336 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 4 - Book 28 - Resurrection of the Body - Part 2

336: Resurrection of the Body – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 28

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 28

RESURRECTION OF THE BODY – PART 2

We enjoy when people write and say that for the first time in their life they’re enjoying and understanding their Bible. We trust in that light the Lord is using us. Now, in I Corinthians 15:10 we start the verse with “But.” Paul is going to use the flip side, and we showed you in Ephesians 2:1-3 where he listed all the things that were part of the past of every one of us,and then in verse 4 he begins: “But God” – the flip side. We’re no longer what we were, but rather we are what we are, not because we have done so much, but because God has done it all. Now it’s the same way here. The Apostle Paul does not claim that he received his apostleship because he was so educated, which of course he had been. He doesn’t claim to be the apostle of the Gentiles because of some merit on his part:

I Corinthians 15:10a

“But by the grace of God I am what I am:…”

I remember the question came up in one our classes, “What’s the difference between Grace and mercy?” Well Dr. Bellamy got a computer program with all the Greek, and ramifications of the Hebrew, so I asked him to look up the difference between the two on his program. Then the other night he shared with us, and I haven’t gotten it out of my craw ever since. “Grace is that attribute of God, that unmerited favor which makes the pouring out of His mercy possible.” Have you got that? If it weren’t for the Grace of God, He could have never poured out His mercy on mankind, because we don’t deserve it. But since Grace is that unmerited favor, then God was able to pour out His mercy. Now don’t you love that? I’m going to be teaching that every chance I get, that it’s the Grace of God that makes it possible for Him to show mercy rather than wrath and judgment. So here this persecutor, this raging religious zealot who hated the Name of Jesus with a passion, in verse 10 says:

I Corinthians 15:10a

“But by the grace of God I am what I am:…”

This Grace of God permitted God to save him, and pour out His mercy. You remember several programs ago I showed you, I think in Romans 12, how Israel had the branches broken off, and the Gentiles are now placed on the root, and the fatness of Abraham. And then I made the analogy that how many times coming up through human history, if God would have acted without Grace and mercy, if He had acted fair, He would have wiped the human race out, and wiped Israel out. A good example for Israel was when they demanded that Aaron make them a golden calf while Moses was up on Mt. Sinai getting the Ten Commandments. When Moses came down they were dancing in all their lewdness, and practicing all their immorality. What could and should God have done with them? In one thought they would have been gone. But he told Moses in the Book of Exodus Chapter 33:

Exodus 33:19

“And he said, `I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.'”

Why? Because God is Sovereign. He can do whatever He wants to do. So when Israel or mankind reaches the point where He should have just zapped them, and had them off the scene, He retreated into His Sovereignty, and by Grace He poured out mercy. He did the same thing with the Apostle Paul. He could have zapped him on that road to Damascus, and been done with him, but instead God retreats into Sovereignty, and says, “I’ll have compassion on that man because I am God. I don’t have to ask anybody.” So He spared that man and saved him by His Grace. Now completing verse 10:

I Corinthians 15:10a

“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain;…” Saul succumbed immediately to the Grace of God, and what was his response?

Acts 9:5a

“And he said, `Who art thou, Lord?…'” A humble seeking sinner saved by Grace, and now he’s ready to do what God wants him to do, and in the mean time what had God told Ananias there in Damascus? Hey this fellow Saul is coming into town.

Acts 9:13-16

“Then Ananias answered, `Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name,’ But the Lord said unto him, (Ananias) `Go thy way for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.'”

You know how the Apostle Paul suffered. If you don’t think Paul had to suffer then read II Corinthians Chapter 11. Oh, how that man suffered, but he never slowed down in his fervor for getting the Gospel out to pagan Gentiles. Now reading on in verse 10:

I Corinthians 15:10b,11

“…but I laboured more abundantly than they all: (That is all the other apostles before him.) yet not I, (Paul says, `It wasn’t in the flesh that I did all this) but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.”

And that brought them out of their paganism, and again I have to just constantly bring people back to the fact that you don’t become a Christian by going through a certain set of rituals or rules, or procedures. How many denominations, my own included, expect people to go through a set of procedures, and then all of a sudden the Church declares them a Christian. You don’t have anything to worry about now, you’re on your way to glory. No, that’s not the case, because the Scriptures say, “We have to believe the Gospel” Ref. I Corinthians 15:1-4. And then these other things have their rightful place. Absolutely I’m in favor of the local Church, I’m in favor of Sunday School and all of these things, but you do not use those as a substitute for salvation. It has to be by personal faith in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Now verse 12, and here we get into the whole theme of the chapter,“resurrection.” Life after death.

I Corinthians 15:12

“Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?”

In that question I have to think Paul must have run up against the Sadducees in Corinth. Because you remember in Christ’s earthly ministry the Pharisees were religious fanatics. They thought they were the only ones (with their self-righteous robes around them) that were ever going to merit anything with God. But you also had the Sadducees. Now the Sadducees never did believe in resurrection from the dead as they always rejected that. So in verse 12 I have to think there were some Sadducees in Corinth, because Paul is saying, “How say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?” Now verse 13: If that be true, if there is no such thing as resurrection from the dead, and I’m probably talking to many people in the audience who are of that mindset, you may think that this is all there is. You think that when you die you’re like a dog and you’re done, but Paul says:

I Corinthians 15:13,14

“But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”

In other words, everyone who ascribes to some form of Christianity, and if they’re faithful in their Church going, and faithful in their Christian activity, if there is no resurrection from the dead they of all people are the most foolish. They’re wasting their time. Why in the world sit in the pew, and sing the hymns of the faith, and all these things if there’s no resurrection from the dead? And so this is what Paul is using as an argument. There is resurrection from the dead, because Christ arose from the dead. One of the best paper back books I’ve read about the proof of the resurrection of Christ was written by Josh McDowell, and I hope I’ve gotten his name right. Anyway, he had started out as a complete infidel on a college campus, and after he graduated from college he had been having so much fun destroying the faith of college students that he decided that to take it one step further he’d go to Israel and he would dig up all the proof that the resurrection was just a fallacy. But the more he dug the more he proved himself wrong, and he came away from it a born again believer. And then the direction of his life completely changed, if I remember the biography correctly. He has literally spent years now going from college campus to college campus, proving to college kids that Christ literally and physically arose from the grave.

Well, this is what Paul is doing here to the Corinthians. He’s proving to them without a shadow of a doubt that Christ died but He arose from the dead, the very hope of every believer. If He didn’t, we might as well pack up, throw our Bibles away and forget it. But don’t you do it because He did rise from the dead and come out of the grave! We recently got a letter from a lady in one of our television areas, one that we had met when we were traveling. As I read that letter I couldn’t keep back the tears as she said, “Les, next Easter Sunday when I stand with the congregation and sing, `He Lives, I know that He lives,’ that will be the first time in my life that I really mean what I’m singing.” And I’m sure she has been a good church member for years. This is where so many people are. They talk about the resurrection, they sing about it, they have a mental ascent to it, but they have never experienced resurrection power in their own life. And this is what Paul is trying to teach here at the very heart of our Gospel. It isn’t that Christ just died some martyr’s death. He wasn’t just put to death by some angry mob, but in the annals of all eternity God had already set in motion that He would die and would shed His blood. He would pay the sin debt for the whole human race, not just for the believer. I don’t believe in limited atonement, I believe that He paid the sin debt for every human being that has ever lived. But it goes for nothing until the person believes it personally, and then they cash in on it.

I Corinthians 15:15,16

“Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:”

You can’t separate them. You can’t separate the resurrection of Christ from the resurrection of the believer, because they’re tied together. Now for a moment let’s turn to II Timothy, and on the way stop at Ephesians Chapter 1, and let’s start with verse 10. Now here’s one of the little letters that we alluded to previously, that Paul wrote from prison in Rome. In Ephesians he takes us to a higher level of Christian doctrine, or into higher water, however you want to put it. But here in this letter of Ephesians, where there is no more reference to the Old Testament or the Jew, but rather this is higher ground, it’s the Body of Christ territory, and look what he says beginning in verse 10.

Ephesians 1:10,11

“That in the dispensation (administration) of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we (Gentile believers especially) have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:”

Now another verse just came to mind. I had not planned on doing this but let’s come back to Acts Chapter 2, because we’ve got to tie all this together. Now remember what we just read in Ephesians that all those things are going to come together in Christ to fulfill the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel (or the agreement of ideas of His own will). Let’s start with verse 22.

Acts 2:22,23a

“Ye men of Israel, (Peter screams at the crowd at Pentecost) hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, (this same Jesus) being delivered (at the crucifixion) by the determinate counsel (same word) and foreknowledge of God…”

When did that take place? Way back in eternity past. We don’t know how far back it may have been. Maybe billions of years ago, but this counsel of the Godhead determined that someday earth would be created, they would put man on it, man would be given that free will (choice) to respond to God’s love or reject it, and in order to bring it to a consummation Jesus went to that Cross. It was all in fulfillment of that predetermined counsel of the Godhead. Now go to II Timothy, Chapter 1, still tying all these together. Beginning with verse 9.

II Timothy 1:9

“Who (speaking of God in verse 8) hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, (See how that word keeps coming up? It wasn’t according to our works, but according to His own purpose which was what we read about in Acts Chapter 2, and Ephesians Chapter 1) which was given us in Christ Jesus (when?) before the world began,”

That’s mind boggling isn’t it? But this was the eternal purpose of the Creator God that He created everything for His own purpose. And what was His own purpose? That everything would be for His glory, and yet we work into that purpose by being recipients of His Grace, and mercy, and we’re made partakers of it by simple faith in the Gospel. (Ref. I Corinthians 15:1-4). It is past finding out, it is past human understanding, but the Bible teaches it, and we’d better believe it. Now come back to I Corinthians Chapter 15 verse 17. Remember there is a lot of repetition in this chapter and the purpose of repetition is to drive home something that God wants us to know. And so all through this chapter we’re going to see repeated, repeated, and repeated, this whole concept of resurrection from the dead.

I Corinthians 15:17,18

“And if Christ be not raised, (if He stayed in the tomb then) your faith is vain; (it’s all for nothing) ye are yet in your sins. (You’re doomed) Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.”

These believers who had embraced Christianity, had embraced Paul’s Gospel. If Christ hadn’t been raised from the dead then they too are just as doomed as anyone else, because without resurrection power there is no eternal life. It all has to come back to that three-fold of the Gospel that the eternal Creator God Himself took on human flesh and died. He shed His blood, He was buried three days and nights in the grave as proof positive that He was really dead. There are a lot of liberals and modernistic-type preachers that say,” If He was raised from the grave then He really wasn’t dead. He was jut unconscious, and was brought back to life.” There are those that teach that. But our Lord was literally physically dead, and then God raised Him from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures. Now verse 19:

I Corinthians 15:19

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”

Now do you know what he’s saying? The same thing that the world throws at us today. “Why do you give up the good times? Why get out of the fast lane for the sake of being a Christian? Why don’t you live it up? Why don’t you enjoy the flesh? Because after you’re dead, then it’s all over.” And Paul says, “If that’s true then there’s probably merit in what they’re saying.” But that’s not the way it is, because we of all people are not miserable. We have that hope. Let’s turn to Titus Chapter 2. I remember years ago there was a fellow who came out to our little country church up in Iowa, and for the entire week, when the temperature never got above 30 degrees below zero even in the daytime, he taught us from the Book of Titus Chapter 2 and verses 11 through 15. I found out that a while back he went to be with the Lord, and his name was Dr. Norland. He didn’t speak fast but every word was just like a truck load coming out. And much of what I teach, he shared with us that cold, cold, winter week. Now verse 11:

Titus 2:11

“For the Grace of God (Here it is again, you can’t run away from it. Everywhere you go in Paul’s epistles, here comes the grace of God) that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,”

Now that means what it says, and I know a lot of people wonder that without the benefit of radio, television, and the printed page, how did the Gospel cover the then-known world, and that covered primarily the Roman Empire in Paul’s lifetime. Now remember, Paul was out there only about 30 years. And yet he was able to write by inspiration that the then-known world had heard the Gospel. How in the world could that have happened? But you have to take everything in the big picture. Remember, he was under house arrest in Rome with Roman soldiers guarding him 24 hours a day. Well, the Roman army would rotate their soldiers in places of duty. So in those two or three years that he was under house arrest in Rome who knows how many Roman soldiers had duty guarding him. But as these soldiers rotated, they would go throughout the Roman Empire and even into Caesar’s palace. Well, I know one thing, anybody who spent any time at all in Paul’s house became a believer. I’m almost confident of that, so as a result of Paul ministering to his guards, who, in turn, went to serve throughout the Roman Empire, the then-known world had heard the plan of salvation, this Grace of God in verse 11. Now verse 12:

Titus 2:12,13

“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lust, (of course we do, because do not believe in just satisfying the flesh because supposedly tomorrow we die.) we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (And verse 13 is the best part of all as we are) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”

Now that’s our blessed hope. I once asked someone what our blessed hope is, and he said, “When I die to go to heaven.” Now that’s not the blessed hope. That’s a glorious hope, but the blessed hope is “the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;” Why? Because He arose from the dead!

335 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 3 - Book 28 - Resurrection of the Body

335: Resurrection of the Body – Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 28

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 28

RESURRECTION OF THE BODY

As we come into I Corinthians Chapter 15, Paul sort of shifts gears on us, as he does that every once in a while. He’s just come out of the various problems in the local Church and how he had to correct them. But here he shifts gears, and here comes the chapter that is the greatest chapter in all of Scripture dealing with the resurrection. Now we know the Old Testament was very vague, they knew about resurrection, they knew there was a life hereafter. Job spoke of it.

Job 19:25,26

“For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:” Yes, Job knew about resurrection, but for the most part you just don’t find much about in the Old Testament. Jesus spoke of the resurrection in John Chapter 5, and He said:

John 5:28

“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice.:”

Everyone that has ever lived is going to be resurrected, but in all those various portions of Scripture there is not that detailed description of what resurrection is going to entail like Paul describes here in I Corinthians Chapter 15. And so always remember it as the resurrection chapter; this whole chapter deals with this doctrine of resurrection from the dead. Now starting with verse 1:

I Corinthians 15:1

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, (And these Corinthians came out of their paganism because of Paul’s Gospel.) which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;” Now what was Paul’s Gospel? Well in a nutshell we find it in these next 3 verses, and then we’re going to go back and look at some of the other ramifications of it. But in these next 3 verses he says:

I Corinthians 15:2a

“By which also ye are saved,…”

Now I know that a lot of people don’t like that word, but nevertheless it’s a Scriptural term that refers to that act of God that takes us out of darkness and eternal doom in our future, and instead He covers us with His righteousness. He puts our feet upon the Rock, He gives us the Lamp unto our pathway. He puts our name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. He places us in the Body of Christ, and we are constantly now a people with a heavenly citizenship, and we are headed for a glorious eternity. I was sharing with our Tulsa class the other night how few believers, I think, have any concept of the glory that the Body of Christ is going to enjoy in eternity. Now remember, in eternity it’s going to be a whole new ball game. I think the whole universe is going to be brought back to it’s origin. I think everything, heaven, earth, and everything that has ever been created is going to be brought back to a nothingness and recreated more glorious than ever before. Because everything in the universe has been tainted by the old devil himself, and so God is going to create it all new.

Now when we go into that eternal state as members of the Body of Christ (not part of Israel which will enjoy their earthly domain on the new earth), we’re a heavenly people. What does that mean? I think we’re going to rule and reign in this whole new universe that God is going to bring about. I think we’re going to have places of responsibility, and you also want to remember, in that eternal state, there is no time, and distance means nothing. We’ll be able to go from one end of the universe to the other in a split second of time, so don’t let that bother you. We just can’t imagine the glory that is waiting the believer, and the world down here thinks we’re a bunch of kooks. They think that we try to shun some of the pleasures of this world for a few years, but they have no concept of the ratio. What is seventy years to unlimited billions of years, well you can’t even put it into mathematical ratio. So Paul is speaking of that (the Gospel) which prepares us for that kind of eternity when he says:

I Corinthians 15:2

“By which also ye are saved, (but you’ve got to know what you believe, so the next part of the verse says) if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.”

Then here comes the Gospel that saves you, and we’ve stressed it over and over on this program and in our classes. This is the Gospel! Now I don’t have any fault with John 3:16, and I’m not going to tell people not to use that verse. Don’t get me wrong. But listen, John 3:16 doesn’t have this part of the Gospel. You have to use this in conjunction with John 3:16 to make sense, and what is it?

I Corinthians 15:3

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;”

It wasn’t an accident that Christ died for our sins, because God had already planned it back in the eons of pre-eternal existence. He would create mankind, and man would sin, and He would bring about a plan of redemption. It was all in the foreknowledge and council of God according to Peter in Acts Chapter 2, and now verse 4:

I Corinthians 15:4

“And that he was buried, (now we can’t leave that out, because we have to understand that Christ was truly dead. The purpose of the three days was to prove that there was no life left in Him.) and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” Now that is what Paul calls my Gospel, and the Gospel you must believe for your salvation. Now let’s just look at few scriptures all in connection of what he calls the Gospel in I Corinthians Chapter 15. The first one we will look at is in Galatians Chapter 1.

Galatians 1:4

“Who (speaking of Christ in verse 3) gave himself for our sins (How that He died voluntarily of His own volition.) that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:”

At verse 6, this is exactly where so much of Christendom is finding itself again tonight. I don’t claim to be the only one with the truth far from it, but I’ll tell you what, we’re in a pretty small percentage anymore. And here Paul is dealing with a problem even within the Galatian Churches. Corinth was not the only Church with problems.

Galatians 1:6,7

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed (removed away from) from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another, (it’s not something completely different, then we’d recognize it, and know it was a false gospel) but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert (twist it out of shape) the gospel of Christ.”

So Paul says, “You are being moved from the pure Gospel that I proclaimed to you, and you’re listening to people who are twisting it. Oh, they are basically using the same things I preach, but they’re adding to it or taking from it, they’re twisting it, and then it becomes another Gospel.” Now look what Paul puts on those kind of people.

Galatians 1:8,9

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached (speaking of himself and I’m sure he’s including Barnabas, and I’m sure later on, Silas) unto you, let him be accursed.” That’s strong language even for Scripture, but that’s what it says. And to be accursed, hey, that’s beyond human comprehension. That’s to be separated from God forever. Verse 9:

“As we said before, so say I now again, `If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, (from this apostle) let him be accursed.'” Now let’s take another look at what he talking about in Galatians Chapter 2, and look at verse 2.

Galatians 2:2a

“And I went up (to Jerusalem to the Jewish believers ahead of him) by revelation, and communicated unto them (so there was no `ands, ifs, or buts’ about it) that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles,…”

Now that Gospel was unique. Peter and the eleven hadn’t preached Paul’s Gospel, and they certainly hadn’t preached it to Gentiles. I tell people, “You show me in Scripture where Peter ever had a ministry among Gentiles, except Cornelius, and that was a one-time thing, for a one-time purpose.” But Paul here makes it so plain that the Gospel that he preached among the Gentiles was the Gospel that we have adhered to even today. Now coming back to I Corinthians Chapter 15: Paul calls it this Gospel, my Gospel, the Gospel of the Grace of God, the Gospel of God, the Gospel of Grace, the Gospel of Christ, and those are all titles of this three pronged fact. That Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, and that He arose again from the dead the third day. There is no other plan of salvation, there is no other Gospel, there is no other way.

I love to read the letters to the editor in Biblical Archaeology, because you get it from the whole spectrum of intellectual society, at least. And I almost get a kick out of some of them where they are complaining that some of these people preach only an exclusivist Gospel. And I say `Amen, that’s me.’ I’m teaching and proclaiming an exclusivist Gospel because that’s what this Book declares. There is no other Name given among men whereby we must be saved than the name of Jesus, and that’s where it’s at or there is no salvation. Now people are going to an eternal Devil’s hell by the millions. I know that, because they will not come into this exclusivist, narrow way that God has prescribed. And then they say, “Well, God isn’t fair.” Oh no? That’s the problem, He’s too fair! He has made it available, although the way may be narrow, but it’s available to anybody if they will just simply believe it. Now you see if God would put on a whole train-load of requirements, stipulations, rules and requirements then I would agree. Yeah, God isn’t fair, He’s made the way narrow, and He’s made it so hard, no wonder few people find it. But that’s not it, the way is narrow, but the way in is so easy that anybody can find it.

Go into John’s Gospel Chapter 10 where He uses the analogy of the sheepfold and the door. Anyone who enters the sheepfold has to come in by the door, and if he tries to come in any other way then he’s a thief and a robber, and he’s not going to get away with it. I’m always making the analogy, where is the door to the sheep fold? Up on some sheer cliff where you have to have ropes and climbing gear to make it? No. Is it across some roaring river where you have to have some kind of boat or raft to make it? Is it across the ocean where you have to be a millionaire and buy a ticket? No. The plan of salvation, the door, is on ground level, and it’s in front of every human being, and all they have to do is believe it and enter in. Oh, it’s narrow, but the way in is so simple, and here’s where the world is missing it, they cannot believe that you can have eternal salvation, the hope of all that glory by doing nothing, but that’s what God demands. And that’s what we learned in the Book of Romans. Abraham did nothing, and yet he was justified, and it’s the same way with us. Paul goes on to say in verse 5, and remember this is the resurrection chapter, and he’s speaking of the fact that He rose from the dead, and as proof of it:

I Corinthians 15:5-8

“And that he was seen of Cephas, (Peter) then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren (The Jewish believers in the area of Jerusalem) at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, (as near as we can determine he wrote this letter about 59 A.D. That would make it about 31 years later, so most were still alive that had seen the resurrected Christ) but some are fallen asleep. (or had died) After that, (event) he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. (Now verse 8, and here we have a choice bit of Scripture) And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of (before the) due time.”

When you speak of the due time, what are you talking about? Now I’m a rancher, and we watch the due dates of our mama cows, and hopefully we can be aware of when they are about to deliver their baby calves, the due date. That’s one of the miracles of God’s creation as everything is on His time table, and if you know the day of conception then you can almost tell within 48 hours the day of delivery. Paul is using that as an illustration, that he experienced His resurrection power and seeing the Lord in resurrection, as Paul, a Jew who was born before the due date. Paul was speaking of the delivery of the offspring. For you to understand that you must understand there is coming a day when the Nation of Israel will be born all the same day. Israel could have experienced this new birth at the time of Christ’s first coming, as He presented Himself as the King of Israel. He performed all those signs to prove to the nation Who He was, so Israel could have experienced that national spiritual birth, but they rejected it.

So now God’s time table puts the spiritual birth of that Nation clear to the end of the Tribulation. We teach that it will be at the second coming of Christ. But here we find Paul, already saved 2000 years earlier, and so what does he say? “I’m like a preemie, I have been delivered prematurely.” Now it’s a stretch of the imagination when we go 2000 years, and I know that, but nevertheless the whole concept that he’s teaching here is, that as he was saved in a moment on that road to Damascus miraculously, so also the nation of Israel will yet be saved in a moment also. Oh, not the 100% but the remnant of Israel, so this is what Paul is referring to, “that he was one born before the due date of the salvation of the Nation of Israel.” And they, too, will some day experience that resurrection power, they will still see their resurrected Lord, and Messiah, and King coming in the clouds of glory, and at that time will believe in a moment. Now going on in verse 9:

I Corinthians 15:9

“For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet (not prepared) to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church (the assembly) of God.”

Now who is Paul referring to? Those Jewish believers back there in the the Book of Acts. Let me show you what he’s talking about, because it never got off the man’s mind, and of course I can see why. Let’s turn to Acts Chapter 26, and never forget that Saul of Tarsus who became Paul, was a religious zealot, a fanatic if there ever was one, when he was still Saul, and it was all for Judaism. Now here comes Jesus of Nazareth, and He’s making inroads into Judaism, and so for a religious fanatic what does that mean? He’s got to be stamped out, because He’s ruining our culture, and He’s ruining our religion, so Saul of Tarsus takes the lead in persecuting these Jewish believers who had recognized Christ as their Messiah. And he did everything that he could to stamp them out, but that’s nothing new, because we know the Communists tried to do it also for seventy years. They wanted to stamp out the opposition. We know that Hitler also did it, and every other totalitarian leader will do the same thing. Just get rid of the opposition by putting them to death, and hopefully what you have left are the pure followers. Now look what Paul says in Acts Chapter 26.

Acts 26:9,10

“I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. (That is during His earthly ministry of course.) Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints (Jewish believers who had followed Christ in His earthly ministry) did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.”

Some believe the Jews didn’t have the authority to put people to death in the Roman Empire, but I think they did, because it says so. They had that authority in the confines of their religion to put their own people to death, and they must have put a bunch of them out of the way. And Saul of Tarsus was at the head of it. No wonder he could never get it off his mind. Saul would always vote to put them to death when these believing Jews were brought before the religious leaders.

Acts 26:11

“And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; (That’s been the ploy of persecutors down through the ages. They force people to make a choice by blaspheming Jesus Christ, by reneging on Him, they had to recant their faith in Him, or be put to death. And when Saul found out that the One he was persecuting was the One Who really was his Old Testament Jehovah, it just beat him down, and he never could quite get over it. Well there are many more accounts of how he sorrowed for the day that he had so persecuted these Jewish believers.) and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.” (Now back to I Corinthians Chapter 15. So he says:)

I Corinthians 15:9,10a

“For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church (assembly) of God. (Now verse 10, and what’s the first word?) But (I love that little three letter word, and there’s nothing I like more than when people call, and tell me about the flip side. And that word “but” invariably means “The flip side.” Here he had been the chief persecutor against those who had followed Jesus,) “But by the grace of God I am what I am:”

There is another one that I think of when I see that word “But” in the Book of Ephesians Chapter 2, and this is another great “But.” Another great flip side, and oh, I at least want you to know where to find them. And let’s begin in verse 1. My, how this just speaks to hearts, and here Paul is writing to Gentile believers in the city of Ephesus. Believers who were quite a bit above and beyond the carnal believer in Corinth. He never finds real fault with the Ephesian believers. So he says:

Ephesians 2:1-4

“And you hath he quickened, (Or made alive) who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (They were followers after the god of this world, Satan.) Among whom also we all had our conversation (or manner of living. Everyone of us, even the best of us) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. BUT God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us.”

334 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 2 - Book 28 - 1 Corinthians 14:4 - 15:19 - Part 2

334: 1 Corinthians 14:4 – 15:19 – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 28

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 28

I CORINTHIANS 14:4 – 15:19 – PART 2

Now let’s just jump right into where we left off in the last lesson and that would be verse 14, and here Paul is admonishing the Corinthians to take stock of what they were doing, and realize that all that glitters isn’t gold. And that’s all I’m saying, because I’m not condemning the folk who claim to have spoken in tongues, or I won’t look down my nose at them, but all that I do ask everyone in the spirit of Chapter 13, the love chapter, is to analyze this whole thing in the light of what God wants, not what men want. You know we’re living in that era of instant gratification regardless of what area of our life we may be looking at. But listen, we have to line everything up with the Word of God or we’re on thin ice. And that’s all I try to do. I don’t try to browbeat people into everything the way I see it. You can disagree with me on things and that’s fine, but on the other hand I think it’s my responsibility, since the Lord has given me this avenue of teaching, that we show what the Word says. Now verse 14, and to me this is so plain, where Paul, now speaking in the first person says:

I Corinthians 14:14

“For if I pray in an unknown tongue, (there’s that singular again, that sound that can’t be reduced to a phonetic sound or to writing) my spirit ( small “s”- his own personality) prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.”

How much plainer can you get? Even for the individual, what good does it do, Paul says, to speak in a language that you don’t know what you’re talking about, and I know their answer, “Well, God does.” But the Book doesn’t say that He does. We know that God being Omnipotent, He certainly can if He wants to, but there is nothing in here that indicates that this is what God expects people to do.

I Corinthians 14:15

“What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, (Paul is saying, `I will pray from my innermost being. His own spirit – small `s’) and I will pray with the understanding (Now how many of you would talk to God in prayer, whether it be in thanksgiving or supplication, or whatever thing you might have on your mind – what good would it do to talk to God in some language that you don’t know what you’re saying? Even if God is able to discern it, what if you can’t? You don’t know what you’re asking for, and this is what Paul is pointing out. Whatever you do while communicating with God, do it in understanding.) also: I will sing with the spirit, (I know that sometimes we’re too laid back. I know from Scripture that there were times when people sang and danced before the Lord, and there’s nothing wrong with singing, or an exuberance in our Christian Spirit, absolutely nothing, but again, it has to be tempered with common sense.) and I will sing with the understanding also.”

I Corinthians 14:16

“Else when thou shalt bless (That is the food) with the spirit, (small “s” – your being) how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say `A-men’ at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?

In other words, you’re asking the blessing over a table around where many people are sitting, and if you supposedly pray in an unknown tongue how will the people around the table know when you’re finished? Verse 17:

I Corinthians 14:17,18

“For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. (and then in verse 18 Paul makes a graphic statement) I thank my God, I speak with tongues (Plural – Languages) more than ye all:”

Now for years I’ve said this is what Paul is driving at, and now some of the great scholars are beginning to write it in their books. What’s Paul saying? That when he went into some of these various areas and different tribes and dialects, and different languages, could he communicate? Yes. He had that special gift, Christianity was just getting off the ground, and he had this gift to speak whatever language was necessary. So here in verse 18 Paul is speaking of languages with which he could communicate the Gospel. Now verse 19:

I Corinthians 14:19,20

“Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice (And that’s not a very nice word) be ye children, but in understanding (grow up and) be men.” Do you see how plain all of this is? Now verse 21:

I Corinthians 14:21

“In the law it is written, `With men of other tongues (Languages) and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.'”

Here Paul is quoting from the Book of Deuteronomy, and we’re going to go back and look at it in Chapter 28: And naturally this is directed to the Children of Israel.

Deuteronomy 28:49

“The LORD shall bring a nation (of foreign people) against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand:”

Now here the tongue refers to their language. Whether it was the Babylonians that He was referring to or some other nation, there would come a time in Israel’s history that a foreign nation would over-run them, invade them, and the Jews would have to listen to them talking in their language as they were being occupied. Do you see that? Now it wasn’t an unknown tongue, but it was a language that the Jews wouldn’t be able to understand. It was a warning, “Listen, you’re going to have people in your midst that you’re not going to like to have around, you’re not going to be able to understand what they say, they’re going to be foreigners.” And so this is exactly what Paul is referring to now in I Corinthians when he says in verse 21 again:

I Corinthians 14:21,22

“In the law it is written, `With men of other tongues (or other languages) and other lips will I speak unto this people; (by occupying them) and yet for all that will they not hear me,’ saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues (This ability to speak in languages) are for a sign,…”

To the Jew, and we find that in I Corinthians Chapter 1, and verse 22, and again, all we’re going by is what the Book says.

I Corinthians 1:22

“For the Jews require a sign,…”

Now stop and think, how long has Israel been demanding signs? Well, it goes all the way back to when Moses was first called out of the desert, and even Moses the Jew did not believe that he was supposed to do what God wanted him to do. And so how did God prove it to him? He said, “Throw your shepherd rod on the ground.” And you all know the account, and what happened? It became a serpent. Then the Lord said, “Pick it up,” and it became a shepherd’s rod again. What was God trying to show Moses? That He is in it. He is going to take him back to Pharaoh. And then Moses said, “Yeah, but when I get to Pharaoh he’s not going to believe that I’m supposed to lead the children of Israel out.” And what does God tell Moses and Aaron? The same thing: “You throw your rod down and it will become a serpent,” and all these signs were not so much for Pharaoh’s benefit, but rather for Moses’ and Aaron’s. To prove to those two men that God was going to do the supernatural. He’s going to bring Israel out of Egypt. So all the way up through Israel’s history you have the supernatural, and you come into Christ’s earthly ministry, and I’ve taught it and I’ve taught it until I’m blue in the face. Why did Jesus perform miracle, after miracle? To prove to the Jew that He was Who He said He was. It was signs. And remember when we taught the Book of John there were seven miraculous signs, and every one of them had a whole train-load of truths for the Nation of Israel. They didn’t mean that much to the Gentiles, but they meant everything to the Jew. And now Paul comes in even as he writes to a Gentile congregation and says:

I Corinthians 1:22,23a

“For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom; (Now look at the flip side in verse 23) But we preach Christ crucified,…”

Do you see the difference? Now let’s come back to Chapter 14, and again he comes back with that same concept that tongues, the ability to speak all the languages such as he had, were for a sign.

I Corinthians 14:22a

“Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but (the flip side) prophesying (being able to speak forth the Word before they had the New Testament)…”

So signs and all this is not going to accomplish all that much, but what will? Preaching the Word! This is what people need to hear today, people have to hear the Gospel (Ref. I Corinthians 15:1-4). They have to hear the plan of salvation, they don’t have to see some kind of miracle, and I’m not condemning these people that can prove some miraculous manifestation. But they’ve got to prove it before I believe it. If they can prove it, then I’ll say, “Yes, I know we have a God Who can perform miracles.” I know God can heal miraculously, and I do not deny that. Now finishing verse 22:

I Corinthians 14:22b

“…prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.”

Now what’s Paul talking about? To bring them growth in their Christian experience. To bring them so they wouldn’t be blown about with every wind of doctrine. Well let’s just sort of skim through these next few verses, and then I’ve got to deal with another hot potato in this day and time: “What about the women’s activity in the local Church?” Well, we’ll come to that in a few minutes, but before we get there let’s skim verses 23 through 33.

I Corinthians 14:23

“If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, (languages) and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?”

Do you know what the Greek root word for mad in the King James is? Maniac. That’s where the word maniac came from. He says, “They’ll come in off the street, look at you, and will say you’re a bunch of maniacs, you’re mad.” Now verse 24.

I Corinthians 14:24-26

“But if all prophesy, (or speak forth the Word) and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: (Because he’s hearing the Word of God, see the difference?) And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. (if he can hear the Word) How is then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. (now if you had all that at once you’d have confusion) Let all things be done unto edifying.” If you’re wondering what he’s driving at, verse 40 puts the cap on it.

I Corinthians 14:40

“Let all things be done decently and in order.” That’s what the Book says, it’s not what I’m saying. The Book says, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” Now let’s come all the way up to verse 34.

I Corinthians 14:34a

“Let your women keep silence in the churches:…”

Now here is where the women have come down on the Apostle Paul. They say he was anti-feminist, he didn’t want to give women credit for anything. Here again, I’m going to have to explain in detail why the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to write the things concerning women in these coming verses that he did, and there is a reason for it. I’ve already alluded to it in previous lessons. Corinth was a wicked, wicked city, gross immorality like what I hear even the internet is coming close to now. From that temple up there on that bluff, every night a thousand of those priestesses from the temple came down into the streets of Corinth practicing prostitution. So this was something that had to be dealt with every day of this little Church’s existence. And so what is Paul going to lay upon the congregation of believers? Don’t do anything that even resembles being like one of those prostitutes. Now do you see that? And so when he comes in he says, “Now ladies, watch your languages and your speaking, and your behavior, because if you do anything that resembles those brazen, talkative prostitutes then the world is going to get the wrong impression. Are you following me? So anything that would make someone say, “Well, they’re no different than those prostitutes.” Paul says, “Then you have to be careful.”

Now like I’ve said, the prostitutes were completely in a class of their own, and do you know even today in the Middle East if a lady is veiled, she can go anywhere, any street in the Middle East without fear. No one dare touch a veiled women. Now we can’t understand that, but that’s their culture. But let her take her veil off, and she becomes the object of almost anything they want to do to her. And so Paul is using all this as an example that these prostitutes were so brazen in their dress, in their behavior, in their talkativeness, and in light of that he says, “Don’t you women be anything like one of those women of the streets. Consequently be subdued, be subservient to your husband, and don’t be like they are.” Now reading on in verse 34.

I Corinthians 14:34

“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.”

I had to point out to someone here the other day, you have to remember that under the law, even under God’s law to Israel, the woman had almost no rights. It was unfortunate, but God had His reason for doing it, and I’ve said it over and over on this program that the greatest liberty for the feminine portion of the human race was Christianity. Christianity brought women out of that place of being downtrodden, not permitted to be educated, not permitted to read. But Christianity brought the women up on almost an equal level with men. But what have present day women done with that? They’ve abused it, and anytime you abuse something then it begins to backfire. So Paul is still writing here in light of the culture and the day and time in which he writes, so he says, “Women be subdued, don’t be talkative, don’t be the one to take authority in the local Church.”

I Corinthians 14:35

“And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home:…”

Why? In order again to keep that mood of subservience. Not slavery, but recognizing that the husband was the head of the house, and that goes all the way back of course to the Garden of Eden. That’s where it all began, and it was prompted with Eve eating of the fruit first. Let’s go back and look at it in Genesis Chapter 3, and we’ll begin in verse 16. Now this is after Adam and Eve have eaten, this is after sin has entered, and God has already dealt with old Satan.

Genesis 3:16a

“Unto the woman he said, `I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children;…'”

When I teach on the millennium, I scare women half to death, as I say you want to remember that in the thousand-year-reign with Christ the curse will be lifted, and childbearing will no longer be part of the curse as it was here. You see the travail, and the pain and suffering that women go through today is a direct result of the curse. And that’s not the way God intended it to be. And so when the curse is lifted, child-bearing is going to be an exhilarating experience beyond even what it is today. But because of the curse look what God did.

Genesis 3:16b

“…in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

That’s the way God commanded it to be, that’s the way He ordained it, and so all the way up through the Old Testament, yes, the woman was, to our way of thinking, almost overly subdued. But this is still part of Paul’s thinking as he deals with the Corinthian Church. The women were to recognize the fact that the man was still the head of the family, he was still the head of the woman, and that she was to be subdued under those services in the Church. Back to I Corinthians.

I Corinthians 14:36,37

“What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are (What?) the commandments of the Lord.”

Now I’m sure Paul at this point in time had not recognized, or understood that his letters would become part of Scripture, and that you and I would be studying it 2000 years later. But he did know that what he wrote to this little congregation in Corinth was inspired by the Holy Spirit as he wrote it. So this wasn’t just man’s idea, this is the Word of God, and this is what he’s saying. Now reading on in verse 38.

I Corinthians 14:38-40

“But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. (That’s a matter of choice. If you want to know what the Word say, you read it, you study it, you’ll learn.) Wherefore, brethren, covet(or desire) to prophesy, (to speak forth the Word) and forbid not to speak with tongues. (nor will I because of this verse) Let all things be done decently and in order.”

Because then you see then it brings honor and glory to the God Whom we claim to worship. But how many people are taking these things out of context and they’re forgetting that the primary purpose of all that we do is to bring honor and glory to God.

333 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 1 - Book 28 - 1 Corinthians 14:4 - 15:19

333: 1 Corinthians 14:4 – 15:19 – Lesson 3 – Part 1 – Book 28

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 28

1 Corinthians 14:4 – 15:19

Now let’s open our Bibles to I Corinthians Chapter 14. And again, before I start teaching I would like to get into the background, because I’m finding out there are very few people who know the circumstances that surround a particular Book or Letter, so we should always know the circumstances, and that makes all the difference in understanding. Remember that Paul is writing to these weak, carnal, fleshly, believers that have just come out of abject immorality in Corinth. He’s writing to correct them because they had so many problems. So the whole theme of I Corinthians is to correct problems, and this whole letter has to be studied in that light.

Also remember the reason, I think, the Holy Spirit prompted Paul to write the love chapter, which is Chapter 13, and to sandwich it in between 12 and 14, which are filled with problems. Chapter 13 was to soften his approach in order to prepare the ground. Because Paul realizes, as well as anybody, that the only way that you can bring people around to the truth is in the spirit of love, you don’t slap them in the face with anger, or ridicule, and put them down as some kind of dummy, but in the spirit of love bring them around to the truth. So as we pick up our study in Chapter 14 don’t lose sight of what he wrote in the love chapter. Remember love is still the greatest of all the things so far as God’s dealing with mankind is concerned. Verse 1:

I Corinthians 14:1

“Follow after charity, (love) and desire spiritual gifts, (gifts is italicized, and personally I like to use the word `things’ instead of gifts) but rather that ye may prophesy.”

Remember the greatest spiritual thing at this time was to prophesy or to speak forth the Word of God, because at the time that Paul is writing to these early Churches there is still no New Testament written. The Four Gospels haven’t been written and won’t be written until many years after Paul’s letters. His own letters have not gone out as the Word of God as yet. He certainly hasn’t written to the Corinthian Church before, so you have to realize that these early primitive, apostolic Churches were experiencing their growth and reaching out into the pagan world without benefit of the written Word. Where would we be today if we didn’t have the Book. I mean this is all that we have to go on, but they didn’t have that so what did they have to depend on? Gifted men. And they had to be gifted to the point that they they could now teach people the Pauline doctrines, and not that which was still coming out of the Old Testament, or there would have been pandemonium. So Paul realizes through the Holy Spirit that this was the most important thing a local Church could have, and that was men who could proclaim the truth of God’s Word without benefit of having it in print. Now does that help? Paul said in Chapter 13 and verse 10 that the time would come when that gift would fade away. And it is no longer a valid gift, because now we have the printed page. Now of course to be a pastor or teacher it’s still a gift, and it’s delineated as such. But once the printed Scriptures came into being, Paul’s letters come into the right format. Then we got the Four Gospels, and Book of Acts, and so forth, and our New Testament is complete, and now there is no need for that kind of gifted men.

I had an interesting phone call the other day, and ordinarily I wouldn’t share something like this with you, but I imagine that if the gentlemen hears it it may get his attention. And that phone call reminded me of gifted men who didn’t have the Word of God, and he was such a kind, benevolent type or I would have hung up on him sooner than I did. At first I didn’t get what he was driving at, but finally he came out and in so many words said, “Les, you’re just like everybody else, you are teaching men’s words, and I wish I could sit down with you and teach you what God has said.” Well, the bells began to ring, and the red flag started to fly, and I said, “Wait a minute, what are you trying to tell me? That you are the only one who has received the revelation of the true Word of God?” He replied, “Yeah.” I said, “I’m sorry, but this conversation is ended,” and I hung up on him.

I had a note in the mail from him yesterday, and he couldn’t figure out why I hung up. I didn’t fly off the handle I just said, “You’re way out in left field, why do you think I have the camera constantly putting the Scriptures on the screen!” I said that’s the Word of God, not what someone like you has supposedly received, and this is what I’m constantly trying to drive into peoples’ thinking – that it doesn’t matter what I say or think, but rather what does the Book say? This is why I prefer the Word of God on the screen rather than myself, and we have to understand that, yes, in the early Church it did take men with that kind of a gift, but today we have the Word of God. And the Word is in such a format that anyone can understand it, and it can feed a hungry heart. So when Paul speaks of this gift of prophecy it was under a whole different set of circumstances than what we’ve got today.

I Corinthians 14:2a

“For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue…”

And we defined all that in our last lesson, and when you see the word “tongue” in these two chapters, 12 and 14, in the singular, and with the added word unknown italicized by the translators, it’s talking about a bunch of sounds that cannot be reduced to print. They are not phonetic, there is no way anyone can write them down, it’s just a bunch of noise. And Paul is going to make this so evident later through this chapter. But when you see the word “tongues” plural, then he’s talking about languages. And even in the city of Corinth there were probably five or six languages being used constantly. There was Latin, Greek, Spanish, Hebrew, and Aramaic, so those languages made up the city of Corinth, and it all enters into the picture of these Chapters 12 and 14. Now here he’s speaking of the tongues movement, it’s an unknown language that no one can print, so this is why the translators call it an unknown tongue. Continuing on in verse 2:

I Corinthians 14:2

“For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: (God is the only One who can make anything out of it if it were possible.) for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit (small “s” so that’s man’s spirit) he speaketh mysteries,”

And I mentioned this in the last letters about some of the pagan religions and their mysteries. And so Paul is saying here what they’re doing is using their own make-up or personality, and they are speaking things that to anybody else is nothing but a mystery. Now verse 3:

I Corinthians 14:3,4

“But (the flip side) he that prophesieth (or speaketh forth the Word as a gifted individual) speaketh unto men to edification, (lift them up) and exhortation, and comfort.” Now verse 4, and I’m not going to make a lot of comment, because the Book speaks for itself.

“He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth (and speaks forth the Word of God) edifieth the church.”

When someone claims to have had a tongues experience, according to the Book, who are they edifying? Themselves. It’s an ego trip, and that’s what it amounts to. Now reading on in verse 5.

I Corinthians 14:5

“I would that ye all spake with tongues, (That’s plural, which means languages. Paul is saying it would be nice if you could just go up into northern Greece, or other countries and speak the dialects that those people do. Today I’d say the same thing, and those of you who have kids out on the mission field know what I’m talking about. My, wouldn’t it have been great if your son or daughter could have gone to the mission field, and picked up the language the next day? But instead they had to go to language school to learn the language before they went to the field. So Paul knew what he was talking about. He said, “It would be great if you all spoke several languages.”) but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.”

Let’s take that little congregation in Corinth, and let’s say that most of them were able to understand Greek. Now there were probably some even in Corinth that couldn’t understand Greek, all they could understand maybe was Hebrew or Aramaic. Paul says, “Now it would be great if you could come into this congregation and be able to teach and preach in a language that they could all understand.” My, what a great gift that would be, because that’s what people needed, they had to hear the Word, because they couldn’t go home and read it.

I Corinthians 14:6

“Now. brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, (these different languages) what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?”

Those are the things that count. People even today need doctrine as very few professing believers today have a good solid understanding of doctrine. I’ve learned over the years that most Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, or just about any other denomination don’t really know what they believe. And if you doubt that, just ask people what they really believe, and most of them can’t tell you much. I say that sincerely, and this is what Paul is saying. Even the Corinthians were so weak in the fundamentals, but oh, they were emotional, they had a lot of enthusiasm, but that in itself is not enough. So Paul says:

I Corinthians 14:6b,7

“…except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine.” What’s the profit? Now verse 7.

“And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

What is the Apostle Paul is saying here? Unless somebody picks up an instrument that knows how to play, knows how to bring out the right tone at the right time within the score, what do you have? A bunch of noise. In fact I’ve been to a few concerts in my life, and especially if you go to a concert of a symphony orchestra, and before they lift the curtain what are those musicians doing back there? They’re tuning their instruments at the same time and it’s just a bunch of noise, there’s no melody, or harmony, or anything worth listening to, you can’t hardly wait till the curtain goes up and you can hear some real music. Well here, Paul is saying the same thing. Look at it again:

I Corinthians 14:7

And even things without life giving sound, (Musical instruments, when they’re giving sound) whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, (The right note at the right place) how shall it be known what is piped or harped?”

How can you make a melody? How would you know what song they’re playing? Well, you don’t. Now verse 8, and Paul is using simple illustrations, and I really don’t have to comment on them.

I Corinthians 14:8

“For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”

Now you want to remember that the Romans used the trumpet for battle commands much like you have seen in the movies and like our American Calvary did with their riders and so forth. They had a particular trumpet sound for each command, and every soldier knew what it was. And it was the same way in the Roman army, when the trumpet was sounded they would know whether to retreat, attack, or whatever. And Paul is using that analogy here. Now what if the trumpeter didn’t know his command? What if he was just blaring out a bunch of sounds, what would the poor troops do? They would just be looking at each other wondering what they were supposed to do. It would cause confusion. Now verse 9:

I Corinthians 14:9

“So likewise ye, (see how plain this is?) except ye utter by the tongue (this organ in your mouth) words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.”

Common sense? Yeah. In fact I’ve even given this illustration before: I remember years ago I was reading a book by one of the deep, deep theologians of that time, and I would just have to go back and read it over and over. I mean, it was just so hard to dig any of the truth out of it, because it was written in such complicated language. So one morning while Iris was fixing breakfast, and I was sitting at the table, and I had just read a paragraph to her, I said, “Honey, do you know anything that the guy is saying?” And she said, “No, what’s he saying?” Well, I just spit it back out into plain, ordinary laymen’s language, and then she said, “Oh, is that what he said?”

And this is what has happened across the whole spectrum. We’ve got men that are such theologians that they talk above the heads of the average individuals. And you know what I’m talking about. You pray with me that every time I teach that I can take these same truths and keep it so simple that a six-year-old can understand it. And this is what Paul is saying, what good does it do to come in with high-sounding intellectual statements if people don’t know what you’re talking about. The Word of God is simple, I explained just yesterday the Gospel (Ref. I Corinthians 15:1-4) to a man I’m sure had never heard it before. I put it in such simple language that I know he went down my driveway with no doubt what it would take to gain heaven. I don’t know whether he will or not, but I tell you what, he’s going to stand responsible someday, because I laid it out as plain and simple as it can be laid out. And this gentleman just stood there and said, “I’ve never heard that before.” Of course not, most people haven’t. Now verse 10:

I Corinthians 14:10

There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.”

Do you know what Paul is talking about here? You go out even into the animal kingdom and what are sciences learning more and more everyday? That even the animals communicate one with another. Those of you who are quail hunters know if you flush out a covey, the first thing you hear is they start whistling. Iris and I were out fishing a while back, and our dog scared up a wild turkey, and she flew right over where we were fishing, and after a while we could hear her start to cluck, and her little ones who were back in the woods started to answer. What were they doing? Communicating. And those sounds weren’t jibberish, those little turkeys knew exactly what momma was saying, and momma knew exactly what they were saying. And we’ve found that throughout the whole spectrum of the wild animal kingdom that they communicate. The same is true with sea creatures, they all communicate. Men, whatever the background, whether we’re European, or Asiatic, we all communicate and this is what Paul is saying, and that’s why God gave us that ability to communicate.

I Corinthians 14:11

“Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, (If I don’t know what someone is saying) I shall be unto him that speaketh (like) a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.”

What’s he talking about? He can’t understand, and if that be the case what purpose is there in making a sound if it isn’t going to communicate. So how much understanding will come between a barbarian, an uncivilized person, and a cultured man like Paul? Nothing!

I Corinthians 14:12

“Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying (or promoting, or the lifting up) of the church.” Not just one person or two, but the whole congregation.

I Corinthians 14:13

“Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue (here’s that singular again) pray that he may interpret.” I know that to most of our tongues people, (and I’m not condemning them, because the last verse of this chapter says that he doesn’t forbid it), unless this sound can be reduced to something understandable, you’re beating the air. That’s what this chapter is pointing out. Verse 13 again:

I Corinthians 14:13

“Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.”

And for what purpose? To communicate. Otherwise it’s just so much lost energy, and time. And we’re going to see in our next lesson that it had gotten to the place even in Corinth where it was just causing commotion in the local congregation, and no one was being edified by it. So the whole purpose of this chapter is in the spirit of love to bring these people to a solid understanding.

332 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 4 - Book 28 - 1 Corinthians 12:1 - 14:3 - Part 2

332: 1 Corinthians 12:1 – 14:3 – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 28

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 28

I CORINTHIANS 12:1 – 14:3 – PART 2

As we continue in I Corinthians Chapter 12, Paul has been explaining that the Body of Christ, that invisible make-up of all believers from wherever they are on the planet, and of whatever background, every true child of God becomes a member then of that Body of Christ. And that is a revelation that was given only to the Apostle Paul, because you do not see the Body of Christ taught until Paul comes and shares the revelations that he got from the ascended Lord. And that is what we’ll be emphasizing in Chapter 15; a chapter about the resurrection. You see the resurrection of Christ was at the core of all of Paul’s preaching.

But here Paul has been addressing problems because the Church was still so carnal, they had not grown spiritually. Now it’s interesting that of all the things he has dealt with in Corinthians from Chapter 1, where they had divisions of whom they were following, and going to court against each other, and the problem of immorality in the Church, he also had to deal with the tongues phenomenon, which it had also become a problem. He does not address it as some aspect of their spirituality, because it had become a problem. It had upset the function of the local Church, and they were causing disorder, and he has to address it. So all these things had been in answer to questions that they had written to Paul requesting some answers. Tongues were unique in the Corinthian Church, and this is what I can’t get over in my own study, as we never see again in any of his other churches tongues even mentioned. We only find tongues at this carnal Church at Corinth, and that should tell us something.

But for now let’s get back to where we left off, and here Paul is dealing with the Body of Christ which is composed of people who have been baptized by the Holy Spirit. Now that Holy Spirit baptism is not an emotional phenomenon, or a physical thing, because you or I never felt a thing, or didn’t know anything had happened when the Holy Spirit baptized us into the Body. We know it happened only because the Book says so, and that’s the only way we know that we were placed into the Body of Christ, and we have to leave it at that. We don’t try to look for some emotional thing or feeling. I’ve told people so often that word feeling is not used in the Scriptures. We take these things by faith, and not by feeling. Now let’s look at verse 23:

I Corinthians 12:23

“And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, (remember in the last lesson I used the little toe as an example. It’s very seldom seen, and we probably think it’s totally useless until you lose it, because if you lose your little toe it inhibits walking, and balance. It may be the place of less honor, but it is still important, so also are the less noticed, and less honored members of the Body of Christ.) upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.” In other words, that’s just the way that God works. He takes the foolish things of this world and confounds the wise. He says in another place in I Corinthians that He took the things that are not, to confound the things that are, and it’s basically on this same premise.

I Corinthians 1:27

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;” Now let’s look at verse 24:

I Corinthians 12:24

“For our comely parts (the best part of our appearance) have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:”

Isn’t that amazing? As I was studying this I couldn’t help but think of parents who have had a retarded child, maybe even the Down Syndrome child. We’ve talked to several who have had this kind of child and even though they had several children, the Down Syndrome child was always the most responsive. That was the child that they poured their love to in such a very special way, and every parent that has one will tell you that same thing. They are the most lovable, and the most easy to love of all children. Well I think Paul is saying the same thing here, we take the weakest believer, the one that the world would think, “Well, the Church certainly can’t use that person.” But that’s the very one that God wants us to enhance, and to bring them to the forefront. Now verse 25, all of these things are for one purpose.

I Corinthians 12:25,26

“That there should be no schism (or division) in the body; (That is the Body of Christ) but that the members should have the same care one for another.” In other words, every believer in God’s eyes deserves the same amount of love and compassion as the next one. Verse 26:

“And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it;…

And again he’s going to use the analogy of the human body and what is it? You hit your thumb with a hammer, and the whole body is shot with pain. It’s the same way with the Body of Christ, if a believer is hurt, then the whole Body hurts with it. Now verse 27.

I Corinthians 12:27

“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”

As an individual, we don’t just come into the Body of Christ as a number, but every one of us is an individual in God’s sight, whom He knows. And He knows our every need, and He knows our every heartache and joy. So many times Christians pray, and we think, “Oh it’s just another sound to God.” No it’s not! It’s just as if you are the only one in the throne room with Him, and that’s the kind of God we serve. Now verse 28, and again here’s the list that he has in Corinthians compared with the one we saw in the Book of Ephesians.

I Corinthians 12:28-31

“And God hath set some in the church, (that is the local Church) first apostles, (we know they went off the scene) secondarily prophets, (we know that has left, because we now have the printed Word) thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, (or administrations) diversities (the ability to speak more then one language, and that’s what the word tongues in the plural always implies; it was known languages, and they were able to communicate the Gospel to those of a different language.) of tongues.”

“Are all apostles? (of course not, the Church would get lopsided.) Are all prophets? (No) are all teachers? (No) are all workers of miracles? (Of course not) Have all the gifts of healing? (No) do all speak with tongues? (absolutely not) do all interpret? (No) But covet (or desire) earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”

And that’s why I taught Chapter 13 first, because all of this, even to be an apostle, even to be a gifted man, at especially in the Church at Corinth, if they didn’t exhibit the love of God in what they were doing, then they were better off staying at home. Just don’t even do it, if you can’t do it in that attitude of love. Now since we’ve covered Chapter 13, let’s go right on over to Chapter 14.

I Corinthians 14:1

“Follow after charity, (love) and desire spiritual gifts, (don’t request them specifically; ask the Lord to use you) but rather that ye may prophesy.”

Now remember the word `prophesy’ is not being able to tell the future as we think of Daniel or Isaiah, but to simply speak the Word of God. Share the Word, that’s what it is to prophesy, and that’s what every believer should desire. “Lord give me that ability to just share your Word with people, whether it’s believers who need to be taught, or the unbeliever who is still out there in darkness, Lord give us that opportunity to speak forth the Word. “ Now verse 2 which reads:

I Corinthians 14:2

“For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue (Now watch the language here because the word “unknown” is italicized. So it’s been added by the translators, because even way back at the time of the King James translators, they really didn’t know how to handle this word tongue in the singular, because, like I explained in an earlier lesson, this denoted a sound that had no phonetics to it. It could not be reduced to writings, it was just a guttural sound , and had no pronunciation.) speaketh not unto men, but unto God: (because only God could understand it) for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit (Now it’s a small s so it’s not the Holy Spirit, but in his mind and his own thinking processes) he speaketh mysteries.”

Those things are beyond the ordinary human comprehension. Now before we go any further, come back to what we just read: that the person speaking in this so-called “unknown”tongue, or in this unwritten tongue, was speaking to God. Let’s go back to the three times in Scripture when the Holy Spirit delegated this miracle of speaking in tongues to men, and there are only three times. The first is in Acts Chapter 2, and here is our first example of the gift of speaking in tongues, but it’s plural so it’s languages, and of course it’s back when God was still dealing with the Nation of Israel. And here it was on the day of Pentecost. I’ve always maintained that Pentecost was a Jewish feast day, and Gentiles had nothing to do with Pentecost.

Acts 2:1-4a

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues,…”

Other languages, because there were Jews there from all over the then-known world all speaking different languages. Now the miracle of Pentecost was that God gave these apostles for sure this gift to speak all the languages of the people that were out there in that massive crowd in front of them. And then you come down to verse 6:

Acts 2:6

“Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.”

This is the first time in Scripture that we have a manifestation of the Holy Spirit given to men – this gift of speaking known languages, but which was not intrinsic to their own education. In other words, where did Peter and most of the disciples come from? Galilee. They were uneducated fishermen, and all of a sudden here they are speaking the various languages that were evident there on the day of Pentecost. It was miraculous, and it was the work of the Holy Spirit, but as Paul said in I Corinthians, who were these men talking to? Other men, and what was the purpose? To bring them salvation. That’s the whole purpose of this Book from cover to cover. The purpose is that mankind might hear the plan of salvation, and it was the same way at Pentecost. Peter and these other disciples were promoting the Gospel of the Kingdom, that Jesus was the Christ, but they were doing it in languages that everyone could understand, so it had a divine purpose.

Now the next time this happens is in Acts Chapter 10. And Peter is now up in the house of a Gentile, the Roman, Cornelius. You all know the account, how that Peter, contrary to his own desires, is forced by God to go up to the house of Cornelius. And you remember the last thing Peter said as he goes through the door: “Cornelius, you know it is an unlawful thing for me, a Jew, to come into the house of another nation. But God has shown me.” In other words, there was a distinct divine purpose in Peter coming up to the house of Cornelius. Now, as he is preaching and is probably expounding about Jesus of Nazareth, and how He had come to be Israel’s Messiah and Redeemer and King, I imagine as Peter was laying all of this out, in the back of his mind he was thinking, “Why am I giving this to Gentiles?” He had no idea that there was something moving in God’s purposes that He, God, was now going to go out to the Gentile world. He certainly was not aware that in the previous chapter (I don’t know how many months previous to this, but not many), that God had saved Paul of Tarsus and had told him He was going to go to the Gentiles. I don’t think Peter knew that yet. But here he is in this Gentile house of Cornelius and is proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus and the Twelve preached: that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, Repentance, and water baptism, which was in a different administration, and is completely different from the Gospel of Grace that was given to the Apostle Paul, and the Gospel that we believe for salvation. (Ref. I Corinthians 15:1-4) Now let’s look at verses 44 and 45:

Acts 10:44,45a

“While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.” Now you want to remember, this was in the confines of a gentlemen’s house. This wasn’t in a great coliseum. This was in the house of Cornelius, a Roman officer. But as Peter was preaching, the Holy Spirit fell on that house full of Gentiles. Verse 45.

“And they of the circumcision (these Jews) which believed (they were like Peter. They had recognized Jesus was the Christ) were astonished,….”

Now we pointed all this out when we taught the Book of Acts, that these Jews, six men who came with Peter for a total of seven, were just utterly astonished that these Gentiles were hearing a salvation message and believing it. Now in order for God to prove to these seven Jews that He was doing something totally different than had ever been done before, what does He do? He proves it with these Gentiles speaking other languages. Not just the Latin, in which they had grown and probably practiced. Maybe not even just Greek that they probably used in their military conversations, but now:

Acts 10:45b,46

“….as many as came with Peter (these six Jews) because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. (how did they know?) For they heard them (the Gentiles)speak with tongues (known languages) and magnify God…”

Were they talking to God? NO! They were talking to fellow men and they were magnifying God in the presence of these seven Jews, as well as the members of the house of Cornelius, and there is no manifestation of an unknown language here or a guttural sound. It was speaking languages. That’s the second time that the Holy Spirit was manifested by giving the gift of speaking more language than they were normally living with. Now the third and last time that this happens in the whole of Acts is in Chapter 19. The first time it happened to Jews in Chapter 2 – strictly Jews. The second time it happens – to a whole house of Gentiles. Now the third time it happens it’s another unique little group. Small in number, but they were representative of another larger group and we’ll look at it here in Acts 19 and verse 1.

Acts 19:1-6

“And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: (where a church had been founded) and finding certain disciples, (we know they were Jews because he says they are) He said unto them, `Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?’ And they said unto him, `We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.’ And he said unto them, `Unto what then were ye baptized?’ And they said, `Unto John’s baptism.’ (John the Baptist) Then said Paul, `John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, (that was to the Nation of Israel and John baptized in Jordan with the message of repentance) saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.’ When they (these Twelve men) heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, (these twelve Jews) the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues (languages other than their own) and prophesied.”

Now those are the only three times in the whole Book of Acts, in fact in all of Scripture, where the Holy Spirit manifested Himself by giving out the gift of speaking a multitude of languages. They were known languages. They were languages that could be understood if somebody happened to be in that same room with that same background. There was no need for interpreters. No emotional upheaval. This was just simply the working of the Holy Sprit to the third category of people that God would be dealing with in the Book of Acts. Remember what they were. Chapter 2 – with the Nation of Israel. Chapter 10 – with the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius. Chapter 19 – with those who were in the transition. They were Jews who had been saved under John’s baptism, but they had known nothing of Paul’s Gospel and now the Body of Christ and these further revelations. And those three categories are the only ones that came under the manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit to speak in languages other than the ones they normally practiced.

Now let’s go back to Chapter 14 and remember that whenever the Holy Spirit was manifested in the Book of Acts, it was for a divine purpose and that was to prove something. It was to show Israel that God was now moving in the work of the Holy Spirit. It was to prove to the Jews in the house of the Gentiles that God was now saving Gentiles. It was manifested in these twelve Jews to show that there was now a change in the overall program. It was not longer based on John’s baptism and Christ’s earthly ministry. It was now based on that which followed the work of the Cross, His death, burial and resurrection.

I Corinthians 14:3

“But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.” Paul said in verse 1 that the one that they should really long for is the gift of speaking the Word of God. That’s the number one criteria and in verse 3 he re-emphasizes it again.

I Corinthians 14:3

“But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification. (to lift him up, support him) and exhortation (to encourage him. Every one of us need to be encouraged throughout our daily walk) and comfort.”

Now we know that we’re in this old world which is under the curse, and a lot of people are hurting. How can we best comfort them? By proclaiming to them the Word of God.