211 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 3 - Book 18 - Our Gospel

211: Our Gospel – Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 18

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick



It’s always so good to hear from our listeners. Recently we received a letter from a gentleman who told us that he now could see the difference between the teaching of Peter and Paul. Another gentleman in our class reminded me that it had been a while since we had shared Paul’s Gospel with you, the television audience, as outlined in I Corinthians 15:1-4. He said, “Those were the verses that opened my eyes, and before the afternoon is over maybe you could share with us again.” I believe this would be as good a time as any to do that since I never have a prepared format or lesson plan. Turn with me to I Corinthians Chapter 15. This may open the eyes of someone else who needs these verses. When I stress that Peter did not preach Paul’s Gospel of Grace, I’m sure that there are some out there would ask, “Well what is the Gospel that I have to believe for my Salvation.” Well here it is in plain language. And I’m glad we are doing this because as we continue on these next few Chapters in Acts, be aware that you do not see this kind of language. This is unique only to Paul, because Paul is the Apostle to the Gentiles, and writing to the Gentile congregation at Corinth.

I Corinthians 15:1-4

“MOREOVER, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel (not just a gospel, but The Gospel) which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;”

“By which also ye are saved (it’s believing the Gospel that saves us), if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” In other words you have to understand and know what you believe. Now here is Paul’s Gospel:

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received (from the risen Lord), how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures;” It was in such vague language in the Old Testament that they couldn’t understand, but it was there.

“And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures:” Now that, beloved, is the Gospel that saves you. Believing in His death, burial, and Resurrection for your Salvation.

To see how Paul puts his emphasis on that, go to Romans Chapter 1. It has been a while since we shared the plan of Salvation and after all, that is what we’re here for: to help people understand how to get right with God. How to have the assurance that if we die in the next hour that we will be in His presence.

Romans 1:16

“For I am not shamed of the gospel of Christ: for it (The Gospel) is the power of God unto Salvation (that leaves our works out of it. We can’t touch this) to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Do you see what that puts aside? The works that so many people are hanging on to just fall away. But it’s to everyone that believeth for their Salvation. Come back to I Corinthians Chapter 1 for another example.

I Corinthians 1:18

“For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

When I present Salvation, I always refer to Israel coming out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses. Here they were at the shore of the Red Sea, with impassable mountains on the right, and populated areas to the left, the Egyptian army behind them, and the Red Sea in front of them. They’re in a dilemma! Does God say to hurry up and do something? Does He tell Moses to get out the boats and transport the Israelites? No! It’s unbelievable what God tells Moses to do – stand still. Do nothing! That’s contrary to human thought and to most of Christendom. But God tells us the same thing. When we realize that we are in a dilemma, there is no way out except to stand still and believe that The God of Scripture can get us out of our dilemma. And how? By believing.

I Corinthians 1:23,24

“But we preach Christ crucified (now think back. What has Peter been saying? “Oh, you killed Him, but God has raised Him from the dead and He can still be your King.” Peter isn’t preaching Crucifixion as a means of Salvation, but rather Peter is teaching Crucifixion to prove that God had overcome what they had accomplished, and that He could still fulfill His Covenant promises. Paul looks at the whole thing from a different perspective, and that is He did it for us that we might have life eternal), unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”

Now again go back to the Red Sea. What opened the Red Sea? Well not Moses, but rather God’s supernatural power. And when we believe the Gospel God works supernaturally and gives us a whole new nature. A divine nature we can’t touch. We can’t put it in there, but God does. That’s where faith comes in. It’s by faith, not by doing anything at all. But by believing. Another one is in Paul’s writings in Ephesians Chapter 2. These are verses you all know.

Ephesians 2:1

“AND you (remember Paul always writes to believers, for the unbelievers’ benefit of course) hath he quickened (or made alive), who were dead in trespasses and sins;”

Remember the first Law that God laid on Adam? The day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. In the Book of Ezekiel he tells us that the soul that sinneth shall surely die. Paul comes back and says you are dead in trespasses and sins, but God makes you alive. Now come all the way down to verse 8:

Ephesians 2:8-10

“For by grace are ye saved through faith (and what’s faith? Believing! Nothing else – just believe the Gospel); and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God:” There is nothing we can do – we are hopeless. But we believe, and God does everything that needs to be done. Now verse 9:

“Not of works, lest any man should boast.” But it doesn’t stop there. We are not saved just to sit down and say, “I’m not going to hell anymore.” That’s not it, that’s only a small part of it. What does the next verse say?

“For we are his workmanship,…”

Now what does that mean? God’s divine fingers have now come into our life and He has put us together as a new creature. For what purpose? To bring glory to Him. We are not to live for self. Now the world ridicules that, but the world only has 70 years on the average to try to enjoy life. That’s their Heaven, but listen we have ages upon ages ahead of us. And it’s going to make this old world at its very best seem like a smelly pig pen. That’s the best way I can put it. The most beautiful thing you can find on this earth by comparison is just a smelly old pig pen. The Scriptures say that things are awaiting us that we can’t even imagine. Eyes have not seen, and ears have not heard the things that God hath prepared for them that love Him. So I don’t really care that we go through this life of seventy years without much. I don’t need it, because the best is yet to come. And it’s not just for me, it’s for you and everyone that believes. Now let’s go on a little further in Chapter 2. verse 11,12, and 13. This falls right in with what I have been teaching in the Book of Acts: that Peter is still on Jewish ground. He’s still preaching to the Nation of Israel, everything is still based on the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Gentiles are not included, but now look at what Paul says to us Gentiles.

Ephesians 2:11,12a

“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision (Gentiles) by that which is called the Circumcision (Jews) in the flesh made by hands;” In other words that was the way a Jew would refer to a Gentile. Now verse 12:

“That at that time…”

Now I’m a stickler for language. What time? When the Jew was still uppermost in God’s program, and the Jew was looking down on the Gentile as the uncircumcised dogs of humanity. The Jews were in the driver’s seat. Remember, all the way from Abraham to the Apostle Paul, who is uppermost in Scripture? The Jew. The Nation of Israel. But now read on:

Ephesians 2:12

“That at that time ye (Gentiles) were without Christ, being aliens (non-citizens) from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the (what?) covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:”

Now did you think I am crazy when I say it was Jew only, with exceptions. Not really. I think I got it pretty straight. Because this confirms it. That while God was dealing with Israel the Gentile was out there without hope, and without God in this world, because he was not a part of the Nation of Israel. But don’t stop there.

Ephesians 2:13

“But now (from Paul’s day) in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh (not by keeping the Law, not by Temple worship, not by animal sacrifices, but by what?) by the blood of Christ.”

Do you see that? That’s what makes the difference, and now it is announced to us Gentiles that everything that has been done has been done for us. Now since I’ve gotten this far I might as well answer the question that has already been coming in over the phone. “Les you have been saying that you don’t believe that the Church began at Pentecost.” I used to teach it that way but I’ve never been comfortable teaching it that way. I’ve been showing why, with the language throughout those Chapters. I know that 90% of preachers and theologians who may listen to me are disagreeing and that’s their privilege. But people say, “If the Church didn’t begin at Pentecost then where did it begin?” Well, there was a period of time when I had to say I don’t know, but I’m looking. Then one night several years ago as I was reading my Bible I ran across the Scripture in I Timothy Chapter 1 that blew my eyes wide open. And I’ve shared it with folks ever since. When they say “When do you think the Church the Body of Christ began?” I tell them I think it began with the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. Here is my reasoning:

I Timothy 1:15.

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Now let’s break this verse down.

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation (no room for argument), that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (now wait a minute, hold everything. Way back when John the Baptist announced Christ, he did say, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world,” but that was almost lost in the dust. But what did John the Baptist really proclaim that Christ had come for? To become The King. The King is here. But Paul doesn’t mention Him being The King, nor setting up an earthly Kingdom. Paul says He came into the world to save sinners. But the next part is what I want you to see, and every sermon I have heard preached on it the preacher would say that Paul proclaimed himself to be the worst of sinners, by virtue); of whom I am chief.”

But all you have to do is get a Greek dictionary or Strong’s Concordance and look up every place in the New Testament where this word `Chief’ is found, and it comes from the same Greek word, and in every instance it is referred to as the “Chief man of the Island” (The Governor) “The Chief Priest” (The High Priest). Paul and Barnabas were in a pagan city and they called Paul “Mercurius” because he was the “Chief Speaker.” Now does any of that indicate something bad? No. It denotes a place of leadership. The head of the line. Have you got that? So read it like this: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am at the head of the line.” Now look at the next verse:

I Timothy 1:16

“Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” Now let’s also break the verse down.

Howbeit for this cause (ask yourself questions as you read. What cause? That He came to save the chief of sinners) I obtained mercy, that in me (what’s the next word?) first (now what does first mean? It means first! There is no way you can foul that word up) Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering (mercy or Grace), for a pattern (now ladies, when you are sewing a dress what do you use? A pattern. What’s a pattern? It’s the outline of the original. It’s the first. Now if you’re going to make three dresses, you use the pattern to cut out the first dress. What do you use for the next pattern – the piece of material or the original pattern? The original pattern. I can remember when I was young and I was building a small outdoor building, and I was busy cutting rafters. That was long before everything is as modern as it is now, and I was still cutting them with a hand saw. And I had four or five of them all ready cut when my dad came along, and he said, “Which one is the pattern?” I said whichever one I used last. And he said, “Les you’re going to have a roof that will have all kind of bows and sways in it.” I said why? He replied, “Because every time you make a little mistake you will multiply it in the next one. Always use the first for a pattern.”

I had to learn like all the rest of us. Now it’s the same way here, there could only be one original pattern of a sinner saved by Grace. And who was it? The Apostle Paul. Have you ever seen the likes of the Grace of God as it was poured out on that rebel on the way to Damascus. There is nothing like it in human history. And he was saved! – the least meritorious of any human being I’d say that was living at that time. He had caused people to be thrown into prison, caused people to be put to death, and then God saves him. He did it without a cause, but by Grace. Now read on. And remember Paul is now the original pattern) to them which should hereafter (that means from this point on. This goes forward from Paul. Now this next word is very crucial, does it say to repent and be baptized? No but that’s what Peter says in Acts 2:38. But Paul says to ) believe on him to life everlasting.” Reading the verse again.

I Timothy 1:16

“Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”

I don’t call someone a heretic if they disagree with me and still adhere to the Jews at Pentecost as being Christians. I’ve said over and over The Bible doesn’t call them Christians. The Bible doesn’t call people Christians until the Gentiles at Antioch. But here I think the Apostle Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is laying out so clearly that at that Salvation experience on the road to Damascus that God saved the chief of sinners. Not the worst necessarily, although he was apologetic for that all through his letters. But God saved the leader of sinners, and that everyone who now comes into the Body of Christ, the Church, is going to come patterned after him. And will follow him.

I made a comment several years ago in my McAlester OK class. We were studying Peter going up to the house of Cornelius. Those of you who know your Bible know that’s in Acts Chapter 10. And we had just studied Saul’s conversion in Acts Chapter 9. So the next week when I got into Chapter 10 and I was ready to start teaching about Cornelius, I said “Praise The Lord that Chapter 10 follows Chapter 9.” Well everybody laughed, they thought I was trying to say something that was funny, but I wasn’t. I wasn’t talking about the numerical following of 10 after 9, but the content. Because in Chapter 9 the chief of sinners is saved, he’s the pattern, he’s at the head of the line, now what’s in Chapter 10? The Salvation of a house full of Gentiles. Do you see that? Now if Cornelius would have been saved in Chapter 8, then all of this would fall apart. And I wouldn’t stand here and teach it. But it doesn’t come in Chapter 8, it comes in Chapter 10. And then as we go on through the Book of Acts, we’re going to find that with the conversion of Saul, God’s going to take him down in to the desert for three years and reveal to him all these doctrines of Grace associated with the Church. Things that are a mystery and have been kept secret. I’ve been stressing on this program for a long time Deuteronomy 29:29. This is so fundamental to our understanding. Why did God hold some of these things from Peter and the eleven? Why couldn’t they have heard it and comprehended it? Because God is Sovereign.

Deuteronomy 29:29

“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us…”

Now what do you do with a secret when you reveal it? It’s no longer a secret, everybody knows it, but until it’s revealed it is a secret. Do you remember back in Genesis one of the names of God implies that He is not only Sovereign, but He has the right and ability to keep things hidden, or a secret, until He reveals them.

210 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 2 - Book 18 - Acts Chapter 5 - Timeline

210: Acts Chapter 5 – Timeline – Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 18

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick



Let’s turn to Acts Chapter 5. Recently, I was going through one of my old teaching Bibles, and an article fell out that I had copied out of a book written by William R. Newell. Those of you who like to read might want to take down the title and author. Newell was a great and famous Bible teacher in the Chicago, St. Louis and Detroit areas back in the 1920’s and 30’s. In this book which is titled “Paul Versus Peter” you will find on page ten that he writes this: “Is it not strange that 16 or 17 Chapters of the Book of Acts (if we include Chapter 9 and of course that is where Saul is converted), is given to that apostle who was not one of the original twelve. He was not converted until long after Pentecost. Must there not be a deep reason for this? And what is the reason? One thing is certainly evident already, and that is we Gentiles have a relation to Paul that we do not have to the other apostles. Exactly what that is we must prayerfully seek to discover.” And that says it in a nutshell. I’ve read that to sort of settle folk down who think I make too much of the Apostle Paul. And I also make a point of separating Peter and Paul. But to me it’s the only way you can understand Scripture. You see, until you can separate the ministries of those two men you are going to be like most of the rest of Christendom and that is total confusion. And that is the reason for the confusion. We have to get to the place that we can see that in all of these early Chapters of Acts Peter is constantly ministering to the Jew.

By inspiration, we are told in many places, that Paul is the Apostle to the Gentiles and that he is the example for the Gentiles. (I Timothy 1:16 and Philippians 3:17) I told the class before we started that I was anxious to get to Chapter 9 and the conversion of Saul so we can see more obviously these vast differences. But it’s just amazing that folks can’t understand that as Peter is the Apostle to the Jew, God is going to lay out so clearly that Paul is the Apostle of the Gentiles. Now those are two different groups of people, and two different doctrines, but the same God. Everything is all fitting together as we showed you in the last lesson. But nevertheless we have to understand that Peter is still under the Covenant program that began with Abraham. And all through Christ’s earthly ministry, why was He ministering to the Jew? To prove to them that He was The King coming in fulfillment of that Abrahamic Covenant. Gentiles weren’t involved in that (Matthew 10:5 also Matthew 15:24 and Romans 15:8) until The King was in place and then they could flow into it as Isaiah says. Then they would flow to Jerusalem. It was a valid offer to the Nation of Israel, but that didn’t happen because of the rejection of The Messiah, and the dispersion of the Jew after the stoning of Stephen.

In Chapter 5, I’m going to make the statement which I hope doesn’t make folks angry, because I’ve said often enough on this program that I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. And if you don’t agree with me I won’t call you a heretic and vice versa. Just because I’m a little different don’t call me a heretic, because I’m still blood bought. I’m still a firm believer in the death, burial, and Resurrection of Christ, and that is what’s fundamental to all of this. But for now let’s review just the closing verses in Chapter 4 and then into Chapter 5. I maintain this is not Church ground or the Body of Christ as the Church. This is the Jerusalem assembly, primarily Jewish believers of the fact that Jesus was The Christ. There has been no mention yet of a Salvation based on His shed blood, on His death, burial, and Resurrection. It’s only on Who He was. He was the promised Messiah. Now the closing verses of Chapter 4.

Acts 4:34-37

“Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet (the Twelve): and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”

None of that is Church language. I’ve always maintained as long as I’ve been teaching, how long could a pastor keep his congregation under his wing if he would ask them to cash in all their property and bring him the money? Well he wouldn’t last to Monday morning, not if he has intelligent people. But you see this is what they were doing, and there was nothing amiss. It was expected. If Chapter 5, telling about the death of Ananias and Sapphira, is Church ground then there wouldn’t be a believer left on this earth. Because the minute they committed the sin of even lying, what happened? They were gone. How many believers haven’t done much worse than this, and they’re not gone. Why? Well we are under a whole different set of circumstances. But here this is approaching the Kingdom. I didn’t make this point in the last several Chapters, and I should have. The reason they are so willing to sell their property and turn it into cash and bring it to the apostles’ feet is because they knew that as soon as The King would set up the Kingdom they wouldn’t have to worry about houses and land. In the Kingdom there will be no poverty, everyone would have everything. And so this was their prospect, they were looking for the Kingdom just over the horizon. Remember, according to Psalms Chapter 2 and the Old Testament program, not long after they would reject The Messiah, then would come the wrath and vexation, and then would come The King. Well with that in view they were not worried about keeping their property. So they gladly sold and brought the money to the apostles, because the more the apostles could preach the Kingdom the more Jews would be brought in as believers and then they would have The King and Kingdom.

And little did they know that it would all come to nothing. Now that should also give you a little insight. Why do you suppose that every place that Paul went among his Gentile congregations that he would always take up a collection? For the poor at Jerusalem who had sold everything, but since Christ hadn’t returned, the kitty had run dry. And where did it leave them? Destitute. But God in His mercy still reckoned with the fact that they had done all of that in obedience and so God takes care of them then with the offerings from Paul’s Gentile converts. Now does that all make sense? I hope so. And so here again we come into Chapter 5 and Peter is still dealing with these Jewish believers there in Jerusalem.

Acts 5:1-4

BUT a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,” Just like Barnabas did, but they made their big mistake. verse 2:

“And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it (she knew what was being done), and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”

But Peter said, `Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?'”

“Whiles it remained, was it not thine own (in other words it was up to you. You didn’t have to bring it all, but why did you lie and say that you had when you hadn’t)? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.”

Now that wasn’t all that big a deal. I dare say the average believer tells a bigger lie than that at least once in his life time. And if this is Church ground then we would all be gone. That is if you are going to say this is part of the Church, and use it as an example. But this is a better example of the circumstances in the Kingdom. We know that death is possible in the Kingdom. Not very likely, but if someone commits a horrendous act of rebellion against The King, that is his potential fate, he will be suddenly taken off the scene. So I prefer to think that this is what these Jewish believers had to understand. That they were getting ready to come under the authority of The King Who is going to rule with an iron hand. You don’t fool Him. You don’t even so much tell a white lie to Him, for if you do you are going to be out of here. And so this is really the lesson for these Jews. They were now coming under a set of circumstances where their King was going to rule with absolute power and knowledge. You wouldn’t be able to hide anything from Him. You all know the account of what happened. Verse 6.

Acts 5:6-11

“And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, `Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much?’ and she said, `Yea, for so much.’ Then Peter said unto her, `How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt (or test) the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out (now that’s shocking isn’t it? That would be enough to shake up any group of people).’ Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost; and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church (or assembly as I like to refer to the Jewish believers), and upon as many as heard these things.”

Acts 5:12

“And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people;…”

Now come back with me again to Acts 1:8, so we don’t lose sight of what I have been trying to bring out. This is when The Lord was speaking to the eleven disciples just before He ascended. And remember what He told them.

Acts 1:8

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

They were to receive power. What kind of power? Miracle working power. They were to be an extension of Christ’s earthly ministry. Every thing that He and the Twelve had performed in those three years, Peter and the eleven were to continue, because they are dealing with the same people. They’re dealing with the Nation of Israel, and trying to convince the nation that Jesus was Who He said He was. And He was still going to fulfill His promises if they would just simply believe. Now verse 12 again:

Acts 5:12

“And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord [where? In the church down on First and Grand? No, but rather] in Solomon’s porch…)”

And where’s Solomon’s porch? In the Temple. They’re still meeting in the Temple; still taking their sacrifices; they haven’t stopped Judaistic rituals. The only thing that’s been added to it is now they have believed that Jesus was Whom He said He was.

Acts 5:13,14

“(…And of the rest [of Judaism] durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)”

I’m thankful for the archaeologists. They are finding more and more evidence that there were thousands of these first and second century Jews who were still practicing their Judaism, but had embraced Jesus of Nazareth as The Messiah. And that’s what they are uncovering. Now they were not Gentile adherents of Paul’s Gospel of Grace, but rather they were Jewish believers who were still believing the Gospel of the Kingdom. Now I’ll have to explain that. For the first three or four years after I began teaching, I was never comfortable teaching the Four Gospels and the Book of Acts, and I would just skim over them. And then one day I stopped in at my parents’ house for a morning cup of coffee, and on Mom’s coffee table was one of those little booklets from the old radio program called “The Radio Bible Class.” It’s now called The Day of Discovery. Anyway, one of their guest preachers from time to time throughout the year, was a gentleman by the name of Paul VanGorder. And the title of his little booklet was “Which Gospel When?” I was just bug-eyed at that, and said, “Mom could I have this little booklet?” She said, “Yes, I’m through with it.” I took that little book home with me, and it was a compilation of his one month of four Radio Bible Class sermonettes. In those four lessons he laid out that during Christ’s earthly ministry it was the Gospel of the Kingdom. Not the Gospel of Grace. When Paul comes on the scene, then it goes to the Gospel of the Grace of God. And that just totally changed my whole concept of Scripture.

This is how God works. I had no more than finished reading it, when someone gave me a copy by Sir Robert Anderson of a book titled the “Silence of God.” I’ve made reference to that book before on this program, and if you get a chance, read it. Now Sir Robert Anderson does the same thing. He just lays out so clearly that in the Four Gospel accounts and the early Chapters of Acts, it’s the Gospel of the Kingdom. And that’s what Jesus called it over and over. And then when you get into Paul’s letters you never see that term again. Why? The Gospel of the Kingdom faded off the scene, and the Gospel of Grace took its place. And that’s just exactly what William R. Newell also wrote. So all of this evidence just kept piling up, and finally I decided this is where it’s at. So all of a sudden the whole thing started to make sense. That’s when you come from the Jewish program, the Gospel of the Kingdom, based on the Covenants and based on Christ’s earthly ministry. and Israel continues to reject it, then God turns to the Gentiles with that other apostle which will be introduced in Chapter 9. But here in this Chapter we are still dealing with the Twelve, who are ministering to the Nation of Israel. Now verse 14:

Acts 5:14-17

“(And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)” And now verse 15, and if this isn’t a repeat of the Four Gospels then I don’t know what is.

“Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.” That was the Jewish program.

“There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem (we’re not talking about Cairo, Athens or Rome; this is Jerusalem), bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed (how many?) every one.”

“Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,”

You know religious people haven’t changed. There is nothing that upsets religious people more than to hear the truth. I’ve learned that over the years. Religious people do not want the truth. They want their religion. And some of you have shared with me that you have tried to go back to some of your religious church members and they won’t listen to you. Why not? They don’t want to be bothered. I’m comfortable, leave me alone. The world is full of religion. For example, take the Hindu religion. They say the same thing – leave us alone. I don’t care what religion it is they will have that same stock answer, “Leave me alone, I’m comfortable, I think I’ll make it.” But then we like to come back and say, “Wouldn’t you like to know that you’ll make it?” That’s the difference! Verse 18:

Acts 5:18,19

“And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth,…”

I’ve always asked this question ever since I read Sir Robert Anderson’s book, the “Silence of God.” He made the point: Do you know of a single account in Church history that angels came down and delivered God’s people? In Church history? No. Now I’m not saying that God isn’t a God of miracles, don’t misunderstand me. I know that God can still answer prayer and God can still perform the miraculous. But I’m talking about the kind of miracles that Israel experienced. Angels coming in and opening prison doors. Earthquakes that could be so controlled that it would release all the prisoners who were in stocks and not kill any of them. Now that’s the supernatural that I’m talking about. That doesn’t happen any more. And it’s not going to happen until God begins once again to deal with the Nation of Israel. But here we have such a supernatural intervention in the affairs of men, that an angel comes in and opens the prisons doors and let’s the apostle out. And you all know the account of how the rulers were greatly disturbed and wondered how these things happened. Now they’ve got to do something to stop it. Now verse 27:

Acts 5:27,28

“And when they had brought them (the Twelve); they set them before the council (religious leaders of Israel): and the high priest asked them,”

“Saying, `Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name (do you see there’s no mention of the shed blood, or His death, burial and Resurrection, but only His Name. I’ve stressed over the years when you are to recognize a name, what is attached to it? The position. And in this case with Jesus, when they heard this Name, they were suddenly to know that here was the One Who had performed all of these miracles, Who had claimed to be the promised Messiah, The King, and this was what His Name was to imply. And that is all they are stressing: Who He was)? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.'”

Well indeed, what had they done? They had murdered Him. Didn’t they have a right to have vengeance taken on them? And I think the Nation of Israel has suffered for it ever since.

Acts 5:29,30

“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, `We ought to obey God rather than men, The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.'”

That throws a curve at some people. What does that sound like? Like they killed Him first, and then hung Him up on a tree. Now why does Peter use that kind of language? In Deuteronomy 21:18-23, if there was a rebellious son in Israel, and he was so wicked that the parents couldn’t do anything with him, they were to turn him over to the authorities and say here is a rebellious son, he’s a drunkard, and we can do nothing with him. Then the Jewish authorities would order him to be stoned. But it didn’t stop there. To make him a public spectacle so that people would get the lesson, they would then hang that corpse on a pole. The end of verse 23 reads. “(for he that is hanged is accursed of God;)” Peter is bringing that picture to the Nation of Israel. That this is what they had really done with their Christ. They had considered Him like a rebellious drunkard, wicked son. And they killed Him and hung Him on a tree. Now we know that in actuality He became that on our behalf. “He who knew no sin became sin for us.” If you go into Hebrews 13, you will find that the Crucifixion was awful. We have glamorized it with our jewelry, the golden Crosses and all of that, but the Crucifixion was not beautiful. It was accursed, because God laid on Him the sins of the whole human race.

But here, Peter says, “Whom you slew and hanged on a tree,” to show the degradation of His death. Not that He Himself was guilty of any of that, but that He became the innocent Lamb of God on Whom all the guilt of a sinful world was laid. Remember Isaiah 52 says that of anyone who ever lived, He was more marred as He hung on the Cross than anyone who had ever lived.

209 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 1 - Book 18 - Acts Chapter 5

209: Acts Chapter 5 – Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 18

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick



God left us this Book to study and enjoy and hopefully you and I as ordinary believers can see what it really says. I think it was either William Tyndale or John Wycliffe, when being burned at the stake said that he wanted The Bible to be in the print and language of the common man so that every plowboy in England could have a copy of the Scriptures. Since God has seen fit to do that, it behooves us to study and read it on our own. In this first lesson I want to do a little review of the timeline (see page 6) to see more clearly how The Book lays out the whole program of God. We will start with the creation of Adam at 4004 B.C. That is the date usually ascribed to his creation, but not necessarily the planet. And then half-way in between Adam’s creation and the birth of Christ is the appearance of the man Abraham, at approximate 2000 B.C. And then from Abraham (about 400 years in round figures approximately 2400 B.C.) that brings us to the time of the flood. So from Adam to the flood is approximately 1600 years. Then about 200 years after the flood, when mankind is beginning to multiply abundantly, we find the Tower of Babel. Then 200 years later is the call of Abraham at approximately 2000 B.C.

From Adam to Abraham, God dealt with one race of people. In other words, all the things God had taught Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel were appropriate for that whole race of people for that first 2000 years. There was no organized system of worship, Temple or written Law. It was simply based on man’s conscience that if they knew they had sinned, they were to bring a blood sacrifice by faith, and if their faith was real, then it was their faith that saved them just like it’s our faith that saves us today. But we know that the human race completely fell apart until it got so wicked and rebellious that God had no remedy but to destroy it. With the advent of Noah and his three sons, Ham, Shem and Japheth, we can see God split the human race into three races. Those that will come out of Ham. Those that will come out of Shem and those out of Japheth. This was the beginning of the separation of the one race. However, they really did not scatter until they got to the Tower of Babel. Even at that time they were still of one speech. It wasn’t until God came in with the language confusion that they began to scatter into the prescribed areas of the planet. Then we find 200 years later out of the line of Shem comes this man Abraham at 2000 B.C.

To the man Abraham God promises what we are always referring to as the Abrahamic Covenant. And I’ve maintained down through the years that unless you understand the Abrahamic Covenant you will never understand The Bible or even the New Testament. Because when God called this man out of idolatry, his whole family was, as well as the whole human race was steeped in idolatry. I’ve had people ask me about Shem. The Bible is silent about Shem. A lot of those old Patriarchs probably for one reason or other lost their testimony. I know Noah did. After Noah built the vineyard and drank the wine and got drunk, you never hear another word about Noah. I don’t think he lost his Salvation, but he lost his testimony. The same thing may have happened to Shem. I don’t know. But other than that I’ve always felt comfortable teaching that after the Tower of Babel (until Abraham came along), every human being, with maybe an exception or two, had now succumbed to idolatry, and to pagan worship of the mythological gods and so forth.

So God tells Abraham, I’m going to make of you a nation. And this is what I always refer to as the three parts of the Abrahamic Covenant: “I’m going to make out of you a Nation of people. I’m going to put you into a geographical area of land.” Those two promises didn’t take all that long. And then the third part was, that someday down the road, “I will come Myself and be your King over a glorious Kingdom.” A Kingdom not up in Heaven, but on the earth. God called Abraham (usually when putting this on the black board I just pull that little nation out of the main river of humanity), because He is going to make the little nation a separate, special race of people, or as we have come to know them, the Jew. I always put it this way, “Jew only, with exceptions” God will make exceptions during this 2000 year period of time, but they are rare.

The rest of the masses of humanity will go on like the river, but out of this great river of humanity God pulls this little stream, the Nation of Israel. The whole object lesson was that He would use the Nation of Israel to penetrate the nations of the world, and bring them to a knowledge of their God. That was their opportunity and option, but we know now they rejected that. Turn to Psalms Chapter 2. With the beginning of the Abrahamic Covenant, we come back to Genesis 3:15 with the promise of the Seed of the woman. But the Seed of the woman would come through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Then out of Jacob’s twelve sons, the son of Judah. Out of Judah comes David and Solomon, then the other Branch of the tree brings us all the way up to Joseph and Mary.

When Israel has the opportunity of going to the Nations with the knowledge of their God, they reject Him and crucify Him. As we saw in the early Chapter of Acts, even though everything has been consummated for the Salvation of the whole human race, God continues to deal with the Jew. I probably fly in the face of most traditionalists, that He does not immediately go to the Gentiles, but for a few years continues to deal with the Nation of Israel in the early Chapters of Acts, until we are introduced to the Body of Christ, the Church. You only hear that phrase from Paul. You don’t see that terminology until that revelation is given to him. After his conversion on the road to Damascus, The Lord told Ananias:

Acts 9: 15

“But the Lord said unto him, `Go thy way, for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles,…'”

Now that’s the turning point in God’s dealing with the human race. He raised up that Jew, Paul, the thirteenth Apostle if you want to call him that, and He sends him specifically to the Gentiles. And then after the Church Age is completed and the Body of Christ is full, God has to take the Body out of the way so He can pick up again with the Jew in particular in those final seven years of the Tribulation. Next we have the Second Coming of Christ, and then we then have the thousand-year reign and rule of Christ in the Kingdom. Now this is the way we understand the whole seven thousand years of time that God has laid out prophetically, and a lot of it is already historical. In Psalms Chapter 2 let’s start reading at verse 1, and hopefully we can make a run through the Scriptures and show from the Old Testament perspective that this part about the Church Age was never mentioned. The rest is brought out so beautifully. As soon as Christ was crucified, a short period was to elapse, then the Tribulation was to come in, Christ was to return, and the Kingdom was then to be set up to the Nation of Israel.

Psalms 2:1,2

“WHY do the heathen (Gentiles) rage, and the people (Jews) imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,”

In Acts, Peter’s constantly accusing the Nation of Israel for crucifying their Messiah. “You killed Him. You murdered Him” But the Scripture says both Jew and Gentile were guilty of the Crucifixion.

Psalms 2:3

“Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”(-)

Now that was what the human race said concerning The Messiah. We will not have this man to rule over us. Away with Him, crucify Him So they cast off God’s reign from them. Now verse 4:

Psalms 2:4-6

“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.” That’s the result of the Crucifixion.

“Then (after they reject The Messiah, the offer of The King and the Kingdom) shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.” That’s the Tribulation. Do you see anything in between those two verses of the Church Age? It’s not in there. So the Psalmist continues on with the prophetic program. In verse 6, notice the next event. The Kingdom.

“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”

To get a grasp on what I’m teaching, turn to Luke Chapter 4:17. The setting is The Lord in His earthly ministry. He’s gone into the synagogue in His home town of Nazareth. He stands up to read:

Luke 4:17-21

“And there was delivered unto him the book (or Scroll) of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written (in other words, he looks for this particular portion of Scripture), `The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’ And he closed the book, and gave it again to the minister, and sat down, And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, `This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.'” Isaiah 61:1 is identical to what Jesus read here in Luke.

Isaiah 61:1,2

“THE Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD (-), and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;”

In Luke there was a period at the end of the acceptable year of The Lord. But notice here it is a comma, so the verse goes right on to say the day of vengeance of our God. And according to Psalms Chapter 2 what was that? The wrath and vexation of the Tribulation. Do you see that? So this prophecy like Psalms Chapter 2 just flows right on through, and the last part of the verse says to comfort all that mourn. What’s that? The Kingdom age. So our Lord reading in Luke Chapter 4 knew the end from the beginning. He knew where to stop. He said this is fulfilled in your ears, the rest of it He knew wouldn’t be until later.

To show where these prophecies have been fulfilled, we will put a dash with parenthesis around it (-) indicating the rest is unfilled to date. This symbol (-) would be in verse 2 after the last `LORD.’ Look at Psalms Chapter 2 again, and stop after verse 3 to put the symbol (-) because that is as much as what happened. They rejected The Messiah, and crucified Him and then verse 5 hasn’t happened even yet. Go to Psalms 118 and we will do the same thing. The Old Testament will just continue on with the prophetic plan, but we know it’s been interrupted with the Church Age.

Psalms 118:22

“The stone which the builders refused (-) (that happened at His Crucifixion. Who is the Stone of Scripture? Christ is. He was the Head of the corner, but what did they do with the Stone? They cast It aside, not knowing Who He was. So that’s all that was fulfilled, but what does the rest of the verse say?) is become the head stone of the corner.” That hasn’t happened yet so put your symbol (-) in the middle of the verse. Isaiah Chapter 9:

Isaiah 9:6

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given (-), and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”

Only the first part has been fulfilled. The rest is still future, so put your break (-) after the word `given.’ Next is Isaiah 61:1 and we used that as our example. The next one will be Daniel Chapter 9:26. This is the Chapter on Daniel’s seventh week. Now verse 26 and the description of the coming of The Messiah:

Daniel 9:26,27

“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off (His Crucifixion), but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary(-) (this happened in 70 A.D.) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he (the Anti-christ) shall confirm the covenant with many…” That hasn’t happened yet, so you can put your break in this verse right after the word `sanctuary.’ The next one is in Joel Chapter 2.

Joel 2:28-30

“And it shall come to pass afterward (after His rejection), that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:” Verse 29. “And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit (-).” Now verse 30. “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.” Did verse 30 happen? No, but verse 28 and 29 did. Now Zechariah Chapter 9:

Zechariah 9:9,10

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having Salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass (-) (did that happen? Yes!).” Verse 10. “And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea (The Kingdom, and we know that’s not happened yet), and from the river even to the ends of the earth.” So the break goes between verses 9 and 10. The next one is in Luke Chapter 1:

Luke 1:31,32

“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS (-) (did it happen? You bet it did).” Verse32. “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:” Verse 32 still hasn’t happened, but it’s going to. So naturally the break on this one will be between 31 and 32. One more in Luke Chapter 21:

Luke 21:24,25

“And they (the Jew) shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations (that happened at the siege of Titus): and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (-). And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;”

I try to show by putting breaks in verses that this Old Testament program was suddenly interrupted with this Age of Grace we are now in, and the rest is still future.

208 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 4 - Book 18 - God's Secrets - Part 2

208: God’s Secrets – Part 2 – Lesson 1 Part 4 Book 18

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick



Acts Chapter 4 where we left off at verse 11. Never rest on what I say, but rather what The Book says. I’ll never forget one of the first teaching experiences I had a long time ago. Our pastor was aware of a couple coming into our church who were married but from diverse church backgrounds. They were having marital problems over it. He asked me to go to their home each week and teach them from The Book. The first opposition I got from the lady was, “Well Les, we have always been taught that it isn’t the Bible that is the authority, it’s our church.” Now how are you going to overcome that? It took a lot of patience as her husband had a totally different view. Between the three of us, with the help of the Holy Spirit, within about 6 months, we finally got them squared away and they both came to know The Lord. And to this day they are both active in a local church, and their children are all believers. Every time I go see them, it’s so nice to think that I had a small part in all of that. But it was such a learning experience for me.

I have said so often, you can’t go by what someone else tells you. But open The Book, and read carefully. Look at every word. See what’s in The Book and what’s not in The Book. There are lots of groups that go strictly by what the church and/or pastor tells them. And you can’t do that. A couple of years ago, a class member came back from her denominational convention, and said, “Les, just read this first paragraph because this is shocking.” And the long and short of that paragraph was this: “Don’t you try to interpret Scripture on your own – wait until you hear it from the pulpit.” That is where people are getting led down a primrose path. Some pulpits are all right, but there are many that aren’t. So you need to get to the place where you can discern the Scriptures. I never want people to say, “Well, that’s what Les said.” I want people to be able to see where I’ve shown them what the Scriptures say and then they can say, “This is what it says.” And that is the reason I teach, to get people into The Book. Now back to our study, verse 11. Peter is continuing his message to the religious leaders of Israel.

Acts 4:11

“This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.”

There is an interesting legend about the cornerstone of Solomon’s Temple. It’s not in Scripture, but is certainly applicable. When they were building Solomon’s Temple, there was never a hammer sound at the Temple site. It was all done out at the quarry. Every stone was so perfectly pre-cut that they could just set it in place. In ancient architecture, especially arches, the final stone that goes in is the one at the center of the top of the arch. The rest of the arch rests against that one, and it becomes the chief cornerstone. Legend has it that this chief stone had come to the building site and for some reason they couldn’t find a place for it. Not knowing what to do with it, they dragged it out into a vacant lot, where the weeds grew up around it and there it lay. But every time someone would go through that vacant lot to take a shortcut, they would stumble over that stone. Now, that story is a legend, but is so apropos. This is the analogy that Peter is using.

Israel was the builder of God’s kingdom and their Christ was to be The Messiah of it, the Chief Cornerstone which would hold it all together. They rejected that Stone and like the builders, threw It out into a vacant lot. And what has Christ become to the Nation of Israel ever since? A Stone of stumbling. Over and over, beginning back in the Psalms, Israel is warned that their Chief Cornerstone would be rejected and laid aside, and He would be their Stone of stumbling. There is so much departing from the truth of Scripture that people can be saved outside of faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And this is dangerous. There is no such thing, according to Scripture. I know that it’s a narrow concept but it’s a narrow Book.

I remember talking to a man whose particular group was vast in numbers. He was convinced his was the only group that had Salvation. I said, “Wait a minute Jimmy, I have a Scripture verse that proves you wrong.” He said, “Show me.” We sat down and checked the verses where Jesus said in Matthew:

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 which find it. “

This is a fact of Scripture and of the whole human race. God has only had a remnant. Even in Israel, the Covenant people, how many Jews were true believers? Only a small remnant. And even today there may be a lot of talk and a lot of preaching, but how many are genuine believers today? It’s getting fewer every week. Because we are getting so much false teaching coming in and people are flocking to it. People will always flock to the false before the truth. So Peter says so clearly here in verse 12, that which still spills over into our Gospel:

Acts 4:12

“Neither is there Salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

There’s a lot of good sincere folks who are following cult leaders – Buddha, Mohammed, or whatever. This verse is narrow. It brings it right down, that there is only one way. For the Jew in this particular time that Peter is dealing with, they had to recognize that Jesus was The Christ. And only Jesus. It’s amazing that the Jews of our present day, for the most part, the orthodox especially, refuse to admit that the Jews ever followed Christ. But we know that thousands of them did. Archaeology is proving it. A lot of Jews embraced Christ as their Messiah and their Redeemer. But granted, the vast majority rejected Him and God went to the Gentiles without them. Now continuing on with verse 13:

Acts 4:13-17

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men (in other words, they weren’t taught by the rabbi’s. They hadn’t been in a seminary, but they had been in the presence of Christ for three years), they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”

“And beholding the man which was healed standing with them (proof positive that they had a power the religious leaders couldn’t touch), they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Saying, `What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further…'”

You see how Satan uses religious people to stop the truth. Human history abounds with wars that were fought over religion. War after war. Yugoslavia’s war, what is it? It’s religion. The Middle East. The basic controversy is religion. And so it hasn’t changed. Religious people will often be tools of Satan to resist the truth of God. These rulers thought they were keeping the Law. But when we get to the Book of Romans we’ll see how futile that is. That human beings can’t keep the Law. Now verse 18:

Acts 4:18

“And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.”

It would have been easy for Peter and John and the others to agree and say, “Well, alright, we’ll go back to our fishing and just mind our own business.” That’s what a lot of Christians do today. It’s easy to give up and say, “Well, alright. Let them have their way.” But that’s not God’s will for any of us. Jude says that we are to contend for the faith. Now we’re not to be contentious for its own sake. But we are to contend or stand up for the truth of the Word of God. And God gives us the Grace to do so. Verse 19:

Acts 4:19-22

“But Peter and John answered and said unto them, `Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.’ So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done (the healing of that lame man. And now we find him again in verse 22). For the man was above (or over. And there’s that number. How old?) forty years old,…”

Again, what did this man’s life span indicate? A time of testing. And Israel is on trial here, and is going to be on trial until we come to the end of the Book of Acts. God is not going to wait all the way to the end of their forty years to start calling out a people for His Name as we’ll see in Chapter 15. Now those of you who watched the tapes of our programs two or three years ago, saw we digressed a little bit from the Book of Genesis and went to Acts 15. We’ve had such a response to that tape (which is number 6). James in Acts 15 recognized that Paul indeed had a ministry among the Gentiles that Peter and the others knew nothing of. So he made that classic statement that, “Yes, God is going to call out from the Gentiles, a people for his name.” And that is what He has been doing for the last 1,900 + years. Whereas Israel has been blinded. And now, of course, we see the stirring of a nation preparing them for God to pick up where he left off. Now back to the text. Verse 23. Peter says:

Acts 4:23

“And being let go, they (Peter and John) went to their own company,…” Back to that group of believing Jews in Jerusalem.

I want to make you search the Scriptures. Now I read a lot of good men’s works – all the famous authors that you know. Over and over I see these men refer to these Jewish men as Christians. Now I’m going to give you something to look for. You find in your Bible that the Word of God calls them Christians, and then I’ll admit that you were right and I was wrong. But the Word never refers to these Jewish believers as Christians. Acts 11 says that the Gentile believers up there at Antioch, were first called Christians.

Acts 11:25,26

“Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”

That’s what The Book says. But the best of theologians are constantly ignoring that statement and are calling those Jewish believers Christians. I refuse to do so. They were Jewish believers under the Covenant promises, the same as John the Baptist’s followers. The same as those that came under Christ’s ministry. Those that were saved at Pentecost, and those that were saved under this Jewish economy. And you cannot call a person a Christian who has not been saved according to the Gospel of the Grace of God: That Christ died for our sins, He rose from the dead and He has ascended. What a difference. All right, let’s go on:

Acts 4:24-28

“And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, `Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hadst said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? (Psalms 2) The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ (do you see how that involved both Jew and Gentile? Psalms 2 says the same thing). For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles (Peter is tying Jew and Gentile together? It isn’t just Israel. The whole human race is guilty), and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.'” We’ve looked at that in Acts 2:23 before but let’s look at it again. It’s very important. And most people never see it, but here it is.

Acts 2:23

“Him (speaking of Jesus of Nazareth) being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:” Was God caught by surprise? No. Did anything happen that God didn’t foreordain? No. It was all in eternal purpose. He came to be Israel’s King. Now Ephesians Chapter 1, verse 11. And the Apostle Paul is writing this. After all these further revelations and here it comes.

Ephesians 1:11

“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:”

Now did you catch the word purpose in there? According to his own purpose. Let’s see what that purpose is that Paul is talking about. II Timothy Chapter 1, verse 9. Paul is writing to a fellow believer, a Gentile with the name of Timothy. Though he may as well have been writing to us. Look what he says:

II Timothy 1:9

“Who (God, of verse 8) hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works,… In other words, our merit doesn’t mean a thing. He didn’t call us as people who have earned something, but the call goes out to every son of Adam. He has not called us according to our works, …but according to his own purpose…”

If you are a child of God, do you know why you are a child of God? Because it was in the purpose of God. You were saved for a purpose. You were saved for a reason. Everyone of us. We have to understand that we were already in the mind of God before He ever created Adam. So we have a distinct purpose. I have a couple in my class who, in God’s Divine Sovereignty, came half-way across this country to a place they would never have thought to live in. The only reason they started coming to my class was because the husband was running for mayor. He heard that there were usually forty or fifty people meeting every Tuesday night, so he thought that would be a good place to go and gain some votes. That’s the only reason he came and he’s not embarrassed to tell everybody this. But God had more than just a run for mayor in mind. God had two people in mind. He brought them from Phoenix, Arizona to a little town in Oklahoma so that they would hear The Gospel. And that’s the eternal purpose of God.

I imagine that all of us can look back and see how God meticulously brought us along and got us to where He could get hold of us. There’s another gentlemen who wouldn’t mind me using him as an example either. He came to my class for three years, ungodly as they come. He will tell you he was. Ungodly, and yet he would still come. Finally he said, “Les, we’ve got to talk.” He came up to the house one night and we took him down the Roman road and led him to The Lord. And what a change in his life!

One night I was teaching, where Martin Luther had made the statement that the work of the Holy Spirit is the hound of Heaven. Any of you who know anything about Beagle hounds know they don’t give up until they get their quarry. So he used that analogy. I went back and used the Psalm, where David said, “My heart panteth after thee oh Lord, like a deer panteth after a bubbling brook.” And we had a gentleman come up afterward who said, “You know, that was me. I was doing everything but what God was wanting me to do. Finally He latched on to me and now I can’t get enough.” He said, “The last thing that I do before I fall asleep at night is to study this Book.” Imagine! The most ungodly man in the community, but that’s how God works. Back to Acts. They’ve now rehearsed with their fellow believers all that has taken place.

Acts 4:31

“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”

Now verse 32 to the end of the Chapter. Read it carefully, word by word and tell me if this is the local church that we are associated with. I made a statement that if you found a perfect church, like in Acts Chapter 2 and 3, I’ll join it. Somebody afterwards said, “Don’t you do it Les, because that would spoil it.” And that’s so true. If there were a perfect church out there and you or I were to go and join it, it would no longer be that good. Because there is no perfect church. And if your church measures up to this then I’ll say I was wrong. But I don’t think it does.

Acts 4:32

“And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul (in other words, no argument): neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.”

This is pure Biblical socialism. They sold what they owned and put it in a common kitty. They shared it out as needed. You find a Church that does that today and then I’ll tell you that I was wrong. This isn’t Church language. We know better than that.

Acts 4:33-37

“And with great power gave the apostles witness of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus (yes, that He was still alive and that He could still be their kings): and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things there were sold, And laid them down at (who’s feet? Not the pastor and the deacons’) the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation), a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land (clear out there in the Mediterranean, on the island of Cyprus), sold it, and brought the money, and laid it (where?) at the apostles’ feet.”

Now is that church language? Not the way I understand church language. This isn’t what we are expected to do. I’ve never had a Pastor ask me to sell my land and cattle and bring it to the Church.

207 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 3 - Book 18 - God's Secrets

207: God’s Secrets – Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 18

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick



We continue with Peter and John dealing with the events surrounding the healing of the lame man in Acts 3:21. The Temple rulers are upset by how it happened, and Peter and John are trying to explain that it was through the power of Jesus Christ of Nazareth Whom they had crucified. Consequently, in verses 19-21, Peter had said that if the Nation would just repent of that awful sin of rejecting their Messiah, as well as their other national sins, then God would have immediately instituted the Tribulation, and brought in The King and Kingdom for them. Peter knew there would have to be a Tribulation period of seven years as prophesied by Daniel. That is why Peter said in verse 21 that, even though The Lord was ready to return if Israel would repent, it would still have to wait until that period of restitution of all things in the Tribulation. In verse 22, Peter’s still speaking to this great crowd of Jews.

Acts 3:22

“For Moses truly said unto the fathers, `A prophet shall the Lord of your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me;…'”

That takes us back to the role of Moses in the life of Israel. He was the deliverer. He was in so many words “the redeemer.” He led them out of slavery and captivity, and brought them unto Abraham’s God. So even as Moses was the deliverer in type back there, Peter says the real Deliverer has come; they’ve killed Him; God raised Him from the dead, but He is still willing to come and fulfill the promises. A few years ago I noticed that Peter is still on Covenant grounds. It’s so obvious, yet I missed it for many years.

Acts 3:23

“And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet (the one Moses foretold, which was The Christ), shall be destroyed from among the people.” In other words, what did Jesus say in the Gospel of John Chapter 3?

John 3:3

“…Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

This is a follow-up on that. If Israel would have repented (and as we will see in the last verse in this Chapter every one of them would have had to become a believer), then there would have been no problem. Remember that no unbeliever will ever go into the Kingdom of Heaven. Here is the verse that totally changed my thinking.

Acts 3:24

“Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken (and that includes all the Old Testament prophecies), have likewise foretold these days” This is only eight or nine weeks after the Crucifixion – only 3 years and a few months surrounding what Peter is making reference to: that all of these things that have happened in these days were all in fulfillment of what God had said going into verse 25.

Acts 3:25

“Ye are the children of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with our (that excludes you and I as Gentile believers. Gentiles aren’t in the lineage of Israel.) fathers, saying unto Abraham, `And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.'”

That was through the work of The Messiah, but through what Nation did The Messiah come? Israel. And Israel was to be the vehicle all along. Let’s go back to Isaiah 42:1. I want everybody to get the concept now, that God hasn’t forgotten about the Gentiles. He’s been dealing only with the Nation of Israel to be sure, but He still has the Gentiles in view. As so much of Scripture indicates, it’s all tied to the Nation of Israel. In fact, before we read Isaiah 42:1, look at Deuteronomy 32:8 again. Some verses must be seen over and over before we can understand what they are talking about.

Deuteronomy 32:8

“When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people (that is all the other nations) according to the number of the children of Israel.”

So who is at the very core of the whole human experience? Israel! God’s Covenant people. Everything else will fall in place as it begins with Israel. And even today, why is that tiny nation in the news every day? Why is the whole world so concerned about Israel making peace with their neighbors? They don’t know, but it’s the Sovereign God at work, and the nations stumble over that little nation. They will stumble over Jerusalem until Christ comes and becomes The Kings of Kings and Lord of Lords. Until then, the world can’t comprehend why this little nation of only a few million people are the center of the whole operation. Now back to Isaiah 42. And so God was only planning to deal with the Gentiles all the way up through the Old Testament through the Nation of Israel. They were the ones who would take Salvation to the Gentiles.

Isaiah 42:1

“BEHOLD my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment (rule) to the Gentiles.” So Who are we referring to? The Christ, The Messiah. Chapter 49 states so plainly:

Isaiah 49:6,7

“And he (God) said, `It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the(what people?) Gentiles, that thou mayest be my Salvation unto the end of the earth. Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One (Messiah), 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 Chapter 59. I wish people could see this, and then apply it as it was intended to be for the Four Gospels and early Acts. That would make the Book of Acts come alive. It’s like putting it under a microscope. It just jumps at you when you understand that this is how God had originally laid it out to the Nation of Israel. And it’s not that the Nation of Israel had trouble with this, they knew they couldn’t go to the Gentiles until the whole nation became a Nation of Priests. Peter and the eleven knew that. But it’s mankind today that can’t see it. In God’s total purpose as Paul speaks of it in the Book of Ephesians, God is looking beyond to when He would go to the whole human race without Israel, which He has done. But first things first. We’ve got to take it as the Scripture unfolds it. And here He is dealing with Israel.

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, this is my covenant with them,’ saith the LORD; `My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, 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.'” Those are the promises given to the Nation of Israel. Now Chapter 60, verse 1:

Isaiah 60:1a

“ARISE, shine; for thy light is come,…”

Jesus said to the Israelites, “You are the light of the world.” And that was to have been their role. He also told them they were the salt of the earth. So, in the Four Gospels, it was God dealing only with the Nation of Israel under the Law, but we can come in and make applications. You and I as believers are the light of the world.

Isaiah 60:2,3

“For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth (spiritual darkness), and gross darkness the people (Israel): but the LORD shall arise upon thee (Israel), and his glory shall be seen upon thee (Israel). And the Gentiles shall come to thy light,…”

And who was to be Israel’s light? The Messiah, The Christ Who came in the flesh in the Four Gospels. It was for all the world, but it had to come through the Nation of Israel. Previously, we read the passage in Zechariah, where nations will take hold of the skirt of a Jew. If you want to look at it again, it’s Zechariah 8:20-23 and it ties all this together. Now back to Acts Chapter 3, verse 25 again:

Acts 3:25

“Ye are the children of the prophets (Peter says to these Jews), and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.”

The Abrahamic Covenant was basically three promises, and within those three promises all the other covenants are involved. The first one was a promise to Abraham, that out of him would come a nation of people: the Nation of Israel. The second was, when they became a nation of people God would put them in their own geographic area of land, the Promised Land, as we understand it in Scripture. And the third promise was when they were in a geographic area, they had to have a government, and so God Himself would come and be their Messiah, King, Redeemer and Savior. It had to be Salvation as well. There is the Abrahamic Covenant in a nutshell. All the other covenants are wrapped up in this one. I always make the qualification you cannot have a viable Kingdom without a King. On the other hand a king is of no earthly use unless he has a Kingdom. These two always have to come together.

When Jesus came and John the Baptist presented Him as Israel’s King, what was in the long view? The Kingdom. And this is what Israel was to have understood. Their King was there, and He was ready to bring the whole Abrahamic Covenant into fruition by ushering in the Kingdom. But Israel rejected The King and thereby rejected the Kingdom. And so The Lord went back to Heaven. The Kingdom is centered in Heaven, and according to Colossians 1:13 you and I as believers are translated into the Kingdom of His dear Son the moment we are saved. But it’s the same Kingdom, because it is yet going to come back on the earth and we are going to reign and rule with Him.

It’s funny how people are always running ahead of me. For a long time they couldn’t wait till I got to the Book of Acts. Now that I’m in the Book of Acts, they’re writing that they can’t wait until I get to Paul’s Epistles. But we’ve got to be patient. We’re going to be taking it one step at a time. But Paul’s Epistles are coming. And we’re going to teach them verse by verse. But it’s thrilling when you get into the Book of Romans and see how God is now dealing with you and I as Gentiles. Not under the Mosaic system, but under Grace. For now, we’ve got to see what it took before God revealed all those new doctrines or teachings which were in His mind since day one. He had kept them secret. So let’s finish the Chapter. Acts Chapter 3 verse 26. Covenant ground. Peter is resting on that Abrahamic Covenant, on the Davidic Covenant, on a Palestinian Covenant, on a Mosaic Covenant. And now he says:

Acts 3:26

“Unto you first (see that? Talking about the Nation of Israel) God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you (how?), in turning away (watch this. How many Jews had to turn?) every one…”

Every one. That was the prerequisite for The King. Every Jew had to repent of their sin. Had to follow it with water baptism. Acts 2:38 is appropriate still. And then Christ would have ushered in the Tribulation, lifted the curse, brought in the Kingdom. Israel could have gone out and evangelized the nations and brought them to His knowledge. It was a valid offer. Because God knew that Israel wouldn’t do it. So God knew that He would be going to the Gentiles without Israel. Remember that from the time of the Crucifixion to the destruction of the Temple by the Roman army was forty years. Don’t ever lose sight of that. The Book of Acts is a forty-year time when God is still dealing with His Covenant people. Even though He’s going to start going to the Gentile people before that forty years is up. But at the end of that forty years (which in Israel’s history has always been a period of testing), Israel is still adamant in their unbelief.

So what does the Sovereign God permit? Rome to come in and destroy the city in the most awful siege in all of ancient history. They destroyed the Temple and Israel was sent into a dispersion amongst all the nations of the world, which you and I have finally seen coming to an end. It hasn’t ended yet for the most part, but a lot of nations now are completely devoid of Jews. Albania doesn’t have a Jew left in it. Syria, I think, is down to less than two hundred. And so many of the Eastern European nations are down to relatively small numbers compared to what they were. But the Jew, you see, is finally returning to the Nation of Israel. It’s been slow, but there’s going to be something again that will trigger it. There’s going to be a great influx of Jews into the little Nation of Israel, in order to prepare for the coming of their Messiah. In verse 26, Peter admonished everyone to believe and confess their sins.

Chapter 4. Peter and the rest of these men are continuing to preach that this Jesus Whom they had crucified had been raised from the dead. That just flew in the face of one group of religious leaders, the Sadducees. They did not believe in a Resurrection of the dead. They did not believe in a life hereafter. They believed that you live to the best of your ability and the only eternalness they could conceive of was that you would pass it on to the next generation. That was what they thought of as eternal life. They saw nothing of a Resurrection of the dead. So when Peter and John and the rest began to proclaim the Resurrection of Christ and the hope of Resurrection for other believers, it caused a hornets nest.

Acts 4:5,6

“And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.”

There is not a Gentile in that verse. They are all next of kin to the high priest, and the high priest had to be a Jew. All right, verse 7. So now all these Jews that were in Jerusalem:

Acts 4:7

“And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, `By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?'”

What are they still talking about? The healing of that lame man. They can’t get it out of their craw. How did you do it? Read on:

Acts 4:8

“Then Peter,…”

Peter is always the spokesman throughout his earthly ministry. I don’t agree that Peter was the first Pope and I don’t make any bones about that because Peter never had a ministry among the Gentiles. And even though our dear Catholic friends might disagree with me, that’s their privilege. And so now he’s filled with the Holy Spirit. This still reverts to just a few weeks ago during the day of Pentecost. And now under the power of the Holy Spirit he again speaks forth, and he says:

Acts 4:8-10

“…Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel (and he doesn’t say and you Romans and you Gentiles. No, he’s talking to the Jews), If we this day be examined of the good deed done to this impotent man, by what means he is made whole (now look at verse 10): Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel (does that include any Gentiles?) that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,…”

When Peter keeps emphasizing the Name, the Name, what does that imply? I always give this illustration. If I were to name Bill Clinton, what would be the first thing that flashes in your mind? Whether you like him or not, that’s beside the point. He’s still Bill Clinton, the what? The President. And immediately your mind pictures the White House. Because he is the President. And when you mention his name then his position flashes in your mind. All right, this is what Peter is driving at. When they heard the Name, Jesus of Nazareth, or Jesus The Christ, what did Peter immediately want to associate that with? Who He was. His office. And what was He? The Messiah, The King, The Savior, The Redeemer of Israel. Again, watch the language here. There isn’t a single reference here to His Atoning blood; to His death; to His Resurrection or to His power. Not a word. Only that Israel had killed Him. That He was Who He said He was. He had proven it. God had raised Him from the dead. And He was still waiting in Glory to fulfill that which He had begun. Alright, read verse 10 again:

Acts 4:10

“Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified,…”

Now if Peter was on Church ground, what should he have said there? He should have said, “Who died for your sins.” But he doesn’t. He says, “whom you crucified,” You see how plain it is when we just look at it.

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