192 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 4 - Book 16 - Introduction to Acts - Part 2

192: Introduction to Acts – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 16

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 16

INTRODUCTION TO ACTS – PART 2

Now we’re ready for the final chapter in this Book. Turn to Acts Chapter 1. As I said in the last program the Book of Acts is a transitional Book. The first eight chapters are predominately Peter preaching to the Nation of Israel about their condition. Remember they had sent their Messiah to the Cross, and Peter is not going to let them forget this. Then in Chapter 9 we have the conversion of the Apostle Paul, then in Chapter 10 we go back to Peter and the Jews in Jerusalem. And then after Chapter 15 Peter is no longer on the scene, and it’s all Paul.

As you know I always like to show a timeline and this goes for the Book of Acts also. How that chronologically, in time, all these things happen which fit this whole transition. Remember Christ was crucified in 29 A.D. and of course 50 days after His Resurrection you have Pentecost. Then seven years later you have the martyrdom of Stephen in Acts Chapter 7. So it was seven years from Pentecost till the death of Stephen. Then it’s only one year later when Saul of Tarsus is converted on the road to Damascus. Then a year after Saul’s conversion we find Peter in 38 A.D. going to the house of Cornelius in Acts Chapter 10. The Holy Spirit does this so Peter can come to Paul’s defense in Acts Chapter 15.

Then in 40 A.D., which is three years after Paul’s conversion, we find Paul has been to Arabia three years for seminary training with The Lord as his instructor. After that, for three years, from 37 A.D. to 40 A.D., he meets with Peter at Jerusalem, just for two weeks. Then Paul goes on up into his old Arabia of Tarsus. He ends up at Antioch and starts converting Gentiles to the Gospel of Grace. Then after he has been ministering up at Antioch and has been taking his Gospel to the Gentiles, the Jerusalem believers get all shook up and they call him and Barnabas down to Jerusalem for the counsel of Acts Chapter 15. And that Jerusalem counsel is also referred to in Galatians Chapter 2. This takes place in 51 A.D., which is about 22 years after the Cross. When we come to it verse by verse, we will see that at this point in time in Acts 15, Peter, remembering now what took place at the house of Cornelius, a Gentile, comes to Paul’s defense saying:

Acts 15:7

“And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, `Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago (it had been 13 years) God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should here the word of the gospel, and believe.'”

Now in that 13 year interval has Peter been going to Gentiles? No. He went right back to Jerusalem. He is still dealing with the Jew only, as we see in Acts 11-19. But after Chapter 15, we find the Nation of Israel is falling away and the Gentiles are coming to the front, as Paul is starting the Gentile Church and the Age of Grace. Now Paul, of course, writes his letters within this time frame from approximately 46-49 A.D. to 67-68 A.D. when he is martyred. Then in 70 A.D. the Temple is destroyed. Now that’s the Book of Acts, and it is 40 years in length. But always remember the first 7-8 years it’s still God dealing with the Nation of Israel. But as we study just notice, they will slip completely off the scene, and the Apostle Paul will take the spotlight.

I think most of us have always had it hammered into us (I know I did), that the Book of Acts was the account of the birth of the Church. Well it is, but primarily I prefer to look at the Book of Acts as the fall of the Nation of Israel. Because here we will see that Israel finally rejects their Messiah completely. They’ll not have Him to be their King and God puts them into a dispersion, takes away their Temple and turns to the Gentiles through the Apostle Paul. Now that’s not exclusively to the Gentiles, there will be some Jews that will believe Paul’s Gospel, but for the most part the last 1900 + years have been God calling out Gentiles comprising the Body of Christ. But as we come into the Book of Acts we are not to that point yet. Remember, the first eight chapters deal only with the Jew, the Nation of Israel.

So that’s enough introduction and for the next few minutes let’s take the first few verses. Acts is written by the same gentleman who wrote the Gospel of Luke.

Acts 1:1

“The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus (his gospel account), of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,” Luke makes mention of the fact that his Gospel only dealt with Jesus’ earthly ministry.

Acts 1:2

“Until (from the time of Jesus earthly ministry until) the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:” Now who were the chosen apostles? The Eleven! Judas is out and so there are eleven left.

Acts 1:3

“To whom (these Eleven) also he shewed himself alive after his passion (His death, burial, and Resurrection) by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days (now look at what He has been speaking especially to the Eleven about), and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:”

And remember the Kingdom is the Kingdom is the Kingdom. Where the King is, is where the Kingdom is. And after the Tribulation comes, He is going to set this Kingdom upon this earth, and He’s going to be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! And, yes, you and I are already citizens of that Kingdom tonight according to Philippians 3:20. Also Colossians 1:13 tells us that we have been translated into the Kingdom of His dear Son. And when He returns and sets up His Kingdom on the earth, you and I are going to be part and parcel of it.

Now as we go on into the Book of Acts you will see that Peter and the other disciples are so much in expectancy of the King setting up His Kingdom now, that this is going to fill every moment of their existence. Why? Because Jesus had promised that they would sit on the twelve thrones ruling and reigning over the twelve tribes in the Kingdom. Peter almost burns himself out in these early days after Pentecost, preaching to the Nation of Israel that the One they crucified was indeed their King. If they could just believe it, the King would yet return and they could have the Kingdom, and all these Old Testament promises of going to the Gentiles would have been theirs. But God in His foreknowledge knew they wouldn’t do it. They are going to reject it, but again it was offered to them. So after forty days of talking to the disciples about the Kingdom and their role in the Kingdom, we need to look at that and see why these men were excited.

Matthew 19:27

“Then answered Peter and said unto him, `Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?'” See how human they are?

Matthew 19:28.

“And Jesus said unto them, `Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me (these last three years), in the regeneration (which is still future. That’s the Kingdom, of course)when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Now we have a dilemma. We need twelve men and we only have eleven. So what’s going to be the first order of business? Filling that vacant position. That’s only logical. However, I have read over the years good men who have castigated poor old Peter and have blamed him for getting in a hurry, running ahead of God. They say he should have waited for Paul. Listen, Paul wouldn’t have fit in that slot any more than a square peg in a round hole. Paul didn’t fill the qualifications. And so Peter was in perfect accord with the will of God when he immediately took steps to fill that twelfth slot. Because Peter is expecting The Lord’s return in short order. Peter doesn’t see 1900 + years down the road. Peter sees that Old Testament program that, after Christ was rejected, He would be raised from the dead. He would be ascending to the Father, and then after the Tribulation, the King would return and set up His Kingdom. So this is what drives these 12 men because of the promise made here. Now back to Acts Chapter 1 and continuing:

Acts 1:4

“And being assembled together with them (that’s Christ), commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, (The Father, Jesus is speaking) `ye have heard of me.'”

Acts 1:5

“For John truly baptized with water (this is Jesus speaking ); but (now you have the flip side. There is going to be a change) ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”

Let’s go back to Matthew Chapter 3. Drop down to verse 11 where we are dealing with John the Baptist. Matthew is quoting what John the Baptist says.

Matthew 3:11

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but (there’s that flip side again. There’s going to be a change) he (speaking of Christ) that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:”

Now, again, who is John the Baptist addressing? Jews, there are no Gentiles in his crowd. Jesus, The Christ, he says is going to baptize you with, or into, the Holy Spirit. Now let’s put this in legal terms. As you read this verse you will find Jesus is going to be the baptizer. And He’s going to baptize the Jews into the Holy Spirit. When did Jesus do that? Well, at Pentecost. That was a Jewish feast day. The Nation of Israel was gathered and down came the Holy Spirit with power. And it was the Jews valid offer again to experience that power of the Holy Spirit to do what? Miracles, signs and wonders, as Jesus had done. So this was the Nation’s prospect that they could just literally carry on as individual believing Jews what Christ had been doing for three years. And how would He manifest it? By placing them into the very power of the Holy Spirit. We will get into that in the next lesson when we get to verse 8, when He said, “You will receive power.”

So that was the whole concept that Jesus would be the baptizer, and Israel would be the one being baptized. Let me show you the flip side of that. We must turn to I Corinthians Chapter 12 and we will start with verse 12. Here Paul is writing to the Gentile Church at Corinth. And here he comes up with a term that is strictly Pauline. Jesus or the Twelve never spoke of the Body of Christ. So here in verse 12 Paul is using our human body as an illustration.

I Corinthians 12:12

“For as the body (our human body) is one, and hath many members (your hands, feet and so forth), and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”

He’s making the allusion to the Body of Christ, the Church. We’ve got all these different people who are making up the Body of Christ. We have rich and poor, black and white, whatever from all around the world, they have come into the Body of Christ. They all have their different cultures. But if they have all been saved by the same power and Gospel, then what are we? We are “one” in Christ.

I dare say that you and I could go to the Philippines tonight and we could go into a class of believers there and in five minutes feel right at home. We could have people from any country in the world, and if they are believers they could come right into this class and feel right at home. Why? Because we are one in Christ. How did we get there? Here is the crucial question. How did we get into this unique living organism that we call the Body of Christ? Now verse 13:

I Corinthians 12:13a

“For by one Spirit (The Holy Spirit) are we all baptized into (not the local Church, but) one body (the Body of Christ, the Church),”

Remember, no unbeliever can go into the Body of Christ. You can baptize many people and make them members of the local church, but they can be as lost as a dog. They’re baptized, but they’re not in the Body of Christ. But the true child of God, the moment he believes, is saved by the work of the Spirit, He is baptized by the Holy Spirit into that Body. And that is the one that counts for eternity. And it doesn’t matter what way you have been baptized, by Jordan River water, or a country pond, or a Church baptistry, it makes no difference. But when you have been baptized into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit you are His. You are safe for eternity. Remember, Paul is the only one that uses that terminology. He will say the Church, which is His Body, or the Body of Christ which is the Church.

Now remember early on, as we come out of the Four Gospels and into the Book of Acts with God dealing with the Nation of Israel, Christ is the Baptizer. He is placing the Jews, as they believe, into the power of the Holy Spirit to perform the signs and miracles that would continue Christ’s earthly ministry. But when that fell apart, when Israel rejected it completely, God turned to the Gentiles through the Apostle Paul – and now we find the Holy Spirit has become the Baptizer and He places us into Christ. This is not the only verse where you find this, there are many verses Paul uses. For example, in the Book of Colossians it says, “You are hid in Christ in God.” Well, how did you get in Christ? Not with water baptism, but when the Holy Spirit baptized you into Him.

191 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 3 - Book 16 - Introduction to Acts

191: Introduction to Acts – Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 16

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 16

INTRODUCTION TO ACTS

Turn to John’s Gospel Chapter 21. I’ll use this last chapter of John just exactly as it is in your Bible, and that is as an introduction to the Book of Acts. People are letting us know they are anxious for us to start in the Book of Acts, and here is the beginning of it. We have been talking about Jesus’ forty days of post-Resurrection.

John 21:1,2

“AFTER these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias (Galilee); and on this wise shewed he himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.”

That’s five if I’m counting right. Now this next statement as I’ve said before is so classic. I think Peter was maybe older than the rest, maybe up in his forties, and the rest in their early thirties.

John 21:3a

“Simon Peter saith unto them, `I go a fishing,…'”

Here Peter is reverting back to his old lifestyle, as a fisherman. I think old Peter just loved that Sea of Galilee, and those of you who have been there can understand why. It’s a beautiful setting, with plenty of fish. Even though Peter has seen the resurrected Lord, he still doesn’t understand the picture. I think what Peter says here is, “I’ll just go back to where I came from.”

John 21:3b-5

“…They (the other four) say unto him, `We also go with thee.’ They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. The Jesus saith unto them, `Children, have ye any meat?’ They answered him, `No.'”

Remember the account of how Jesus had them cast on the other side of the ship and their net was full of fish. And yet the net didn’t break. We taught this as the eighth sign – and remember the number “eight” is always the sign of new beginnings. And what we have here is the picture of the Nation of Israel coming back into the Kingdom – every Jew that is supposed to be in the Kingdom is going to be there. God won’t lose one of them, as Peter lost none of these 153 fishes that were in the net. Come down to verse 12. And as they bring this great net full of fish to shore, Jesus already has fish cooked for breakfast.

John 21:12

“Jesus saith unto them, `Come and dine.’ And none of the disciples durst ask him, `Who art thou?’ knowing that it was the Lord.” I’m sure they would have really liked to have asked just to be sure. Have you ever been in that predicament? You’re sure you know somebody, but still you’re not sure. I think that is where they were.

John 21:13-15a

“Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead. So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, `Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?'”

Who is Jesus referring to when He asked Peter, “…lovest thou me more than these?” I believe He is looking at that net full of fish knowing Peter’s old profession was a fisherman. The Lord is putting old Peter on the spot. “Peter do you love me more than your fishing?”

John 15b,16

“…He saith unto him, `Yea Lord: thou knowest that I love thee.’ He saith unto him, `Feed my lambs.’ He saith to him again the second time, `Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?’ He saith unto him, `Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee, He saith unto him, `Feed my sheep.'”

All of my statements are not locked in concrete, but I like to make you think on these things, and search the scriptures. But it’s my impression that the “sheep” here are the Jews. Now the reason I say that is because when we get to Paul’s teaching about the Body of Christ which is the Church, he never refers to us as The Lord’s sheep. But you see all the way up through the Old Testament we have that analogy. The sheep and the shepherd. I think the same thing here. I think when Jesus said to Peter, “Feed my sheep” and, of course, He said it three times in a row to compensate for what other three? Peter’s denial. First he denied The Lord three times and now The Lord gives him the opportunity to come back and compensate for that by promising three times to feed his sheep.

Now why do I say that? I think Jesus is confining Peter to the Nation of Israel and we have the answer back in the Book of Galatians. This will also help you when we study the Book of Acts, which I look at quite differently than a lot of people do. And that doesn’t disturb me, because when it comes to the things of the spiritual the majority is almost always wrong. It has always been that way. The majority said there was no flood. The minority said yes there was. Remember Elijah thought it was down to a minority of one concerning the prophets of Baal. But God said, “No, Elijah, it’s not quite that bad, there are 7000 that have not bowed the knee to Baal.” But what was 7000 compared to the 5-6 million Jews at that time? Then The Lord Jesus made His own analogy in that classical verse in Matthew 7:13,14:

Matthew 7:13,14

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Never lose sight of that. The majority is usually not right. Galatians Chapter 2. I think The Lord is confining Peter’s ministry to the sheep, the Jews, the Nation of Israel – and we are going to see The Lord do that in the Book of Acts. But in this passage, Paul is rehearsing an event that took place about 51 A.D. which would be about 22 years after the Cross. And look what they agree on. Let’s start at verse 6. We have Paul up at Antioch, the place where believers were first called Christians, and they have been preaching the Gospel of Grace to Gentiles. His message for salvation was to believe that Christ died for your sins, was buried and rose from the dead, I Corinthians 15 1-4, and to his Jewish converts not to keep the Mosaic Law since they were now under the Age of Grace.

The believing Jews down at Jerusalem were having a problem with this. They believed for salvation, John’s baptism of repentance and that Jesus was The Christ, and they kept the Law, and ministered to Jews only (All of this is in Acts 2 through Acts 15:1-29). So these Jerusalem believers call Paul and Barnabas on the carpet to set the record straight about their ministry to Gentiles.

Galatians 2:6

“But of these who seemed to be somewhat [Paul’s making reference to the leaders of the Jewish believers at Jerusalem], (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepted no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:”

In other words, when they brought Paul down to Jerusalem and stood him on the carpet as to his ministry to these Gentiles, Paul was having to defend his actions. So the Holy Spirit is here instructing Paul to write about that incident.

Galatians 2:7

“But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision (Gentiles) was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision (Jew) was unto Peter;”

Galatians 2:8

“(For he [God] that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision [The Jew or the Nation of Israel], the same [God] was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)”

Galatians 2:9

“And when James, Cephas (Peter) and John, who seemed to be pillars (leaders at Jerusalem), perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship (they shook hands as an agreement); that we (Paul and Barnabas) should go unto the heathen (Gentiles), and they (Peter, James, and John) unto the circumcision (Jews).”

That’s plain as day. If your Bible doesn’t say that you had better get another one. This is the old King James and it makes it so very plain that there was that stark difference. Peter and the Eleven confined their ministry to the Jew. Paul, Barnabas, and later on Silas, went to the Gentiles. Come back to John Chapter 21, and this will all begin to make sense. How Jesus knows the beginning to the end. He knows when they come into the Acts account it’s only going to be to the Nation of Israel (See Acts 11:19). And I’ll show that so vividly when we get there. The language is so plain a sixth grader can read it and understand that there is no language in there addressed to Gentiles. It’s all to the Jew. And it all comes back to this setting right here where Jesus says to Peter, “Feed My Sheep” – the house of Israel.

Let’s look at a verse in Matthew Chapter 10 so you will know where I’m coming from. Jesus has just chosen the Twelve up in Galilee.

Matthew 10:5,6

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, `Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.'”

So all through Jesus’ earthly ministry, He has that analogy that Israel is the “sheep.” And as I said before, we also see that in Psalms 23. Now that doesn’t mean we can’t use those verses for comfort, but in its original setting it was The Lord dealing with His Covenant people Israel. Now back to John Chapter 21:

John 21:17b,18

“…Jesus saith unto him, `Feed my sheep. Verily, verily, I say unto thee (Peter), When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old (Peter’s probably in his forties), thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.'”

John 21:19

“This spake he (Jesus), signifying by what death he (Peter) should glorify God (which we know by legend at least, that Peter was crucified upside down. But nevertheless Jesus comes back now in the last part of the verse and says). And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, `Follow me.'”

Everyone is human, even in Scripture, and Peter is no different. He hears these words that don’t fit too comfortably and he looks at the younger man, John, and says to Jesus, “Now what about him?”

John 21:20-22

“Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, `Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?’ Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, `Lord, and what shall this man do (John)?’ Jesus saith unto him, `If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.'”

Now verse 23, and look how people misconstrue the language back then, just like we do today.

John 21:23

“Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, `He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?'”

In other words Jesus had said, “Peter, it’s none of your business whether John lives to be a hundred or lives until I return.” Well, we do know that John lived to be almost a hundred. And then verse 24, with John closing his Gospel account:

John 21:24,25

“This the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”

Now then we are going to go right on into an introduction of the next Book in your New Testament, the Book of Acts. We have seen the unfolding of the Gospel accounts, Christ’s earthly ministry, His Crucifixion, and Resurrection, the forty days after Resurrection and we are now about to see His ascension. The first thing I like to do is comment that you have to realize that the Book of Acts is transitional. I remember several years ago the table game “Trivial Pursuit” came out, and there was a segment of that game called “Bible Trivia.” One of my students came into class one night and said, “I’m glad I come to your class, I won Bible Trivia the other night because of this class.” I wanted to know what the trivia question was, and she told me, “What Book in the Bible was transitional?” And the answer was the Book of Acts, and indeed it is. Now what is a transitional? When you are going to move from one state to another. So we are going to be moving in this Book of Acts from God’s dealing with the Nation of Israel, which has been going on since Genesis Chapter 12, all the way up through the Four Gospels.

Everything has been predominantly Jew only, with very few exceptions. So we begin the Book of Acts all Jewish. No mention of Gentiles whatsoever. But all of a sudden we get to the point when Israel is continuing to reject everything, and then God does something that I have stressed so often had been kept secret in the mind of God that no one could comprehend, and that is that He would turn to the Gentile without the Nation of Israel. That is why it was so hard for Peter and the Twelve to comprehend this. They knew that all through the Old Testament the only way the Gentiles could come to their Messiah, was if the Nation of Israel (the Jew), brought them, and they couldn’t bring them until all the Jews became believers. Then as a nation of priests, Israel could give them the knowledge of their Jehovah God. But they couldn’t do that until all Israel believed. Which we know they never did. That was the whole purpose of calling the Jews out and setting them apart, and making them His Covenant people. Now some of you are looking at me with a question on your face. That means we need to look at some Scripture. Go back to Isaiah Chapter 42.

Isaiah 42:1

“BEHOLD my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he (Christ the Messiah) shall bring forth judgment (Rule) to the Gentiles.” Now verse 49:

Isaiah 49:6

“And he (The Lord in verse 5) said, `It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob (Israel), and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.'”

Now we have the Messiah in Chapter 42 Who is going to be the light, but we also have the Nation of Israel who is going to be the light. Now verse 7:

Isaiah 49:7

“Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, `Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.'” Now Isaiah 59:

Isaiah 59:20,21

“And the Redeemer shall come to Zion (Jerusalem), and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. `As for me (The Lord says), this is my covenant with them,’ saith the LORD; `My spirit that is upon thee, and my words… shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.'” Remember He’s speaking to the Jews the Nation of Israel.

Isaiah 60:1-3

“ARISE, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee (Israel), and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light (Israel), and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”

Do you see the connection? Once the light would come to the Nation of Israel, the two in concert would be the light of the world to the Gentiles. Peter knew the light had come to Israel, but Israel hadn’t fulfilled their part. And we are going to see Peter try to make the Nation of Israel realize this in the Book of Acts. Now let’s look at one more passage over in the Book of Zechariah.

Zechariah 8:23

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; `In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.'”

190 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 2 - Book 16 - Closing of John's Gospel - Part 2

190: Closing of John’s Gospel – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 16

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 16

CLOSING OF JOHN’S GOSPEL

We love to get calls and letters from people who tell us they are learning and seeing things that they have never seen before. That thrills our hearts, because the only reason I teach is to help people understand this Book while they do their own studying. In this lesson we are going to look at Christ in the forty days of post-Resurrection. From the time He was raised from the dead, until in Acts Chapter 1 He ascends back to glory. The only verse in Scripture I know of where we have the time element is in Acts Chapter l. Let’s just look at that one verse:

Acts 1:3

“To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs (proofs of His Resurrection), being seen of them forty days,…”

It was ten more days until the Day of Pentecost. Let’s talk about the infallible proofs. If there is one doctrine in Scripture that throws a curve at people (including preachers) it’s the Resurrection. Some may have problems with the virgin birth, but maybe they can swallow that a little easier than the Resurrection and that He arose from the dead bodily. The Book says these things and we must believe them! There have been men who have gone out and almost given a lifetime trying to prove the fallacy of the Resurrection of Christ. But after they dig into it, and the more they see and understand, most come away from that study as believers.

If I had to have proof, and I don’t, I would look at Peter and these other disciples. How did they react when Christ was first arrested? They scattered like a bunch of quail. They were scared to death. What did Peter do? He denied Christ three times. Why? He was fearful for his life, and that was typical. But after the Resurrection you don’t see that kind of an attitude in Peter and the other disciples. They are ready now to go to the very ends of persecution knowing that no matter what happens to them physically, the power of the Resurrection is still in their future.

Always remember that. Peter, especially as we will see in Acts, is a totally different person than he was leading up to the Crucifixion, because he saw the power of the Resurrection. It was real! And to show you how real, and that He arose from the dead bodily look at Luke Chapter 24:

Luke 24:13

“And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs (that would be 5 or 6 miles). And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.” Remember way back in Christ’s earthly ministry as they were up there in northern Israel at the head waters of the Jordan River:

Luke 18:31-34

“Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, `Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.’ And they (the Twelve) understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”

God didn’t let them know He was about to be crucified. The same thing happened when Peter and John ran to the sepulchre; it was only after they saw the empty tomb that they believed. God can do this. For you and I that blindness has been removed, and we can believe it if we just want to. These two men from Emmaus didn’t comprehend who Jesus was as He started to walk with them.

Luke 24:17-27

“And he (Jesus) said unto them, `What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?’ And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, `Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?’ And he said unto them, `What things (now He knew, but Jesus always draws things out of people with a question)?’ And they said unto him, `Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre: And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.’ Then he (Jesus) said unto them, `O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?’ And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”

The Old Testament was full of prophecy concerning the coming Messiah. Israel should have known and could have known. But they didn’t study it, and to some degree I think God hid it from them.

Luke 24:28-31

“And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, `Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.’ And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat (food) with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.”

We are so programmed to physics and chemistry as we understand it. And that is in our natural areas. But when we get into eternity, God’s physics and chemistry are going to be so totally beyond anything we know about today. I can’t comprehend that everything material is comprised of atoms and these little atoms have space between their particles, just like a solar system. We just simply can’t comprehend that. And when God puts that into the eternal state, we won’t have any problem going through a wall or vanishing.

Luke 24:32-34

“And they said one to another, `Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?’ And they rose up that same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them. Saying, `The Lord is risen indeed,…'”

Luke 24:36

“And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, `Peace be unto you.'” Did He come in through the door? No, here He was bodily, not in a spirit. Now read on down:

Luke 24:38,39

“And he said unto them, `Why are ye trouble? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have,'” Notice that blood is left out. In our new resurrected bodies we will have flesh and bone, but without a blood circulatory system.

Luke 24:41-43

“And while they yet believed not for joy (they were tickled to death to see Him but that strip of unbelief is still sitting between them, and they just couldn’t comprehend), and wonder, he said unto them, `Have ye here any meat (food)?'”

“And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.”

He ate in that resurrected body. What was He proving? That for eternity we will have a body that can still enjoy food. Those of you who love to eat, take heart. You won’t have to worry about those pounds or health problems. Now hold that in your memory bank for a moment and first go to the Book of Zechariah, because many people think there is a big wall between the Old and New Testament, and nothing could be farther from the truth. You must have a good understanding of the Old Testament to see how beautifully they both fit together. There is so much controversy over Salvation because man has put that wall up. God never intended it to be that way. Anyway, we were talking about Christ’s resurrected body. This passage is about Christ’s Second Coming when He comes back to the earth. And specifically to the Nation of Israel.

Zechariah 12:10

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” Now Chapter 13.

Zechariah 13:6

“And one shall say unto him, `What are these wounds in thine hands?’ Then he shall answer, `Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.'” So here you have a visible, physical, manifestation of His Resurrection even in the Old Testament. Now let’s also look at the New Testament. Let’s see what the Apostle Paul has to say. Turn to II Corinthians, Chapter 4.

II Corinthians 4:3,4

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:”

“In whom (lost people) the god of this world (Satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who (Christ) is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Have you ever wondered why there is so much idolatry in the world and always has been? Because they want a god they can see. They want a god who sits on the shelf, and they can say, “There is my god.” They touch him, worship him, and even lay food in front of him. But the whole thing is, they’ve got to have a god they can see. And this is the whole idea of Christ being manifested in the flesh. God knew that. So He permitted Himself to become visible, so man could no longer say, “I can’t worship an invisible god, I have to have a god I can see.” We have a God that men have seen! We haven’t, but we’ve been reading about Him this whole lesson. Paul says over 500 at one time saw Him in His Resurrection body.

So we have ample proof that He arose from the dead bodily. And that He is the very same God that created you and I in the first place, that went to the Cross and purchased our redemption. But He didn’t stay dead, He’s not dead tonight, He arose, He ascended, and He’s coming again. So Paul makes it so plain here that Christ is the very image of God. Look at Philippians for a moment. I know in my earlier years I had no concept of spending eternity in a body. I just thought we died and went to Heaven and after that I didn’t know whether we strummed a harp and somehow in soul and spirit heard good music or what. But I know now that when we get into the eternal state we’re going to be there bodily.

Philippians 3:20

“For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven (already, if you are a believer); from whence (from Heaven) also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:”

Not the King, He’s the Saviour to the Church. Someday He’s going to be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Remember we are going to be His co-heirs and that makes a big difference.

Philippians 3:21

“Who shall change our vile body (corrupt, prone to disease, suffering), that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body (we will be made in the same likeness of His resurrected body), according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

Now I hadn’t planned on using this verse but it just came to mind, and when that happens I must use it. Come back to Romans Chapter 8. It’s a passage that I’m afraid few people understand.

Romans 8:18-20

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature (creation)waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God (that’s you and I). For the creature (creation) was made subject to vanity (because of the curse), not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.” When the curse was dropped on the planet, there was also the plan of redemption to bring back to Himself everything that was lost.

Romans 8:21-23

“Because the creature (creation) itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit (say), the redemption of our (what?) body.”

Do you see that? Yes we’re saved and redeemed in the area of the soul. But what are we going to be when we get to glory? A complete person. And according to II Thessalonians Chapter 5, what is a complete person? Soul, Body, and Spirit, and we are going to have all three in the eternal state. Now back to Colossians:

Colossians 1:12-14

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath (past tense) made us meet (prepared us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who (The Father) hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath (past tense) translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son (we are already citizens of that Kingdom): In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

If you have the newer translations such as the NIV, NASV, the Living, and all the rest, you’ll notice this isn’t in your Bible. Because you see those new translations have gutted the Scriptures whether you know it or not. They have changed or omitted over two thousand verses. In this case, “through his blood” is omitted. The Bible is God-breathed. But I think Satan is finding a way to try and destroy, and change the meaning of The Word. So don’t fall for his trick. I know why now The Lord has kept me in the King James all these years. I have never deviated from it, and don’t have another version in my house and never will have. I don’t have a library except this Bible and that’s all I need. Now verse 15:

Colossians 1:15

“Who (speaking of the Son in verse 13) is the image of the invisible God,…” That’s what Christ is. He is the visible, manifestation, in the flesh, bodily of the invisible God.

189 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 1 - Book 16 - Closing of John's Gospel

189: Closing of John’s Gospel – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 16

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 16

CLOSING OF JOHN’S GOSPEL

Now there are seven statements that Jesus made from the Cross. It isn’t that people don’t know what He said, but I fear that so few people are realizing that everything in this Book is in a distinct pattern. It’s for the purpose of proving to us that this is not something that man thought up, but rather it’s so intrinsically put together that only God have could of done it. Especially as He groups these things in sevens, which, of course, is God’s perfect number.

In the last lesson we listed the seven “I Am’s” in the Old Testament and the seven “I AM’s” in the Book of John. Remember that the term “Jehovah” in the Old Testament translated out of its contraction, stood for, or meant, what? The “I AM.” Jehovah is the “I AM” in all of Scripture. We pick that up in Exodus Chapter 3 at the burning bush, when Moses said, “When I go to the children of Israel and tell them God has sent me, what shall I tell them is your name?” God said, “You go tell the children of Israel that “I AM” has sent you.” Then in John’s Gospel that Jesus referred to Himself as the “I AM” from the Old Testament economy. Consequently, in John’s Gospel we have the seven “I AM’s.” 1. I AM the Bread of life. 2. I AM the Light of the world. 3. I AM the Door of the sheep. 4. I AM the Good Shepherd. 5. I AM the Resurrection and the life. 6. I AM the way, the truth and the life. 7. I AM the True Vine. So there are the seven “I AM’s” found in John’s Gospel. And we always like to tie the eighth with the seven and we find that in Revelation Chapter 22. Number eight is indicative of new beginnings, as we are here entering into the eternal state. 8. I AM the bright and morning Star. And remember the morning star shines the brightest just before the start of the new day. Christ is claiming that the darkness of the 6000 years of human history where man has been existing under the curse, is about to end. The dawning of the new day, the eternal day of which He is the bright and morning Star, is about to come on the scene.

Now let’s take a look at the seven statements that Jesus said while hanging on the Cross. Let’s turn to Luke Chapter 23. We will be taking these seven statements in their chronological order in time, not according to their order in Scripture. Hopefully you can see this unfold as we jump back and forth. This is what you must do with the Four Gospels. Many people have the idea that the feeding of the 5000 spoken of in one Gospel is the same feeding of 5000 spoken of in another. That is not necessarily true. Each one, if you will look at it closely, will normally have different circumstances. That doesn’t mean that the writers are in conflict with each other, but rather one is talking about one event and another writer is talking about another totally different event. Remember what John says:

John 21:24,25

“This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which… I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. A men.” So they only recorded a small portion of His miracles. Now here in Luke 23 we find Jesus’ first words from the Cross.

Luke 23:34

“Then said Jesus, `Father, forgive them (mainly the Jews); for they know not what they do….'”

We know that Romans and Jews were both involved in this Crucifixion, but Scripture primarily lays the blame on the Nation of Israel. Israel should of known Who He was. Israel could have known because the Old Testament was full of it. But Israel did not know, and so Jesus here is referring primarily to the Jew. And as we go into the Book of Acts you will see Peter put that responsibility of murder on the Jew. The second statement is made here in this same chapter. One of the thieves on the cross has recognized Who Jesus was.

Luke 23:43

“And Jesus said unto him, `Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.'”

And in the Old Testament economy people who died as believers did not go up to Heaven, but rather down into Paradise. Jesus made that so very plain. Now we know that as a result of the finish work of the Cross, that Jesus has emptied out Paradise that was in the heart of the earth. Now we find Paradise in Heaven for all believers from Adam to the present. Now for the third one we have to go back to John’s Gospel in Chapter 19:26-27. But let’s start with verse 25.

John 19:25-27

“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved (that was John), he saith unto his mother, `Woman, behold thy son!’ Then saith he to the disciple, `Behold thy mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.”

Remember, “woman” in this economy in which Jesus is speaking, was a word of endearment. It wasn’t derogatory in the least. It was just the custom of the day. And we know that from that day forth John cared for Mary for the rest of her life. Joseph had died, evidently, and was not on the scene.

For the fourth statement we turn to Matthew 27:46, but I would like to start with verse 45. Remember, from one of our previous lessons, I feel that during that three hours of darkness and absolute silence from the Cross, that Christ in His Deity; in everything that was associated with His being God; in the soul and Spirit realm He went and suffered the punishment for every human being. Then He comes back after that three hours of silence. and we pick it up here:

Matthew 27:45,46

“Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour (that noon till 3:00 P.M.). And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, `Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is to say, `My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?'”

Now that statement has caused consternation among believers for hundreds and hundreds of years. Martin Luther wrestled with it, and finally after many many years, he came out of his study one day and exclaimed to his wife, “I’ve found it.” He said, “I can finally see it, That when Jesus said, `My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ It was God speaking to God.'” Always remember that The Christ of the Cross was the same God Who created everything in Genesis Chapter 1. He’s One and the Same. And the New Testament constantly gives Him credit for being the Creator. I’m afraid too many believers are not even aware of Who Jesus really is. Many folk cannot comprehend that Jesus wasn’t just a prophet, and priest, but the eternal Creator God, and He never stopped being God. He was God in the womb. He was God in the manger. He was God in those growing up years, and God in His earthy ministry. And this is the concept of His earthy ministry, to prove to the Nation of Israel Who He really was. And that is why He performed all those miracles and signs, so they could understand that this was not just another great man, but rather the eternal God.

I hadn’t intended to do this but come back to Isaiah Chapter 9. I have quite a few Orthodox Jews who watch the program and they just can’t comprehend that Christ was the God of the Old Testament. They can’t comprehend the Trinity. They refuse the Trinity, and they use the verse in Deuteronomy where Moses writes, “Our God is one.” Well, absolutely He’s one, but we know from the rest of Scriptures that He is One in three Persons. Now I can’t understand that. You can’t understand it. They can’t understand it. So what do we do? We take it by faith. Because that’s what this Book says. And God is looking for our faith. He expects us to believe what He has said. And we are not to argue with it.

I like to use this illustration. If you know something, and you know you know it, and someone comes along and says, “I don’t believe it!” How do you feel? Well, they are calling you a liar. And no one likes to be called a liar. Especially when you know you’re not. Well, that’s what we do to God. Anytime a man says, “I can’t believe what this Book says.” Then that person is calling God a liar. So that is why God tells us in Hebrews 11:6, “Without faith it is impossible to please him,…” We have to believe what He has said, or we cannot please God. It’s doesn’t matter if you give the Church a million dollars a week, or visit the sick every night, or go to the worst mission field in this world. It won’t do you a nickel’s worth of good if you do it outside the realm of faith. We have to take God at His Word, and I mean the whole Word. You can’t pick and choose. Let’s look at that passage in Isaiah Chapter 9 verse 6. This is Old Testament. The pronoun here is the Nation of Israel. The prophets never wrote to the Gentiles, they were not permitted to. Only the Jew.

Isaiah 9:6,7

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given (flash ahead to John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…” How did God give His Son? When He was born in Bethlehem): and the government shall be upon his shoulder (that glorious Kingdom that is going to come upon the earth, that’s what all the Old Testament prophets were looking forward to. There will be a King of Kings and Lord of Lords Who will not only rule Israel but the whole world. It’s going to be perfect): and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” See how this verse ties them together.

“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment (Rule)…”

I’ve presented in other lessons, how when you come into the Book of Matthew, Jesus is presented as the King. In the very first verse you have to go all the way back to Abraham, in Genesis Chapter 12, because out of the Abrahamic Covenant comes the promise of this King and Kingdom. When you get into the genealogy in Luke Chapter 3, that genealogy goes all the way back to Adam. Why? Because Luke presents Jesus as the Son of Man. So, consequently, He is tied to Adam the first man. And then Paul refers to Christ as the Second Adam. You can see how beautifully all of Scripture fits. So we see in Isaiah that Christ was indeed God. He’s God the Father, He’s God the Son, and we can see it in John’s Gospel:

John 14:8,9

“Philip saith unto him, `Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.’ Jesus saith unto him, `Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father;…'” They are One and the Same. The only difference is Christ is God the Father in human flesh and appearance. Getting back to the seven statements Jesus made from the Cross.

John 19:28

“After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, `I thirst.'” Now for the 6th one in verse 30:

John 19:30

“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, `It is finished:’ and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” But we must go back to Luke 23 one more time and pick up His final statement.

Luke 23:46

“And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, `Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.'”

188 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 4 - Book 16 - The Seven "I Am's" of the Old Testament

188: The Seven “I Am” of the Old Testament & John – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 16

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 16

THE SEVEN “I AM” OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

Let’s finish up the eighth sign in the Gospel of John. Be turning to John Chapter 21. I pointed out that the first seven signs all directed at the Nation of Israel were before His Crucifixion. I think in the early part of these signs, when Israel is without joy, and is sick and impotent, the nation still has a flicker of hope to recognize the Messiah. I believe that as Christ made His appearance to the Nation of Israel (at least based on the Old Testament promises and covenants), they could have had the King and the Kingdom had they just believed it. But God knew they weren’t going to accept it. He knew they would reject it, and so everything falls in place to fulfill the eternal purposes of God, which was the Cross. Remember, He made a valid offer to Israel; they could have had the King and Kingdom, but refused to believe Who He was.

So all through these first three or four signs the nation is still in a position where they could have repented, and recognized Who Christ really was, thus experiencing the fruition of all the promises. By the time we get to the account of Lazarus it’s evident that they are not going to accept Him and are in the position of rejecting Him in Crucifixion. They will call for His death. I think it is also amazing that after the Crucifixion and Resurrection, He again still spends 40 days appealing to the nation, primarily the Eleven. Then as you come into the early chapters of Acts, Peter and the Eleven continue to plead with the Nation of Israel to recognize the One they crucified was their Messiah.

That’s the whole theme in those early chapters. God at that time had not canceled the Nation of Israel, and the prospect that they could still have the King and Kingdom remained (though Christ knows what they will do). So as we come into Chapter 21 (after His death, burial, and Resurrection), pick up the mindset of these disciples:

John 21:1,2

“AFTER these things (all the signs that He has performed, and all of the things connected to the Cross) Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias (Sea of Galilee); and on this wise shewed he himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.”

John 21:3

“Simon Peter saith unto them, `I go a fishing (I think that is a classic statement. Do you realize what that is indicating? What does Peter now expect from the Messiah? Nothing. So what’s he going back to? His old life of fishing. I mean it’s all done. That was just three years of frustration, so now back to the boats).’ They say unto him (what?), `We also go with thee.’ They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.” It’s one thing to go fishing with a rod and reel, but with a boat and net and these men, that looks almost impossible not to catch a single fish.

John 21:4,5

“But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, `Children, have ye any meat?’ (food) They answered him, `No.'” Can’t you just hear them? Have you talked to a fisherman who’s fished all day and caught nothing? Fishermen haven’t changed. I’ll bet they were absolutely disgusted.

John 21:6

“And he said unto them, `Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.’ They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.” As soon as this happens their minds start clicking doesn’t it? So John’s mind went into motion first.

John 21:7-9

“Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, `It is the Lord.’ Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him (for he was naked), and did cast himself into the sea. And the other disciples came in a little ship’ (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.”

Now where did those fish come from? Not out of the net. Everything was ready for breakfast. Remember all the way up through the Old Testament, what is Israel being promised? The King and the Kingdom! This Kingdom is on earth, many people don’t understand that. This Kingdom will be on the earth (as many scriptures so state) and Jerusalem will be the capital. Israel will be the top Nation of the nations. That’s their promise. And by the time that Nation is brought into that Kingdom experience, everything is going to be ready. They won’t have to work by the sweat of their brow to get the Nation and earth restored after the Tribulation. Everything will be ready as breakfast was here.

John 21:10

“Jesus saith unto them, `Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.’ Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, and hundred and fifty and three (I’ve tried to figure why 153 is significant. I think The Lord here is showing that not a single fish was lost, meaning not one single Jew will miss the in-gathering into the Kingdom. We’ll look at an Old Testament verse in a moment): and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.”

Back in Luke Chapter 4, when they cast the net at The Lord’s command, the net broke and they lost their fish. That was indicative of Israel’s history, nothing really jelled for them. They never enjoyed all the promises that God had given them. But here the net doesn’t break. Not a single Jew that is intended to go into the Kingdom will be lost. Turn back to Ezekiel 37. We’ve often looked at this chapter as it pertains to the Nation of Israel. It’s the vision of the dry bones. You know the account of the dry bones in the opening verses, how they began to shake and finally came together and then skin came upon them, but as yet no breath. Well that’s a picture of the Nation of Israel coming back out of their dispersion as we have been seeing them do now for the past fifty years. But, as yet, the breath hasn’t been breathed into them, they are still spiritually dead.

Ezekiel 37:11

“Then he said unto me, `Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel (all twelve tribes): behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.'”

They’ve been out in dispersion for so long that they had lost their national identity and language as a nation. They were just pictured as in graves, they were nationally dead. And that is all this vision is showing, that the day is coming when the whole house of Israel will be brought back to life nationally. Not that the Jews are going to be resurrected and then come back. But the nation, as they come out of the Dispersion among the Gentiles, will fill up the land.

Ezekiel 37:12-14

“Therefore prophesy and say unto them, `Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,”

“And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land:…”

The United Nations can demand what they want. The Egyptians may tell everybody what has to be done, but in the final analysis God is going to do exactly what He has promised. We aren’t just taking about that little strip of land we call Israel, but rather all their land which extends all the way to the Euphrates River to the East. When The Lord says, “I’ve spoken” it, then that’s the way it is. When He gets ready to bring the saved of Israel, which will only be a remnant as we saw in the Book of Revelation, there will not be one of them lost, just like that net-full of fishes; not one flopped out. Let’s look at Amos Chapter 9. And I think this says it all:

Amos 9:9

“For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.”

Not a kernel of what God wants to keep will be lost. Not a single fish was lost from that net, and not a single Jew that God has ordained to go into that Kingdom is going to miss it. That is the Sovereign God. Come back to John. In John 21, after they had brought the fish up The Lord has breakfast ready; now it doesn’t say so here, but remember the account by Luke that The Lord ate with them in His resurrected body (and the reason I’m always emphasizing that is because in that new resurrected body it will be the kind of body we will have for the eternal state). Christ ate, drank and conversed, and they touched Him. And yet He could appear and disappear in that new body. And our body will be like His according to Paul.

John 21:15

So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, `Simon, son of Jonas, Lovest thou me more than these?…'”

I’ve heard many sermons on this passage. Some preach that these were his fellow disciples. I don’t think so. What was Peter’s love? Fishing. The Lord knew that. Peter enjoyed fishing like I enjoy ranching. I know The Lord has a lot for me to do, but I’m glad The Lord lets me continue ranching because I love that kind of work. I hope He just lets me continue on with doing both ranching and teaching. Peter back in Chapter 19, had said, “Lord, we have left everything to follow you.” What was Peter talking about? His first love, fishing. So Peter wanted to know what they are going to get out of that. Peter wasn’t talking about his salvation, he already had that, but rather what reward was in store for them. And The Lord told them that they would get to sit on 12 thrones ruling over the 12 tribes in the Kingdom economy. But Peter loved his fishing. Then The Lord goes on here in the 21st Chapter of John and tells Peter how he was to feed His sheep. Which he does in the Book of Acts, as we find Peter preaching to the Jews, the Nation of Israel. No Gentiles are involved because at that time, Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles hadn’t been called out by God. This won’t happen for at least seven more years from the day of Pentecost in Acts Chapter 2. Peter never had a ministry to Gentiles except the one time in Acts Chapter 10; the house of Cornelius, and as you read Acts closely you will discover that The Lord had a purpose for that. Peter had to come to the defense of Paul in Acts Chapter 15. But Peter and the Eleven confined their ministry to the Jew as The Lord said here that Peter was to feed the sheep.

We need to tie this together so look at the seven “I AM’s” of Israel’s need in the Old Testament and compare them with the seven “I AM’s” Jesus claimed to be, in the Book of John. Start in Genesis 22. This is the account of the ram caught in the thicket when Abraham was about to offer Isaac. He didn’t have to kill Isaac after all when Abraham realized that God had provided the sacrifice in verse 14:

Genesis 22:14

“And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, `In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen (Jehovah-jireh – “I am your provider”).'”

Exodus 15:26

“And said, `If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandment, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee (Jehovah-ropheka).'” “I AM the one that healeth thee.” Then in Exodus Chapter 17 we find where Aaron and Hur had to hold up Moses’ arms during battle.

Exodus 17:15

“And Moses built and altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi:” “I AM your banner.”

The next one is in the Book of Judges Chapter 6. This is where Gideon defeats the armies that were trying to destroy Israel.

Judges 6:24

“Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovah-shalom:…” “I AM your peace.” The next one is Psalms 23:

Psalms 23:1

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” The Hebrew reads it: Jehovah-roi, “I AM your shepherd.” Now Jeremiah 23:6 for the next one. Here Jeremiah is looking forward to the Kingdom:

Jeremiah 23:6

“In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, `THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.'” Jehovah-tsidkenu, “The LORD our righteousness.” The last one in the Old Testament is Ezekiel Chapter 48, this is also referring to the Kingdom.

Ezekiel 48:35

“It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, `The LORD is there.'” Jehovah-shammah,”The Lord is present.” Now, there are also seven “I AM’s” in the Gospel of John. The first one is John 6:

John 6:35

“And Jesus said unto them, `I am the bread of life:…'”

John 8:12

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, `I am the light of the world:…'”

John 10:7

“Then said Jesus unto them again, `Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.'”

John 10:11

“I AM the good shepherd:…”

John 11:25

“Jesus said unto her, `I AM the resurrection, and the life:…'”

John 14:6

“Jesus saith unto him, `I AM the way, the truth, and the life:…'”

John 15:1

“I AM the true vine,…”

Those are the seven “I Am’s” in the Old Testament and in the Gospel of John. There is one more we find after the Tribulation is over and the Kingdom is beginning.

Revelation 22:16

“…I AM… the bright and morning star.” Remember night is past and eternal day is coming.