367 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 3 - Book 31 - 2 Corinthians 6:1 - 8:6

367: 2 Corinthians 6:1 – 8:6 – Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 31

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 31

2 CORINTHIANS 6:1 – 8:6

We finished Chapter 6 so we’ll begin with verse 1 of Chapter 7. Now the background for all these letters of Paul. This is the second letter to the Corinthians Church (the first one dealt with several problems the Church was having and Paul really dressed them down on a few of them). The second letter is kind of like an ointment to soothe their feelings and yet at the same time gives us the response from the apostle himself to the things he was hearing coming out of this congregation at Corinth.

II Corinthians 7:1,2

“Having therefore these promises, (now remember what he had just said in the last part of Chapter 6 that if we have the wherewithal, as the results of His saving Grace, to separate ourselves from the ungodly world around us, then God will be a father unto us, He will call us sons and daughters, and that’s our relationship with God as members of the Body of Christ. So having these promises) dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting (or growing in maturity) holiness in the fear of God. 2. Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.”

Why does Paul say something like this? Because this is what he’s been accused of. He’s been accused of everything. He’s accused if he picks up an offering, that he’s embezzling it. He’s accused of bringing a false Gospel. (without the Law) Paul is accused of coming up with something that he alone dreamed up. And on and on the list could go. All of these things that he has given a response to he has been accused of, and he is simply stating that it’s not true.

II Corinthians 7:3

“I speak not this to condemn you; for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you.” In other words, the man was so full of love for these Corinthians that in spite of all the bad things that they said about him, he still loved them. Now verse 4.

II Corinthians 7:4

“Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.”

Isn’t that amazing? In spite of all the bad things they were saying about the man, he still loved them and even bragged about them to his other congregations. He would actually tell the people at Ephesus, “I’ve got a great bunch of people down there at Corinth. Oh, they’ve got some problems, but I love everyone of them.”

II Corinthians 7:5

“For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh (that is the physical body) had no rest, but we were troubled on every side, without were fightings, within were fears.” Earlier, Paul was talking about death.

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.”

Well even though this was by inspiration there was also the physical element. Because evidently Paul had been close to death up at Philippi. Paul had been sick in bed, but he had survived, and on top of all of his trials and tribulation of attacks from the pagan world, from the Judaisers, he was supposed to have met Titus over at Troas, and after he got there, was supposed to leave and still no Titus. Now there wasn’t much communication in those days, and he had no way of knowing what had happened to Titus. So all of that also was just weighing down on the man And so this is what he means in verse 5, and let’s read it again:

II Corinthians 7:5,6a

“For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh (his body) had no rest, but we were troubled on every side, without were fightings, within were fears. 6. Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down,…”

I have to wonder a lot of times, and I’m not saying this to be critical, but our society has gotten to the place that whenever there is a tragedy, especially for school kids, they have to bring in psychologists, and counselors to help these kids handle their grief. I’m sure there’s something good about that, but why have we come to the place in society that we have to have that kind of help for a tragedy. Listen, my Bible says that God is the Source of our comfort. I don’t need a psychologist to come in and straighten out my thinking because it’s right here in the Book. And this is exactly what Paul is showing us. In spite of all of his pressures, in spite of all of his grief and disappointments, yet Who carried him through? God did, and Paul never doubted it for a moment. Verse 6 again:

II Corinthians 7:6

“Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, (He knows when we need help, and He’s there) comforted us by the coming of Titus;”

So Titus finally finds Paul. Now Paul missed him at Troas, and we don’t know how much longer this was afterwards, but it must have been a fair amount of time because Paul had been up to Philippi, he had been sick in bed, and now he finally comes in contact with Titus. Now remember Titus is coming from Corinth, as he has been down there working with these Corinthian believers while Paul was at Ephesus. Now verse 7.

II Corinthians 7:7

“And not by his coming only, (oh it was great to see Titus) but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, (Corinthians) when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind (in other words their attitude of heart) toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.”

Do you get the picture? Titus has been down there at Corinth. Paul has been over here at Ephesus, and he’s written that letter to the Corinthians where he had to dress them down severely. Paul has heard all these things coming out of the Corinthian congregation that were against him, that were condemning him, but now here comes Titus with nothing but good things that the Corinthians were saying about the apostle Paul. What does that show you? How human Paul was. There isn’t a person anywhere that doesn’t like to be complimented. Isn’t that right? Everyone likes a word of compliment. A word of compliment can do more for you than anything you can imagine, and Paul was no different. He was tickled to death to see Titus, but he was thrilled to death to hear that the Corinthians still loved him, and held him in high esteem. Verse 8.

II Corinthians 7:8,9a

“For though I made you sorry with a letter, (the letter of I Corinthians when he had to address their problems) I do not repent, (or regret, because it had to be done) though I did repent: (or regret) for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. 9. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance:…”

In other words, did the first letter work? You’d better believe it worked. Now let’s go back to I Corinthians Chapter 5 for a moment and look at one of the problems they had in that first letter. Remember along with all the other problems at Corinth where they had divisions. when some said they followed Christ and His earthly ministry teachings. Some were following Apollos, others said, “Peter was their man,” and still others said, “No, Paul brought us the Gospel by which we are saved so we’ll keep following Paul.” So they had those divisions. Also, they were taking one another to the pagan courts in lawsuits. They had other problems as well, but the most major problem that the Corinthian church had was this one right here in Chapter 5, and it was gross immorality.

I Corinthians 5:1,2

“It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, (those pagans that the Jews thought were as low as dogs. But you as believers are permitting an act of immorality that even the Gentiles wouldn’t think of doing.) that one should have his father’s wife. (a step-mother) 2. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.”

What were the Corinthians doing about this gross immorality? Absolutely nothing. If anything they were smiling about it. They were making snide remarks. Now verse 3.

I Corinthians 5:3-6

“For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 4. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5. To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, (not the soul. In other words physical death if this guy won’t straighten up) that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6. (In verse 6 we find them just as guilty as he was because of their glorying or gloating over it.) Your glorying is not good, Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

Paul goes on to say that they had to deal with that problem, and now when you come back to the second letter, did they? Yes they dealt with it, and evidently brought the man back into fellowship, and his sin was naturally forgiven, and cleansed and the letter had done it’s work. Now back to II Corinthians Chapter 7.

II Corinthians 7:10

“For godly sorrow (or a godly regret of something done that’s wrong) worketh repentance (or a change of mind) to salvation not to be repented of: (have you ever talked to a true believer who said he was sorry he had become a Christian? I never have. So here again in this instance to take care of this individual sin situation was the salvation not for the soul, but the salvation of the time, because this situation had to be corrected, and it was) but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” (if there is no saving Grace involved)

II Corinthians 7:11

“For behold this selfsame thing, (referring back to this one individual in I Corinthians Chapter 5, verse 1) that ye sorrowed (or looked at this thing) after a godly sort, (in other words, they looked at that situation and it had to be dealt with as God would look at it, and they realized the sinfulness of the whole situation.) what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”

In other words, the Corinthian Church took this gentlemen aside and laid out God’s view of his actions, and the witness that it was having in the pagan city of Corinth. News like that travels in any city. What did it do for the whole congregation? It enhanced everyone of them. When they could see that God could move into a situation even as vile as this one, clear the deck and make everyone once again in fellowship with a Holy God. Now verse 12.

II Corinthians 7:12

“Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, (I Corinthians) I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, (although certainly that man was involved) nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.”

Now think about these things. What’s Paul saying? If Paul would have treated this as the congregation was and just glossed over it, what would that have said to the congregation about him? Well he’s no better than the rest of us. He looks at like we do so it must not be all that bad. But when Paul dealt with it, and he dealt with it severely, when he told them. “You deal with this man, and turn him over to the power of Satan that Satan can touch the flesh unless he turns around in repentance and gets right with God.” I mean it’s just a perfect picture of how you and I, even today, deal with sin because God hates it. God will never wink at sin even though He has paid for it and forgiven it through His death on the Cross, yet God is never going to wink at sin. He can’t. So Paul tells us that all of us profited from this situation. Paul did, the congregation did, and certainly the guilty party did. Now verse 13.

II Corinthians 7:13

“Therefore (because of what had happened) we were comforted in your comfort: (Paul says, `as you feel, I feel.’) yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all.” So even Titus had his whole spiritual life enhanced because of the reaction of the congregation in Corinth toward this adulteress individual. Now verse 14 and 15.

II Corinthians 7:14,15

“For if I have boasted any thing to him of you, I am not ashamed; but as we spake all things to you in truth, even so our boasting, which I made before Titus, is found a truth. 15. And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all how with fear and trembling ye received him.”

Now do you see what’s going on here? This young man Titus, a new believer, a student of the apostle Paul, and yet when he came into the situation at Corinth, he realized their carnality, he realized how unspiritual many of the members were, and yet because of the letter of I Corinthians how it had changed that whole congregation. It was because Paul had taken the bull by the horns and he addressed the issue, and told the people to deal with it. And because of this it not only enhanced Paul’s ministry, but also the congregation and this young man Titus. Now verse 16.

II Corinthians 7:16

“I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.”

Now that’s quite a statement to make especially with a congregation of carnal people which was just recently brought out of paganism. Again this is what I have to stress over and over and over that these Corinthians believers had been pagan, idolaters, immoral, and everything that went along with it, and yet here they’re brought out by believing the Gospel. They have become new creations in Christ Jesus and they were a thrill, to the apostle Paul and his helper Titus.

Well again I think now you can see so much of this was in the same area that Christ dealt with in His earthly ministry. You all know the account of the woman caught in adultery in John’s Gospel Chapter 8. Let’s go back and look at it. This is not new, it’s in a little different setting of course. Now this is Jesus Himself dealing with a woman who was a known adulterer.

John 8:1-11

“Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4. They say unto him, `Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned; but what sayest thou?’ 6. This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. (can you picture that?) 7. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. (I often wondered what He wrote. I’m sure He was putting something in the sand, and those religious leaders of Israel saw what He was writing) 9. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last; and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, `Woman where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11. She said, No man, Lord.’ And Jesus said unto her, `Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more.'”

Now this does not give license to adultery by any stretch of the imagination. No more than the man back here in I Corinthians Chapter 5. But what does it show us? That God is willing and ready to forgive, but with forgiveness what does He expect? A growth in spirituality. Now I think you can pick that up so graphically after King David sinned in an adulteress situation with Bathsheba. I think one of the most heart rendering portions of Scripture is David’s confession of his sin in Psalms Chapter 32. There David just pours out his heart to God. It wasn’t that he had just sinned against himself and Bathsheba, but he had sinned against his God. But his confession is such that he was in a cold sweat because of his guilt. But once he confessed it, and got rid of it, and got right with God then David went on and continued his walk with his Holy God.

366 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 2 - Book 31 - Truth Personified - Part 2

366: Truth Personified – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 31

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 31

TRUTH PERSONIFIED – PART 2

As most of you know we’re just an informal Bible class, and as I stand before you and teach I see people from many different denominations, but remember there are no denominations in glory. There is only one Bible, and as we’ll see when we get into Ephesians there is:

Ephesians 4:4,5

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5. One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” (I Corinthians 12:13)

So there is not much room for all these differences of opinion when we come down to the truth of Scripture. So now let’s get right back into our study in II Corinthians and let’s begin with verse 8. We finished with verse 7 and the word “Truth” in our last lesson, and how Paul came only in the name of truth which is also the name of Christ. Now you come into verse 8 – he came –

II Corinthians 6:8

“By honour and dishonour, (there were those who were constantly besmirching his name) by evil report and good report: as deceivers, (by some) and yet true;”

I’ve discovered that I’ve missed so much in these Corinthians letters over the years. But as I prepare to teach these letters I’ve discovered that these little letters are so loaded, especially if you just get into them and dig. Now let’s look at verse 8 for a moment.

II Corinthians 6:8b

“…as deceivers, and yet true;”

Who else came up against this very same attitude of His peers? Well Christ did. Isn’t that exactly what the Lord had to put up with? Come back with me to John’s Gospel Chapter 7 again. In this chapter the Lord went up against the same thing that the apostle Paul and you and I do yet today. Human nature has not changed one bit. Just because it’s 2000 years ago doesn’t mean it’s changed.

John 7:10-12

“But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 11. Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? 12. And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, `Nay; but he deceiveth the people.'”

Now that was what Jesus was being accused of, and here He was as Truth personified and they even accused Him of being deceptive. Come on over to Chapter 8 where we were in our last lesson concerning the word truth in verse 44. But let’s go to verse 52.

John 8:52,53

“Then said the Jews unto him, `Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my sayings, he shall never taste of death. 53. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?'” The Jews are doubting everything that Jesus says. Now verse 57.

John 8:57

“Then said the Jews unto him, (and can’t you just sense the scorn, as they were thinking, `who do you think you are?’) `Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?'”

Do you see that? You have scorn and ridicule, and they accused Him of being a master deceiver. Now the apostle Paul was up against that same thing. Everywhere he went there were his detractors who would ridicule and scorn him, and yet he had to continue on. Now back to II Corinthians Chapter 6, and verse 9.

II Corinthians 6:9a

“As unknown, and yet well known;…”

Now there again you just stop and think about it. Here he was one of the top Pharisees in Judaism. Oh, Paul was well known among the Jewish religious leaders, but outside of Palestine who had ever heard of Saul of Tarsus? No one! And so he was well known and yet unknown. So Paul comes into these areas of Asia Minor and Greece, Athens and Corinth as a relative unknown. Now continuing on.

II Corinthians 6:9b,10a

“…as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; (he was always threatened with his life.) 10. As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich:…”

Now again stop and think? What had happened? He had been rich. He says in Galatians that he profited more than his equals in the Jewish religion. I think Saul of Tarsus was wealthy. He probably had one of the better homes in Jerusalem, and yet the Book of Philippians tells us that he cast all that aside and counted it as dung for the sake of the Gospel.

II Corinthians 6:10b

“…as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”

Well now let’s just look at the total opposite of Christendom today by going back to Revelation Chapter 3 and look at the last of the seven Churches – the letter to the Laodiceans. My goodness how this just tells it like it is. What a condemnation the Lord Jesus puts on this congregation.

Revelation 3:17

“Because thou sayest, `I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;’ and knowest not that thou are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”(spiritually)

That’s most of Christendom today, isn’t it? They are so wealthy. They have these huge sanctuaries, huge fellowship halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, tennis courts, you name and they have it. But where are they spiritually for the most part? Now I never make a blanket judgment, but for the most part these same congregations are spiritually dead. Now you come back to the apostle Paul – he had the opposite. Paul came from that wealth, he came from that high religious experience, and for the sake of the Gospel he became as poor as a church mouse. Now back to II Corinthians. Now we’re to come to an area where I wish we had more time to chase it all the way up from the Book of Genesis. We’ll try, we’ll come as far as we can. Now don’t lose sight of the spiritual level of the Corinthian Church. Where were they? Babes in Christ. They were still carnal, they were not Paul’s pride and joy like the Ephesians or the Philippians were. But in spite of that I want you to see the man’s love for these carnal believers.

II Corinthians 6:11,12

“O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, (I’ve been able to speak to you) our heart is enlarged. (His love for these people was just enveloping them in spite of their failures.) 12. Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.” (the innermost being, the heart.)

In other words, the Gospel had taken hold of these Corinthians enough to bring them out of their paganism. They had separated themselves from their pagan background to a degree, but they were still carnal and had a long way to go. Now verse 13.

II Corinthians 6:13

“Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.”

In other words, be ready to just open yourselves to the truths that this man was bringing them. Now here we come to kind of a touchy situation. People don’t like to talk about this anymore. We’re living in a time when this is almost blasé. But you know what Paul is talking about in verse 14? Separation.

II Corinthians 6:14a

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers:”

Now that doesn’t mean that unbelievers are awful. I always have to define the word, “ungodly.” A lot of people think that ungodly means people down on skid row, or maybe in prostitution. No. To be ungodly is to take the first two letters of the word and set them aside, and what does un always mean? Without. So someone who is ungodly is someone who is simply without God in their life. They may be the prime example of citizenship, but they are still without God. So the same way here. Just because Paul calls them unbelievers doesn’t mean that they’re the pits. They may be perfectly good people, more moral than a lot of Christians could ever hope to be. But they are still unbelievers, they are without faith. Always remember without faith it’s impossible to please God.

Now get the picture here. I’m not saying that we’re talking about two diverse people. Here’s someone who is a Christian, and here she marries someone down in the gutter. No, no. We’re talking about people who may be on equal level in society, but one is a believer and the other is an unbeliever. Paul says by inspiration that it won’t work to be unequally yoked. Now the Scripture always makes things so plain. Come back with me to the Book of Deuteronomy, and as you read the Old Testament you have to remember that Israel was a farming society. They still lived back when animals were used for beasts of burden and so forth. So there’s a lot of correlation between the agriculture of the day and even the spiritual understanding. So now when Paul says, “Be ye not unequally yoked,” what does the word yoked immediately bring to mind? Well the beast of burden out in the field plowing. That’s what a yoke did, it put two oxen together so they could pull in unison. Now look at Deuteronomy Chapter 22 verse 9 and 10. And this was part of Israel’s Law. Remember the admonition is still the same today. “Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers.”

Deuteronomy 22:9,10

“Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers (different) seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled. (the Law said you couldn’t have a vineyard of grapes and sow something else that was still able to cross-pollinate, because they would have a rogue crop) 10. Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.”

Now can you picture an ox and a little donkey pulling a plow together? That poor little donkey would just be working his tail off to keep up with that big ox. It wasn’t that the Jewish people were actually doing this, at least I can’t envision that they were, but the lesson that it was teaching was that as soon as you have an unequal yoke then you have something that is ridiculous. And an ox and a little donkey is as ridiculous as you can get, and it’s simply an unequal yoke.

Now the next one in verse 11 and 12 you will smile at. Because with our technology you now throw wool in the washer and it doesn’t draw up and shrink like it used to. I can remember when I was a kid that if something that was woolen got washed accidentally then it was done for. But now here is the admonition. Don’t make a garment that was part wool and part linen. Why? When they washed it the thing would be all out of shape, and it would look ridiculous, and that was the Law. Now I don’t think many Jews were trying to do this, but it was that God, by telling them this, was teaching them a lesson. Don’t mix things that won’t work together.

Now coming back to II Corinthians. I know that when most people look at this verse the only thing that they think about is an unequal marriage. Listen, it doesn’t have to stop with marriage. It can enter into anything where people have to work together for a common cause. As soon as you put any unbeliever and a believer together you’re just as unequally yoked as that ox with a donkey or making a garment with linen and wool – it’s the same thing.

Now remember, I’m not a marriage counselor or pastor and don’t pretend to be, but you have no idea how many people call me with their marital problems. And invariably do you know what the problem was? Unequally yoked one way or another, and their problems began before they ever got married. In fact I’ll never forget, one young lady was crying her heart out that her husband had become a wife beater and all that, and I asked her, “Didn’t you know that he had that potential when you were going together?” She said, “Well maybe a little bit.” I said, “Then why did you go ahead and marry him?” She said, “Well he was a star football player.” Now I have nothing against football players, but listen that’s a mighty poor criteria for husband material. Now a football player can be a good husband, but to chose one to be your husband just because he’s a star is just as ridiculous as you can get. That again is being unequally yoked.

But listen, the problems that people walk into with their eyes wide open thinking they can change the person somewhere down the road. Listen, people don’t change. Iris and I have talked about that in all the years that we’ve known people. Except for what salvation does for people, people do not change. We just don’t change. So when you began with an unequal yoke, then you’re beat from day one. There was a day when Iris and I thought that we’d like to make one more move and have a ranch in Colorado. So we were looking around and stopped at this one realtor and he gave us some rule of thumb, and I love rules of thumb. He said, “Mister, let me tell you something. If you can buy a ranch at the rate of $1,000 for every cow/calf pair that you intend to run on the property, then you have a good chance of making it in ranching. But if you go out and spend $2,000 for every cow/calf pair then you’re beat before you start.” Well that’s just the way it is with marriage. A lot of people enter into a marriage relationship and they’re beat before they start. And why are the beat? They’re unequally yoked. But like I said, it doesn’t stop with marriage, it can be in business, or where two or more people have to work for a common cause.

II Corinthians 6:14

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? (what have you got there? Two distinct opposites.) and what communion hath light with darkness?” (the two will not cohabit.)

You are either going to have light or you’re going to have darkness. Now verse 15.

II Corinthians 6:15a

“And what concord (or accord) hath Christ with Belial?…”

Now this is the only place in the whole New Testament that the word Belial is used. But it is used several times in the Old Testament. I used to think that it was a reference to some pagan god, but it isn’t. The word Belial means something that is worthless. Now just analyze that a moment. If we have Christ Who is the epitome of everything great. He is the epitome of goodness and Grace, and righteousness, and majesty, and we’re going to put that alongside of something that is worthless? It’s ridiculous isn’t it? It’s just as ridiculous as putting a little donkey beside an ox.

II Corinthians 6:15b

“…or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?”

I can’t imagine two such people living under the same roof. Now that would take a lot of Grace to have to live with an infidel. And I suppose an infidel would say the same thing about having to live with a believer. They are two totally opposites, and they cannot pull together. Now verse 16.

II Corinthians 6:16

“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; (our physical human bodies) as God hath said, `I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.'”

That’s the promise we have as believers. The unbeliever can’t claim that, because it’s not true for him. So here’s the conclusion in verse 17:

II Corinthians 6:17a

“Wherefore…”

Because of all these arguments that I have been giving you for this entire lesson. And what was the purpose? So that you can come out of a world that is diabolically opposed to everything that we believe. Now that’s the world around us, and that doesn’t mean that we’re going to retreat into monasteries like they did from 500 to 1500 AD. Remember the historians put the right name on that time and what was it? The dark ages. Why? Because the Word of God was confined to the monasteries. The average man didn’t have access to the Word of God during that time. That’s exactly what happens to the human race when the Word of God is withdrawn. Israel at times in her history lost contact with the Word of God and what happened? They went down the tube nationally! So we see from the scriptures that we are to:

II Corinthians 6:17b

“`… come out from among them, and be ye separate,’ saith the Lord, `and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters,’ saith the Lord Almighty.”

In Genesis Chapter 12 that’s the Abrahamic Covenant and you all know that one.

Genesis 12:1a

“Now the LORD had said, unto Abram, `Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house,…'”

What is that? Separation. God couldn’t deal with Abraham in the midst of Ur. God couldn’t deal with Abraham when he was in the midst of all his pagan relatives. Remember Joshua 24:2 said they worshipped other gods. So there had to be a separation before God could work with him. Now let’s look at Chapter 13

Genesis 13:8,9a

“And Abram said unto Lot, `Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. 9. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me:…” (Then come on down to verse 14.)

Genesis 13:14

“And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated…”

It started from day one that God’s people had to be separated from the world around them. Now turn to Exodus 8. And here we have the plagues coming upon Pharaoh’s Egypt for the first three we find Israel had to come under those plagues as well as the Egyptians, but now look what it says in verse 22.

Exodus 8:22

“And I will sever (or separate) in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth. 23. And I will put a division between my people and thy people; (speaking of Egypt) to morrow shall this sign be.”

What did God do? He separated them!

365 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 1 - Book 31 - Truth Personified

365: Truth Personified – Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 31

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 31

TRUTH PERSONIFIED

Now in our last lesson we finished Chapter 5, so we’ll review a little and then pick up with Chapter 6. I’ve told you before that I’m not a pastor or theologian, but rather just a layman, and if I can teach the Scriptures where anybody can understand them whether they’re young or old then you take what you have learned and do with it what the Lord would have you do. So now if you will take your Bible and turn to II Corinthians Chapter 5 and let’s take a brief review where we closed in our last program how that Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, is just constantly emphasizing the fact that Christ is no longer just dealing with the Nation of Israel, but now the Gospel of salvation that He gave to Paul is now going to the whole world. And as we saw up in verse 14

II Corinthians 5:14

“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, (the whole human race) then were all dead:”

And we’ve taught that from day one that when Adam fell, then you and I inherited that Adamic nature. So every human being that has ever come into the human family has been a child of Adam and we are a fallen race, we are spiritually dead. Then as we came down through these verses, we saw that it was the crucified and resurrected Christ that becomes the object of our faith. Not the Jesus of Nazareth in His earthly ministry, although He’s One and the same in Person, but yet we have to constantly emphasize that our Gospel of salvation is based on that which was revealed to this apostle after Christ’s resurrection and ascension. I feel that this being so totally neglected in so much of our preaching and teaching today. It’s these revelations from the ascended Lord that now become our primary role of believing. And that’s what he’s saying here in verse 16:

II Corinthians 5:16

“Wherefore henceforth know we know man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.”

I think Paul is making reference to the fact that as Saul of Tarsus, as Saul the persecutor, Saul the religious Pharisee, he knew all about Jesus of Nazareth. He knew about His ministry, but now you see after his revelation on that road to Damascus, and down at Arabia then he no longer refers to Christ in His earthly ministry. Sometime we hear people say, “We don’t like Paul’s teaching, because he doesn’t even mention the virgin birth, or Bethlehem, or Christ’s earthly teachings. ” Well, of course not. Why should he? That’s all been established in the early revelations, we don’t have to have it again. We understand that Christ was born at Bethlehem, born of a virgin, and went the way of the Cross, but when it comes to the post resurrection doctrines and revelations, Paul is the only one that reveals these precious truths to us. Now also look at verse 17.

II Corinthians 5:17

“Therefore (when we understand and believe that the Christ of the Cross, the Christ who has been raised from the dead is now the object of our faith, then we become a new creation because at that time God worked a work of regeneration, a work of justification, and all the things that go with it. It’s all part and parcel of that great plan of salvation how that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead.) if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: (creation) old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,”

Now this is just a good introduction for what we are going to be seeing in Chapter 6, maybe not in this lesson but a least in the next one, and that is this whole business of separation from the world. And that’s the reason we must be separated because now we are a new creation in Christ Jesus. And that leads toward the end of Chapter 5 with that tremendous responsibility of every Grace Age believer that we are now ambassadors for Christ.

II Corinthians 5:20

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”

We are to let the world know that they have already been reconciled to God. It’s done, it’s finished, and it’s our job to let them know it. Then we come on into Chapter 6, and beginning with verse 1.

II Corinthians 6:1a

“We then as workers together…”

In other words, when our government sends an ambassador to a foreign country he doesn’t totally isolate himself, he stays in communication with the home government. They are constantly feeding information back and forth, because after all he is an employee of the government and so that’s why after teaching us that we are to be ambassadors in Chapter 5, he comes into Chapter 6 and says:

II Corinthians 6:1

“We then as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.”

God didn’t save us to sit, He didn’t save us just to escape hell fire, but we are saved to serve. We are to be useful in God’s vineyard in whatever particular capacity that He may give to each one of us. Now in verse 2 Paul is going to quote from the Old Testament from the Book of Isaiah.

II Corinthians 6:2

“(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured (or helped) thee; behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”

Do you remember back in the Book of Acts the King Agrippa and Felix account after Paul had witnessed to them?

Acts 24:25

“And as he (Paul) reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, `Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.'”

Acts 26:28

“Then Agrippa said unto Paul, `Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.'”

Well you see that is never the teaching of Scripture. The Scripture says, “today if you hear my voice harden not your heart. Today is the day of salvation” for that person who has not yet entered in. So Paul appropriately quotes from the Book of Isaiah and Psalms. Now verse 3.

II Corinthians 6:3

“Giving no offence in any thing. that the ministry (that is his ministry, our ministry of reconciliation) be not blamed;”

Now I think there is nothing that the devil likes better than to besmirch or to put a smudge on a ministry. I don’t care whether it’s mine or anybody else’s, or whether it’s your local church or a denomination. You see, as soon as the devil can convince the world of our faults and failures then he gloats, the world gloats, and of course Paul was constantly aware of that same danger. He didn’t want anything to cause people to say, “Well look what he’s doing.?” Paul wanted to keep it blameless as much as he could possibly do so. This is what Paul is saying, “he’s not going to give offense in any thing,” lest someone could turn around and truthfully accuse him.

You know truthfully, Paul was up against it constantly wasn’t he? You know I’m always saying and you’re going to hear me say it again today. “Paul has to constantly defend his apostleship.” He was constantly being falsely accused, he was constantly being submarined by the Judaisers from Israel, by the pagan world, and even by believing Jews from the element of Peter and the Twelve that he was an impostor because he didn’t require Law-keeping for these pagan believers. They thought he was a false teacher, and he didn’t have the credentials, if he could have just had letters of commendation from Peter, then he wouldn’t have had so many of these problems. But you see he didn’t have that. All he had for the proof of his ministry were these pagans that had been saved and set on the Rock Christ Jesus, and their lives were proving it. We’re going to see this now as we come on through these following verses yet in II Corinthians.

Now I should have stressed this in the beginning that the 1st letter to the Corinthians was a letter that had to correct some horrible problems among the Corinthians, the chief being this gross immorality. It was so gross that even the pagan Gentiles didn’t do it, and yet a member of the Corinthian Church was guilty. So the main thrust of that 1st letter was to correct some terrible things that were going on in that local assembly. Now this 2d letter comes within the next year of the 1st one. I want to emphasize that because as you see the language coming through these next few chapters I think you’ll understand why he is saying what he does. Now verse 4, and remember Paul’s not going to do anything to blame the ministry:

II Corinthians 6:4

“But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of (not of Jerusalem or Judaism, not of Peter and the eleven, but Paul is the minister of) God, in much patience, in affections, in necessities, in distresses.”

Now remember we went through all of his suffering in one of our studies not long ago? Paul was suffering constantly with all the attacks of Satan, privation, sickness, threats on his life, and here he mentions some more of them. It was just a constant battle in the apostle’s life against the forces that were opposing him. Verse 5.

II Corinthians 6:5,6a

“In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; (Now in verse 6 I’m going to take a little time to explain again.) 6. By pureness, by knowledge,…”

Now we’re going to have to look at a few more verse aren’t we? Come back with me to the Book of Galatians Chapter 1 first. Now we’ll be teaching the Book of Galatians verse by verse as soon as we finish II Corinthians. Remember, we came here to look at the word `knowledge.’

Galatians 1:11,12

“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by revelation of Jesus Christ. Now come on down to verse 16 for example.

Galatians 1:16-18

“To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; (Gentiles) immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17. Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. 18. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.”

Now this is all background for that knowledge of revelation that the man is always talking about. Paul had a knowledge of the mysteries. Now come on over a few pages to the Book of Ephesians Chapter 3:3.

Ephesians 3:3,4

“How that by revelation (from the ascended Lord) he made known unto me (now remember this is Holy Spirit inspired, the man isn’t bragging or giving himself credit for anything.)the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4. Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge (as a result of the revelations) in the mystery of Christ)” Now come back if you will to II Corinthians Chapter 6.

II Corinthians 6:6

“By pureness, by knowledge, (as a result of these supernatural revelations from the ascended Lord) by longsufferings, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,”

In other words did Paul ever put on a false front? Did the apostle Paul ever come into a pagan city with a veneer? No. He came in with that heart full of revelation and knowledge in the power and working of the Holy Spirit. Now verse 7.

II Corinthians 6:7

“By the word of truth,…”

Now we’re living in an age where the What is truth in the intellectual community, the politically correct are always making emphasis of, “What is truth?” There are a lot of universities that will have it over the doors of one of their great halls, What is truth? Well I’ve said it for over 20 years, and I have not changed my mind. “The perfect definition of truth is Jesus Christ! He is the Truth.” Now let’s back that up with some Scriptures. Come all the way back to John’s gospel Chapter 1:17:

John 1:17

“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

Christ is the epitome of truth. Now who is the direct opposite of truth? Well since you are in John come on over to Chapter 8:44 We need to arm ourselves with the Scriptures. If Christ is Truth then what is the opposite. The lie! Here in this verse Jesus is speaking to the Jews of His day and says:

John 8:44

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts (or desires) of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

Now remember that verse. I think most of you know it, that the devil is the originator of every lie. Now let’s head back to the Old Testament for a moment. We’ll stop first at Exodus Chapter 20. A lot of times we know these things so well, and we get so acquainted and comfortable with some of these Scriptures that we really lose the full impact of them. And the one I want you to see right now in the idea of truth and lie is this commandment in Exodus Chapter 20:16:

Exodus 20:16

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”

Now what’s a false witness? It’s a lie! In other words God could have just as well said, “never lie.” It would have meant the same thing because when you bear false witness, you’re lying. When you’re lying you are being false. Now let’s see how the father of lying began. Come back with me to the Book of Genesis Chapter 3. You all know the setting. I firmly believe that Adam was not in proximity with Eve. I think the old devil caught her at a moment when she was by herself, and probably close enough to get a good eye full of the tree that was forbidden. But anyway as Satan and Eve are looking at that tree, look what Satan says in verse 4.

Genesis 3:4

“And the serpent said unto the woman, `Ye shall not surely die:'”

Well now what did Truth tell them? Now remember the Lord that walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden was Christ in His Old Testament personality. So what did Truth tell Adam and Eve?

Genesis 2:17

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

And remember the liar said, “Ye shall not surely die.” Now verse 5. Now he’s stacking lie on top of lie.

Genesis 3:5

“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

It was the opposite of what the devil told them. They fell from their place of dominion. It’s the lie! Remember this lie carries all the way through human history, when we come to the end of that 1000 year reign of Christ in the Kingdom age. Those generations of kids that have been born during that period have not had to deal with Satan since he has been locked up in the pit. But these kids who have grown into adults will be presented with the advisory who will be released for a short period of time. How is Satan going to get them to fall so en-masse? By the same lie. “You’ve had it so good, you’ve had it perfect, you’ve had a glorious 1000 years, but listen folks, wouldn’t you just like to go one step higher and be like God?”The Lie! It will be the same way in the Tribulation let’s look at that for a moment in II Thessalonians Chapter 2:9 Here we have the description from the pen of the apostle Paul of the Anti-christ.

II Thessalonians 2:9,10

“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, (Christ) that they might be saved.”

You can almost always use the Word Christ and Truth synonymously. Very seldom it won’t work, most of the time it will. Now verse 11.

II Thessalonians 2:11

“And for this cause (because they rejected salvation) God shall send them strong delusion, (He’s going to take away their ability to comprehend Truth during the Tribulation) that they should believe a lie:”

During that time the world is going to believe the lie of the father of all lies. Now in the short time we have left let’s come back to II Corinthians. And so Paul says, that he not coming with deceitfulness, not coming with the power of a lie, but rather by:

II Corinthians 6:7

“By the word of truth, (which is the Gospel of Christ) by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left.”

Now you know Paul has a way of using contemporary things to make a point. A lot of time he uses the Roman soldier. Now in battle what did the Roman soldier carry in his hand? His weapon in his right hand, and the shield in the left. Those were the two items that carried the soldier into battle. Paul’s making that same analogy but instead of a sword and a shield, what do we have in both hands? Righteousness. Romans Chapter 3 and drop down to verse 22. Oh how this all fits together. This isn’t something that only a few believers can have. This is for every believer.

Romans 3:22

“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:” (between Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, black and white. It makes no difference. The righteousness of God has been imputed and covers every believer.

364 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 4 - Book 31 - 2 Corinthians 5:9 - 5:21 - Part 2

364: 2 Corinthians 5:9 – 5:21 – Part 2 – Lesson 1 Part 4 Book 31

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 31

2 CORINTHIANS 5:9 – 5:21 – PART 2

Now let’s begin with II Corinthians 5:17,18. So get your Bible, and compare Scripture with Scripture. Remember I think God is going to hold us accountable for this question, “What have you done with the Scriptures?” Paul says that so often in his writings, “Thus saith the Scripture, Never go by what I say, but I invite you to see what the Scriptures say because this is what we have to rely on. So let’s continue on with this whole concept of the difference it made when Christ died for the sins of the whole world, for every human being that has ever lived. Christ has already forgiven them, and now in this series of verses we’re going to run into yet another word that deals with our relationship with God as believers, and that is “reconciliation.” Reconciliation has been totally accomplished because of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

II Corinthians 5:17a

“Therefore if any man…” (anyone, and that includes children)

A lady wrote recently that the moment her 7-year-old hears our theme music he comes running and flops down on the floor in front of the television. We have a lot of kids that are learning from us, and this has always been the scope of my teaching. Hopefully I try to make things interesting enough for even the highly educated adults and yet make it simple and plain enough that kids can understand. Now that’s quite a span I know, but nevertheless I just hope and pray that even our young people will begin to catch the idea that this is an interesting Book. Now back to the text.

II Corinthians 5:17

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: (creation) old things are passed away; (the old life style, the old habits) behold, all things are become new. 18. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, (His finished work of the Cross, His death on the Cross, His shed blood, and His power in resurrection) and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;”

Now I don’t think I have to explain reconciliation to an adult, but to our children it bears taking a moment to explain. Whenever reconciliation becomes necessary there first has to have been a separation. In other words, someone who has never separated or distanced themselves from someone, certainly there is no room for reconciliation, that’s understandable isn’t it? In other words, bringing it into to our every day life, you take a husband and wife who have never had any difficulties, they’ve never had any idea of separation then there’s no point in reconciliation for them. But you take a couple that has had marital problems and have drifted apart, and here they are just almost enemies. They almost detest each other. Well then they are candidates for a reconciliation, and the whole idea of marriage counseling is to bring these two people back to a common ground.

The same thing has happened in the realm of the spirit with man and God. God created man in His own image, had fellowship with him in the garden, and everything was super wasn’t it? God could walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day, and it was sweet fellowship, and everything was fine. But then all of a sudden sin entered and man and God were suddenly totally separated because of sin, so they were alienated. What once was together has now been totally separated, and this great gulf that stands between God and man has to be bridged, and only God can do it. Man can’t make reconciliation, God has to. So the work of the Cross has brought in reconciliation to man and God. Come back to Romans 3, and here the word reconciliation isn’t used as such, but nevertheless we get the whole picture. I’ve always said that the first step of faith for the lost person to take is to believe what God says about his condition. And that is that they are breakers of God’s Law, and they are in a situation where they can do nothing pleasing in His sight. Here in Romans 3:23 it says that in such compact language.

Romans 3:23

“For all (that includes every human being that’s ever lived) have sinned and come short of the glory of God;” That’s a blanket statement. You can’t overcome it any other way but by believing the Gospel. Now verse 24.

Romans 3:24-25a

“Being justified freely by his grace (not by anything that we do) through the redemption (or that process of paying the price and buying something back) that is in Christ Jesus: 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,…”

Now I know a lot of people don’t like to hear the word, “BLOOD” any more, but we can’t go around it, because there has to be that abiding faith in the fact that when Christ died He shed His Divine, precious, sinless blood. And that was the requirement from the Creator Himself, that there had to be a blood payment for mans sin debts, and you can’t escape that. Now continuing on.

Romans 3:25,26

“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26. To declare, I say, at this time his (Christ) righteousness: that he (Christ up in verse 24) might be just, (and absolutely fair) and (be) the justifier (or the One who precipitates, and declares us as justified.) of him which believeth…”

Now you can’t add anything to that. I can’t judge hearts, I don’t know how much God is going to allow, but if I understand my Bible correctly, God is not going to stand for any human being to add to what He has done. It’s going to be against God’s nature, and it’s going to make Him a liar. If He said that He has done everything that needs to be done for our salvation, and then man comes along and says, “Yeah, but I’ve got to do this and that.” Now I hope it isn’t that serious I really do. I don’t think God will bend at all with what mankind tries to add for our salvation. I don’t think God can bend. He has given us in His Word that He has done it all, and then to have someone come along and say, “Yeah but I’ve done this and I’ve done that to add to it.” That reasoning is just not in the Bible in this Age of Grace. Verse 26 again. So the justification comes to:

Romans 3:26b.

“…him which believeth in Jesus.”

And of course when Paul speaks of believing in Jesus he’s speaking of His death, burial and resurrection. Now if you’ll come back to II Corinthians Chapter 5 you’ll find this all tied up in this same concept of reconciliation. It all means the same thing that God is going to do whatever this sinner over here needs to have done on his behalf to bring him back to Himself for full reconciliation. But it doesn’t stop there, because Paul says in the last half of verse 18:

II Corinthians 5:18b

“and hath given to us (every reconciled believer) the ministry of reconciliation;”

Now what does that mean? We have to tell a lost world, we have to tell our neighbors, our friends, and our loved ones that the work of the Cross has made it possible for them to be reconciled to God. They can close that gap, they no longer have to go through life and face eternity separated from a Holy God. Everything has been done to bring them to that place of reconciliation. You know that old hymn, Jesus Paid It All, indeed He did. He’s paid it all and then we come along and say, “Yeah, but we’ve got to do this or that, rather than just simply believe the Gospel for our salvation.” Now verse 19:

II Corinthians 5:19

“To wit (that is to say) that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; (so far as the reconciliation of lost man and forgiveness is concerned, it is already accomplished. Now we’ll comment on that a little further in a moment.) and hath committed unto us (you and I as believers) the word of reconciliation.”

In other words, we are to let a lost world know everything has already been done on their behalf, and all they have to do is believe. Now when I say that all the sins of the world have been forgiven, and that God has totally paid for them with the atoning blood of Christ, don’t get the mistaken idea then that lost persons who are never reconciled will not have to give an account of sins just because I claim that they are already forgiven. Let’s go to the Book of Revelation for a moment and I’ll show you that they do. Granted, for the lost person to understand that his sins are forgiven, and they are atoned for, and that Christ died for him, and if he spurns it and in unbelief he turns his back on it then, yes, he’s going to have to give an account for every thing that he does in the human body as a lost person. We pick that up here in Revelation Chapter 20 as the lost come before the great White Throne. Remember that every unbeliever from Cain until the last one at the end of the ages is going to come up before this great judgment throne of God. Now this is not the Bema Seat that Christians will stand before God to receive their rewards, but rather this judgment is only for the lost. This judgment is only for unbelievers, you and I are not going to be there. We’re not going to see loved ones who may be coming up here as unbelievers. That would be awful. We will not be at the great White Throne. But for these lost of the ages:

Revelation 20:12

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; (now the God here of course will be the Lord Jesus Christ, the Righteous Judge) and the books (plural) were opened: and another book (singular) was opened, which is the book of life: (now when it’s evidenced that the lost person’s name is not in the book of life then Christ turns to the record. He turns to the books that are a record of their life here on earth) and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

Now the lost who find themselves in this situation can no longer claim that they were paid for by the blood of the Cross, because it’s too late. So now they come up before God and they’re going to have to face those sins as God now passes on the judgment of those things written in the books, according to their works. So never misunderstand me when I teach that all the sins of the world are forgiven, and that lost people don’t have to face them, because that only applies if they become believers. If they don’t believe the Gospel, and appropriate what God has already done for them with the finished work of the Cross, then they will have to face their sins. A couple of lessons ago we talked about how congress appropriates money for different projects, and how that money just sits there waiting for someone to draw on it. Well it’s the same way for salvation. Remember that account for salvation sits there already paid for and is available for anyone to draw on the eternal life account just by believing. And if they won’t believe the Gospel for their salvation then they are going to have to face their sins as an unbeliever at the Great White Throne Judgment.

II Corinthians 5:19a

“To wit, (that is to say) that God was in Christ,…”

It was the Creator of the universe who hung on that Cross. There are people who have never contemplated that. That Jesus of the Cross at Calvary was the same God of Genesis 1:1. who called everything into being. He had to be or He could have never tasted death for every man. I had a person come to the ranch years ago, and the first question he asked me was,`Who in the world is Jesus Christ anyway?’ I’ve said over and over, if only more people would ask that question. And my first answer to that question is, “He’s the Creator of the universe. That’s who He is. He is the God of Creation, He’s the same God only He took on flesh, and He went the way of the Cross.” So Paul is telling us again that God was in Christ:

II Corinthians 5:19b

“…reconciling the world unto himself, (bringing it back to Himself, after He lost it in Adam) not imputing their trespasses unto them;”

Now that means what it says. Until that lost person dies, and has lost his opportunity for believing the Gospel, I don’t think his sins are being held against him. God is ready to cancel those sins in a moment, but when they leave this life never having believed then here they stand at the Great White Throne. Everything that they have ever said or done as a lost person is going to be brought up against them. Yes it’s scary, I know it is, but there’s no reason for it because it’s such a simple thing to believe and trust the Gospel. Now in the next verse we have one of the greatest concepts I think that Paul puts out in all of his writings. And that is where are you and I in the whole scheme of things as believers? Now you know we hear so much about the great commission. I think every Church bulletin board has the great commission posted. Well what is the great commission? I maintain it’s not so much the one in Matthew.

Matthew 28:19

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” That was given to the Twelve disciples provided the Nation of Israel could have maintained her relationship with God, and become the vehicle between God and the Gentiles as outlined in the Old Testament, but we know they didn’t so God turned to the Gentiles with Paul as their apostle. So today this verse in II Corinthians just fits beautifully for the believers in the Body of Christ, and here it is:

II Corinthians 5:20a

“Now then we (every believer) are ambassadors…”

Now I trust that you have taken at least one semester of high school government, because that’s when I first learned the term ambassador. What’s an ambassador? He’s a representative of some government, but he’s living in a foreign country. I usually use the analogy of Washington D. C. as the capitol of our nation, and our ambassador for example to Japan is living in Tokyo. Now he’s an American living in that foreign country, but he’s a representative of our government in Washington D. C. In the late 70’s, I think it was, there was a book that hit the bestseller list called The Ugly American. It was more or less an expose of a lot of our diplomatic people who were not good representatives of our government. Their lifestyle was anything but exemplary. But the whole idea was that our ambassadors and foreign service people are to be visible representatives of our government here in Washington. The Japanese people for example should be able to watch our ambassador or foreign service people and say, “Now that is a typical American.”

That’s the whole idea, they are a representative. Now then Paul says you and I as believers living here, in the here and now, are in the same kind of a role. We are left here as ambassadors of our homeland which is in Heaven. Now let’s pick up this concept in Colossians Chapter 1. Here in this chapter Paul has been praying for the these Gentile believers up there in Colosse in Asia Minor.

Colossians 1:12,13

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (or has prepared us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13. Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” Where is that Kingdom? Well it’s in Heaven. So we are now citizens of Heaven because we are members of that Kingdom of Christ. Now granted that Kingdom is one day coming back on the earth and we’re going to come with him at the end of the Tribulation. And I believe we’re going to reign and rule with Him as members of that Kingdom in Heaven. Now back to Philippians, and I think this just puts the cap on it. Now verse 20.

Philippines 3:20

“For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:”

Do you have the picture? The moment we become believers, and we’re placed into the Body of Christ, we are also made members of the Kingdom of Christ in Heaven, but we’re left here as ambassadors. So now what’s our job? To represent our homeland. We are representatives of Heaven itself, we become the ministers of reconciliation. Now if you want a great commission, what a dandy this one is. This one anybody can do. I don’t think that I would go around baptizing people. I know we had a famous individual doing that years back in swimming pools and bath tubs etc., but I’m not comfortable with that. But I have no trouble telling the world that Christ has already reconciled you unto Himself so believe it. What a commission, and what an opportunity. Now back to our text:

II Corinthians 5:20,21

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21. For he hath made him (Christ) to be sin(He took on the sin of the world) for us, who knew no sin; (that precious sinless Lamb of God, The eternal, Sovereign, Creator God took on the sins of the world for us) that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Now a lot of people are afraid of that word “Righteousness.” They think that denotes a holiness that makes you so Heavenly minded that you are no earthly good. Well that’s not the case at all. You see when the righteousness of God is imparted to the believer, it’s simply means, “That now God sees you, God sees me clothed in the righteousness of God Himself. He doesn’t look on the old sinner Les Feldick, nor the sinner whoever you are, but rather He looks on you and He sees the righteousness of Christ.”

363 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 3 - Book 31 - 2 Corinthians 5:9 - 5:21

363: 2 Corinthians 5:9 – 5:21 – Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 31

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 31

2 CORINTHIANS 5:9 – 5:21

Let’s begin in verse 16. So take your Bible and follow along with us because after all I’ve stressed over and over that I don’t want anybody to go by what I say, but hopefully be able to search the Scriptures with us to see if these things are so. I remember years and years ago when Iris and I were first married, we had a young couple come into our fellowship who were from diverse denominational backgrounds and as a result they were naturally having some problems in the home. I guess it was the Lord’s way of getting me ready for all of this.

Anyway, the pastor asked me if I would go out to that farm house one night a week and just teach those two people. Well I’d never done anything like that before and I was green as grass but you know sometimes you plunge in where angels fear to tread. I’ll never forget the rude awakening I got when I began to point out some things from this Book and the young lady said, “Now hold it Les, I have always been told that my Church is my only authority, and not that Book.” Well how are you going to overcome something like that. But we did, and both of those people came to know the Lord and they’ve walked with the Lord ever since.

You see the whole idea of my teaching is not that you go by what I say, but to learn, what does the Bible say. And as I’ve stressed so often it’s just as important to see what the Bible does not say. A lot of times we have misconceptions of what the Bible says, and a lot of time it’s not even in there. So anyway we’re going to just teach and hopefully point out what the Scriptures really say. So many times people just gloss over their reading of the Word and don’t really see what it says. Now let’s begin with II Corinthians 5:16 where we left off in our last lesson. And remember when Paul starts a verse with Wherefore or Therefore he’s wanting you to reflect back to what he has just said, and he has just stressed the fact that Christ died for all, and since He died for all every last human being was dead in trespasses and sin until they’re brought out of that deadness by an act of God when we believe the Gospel.

II Corinthians 5:16

Wherefore (because that’s all been accomplished) henceforth (now remember Paul is only talking about Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection so he says, henceforth since that time)know we no man after the flesh: (now who in the world is he talking about? Well let’s read on and see.) yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now (this side of His death, burial, and resurrection) henceforth know we him no more.”

Now what’s Paul driving at? Well come back with me to I Corinthians Chapter 1. Paul was constantly up against opposition of one kind or another, and some of it probably sounded real good. It’s just like today. I know people can throw arguments at me that sound real good. And sometimes they put me on the defense for a little bit, but when I stop and think, “Well what does the Word say?” And then that makes all the difference in the world. Now here was what Paul was up against in verse 12.

I Corinthians 1:12

“Now this I say, that every one (the whole congregation of how many there were) of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; (Peter) and I of Christ.”

Well what did they mean by that? “Well I’m going by what Jesus said.” Does that sound familiar? I hear it all the time. Some asked me, “Why do you emphasize Paul? I’m not going to go by what some man says, but rather what Jesus said.” Well now wait a minute, remember everything that Jesus said was under the Law. Now there are things that Jesus said that we can make application, of course we can, because it’s the Word of God. But for the most part everything He said were to people living under the Law of Moses. For example when the lepers were healed and cleansed by His own miracle, what did He tell the lepers to do? “Go show yourselves to the priest.” All right now are you going to tell me that if someone is suddenly healed of a disease or they are suddenly well again that to confirm this they are to go to the priest? Well what priest are they going to go to?

There is no Temple worship today, we’re not under the Law of Moses. And in order to make it so profoundly certain that we are no longer under the Law God prompted the Roman army to destroy the Temple. Have you ever stopped to think, “What would have happened to Christianity if the Temple would have kept right on operating?” Christianity would have never gotten off the ground. There would have been so much profound Jewish opposition that after all the Temple was viable, the priesthood was still viable, this is the only place (Jerusalem) to worship, and God knew that. So God had to have the Temple totally destroyed (in 70 AD) the priesthood was uprooted, Israel was sent out into the nations of the world so that there was no temptation what so ever to hang on to Temple worship. So this is what Paul is coming backing to here. He said since the death, burial, and resurrection, and since the revelations of the Gospel of the Grace of God then:

II Corinthians 5:16

“Wherefore henceforth know we no man (Christ) after the flesh:…”

We are no longer going by the things that He taught to Israel under the Law of Moses. But rather we have this whole new revelation revealed by Him from glory. Now what am I talking about? Turn to Galatians Chapter 1. These Scriptures lay it out so plain. And this is what I have to constantly in my own ministry come up against when someone tells me that they are not going to go by what some man like Paul says, that they are going to go by what Jesus says. Always remember everything He taught back in the Four Gospels was before His death, burial, and resurrection. The Twelve didn’t even know that He was going to die. And after He was crucified they had no idea that He was going to be raised from the dead (Luke 18:34) Why? Because that was something that God was going to reveal back here especially to this apostle.

Galatians 1:11-19

“But I certify (or guarantee) you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (And remember Jesus Christ was now in glory) 13. For ye have heard of my conversation (manner of living) in time past in the Jew’s religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church (assembly of Jewish believers at Jerusalem) of God and wasted it: 14. And profited in the Jews religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. (Paul was a religious zealot remember) 15. But (the flip side) when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 16. To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen: (Gentiles) immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17. Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, (where he received all these revelations from the ascended Lord that he could now take to the Gentile world) and returned again unto Damascus. 18. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 19. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.” (and remember James wasn’t one of the Twelve)

Now why is all of this in here for? To show us (Church Age believers) that as soon as God saved this Jewish religious zealot He did not permit Him to have contact with the Twelve. He purposely kept Him from them, sent him instead down to Mount Sinai in Arabia to give him these revelations, because you see had Paul gone back to Jerusalem, what do you suppose the Twelve would have drummed into him? Well, what they had been preaching. That Jesus was the Messiah of Israel, The Son of God, yes He was crucified, but God raised Him from the dead, and He’s still willing to be the King of Israel if Israel will only repent.

But God says, “No, no, Paul. That’s not what I want you to learn, I’m going to show you these things from my own position in Heaven. So He reveals this whole sphere of doctrine that we call Grace. And it was completely separated from Judaism, and yet an extension of it. Now, I’m always talking progressive revelation in Scripture, because everything is progressive. The same way here. As soon as Paul receives these revelations – that doesn’t cancel everything that’s gone before but rather it builds on it. So as the Abrahamic Covenant was given and brought Israel to the place of having the Messiah come, does that cancel the Old Testament? No it was all fulfilled. And then Israel, according to prophecy, rejected the Messiah and then God saved this man and said,

Acts 22:21b

“I will send thee far hence to the Gentiles.” Well now Jesus didn’t teach anything like that. Jesus certainly never taught the Twelve to go out to the Gentiles:

Matthew 10:5b

“Go not into the way of the Gentiles…”

And especially with the Gospel based on His death, burial and resurrection. He couldn’t have because that hadn’t taken place yet. I wish people could see that. Jesus never told those Twelve to go out and preach His death, burial and resurrection for salvation but this man, the apostle Paul, that’s all he knows. Now I was thinking of another one last night in my waking hours. You know I do more studying lying on my pillow than any place else. And again the thought came last night, and I’ve never taught this before, but I’m going to give it to you today. You know there is no earthly headquarters for the Body of Christ, our headquarters is Heaven. But the one place on earth where Christianity did begin was not the church (or assembly in Jerusalem) but rather at Antioch.

Acts 11:26

“And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people, And the disciples were called Christian first in Antioch.”

Do you see that? Antioch which was 150 to 200 miles north of Jerusalem was the place from which Paul and Barnabas were first commissioned by the Holy Spirit to go to the Gentiles up there in western Turkey and not Jerusalem. I want people to think about that. Why didn’t he just go back to Jerusalem, learn everything from the Twelve, and then have Jerusalem be the place that they would jump off into the Gentile world? Well because God wouldn’t have it that way. And so even when there was a jump off place, and I don’t like to call Antioch the headquarters of the Church, but it was the place from which Paul and Barnabas left. It was the place to which they went back to. It was the place from which later Paul and Silas left again to go to the Gentile world, and again they came back to Antioch. Not Jerusalem. Do you see that? Why? Well all of this is to show us that God is just keeping Judaism and Christianity so far apart even though they are connected by virtue of their beginning. And that’s what we have to understand. Now coming back to II Corinthians Chapter 5, and maybe I’ve made my point. And this is why the apostle can write by inspiration:

II Corinthians 5:16

“Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: (and you know he’s talking about Jesus as we see in the next part of the verse.) yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.”

And yet I ask people to analyze most of your preaching today and see where it’s coming from and you will find it’s from Christ’s earthly ministry. Now there’s nothing wrong with a certain amount of that. Absolutely I’m in agreement with that because we have to understand the story of Bethlehem, and the virgin birth. It’s good for us to know all the miracles that Christ did in the midst of the Jews to prove that He was Who He said He was. It’s good to understand what led to His crucifixion. It’s good to know how they responded to His resurrection there in John Chapter 20 and 21. But that’s not the Gospel. The Gospel of salvation comes out where Paul comes on the scene and tells us “that Christ commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us, and He gave Himself for us.” And that’s all the man knows, the preaching of the Cross. Now this is why he’s stressing it in verse 16b.

II Corinthians 5:16b

“…yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.”

Now that’s loaded. Why does the Holy Spirit prompt him to say that “we have known Christ after the flesh?” I think Paul and Christ were about the same age. We know that Jesus was 30 when He began His earthly ministry, He was 33 when He was crucified. We know that the apostle Paul or Saul of Tarsus was one of the key men of the Sanhedrin, and no doubt was in his thirties as well. I think they were almost the same identical age. So Saul of Tarsus, that Pharisee of the Pharisees, was hearing all about the miracles that this Jesus of Nazareth was performing. And every time Saul would hear about more Jews following after the Messiah from Nazareth, it infuriated him because he was defending his religion. (Judaism) Then he had to defend his religion, and later as Paul, he had to defend his apostleship. The poor guy had a lifetime of fighting didn’t he? But at the first, as Saul, he had to defend his religion, and he started to stamp out every Jew that had embraced Jesus as the Messiah. But now he knows Jesus for Who He really is, and I like to show that from Acts Chapter 9. A lot of people have never seen the impact of this. In his conversion account written by Luke, most of you know the account on the road to Damascus.

Acts 9:3-5a

“And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4. And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? (now the voice is also coming from Heaven, so the pronoun me strikes the man, `Well it must be God speaking.’ Now read on.) 5. And he said, Who art thou, Lord?…”

Now you want to remember the word Lord in the Jewish vocabulary was that which replaced Jehovah. They didn’t even want to voice that word. So in his mind he’s saying Jehovah, but with his lips he says Lord. So put it in that light.

Acts 9:5b

“…Who art thou Jehovah? (and how does Jehovah answer?) And the Lord said, I am Jesus…”

Now how would you like to have been in his shoes? Because it was Jehovah that he was serving, and it was Jesus that he was trying to stamp out and then to suddenly realize that they are One and the same. It just blew his mind, in fact it blew him blind. That’s what it amounted to as he ended up blind. So they had to lead him by the hand into Damascus. But once Saul of Tarsus saw Who Jesus really was he became the unstoppable dynamo that carried Christianity to the Gentiles. Oh he had his times of discouragement as we saw in a recent lesson, as he was even nigh unto death itself. He was burdened with all the care of those Gentile believers, but they couldn’t stop him until finally Nero had to take his head off, and that’s the only thing that stopped him.

So don’t lose sight of the fact that when Paul speaks of knowing Christ in the flesh back here in II Corinthians 5:16, Paul knew all about Him, although I don’t think he had a visible confrontation with Him. At least there’s nothing in Scripture that would indicate that. But Saul knew what was going on in Israel. He knew what was going on up in Galilee and I have to think at times he was on the outer perimeters of some of the crowds that were following Jesus, and it was just burning him up. Remember Saul thought that Jesus was an impostor, He was blasphemer, He was a false teacher, and it was just destroying the religion of the God of Abraham. But once he was confronted on the road to Damascus the man did a total 180 degree turn, and now he can say, “Henceforth we know him no more.” Oh if we could just get people to realize this. There’s nothing wrong with studying Christ’s earthly ministry, don’t misunderstand me. But listen, that is not where it’s at for us. Where it’s at for us is that which follows His death, burial, and resurrection from the dead. Now let’s go on to verse 17.

II Corinthians 5:17a

“Therefore (since we’re no longer hanging onto Christ’s earthly ministry, but rather we’re hanging everything on His death, burial, and resurrection) if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:…”

Creation is a better term for the English language, it means the same in the Greek. So we become a whole new creation of God. Now going back up to “if any man be in Christ,” We need to look at that in I Corinthians 12:13:

I Corinthians 12:13

“For by one Spirit (the Holy Spirit) are we all (every believer) baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (also see Ephesians 4:5)

So how do we get into Christ? By believing in our heart the Gospel and by letting the Holy Spirit do His work. The Holy Spirit places us into the Body of Christ. Now coming back to verse 17 of our text. So now we’re a new creation, we’re a work of God. Also remember that that part of us which has to deal with eternity is invisible. You and I or any other human can’t touch the invisible. Only God can deal in that area, so then in the area of the invisible God has done a work of creation. Also remember that the old Adamic nature had to be crucified, he had to be put to death. Now again that’s in the spiritual realm, that’s an invisible part of us, so only God can do that. Only God could put our old Adam to death in the crucifixion with Christ. Now the same way only God can give us that new creative personality, the new nature, because again it’s in the area of the invisible. So we are a new work of creation which God alone can do, then look at this change.

II Corinthians 5:17b

“…he is a new creature: (creation) old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.”

Every believer is suddenly going to have a change of appetites, a change of lifestyle, a change in behavior, a change in attitude. Why? Because we’re a new person, we’re different than what we were. Now that doesn’t give us a halo around our head, or make us sinless, or anything like that, but we are now the result of the creative work of the Creator God. We now have a whole new concept in life. I remember years ago there was a man that was my same age who spent every Saturday night in the bar. He came to my class one night, and as we were sitting having a cup of coffee together he said, “Les, why don’t I ever see you in the bar on Saturday night?” And I said, “For the same reason I don’t see you in church on Sunday morning”. Well that’s exactly the way it is. They have their own lifestyle, they have their appetites, and it is so totally different from ours. It’s as different as daylight from dark. So this is why I question professing Christians who see nothing wrong with doing everything that the world does. Hey, there’s got to be a change in attitude, and actions, and if nothing has changed then I have to doubt that anything has happened. Remember this says it all. If we are the work of a creative act of God then old things are passed away, and everything becomes new.