360 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 4 - Book 30 - 2 Corinthians 4:1 - 5:9 - Part 2

360: 2 Corinthians 4:1 – 5:9 – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 30

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 30

II CORINTHIANS 4:1-5:9 – PART 2

Now in this lesson we’re going to move into Chapter 5. I would like to make it known that even though our material is copyrighted that’s only to protect us from somebody who would use it for profit. But anytime someone wants to copy our material we give full permission as long as you don’t try to sell them for a profit. I do not believe in making merchandise of this Book (Bible). Now II Corinthians Chapter 5. Paul is still dealing with this whole concept that he thought he was going to die, and lose the rest of his ministry. So all of this is on his mind, but the Holy Spirit is inspiring it. In this chapter I will be able to answer the question, “What Happens When We Die.?” Here it is.

II Corinthians 5:1a

“For we know that if our earthly house…”

Our earthly house is a tent, a temporary dwelling place of our earthly body… a temporary place for the real you and the real me. See the real us, the part that’s going on into eternity, is that invisible – the mind, the will and the emotion, the personality. It is simply dwelling in this old earthly tabernacle. And one of these days this old earthly tabernacle is going to dissolve and go back into the earth from which it came, unless the Rapture of the Church takes place first. And if that happens then this old body will just be changed. This earthly house, this earthly tabernacle is the body of flesh. Now reading on:

II Corinthians 5:1

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, (in other words it goes back into the ground from which it came. However that won’t stop us because we’re eternal. So) we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in heaven.”

We should get excited about eternity. Even though Israel is more or less going to enjoy the ramification of the new earth, as God’s earthly people, you and I as members of the Body of Christ are going to be heavenly. And I think that whatever new universe God is going to create, He will create one that will be literally garden plots for believers. I think that we will have responsibilities throughout all of God’s new creation. And we won’t be limited by time and space, but rather we’ll be able to go to the end of the universe and back in a second or two. We are literally going to be ruling with Christ in the heavenlies. My, what a prospect. And not for a thousand years, but for eternity. Now that’s mind boggling. Eternal, forever in the heavens. Now verse 2:

II Corinthians 5:2

“For in this we groan, (we just can’t fully comprehend) earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house (or our dwelling place) which is from heaven: In other words the new body. Now again I’ve got to turn to the Book of Philippians because there’s a verse there that answers all the questions, “Well what kind of a body are we going to have when we get to the eternal?”

Philippines 3:20,21

“For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence (from that same heaven that our citizenship is now located) also we look for the Saviour, (not the King. Remember at His Second Coming when we come with Him, He will be coming as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But when He comes for the Rapture or catching away of the Church He’ll be coming as our Saviour.) the Lord Jesus Christ; Who shall change (it will be a metamorphous only on a grander scale than a butterfly. He shall change) our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

I always tell folks to study the 40 days after His resurrection if you want to get a glimpse of your new resurrected body. How did He operate? Well, He looked very normal, He had all the outward appearances of another human being. He walked in step with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, and they didn’t see Him as something strange. They invited Him into the house for probably the evening meal then suddenly He’s gone. The Lord didn’t go out the door, He didn’t slip out a window; He was gone, and in a split second He was in the upper room in Jerusalem with the disciples. And again He just suddenly appeared to the disciples. Then we find Him up at Galilee, and He stands there on the seashore and waits for the fellows to come to shore in their little boat. And when they don’t have any fish what does He tell them? “Breakfast is ready.” The Lord had fish frying, and had the bread ready, and the Scripture says He ate with them. Now is that weird or bizarre? No. He had a Human appearing Body, and It could do all the things that the disciples did, but now It was an eternal body, it was the resurrected Body. It was not of flesh and Blood, but rather flesh and bone. And the Spirit is the life-given aspect of that new Body and that’s our prospect. So when this old body dies, and if we are buried and it goes back into corruption then we know without a shadow of doubt that this is going to be resurrected to a new body fashioned like His body. Now returning II Corinthians Chapter 5.

II Corinthians 5:2a

“For in this we groan, earnestly desiring…”

How many Christians today can earnestly say that? Very few I’m afraid, but I hope I’m wrong. But you see for every believer, the minute they wake up in the morning the first thing they should think is `Oh Lord I hope you come today.’ We should be so fed up with this old world. And I love life just as much as anybody. When I drive across those pastures and look at those cattle, I love it, just ask my wife. I think she sometime thinks she’s in second place. So don’t think I don’t enjoy life.

But you know what I love more? The thought that maybe today or tonight I’m going to be suddenly in the realms of glory. What a prospect. And I know that takes a lot of faith. Iris and I were talking about it the other night. It just takes a lot of faith to believe that all of a sudden there’s going to be a sudden disappearance of millions of people. I want you to realize that if you can believe God’s Word it’s going to happen. And I can understand when the scoffers say, “How can you believe such stuff.” Because it does take faith. But for us who believe it is an exciting prospect that maybe before this day is over, maybe before this year is over, or before this century is over it’s going to happen. And I believe we’re getting so close, and it’s going to happen because The Word declares it. Now verse 3:

II Corinthians 5:3-4

“If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4. For we that are in this tabernacle (we’re still here in the flesh) do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.”

What’s Paul driving at? We are not so much looking forward to losing this old body, and having the soul and spirit separated from it. But the whole prospect is that as soon as this body has quit functioning and is no longer necessary then we have a new one. One that’s far better, one that will never again have an ounce of pain, one that will never again have sickness. Oh what a glorious prospect. But it’s coming and we’re getting so close. I try to tell even young people about how close we are. You can tell those young people the same thing that you can tell the older folks. “Hey listen we’re getting close. One day this body, whether it’s young, old or in-between, is suddenly going to be gone, and we’re going to be clothed with that which is immortal.”

We have seen lives full of vigor and vitality, suddenly gone in a split second. That also happens on our highways everyday, and we never know who’s going to be next. But all of a sudden this body that is prone to die is never going to die, only change, and that’s the hope of the believer. Now verse 5:

II Corinthians 5:5

“Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, (it all began with God and it will all end with Him.) who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.” Now why did the Holy Spirit inspire the apostle Paul to talk about something like a down payment? Because a down payment is something that is only a holding pattern until something later consummates. Let’s go to Ephesians Chapter 1 for the answer.

Ephesians 1:13,14

“In whom (speaking of Christ) ye also trusted, (placed your faith) after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: (as you find in I Corinthians 15:1-4. How that Christ died for you, was buried, and rose again) in whom also after that ye believed, (in your heart) ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. Which is the earnest (the down payment. I thought our salvation was complete. Yes and No. That’s a terrible answer isn’t it? Spiritually of the soul and spirit – Yes it’s complete. We are redeemed, we are justified, we’re sanctified, we’re in the Body of Christ. But there’s one part of the great plan of redemption that is only partial and here it is. At our salvation the Holy Spirit comes in as God’s earnest or down payment) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

Now what’s the purchased possession if it’s not the soul and spirit. Well there’s that third part of us that has to be ready for eternity, and what is it? The body. Several years ago I had a pastor claim from our pulpit that, “God’s not concerned about the physical body, but rather all He’s concerned about is your soul.’ Oh No? We are a three-part person. We are body, soul, and spirit! Before we go to the Book of Romans let’s look at that in the Book of I Thessalonians Chapter 5.

I Thessalonians 5:23

“And the very God of peace sanctify (set you apart) you wholly; (completely) and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body (all three parts) be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The spirit, soul, and body is preserved for all eternity. We’re talking about eternal things. So we’re not going to be a viable entity in eternity until we get the body. The soul and spirit when it is totally redeemed, has experienced absolute salvation, so what is waiting to be consummated? The body. Now let’s go to Romans Chapter 8. In this chapter we find such a thrilling concept of that. In our next lesson we’re going to get into detail about what happens to the believer the very moment that we die. The moment the medical authorities say, “Well, he or she is gone.” Where are they? Well, they’re in the presence of The Lord immediately. But for now read verses 22 and 23:

Romans 8:22,23

“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together (that’s the whole creation) until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Sprit, (believers) even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”

See how beautiful that all fits? So even though the moment we’re saved, the soul and spirit are totally redeemed, it’s saved, it’s made ready for eternity. But what about this old body? Oh it’s not ready yet. But God has put His down payment on it by virtue of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Remember that’s His brand on us, and that tells us regardless of whether we go through the valley of the shadow of death and we’re put out in the cemetery or whatever, we know one thing for sure, one day we’re going to have a new body, and it’s going to be reunited with the soul, and the spirit so that we’re a complete entity for the eternal. Now back to II Corinthians Chapter 5:

II Corinthians 5:6

“Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, (while we’re alive here on the earth) we are absent (bodily) from the Lord:” We can’t be in both places at once. Now we know that spiritually in the realm of the invisible, yes we are already citizens of heaven. The Book of Colossians makes that so plain.

Colossians 1:13

“Who (God) hath (already) delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” So we’re already citizens of that kingdom, but for now the soul and spirit are The Lord’s. The Holy Spirit is indwelling us to be that comforter. But the old body is still prone to death and sickness, and failure.

II Corinthians 5:7

“(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” How do we know all of this? Faith! And faith is taking God at His Word. If the Word declares it then we believe it and God reckons it for righteousness especially for salvation. Now in verse 8 Paul repeats.

II Corinthians 5:8

“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

I hope you haven’t lost what we’ve been talking about, what the apostle has just recently gone through. There he was lying on a sick bed in Philippi having barely escaped with his life I suppose out of Ephesus. He was under constant attack from all of his adversaries within the Church as well as without, and death then almost becomes, I think, a welcome escape. But on the other hand Paul realizes that there is unfinished business to be done. There are still people to be reached with the Gospel as only he could do it. Now verse 9:

II Corinthians 5:9a

“Wherefore we labour,…”

Paul’s life is not his own. He had long pitched that. You remember he said in the Book of Philippians that he counted everything in his past, which was no doubt rather lucrative in the area of Judaism, and probably had a rather expensive lifestyle. I think he had a family, he probably had a beautiful home in Jerusalem, and he called it all but dung. And it was all for the sake of the Gospel.

II Corinthians 5:9

“Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.”

Now that’s not for salvation, but rather for rewards. A lot of people don’t like to look at it in that light, but that’s the whole idea of salvation in the first place. God leaves us here to further the work of the Gospel. And as we do it in whatever capacity that God gives us, it’s to be for His glory to further the work of the Gospel. Because you never know. You may just drop a word someplace, you may just have a short conversation with someone that will all of a sudden make them start thinking. And they’re going to start considering some of the claims of God on their life.

Oh I hear it almost every day of just one little comment someone may make. And it just blows people’s minds. There was a guy that called from the audience, and he said, “I just love to go in and bounce some of these things off people, and they look at me quizzically, and all I say is, `Well think about it.'” One of these people happened to be a pastor, and the next day was at his door, and the pastor said, “I never thought of these things before but now you’ve got me searching the Scriptures.” Well you can do that also. My, you come across someone and all you have to say is, “Have you ever thought about it? Have you ever considered it? Well think about it because eternity is long, eternity is forever.” We can do this while we are yet in the body.

359 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 3 - Book 30 - 2 Corinthians 4:1 - 5:9

359: 2 Corinthians 4:1 – 5:9 – Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 30

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 30

II CORINTHIANS 4:1-5:9

Now we’ll go right back to II Corinthians Chapter 4 where we left off. In my opening remarks a couple of lessons ago we said that the apostle Paul had left Ephesus where he had written the first letter to the Corinthians and I put a make-shift map on the board. We had the land of Israel and the Mediterranean Sea coast coming along what is present day Turkey or which in New Testament days was called Asia Minor. There on the west coast of present day Turkey is still the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus for which Paul, I think, almost had to flee for his life. You remember at one point he referred to the beast at Ephesus? Well he wasn’t talking about the beast in the coliseum, he was just talking about the population in general that had been so pagan in their fervor for Diana the goddess of the Ephesians.

Well up here at Troas the ancient city of Troy, he had hoped to meet Titus who had been down ministering at Corinth. And remember all these churches were founded on his first missionary journey, and here Paul is on his second. He missed meeting Titus at Troas so he goes on up to Philippi in northern Greece where he was evidently on his sick bed, nigh onto death. Then after he got well he made his way on down and finally visited Corinth a second time. Now that’s the back drop for these next few verses when he was almost despairing of his life because of his tremendous sickness. Now remember in verse 6 we have this treasure, this Light that lighted the whole world. It’s already there for us to draw upon. And we who know The Lord can have the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. But even though this is such a magnificent knowledge and understanding, yet God didn’t see fit to put it in the hands of angels, but rather He left it in the hands of mortal men. Paul was just as human as the rest of us. But it didn’t stop with Paul. Other men came along and as we’ve come down through human history, and even today, every one us has the opportunity to share the Word with whoever might listen. And so verse 7 says it all in that regard.

II Corinthians 4:7

“But we have this treasure (the light of God) in earthen vessels, (Now Paul wasn’t talking about a clay pot, but rather this body of flesh.) that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”

Man can never take the credit for anything. It all has to be of God or it will fall flat on it’s face. Let’s turn back to I Corinthians for a moment and look at verse 27, 28, and 29. I have to remind myself of these verses constantly because I’m the first one to say, “Who in the world am I. Why did God see fit to even use me what little ways He does?” Well, it’s not because I’m somebody, but rather because I’m a nobody. And according to Scripture that’s the way it has to be.

I Corinthians 1:27,28

“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; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought (nothing) things that are;”

In other words what’s all this saying? God uses that which mankind would never dream of using. And He uses it for His honor and glory. Now what’s the purpose in verse 29? And it’s the same concept of II Corinthians 4:7. All of this is for the one purpose.

I Corinthians 1:29

“That no flesh should glory in his presence.”

No one! Not a Dwight L. Moody, or Charles Wesley, because no one can ever glory that they accomplished something. It is all of God or is none of God. Now back to II Corinthians Chapter 4, and here I think you can get the mindset of the apostle as he is now writing. He had just gotten up from the sick bed in Philippi. He was actually thinking that his ministry had come to an end. He thought God for some reason was taken off the scene. But we know God wasn’t. Paul goes on now and look what he writes.

II Corinthians 4:8

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair,”

Why was Paul perplexed? My he had been doing so much. He had been set apart way back there in Damascus to go to the Gentiles. Paul knew that he hadn’t finished the work, he knew that Christianity was still in it’s infancy. He knew it was being attacked from every direction imaginable. So Paul was perplexed, and I think it’s the same thing that we are today. Sometimes we’re prone to ask, “Well God, why?” Why? But remember God has His own purposes. Even though Paul was perplexed he never gave up. He didn’t say, “I’m throwing in the towel because it’s not worth it.” Now verse 9.

II Corinthians 4:9

“Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, (laid in a bed of sickness) but not destroyed;”

Absolutely Paul was persecuted. He was driven from city to city, but The Lord didn’t forsake him. The Lord promised him what? When he was in Corinth The Lord said, “Paul don’t you run from the enemies because I’ve much people in Corinth.” So Paul was cast down and disappointed especially not being able to meet with Titus who was part of his whole ministry. What a disappointment, but yet he says, “not destroyed.” Now verse 10.

II Corinthians 4:10

“Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, (Now upon first reading this I think most people think that Paul is making a reference that when Christ died we died also. Well up to a point that’s correct, but I also think that if you know the setting here he had just gotten up from a sick bed that he thought was unto death, and so this is what he’s making reference to.) that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”

In other words, as Paul was lying on that sick bed which we can assume was up there at Philippi. Even though he thought his ministry had ended, what was he confident of? That he had done as much as The Lord had intended him to do. I always have to think of how he wrote to Timothy at the end of his ministry. Let’s look at that for a moment in II Timothy Chapter 1. This was probably the very last of his epistles that was written before he was finally martyred.

II Timothy 1:9-12a

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things:…”

What is he talking about? Well, number one, who was his chief opposition? The believing Jews as well as those still steeped in Judaism. But it wasn’t the Jew alone, but rather a satanic power from every direction. So Paul suffered because Satan didn’t want the Gospel going to the Gentile world. Satan hated that it was going to Israel throughout the Old Testament. But now to go to the masses of Gentiles? That was the last thing that Satan wanted. Now continuing on with verse 12.

II Timothy 1:12

“For these which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed (isn’t that something? In spite of all his difficulties and all of his sickness, and sorrows, and sufferings, he never doubted the God in Whom he served. Paul says,) I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Now we’ll be studying Timothy some day if The Lord tarries. I don’t think it will be that long before He returns for us, but He may tarry. Now verse 13 and 14.

II Timothy 1:13,14

“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.”

Now those of you who are real Bible students and want to chase down an interesting word “that good thing” in the Greek is the deposit. In other words Paul tells Timothy, “What I have deposited with you keep it. Now when you deposit something you look for security as the number one thing. You don’t want to put something someplace and get back next week and it’s gone. Secondly, especially in our age of investments and so forth, if you’re going to make a good deposit what do you expect? Dividends, interest, a return on it. Well you see the word means all of those things. Timothy keep the deposit and let it earn dividends and interest. Don’t just sit on it. Now that goes back to when Jesus gave the talents back there in the Four Gospels. Did He want them to just go home and bury it? No. But rather go out and gain some increases with each talent. So I think the same admonition is good for all of us.

I made comment on the next verse in a previous program and I’m still getting calls about that verse. One person said, “I never knew that verse was in my Bible. What did the apostle Paul mean?” I said, it means exactly what it says.

II Timothy 1:15

“This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me;…”

Now you want to remember that Greece was Europe, and Asia Minor was the Asia of the New Testament. Here of course is where Paul had started so many churches. You remember Thyatira, and Pergamos, and Smyrna? All these little town here in Asia Minor had evidently already turned away from his Gospel (Ref. I Cor. 15:11-4) by the time he was martyred. What a heartache to think that he spent so much and poured out his life and yet those were the people that turned their back on him. And of course I think the results are very evident. None of those little cities are left anymore, not one of them. But on the other hand many of the cities in Greece are still valid. Philippi is still a valid sea port. Athens is still valid. Corinth is no longer the ancient city, but there’s another city right next to it, and much of Greece refers to the journeys and so forth of Paul, but back there in western Turkey not one of these cities are left. They have all faded off the scene, and I think that is the basic reason for their disappearance. Now returning to our text in II Corinthians, and we’ll just skim through these next few verses because they’re all just decrying the fact, “that Paul had suffered so much to get the message to these Gentiles.” Now verse 11 and 12 for example.

II Corinthians 4:11,12

“For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.”

What’s he saying? Well as a result of him spending his physical life, his physical energy, to get his Gospel to these pagans, they were coming out of their physical darkness, they were coming out of their spiritual darkness into the joy and the life of the Gospel, but his body was suffering the consequences. I’m sure that the old fellow must have been wracked with much pain as he sat in prison in Rome waiting for the executioners sword. Now verse 13.

II Corinthians 4:13

“We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believe, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;.”

Speaking of believing, come back for a moment to Acts Chapter 9. I know a lot of our folks were with me when we studied this many months ago, but a lot of you weren’t. And also remember this where you had this tremendous change of direction in the Book of Acts. Up until this chapter it’s Peter and the eleven and the Nation of Israel. And now all of a sudden with just an exception in Chapter 10, and Peter comes back on the scene momentarily, all the rest of the Book of Acts covers this one man. Peter is completely forgotten so far as the Acts accounts are concerned. But here in Acts Chapter 9 we find Saul of Tarsus, that great persecutor of Jewish believer. Now remember Paul didn’t go after Gentiles because there were none of them believing yet. But Paul was after the believing Jews who had followed the supposed heresy that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah for their salvation. Remember at that time the Gospel of the Kingdom was the only Gospel that had been revealed. To this good Jew, Saul of Tarsus believed that this was the worst thing that could have happened to the Nation of Israel. Remember he thought Jesus was an impostor. So he’s trying to stamp it out by persecution, by imprisonment, by putting them to death.

Acts 9:1-5a

“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, (Saul was not satisfied any longer with just working the small towns of Israel) that if he found any of this way, (that is that Jesus was the Christ) whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, `Saul, Saul, why persecuted thou me?’ (Now this is what I want you to see in verse 5. We always make this point.) And he said, `Who art thou, Lord?…'”

Now you want to remember that all the way up through the Old Testament the word Lord was used by the writers of Scripture, by the Jews in general, in place of the name that they didn’t even dare to repeat, and what was it? Jehovah! It was of such awe and such high esteem that the average Jew didn’t even want to breath the name. So what did they substitute? Lord. Now all the way through the Old Testament when you see the word LORD all in capital letters, it’s Jehovah. When Saul of Tarsus addresses God, which he knows this Light and voice is, then in so many words he says, “Who art thou Jehovah?” Even though he didn’t come right out and say, yet he was thinking it. And how does Jehovah answer?

Acts 9:5a

“I am Jesus whom thou persecutest:…”

And this answer blew his mind. He thought he was doing the work of Jehovah by stamping out the name of Jesus, and then to suddenly realize that what he thought was his enemy was in reality the God of Abraham. Oh what a transcending experience. And then Saul says:

Acts 9:6a

“… Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?…”

It didn’t take Saul of Tarsus an hour to figure out Who The Lord was. It didn’t take him very long to understand Who Jesus was. I’ve shared on this program before about a gentlemen who came to my home several years ago and that was his first question. “Who in the world is Jesus Christ?” Oh I wish more people would ask that question. There are too many people who don’t know. People do not understand that Jesus Christ of the New Testament is the Jehovah God of the Old Testament. Jesus of the New Testament is the God of Genesis 1:1. They are One in the same. The only difference was that in the New Testament He manifested Himself in the flesh.

John 1:1

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,”

John 1:14

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,…”

That’s who Jesus Christ is. He’s the God of glory. He’s the God of Creation. Well enough for that, now back to II Corinthians. So this is where the apostle is now after his years of taking the Gospel that was revealed to him to the Gentiles, and still having a heart for the Nation of Israel. Now verse 14.

II Corinthians 4:14,15

“Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by (that same) Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things (everything that has happened to this man) are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound (or resound) to the glory of God.”

It’s always God’s glory. We don’t elevate Paul to glory. He was just a common human being like the rest of us that God saw fit to use. But everything was to bring glory to the God of heaven. Now verse 16.

II Corinthians 4:16-18

“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; (they are earthly not heavenly) but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Oh listen, get the impact of that. The world today is only set on the temporal. What’s in it for me. How can I enjoy life to the fullest? How can I make the most? How can I do this, and how can I do that? But listen that’s not where it’s at. Remember what The Lord said back in His earthly ministry?

Matthew 6:33

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Now there’s nothing wrong with things. The Bible doesn’t condemn things provided we have our priorities straight. But if the believer gets hung up on things, and more concerned about the temporal then he loses the sight of the eternal. Oh please don’t get caught in that trap. I feel we are in the closing seconds of this age, and I’m not a date setter, but I’ll tell you what; the way I see the world rushing into the scenario that is going to be on the earth for the appearance of the Anti-christ; I see it coming so fast. You see the Nation of Israel pushed tighter and tighter by the Arab world till finally she will get to the place where she may do something rash (which I do not think is going to happen because God’s going to do it in His time, and not according to the Arab world’s time). But if Israel would be pushed to the corner to do something rash, it would be to use nuclear energy, and don’t think they don’t have it, for they do, – but the world is literally rushing to the time when the man of sin will make his appearance, and will finally bring a semblance of peace to the Middle East.

Peace is what everybody is waiting for. And while they’re waiting for peace to come to the Middle East they’re forgetting all about the admonition, “That when you see all these things come to pass, then lift up your eyes for our moment of redemption is coming near.” And the more you see technology explode, the more you see world politics move into a global format, the more you see global economics, the more you see the religions and the major denominations of the world coming in under one headship (and they’re doing it), then that tells us that time is short. Now coming back to the last verse again. Don’t be concerned about the things that are seen, but rather look at the things that are not seen because they are eternal.

358 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 2 - Book 30 - What Happens When We Die - Part 2

358: What Happens When We Die – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 30

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 30

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE – PART 2

Now to begin this lesson let’s pick up where we left off in the last lesson and that will be in verse 4.

II Corinthians 4:4a

“In whom…”

That is, the lost people of the world who are lost, not because of what they’ve done, but rather because of their unbelief. Now while we were in Minnesota last week several people showed me my little quote in the fly leaf of their Bible, and it kind of tickles me that people take note of these things. But I’ve had it on the board several times in the past, and the quote goes something like this. “We are not sinners because of sins we commit but rather we sin because we are sinners.” Now all that means is that we are born with that old Adamic nature, and that Adamic nature knows only one thing, and that’s to rebel against the things laid down by God Himself. So the human’s natural tendency is to listen to the old Adam. So, consequently, we become sinners, and it isn’t because of what we’ve done. It’s because of what we are.

Now the same way here. The people who are lost are not lost because they went out and got drunk one night. They’re not lost because they cheated or stole, or committed immorality, but rather they are lost because they are born in sin as children of Adam and they have refused the remedy; which, of course, is faith in the finished work of the Cross. And Paul is constantly throwing out that the Cross has completed everything. We were just talking at break time about how the Devil blinds people and I think that this is just another ploy of the god of this world who transforms himself into an angel of light, because he won’t do this clothed in the black robes of magic. But rather the Devil does this clothed in bright lights, as the angel of light, and that is he is keeping the world that has any interest in Scripture in the Four Gospel accounts.

I think it is so frightening that people are not getting away from Christ’s earthly ministry, and getting into the fact that it was His death, His burial, and the fact that He arose victorious over sin and death, and now we are on this side of the Cross. We are not back there in Christ’s earthly ministry, and we’re going to see that specifically in the next chapter. So we have to constantly force ourselves almost because the tendency is to just study mostly in Christ’s earthly ministry. But what did Jesus say in Matthew 24:14?

Matthew 15:24

“But he (Christ) answered and said, `I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.'”

Romans 15:8

“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision (Jews only) for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers;” (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.)

So remember the Four Gospels were only to Israel and that was under the Law of Moses. Now looking at verse 4 again.

II Corinthians 4:4

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

Now there is another point. You have no idea how many people are asking the question, “Well, Who is Christ?” A lot of people are confused. Some have the idea that Christ never really amounted to anything until He was born at Bethlehem. They do not have the understanding that Jesus of Nazareth was the manifestation in the flesh of the Creator God of Genesis 1:1. I show that when we teach the Book of Genesis that Christ, as we know Him in the New Testament, was the Creator of the Old Testament.

John 1:1-3

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

John 1:14a

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,…”

As I explained to a person yesterday morning on the phone, and this very concept that we talked about in our last lesson. that when Christ died He paid the sin debt of every human being from Adam until the end of time. He could have never done that if He had not been the God of glory. So Jesus is the fleshly manifestation and is the image of that invisible eternal God. Turn with me for a moment to the Book of Colossians in Chapter 1. And let’s see how this fits so beautifully with what the Holy Spirit inspires the apostle to write back in the letter to the Corinthians.

Colossians 1:15

“Who (speaking of the Son in verse 13, and who has redeemed us in verse 14 through His Blood.) is the image (or visible manifestation) of the invisible God, the first born of every creature:”

So you see this is what we have to take by faith. I know I can’t prove this in a laboratory experiment, but the Scriptures says it. And by faith we believe it, that God the Triune, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit were invisible. But God the Son stepped out of that invisible Godhead and became the visible manifestation of the whole. And that’s Christ, that’s The Lord Jesus of Nazareth. Do you see that? Now verse 16, and here we find that Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, attributes The Lord Jesus with the Creation.

Colossians 1:16

“For by him (Son in verse 13) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; (that even goes into realm of Satan and his powers) all things were created by him, and for him.”

So that’s why I say He is the same God in Colossians as He is in Genesis. The only difference is He has now taken on human flesh, human appearance. He is the image of the invisible God. I had a whole living room full of people about 25 years ago the first time I taught this. And when I just laid this out so clearly that Jesus of the Cross was the same God Who created everything in Genesis 1:1 it just blew their minds. And these people had been in church all their life, but they had never seen that before. And that’s what we have to understand that Jesus of Nazareth was same God of Genesis 1:1, the only difference being He had now been manifested in the flesh. And that’s why when we put our faith and trust in what He has accomplished, then we’re not just talking about some Jew who grew up in a carpenter shop. But rather we’re talking about the Creator Himself Who has taken it upon Himself the very work of redemption. Now coming back to our text in II Corinthians.

II Corinthians 4:5

“For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.”

Here Paul is again defending his apostleship. He’s saying, “I’m not coming in here with something just to gain personal support. I’m not coming in here for some kind of personal fame. What I’m doing is only because I am the servant.” Now the word in the Greek here is really bond slave. So Paul says, “I’m a bond slave for Jesus’ sake.” Let’s go for a moment to Ephesians Chapter 3. And here the apostle is constantly showing us that he’s not in it because he wants to be some religious big wig. He’s not in here to build some personal empire. He is only out here to bring these pagan Gentiles out of their sin, out of their spiritual darkness, and into the knowledge of his Gospel.

Ephesians 3:1

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles.”

And not only was Paul a bond slave of Christ, but also a literal prisoner of Christ for this distinct purpose. Now we’ve got to go back to the Book of Acts Chapter 9, because there are so many people in our listening audience that do not understand how all this began. I know for a lot of you folks this will be just a review, but for a lot of folks they do not understand. Why does Paul make these kind of statements? Well you want to remember that Paul early on was a religious zealot, and he earnestly thought that by stamping out anything that referred to Jesus of Nazareth in Israel, he was doing the God of Abraham a service. But you see God all of a sudden stopped the man in his tracks, and you find the story of his salvation on the road to Damascus. But look what took place in Damascus while Saul, now blind, is making his way into town.

Acts 9:11-15a

“And the Lord said unto him, (Ananias) `Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold he prayeth, and hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.’ 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,…'”

Now that was something unheard of in the Jewish culture. They had no idea that they were to go to the Gentiles. Oh they knew the prophets spoke of it, they knew that Isaiah spoke of Israel being a light unto the Gentiles, but certainly not their generation. I mean they had the same mentality that Jonah had, and you all know what Jonah did. Jonah would rather walk the plank than go to a Gentile city. So the Jews attitude hadn’t changed, and now God tells Ananias that this man is going to go to the Gentiles? Boy I bet Ananias swallowed hard on that one. And he probably thought well that’s better than having to back to Jerusalem a captive of the guy. But nevertheless right here is where God takes a drastic change of direction.Up until this time He had been dealing only with the Nation of Israel. God had been dealing only with the Jew. In fact look for a moment in Acts Chapter 11.

Acts 11:19

“Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen (and remember who headed up that persecution? Saul of Tarsus. He held the cloaks of those who stoned Stephen) travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.”

I know people rebel at that, in fact it’s almost like they say, “Les that’s not in my Bible.” But oh yes it is. Here we are about 7 or 8 years after Pentecost, and these Jews have gone to no one but Jews only. But now all of a sudden God is going to do something totally different because Israel is rejecting it in unbelief again just like they did at Kadesh-barnea. And just like they do so many other times, they rejected God’s offer, and so God says, “all right then we’ll do something different.” So then this is why He raises the Apostle Paul to go to the Gentiles. Have you still got your hand in the Book of Ephesians? Let’s read that verse again.

Ephesians 3:1

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,”

Well let’s back up a page and see which cause Paul is speaking of. Chapter 2 verse 8 and 9. Now this isn’t the only thing he’s referring to, but primarily. And who had ever heard something like this before?

Ephesians 2:8a

“For by grace are ye saved through faith;…”

Now stop a minute. What do a lot of people think should also be in this verse? Oh sacrifices from the Jewish economy. From our own present day a lot of people think that repentance and baptism, church membership, good works should be in here, but none of that is in here. That doesn’t save us. It’s all a part of the result of salvation. But look what it says, For by grace are ye saved through faith.

Ephesians 2:8a

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:…”

Now that flies in the face of works doesn’t it? Oh, look at the millions of people across the world tonight who are still hoping that they are going to make it by their works. And this Book says it’s not of works. The moment anyone puts works to salvation then it becomes worthless. Then Christ shall profit you nothing.

Ephesians 2:8,9

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Now back to Ephesians Chapter 3 again, and let’s look at verse 1 again.

Ephesians 3:1,2

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner (the bond slave) of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation (or administration) of the grace of God (not Law, not works, not legalism, but the grace of God) which is given me to you-ward.”

And who is Paul writing to? Gentiles. You know I’m always making the analogy that when God gave the Law to Moses up there on Mount Sinai, and Moses came down the mountain with the Law who was he to dispense it to? Israel. So God gave the Law to Moses, and Moses gave it to the Nation of Israel. But now about 1500 years later God does much the same thing, and yet totally different. I think He has Paul down there at that same Mount Sinai in Arabia (Gal 1:17) and now to this man He gives not the tables of stone but the revelations of the mysteries of the Grace of God.

And God doesn’t tell Paul to go back to Jerusalem and give it to Israel, but he tells him that He’s going to send him far hence to the Gentiles with this whole new concept of a salvation by faith, and faith alone. Without temple worship, without a priesthood, without works. Is that mind boggling? Absolutely it is. And most of humankind can’t understand that, unless the Holy Spirit opens our thinking. And this is what it takes. All I can tell people when they call with questions is I can’t help you unless the Holy Spirit helps you to understand it. He has to give you the wisdom. And that reminds me of another verse in Ephesians still in Chapter 3. Look how Paul prays for these Gentile believers, and it’s still valid for us. Remember this is a prayer that Paul is uttering.

Ephesians 3:14

“For this cause I bow my knees…” (See he’s praying. And look what he prays in verse 16.)

Ephesians 3:16

“That he would grant you, (remember he is writing to you and I) according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;” Not just intellectually, not just in the head, but it has to be in the heart. It has to be in that very core of our being. Now verse 17, and Paul is still praying.

Ephesians 3:17,18

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,” (Now this is fantastic. This is for everyone of us, that we) May be able to comprehend (and if we comprehend it we will appropriate it.) with all saints (this isn’t just for the clergy, this isn’t just for the few, this is for every single believer.) what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;”

The fourth dimension. I suppose that Einstein had a little bit of this in the physics. But nevertheless we’re not used to four dimensions, but rather only three. But here is a fourth dimension that God wants the believer to enter into. You know there’s a book out now that is one of the best sellers that has to do with the codes of The Bible. It’s called “Bible Codes” and you have all been hearing about it. How this Jewish mathematician in Israel has seemingly found the code in the subliminal area (or however you want to put it) back in the Old Testament. Someone gave me a copy and in the introduction of the book this mathematician in Israel really got the idea from all this from finding something like 2000 pages of notes, if I remember correctly, from the old inventor Isaac Newton.

Now I never knew that Isaac Newton was that kind of a Bible scholar, but he was. He had already determined that the Word of God was so supernaturally put together that there could very well be hidden truths in here that man had never been able to recover. Then if we can put some credibility to this finding then it’s the computer that makes it possible. I had a little quote that I was going to bring and read today but I went off and left it on the kitchen table. Anyway in Isaac Newton’s life, which was from 16 something to around the early 1700’s, he wrote that he could see that in the latter times shortly before The Lord would return, a body of men would be raised up who would be able to discern the prophecies written within this Book. Now Isaac Newton saw that over 200 years ago, and of course we’re seeing it now. We’re understanding prophecy like never before. But getting back to the text we have the potential now in response to the prayer of this apostle to enter into a fourth dimension. Now verse 19.

Ephesians 3:19

“And to know the love of Christ, which passeth (or goes beyond) knowledge, (every body is hung up on education, and I have nothing against education. I mean it’s amazing the explosion of knowledge and technology today. But you know something far better than that, and that is to know Christ. To know Him is beyond knowledge,) that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Now a thought just comes to me. I think that it was Dwight L. Moody who, at the beginning of his tremendous ministry, had read a quote by a previous great man of God. But that man of God on his death bed had said, “I had always hoped that I could be the man that God had used to the full, but I’ve failed.” Well when Moody read that and began his ministry, he said, “Gentlemen I hope to be that man.” But years later after all of his tremendous response to evangelism, and on his deathbed, he said, “That man still hasn’t lived.” And isn’t that true? There has never been a man that has lived out the full potential of what God has in store. Every one of them and every one of us will somehow fail and come short of it, but the potential is there, and God is able. Now come back in the short time we have left to II Corinthians again. Now verse 6.

II Corinthians 4:6a

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,…”

Now that may be a reference to the Creation, but I think rather it’s a reference to Christ on the planet earth in the flesh. Let’s look at that in John’s Gospel Chapter 1.

John 1:6-9

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. (John the Baptist) The same (John) came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, (Christ) that all men (not just a few)through him might believe. He (John) was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, (Jesus of Nazareth) which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

Now that’s a frightening statement isn’t it? In other words, no one is ever going to be able to say, “But I never had a chance.” Remember the true Light lighteth every man that comes into the world.

357 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 1 - Book 30 - What Happens When We Die

357: What Happens When We Die – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 30

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 30

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE?

Now if you will turn with me to II Corinthians Chapter 4 we will begin our study for this lesson. I think though before we begin with verse 1 that we should have just a little review. We review because we have so many people that thank us for reviewing. For so many of our people this is the first time that they have really heard The Bible taught on a verse by verse basis, and especially the letters like I and II Corinthians. Even in my own Bible study I suppose these were two of the most neglected letters of Paul’s writing, and even as I study for the television programs, I am seeing things that I have never seen before. Never lose sight of the fact that as soon as he began his ministry to the Gentiles, Paul came under satanic opposition from every possible direction. I think as we’re going to see in Chapter 4, Paul grew weary and almost despaired of life itself. Because it just seemed as though he was just getting the Gospel off the ground, when everything fell in on him. Remember Paul was just as human as we are.

Also never lose sight of the fact that all the way through these Corinthian letters he is, especially more than in the others, defending his apostleship. Everywhere Paul went the Judaisers would say, :“Well you’re not Peter. After all Peter spent 3 years with The Lord and Peter is our spokesman and Peter is the one we’re going to listen to.” Then there were other factions that said, “Well we go by what Jesus said in His earthly ministry.” Does that sound familiar? It does to me. And then there were others that said, “Well Apollos is the man that we follow.” And then on top of that controversy Paul had that tremendous opposition from Satan throughout the pagan background where they to were trying to stamp out this new idea.

I’ve often wondered why the Roman government came down so hard on Christianity when they didn’t bother Judaism? In fact I’ve read and I’m sure that some of you have, that the Roman authorities guaranteed that the offerings to the Temple would arrive safely. So the Romans had no problem with the Jews religion, in fact they protected it. But Christianity – the Romans tried to stamp it out and I think I finally found the answer to all of that and it was that the Romans had due respect for any ancient religion. It didn’t matter whether it was pagan or whatever and, consequently, since the Jews religions went back into antiquity, the Romans had a high regard for it, but Christianity was something new. This was something that coming from the up-start of this one man Paul, and so they, too, had no compunction about putting it to death, and martyring those who were adhering to it.

So as we come through even the first couple of chapters of the second letter to the Corinthians I want you to understand that the first letter was written from Ephesus over there in what is today the land of Turkey on the western coast. So he wrote I Corinthians from Ephesus, and it was a letter that came down real hard on many of their problems, division, immorality, and some of the other problems that they had. And then this second letter was written sometime after he had been forced out of Ephesus because of the tremendous hatred for the Gospel from the pagan followers of the goddess Diana. So after he had left Ephesus he went up north into the northwest corner of what is now Turkey to the ancient city of Troas, which was the city of Troy. Remember it was at Troy where you had the Trojan horse so that will give you a little historical background. So, evidently he began a little congregation there at Troas, but he was supposed to have met Titus there in Chapter 2 verse 13. We might look at that again for a moment, because I’m giving this background to show you why this man was under such constant satanic attack. Now, that’s nothing new. I’ve always taught that just as soon as God made that classic statement in Genesis 3:15, and God was speaking to Satan, that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent.

Genesis 3:15

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

Now Satan knew what God was talking about. It was the coming of the Redeemer. And so Satan kicks into gear everything to prohibit the coming of a Redeemer for the human race. And then when the Abrahamic Covenant was given to Abraham, again Satan understood that this was the vehicle that God would use to bring about the seed of the woman. So what does Satan do? He turns on the Nation of Israel. So all the way up through Israel’s history there is that satanic attack and the apparent desire to destroy the nation Israel, because if Satan could destroy that nation then God’s whole program would fall apart. Well it’s the same way now as you come into the advent of Christianity. Satan is going to do everything in his power to disrupt it, to destroy it in order to thwart the very program of God. Paul has been under such pressure from the persecutors of Ephesus and now he’s up at Troas, hoping to meet Titus. Now let’s look at verse 13:

II Corinthians 2:13

“I had no rest in my spirit, (that is, in his innermost being) because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.”

Now imagine – there was no communication. He couldn’t just go to the telegraph office, as those of you who are older would probably think of as being antiquities. But there was no way of communicating. There was no way that Titus could tell Paul that he would eventually make it. And so after, no doubt, waiting a few days and ministering to the people at Troas, he finally had to go on his way, not knowing what had happened to Titus. Well from there he went to Phillipi, which is way up in Northern Greece and it was probably at Phillipi that he became so deathly sick that he despaired of life itself and thought his ministry had come to an end. And all of that was heaped on the man, I think, by Satanic forces. But God, on the other hand, said, “It’s in weakness that you become strong.” And so Paul had to rely on that. Now as we come into Chapter 4, once again he’s going to defend his apostleship because of all the innuendos that were leveled against him, because of all the attacks of the Judaisers and the other forces that were in the man’s life and so let’s look at verse 1 of Chapter 4:

II Corinthians 4:1

“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;” Paul didn’t, but he was oh so close. Now verse 2.

II Corinthians 4:2a

“But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully;…”

Now does that ring a bell? Come back with me again to Chapter 2. Remember there was a word we used in verse 17. It’s not the same Greek word but it’s awfully close. So here again the Apostle is showing us that he is not in this for personal gain, nor wealth, or fame, but rather for only one purpose and that is to see lost humanity given the Gospel of Salvation as we find in I Corinthians 15:1-4. Now for a quick review let’s look at verse 17.

II Corinthians 2:17a

“For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God:…”

The word `corrupt’ is translated in the Septuagint back in Isaiah 1:21-22 as water mixed with wine. Well when you throw water in with good wine, what do you do to it? You adulterate it, you corrupt it. So that’s exactly what the word means here in verse 17. Paul wasn’t corrupting the Word of God. He was not watering down his message with something that would tickle people’s ears. He was not giving them a message that would just make people feel good. That kind of message would have been an adulteration, that would have been a corruption. Then the other part of the Greek word for corruption in verse 17 was like a street salesman, like a huckster, who is out simply hocking his goods, but those kind of fellows are usually a little bit suspect, because they do not have the best quality products because they too are adulterated. So all of this fits together when Paul says, “I’m not like those kind of people, and I’m not coming with something that is corrupted, adulterated, or cheap, but rather I’m coming with the real thing.” Now back to Chapter 4 then if you will, and continuing on in verse 2 we find Paul saying:

II Corinthians 4:2b

“…nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”

Now you know the meaning of truth is an elusive thing isn’t it? A lot of our universities use to put across their main gates, “Seeking After Truth.” in one way or another. But truth can be so elusive many times, and yet if we just get in and search the Scriptures then the truth will come out. We had three phone calls just yesterday from people of the same denomination, and they were from different parts of the country who said, “Les you’ve opened my eyes. I never realized that I was under such false teaching. Well it was not that I opened their eyes, but rather the fact was they’re doing something that I tell people to do and that is asking, “What does The Book say?” And that’s when they found out that they were under a lot of false doctrine, because they couldn’t find it in The Book. It was coming from their pulpit, but it wasn’t in The Bible. And seeing it wasn’t in The Bible made them come away from it. And that’s all I’m saying because I’m not here to knock any group, and if you can line up with what they’re preaching in The Book then fine, I have no opposition with that. But so much of what we’re hearing is not in The Book, it’s men’s ideas, and people are swallowing it hook, line, and sinker and then suddenly realizing that they have been led down some back alley. Now verse 3:

II Corinthians 4:3

“But (Now here’s the flip side. Paul’s not coming with an adulterated product, but he says) if our gospel be hid, (or veiled) it is hid to them that are lost:” Now just mull that statement over. A better word for hid is veiled like we saw in Chapter 3. Let’s turn back there a moment and look at it.

II Corinthians 3:15,16

“But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.” What has been happening? Something has been hidden from them. Now you bring that same concept up into verse 3.

II Corinthians 4:3a

“If our gospel be hid…” (or veiled)

Something is over it so that hearts cannot comprehend it. What has to happen? Well someone has to remove the veil, and in this case who is holding the veil in place? Satan is, as we’ll see in the next verse.

II Corinthians 4:4a

“In whom the god of this world…” (Satan)

A lot of people don’t like to talk about Satan. They think of him as a cartoon character in a red underwear suit, and a pitchfork with some horns on his head, but listen, that’s not the Satan in The Bible. The Satan of The Bible is a powerful being. Paul says in another place that he can transform himself into an angel of light. So this is what Satan is doing so expeditiously today. Satan is constantly confusing the issue with his seeming light, but remember it’s Satan who –

II Corinthians 4:4b

“…hath blinded the minds of them which (will not repent and be baptized? Notice it doesn’t say that. So what is God’s controversy? They won’t believe. They) believe not,…”

It’s not that we have to repent, it’s not that we have run down some aisle in repentance. But rather what does God demand for salvation in this day of Grace? That we believe the Gospel. Now is a mighty good time to look at the Gospel of salvation that saves us and places us into the Body of Christ. Jerry Pool isn’t here with us today, but if he was here he’d be winking at me, and I know what he’d be saying. So turn back with me to I Corinthians Chapter 15. And bless his heart, Jerry started coming to my classes about 16 years ago and I guess one of the first Thursday nights he attended I must have struck a cord with these first 4 verses in I Corinthians, “The Gospel!” There is no clearer place in the whole Bible where the Gospel is laid out in full. This beats John 3:16 a hundred miles. Now I have nothing against John 3:16, but John 3:16 can’t even come close to what Paul writes here. Remember any time that Paul makes a reference to the Gospel in any of his epistles it’s always this one. All right verse 1:

I Corinthians 15:1,2

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel (absolutely. Today there is only one Gospel of Grace.) which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; (that was all it took. When they believed the Gospel then God literally moved heaven and earth to bring that person to place of enlightenment. And as soon as we believe the Gospel this Book begins to open up to understanding. And it begins to make sense) By which also ye are saved, (it’s by this Gospel and this Gospel only that we’re saved. I don’t care if it was in Corinth or any other area of the world, whether it was back in 50 AD or in the present year it makes no difference because this is the Gospel that saves lost people.) if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.”

Paul is saying, “Don’t believe the wrong thing for salvation.” Listen God is meticulous. Again this same Jerry had been to a funeral of a dear friend, a good person, and I’ll never forget the look on Jerry’s face when he said, “Les is there any chance that God might compromise this a little bit and let this person in?” No way! Because God is not a compromiser.God has made the plan of salvation so simple, and plain that He is not going to let someone slip in a side door, and say, “Well I thought…” You see that’s what Cain did. I always have to go back to Cain and Abel because they were so typical. Abel did just exactly what God said to do. Abel believed what God said and he acted on it. But old Cain rationalized, and said, “Yeah but I think that if I do this and if I come on with all of this effort then God will accept me.” But did He? No! I’ve often said that Cain was probably a better person than Abel. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit. Because Cain tried, but what was his problem? Cain didn’t believe what God said.

And it’s the same way today. If people are going to somehow or other connive around this simple Gospel, then I don’t believe that God is going to accept them. Now I don’t know hearts, and I never pretend to, but I have to go by what The Book says, and The Book says that this is the Gospel by which people are saved. Here it is in verse 3 and 4.

I Corinthians 15:3,4

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, (now here we come back to the revelation that Paul received from the ascended Lord, and not from Christ’s earthly ministry. Christ had the finished work of the Cross now behind Him. So this is what was revealed by the ascended Lord for us to believe for salvation) how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (This was in that whole preordained plan of the ages that Christ would go to the Cross) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures;”

Now folks that’s the Gospel that you must believe in your heart for salvation. And isn’t it so simple. Oh there is no string attached, there is no prescribed ritual, there is no particular way that you have to do this. You can believe it at the kitchen sink, you can believe it driving down the road, you can believe it when you wake up in the middle of the night. You can say, “Yes I see it. For me there is only one remedy, and that is that Christ died for my sins, and He arose from the dead!” Then God does all the rest. God saves us. God sets our feet on a Rock, and He begins to open up the Scriptures, and then we begin to comprehend the truth of The Bible from cover to cover. Now this isn’t going to happen all at once, but salvation happens all at once. I told a class many years ago that salvation is not a process, but rather salvation is an event. Salvation is an instantaneous event. Christian growth is a process. Bible understanding is a process, but salvation is a one time event. And what an event to be translated from darkness to light! To know your sins have been forgiven, and to know that you’re justified! And all this happens instantaneously.

I noticed in my studies of this past week that in all of Paul’s letters that we never have to beg God to forgive us of our sins. Think about that. And yet for most people who are putting out the plan of salvation they say, “You have to ask God to forgive you of your sins, you have to repent.” Well I can’t find any of this in Paul’s letter to the Church Age believers. It’s not in here, but rather my Bible tells me that when Christ died the death of the Cross, He took on Himself not just the sins of those who are saved, but rather He took on the sins of every human being that has ever lived or will ever live. And when He took every human being’s sin then He could cry to the Father, “Those sins are forgiven,” All of those sins are buried in the deepest sea, never, never to be brought before us again. So even when lost people slip out of this life into eternity, their sins are already forgiven. But they had not believed unto Salvation. Now when we get into Chapter 5 of II Corinthians we’re going to find the word “Reconciliation” and the same thing applies. Every human being that has ever lived has now been reconciled to God by virtue of the work of the Cross.

But now I have to clarify that don’t I? I think this will be a good illustration. Those guys in Congress who hold the money bags, and can hand it out by the billions. For a particular program they can appropriate millions of dollars, but that money stays in that account until somebody out there starts drawing on that account. Am I right? Is that government process? You know it is. All right the money is already appropriated, but it won’t do a nickels worth of good until somebody draws on it and puts it to use. Now that is God! At the Cross God paid the payment for every person’s sins. He paid their eternal doom, He did everything that needed to be done. So now all that lost people have to do is draw on that account. And how do they do that? By simply believing the Gospel for their salvation. But the reason they will never enjoy all the ramifications of that finished work is that they are never going to draw on it by believing. They will never exercise the faith that God demands. Now isn’t that sad? You know I think when people go to the Lake of Fire for all eternity, they won’t be going there for all their sins. They’re not going there because of the drunkenness, and adultery and whatever you want to call sin. They’re going there because of their unbelief! And if I’m not remembered for anything else I want to be remembered for that. That lost humanity is going to their eternal doom for only one reason, and that is they refuse to believe that everything is already done. And isn’t that sad. And who is keeping them from seeing all of this? The powers of Satan as we see in II Corinthians 4:4:

II Corinthians 4:4a

“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,…”

And how does Satan do it? I think his favorite choice today is to keep people so busy. Everybody is so busy. Our kids are all involved in sports from the time they get old enough to walk. And so it is a constant bombarding of our time with everything except the things that count. And so I believe this is Satan’s biggest instrument. And there is nothing wrong with a lot of those things. There’s nothing wrong with kids playing T-Ball, or basketball; but what’s it doing? It’s keeping their minds so occupied that they never have time to think in terms of the spiritual. Oh, the old Devil loves it when we’re preoccupied. The more he can keep people in programs, and the more he can keep people with their eyes on material things the more old Satan can say, “I’ve got them veiled, I’m keeping them blinded, and I’m the winner.

356 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 4 - Book 30 - 2 Corinthians 1:1 - 3:18 - Part 2

356: 2 Corinthians 1:1 – 3:18 – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 30

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 30

2 CORINTHIANS 1:1-3:18 – PART 2

We’re going to begin with Chapter 3. We would encourage you to study right along with us. We had missionary friends from Bolivia stop by this summer, and they couldn’t get over the fact that all of our people had a Bible and most had a notebook in front of them. They said they had never seen that before, even on the mission field. And I do think it’s unique that our people always bring their Bible to class.

I want to remind you that the Apostle Paul was always having to defend his apostleship because of all the false teachers that were coming in. Probably the strongest element at Corinth that was in opposition to Paul and his teaching according to the mysteries, were those who claimed to follow Peter. And right next to that were those who claimed to follow the teachings of Jesus. And, of course, it’s no different today. Many people tell me, “Les I know you like to teach Paul, but I’m not going according to what Paul said, but rather what Jesus said.” Well I know these people mean well, but you want to remember what Jesus said, He said in His earthly ministry. Also remember that He was only sent to the Nation of Israel.

Matthew 15:24

“But he (Jesus) answered and said, `I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.'”

Romans 15:8

“Now I (Paul) say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision (Jews only) for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:” (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob)

So what Jesus said was to the Nation of Israel under the Law. Although we can make applications from it, it was not spoken to us. What the Apostle Paul writes is Holy Spirit inspired and it is directed directly to us as Gentiles in this age of Grace in the Body of Church. Verse 1:

II Corinthians 3:1

“Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?”

Do you see what Paul is saying? Do I have to come here with official letters from Peter, and the eleven in Jerusalem? Do I have to come with some kind of a commendation from those who were apostles before me? They had nothing to do with his apostleship. Peter and the eleven didn’t send Paul out into the Gentile world, but rather the ascended Christ seated at the Father’s right hand did. So Paul is reminding them of that. Now verse 2:

II Corinthians 3:2

“Ye (these people I pointed out in our first lesson today, like the Thessalonians. They had turned from idols to the living God. So Paul says you) are our epistle (you are changed people)written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

I like to feel the same way about so many who have come to know The Lord through our simple teaching. They’ve become living epistles!

II Corinthians 3:3

“Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, (now watch this) written not with ink, (on paper) but with the Spirit (Holy Spirit) of the living God; not in tables of stone, (reference to the Ten Commandments,) but in fleshly tables of the heart.” So you as believers are living epistles with the work of the Holy Spirit written on the heart – and that’s where it all has to be.

II Corinthians 3:4,5

“And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;”

Now again let me remind you, what kind of a man was Saul of Tarsus? Highly educated. He was the most educated Jew of his day, having sat at the feet of the greatest Rabbi of that time. So he had all that intellectual background, and he was a Pharisee of the Pharisees. He could have said, “Hey, I’m qualified by virtue of my training.” But he never did that. In fact back in the Book of Philippians he called all of that just so much what? Dung.

Philippians 3:7,8

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”

He cast it all aside as worthless that he might become the very workmanship of Christ Himself. So all of his sufficiency was never because of his background. Not because he was a Hebrew of Hebrews but because he was a humble servant of the Creator God.

In these next series of verses, the casual reader probably never catches this, but there is one example after another of the difference between Law and Grace. I trust that, if The Lord tarries, and I go by way of the valley of the shadow of death and I’m off the scene, that people will still be able to remember that I was constantly trumpeting the difference between Law and Grace, and here it is again. Verse 6:

II Corinthians 3:6

“Who (God from verse 5) also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, (the Law of Moses) but of the spirit: for the letter (Law) killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”

See the difference? Law could do nothing but condemn. The Law had no life-giving power whatsoever. And that’s why people are so foolish when they say, “Well, I’m trying to do the best I can. I’m keeping the Commandments.” The Commandments can’t do anything but kill. The Commandments pronounce it as guilty! But Grace, which is epitomized here in verse 6 as the work of the Holy Spirit, giveth life. Now, remember from our resurrection study that when we get into the eternal state we will no longer be flesh and blood, but rather flesh and bone with that power of life coming from the Holy Spirit. Now here in this verse is that same Spirit – that power from on High, it’s that Holy Spirit that gives life. But the Law can only condemn.

II Corinthians 3:7

“But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, (the Law, and so if that) was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which was to be done away:”

Now before we go back and look at those verses in the Book of Exodus I’m going to tell you something. I’ll bet that you thought, like I did for so long, that in the account when Moses came down the mountain after talking with The Lord face-to-face that Moses’ face shone, Right? So we know a veil was put upon his face. Now what do most of us think that the veil was for? Well, because Moses was so radiant in his glory, having been in the presence of Christ of the Old Testament that the children of Israel couldn’t stand to look on his face. But that’s not what that means at all. Now this is going to be hard to swallow isn’t it? What was being veiled was the passing away of the Law. Now put that in your mind, and as we come down the line you’ll see what we’re talking about. Now verse 8:

II Corinthians 3:8

“How shall not the ministration of the spirit (which is now indicative of Grace) be rather glorious?”

What’s Paul talking about? As the gloriousness (if there is such a word) of the Law faded away, then what takes its place and is even more glorious? Grace! So you have the passing away of one and the bringing on the scene of the other. Law has to fade away and Grace becomes epitomized. Now moving on to verse 9:

II Corinthians 3:9a

“For if the ministration of condemnation…” Remember you only condemn something that has a flaw. We had better use some Scripture with this so let’s go back to the Book of Romans in Chapter 3.

Romans 3:19,20

“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law, (who’s under the Law? Israel. The Gentiles never were. But the power of the Law didn’t stop with Israel but) that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world (not just Israel) may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds (or keeping) of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

And what’s the other word that is connected with sin? Death! So the Law was an administration of death. All the Law could do was condemn the individual, and if he was condemned then death was the only alternative. Now coming back to II Corinthians again. If that was going to be done away with in verse 7, now we have the whole concept of Grace taking the place of Law.

II Corinthians 3:9

“For if the ministration of condemnation (Law) be glory, (then) much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.”

As great as the system of Law was in operating in the Nation of Israel, it’s nothing to be compared with the operation of Grace.

II Corinthians 3:10

“For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.”

Now you know what I think Paul is saying? That, by comparison, the glory of legalism which was, of course, the way God mandated to the Nation of Israel living under the Law, was nothing. The sad thing is that we have people today by the millions who turn their backs on Grace and say, “I’ll do the best I can, I’ll keep the Commandments.” It’s just a sad commentary isn’t it?. Now verse 11. In this verse Paul puts it in plain language. This isn’t covered up or veiled one iota.

II Corinthians 3:11

“For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.”

Well what was done away with? The Law. What now remains? Grace. So we have two great contrasts, but the same God. These are two totally different economies. The one said,“Thou shalt not and thou shalt.” The other one stands over here in the verse we saw a couple of lessons ago. “Therefore stand in the liberty wherewith Christ has saved us.”What a difference.

Galatians 2:4

“And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:”

So you can see what a difference. Grace is far more glorious. Now verse 12:

II Corinthians 3:12

“Seeing then that we have such hope, (the coming out of legalism with all of its demands) we use great plainness of speech:”

I don’t care in what form or shape legalism comes, it’s legalism. And legalism always instructs you as to what you have to do in order to merit favor with God. There are millions of people who are shunning the Gospel of God’s Grace, (believing in His finished work of the Cross. (I Corinthians 15:1-4) and saying, “I have to work for it.” What a sad commentary, but that’s the Devil’s lie. When Christ died and rose from the dead, God was totally satisfied that was all we needed. We can trust that completely, and we don’t have to work and sweat, and worry, hoping that maybe we’ve done enough, because Christ did enough. He did all that was necessary. But always remember that Grace is not license. That doesn’t mean that I can go out and live like the Devil’s crowd, and mostly because we don’t want to. I dare say that the average true believer would be as miserable in a honky tonk on Saturday night as a regular honky tonk customer would be in Church on a Sunday morning. It’s the same difference. Two totally different lifestyles, two totally different desires, and this, of course, is what makes it work. Now verse 13:

II Corinthians 3:13

“And not as Moses, (in other words it’s not the same set-up that Moses was operating under when he had to put the veil over his face.) which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:”

Does that tell you what I’ve been trying to say? In other words when Moses put the veil over his head, it wasn’t that Israel couldn’t stand the brightness of his complexion, but rather that they could not see the end of this whole system of Law, and they can’t even to this day. They are blinded to the fact that the whole system of Law has passed off the scene, it is abolished, and in it’s place is this tremendous revelation of the mysteries, “The Grace of God!” Now verse 14:

II Corinthians 3:14

“But their (the Nation of Israel) minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken (or not taken) away in the reading of the old testament; which is done away in Christ.”

In other words when Christ finished the work of redemption by virtue of His death, burial, and resurrection the whole system of Law was done away with. It was abolished because now we’ve got something far better. Now you want to remember that the Law was given to the Nation of Israel to prepare them for the coming of their Messiah. But in their unbelief they failed it from start to finish, but God didn’t stop His plan of redemption because of it, He carried it out anyway. So Christ died, He rose from the dead, He revealed to this apostle, the apostle Paul, this whole new concept of salvation by faith because of God’s Grace, and nothing added. But the average Jew in his blindness is still tying himself to the Law. To him the veil is still on Moses’ head, and they cannot see that it has come to an end. Now I hope you can see that. It took me a long time and I don’t expect you to really catch it in five minutes. But the veil was only to keep Israel from seeing that the Law was fading away, and that something better had now come in it’s place. Now reading on:

II Corinthians 3:15

“But even unto this day, (now Paul was writing this about 60 AD but it’s the same truth for 1997. To this day) when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.”

Remember in synagogue worship what is primarily read? The Torah, from Moses. Bless the Jews’ hearts because they’re sincere, and Paul felt the same feeling toward them. They were sincere in their activity, but as they read from Moses that veil that keeps them from seeing that it has all passed off the scene, is still on their hearts. Now let’s look for a moment at a verse back in Romans Chapter 11. This says it in a little plainer language than what it is here in II Corinthians.

Romans 11:6,7

“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. (in other words, Grace cannot operate mixed with Law. It has to stand totally by itself.) But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more works. What then? Israel (nationally. not individually) hath not obtained that which he seeketh for: but the election (that small percentage of Jews who believe the Gospel) hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” And that’s the vail that’s on their heart according to II Corinthians, and they just can’t see through it. Now coming back to our text for the few moments we have left, and lets read verse 15 again.

II Corinthians 3:15-17

“But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it (their hearts) shall turn to the Lord, (by believing Paul’s Gospel) the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

We have liberty, and not the heavy hand of legalism. Every believer has that liberty, that wherewithal to search the Scriptures to come to their own conclusion. I don’t mind if folks write or call saying, “Hey I don’t agree with you.” That’s fine. We have that liberty. But when they disagree they have to do it on the basis of The Book. Now verse 18:

II Corinthians 3:18

“But we all, (now who is Paul speaking on behalf of? Every believer of the Grace Gospel) with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Remember when they’re on the Mount of Transfiguration and Peter, James, John, and The Lord was transfigured before them, and He shone forth with all of his glory. Do you know that’s the same identical word as changed is here in the Greek. So every believer has experienced that already. Oh we don’t show it outwardly, but God sees it inwardly, and so we have already been transfigured into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of The Lord. All right come back up to the first part of that verse for a moment.

II Corinthians 15:18a

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,…”

Now Israel was depicted as being veiled from the truth of the Law. They couldn’t see that it was fading away. But we look at Christ as in a mirror, and as we look at Christ in a mirror, what does the world see on us? His reflection! It’s just that simple, and the Law could never do any of that, because Moses had to be veiled, and Israel could never understand. But you’re not under Law, but rather GRACE!