection. That was just simply restoring life to him and Lazarus had to die again. But, beginning with Christ’s Resurrection, now we have the term in it’s fullest meaning. But you couldn’t have a bundle of ‘first fruits’ with one stem of grain, there had to be many.

So these, I feel in Matthew 27:52,53, were the sampling of those believers who had died, and were resurrected, and walked into the city with Christ as the first fruits. Altogether, they become the first fruits of them that slept. Now, the first resurrection is really broken down into three areas. We’ve only covered the first one and that’s what Paul refers to here in I Corinthians as the first fruits of resurrection. Christ, and this sampling that came out of the grave and went into the city of Jerusalem. Now, the Scripture is silent on them, but if they were resurrected, then naturally Christ had to taken them up on into glory. They were not left here in this old world of sin and pain. Now, if you’ll turn back with me to I Corinthians 15 again. This is all part of the resurrection of the just.

I Corinthians 15:20,21

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become (past tense) the first fruits of them that slept. (who have died physically). Why does there have to be a resurrection? Verse 21:“For since by man came death (back in the Garden of Eden) so also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 

64 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 4 - Book 6 - Calling Out a People for His Name

64: Lesson 1 Part 4 Book 6 – Calling Out a People for His Name

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 6

CALLING OUT A PEOPLE FOR HIS NAME

Turn to 1 Corinthians Chapter 3. The last several weeks we have been talking about the Holy Spirit working among the masses of humanity to call out a people, or Bride, for Christ. Paul uses the term constantly; the Church which is his Body. The head of that Body is in Heaven in the Person of Christ, and since Christ is the very epitome of the kingdom, as we have seen the kingdom taught all the way through Scripture, the kingdom is where Christ is, and that is in Heaven. And so, consequently, as we become members of the Body of Christ, we also become members of the kingdom, as Paul points out in Colossians Chapter 1; that God the Father hath translated us from darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son. Then, in Philippians, he speaks of it as our citizenship is now in Heaven. It sure is, for that’s where the kingdom is. And as our citizenship is in Heaven, from there is where we look for the Savior, the Head of the Body, to one day take us to Himself, and then have the marriage supper of the Lamb, which will take place in Heaven.

But in the mean-time, as I’ve stressed Salvation by faith + nothing, we can’t leave it there. I tell people we are not saved just for a fire escape – we’re saved to serve – and I’ve been stressing that in the last couple of lessons. Again, going back to the person bought out of the slave market, and how he wants to satisfy his master by being an obedient servant, he doesn’t want his freedom; he wants to be a servant the rest of his life. Now, in 1 Corinthians Chapter 3, Paul gives such a beautiful illustration that fits every believer, and it may shock you a little bit. It will fit a lot of people you can probably think of. They do absolutely nothing to further the Word of God, but they are going to be in Heaven, The Bible tells us they are:

1 Corinthians 3:9

“For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.”

Where Paul writes to the believer “For we are labourers – someone who is laboring is not sitting in his easy chair, he’s out there working. “So we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry” – we are under His control, we are His,… “you are God’s building.” I will use the analogy of the building more than anything else here because the language Paul uses fits that description.

1 Corinthians 3:10

“According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereon.”

” According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder In other words, he’s the contractor, Paul is speaking about himself, “…as the masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, I don’t know how many of you have ever done any building, but I know that whenever I’ve put up a building (of course I know the pole buildings are different), you just simply set the pole in the ground and build on that. Usually when you build a home you start with the foundation. You build that foundation, and that building will either be something or nothing, depending on that foundation; everything is going to rest on that foundation. If that foundation sags in five or ten years your building is ‘kaput.’ If that foundation crumbles, your building is ‘kaput.’ But, if the foundation is sound, you can build upon it. Then it depends on who does the carpentry there on up. So, Paul is laying the analogy, then, that he has put down the foundation there is nothing wrong with it…” “…But let every man take heed how he builds thereon…” on that foundation.

I Corinthians 3:11

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

“For other foundations can no man lay…” There’s no way there can be another foundation for Salvation; it has to be that which is already put down, and that is “Christ Jesus.” There is the foundation: Paul is the masterbuilder, he has given us the instruction; he has given us the blue print of how to build on this foundation as a believer.

I Corinthians 3:12

“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble,…”

“Now if any man (women or child, anyone) build upon this foundation in other words they are believers, they trusted it for Salvation, and they are in the body. Now, if they build upon this they can have all these materials to work with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or stubble,…” Anyone who has been in my classes can see you have two distinct kinds, and what are they? The first three can withstand fire and heat. The second three go up in a puff of smoke. Have you got that? Wood, hay, and stubble, and on the other hand gold, silver and precious stones.

1 Corinthians 3:13

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.”

“Every (person’s) work Now, I’m going to use the word `person’ to include the women and children as well, if they are believers. That’s all we are talking about – believers now. Every person’s work as a believer, his everyday practices, shall be made manifest Here comes that word again; remember I said it’s like putting it in an intense spotlight. Now, this particular spotlight is going to be the penetrating fiery eyes of The Lord Jesus at the Judgement Seat of Christ wherein every believer will be examined, not for sin, but for what? His works. Alright, read on: “…for the day (the judgment day);… not the White Throne Judgement, but the Judgement Seat of Christ – at that day it “shall be declared” or revealed or tested… how? by fire;… Now, hold your hand in Corinthians and come back with me to Revelation so that we see what The Bible is talking about when it speaks of being tested by fire.

Revelation 19:11,12

” And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.”

“His eyes were as what? a flame of fire,… Now, it doesn’t say they were a flame of fire, but they are just like flames of fire. In other words, they will be so penetrating, there will be nothing that can escape them. Nothing can be hidden from them; it will all be revealed. Now, let’s come back to 1 Corinthians. This is the language that Paul is using. We will come before the Bema Seat (now here is where I have to make a qualification, the lost people from Cain until the very end of time as we know it, they of course will appear before the Great White Throne. And it’s only for the lost, there will be no believers at the Great White Throne. Here Christ will be the judge and will judge the lost of all ages).

In John’s Gospel, Chapter 5, Jesus taught so plainly, that there will be two resurrections. The resurrection of the just, and the resurrection of the unjust. In other words, the unbeliever is also going to be resurrected out of Hell before the Great White Throne, and he will appear there bodily in a newly resurrected body, but it will be a body fit not for glory and not for Heaven; but a body fit for the eternal lake of fire. It will be a body that will have many of the same appetites of this one, but without any hope of ever satisfying it. And so, that’s why the Scriptures said to let the drunkard be drunken still, and let the whoremonger continue on with those appetites, for they will never be satisfied. They will also have an eternity of regret. Remember, nobody goes before the Great White Throne except those who choose to go there. Salvation has been offered to all people (everyone; red, yellow, black, and white; rich, poor; it doesn’t make any difference). But, if they reject it, they are going to end up at the Great White Throne.

All right, we are not going to concern ourselves with that, we’re going to concern ourselves with what Paul calls the Judgement Seat of Christ, and again I think it’s a mis-translation of The King James. It really should have been the Bema Seat or the Seat of Reward. The reason it’s called the seat of reward is because the Bema Seat was the Seat of Rewards in the Olympic Games; and at the Olympic games, the Bema Seat was occupied by the judges who would determine who was first, second, and third, etc. Now, that’s exactly what the Bema Seat is going to be in Heaven. It’s not going to be a Great White Throne Judgement; it’s not going to be a judgement for sin – that’s all under the blood. But every believer will come before Christ in that moment of time, to be examined on what he has done with his life as a believer, for rewards. Many people don’t want to hear about rewards and they say, “Well, I don’t like this whole idea of working for rewards, but I can’t help it.” This is what The Bible teaches – not Les Feldick.

Paul says in another place that when you enter a race, what is to be your attitude? To win! Paul goes back to the Olympic games, and he said they entered that race, and what did they do? They controlled their body. In other words, they trained and practiced; only to win a corruptible crown. Back in Paul’s day what was the crown? Just a wreath. By the time the poor guy got home it was all shriveled up and good for nothing, but maybe putting between the pages of a book. But, he says, they did all that for a corruptible crown. But we’re not running for a corruptible crown. We’re running for an incorruptible crown. And so, this is the whole concept of Paul’s teachings. That, yes, we’re saved by faith plus nothing.

But now what are we to do? Gear up for the race. Gear up to work for rewards. We’re using the building concept here. Now, in this building, I’d like to draw a mental picture of a wall. And here, as a believer, you’ve been given this section of the wall and God gives you six materials to use. You use gold, silver and precious stones. Well, they’re hard to come by. You can’t just sit down and let that stuff come to you. But, on the other hand, I always like to come back to the three little pigs (I’m still just a kid at heart). What did they make their houses of? Two of them used sticks and straw. But one enterprising little fella went and got his bricks. Well, I always like to think of that here, because the little pig with the bricks is the believer. Are we going to be enterprising and energetic and go out and hustle for the gold, silver and precious stones? Or are we going to be like 95% of our fellow Christians and just say, “Oh well, I’ll just put sticks in my section of the wall;” “I’ll just use some straw; I don’t think it’s worth going up into the mountains and dig for gold and silver.” That’s the attitude of too many Christians.

I Corinthians 3:13

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.”

“Every man’s work What he puts in that wall, is going to be put under that spotlight of Christ’s fiery eyes at this Bema Seat. We won’t come before Him with our sins; we’ll come before Him having won rewards. the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed (or tested) by fire” – by the eyes of Christ; and those eyes shall test every man, every believer. Now, we’re not talking about the unbeliever. It will test every believer’s work of what sort it is. Is it wood, hay and stubble? Or is it gold, silver and precious stones.

I Corinthians 3:14

“If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.”

“If any man’s work In other words, will what we put in that wall remain after the torch of our Lord’s eyes comes upon it? If it is gold, precious stones, or silver, then, Yes, it will!But, what if it’s wood, hay and stubble? A puff of smoke, and then Nothing! And that, I’m afraid, will happen to too many Christians. Now, read on.

I Corinthians 3:15

“If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

“If any man’s work shall be burned,(if it’s wood, hay and stubble) “…he shall suffer loss:, – not of Salvation but of rewards! He won’t get a reward. He hasn’t earned it. Now, you see the difference between Salvation and works? Of course they go together, but you can’t put works over here and Salvation over there. It has to stay over here in the area of Christian service. “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: But, even that believer, misfit as he is in God’s overall program, will still be saved! Now, you can’t change that. A lot of us would probably like to. But listen, the Scripture says that even that careless believer is going to be saved.

I’ll never forget years ago, one of my favorite pastors, when he was preaching on this, said, “Yes, he’s going to be there. This being saved so as by fire, in the English slang, could be called, “he’ll be there by the skin of his teeth.” Yes, they’re going to be there. I’ll never forget, when I lived in Iowa and was feeding a lot of very fat cattle; I had a very devout, religious person, who was one of my primary fat cattle buyers. We had a lot of discussions on these things and I will never forget, he made almost the same statement. He said, “I don’t care what I’ve got when I get there, just so I can somehow slip under the door!” Isn’t that sad? And he thought he could do it with his works.

For the person that is carrying out The Lord’s bidding, we are doing what God expects us to do, we’re using gold, silver and precious stones. If we’re careless and we could care less, we’re simply putting in wood, hay and stubble and it will amount to nothing. But yes, we’ll be there. In fact, I’ve often said that a lot of the people we didn’t think would be in Heaven will be there. It will shock a lot of us to see a lot of these people in Heaven that we didn’t think would be there. And the people that aren’t going to be there, we thought for sure would be. You know why? Because man looks at things from the human point of view, and God looks at it from His point of view. And that’s all the difference in the world. So, we are to work for rewards.

Now, the crowns of course, are something else and the crowns we will definitely lay at Jesus’ feet. What are the rewards going to be? I have to think that, since Paul makes such a beautiful picture of the fact that when Christ sets up His kingdom, we’re going to rule and reign with him. We’re going to be joint heirs with Christ and are going to rule and reign with him on the earth. So, I like to think that the reward aspect will be the amount of responsibility that God will give us in our role as ruling in His government. I don’t know if I’m scripturally correct here, but I would like to go back to His description in the Gospels; in His own earthly ministry, when He gave out the talents. He gave the one individual ten talents; and gave another one five; and yet another one one talent. What did the guy with ten do? He came back with ten more. The fellow with five came back with five more. And the fellow with one came back with just the one. He had buried it and was tickled to death he still had it. Then, what did Jesus say? “Now, when I come into my kingdom, the one who had gained ten talents, he will rule ten cities. The one who had five will rule five.”

Like I said, I don’t know if I’m totally correct in bringing this in to Paul’s teaching, but I like to. When we finally get into that kingdom economy, and we’ll be ruling and reigning with Christ, our reward will be the amount of responsibility we will be given in that kingdom operation. Now, a lot of people will shrink from that. But I don’t think God wants us to. I think God wants us to want to be able to accept responsibility; to take the energy that it takes to get out, and move, and do things. In fact, let me give this illustration. I’m a Dallas Cowboy fan and I make no apology for that. And I always like to give the analogy that, as far as I’m concerned, if I were given a choice of having a seat clear up in the upper seats, or being down there as a quarterback, where would I rather be? I’d rather be that quarterback. Even if I did get my head knocked off. I’d be a lot happier down there on the field than sitting way up there in the seats. That’s exactly the way I like to picture this.

If we work for rewards, we’re going to be in the very center of activity when that kingdom comes about. But, if we’re careless, we’ve got nothing but wood, hay and stubble.We’ll be there but we’ll be up on the sidelines and we just won’t have the excitement. Now, a lot of people come back to me and say, “that’s going to make people jealous.” Now, wait a minute! Jealousy is part of sin, the old Adam, and that’s not going to be there. So the person who goes into glory without rewards, is not going to be jealous or envious. He’s going to be tickled to death that he’s there. But there’s not going to be envy. All these things are just going to work together so beautifully. If I don’t make anything else clear, I want you to see that Salvation is by faith alone, but the Christian life is that of working for rewards.

Now, let’s look at how the Church Age is going to end. Just turn on over in Corinthians to Chapter 15, and we’ll quickly look at this. There’s coming a day, and we think it’s real soon, the way things are happening in the world, I don’t see how it can be put off much longer. But, we are fast approaching the day when the last person will be brought into the body, and that vessel will be full, and God’s going to have to take it out of the way.

I Corinthians 15:52

“Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

Now, here again, these teachings you won’t find anywhere but Paul. Nowhere has it ever hinted that there’s ever going to be a day when living people are suddenly going to be translated. “Behold I show you another mystery, another secret. “We (that is believers) shall not all sleep (or die), but“, we have to be what?…“Changed” “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” in the split second of an eyelash, (at) the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead in Christ” Those who have been part and parcel now of the Body of Christ. Not the Old Testament saints. Daniel says he has to wait. We’ll look at that in another lesson. But now, it’s the Church Age saints. These who are in the body. “At the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we Paul says (and he expected to be alive) …shall be changed.” In other words, when the trumpet sounds, and if we’re living – and I think we will be, the dead in Christ will rise first and then we will suddenly take flight and we will go up with him. Now, in order to culminate all of this we have to go to 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4. Here, some people just simply refuse the concept of the Rapture; and when they do that, they have to throw Paul away first. This is because Paul makes so much of it, and here is probably the clearest language in I Thessalonians:

I Thessalonians 4:13

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.”

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren (same language), concerning them which are asleep,” (that is our loved ones who have died),“that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” In other words, if we, as believers, have lost loved ones, we don’t have to weep and wail and carry on like the heathen do. Because we’re going to see our loved ones again someday.

I Thessalonians 4:14

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”

“For if we what’s the word? Believe! It doesn’t say if we are repenting and are baptizing. It doesn’t say if we join the church. It says if we believe. But we’ve got to be careful what we believe. Don’t just believe in God. We believe that Jesus died and rose again. There’s the Gospel. So, if we believe the Gospel, even so them also who sleep, or who have died, in Jesus; God will bring them with him. Now, watch the language. We know that the believer, as soon as he dies; his spirit and soul take flight to where? The presence of Christ in Heaven. And there they wait for this day of resurrection to be reunited with the believers resurrected body.

I Thessalonians 4:15,16

“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:…”

“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent…”  or go ahead of,“…them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven,” now you remember Isaac. He met Rebecca where? Part way, away from home. “…The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:…”

I Thessalonians 4:17

“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them (everybody) in the clouds (that is in the atmosphere), to meet the Lord (Where?)… in the air: And then we go back into Heaven with Him to go before the Judgement Seat of Christ, and have the marriage of the Lamb; and then we’ll be ready to come back with Him seven years later, as time reckons it, at His Second Coming; as He comes then to stand on the Mount of Olives… as it says in Zechariah 14. Read it when you have a minute at home. Those first six or seven verses. It says in part, “…in that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives.”

The other night I was teaching in Acts Chapter one, “…and there he stood with the eleven, and he went up, and the angels said, ‘why stand ye gazing up into Heaven, this same Jesus in like manner as you have seen him go, shall come again.'” I don’t say these things to be funny; I try to make it clear. He left how? Head first! He’s coming, how? Feet first.And He’s going to stand on the Mount of Olives just as sure as it’s there tonight; and that will usher in the Kingdom. And when He comes, we’re going to come with Him. In fact, I always like to use two prepositions – and that probably helps you remember as well as anything. When He comes at the Rapture, He’s going to come for us. When He comes at the Second Coming, He comes with us.

63 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 3 - Book 6 - Calling Out a People for His Name

63: Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 6 – Calling Out a People for His Name

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 6

CALLING OUT A PEOPLE FOR HIS NAME

I trust you are writing down some of these things and studying them. The reason Christianity is in trouble today is because people will not study. Don’t take anyone at their word — not me, nor anyone else — because humans are humans, and we have to come back and see what The Book says. We were talking during our break about how denominations are all alike. They all build walls around their people, and if they happen to be unfortunate enough to be in a denomination where they don’t hear these truths, then where are they? They’re out of luck. So, this has been my ministry for over 20 years, and I get people from every denomination you can think of. I just call it ‘knocking down some walls.’ I try to get people to see, not necessarily what some denomination thinks, but to be able to discern from the Word by Itself as the Holy Spirit gives us wisdom.

Let’s continue on in this Age of Grace, and then we’re going to be looking at how the Age of Grace will end – what’s going to happen and what’s going to follow. We will take a little time to point out end time events before we go back to Genesis:

Romans 3:25

“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;….”

“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation…. — that’s a big word that throws a curve at a lot of people, and the best way I can define ‘propitiation’ is, that everything that is pictured in that Tabernacle experience (all the material that went in to the building of it, all the furniture, the Ark of the Covenant, the candlestick, the Altar of Incense, the Table of Shewbread, the Laver of Cleansing, the Brazen Altar, and all of those furnishings) is a picture of Christ in His work of redemption. So, that’s really what propitiation is…that complete overall work that Christ accomplished by His death, burial and Resurrection. Reading on: “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (how?) through faith (through our believing and trusting) in his blood, to declare his righteousness (not ours, but His) for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”

Romans 3:26

“To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

My, what a loaded verse this is: “To declare, I say, at this time his (Christ’s) righteousness: that he (The Lord Jesus) might be (what?) just,…. See, God can never be anything but fair. A lot of people think, “What about someone who has never heard, and they go to an eternal doom – Les, you mean to tell me God can do that in fairness? Absolutely; and you know why? Paul writes to Titus in Chapter 2: “For the grace of God that bringeth Salvation hath (past tense) appeared to (how many?) all men,…. Yes, everyone has had an opportunity, even though we like to think that maybe they haven’t. But, somehow or other, God can reckon that He is absolutely just in everything that He does. This is the other side of the coin. He is going to be just by justifying what person? That sinner who believeth in Jesus. Now, I’m trying to point out in these verses how we come to this point of Salvation –by believing! What’s the other word for believing? Faith! (plus how much?…Nothing!) Faith plus nothing. That is for Salvation. I’m not talking about the Christian life or works. I’m talking about Salvation. It is faith plus nothing; that He can be the justifier, verse 26 again, of him who believeth in Christ. Now, look at verse 27:

Romans 3:27

“Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.”

Why does it have to be that way? “Where is (what’s the word?) boasting….” How many times have I said to you, “If we could get to Heaven on works, what would Heaven be? The most awful place on earth, wouldn’t it? Because you would constantly be listening to somebody tell you all that he did to get there. It would be boring. You’d see somebody coming down that golden street and what would you do? You’d cross over so you wouldn’t have to listen to him again, telling you all that he did to get there! And so, it can’t be by works. It’s going to have to be totally by the finished work of the Cross so that none of us can boast; as Paul said, “Where is boasting…?” What happened to it? It’s excluded. What excludes it…the law of works? No, that law would bring it in. But “…the law of faith.” That leaves no room for boasting about how you got to Heaven.

Romans 3:28

“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

Since it’s without works, it’s without the Law, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified (how?) by faith.” Plus anything? No! We’re justified by faith without the deeds or works of the Law.

Romans 3:29

“Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:”

Let’s go to Chapter 4, because I’m stressing the ‘faith plus nothing’ for a few moments. We will look at why we’re not just saved, only to go and live carelessly. I know that shakes up a lot of people when they hear that we’re saved by faith plus nothing. Yes, we’re saved by faith plus nothing, but what does God expect of us. Well, just like the example of that slave that was taken home to that beautiful Roman villa. What did that slave automatically feel he should do? He should be the best servant he knows how to be because of what his master had done on his behalf. Here, in Romans Chapter 4, Paul comes back and uses the analogy of Abraham:

Romans 4:1,2

“What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.”

If Abraham were justified by works (by doing something), then he also could boast. That’s what it means to glory. He could brag. He could stop everybody on the golden strand and tell them all he did to get there. But, what does the Scripture say? He could never do it before God. God will never let anyone be a debtor to Him. If you try to work for your Salvation, that’s what you’re doing; you’re putting God in debt. You’re telling God, “You owe it to me.” And we’ll never put God in our debt. Now, verse 3:

Romans 4:3

“For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”

It tells us that Abraham did what? He believed! At this time, the Law hadn’t been given, but Abraham didn’t do anything except believe. And when God saw man’s faith, what did He do? He counted it as righteousness. Not Abraham’s, but the imputed righteousness of God. And then verses 4 & 5:

Romans 4:4,5

“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

Now, do you see all the things that I could put in there that aren’t there? “But to him… (that believeth) on Him that justifieth (what kind of a person?) the ungodly,…” How many times have we heard someone tell us (and I’m sure all of us have heard it), “When I can get rid of this awful habit;” “When I can get rid of the booze;” “When I can rid of this or that; then I’ll be able to let God save me.” Haven’t you heard that? It’s always, “When I can clean up my act;” “When I can live it; then I’ll be ready to get saved.” Listen, there’s not a man on earth that can do that. It’s impossible. So, where do we let God save us? Right where we are. Then, He takes care of the things that have to be taken care of. Remember, “…his faith is counted unto him for righteousness.”

Even the Jews, when they came out of Egypt (and up through their Old Testament history), were under the Covenant promises of Abraham, weren’t they? God had promised that they were His Covenant people. That was the umbrella. But under that umbrella of the Covenant, what did it take for a genuine Salvation of that Jew? A personal faith! It still had to be a personal Salvation, even though they were under those Covenant promises. This is what threw a curve at so many Jews. They thought, just because they were of the seed of Abraham, they didn’t have anything to worry about. They couldn’t comprehend they had to have a personal faith.

Now, even under the Law; even under all the ramifications of the system of Judaism, what was the basic premise of their Salvation? Faith! What prompted them to keep the sacrifice? God had told how to do it. And, when they did it on the basis of faith, they were accepted. Go all the way back to Cain and Abel. What does Hebrews 11:4 say about Abel? “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, Why was it more excellent? Because Abel did what God said to do. Cain didn’t. And it’s that simple premise all the way through the Scripture and so now for us – we have to have a personal faith.

Before we left Iowa, we were having a lot of home Bible classes. We happened to have our last meeting, before we left to come down to Oklahoma, in the home of a family who was attending one of these denominations who, more or less, taught ‘umbrellaism,’ as I call it. As long as they adhered to the prescribed ritual that their church advocated, they were under the umbrella. I was looking at one of their Sunday School text books as we were having coffee at break time and the gentleman of the home came over and said, “Les, you won’t see anything in there that will interest you.” I said, “I don’t see anything amiss or that I would disagree with.” And he pointed it out to me. He said, “We just sort of teach that everybody, as long as they’ve gone through the prescribed ritual of membership and so forth, is in. But it wasn’t until we came to your class that my wife and I realized it had to be a personal Salvation.”

And this couple is still walking with The Lord today. Now, that’s exactly what I try to stress. You can be in the best of denominations and you can be under their umbrella, but that by itself is not going to put you into the Body of Christ. It has to be a personal faith in the work of the Cross. Now, let’s go to the Book of Ephesians. The reason I’m stressing Salvation so much the last couple of programs is: I found over the years that there are very few people who hear and understand the plan of Salvation. I could stand here for the next 24 hours and give you examples of people who thought they were saved and what they had done to bring in that kind of thinking, and then they suddenly realize that they had never entered into a personal faith in the finished work of the Cross.

I told my classes several weeks ago my fervent prayer daily is that no one will ever sit under my teaching over any length of time and, if they should pass away due to a heart attack or something like that, go out into eternity lost. Oh, that would just strike me if I could think such a thing. All I can ask is God let no one sit under my teaching without coming to a true knowledge of this tremendous Salvation. Alright, Ephesians Chapter 1, starting at verse 13; and there are tremendous verses up ahead of this verse.

Ephesians 1: 13

“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your Salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,…”

He writes “In whom (that is Christ, up in verse 12) you also trusted, The word trusted is italicized; it’s been added by the translators but its implied faith, trusting, faith and believing is synonymous. So, “In whom you also trusted,” or placed your faith, or whom you believed. When? “…after ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your Salvation:…” – the good news and remember, that’s death, burial, and Resurrection. So, he said we believed when we heard the Gospel. “In whom also…” That is in Christ also, after you what? – not after you joined the church, or went through catechism, or were baptized, but after what?… After you believed!

See how simple it is – how after you believed you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise. Now, here comes a new Pauline doctrine concerning the Holy Spirit; you don’t see this taught in the Old Testament; you don’t see it taught in Christ’s earthly ministry; that a believer is suddenly not only sealed with the Holy Spirit, but he is indwelled by the Holy Spirit. That’s all Pauline doctrine. That’s why we always have to come here for our basics – then we can go out and understand the rest of Scripture. Alright, after that, you believed you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise. Now, let’s go over to Ephesians Chapter 2 and verse 1. I’m always stressing Paul always writes to what group of people? The believer!

Ephesians 2:1

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;”

And you hath (past tense) he quickened (made alive), who were (past tense) dead….” (spiritually dead). Do you remember what I told you? We’re born as sons of Adam. We are spiritually dead and we have to be regenerated. In one of my classes, for the first time, I used an illustration of what it means to have our spirit dead. The following analogy, as simple as it may be (and it may be ridiculous to some), made sense to me, so I shared it. Take the battery in your car. Say you had left the lights on when you came in; when you go home after while, what’s happened to your battery? It’s dead. How much use is it? None! That battery is dead until you do what with it? Charge it from an outside source. You regenerate it.

That’s where we are as sons of Adam. That spirit part of us is dead by virtue of sin, but it’s not gone. So, what does it need? It needs regeneration. That’s the work of the Spirit in Salvation, and The Bible uses that word, regeneration. We are made alive who were dead. Now, when you charge that battery up, what is it? It’s useful. It can perform it’s task. Now, verse 2:

Ephesians 2:2

“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:”

“Wherein in time past – before we were saved. And we’re all in this category, even if you’ve been living in a sheltered home-life. Yet, we’re all potentially in that kind of an environment, an attitude, a life style, according to the course of this world, “…according to the prince of the power of the air… Who is that? The old devil, Satan …The spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:”

Ephesians 2:3

“Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

“Among whom also we all had all of us. Paul did. You did. I did. We had our manner of living in times past …in the lusts (desires) of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh, and of the mind; and were by nature….” What do we mean? That old Adamic nature. Remember the old popular song, those of us who are older? “Doing What Comes Naturally.” Why does it come naturally? It’s just part and parcel of that old nature. And that’s exactly how Paul is using the word here. That we were fulfilling that nature that we were born with, as children of wrath, even as others.

Ephesians 2:4,5

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,” What’s the first word? “But the flip side. Oh, the flip side of that is that God, not you, not me. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

“Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved,)”

“Even when we were (what?…) dead in sins, hath quickened us (or made us alive) together with Christ,… (why? – by grace ye are saved;)” Now, let’s go down to verses 8 and 9:

Ephesians 2:8-10

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” These are verses most of you learned as kids in Sunday School or Bible School.

“For by grace are ye saved How? Through faith Not by works, but through faith. “…And that not of yourselves…” Salvation is what? “…it is the gift of God:…” For a true gift, how much do you work? Nothing. There’s nothing you can do because as soon as you work to pay somebody for giving you a gift, it’s no longer a gift. It becomes payment for something. And so, Salvation is a gift. We cannot work for it. Now, we can work after it and we’re going to see that, but you can’t work for it. Let’s continue on with verse 9: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Now verse 10: “For we are his workmanship, That word is connected to Poema in the Greek from which we get the word `poem.’ What is a beautiful poem? It is words put beautifully together by someone, and communicated in rhyme. It’s a beautiful work in itself and that’s what we are. We are His workmanship. God has formed us.

I heard a Bible teacher years ago maintain that another word which comes out of the root of this is symphony. I tried to find it in my Greek Lexicon, but I couldn’t so I’ll take his word for it. Not many people like symphony music anymore, but I still do at times. And what is a symphony? It’s that whole group of instruments that come together in beautiful harmony, in major and minor chords; and they blend together to make beautiful music. But what did it take? It takes some doing to get it all put together, and that’s what God has done with us.

So, we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto what? Here it comes! Of course a believer is to live a different life than a lost person. We are to live and practice these good works because God has before ordained that we should walk in them. Let’s continue on with verses 11-13 because I just made the statement that, beginning with Abraham and all the way up through the Old Testament, and well into the New Testament, who did God deal with? Jew only! With an exception here and there. Now, look how Paul puts the frosting on the cake:

Ephesians 2:11-13

“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh (non-Jews, not part of the Abrahamic Covenant or family) who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called Circumcision Now, in plain English what is it saying? The circumcised Jew would call a Gentile a what? Uncircumcised. And usually they would add another word,Uncircumcised dogs. That was their favorite expression. Alright, verse 12. “That at that time…” (what time? While God was dealing with his Covenant people, Israel. “…That at that time…” before the Age of Grace came in, you Gentiles were without Messiah or Christ, aliens, (now watch the language) “…aliens from the commonwealth of Israel

Now, what’s a commonwealth? We usually think of it as a nation – an entity. Someone who is not a citizen of that entity is an alien. And he is subject for deportation at almost any time. That’s where we were while God was dealing with Israel. We were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. We were not Jews. We couldn’t partake of those Covenant promises. And we were strangers (we Gentiles) from the covenants of promise. We were outside. And what was the lot of the Gentiles? Having no hope! And without God in the world. Not a very pretty picture is it? That’s the lot of the Gentiles because God was dealing with those people he had made different. But now, since he has come to the point that there is no difference, look at the next verse: “But now Oh, that’s not the state now. “But now in Christ Jesus

See, once we are in the Body of Christ as a result of God’s tremendous Salvation (His plan of redemption), we’ve been bought out of that slave market of sin, we have been cleaned, given a new set of clothes, have been brought into a villa, and now what? We want to serve Him. Alright, “but now in Christ Jesus, you who at one time who were far off,” that is from God and from a spiritual relationship with Him. “you who were far off are made nigh,” how? By the blood of Christ. You see how Paul is constantly bringing everything back to the work of the Cross. And now, we as Gentiles have been brought in to the Body. We are part of that Bride. Now, what’s the whole idea of a bride? Who is she preparing herself for? The groom! One day, and we think soon, Christ is going to call the Bride to Himself. What did Isaac do when he saw the caravan coming – when he saw the dust rolling over that Middle Eastern landscape?…He went part way to meet the bride.

And, you remember that after he met the bride out there, he took her back home and there he consummated the marriage and he loved her. That is exactly the setting when Christ gets ready to call His Bride home. We’re going to see how all of a sudden that vessel will be full. When the last person has been saved, when the Body is complete. What’s going to happen?The trumpet will sound, Christ will leave Heaven, and we’re going to have that great resurrection of all the saints and we’ll go and meet him in the air.