240 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 4 - Book 20 - Romans 1, 2 & 3

240: Romans 1, 2 & 3 – Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 20

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 20

GOD’S WRATH – IMMORAL MAN – ROMANS 1:17-32

GOD PROVES HIS CASE – MORAL MAN – ROMANS 2

THE VERDICT IS GUILTY – RELIGIOUS MAN – ROM. 3:1-23

Here we are going to take the second segment of humanity that God is building His case against. We will slip away from the grossly immoral segment to the moral people, and they’re just as guilty. The moral man wouldn’t dream of living like the people we just finished studying. Or would he? Verse 1:

Romans 2:1

“THEREFORE thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest:…”

That’s the reason I always say that I won’t look down my nose at these people, but I do feel that they are grossly in error. But I won’t judge them. If it weren’t for the Grace of God, you and I would be where they are, because everyone of us has the potential for all of this, because we are all out of Adam. And it’s only the Grace of God, under some parental teaching (which a lot of our young people today are not getting), that delivers us from the potential that’s in every human being to go to the same depths. Again in verse l:

Romans 2:1

“THEREFORE thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself (a hypocrite. That’s what the hypocrite likes to do, point the finger at the other fellow. He forgets that when he points there are two or three fingers pointing back at him. So be aware that, if we are going to judge someone, we had better look at ourselves first); for thou that judgest doest the same things.”

We wouldn’t dream of doing it. Oh, maybe not overtly but what about covertly? Or what about in the thinking processes? I think anyone of us would hate to admit what sometimes runs through our minds. Everyone of you does this, and don’t tell me you don’t because you wouldn’t be a member of the human race. And I’ve always asked people if what these little kids hear won’t register. Oh no? It goes into that subconscience and just lays there until just the right time, then `boom’ it comes alive in the conscience, and they remember it. Now verse 2:

Romans 2:2,3

“But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things (even if it’s only covertly). And thinkest thou this, `O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?'”

Do you see that? Even the good person who wouldn’t dream of actually entering into a homosexual relationship, is just as guilty if he do so in his thought processes. Now remember what Jesus did with the commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery?” He took it so far that none of us are clear of it. Even if you think it in your heart, you’re just as guilty as the person that does it, and we know that’s hard for us to comprehend, but that’s what The Book says.

You move on through all these verses dealing with this moral person who says, “Oh I wouldn’t dream of doing those things,” and in the same breath he condemns those that do. But God is going to judge him just as much. Now verse 6:

Romans 2:4-8

“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,” God has never poured out His wrath, that’s something that is yet to come, but when it comes it’s going to be beyond human comprehension. Come down to verse 11:

Romans 2:11,12

“For there is no respect of persons with God.” God is not going to treat an American better than a Japanese, or a white person better than a black person. With God there is no difference.

“For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law (outside the realm of Judaism, they shall perish without Law, they are not going to be excused because they weren’t under the Mosaic system): and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;”

Now we are in the middle of the Children of Israel. We know what the Law does, it condemns everybody. Because every human being that has ever lived, other than Christ Himself, has already broken the Law, and so they are condemned. Now verse 13:

Romans 2:13

“(For not the hearers of the law are just [or justified] before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified….)”

Here is where we have to be careful. That’s under the Law. Let’s go all the way back to the Book of Exodus Chapter 19. Here the Children of Israel had just recently been brought out of Egypt, and are all encamped around Mount Sinai. Moses has gone up into Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandants from The LORD Himself. Now Moses has come back down from the mountain and we find in verse 7 the following:

Exodus 19:7,8

“And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. And all the people (Israel) answered together, and said, `All that the LORD hath spoken we will (what?) do….'”

Now that’s legalism, that’s Law, and whatever the Law commanded, Israel said, “We’ll do it!” If it was done because it was prompted by faith, that was what God wanted. But nevertheless remember that Law demanded doing on the part of its adherents. It had to be prompted by faith, of course, but they still had to do what God said to do. Now let’s come back to Romans Chapter 2, and this is what Paul is talking about. When the Jew was under the Law he couldn’t get by with faith + nothing like we can in this age of Grace. He had to have faith + doing something, what ever the Law demanded.

Romans 2:14,15

“(…For when the Gentiles, which have not the law [now keep that in mind, because in our next lesson when we get into Chapter 3, Paul is going to lay it out as plain as day as to what the Law does and what it does not do], do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)”

Now that’s just human nature, and where does it all begin? In the conscience. When God created Adam he gave him a conscience. And conscience was to precipitate confession. And that is what prompted Abel to bring the required sacrifice. His conscience convicted him, and he listened to it, but you see it’s within the realm of human nature to spurn conscience. I mean we can burn it, and get it to the place where it is just no longer active. And of course that is just exactly what so many people do, but it’s there and you can’t ignore it. Now verse 16. This is just an amazing verse.

Romans 2:16

“In the day when God shall judge the secrets (that is the secret activities of these moral people, as well as the open activity of the immoral) of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”

What’s Paul’s Gospel again? That Christ died for all these sins. He died for the sins of every homosexual that has ever lived. He died for the sins of these moral hypocrites. He’s died for the sins of these religious people that we are going to see in the next series of verses. Consequently, God is going to judge the human race based upon that. You wouldn’t have to go where you’re going and perish, because Christ has already settled your account if you would just believe it. That reminds me, I have a tape at home called “Our Godly American Heritage.” The author expresses in that tape and reads from Supreme Court opinions of the early days of our nation, where those Supreme Court judges in their opinions quoted this Book.

Can you imagine that happening today? And in another place on the tape the author points out how our top government officials, Presidents and top Cabinet people maintain that America could not survive unless America remains true to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I could hardly believe that when I saw it. I could understand that men like Washington, and others like him would say, “We have to stand on this Book.” But many of them even narrowed it down that it has to be based upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

And the other day I read some by Thomas Jefferson, and I wouldn’t call Jefferson a born again believer. I think Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin both were more or less out of the same bolt of cloth. But Jefferson still came back and said, “Unless this nation stands and operates under The Word of God it is doomed to fall.” And you and I are seeing it happen right before our eyes. Now let’s look at verse 17, and we are going to see the Prosecuting Attorney (God) now move to the third segment and that’s the religious person.

Now you know that I have no time for the word `religion’ don’t you? I think it is the most awful term in the human language. Religion prompts hatred, and war, it also takes people down the dark paths of legalism. Religion is always man’s attempt to somehow please God. Always remember that Christianity is never a religion! Christianity is God reaching down in mercy and Grace to a lost human race. Religion never does that. The Apostle Paul uses it in a bad light when he says he was saved out of the Jews religion. And that’s what Paul was, he was religious, but what was he? He hated the very name of Jesus of Nazareth as a religious person. Now in these succeeding verses that’s what we are dealing with – a religious Jew. In fact, that was the primary religion that Paul had to deal with. We find in verse 17 the following:

Romans 2:17

“Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,”

Now most of you have spent enough time in your Sunday School material about the Pharisees and the Sadducees, that you know how they were. Oh, they were self-righteous, and proud of their religious status, and this is what Paul is addressing. Now verse 18:

Romans 2:18-20

“And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law (so they should know); And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.”

In other words, those Pharisees, those religious leaders of Israel had all of that knowledge, and then look at verse 21:

Romans 2:21

“Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?”

What were the priests of Israel known for many times? Stealing from widows and the underprivileged, you bet they did. Why do you suppose that Jesus went through and overturned the tables of the money changers? Because it wasn’t even legitimate business. They were charging exorbitant prices for necessary sacrificial animals. Here Paul is alluding to the same thing. Oh, these self-righteous Pharisees, these religious leaders, they had pomp, but underneath they would do anything they could get away with.

Romans 2:22-26

“Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery?… Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written (now this is tough language). For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.” In other words, it was very profitable to be a Jew, they had The Word of God, as we are going to see in Chapter 3 and verse 1 in just a moment. But they ignored all that.

Romans 2:27-29

“And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law (in other words Paul is saying, “You bring me a saved Gentile and he will make you blush with shame.”)? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly (now we are speaking in the spiritual realm); neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh (but the true spiritual person, and here Paul is calling him a Jew): But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart (that’s spiritual circumcision), in the spirit, and not in the letter (keeping the law); whose praise is not of men, but of God.”

I’ve always told you that circumcision cuts off that which is superfluous in the flesh, so what is superfluous in the spirit? The old Adam. And so at Salvation our old Adam is cut off, and it becomes a heart circumcision. Now Chapter 3 – the final condemnation.

Romans 3:1,2

“WHAT advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.”

They had so much going for them. They had the Covenant promises, they had the Old Testament, they had the prophets, they had the Psalms, the Temple, the priesthood, that was all going for them. But Paul says that still wasn’t the important thing. The most important was that unto them were committed the oracles of God. I always make the point that Luke was not a Gentile, he had to be a Jew, and if he wasn’t a full Jew he was at least one-half. Because the Scripture makes a point of the fact that only Jews wrote this Book, by inspiration of course. Now come all the way down to verse 5:

Romans 3:5

“But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)”

Is God going to be unfair when He one day will pour out His wrath on Christ-rejecting mankind? No! Because He’s paid the price. Every human being has had his sin debt paid in full at the Cross. Every person that has ever lived has already, so far as God is concerned had reconciliation accomplished. And all they have to do is believe it. This is why God will have every right in the world to pour out His wrath. He’s done everything possible to make everything as simple as possible so that lost humanity can come back to Him.

Romans 3:6-8

“God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?” Even though he was a religious man and a religious zealot of Judaism, yet God had to tell Saul of Tarsus that he was a sinner. He was undone.

“And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) `Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.'”

Some time ago, I read a commentary on Romans Chapter 6 by a British Theologian of a bygone day, and he made the claim that if we teach and proclaim the Gospel of Grace as this Book intended it to be taught, then we are going to be accused by some, just like Paul says here that he was slanderously accused. They are going to tell us that if that is the way it is then you’re telling me I can live as ungodly as I want so that I can check out the Grace of God. No, that’s not what it means. It just simply means that no matter how deep a sinner goes, God’s Grace is always greater, and that is never license to see how far we can go.

Now here is where I wanted to end up this lesson. The final verdict. The Prosecuting Attorney has laid out all His reasons. He has categorized the human race into these three areas, now look what the Scripture says:

Romans 3:9-11

“What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin: As it is written, `There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.'” Do you see that? That is the final verdict, and to carry it a little further look at verses 22 and 23.

Romans 3:22,23

“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference (that verse makes a level playing field. No one can say they have a better or lesser advantage because the Scripture says that there is no difference): For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

239 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 3 - Book 20 - Romans 3:1-23

239: The Verdict is Guilty – Religious Man – Romans 3:1-23 – Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 20

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 20

THE VERDICT IS GUILTY – RELIGIOUS MAN – ROM. 3:1-23

In the last lesson we studied about God’s wrath to come. But maybe we should stop right here, and from here to Chapter 3, God is in so many words, building His case against mankind just like a prosecuting attorney. God is going to categorize them into three areas. We are looking now first and foremost at the first one that He is going to conclude as being guilty, and that is the immoral segment. They have no morals whatsoever. They’re destitute of any morality. Then we’re going to come in the next series of verses to the moral man or woman, and then we will come to the religious individual. And the conclusion is going to be on all three – GUILTY! Then Paul is going to come to that tremendous conclusion in Romans 3, that there is none that do good. There is none that do righteousness; they are all become unprofitable.

So as we come into this next series of verses, I always like to remind my classes that I’m not judging one little bit, but simply showing what the Scripture says. And it is God building His case now against all of humanity. He is going to start with those who are most obviously guilty – the immoral. In our last lesson we saw just a little bit of this in verse 24. Because they now push God out of their thinking they have now begun to worship everything and anything except the one true God, and as a result they open themselves up to the immoral lifestyle.

I read an article about a year ago by a university secular individual, and he was not writing with any religious overtones. But he made the statement, “That unless a society is guided and controlled by religious values they cannot last.” Even if it’s a religion that you and I don’t agree with, it still has guidelines that keep those people under a certain spectrum of behavior, which you have to have or you can’t have a society. When you fall into anarchy, and no restraint, then you can’t last very long. No nation ever has! The Roman Empire is a good example. They had the greatest military machine at that time, and yet Rome, the city itself, became so corrupt politically, economically, and morally. No one had to come in and defeat them, they defeated themselves. And Rome fell, and of course that is what historians have been screaming about America; we’re going down the same road that Rome went. We will destroy ourselves not with some outside power coming in and taking us over, but rather we will destroy ourselves within. God will build His case against the immoral segment of humanity. Let’s look at verse 24 once more:

Romans 1:24

“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves.”

There was nothing to restrain them because they were now under nothing more than idolatry. And idolatry has no moral code. In fact, I’ve often told my classes over the years that if you go back and study idolatry and some of the mystical religions of the world, at the very core of their operations is immorality. The pagan temples of the old Greek and Roman gods were just glorified houses of prostitution in the name of religion. So it just follows that when you come from the idolatry of verse 23 you now come to the immorality of verse 24. But mankind is never satisfied to stay on this level.

I remember several years ago, a young medical intern was struggling with a very meager income, and was making about twenty-five dollars a month, and he said, “You know Les, I’ve come to the conclusion the only way to really get wealth in this world is to do something that contributes to the degeneracy of society.” And then he named alcohol, prostitution, gambling, and others. It seems anything that degenerates society, people will buy. I remember people telling me that, even in the depression, people would have money for that. They didn’t have money for food and shelter and clothes for their kids, but they had money for their booze and immorality, and it will be that way until the wrath of God is going to fall. Let’s go on to verse 25. Now from that level of immorality, and that’s sexual immorality between the male and female, we find the following:

Romans 1:25a

“Who changed the truth of God into a lie,…”

Here, again, the word `truth’ can be substituted with the name of Christ Himself. He is the truth. Jesus put His stamp of approval upon the marriage relationship, didn’t He? God put His stamp of approval upon the marriage relationship way back in the Garden of Eden. And it’s all the way through Scriptures. Paul tells us that, “The marriage bed is undefiled.”God said, “It’s honorable in all.” So in God’s restraint, all these things are not only normal, but they’re what God has given. But man has taken the God-given things and used them under the influence of the adversary, Satan.

Romans 1:25,26

“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto (a lower yet level of life style, and now what is it?) vile affections:…”

We don’t like this language. I don’t, but The Book says it, and we have to teach it. So as a result of their original behavior of rejection, God now gives them up to something even worse. Now they go into vile affections.

Romans 1:26b

“…for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:”

Remember that Satan started with the women in the Garden of Eden. Now this is not a put down to our women, not at all. It’s just a fact of human history that Satan started with the women. And you watch through Israel’s history. In fact, let’s turn to the Book of Jeremiah Chapter 44. Most of the time I never intend to do this, but as the Holy Spirit leads let’s follow. I don’t want someone to say, “Well, where do you get this or that?” I get it from The Book or I wouldn’t speak it. Now in this portion of Scripture, God is talking about Israel here, His Covenant people. They had the Temple right in their midst, they had the priesthood, they had a part of the Old Testament. And look what they’re doing.

Jeremiah 44:15,16

“Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods (who was burning the incense? The women were!), and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, `As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee.'”

See their attitude? The Jews didn’t like what Jeremiah had to say, in fact they threw him into prison, and that’s where the Babylonians found him. This is why he’s called the weeping prophet. He could see what Israel was heading into. They are going deeper into the same kind of sins that we are going to see in Romans Chapter 1.

Jeremiah 44:17

“But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her,”

Now who was that? A female goddess. Every great idolatrous religion has their female goddess, it’s been part and parcel of idolatry from day one. We won’t take time to read the rest of these verses, but I just wanted you to see that it was the women of Israel who led the way, and it was precipitated by the worship of a female goddess. So now back to Romans, and we saw in verse 26 that it all started with the women who entered into a homosexual relationship. Rather than that which was heterosexual immorality up in verse 24, they go into the vile affections of the homosexual lifestyle.

Romans 1:27

“And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.” Plain enough? Come back to Genesis Chapter 19. This is the first time that the Scripture deals with what God calls an abomination. That’s what it was then, and has been ever since.

Genesis 19:1

“AND there came two angels to Sodom at even;…” Now remember these two angels back in Chapter 18 were called men.

Genesis 18:2

“And he (Abraham) lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him;…” One was The LORD in human form, and the other two were angels as you see in Chapter 19. But in all outward appearance, so far as the people in Sodom are concerned, they are men. They had no idea that they were angels. Now back to Chapter 19 again:

Genesis 19:2

“And he (Lot) said, `Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways.’ And they said, `Nay’ but we will abide in the street all night.'”

Old Lot knew what was going to happen, but he was hoping that he could get them inside before the citizens of Sodom would find out that two strange men were in town. But the angels knew why they were there. This is God putting Sodom and Gomorrah on trial. These two angels were sent to let the Sodomites prove that they were going to be worthy of their sudden destruction. And they sure proved it didn’t they? Now verse 4:

Genesis 19:4,5

“But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, (that’s where we get the term `sodomy’) compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, `Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.'”

Plain enough? Now back to Romans: Of course you know what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah. God destroyed it, and we will see here that the New Testament attests to it. Reading verse 27 again we find:

Romans 1:27

“And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.” They are going to reap what they sow one way or another. Let’s look for a moment at II Peter Chapter 2. Now again, this is graphic language. I don’t see how anybody cannot understand it. Here in verse 5 we are dealing with the flood.

II Peter 2:5,6

“And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow,…”

And again that wasn’t the wrath of God per se. It was a disciplinary action because He didn’t really make them suffer like they will in the Tribulation. It was just an instantaneous wiping out of Sodom and Gomorrah and it was plowed under. They haven’t really proven that they have found Sodom and Gomorrah yet. Some archaeologists are convinced that it’s under the Dead Sea, but nevertheless, they haven’t been able to excavate and bring Sodom and Gomorrah out where tourists can walk down its renovated streets.

II Peter 2:6b

“…making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;”

Now an example is an example, and it’s to tell us something. We are never to forget that the reason God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah was because of its homosexual lifestyle. And the world is never to forget it. But they do, and how sad. God is telling the world tonight, “Look what I’ve done to Sodom and Gomorrah, look at what I’ve done to those kind of people. Wake up!” And if you want to see what God thinks of their lifestyle look at verse 7:

II Peter 2:7

“And delivered just (or righteous) Lot (who was), vexed (or constantly in turmoil) with the filthy conversation (manner of living) of the wicked:

Now, remember what I said before. I’m not being judgmental, or looking down my nose at these people. I’m simply saying but by the Grace of God I could be where they are, but on the other hand, by the Grace of God, they could be out of that lifestyle and be where I am, and that’s where God wants you. That’s why Paul makes it so plain in Romans Chapters 5 and 6 that where sin abounded, God’s Grace can be greater. There isn’t a soul living on this planet so steeped in sin and wickedness that God won’t save in a minute, put his feet on a Rock, clean up his life, and make him a trophy of his Grace. That’s what He wants. But the Scripture tells us they walk it underfoot, they do not want to be bothered. Now back to Romans Chapter 1 and verse 28: Once they get into this lifestyle which begins with an idolatrous heart. They may not have to fall down and worship a Buddha or something like that, but they have some sort of an anti-God attitude, or something else that takes God’s place.

Romans 1:28

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind (you and I look at some of these things and wonder how can people do this? Well, God has removed all restraints from them, that’s why. They don’t care what people think, or what God thinks, but it was a judicial act of God to give them over to a reprobate mind), to do those things which are not convenient;”

These things are not normal. They are not that which enhances society, or a community. And it’s going to have its effect sooner or later. Now reading on down, these are not pretty verses. I know they’re not. I wouldn’t dare to tell somebody that this is what they’re like. But God can! And God’s Word says:

Romans 1:29-32

“Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God (isn’t this awful?), despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents (does that ring a bell?), Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection(every time you read about child abuse, or incest, what causes it? They don’t have natural affection), implacable (can’t reason with them), unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God(they know what’s coming), that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

I remember when the filthy pornographic movie “Deep Throat” was in the news. I don’t remember the name of the actress who was in the lead position, but Harvard University, one of our primary seats of higher learning, had her for a guest speaker. And when she walked on stage they gave her a standing ovation. Unbelievable! Now that was several years back. Never forget that those very places of learning that are now the hot bed of such immorality, and leftist political thoughts, were once seminaries teaching this Book. They have just totally gone down the other direction. Ridiculing this Book, and anything concerning God, and will applaud those that live a gutter lifestyle.

I maintain that we’re not going to turn it around. I do not see a great nation or world-wide revival. I just can’t see it. We may slow it to a degree, and I think that’s our prerogative indeed. Let them call Christians the greatest hindrance to progress, but if hindrance to progress is maintaining a moral fabric that can hold together then I’m going to be proud of the fact that I’m hindering. We have to hold back these forces of iniquities until God comes.

238 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 2 - Book 20 - Romans 2

238: God Proves His Case – Moral Man – Romans 2 – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 20

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 20

GOD PROVES HIS CASE – MORAL MAN – ROMANS 2

Now back to our study in Romans Chapter 1. Remember, God has never poured out His wrath on mankind. The world doesn’t know what that is. In fact, let’s go back to Psalms Chapter 2 and look at God’s wrath. I think that is about the first time that word is used with regard to God dealing with mankind. We always use Psalms Chapter 2 in prophecy, because it’s basically the outline of all the things that would happen concerning Israel. But here in Psalm 2 the early verses speak of Jew and Gentile rejecting the Anointed One.

Psalms 2:2

“The kings of the earth (Gentiles) set themselves, and the rulers (Jews) take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed,…” This speaks of crucifying Him. And then verse 4:

Psalms 2:4

“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh (that man should be so foolish) the LORD shall have them (the nations) in derision.”

Total confusion, and you can see it coming. After they have rejected Him, and continue to reject Him, and finally reached a point of complete confusion; they still think they have all the answers:

Psalms 2:5

“Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath (not in Grace or in love, but in wrath), and vex them in his sore displeasure.”

On your way back to the New Testament stop in Matthew Chapter 24 for a moment, and this Scripture is well-known. This is Jesus in His earthly ministry just speaking to the Twelve there on the Mount of Olives. And here He says it so graphically, this is speaking of that final seven years of human history. Now verse 21:

Matthew 24:21

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world…”

Why did He say that when the flood was so catastrophic and so complete in destroying the human race? Because the flood wasn’t considered His wrath. It was actually an act of mercy. They were instantaneously wiped off the face of the earth, and they were gone. But when His wrath is going to be poured out it’s going to be 3 1/2 years of things beyond human comprehension. That’s what is going to be His wrath, and that’s what’s coming. The world is setting itself up for it. Now reading the verse again.

Matthew 24:21

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

Now let’s see how the Book of Revelation speaks of this same period of time. Let’s turn to Revelation Chapter 6, and this is only the beginning. I read an article the other day that some of our wealthiest people in America are beginning to see the handwriting on the wall, and like rats leaving the sinking ship, do you know what they’re doing? They’re buying up property down in the Caribbean Islands. Some of them are buying a whole island, and building what they hope will be a safe escape from that which is to come. But you know what? They can’t hide, just look what it says:

Revelation 6:1517

“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondsman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks; `Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?'”

I know Christendom has just been lulled to sleep with everything but any mention of the wrath of God. You just don’t hear it, because people are afraid to talk about it, they don’t want to hear it, but The Book says it. The wrath of God is coming. Let’s look at Revelation Chapter 9 and verse 20. This is going to set us up for the next verse in Romans Chapter 1 that we’re coming to. I didn’t plan any of this, it just sort of unfolds by itself. Look what it says here.

Revelation 9:20,21

“And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of the sorceries (drugs), nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”

In spite of all the wrath that has been poured out they still won’t change their attitude. Let’s look at another verse in Revelation Chapter 14. And here we are at the end of the Tribulation. We’ve had all these horrible, horrible events take place, things that man has never yet experienced. And now we come to those that are surviving that are in the armies of the world all gathered around Jerusalem, for that last great battle called Armageddon. Verse 16:

Revelation 14:16-18

“And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped (in other words, humanity). And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying. `Thrust in thy sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.'”

Now this is symbolic language, of course, of God gathering the residue of humanity that is still living. He’s gathering them there in the Middle East under the military, and the gathering of the grapes into the wine vat is the gathering of these 200,000,000 military people into that valley of Esdraelon down the Jordan valley and all the low laying areas of Israel especially. And these people are going to be packed in like sardines in a can. We know this is contrary to good military operations, but they will be forced by a Sovereign God to just pack their men into these valleys. That’s the wine vat! That’s like putting grapes into the vat, and now the very presence of God is going to come and crush them as grapes in the vat.

Revelation 14:19

“And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth (in other words, they’re going to bring all their armies to the Middle East), and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.”

So you see God’s wrath isn’t being poured out tonight. We have no idea of what the the wrath of God is going to do. Even though we can experience flood, earthquakes, volcanoes, that’s nothing compared to what it will be when the wrath of God will finally be released on mankind that are rejecting Christ and God. Now let’s come back to Romans Chapter 1, verse 22, where men and women were without faith:

Romans 1:22

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,”

I showed you what a fool was according to Scripture in the last lesson. He’s the man or woman who says, “No” to what God says for us. And that is so typical. When I look at this verse 22, I’m always reminded of the Warren Supreme Court. You may recall when the ex-governor of California became the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. It was the biggest catastrophe that ever hit the United States of America. Because out of that Warren Supreme Court came many decisions that just wrecked our Christian fabric. The most notorious one gave criminals more rights than their victims. Roe vs Wade opened the door to abortion, and I think that was part of that Supreme Court. Taking prayer and God out of the schools was precipitated by the Warren Court. I always have to think so-called brilliant, intellectual, robed men thinking themselves to be wise, probably with more power than any other group of men in the world, and yet they will come out with decisions that are as idiotic as can be. Why? This verse 22 says it all. ” They have rejected what God has said!” And consequently, they act and respond as a fool. Now verse 23. Becoming fools, saying no to God:

Romans 1:23

“And changed the glory of the incorruptible God (The God who cannot be touched with anything that is less than perfect) into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”

I don’t know all that the Scripture is implying here, but do you see the chronology here is reverse from what it was in creation? Here in the order of making their images they start with man and went down to the creeping things, the lowest of creatures. Now if you doubt that, all you have to do is think back to when Israel was in Egypt under the Pharaohs. Everything in Egypt had become a god. All the plagues that God pushed on Egypt were to show Egypt that their gods were nothing. In fact, they became a plague. Now as we see here in verse 23 they are changing the glory of the uncorruptible God into these kinds of items to be worshiped. We can’t comprehend it, and yet here we are today with intellectual man and all his technology, coming back to the same place. You say, “What are you talking about? How do you know what the New Age movement is all about?” It’s coming under the Oriental idol worship, that’s all it is, and of course in subtle terms. Their goal is to bring the world right back under the same idolatry that begin at the Tower of Babel. This is when these series of verses really began.

Man first rejected God and His authority with Nimrod, who was not just a great hunter of animals, but also of men. And he was the first world totalitarian despot. He brought them to the Tower of Babel not with just the idea of building a building of clay and pitch, but he was setting up a religion. That’s what it meant by reaching to Heaven. They knew they couldn’t build a tower into Heaven, but it was going to be a religious system that they thought would usurp the very throne room of Heaven. And that was the beginning of all pagan idolatry lies… The Tower of Babel.

Before the flood, there is never an instance of idolatry. There was no religion of sorts before the flood, no Temple worship, or organized worship. But what happened? Man went completely down the tube, and he became corrupt and violent, because there was nothing to control his thinking. So after the flood we have eight people that have a knowledge of God. Noah and his wife and his three sons and their wives. I think God was in the Ark with them, and yet within two hundred years (which was only a generation or two into that expanding population coming from those eight people) they are now gathered around the Tower of Babel and ready to embrace pagan worship. Isn’t that amazing! What are they doing? They are refusing to listen to what God says, and so here is where I think these series of verses had their beginning.

Look at verse 24. Notice the verse starts with the word `wherefore.’ The word `wherefore’ points you right back to where you just came from. So as a result of everything we’ve said about these last three or four verses concerning the fact that they had a knowledge of God, and all they had to do was look up into the heavens and they could see the proof of it, yet now they are ready to follow a humanist who is now setting up pagan worship, and they fall for it, Why? Because the old human nature is bent on rebelling. Don’t look down your nose at these people, because except for the Grace of God, you and I would be no different. We would be right in the middle of what is described in these few verses, and that’s sobering. I know if it wasn’t for God’s Grace I could be where they are. But on the other hand, by the Grace of God they can be where the believers are today, and that’s the beauty of it.

Romans 1:24a

“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness…”

He gave them up to a lower life style than what they began with. We are going to start here with the Tower of Babel, and we are going to see the decline of the human race from the Tower of Babel until finally God had to say, “Well, I’m going to do something different. I’m going to call out one man.” That would be the call of Abram. We are going to see the Nation of Israel as well start on that high plain with a knowledge of God. But even that nation under God’s leadership went down, down, down, until finally God would have to say, “There’s no remedy.” I think you see the same thing happen periodically in various empires or nations where they may begin with a high level of spirituality and knowledge of God, but they degenerate. I think after the Reformation we could find Europe aflame with the Word of God. Those great men of the Reformation who literally fill our history books (at least before political correctness took them out). Great men of God covered all of Europe. What happened? Europe went the same way, down down down until they became destitute of Christianity, and that was by the time World War II rolled around.

Then I like to refer to the British Empire. It was so great that the sun never set on it. Do you know what that meant? From Great Britain you cross the Atlantic, and they had Canada in their domain. From Canada before the sun set, Australia was in it, and by the time you came away from Australia you had Singapore, and Burma. All of that was part and parcel of the British Empire. They had the whole Middle East under their control, and by that time you’re back home in England, so the sun never set on the British Empire. Great Britain was the author and the beginner of foreign missions. The very first foreign missionary that went to the Orient was William Cary coming out of England.

England was the very hotbed of Biblical scholars, but what happened? Down, down, down, and I usually like to give this illustration: they gave birth to the Beetles. Isn’t that right? I think that was the trigger to the destruction of our social fabric. Oh, they created beautiful music, I won’t ever take that away from them. But I always have to be reminded of one of the first times the Beetles came to America, and some reporters were interviewing John Lennon, and they asked him, “How do you write such beautiful music?” What do you suppose his response was? He answered, “I’m inspired by Satan.” And that was in a news magazine. I read that with my own eyes. In fact just shortly before he was assassinated, he was being interviewed and he repeated that statement. So Great Britain went from that immense empire all the way down to where today she is a nobody in the family of nations. Their empire is gone, they have been struggling economically and in every way, and spiritually they are practically dead. But this has been the track of the human race ever since the Tower of Babel.

Romans 1:24

“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:”

When I teach this verse I always maintain this is essentially sexual immorality between the sexes. Sexual immorality between men and women. They dishonour their own bodies between themselves. Now what was the first step? Idolatry. And just as soon as mankind replaces the true God with a man-made god, their moral fabric begins to rot. All you have to do is go back into the Orient over the times of the years gone by. Steeped in idolatry with their religion, but what is their moral status? They have none. I can remember reading about the opium dens and so forth years ago, and we are just now catching up. This has been the downward track now for ever so long, beginning especially at the Tower of Babel. Empires will go that way, and so will individuals, and never lose sight of that. But for the Grace of God you and I as believers could very well have taken that same track, we could have succumbed to idols, ending up in immorality.

237 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 1 - Book 20 - Romans 1:17-32

237: God’s Wrath – Immoral Man – Romans 1:17-32 – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 20

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 20

GOD’S WRATH – IMMORAL MAN – ROMANS 1:17-32

Continuing in Romans Chapter 1. We just completed laying out all the things that God did on our behalf the moment we believed as we saw in the word `Salvation’ and all that it implies. These things are appropriated only by faith – all the good things that God does on our behalf when we believe. Now, we see what I call the flip side of all these good things. In verse 18 we see the other side of the coin and that is that God is also a God of wrath.

I want you to understand that for the last 1900 + years God has not been pouring out wrath whatsoever. Oh, once in a while things may take place that I think are done specifically to still get man’s attention, such as maybe a catastrophe, earthquakes and disasters, but that’s not the wrath of God. No way! Because we’re living in the Age of Grace, and even to the ungodly world, and to those steeped in wickedness, God is still dealing in Grace, and not in judgment. Even the flood as awful as it was, that was not the wrath of God. That was God Who was broken-hearted that everything that He had begun with Adam had so totally fallen apart, but it still wasn’t His wrath. It was an act of mercy to unborn generations, because men were killing each other so fast. The flood was almost instantaneous destruction, and to God it was like starting over.

Today, we feel that we are getting close to where God is going to indeed pour out His wrath. He’s not going to have an instantaneous destruction as He did in the flood. In other words He’s going to cause mankind such suffering and such mental anguish that the Book of Revelation tells us they are going to cry out for the rocks and mountains to fall on them. They’re going to cry out for death, but death will flee from them. Because God will be bringing down His wrath on mankind which is rejecting Christ. He’s going to do it in absolute fairness and justness, because there are more people living on the planet right now, than probably lived all the way back to the time of Noah. There’s over 5 billion people on the planet tonight, but at the time of Christ at His first Advent, there were probably less than 500 million in the then-known world. That’s only a half billion. And that was about 2400 years after the flood. That half billion did not double to a billion until about 1860. Then it doubled again a little after 1900, and then it doubled again in the 1970’s. By the year 2020 it will double again to 8 billion. This why the prophets of doom are saying the planet can’t support 8 billion people, and I agree with that statement, but I’m not going to worry about a population explosion.

God’s wrath is going to be poured out especially during the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation because the vast majority of Christ- rejecting people will be living at that time. Now verse 18:

Romans 1:18

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.”

Now the Greek actually makes it a little more distinct than that. The Greek implies they are holding down, in other words they are literally standing on it with their feet; they are trampling underfoot the truth in unrighteousness. I’ve said over the years, and I haven’t had to take it back, that usually in our New Testament whenever you see the word `Truth’ you can very easily substitute the Name of Jesus Christ. Because what did He tell us in John’s Gospel? “I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.” And anywhere else you see the word `truth,‘ always try it and see if it won’t work by inserting the Name Jesus Christ in its place. So what have they done in verse 18? They have taken the Name of Jesus Christ and held it down in unrighteousness and ungodliness. They don’t want anything He had to say or anything that comes from this Book in their life.

Romans 1:19,20

“Because that which may be know of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it (the truth) unto them (now how did God show it?). For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen (not in a fog, but it’s out there as clear as a bell, the knowledge of the Creator God), being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they (mankind) are without excuse:”

Now I know that this is a hard verse to swallow. Most of you know that from the time of Abraham all the way up into the Book of Acts that God dealt primarily with the Nation of Israel. But what about those pagan Gentiles all around them? Well, the Apostle Paul tells us in the Book of Ephesians Chapter 2, they were without hope.

Ephesians 2:12

“That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:”

They were lost, but God stills holds them responsible because they could have known. This is hard for us to comprehend. But God knows that every human being has within his breast the knowledge that there is a Creator God. If they even look at some starry midnight sky they can come to that conclusion. That’s what the Scripture teaches. “They are without excuse.” They have all the evidence. Turn to the Book of Acts, Chapter 17. Paul is at Athens in this passage, and they are steeped in idolatry and philosophy. But he confronts them there on Mars Hill, and he says in verse 23:

Acts 17:23-27

“For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions (their rituals of pagan worship), I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD, Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands (idols), as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all (not just believers, but to all) life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood(out of Adam) all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should (see that?) seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:”

God is speaking through the Apostle Paul that even these pagan Greeks with no exposure to Judaism, or any written Scripture, should have had a knowledge of the Creator God. The Scripture indicates that The Word of God was written in the stars once upon a time. I think Adam was able to comprehend it, and the pre-flood people understood that the very make-up of the constellations and the planets were to interpret the very Word of God. Satan took it and adulterated it, but in its original form the pre-flood patriarchs had a good understanding just by studying the stars. There’s another verse in the Book of Titus. Paul writes this letter toward the end of his ministry. He’s only about a year or two away from being martyred. But as he writes to Titus, he’s been under house arrest in Rome for the last several years. And here we have a stunning statement, and yet if we just casually read over it we can miss what Paul is saying. But in the light of Romans 1:18 I know what he’s saying.

Titus 2:11

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath (already) appeared to all men.”

Now granted, when Paul wrote, the Roman Empire comprised ninety percent of the then-known world. But they had all heard. I think Paul is going all the way back to the flood. When Noah and his three sons and their wives came off the ark, they all had a knowledge of God. But what happened? Within a generation or two they began to do what Romans 1:18 says. They began to hold down the truth. They stood on it, and kept it underfoot. Remember all the revelation that God had given mankind, beginning with Adam. Deep in the heart of every human being, even in that Adamic nature, is the knowledge that there is a God. I’ve had people tell me they are atheists, but that’s just an excuse. They’re trying to convince themselves they are, but down deep within each atheist is the knowledge of God. So I maintain there is no such thing as an atheist. They all know there is that nagging desire to fill the vacuum that God placed in mankind when He created them. In history and archaeology you will never find a group or a tribe of people that did not have a worship of some sort. And always associated with a blood sacrifice. They’re going to have that need for a blood sacrifice, and it all goes back to the way God created mankind. So man has that knowledge that there is a Creator. Now verse 21: the reason they are without excuse is:

Romans 1:21

“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations (Solomon said, “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.” What was he talking about? Humanism! When they leave God out of their thinking, then it’s empty), and their foolish heart was darkened.”

Who did the darkening? God did! As soon as God began dealing with Pharaoh through Moses and Aaron, when they confronted him, and said, “Let our people go,” God was putting Pharaoh on the spot. He was giving him a choice to either let Israel go or not go. Pharaoh chose not to let them go. Then God sent the first plague, and it made Pharaoh think, but that’s as far as it went. The next time Moses and Aaron came in and asked him to let their people go, he said, “No, I’ll not let them go.” By now the first plague has passed and he hopes there won’t be anymore, but he also now was in a more hardened position than he was the first time. So it wasn’t as if God zoomed in on his heart like a laser beam, and fried it. The reason his heart got hardened was because he had made a choice. Now he’s going to do the same thing the next time, and decide wrong again, and in the process his heart is becoming more and more hard. And every time he refuses to let Israel go, he hardens his own heart, although the Scripture says that God did. So all God really does is put him on the spot.

Now it’s the same way with mankind as a whole, when we speak of man’s heart being hardened, it isn’t that God is responsible, but rather man does it to himself. But it’s under the Sovereign volition of God, and this is why when it says that they became vain and their foolish heart was darkened, it became a response of God to their own choosing of their will. And remember, that everything that mankind does under God is based on that free will. You can’t get away from it. We are all constantly facing choices. Let’s go back to Psalms, Chapter 14, verse 1. This is also going to be appropriate for verse 22, in our study of Romans.

Psalms 14:1a

“THE fool hath said in his heart (now remember the next two words are italicized, so consequently they have been added by the translator, and in this case it’s unfortunate. So read this verse with those two words left out), no, God…”

Do you see the difference? The foolish man is a man destitute of faith, and so he says, “No.” Not that there is no God, but he says “no” to what God has said. And all the way through Biblical history, it was the men who were destitute of faith that did just exactly that. What did Cain do? God said, “Bring me a blood sacrifice, and I’ll accept you.” What did Cain say? “No, God, I’m not going to bring a blood sacrifice, I’m going to bring what I have grown.” Ishmael had the same opportunity and the same Godly father that Isaac had, but what did Ishmael say? “No, God.” And the next one was Esau, who was probably a good young man, and yet when it came to things that God had said, what did Esau say? “No, God, I’m not interested.” And this is exactly where mankind is tonight. God has said it, but what does man say? “No way, I won’t believe it, I won’t do it, I don’t want any part of it, leave me alone, I’m comfortable.” So they choose to put God out of their thinking.

236 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 4 - Book 20 - Romans 1:16 - Part 2

236: Romans 1:16 – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 20

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 20

ROMANS 1:16

Let’s continue with our definitions of salvation. Those things that are part and parcel of our Salvation. All the things that God did instantaneously the moment we believed. None of which we could do in the flesh, but were done by an act of God and then appropriated on our part by faith. Remember Hebrews Chapter 11 says:

Hebrews 11:6a

“But without faith it is impossible to please him…”

It has to be reckoned by faith. Now let’s come to the word “Translated.” You and I didn’t feel ourselves suddenly taking a trip. We didn’t sense that all of a sudden we were in one place, and now we are in another. But yet the Scriptures say that we have been translated. It’s done. Let’s turn to Colossians Chapter 1. Here we find Paul praying on behalf of the Colossi believers:

Colossians 1:12,13

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (or prepared us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who (speaking of God the Father) hath (past tense)delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son;”

I don’t believe that I have ever heard a sermon on being translated into the Kingdom. Now I’ve heard a lot of sermons about the Kingdom that is within you. But this is a literal Kingdom – Spiritual as well as physical, one day in the future. When John the Baptist, back there in the account of the Four Gospels said, “Repent and be baptized for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand,” what was he referring to? The King was in their midst, and where The King is the Kingdom was sure to come. But Israel rejected The King and the Kingdom, and they crucified Him. He was called back up into glory, and He’s seated there at the Father’s right hand. But nothing with regard to Kingship and the Kingdom has changed. He’s still The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. So the Kingdom is still centered in the Person of Christ. And at Salvation, along with all these other things that God has done on our behalf, He hastranslated us from spiritual darkness into the Kingdom of His dear Son, which is in heaven. But, that same Kingdom one day is yet going to come and be established on the earth. And you and I as believers will be there with it. We will be ruling and reigning with Christ over that Kingdom of which we are now members by virtue of our salvation experience. Looking at verse 13 again:

Colossians 1:13a

“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness,…”

That includes Satan, the principalities, and powers that are incumbent upon the human race. But it’s also that old Adam and all of his power. All of that has been broken away, and we are now translated into the Kingdom of His dear Son. The world thinks that they are in freedom. And they feel sorry for us because they think we’re bound up with our do’s and don’ts. But it’s the other way around. The world is out there under the chains of darkness, of rebellion, of satanic power, but we have been set free! We have the best exercise of free will of anybody in this world. And that’s why we constantly say that our freedom isn’t license, because our freedom is so God-given that we don’t want to do the things that license would permit. I never want to be misunderstood there. We have that complete exercise now of the free will that the unsaved person has nothing of. He’s bound, he’s under chains, and we’re free. To reinforce that, let’s go for a moment to the Book of Philippians.

Philippians 3:20

“For our conversation (Citizenship) is in heaven (I know you don’t feel like you’re a citizen of heaven do you? But by faith, you and I know that we are already citizens of heaven, because that’s what The Book says); from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:”

That’s the Rapture. I was reminded again recently that I hadn’t taught the Rapture since Book 11. In the near future we will teach the Rapture again. We know that’s the next event on God’s calendar. We don’t know when it will be, but it can’t be too far into the future. We know that the Lord Jesus Christ will meet us in the air, and that is something that we take by faith. Romans Chapter 8 tells us that we have been “glorified.” Now this probably isn’t definitive as some of these other things, but nevertheless I want to show you the verse. And remember that Paul always writes to the believer. So this is for every true child of God.

Romans 8:14,15

“For as many are led by the Spirit of God, they are (already) the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”

The word `adoption here doesn’t mean what we normally think of as taking a child from some other union, and bringing it in, and making it legally ours. The word `adoption’ at the time of Paul, meant that they would take a child who had been tutored by tutors under school masters, and at an appointed age they would make him a full heir with the father. In other words, if the father had a business, when the child had finished his tutoring and they felt he was now ready, they would go through the rite of adoption whereby the father would declare that child a full heir in the business.

I’ll never forget the first time we went to Israel years ago. My wife is pretty good at bartering and we were in a beautiful gift shop. There was a little lad behind the counter and he couldn’t have been over ten or eleven years of age. The father was sitting in the back room at the desk. Iris was bartering with that kid, to bring the price down to where it needed to be, and I thought the guy was losing money with this kid bartering for him. They finally closed the deal, and Iris paid the boy. So I walked back to the gentleman and I said, “Do you speak English?” And he said, “Oh Yeah.” So I asked him, “Can you let that little kid transact business like that?” And he said, “He’s never lost me a dime yet.” You know why? He had been so tutored and so trained that that father had absolute trust in his negotiating. Well that’s what it meant to be adopted – to be put in a place of full responsibility.

That’s what God has done with every believer. We have been placed as the full child, or joint heir. What a responsibility! That’s a responsibility just like that kid. It was his responsibility to see that my wife not take him down too far. He had to still show a profit. And it’s the same way with us in the Lord’s service. He has placed us in positions of responsibility. To handle this Book whether you are a Sunday School teacher, missionary, or pastor or whatever, is an awesome responsibility. Don’t you ever take it lightly, because these things are eternal. And now verses 16 and 17. Remember, the phrase we are studying has the word `glorified.’ We will come back to it momentarily. I got sided tracked with the word `adoption.’

Romans 8:16,17

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are (already) the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

The moment we became a child of God, the moment we believed, then God declared us a full son of the Father. A joint-heir with Christ. And the way I understand joint-heir is, what’s His is also ours as believers. That’s what The Book says. Another verse on adoption is in the Book of Ephesians Chapter 1.

Ephesians 1:19-23

“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

This word `fulness’ could also have been translated `complement,’ (not with an `i,’ but rather with an `e’). The Body of Christ of which you and I are members is the complement of Christ. Now what’s the complement? Well, back to Genesis 2. Adam and Eve haven’t sinned yet. In fact, Eve isn’t even on the scene yet. But Adam is here and all the animals are paired up together.

Genesis 2:16-20

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, `Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.’ And the LORD God said, `It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make him an help meet for him.’ And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.”

And what’s the word `helpmeet’ in the Hebrew? Complement! He was without his complement. Who are we talking about? Eve. She’s not there yet. I often make this analogy. Here comes all these pairs of beasts, and Adam named them. But I’m sure it struck him, “Why do all these animals have their mate, male and female, and I’m all alone?” See, that’s what God recognized, and He said, “It’s not good that man should be alone: I will make him an help meet for him….” And so He creates Eve from out of Adam and she now becomes then his complement. What does that mean? He’s completed! Now come back again to where we were in the Book of Ephesians. This, too, is wonders of wonders, miracles of miracles that even the Lord Jesus the crowning Creator God of the universe, has such a love for His Blood-bought Church, His Body, that the Scripture says He doesn’t even consider Himself complete until He has us in His presence. Now if that isn’t mind boggling I’d like to know what is! But that’s what the Scripture says, come back again to verse 22 and 23 again:

Ephesians 1:22,23

“And (God) hath put all things under his (Christ’s) feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness (the complement) of him that filleth all in all.”

That’s the joint-heirship. That’s why what He has we’re going to one day have. How do I know? By faith! The Book says it. So it’s on that basis that we believe. Turn to I Corinthians Chapter 12, and remember Paul is writing to a Gentile congregation primarily.

I Corinthians 12:12

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

Now here it comes in the next verse. This is another act of God, that you and I never felt, we had no outside manifestation of it. The only way we know that it happened is because The Book says it did.

I Corinthians 12:13

“For by one Spirit (The Holy Spirit) are we all (every believer) baptized into one body (that Church universal, that Body that includes the believers from whatever corner of the globe they may be), whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free: and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”

Do you see what that means? That by the invisible act of the Holy Spirit, He placed every believer the moment they believed, the moment they’re saved, into this Body of Christ, which will one day be His Bride. Now again remember we’re not talking in terms of sexuality, but rather in terms of position. And so the Bride of Christ will be that consortium of all the believers of the Church Age, who have been placed into the Body by the Holy Spirit.

I’m always emphasizing to my classes that I dare say, without judging and without looking at any membership list, I would guess that at least fifty percent of every church roll is unsaved people. Some churches more, and some less. Every church takes in people for membership that are not saved. There’s no way they can screen them, because we can’t look on the heart. We can’t determine who’s saved and who’s lost. That’s an area that only God can look into. But in the Body of Christ there are no unbelievers. No unsaved person is ever baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ. So that becomes a criteria as well, not only by having our names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, but have we been baptized into this Body by an act of the Holy Spirit? That guarantees your eternal destiny. And that won’t happen until you have believed the Gospel that you find in I Corinthians 15:1-4, and all these attendant aspects of salvation that have been done at the moment we believe. How can you doubt if you have been forgiven, redeemed, justified, glorified, adopted, translated, reconciled, and more, and you still have doubts? How can you? Everyone of these we take by faith. God has said it, we believe it, and we rest on it.

Now I know the old Devil likes to come along and mock the whole idea, but we come right back and claim it: “God, You said it, and I believe it.” And we hold God to those promises, and He wants us to. He wants us to say, “God, You promised.” That’s the whole idea of taking this as the Word of God. If this isn’t the Word of God, then I’d have been better off staying home today. I could have been punching cattle all day long. It’s been a beautiful day for that. But you see this is more important, because this Book is true, this Book is the Word of God. Let’s stay in I Corinthians and turn to Chapter 3. In later studies we will go into the wrath of God in Romans 1:18 and that’s not going to be as pretty as these lessons have been. That’s going to be the other side of the coin. But here in verse 16 we find Paul again writing to believers as he always writes to believers.

I Corinthians 3:16

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” And again that’s a Pauline doctrine that is never mentioned anywhere else in Scripture except by this great apostle.