420 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 4 - Book 35 - Ephesians 1:10-13 - Part 2

420: Ephesians 1:10-13 – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 35

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 35

EPHESIANS 1:10-13 – PART 2

We thank you so much for your support, and especially your prayers, as there is so much Satanic opposition when you handle the Word of God. We are so encouraged when folks use these little books, and our video tapes for home Bible study. Let’s face it, the Church just doesn’t have time for especially in-depth Bible study, so as a result we realize that more time has to be spent in the home for Bible study. Now that doesn’t take away from the Church whatsoever, but rather to enhance it, and edify it.

Now back to Ephesians chapter 1 verse 13. And again we start right out with that same prepositional phrase “In whom.” All the way through we’ve got this positional reminder that we are in Christ. That’s something that nowhere else in Scripture do you hear of a group of people being actually in the Godhead itself, and in this case the Person of Christ. Speaking of the Godhead, and looking where we get this term just turn ahead to the Book of Colossian chapter 2, and we’ll have to read verse 8 to pick up the flow.

Colossians 2:8-9

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (do you see the danger? Most of us have just been inundated with tradition. Some tradition is OK, but you’ve got to line it up with the Word of God, to see if it fits.) 9. For in him (Christ) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”

Now that blows a lot of people’s minds. Who is the Godhead? God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Now that’s the Godhead, but Christ is the epitome of it as He settled down in the Godhead bodily. With that resurrected body that He left with at the Mount of Olives, and ascended into glory. Another verse just comes to mind in Isaiah. We almost looked at it in one of the 3 lessons we had earlier today, but we ran out of time before we could use it. That’s the way I teach, as these Scriptures come flying through then I feel we have to stop and look at them. Now here again, this is the Christ that died for us, this is the Christ that keeps us today, this is the Christ that is coming again, and we trust real soon. This fits so beautifully with these verses in Ephesians. This is the Christ in Whom we dwell. Now verse 6, and remember this is the prophet writing to the Nation of Israel, so the pronoun “us”of course is to the nation.

Isaiah 9:6-7

“For unto us (Israel) a child is born, unto us (Israel) a son is given: and the government (this 1000 year rule and reign when He will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and we feel we’re getting closer all the time. I mean we’re getting close!) shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” So Who do you have intertwined in this one verse? God the Father, and God the Son. Now that reminds me of John chapter 14, what did Jesus tell Philip?

John 14:9

“Jesus saith unto him, `Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father:…'” I know this is mind-boggling, but you’ve got to remember that even though it’s three Persons it’s one God. Now verse 7.

Isaiah 9:7

“Of the increase of his government and peace (the world has no idea what it would be like to live in total peace. And of His peace) there shall be no end, (in this coming 1000 year reign there won’t even be a little brush fire war. It will be a 1000 years of peace under the rule and reign of the mighty God. And where is He going to rule from? Jerusalem) upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. (And how is it going to happen?) The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”

And in our last lesson we were seeing the power of God. His power will bring all of this about, and don’t you worry whether all these things will happen. It will happen! Hey we’re all human. We read these things and wonder, “Is it really going to happen?” That 1000-year reign with Christ almost sounds to good to be true, so as humans we wonder is it really going to happen. It’s not that we’re doubting it, but on the other hand we have to face reality, “Is all of this really going to happen?” I couldn’t help but think about all of this the other night, and all of a sudden the Lord sent the thought into my mind, “But listen, everything that the Old Testament prophesied concerning His first coming happened.” And I imagined those people back 1500 years before Christ couldn’t even begin to imagine that all these things would happen. So I imagine that they felt the same way. Is God really meaning business with us? Yeah, He was because it all happened. So don’t ever lose heart, and remember that God’s Word is sure. Now back to our text in Ephesians.

Ephesians 1:13a

“In whom ye also trusted,…”

Now remember who is Paul writing to? Believers. He’s writing to those who are now believers, so he’s writing to you and I as believers today. Now of course as he writes to believers it’s also going to have an effect on the unsaved person. And here again is how we got that position in Christ.

Ephesians 1:13a

“In whom ye also trusted (now what’s the other word for trust in the Bible? Faith or believe, as you can use any of the three. When did you trust, believe, or have faith?) after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation:…”

Too many people just glibly read this without really understanding what it says. That we trusted Christ so that He could place us into the Body of Christ. But when did we trust? After we heard the word of truth, not before. Now that reminds me of a couple of verses in Romans. Let’s just drop down to verse 13.

Romans 10:13-17

“For whosoever (anyone) shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Now I had a nice conversation with someone on the phone the other morning, and he was wondering about the word saved and righteous. He had a verse where they were more or less in the same context. So I told them they were interchangeable. In fact I read a long time ago it would probably be more appropriate for us to say today that we were made righteous, rather than to say we were saved. I’m not taking anything away from the word saved, but really when we’re saved what happens? When we were made righteous, or right with God. So it’s really more appropriate to say I was made righteous when I believed rather than just simply say I was saved.

When we were made righteous, God imputed the righteousness of Christ to you and I. But look what had to happen first. We had to call upon Him and let Him know. I tell people to verbalize it, don’t just say, “Yeah, I believe.” But rather you verbalize it, “Lord I believe that you died for me. I believe that you were buried, and that you rose from the dead. I believe that your shed blood is payment for my sins, I believe that!” Don’t just assume that God can read your mind, although we know He can. Now verse 14.

Romans 10:14

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”

So it takes the whole complex human being to bring all this into experience. We have to have heard it, we have to think about it, we have to comprehend it, and then we have to use the mouth and verbalize it. All right, now when it says, “And how shall they hear without a preacher?” I looked that up in the Greek and preacher is a proclaimer. I like that. It’s really a better word than preacher. “How shall they hear without a proclaimer.” Now that’s what we have to do, we have to proclaim the Gospel. We don’t necessarily have to preach. We become victims of tradition lots of time, and get the idea that preaching is stomping and yelling, and getting a lot of exercise. No that’s not necessarily the case. We proclaim the Word of God! Now verse 15.

Romans 10:15

“And how shall they preach, (or proclaim) except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach (proclaim) the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

Now do you have the process? God had to reveal the Gospel didn’t He? And we know that He did through the apostle Paul. And the apostle Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to put it down in print so that we can have it right in front of us, but by and large most people have to have someone to explain the Scriptures to them. Now I don’t say that it’s mandatory, but usually someone has to explain the Scripture to an unbeliever and bring him to the place where he can believe, and understand it. And that’s what Paul is talking about here in verse 15. How can they hear unless God providentially sends someone to proclaim it. Does it take the providence of God? Yes, absolutely it does. In fact let’s just look at Acts chapter 16 to prove my point. This is one of my favorite verses when it comes to this whole idea of bringing lost people to a knowledge of salvation. This is not something that we take glibly, but rather this is something that I think takes the power of God, it takes the working of the Holy Spirit, and without Whom none of us can amount to anything. My teaching amounts to nothing if the Holy Spirit isn’t behind it. So here’s the whole idea here in this chapter, it’s the perfect example of what has to happen whenever a person is saved or made righteous.

Acts 16:14

“And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, (notice she was religious, but wasn’t a true believer So she) heard us: (Luke of course was writing) whose heart the Lord opened, (who opened her heart? The Lord did. Paul didn’t, and Luke didn’t so what happened?) that she attended (or listened and comprehended) unto the things (the Gospel of your salvation as you have in I Corinthians 15:1-4) which were spoken of Paul.”

Now in this particular verse who is the proclaimer? Well Paul is, and he is simply speaking forth the Gospel. But before this Jewish lady in Philippi could comprehend it, Who had to open her heart? The Lord does in the Person of the Holy Spirit, and that has never changed. Every person that comes to a saving knowledge of Paul’s Gospel has to have their understanding opened by the work of the Holy Spirit. Remember the Holy Spirit is there for everyone. No one can ever say, “Well the Holy Spirit of God never approached me.” Oh yes He does, the Holy Spirit is present, He’s everywhere, and He doesn’t miss a soul. Another verse comes to mind in the Gospel of John chapter 1. I think this again is just because of the presence of the Holy Spirit, otherwise this verse would be total Greek to me. This is speaking of Christ in His earthly ministry. So John writes –

John 1:9

“That was the true Light, (speaking of Christ) which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

Now that’s what it says. The light of Christ lighteth every man that cometh into the world. Well how is this done? Through the presence of the work of the Holy Spirit. Remember only lost people will appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, but not one of them will come up before Christ, and say, “I never had a chance.” Because the Bible in Romans says they won’t.

Romans 1:19-20

“Because that which may be know of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (past tense, it’s already done. That’s just like the previous Scripture we looked at in John 1:9. It’s done.) 20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they (the whole lost human race) are without excuse:”

No one will ever be able to say to God, “Well I never had a chance.” There is another verse that confirms this in Titus. Now verses like these are just mind boggling, I know that they are, but the Scripture does not lie, and so we have to believe it. Remember I’m tying all these together. John says that Jesus Christ that cometh into the world has lighteth every man. Paul says in Romans that the power of God is manifested in them so that they are without excuse. Now look what Paul says here in Titus.

Titus 2:11

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

Now don’t ask me how that is. I look at the people down in the jungles of South America, whom we feel have never heard the Gospel and in the light of these verses, are they responsible? Yes they are! They’re going to come before the Great White Throne as lost as lost can be, and without a word of excuse, and yet God is going to be absolutely fair and just in His judgment, and He’s going to say, “You could have known!” And the only reason they didn’t know is they didn’t choose to know. It’s just one of those things in Scripture that is hard to comprehend, and I’m the first to admit it. Now back to Ephesians chapter 1.

Ephesians 1:13a

“In whom ye also trusted, (or believed) after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation:…”

Many people are still confused about the Gospel. It’s amazing that right here in the Bible belt, I have had untold numbers of people come to our class and tell me they have never before heard this Gospel. Jerry Pool, and others in this class this afternoon will verify that fact, and these people have been in church all their lives.

(Transcriber’s note. “I had never heard the Gospel before I started attending Les’ classes either. I had always been told that all I needed to do for salvation was be sorry for my sins, and to ask Jesus into my heart. One Sunday School teacher, when I was 12 even said I needed to be baptized in water to be saved. I had never been told or shown that for my ticket to Heaven, you must believe in your heart that Jesus died for you, that He was buried, and rose from the dead, and then tell God that very fact. I also didn’t know that the god of this world could hide the Gospel from you as found in II Corinthians 4:3-4.”) Now back to Les’ teachings.

Well what’s the Gospel that they’ve never heard? It’s in I Corinthians chapter 15:1-4 and I tell people over the phone constantly. “Just read those four verses and if you can believe that in your heart, then you’ve got it made. I mean that’s it, it’s that simple. I know that I’ve said it on the program before that there is no simpler place in all of Scripture where the Gospel is presented than these 4 verses. This is so simple that a child can understand it, and yet it’s as much as you need.

I Corinthians 15:1-4

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel (not a Gospel, but the Gospel) which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand: 2. By which also ye are saved, (or made righteous) if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. (you have to know what you’ve believed.) 3. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, (Paul received this as part of the mysteries) how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, (it was all part of that predeterminate counsel that we read about in Acts chapter 2) 4. And that he was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” Now that’s the Gospel. That’s why in Romans 10:9-10 Paul tells us –

Romans 10:9-10

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

So what is that we’re believing here? The same Gospel we find in I Corinthians 15:1-4. If we believe with all our heart that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again, then God saves us. And the reason is in verse 10, as we believe that with the heart. Now let’s look at another one in that same light in which Paul is always bringing up this faith in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection for salvation. Let’s turn to I Thessalonians chapter 4. I just notice that we only have 1 minute left which means we’re not going to finish verse 13 are we?

I Thessalonians 4:13

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, (or have died) that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.”

In other words if we have a loved one that has passed on, we don’t have to worry because we’re going to see them again. And here’s the reason in the next verse.

I Thessalonians 4:14

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” (So here you also have this same Gospel that saves us.)

419 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 - Part 3 - Book 35 - Ephesians 1:10-13

419: Ephesians 1:10-13 – Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 35

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 35

EPHESIANS 1:10-13

Now we’ll be turning back again to Ephesians chapter 1. I’m going to touch on verse 10 just for a few moments.

Ephesians 1:10

“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both in heaven, (heavenly) and which are on earth; (earthly) even in him:

Everything is going to be brought together under His headship. Now if I could just, for a moment, recap the earthly and heavenly aspect of that verse. From the call of Abraham especially now, everything concerning the Nation of Israel, including the prophets and psalms, were all written for the benefit of Israel. In fact let me show you a verse to prove that so you don’t think I’m just making this up. In Romans chapter 3 is the Scripture we want to look at.

Romans 3:1

“What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?…”

Do you see what those two questions say? Why was Israel in such a preeminent position, and why were they feasting at Jehovah’s table? Why did Paul write in Romans chapter 11, did they dwell on the root and fatness of Abraham? Because they were so privileged, and this is what Paul is alluding to. Just look at all the privileges that Israel had. They had the beautiful Temple, and early on, the presence of the Shekinah glory. They had the miracle working power of God. They had the priesthood, but what was the preeminence that they had going for them? The next verse tells us this:

Romans 3:2.

“Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.”

They had the Word of God, and that’s what put Israel in such an invincible position. All during this time when God was dealing with primarily Jew only, they had the Word of God from 1500 BC on. And the Gentiles were out there destitute of any of that. Now when you come on this side of the Cross, we find Paul becomes the apostle of the Gentiles. His Church letters are directed primarily to you and I as Gentiles in the Body of Christ, our heavenly position. And oh what a difference in the language we have when we get to Paul. Once in a while people from our television viewing audience will call me with a question, and they’re hung up in the Old Testament. I always tell them that it would be so simple to understand if they would just realize to whom is it being spoken? It was written to the Jew under the Law, and that makes all the difference in the world. But most fret and fuss with it, and can’t figure out why they can’t understand it. Well we’re not under the Law, we’re not Jews. Now on the other hand the Jew today has a hard time comprehending Paul. They avoid his writings like a plague, because it’s not written to the Jew, but rather to the Gentiles. So always keep that in your mind as you are reading these things.

Now let me finish recapping the earthly and heavenly if I may. So here’s the earthly, the earthly Kingdom that was promised to Israel and they rejected it, and then God funnels them back into the masses of Gentile humanity. They almost lost their identity, but God kept His finger on them, and so the Jew is still out there, he’s still a viable fact to be dealt with.

In the meantime the Body of Christ has been lifted out of that mass of humanity, and made separate, they are a unique group of people, and who’s end is going to be when we’re Raptured out, and we’re getting close to that time. Maybe we should have looked at the Rapture more in detail, but for now we’ll let it go because I’d like to move on to the next verse. Because now you see when the Church is out of the way God has to again pick up with the Nation of Israel where He left off back in the Book of Acts.

Remember the Nation of Israel has just been floating along, you might say, through human history out there in the nations of the world. But now as we’ve seen in 1948 they became a independent nation, and now God can deal with the Nation of Israel again. The Church has to be out of the way before that can happen however. Then God will finish His dealing in that seven years of Tribulation that are still future, that are still part and parcel of the Old Testament prophecies. Then when the earthly people, Israel, are ready for the coming of their King (and that is what He will be to them), the King will establish His rule and reign for 1000 years, and as Revelation says so clearly, “He shall be King of kings, and Lord of lords.” In this 1000 year reign, Ephesians 1:10 becomes a fulfilled reality, where the heavenly and earthly are brought together in Christ even in Him. Now let’s move on to verse 11, and that verse starts right off with a prepositional phrase.

Ephesians 1:11a

“In whom (Christ) also we (as members of this Body of Christ) have (already) obtained an inheritance,…”

Now in order to have an inheritance, what do you have to have? Well you have to have somebody who is going share their wealth with you. Otherwise you’ve nothing to inherit. For that let’s look at portion a Scripture in Romans chapter 8. Now where does our inheritance originate? Ephesians has already told us that it’s “in Christ,” but let’s also see what this says.

Romans 8:14-17

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons (or the born ones) of God. (so a believer has to have the leading of the Holy Spirit) 15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; (now Paul is talking about Law and legalism. Anytime somebody puts the Law on people, it puts those people in a place of superstition and fear, and they’re scared to death that they’re not doing things right, and they’re not doing enough) but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, (when we’re placed in Christ) whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (we can call God our Father, we have every right to do that. Now here it comes.) 16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:”

Now what do most children wait for if they have a wealthy set of parents? Their inheritance. That’s normal, there’s nothing wrong with that. I get a kick out of these people that go south every winter. The bumper sticker says, “I’m spending my kids’ inheritance.” But when parents have wealth, the kids have an inheritance. Well that’s exactly what we have with God.

Romans 8:17a

“And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;…”

Now for goodness sake everybody knows what it means to be a joint heir. It means everything’s equal! In other words you’re not going to get just a little handout. Everything that’s Christ’s is ours. Now I know this is mind boggling, but it’s the promises we find here, and take it by faith. The last part of verse 17 has a price with it.

Romans 8:17b

“…if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

So there is a price to pay. Now we in America don’t really know what it is to suffer for our faith. We may come under a little opposition, and of course I think that opposition is growing, but nevertheless we’re still in a nation that protects our freedoms and liberties. But there are a lot of areas in the world tonight that are under intense persecution. Thousands of believers are losing their lives for their faith. But the promise is that if we do suffer we’re going to certainly one day enjoy all the glory of it, as he says in verse 18.

Romans 8:18

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us,”

So this is part and parcel then of our salvation experience; that yes, we are now children of God, and if we’re children of God then we’re heirs of God. If we’re heirs of God, then we’re joint-heirs with Christ! Now back to Ephesians chapter 1, and looking at verse 11 again.

Ephesians 1:11a

“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance,…” (became joint-heirs)

That just reminds me of a gentleman up in Minnesota who started watching our program a few years ago; and he came to know the Lord, and what a testimony he’s been. Last summer we were getting ready to speak in a Church west of Minneapolis, and a young man by the name of Mark came up and he knew this same gentleman in St. Paul. Mark told me he used to work for this gentleman when he was working his way through the University of Minnesota. Mark went on to tell me that he asked this gentleman this question, “Sir are you going to go to Heaven when you die?” And he always answered, “Well I hope so!” Then Mark would come right back and say, “Then you’re not!” This gentleman then told me this himself.

Anyway the gentlemen told me that one day he heard our program, and the Lord just opened his eyes to the Gospel. And he’s just become a real testimony to God’s Grace, and he was the one telling me about this. He told me, “Mark sowed the seed when he kept asking me that question, and then you were able to reap the harvest.” Had Mark not approached him time after time while working for him, I’m sure he would have never listened to me, and I’m so thankful that the Lord opened his heart. So these things are exciting, but you see it’s not a hope so thing. It’s not a religion, but rather it’s a position that we enjoy in Christ. And like I told you in a previous lesson, how do we know that we’re in Christ? By Faith! The Bible says we are, and we believe it, we trust it. Now reading on in verse 11. We’ve found out in verse 11 we have an inheritance, being joint-heirs with Christ, now then we –

Ephesians 1:11b

“…being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:”

Now on this verse I’ve got so many references that have come flying through my mind, I don’t know where to go first. I think I’m going to look up the word counsel first. So go back to Acts chapter 2, and let’s look at this counsel. What’s a good definition of counsel? Well a meeting of the minds. You can appoint a committee to accomplish something, and so they meet. Out of that meeting comes some real concrete results, so what do you say they did? They counseled. They had a meeting of the minds and agreed. Now looking at Acts chapter 2, let’s see what happened in the Godhead. And in this verse we find Peter saying this. Peter is preaching to these Jews, the Nation of Israel on the day of Pentecost, and he says-

Acts 2:23

“Him, (speaking of Christ) being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:”

Do you know what that verse is saying? That’s telling me that sometime way back in eternity past, before anything was ever called into being out of nothing, when it was still nothing, the Triune God had a counsel, and since they were all members of the Godhead they didn’t have to deliberate for half and hour. But nevertheless the Trinity came together and in a counsel agreement set everything in motion. The three Persons of the Trinity agreed that they would create the universe, and that they would put one little planet down there called earth in the midst of it. And on that planet they would put the human race. They knew the human race would sin, it would fall out of fellowship with their Creator, and immediately after that happened He could promise a Redeemer. We get this all in Genesis chapter 3.

Then in the Old Testament the Redeemer is being prophesied all the way through. All according to this predeterminate counsel of God, and then one day here He came. He came at the exact right moment in time. And when you analyze history, nothing would have ever worked out right had He come a 100 years sooner or 100 years later. But rather this Redeemer came at just exactly the right time, according to that predeterminate counsel of the Godhead. See how beautifully everything fits. That verse also speaks of the foreknowledge of God. God knew everything that was ever going to happen. It was all in that predetermined plan of the ages, way back before anything was ever created, that Christ would go to the Cross. Now coming back to Ephesians chapter 1. Everything that has been unfolding now for 6000 years of human history, not to mention however long it was before that, that the universe was already out there spinning around. But everything was –

Ephesians 1:11b

“…predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:”

So everything has been right on schedule. We don’t know when the Lord’s coming, but He does, and it won’t be 1 hour too late or too early, but it will right on schedule. What is this purpose of God? Now let’s go to II Timothy, chapter 1, and look at that for a moment. These verses are all so good it’s hard for me to know where to start, I really don’t. But let’s just jump in at verse 7.

II Timothy 1:7a

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; (now isn’t that a comfort? We don’t have to sit here shaking in our boots scared to death of what’s going to happen tomorrow, or the next day, or down the road. We’re not living under a spirit of fear,) but of power,…”

Now you want to remember that our all-powerful God is the One that spoke the Word, and created the whole universe. I recently read an interesting thing in our Sunday magazine“Parade.” There’s an interesting writer in there that writes an article, “Ask Marilyn.” Personally I think she’s a brilliant woman. Someone wrote and said, “I told my child while on the sandy beach one day that for every grain of sand there was also a star out in space.” Then after he had told his 5-year-old this, he was wondering if he had told him right. What if the child backed him into the corner and told him to prove that? It is quite a statement, but do you know what her answer was? The old scientist Carl Sagan had determined scientifically that there are approximate 10,000 grains of sand in every handful of sand, I believe that is the correct figure. And from that he determined that there are more stars out in space than there are grains of sand on all the beaches of this world. Now you think about that for a while. Now I’m not saying that he was right, but I wouldn’t think that he was just spitting into the wind, as we say. I think that there is validity to that. For every grain of sand there’s a star out in space, and I think the Scripture also implies that. But whatever, this is a God that you and I belong to, and then some of us fear? My we have nothing to fear, but fear itself, as Roosevelt once said. But nevertheless our God is so powerful that we have absolutely nothing to fear. And here it is in this verse –

II Timothy 1:7-8

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 8. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.”

Now whenever you see that word “power” from this point on, do you know what I want you to think of? The vastness of our outer space, and that God’s in total control. I’ve never yet read an account of an astronomer who sees a star crashing into another star. Have you? No! Now they see explosions out there and the beginnings of still another new star, but I have never read the account of someone seeing through the Hubbell or anything else an event such as one star colliding with another one. Why? Because my Bible tells me that the Creator not only created everything, but He also holds everything exactly where it belongs. Now listen if He can keep track of as many stars and celestial bodies as there are grains of sands on the beaches of this world, then I know He keeps track of me. And you can rest assured that He’s keeping track of you. I mean, that’s a God we’re talking about that goes beyond human understanding, but that’s the God of this Book. Now let’s read on in verse 9, and here comes the purpose of God. This God –

II Timothy 1:9

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose (and where was that purpose originally generated? Back there in Acts chapter 2 that we look at when the Godhead came together, and precipitated everything according to their counsel. According to His own purpose) and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,”

This was already in the mind of God in that counsel that predetermined everything because He’s an all-knowing God, and could do that. It all happened in that determinate counsel we read about in Acts 2:23. That’s where God had us on His mind. That’s why Paul could write this in Ephesians.

Ephesians 1:4a

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world,…”

I mean that’s just mind boggling, and the only thing we can do is take it by faith. I can’t understand and comprehend that, but it’s what the Word declares. So we were called –

II Timothy 1:9b

“…not according to our works, but according to his purpose…”

Which is completely wrapped up in the Grace of God. Now let’s go back to Ephesians in the moments we have left. Now doesn’t that thrill you when you see how the whole Book fits together so beautifully? How that we were predestinated according to the purpose which is all under the control of the power of God. Every thing is working according to the counsel of His own will. Now verse 12. Now this is for one purpose, this is why we are, what we are, this is why, who we are.

Ephesians 1:12a

“That we should be to the praise of his glory,…”

Oh if believers could just get a little excited about this fact, that the reason we’re left here, the reason that God gives us breath day after day is that we might bring praise to His glory. There’s a verse in Hebrews that speaks what we should offer unto God.

Hebrews 13:15

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”

And that is what God is looking for, and that’s the whole purpose of everything!

418 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 2 - Book 35 - The Counsel of the Godhead - Part 2

418: The Counsel of the Godhead – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 35

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 35

THE COUNSEL OF THE GODHEAD – PART 2

Now let’s just pick right up where we left off in the last lesson. We’re still in verse 10, but we’re getting ready to move on soon. Remember, Ephesians 1:10 is where Paul writes –

Ephesians 1:10

“That is the dispensation of the fulness of times (referring to the 1000 year reign of Christ) he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, (the heavenly things,) and which are on earth; (the earthly) even in him:”

Now you can be turning to Galatians chapter 1, and while you do that I want to remind you that all the way up through the Old Testament dealing with the Nation of Israel under the Abrahamic Covenant, including Christ’s earthly ministry, including the early chapters of Acts, all of that is God dealing with His earthly people, Israel. Remember, Israel had nothing but earthly promises. The Jew knew nothing of dying and going to Heaven, all the Jew understood, as Job puts it so beautifully back there in chapter 19-

Job 19:25-26

“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: (Job didn’t say, “I’ll see Him in Heaven) 26. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God;”

So all the promises given to Israel were earthly, and never lose sight of that. Their Temple was in Jerusalem, it was earthly. And when you get to the Book of Hebrews which I think Paul wrote, and we find him constantly comparing there that which was good back in the past when God resided in the Temple, in the Shekinah glory, it’s all earthly. Today in the Church Age you and I aren’t connected to a Temple on the earth, but rather we’re connected to the Jerusalem, which is in Heaven.

So I think the heavenly aspect started from the time of Paul’s commissioning to go to the Gentiles, and the Body of Christ, the Church. That is heavenly, whereas Israel is earthly, and hopefully we can tie this whole period of human history coming together. After that time we can go into the Kingdom Age, the 1000 year reign which Ephesians 1:10 is referring to. At that time He will be King of Kings, and Lord of Lords when everything of the heavenly and earthly will come under His reign, and rule. Well that’s just sort of a preview of what’s to come. Now if you will come back to Galatians chapter 1 and let’s pursue a little more of the heavenly concept of all of this. I think we pretty much gave you an overview of the earthly promises made to Israel. We know Israel rejected it, they crucified their Messiah, and God immediately turned to the apostle Paul to go to the Gentiles. Now in Galatians 1:11 is where we have the real basis of that, after you’ve left off with Acts chapter 9. Now Paul has been out among the Gentile world, and at this time we are some 28 or 29 years after Pentecost.

Galatians 1:11-12

“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me (now be careful how you read this. When Paul says “The Gospel which was preached of me,” he’s referring to the Pauline message of I Corinthians 15:1-4, and that message ) is not after man. 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, (by other men) but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Well what’s Paul saying? At his conversion on the road to Damascus when the Lord spoke to him and said, “I’m going to send you far hence to the Gentiles” Paul didn’t immediately head back to Jerusalem and check in with Peter and the eleven. But instead the Lord sends him in the opposite direction down to Mount Sinai in Arabia, and evidently for three years the Lord just laid on this man the whole revelation of all of these things that were never hinted at in Scripture before. And this is what I try to emphasize to people, do you realize that all the way up through the Old Testament, all the way up through the Four Gospels, and the early chapter of Acts, that you never once see the term “The Body of Christ?” You don’t see that term until you get to Paul.

Now once Paul begins his ministry never does he use the term, “The Gospel of the Kingdom as Jesus and the Twelve did.” Why? Because that gospel was associated with the Twelve. Just as they couldn’t use the term the Body of Christ, Paul can’t use the term the Gospel of the Kingdom. Do you see that? As I showed you before there is this fork in the road in the Bible, and that fork starts with the apostle Paul at his conversion on the road to Damascus. God comes up to the point where Israel rejected everything of the Covenant promises, and when that happened God says, “I’ll do something totally different.” So with the apostle Paul, He went to the Gentile. Now Paul lays this out so beautifully here in these verses. We’ve covered them lots of times on the program, and I know this is repetition to a lot of you.

Galatians 1:13a

“For ye have heard of my conversation (my manner of living) in time past in the Jews’ religion,…”

Now here I always have to stop. What’s a religion? Oh I’ve defined it so often as I teach. Religion is always a compilation of the effort of man to somehow appease a Holy God. Now that’s religion. I don’t care if it’s the Oriental, Protestant, Catholicism, Judaism, or what ever. Religion is always man’s attempt to somehow merit favor with God. Now you want to remember that the Jews religion at the time that Paul was practicing it here in Christ’s earthly ministry, and shortly after, that’s all it was. There was nothing of the power of God in it, and you want to realize that the Law given back here to Moses was about 1500 BC.

But from that time, the religion of Judaism was in a constant state of degeneration. Usually things are in that constant state. Very seldom does something reach a peak of more or less perfection and stay there, it always degenerates down. Remember every thing is always going into a less usable state. So you’ve got to realize that from the beginning of Judaism, if we want to call it that, and the giving of Law to Moses, and then coming through the prophets and so forth, by the time you get to the time of Christ’s earthly ministry, it was nothing but a dead man-made religion. There was nothing left of the power of God in it. Oh they went through the Temple worship, and all that was involved there. I just had a verse come to mind in Isaiah. I’ve been sharing with my Oklahoma classes the last few weeks that even Israel’s religion came up into God nostrils as a stench. I shook a few people up the other night, I know I did when I said I wonder how many Church services around the world on Sunday morning make God feel the same way about them as He does here in Isaiah. I’m in Isaiah chapter 1, and let’s just begin with verse 11. Now this is the Word of God, this isn’t my idea, in fact it just sort of turns my stomach to read something like this. Now this is frightening, but this is where mankind can get to when they follow their own devices.

Isaiah 1:11-13

“To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: (well didn’t God instruct them to bring sacrifice? Well sure He did. Now read on) I am full (today we’d say, `I’ve had it.’) of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. 12. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? (I’m sure God is speaking of the Temple complex. Now look at verse 13.) 13. Bring no more vain oblations; (that was part of their sacrificial worship. God says, `Don’t bring any more, because I’ve had it with them.’ Now do you have the picture?) incense is an abomination unto me; (now listen weren’t they instructed to burn incense as a sweet smell to God? Sure they were, and they were still doing all of this exactly according to the Book. Now let’s read on and I’ll tell you what the problem was.) the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity even the solemn meeting.”

Now remember all that we’ve read was what God had instructed for worship, but now He’s saying, “I’m fed up with this and can’t stand to look at it.”

Isaiah 1:14-15

“Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.” (now this is God speaking to the Nation of Israel.) 15. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.”

Now what was the major point of controversy God has here with the Nation of Israel? They were doing everything right, oh they wouldn’t dream of approaching Temple worship and not do it exactly right. I mean to the last jot and tittle they did it right, but what were they lacking? Faith! There was no faith associated with all this, and it had become nothing but a dead religion. And isn’t that exactly where Christendom is tonight? Oh look all the things we do in Church, but how many people have faith to appropriate the real truth of it? And this is what God is looking for – just simple faith.

Hebrews 11:6a

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

Now coming back to Galatians chapter 1 if you will. So this is just exactly what Paul is talking about. Paul says that he was such a religious Jew. He was like all the rest of the Israelites doing everything according to the Book, but he was destitute of real faith, and consequently he too was blind with regard to Who Jesus really was. You’ve heard me say so many times that Israel should have known Who Jesus was. Israel could have known Who Jesus was, but why didn’t they? They didn’t really believe the Word of God! Now we’re in the same situation in America tonight. We know the Lord is coming, but we don’t know when. Now I’m one that thinks it’s not very far away, and yet most people have no concept where we are in God’s timetable. On top of that, most wouldn’t believe it if you told them. Why? They have no faith. Now continuing in Galatians chapter 1.

Galatians 1:13-15-17a

“For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church (church here is the Jewish assemblies.) 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. 15. But (now here’s the flip-side again. Oh he was a religious Jew, he was doing everything that the Book instructed, but) when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, (and in the next verse we have the purpose) 16. To reveal his Son (the Lord Jesus) in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; (Gentiles, the non-Jew world)immediately (again Paul puts the emphasis on that he did not go to Jerusalem and check in with the Twelve, but) 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, …”

Now if you want to know where he went in Arabia, just turn the page in Galatians and go over to chapter 4. This is to show you what was in Arabia where he went.

Galatians 4:25a

“For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia,…”

So I have to feel that just as surely as God gave the Law to Moses up there on Mt. Sinai back in the Book of Exodus, and Moses took it down to the children of Israel, so this man Paul went to the same Mt. Sinai, and received all the revelations of our doctrines of Grace, and he came down and took it to the Gentile world, and what a difference that has made. Then Paul goes on through the rest of the chapter, and says in verse 18 –

Galatians 1:18-19

“Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter,…”

Paul had 3 years alone with the Lord. While I was teaching II Corinthians I had made the point that one of the main points of controversy that the Corinthians had with Paul was that he didn’t have that 3 years with Jesus that Peter had. Now it’s obvious that the disciples had walked those dusty trails of the Nation of Israel for 3 years, we all know that. But after thinking about it those Corinthians were wrong, because Paul also had 3 years with Christ. In fact Paul even had it better as he had 3 years down there at Mt. Sinai with no one around but the Lord Himself. So Paul could come back and say, “Oh yes, Peter had his 3 years, and I had my 3 years.

I always have said, that God evens everything up. Here we’ve got 2000 years, where God dealt primarily with the Nation of Israel. It was Jew only with a few Gentile exceptions. Now since Paul and the beginning of the Body of Christ again it’s been nearly 2000 years that God has been filling the Body of Christ with Gentiles, with a few Jewish exceptions. It always balances out. God is never out of balance. I had a gentlemen call the other day wanting to put our program on his station. He said what I really like about your program is that you have balance. Well thank you, because that’s what we try to maintain. We’re not going to go clear off on the right or left till we get off balance. You just have to keep your eyes on the Word of God and not get too far off in either direction. So everything that God is in is always balanced. So yes, Peter had three years with the Lord here while dealing only with the Jew. Paul had three years here at the onset of his Gentile ministry. Now verse 19.

Galatians 1:19-21

“But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother. (this James was not one of the Twelve) 20. Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. 21. Afterwards (his stop at Jerusalem for 15 days) I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;”

Now of course that’s the area of Antioch, and his hometown of Tarsus, so this was the beginning now of Paul’s ministry, and a calling out of a people for the Lord’s name, but from what people? From among the Gentiles. What’s happening to those people? Come back with me for a moment to I Corinthians chapter 12. And now you will notice that this is all fresh language. This is something that you’ve never heard before in Scripture, and this is all a result of that 3 years of revelation, and the outpouring of the Grace of God on this apostle of the Gentiles. In verse 12 Paul uses the human body as a comparison.

I Corinthians 12:12

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

Or the Body of Christ. All believers have been brought into that Body, we never lose our individuality, but we’re all part of the composite. Now how do we get into this Body of Christ? Next verse –

I Corinthians 12:13a

“For by one Spirit (Holy Spirit.) are we all baptized into one body,…”

Now here is the only true baptism for us today. This is the true baptism that everybody better have or they’re not going to be in glory. Now that’s it! If you have this baptism then your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and we’re going to see each other in glory there’s no doubt about it.

Paul says that by the one Holy Spirit we’re all baptized into one body. Not just some, but all believers are baptized into the Body of Christ. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, that at the moment of salvation He places us into the Body of Christ. You know I’m always using the analogy of the baby in the mother’s womb. For 9 months what does that mother’s body do? Adding cells to that little body in her womb. Starting from invisible, and for every day for 9 months cells are being added until the last cells are in place, and what happens? Delivery! A full term baby delivered, now it’s like that for the Body of Christ. For the last 1900 + years now God has been adding believers into that Body. He does that one at a time, and He knows every one of them from around the world. Now reading the rest of verse 13.

I Corinthians 12:13b

“…whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink (or partake) into one Spirit.”

Now that’s the Body of Christ that has been forming ever since it began back here in Acts chapter 9 with the conversion of the apostle Paul. At least that’s what I gather from the Scriptures. When is this Body going to be complete and Raptured out? Let’s go back to Romans chapter 11. And while we’re in Romans I might as well show you another verse that is so appropriate, and very few people know it’s in their Bible, and that’s verse 13. That’s the one Jerry reminded me of years and years ago. He said, “I never knew this was in my Bible, so repeat it every chance you get.”

Romans 11:13

“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

In other words Paul takes a back seat to no one. Now that was free for nothing, but now come on over to verse 25. This is why I had you turn here, as we wanted to see when the Body of Christ was going to be Raptured out. Now this doesn’t show a day or hour, or a month or year, but when that last cell, or person, is brought into the Body of Christ.

Romans 11:25

“For I would not brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, (or secret) lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; (and here’s what we’re supposed to know) that blindness in part (or a certain period of time, not forever, ) is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.”

Now we’re getting close to that time, and it will happen when the fullness or completion of the Gentiles is brought in. Now what does that tell you? Israel is out in the world tonight in a spiritual blindness, and has been for almost 2000 years. But the day is coming when once again their spiritual eyes will be flipped open and they’re going to see and recognize their Messiah. Israel, as I’ve said so often, will be born in a day, but before that happens the Church, the Body of Christ, has to be brought to the full when that last person is brought in, and then the Church is taken out of the way for the seven years of Tribulation. Well in the few moments we have left let me show you our heavenly connection in the Book of Colossians. These are heavenly promises, we know Israel was never told something like this.

Colossians 1:13

“Who hath delivered us (speaking of God the Father) from the power of darkness, and hath (already) translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:”

Well where is the kingdom of His Son tonight? Well it’s in Heaven, and so we have that heavenly connection, with heavenly promises.

417 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 1 - Book 35 - The Counsel of the Godhead

417: The Counsel of the Godhead – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 35

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 35

THE COUNSEL OF THE GODHEAD

In our last two lessons we started in Ephesians 1:10 and during those two lessons we only got about half way through the verse. Remember we were dealing with the earthly and heavenly aspect when all things would be one under Christ in His 1000 year reign. We pretty much took care of the earthly aspect in those last two lessons, but we still have just a bit more in Acts. After that we’ll start the heavenly aspect. Let’s read that verse again and pick up where we left off on our Ephesians timeline.

Ephesians 1:10

“That in the dispensation (or that period of time or that administration) of the fulness of times (which would be that final 1000 years of human history which we refer to constantly as the millennial reign that) he might gather together in one all things in Christ,…”

“In Him” is a prepositional phrase and always refers to our position in Christ. You know one of my sons asked the other day a logical question concerning the Bible. “Well how do we know we’re in Christ? We don’t look or feel any different, do we? ” Well you know what my answer was. We take all that by faith, because the Book says that when we believed we became a member of the Body of Christ. The Book says we were baptized into the Body of Christ by a work of the Holy Spirit. At the same time we were justified, glorified, forgiven, and all the other things that come with salvation the moment we believe. Did you feel any of that? You don’t all of a sudden get a diploma, but we take it by faith, this is what the Bible has claimed. Now reading on in verse 10. Now here is where we divided the earthly and heavenly aspect.

Ephesians 1:10b

“… both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:”

So in the two previous chapters we took the premise that beginning way back in Genesis chapter 12, God started dealing with one little nation in particular, the earthly people, Israel. Now that’s as far as we came with our timeline. From Adam to Abraham was about 2000 years, and then 2000 before Christ we had the appearance of Abraham, and the Nation of Israel. From Genesis chapter 12 until we get well into the Book of Acts it’s primarily, but not exclusively, God dealing with Jew only. Now let me show you where I picked up the term Jew only, and I use it without apology. Except I usually add the phrase “with exceptions.” See those exceptions were also in the Old Testament economy. In God’s Sovereign Grace He did send Jonah to Ninevah, a Gentile city. By His Sovereign Grace, the spies ended up on the wall of Jericho, and met Rahab. Naomi by His Grace met Ruth and brought her back to Bethlehem. Now those were all exceptions of Gentiles. But for the most part it has been Jew only. Let’s go back to Acts chapter 11 and look at it. This verse refers back to the time of Stephen’s martyrdom, which was about seven years after Pentecost.

Acts 11:19

“Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen (back in chapter 7) travelled as far as Phenice and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.”

Now that’s what the Book says, that’s not my idea, I’m not being a bigot or anything like that. The Book makes it so plain that as these believing Jews, who had followed Christ, probably in His earthly ministry, or had responded to Peter and those eleven preaching in the early chapter of Acts, because of Saul’s persecution had fled Jerusalem, had gone as far north as Antioch in Syria, but wherever they went they preached the Word to Jews only. Remember there’s not a New Testament yet, that would come much later, so what did they have? The Old Testament, which was written to the Jew. But remember that fits right in with Jesus’ earthly ministry, and I showed you the verses, He commanded the Twelve –

Matthew 10:5b-6

“…Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

People have such a hard time swallowing that. I can remember a couple of years ago when we were teaching in Israel, and we were having our Bible class after dinner in the hotel, and there were some other tour groups that also came in and attended. The other tour groups hadn’t been with us before as we taught, and all of a sudden some felt that they had been hit in the face with the concept that Christ didn’t come but to the Jews only. And I remember this one fellow in particular got angry. He was as red as a beet, and finally exploded, and said,“You mean to tell me that Jesus did not have anything to do with the Gentiles?” I said, “I’m not telling you, but rather that’s what the Book tells you. Christ came only to the Jew, and when Israel rejected Him, then yes, He’s going to turn to the Gentiles, and we’ll see that next in our timeline.” But I want it understood from the Scriptures all the way from Genesis 12, and the call of Abraham till we get way into the Book of Acts it’s Jew only with exceptions. In our last lesson we stopped in Acts chapter 1, verse 6, and maybe that’s a good jumping off place.

Acts 1:6

“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”

Jesus did not ridicule them for being ignorant, or foolish for thinking that an earthly kingdom would be set up. But just the opposite –

Acts 1:7

“And he said unto them, `It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.'”

The kingdom is coming, and don’t you ever forget or doubt that the kingdom is coming to this earth. Now the world has already been waiting, since that verse, over 1900 years, but in God’s mind that was only a couple of days. Remember a thousand years is only as a day, and a day is as a thousand years in God’s sight.

II Peter 3:8

“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

Now for this timeline review I’m going to come on through Acts real quickly, and now let’s drop in at Acts chapter 2. Now we’re going to see how Israel is still being approached with the same message that Jesus and the Twelve proclaimed in His three years of ministry. Now in verse 22 of Acts chapter 2 we find Peter speaking on the day of Pentecost, and look who he is talking to. And again people miss this in order to make their doctrine fit. But you see the called-out Body of Gentile believers, the Church, won’t fit in these verses. God is still dealing only with the Jew, the Nation of Israel.

Acts 2:22

“Ye men of Israel, (and you Gentiles? No.) hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:”

So there’s no question who Peter is talking to. He’s talking only to Jews. And again Peter brings these Jews down to the same message that Jesus and the Twelve preached, and he almost repeats it word for word in verse 38.

Acts 2:38

“Then Peter said unto them, (these Jews, the children of Israel) `Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.'”

Now that was the very process for the nation to become believers. Believe that Jesus was the Son of God, the Messiah, repent and be baptized in water. As soon as you get to the Gentile plan then the whole format is inverted. We’ll look at that a little bit later. But now coming on up through the Scriptures, we find that Peter keeps preaching his heart out, and now come all the way up to Acts chapter 7. Here it’s about seven years after Acts 2:38 and Pentecost. And here again someone sent me a timeline the other day from someone who in 1920 had this same timeline that I use. He too had Stephen about seven years after Pentecost. Let’s start at verse 2, because I want people to see who Peter and Stephen were talking to. That’s very crucial in being able to separate the Scriptures. If you can’t separate the Scripture, then how are you going to be able to receive this beautiful free gift that God offers to everyone.

Acts 7:2

“And he (Stephen) said, `Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; (or listen to me) The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, (now who alone can claim Abraham as their father? The Jew!) when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,'”

Then Stephen comes all the way up from Abraham, and builds on the Abrahamic Covenant, the promises made to this nation, and finally comes all the way up toward the end of the chapter, and he puts it on the Jewish religious leaders.

Acts 7:51-52

“Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. 52. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; (the Messiah) of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murders:”

Now you analyze those two verses, does that fit a Gentile? No that wouldn’t fit Gentiles. Gentiles’ fathers didn’t persecute the prophets, but Israel’s did. So always be careful that you don’t just spread this out over people who are not involved. This is strictly for the Jew, it’s still Jew only.

Acts 7:53

“Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, (the Nation of Israel again) and have not kept it” Now after that you know what happens to Stephen.

Acts 7:57-58

“Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, 58. And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.”

Remember when we were in the Book of Acts I called this the scenario of Israel’s rejection. This is where they hit the high point of unbelief and rejection. “We’ll not have Jesus of Nazareth to rule over us. He was an impostor, He could have never been the Messiah.” And of course Saul of Tarsus was egging them on. Then you remember we get into chapter 9, and now this is where we come to that fork in the road. Where God has finally left off dealing with the Nation of Israel, and He’s going to do something totally different. This is something that has never been imagined by Peter or the eleven. Jesus never betrayed what was about to happen, because God in His Grace is now going to do something totally out of the secret recesses of His own mind, and here it is. I guess we might as well start right with verse 1.

Acts 9:1-2

“And Saul, (who was holding the clothes of those who stoned Stephen) yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples (here it’s not the Twelve) of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2. And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.”

Then of course you know the account. Outside of Damascus the Lord I think struck him down with this beam from Heaven, probably a laser beam as we understand them now.

Acts 9:4-5a

“And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, `Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?’ 5. And he said, `Who art thou Lord?…'” ( Jehovah)

You want to remember that Saul was a deeply religious man. Oh he was a murderer, he was one who slaughtered Jewish believers, but it was all in the name of his religion. Remember anybody that is religious certainly has a concept, whoever their God is, that he’s up above. I don’t know of any religion that looks at God being down, it’s always up. So when this event comes from above with the stream of light, and the voice, immediately Saul knows it’s got to be God that he’s dealing with, so that’s why the question, “Who art thou, Lord?” But in the original it really should have been, “Who art thou, Jehovah?” Because that’s who Saul understood. Jehovah was the God of Abraham. Well what answer did Saul get for his question?

Acts 9:5b

“…I am Jesus whom thou persecutest:…”

Now imagine the man’s reaction when he heard that. The One that he thought was such an impostor and blasphemer, and the One whose name he was trying to just simply obliterate from Jewish thinking was the same Jehovah that had called Abraham. He was the One that had spoken to Moses, that had spoken to David, and He was the same One that was now speaking from Heaven after having been crucified, buried, and risen from the dead. No wonder the man became what he was. What an experience Saul had when he heard that voice from Heaven say, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.” Well remember God always works the ends into the middle. So while He’s dealing outside the city with Saul, He’s dealing in the city with Ananias. So now let’s drop all the way down to verse 11. This is just a quick review of our timeline.

Acts 9:11

“And the Lord said unto him, (Ananias) `Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth.'”

I’ll bet he was praying. I mean after he’s gone years now suppressing the name of Jesus of Nazareth as a blasphemer, as a demon, and as the worst of worst could be, and then suddenly realize that it was the God that he thought he served, I bet he did pray. I don’t blame him. So the Lord says, “behold, he prayeth.”

Acts 9:12-15a

“And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. 13. Then Ananias answered, `Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: (the believing Jews) 14. And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 15. But…'” But is one of my favorite words in Scripture. That may all be true Ananias, but the flip side is –

Acts 9:15

“But the Lord said unto him, `Go thy way: for he (Saul) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles,…'” All of a sudden God is going to do something that He had not done before. You’ve not seen anything like this. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 10?

Matthew 10:5

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them saying, `Go not into the way of the Gentiles,…'”

And all the way up through His earthly ministry we have seen that He ignored the Gentiles, and as late as the Passover Feast, and the Greeks wanted to see Jesus, but He didn’t respond to them. He didn’t tell His disciples, “Well bring them in to me.” All He told Andrew and Philip was to tell those Greeks that the hour cometh, speaking of His death, burial, and resurrection. Gentiles would have to wait until that finished work of the Cross could be presented as a saving Gospel for them as we find in I Corinthians 15:1-4. Now reading on in verse 16, here in Acts chapter 9.

Acts 9:16

“For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name sake.”

Then of course we know that the apostle Paul from that point on goes out to a three year seminary training at Mt. Sinai, where he was revealed the mysteries. And one of those mysteries was the Gospel of the Grace of God by which Gentiles are saved. It’s not limited to Gentiles, but as much as it was Jew only back here when God was dealing with Israel, with a few exceptions. Now we have something totally different happening, God is now pulling out another group of people for His name which we call the Church, or the Body of Christ. It is mainly made up of Gentiles, with the exceptions of a few Jews. So you have two comparisons. Here you have Jew only with a few Gentile exceptions, and now we have predominately Gentiles, but with some Jewish exceptions. And the two you might say just cross over.

Israel goes out into the nations of the world into a dispersion even unto our own present day. The Body of Christ on the other hand is pulled off and becomes a unique group of people, and they are waiting for their period of human history which will be the out-calling or the Rapture. After we’re taken out of the way, then at that time once again God will pick up and deal with Israel for the seven years of Tribulation, and then you’ll have the Second Coming when Christ will stand once again on the earth. We’ll look at that if we can in the next lesson. Now let’s look at some of the heavenly aspects of Ephesians 1:10. Go back and look at some Scriptures concerning Paul’s ministry. Let’s stop at Romans 16:25. This verse uses language that I’m afraid very few people, if they read it, comprehend it. But I’m afraid most people don’t even read it. Very few people understand what Paul is saying in this tremendous verse.

Romans 16:25

“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to (not the prophets, not the Old Testament, not the Abrahamic Covenant, not the teaching of Jesus in His earthly ministry, not the teaching by Peter in the Book of Acts, but) the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world begin.”

Paul’s Gospel had been kept secret in the mind of God since time began. Now that’s what the Bible says, that’s not something I made up. This is what the Scripture says, that this Gospel that Paul is now going to start presenting to the Gentile world has been kept secret. Maybe I should have used this verse first, so in the moments we have left let’s come back to Acts chapter 15. Because here in Acts 15 is more or less the introduction to it. I’m sure that when James, when he spoke, had no real comprehension of what he was saying. He couldn’t have, because nothing like that had ever been revealed before. I think he was just inspired to say what he said without really understanding the ramification of it all. But here in Acts 15 after they’ve had this big run in with Paul and Barnabas, that Paul and Barnabas could not be preaching salvation to Gentiles without adhering to circumcision and Law keeping, they finally are convinced that yes, Paul’s on the right track, and so James makes this tremendous statement.

Acts 15:14-16

“Simeon (Peter) hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them (the Gentiles) a people for his name. 15. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16. After this (after the calling out a Gentile people, that’s you and I today) I (God) will return and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins therof, and I will set it up:” Now in verse 17 to back up what I’m saying –

Acts 15:17-18

“That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, (this had never been revealed before. But now even James has a little bit of insight that since Paul’s Gospel has been revealed, and it’s primarily for the Gentile world then yes, God is going to call out a people for His name. And it’s going to be the Gentiles who are going to hear it) upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. 18. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” Now what does that tell you? Oh the Sovereign God is in control of everything, and nothing catches Him by surprise.

416 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 4 - Book 35 - Ephesians: 1:6-10 - Part 2

416: Ephesians: 1:6-10 – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 35

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 35

EPHESIANS 1:6-10 – PART 2

Now it’s time to get back into the Book where we left off in the last lesson. We’re still in Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 10, so let’s go back there for a moment. After that we’ll pick up where we left off in the last lesson with the continued concept of the earthly and heavenly in Scripture. But before we read verse 10 let’s back up to verse 8 and 9 to pick up the flow.

Ephesians 1:8-9

“Wherein (Grace in verse 7) he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9. Having made known unto us the mystery (or secret) of his will (which we saw that God has a right to keep everything secret, and He can reveal it when He’s ready, and not until) according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:”

In other words as I’ve said several times this afternoon, “Everything begins and ends with and in God!” He created everything, He set everything in motion and He’s going to bring it to His own end! I have taught for 25 years that the world is not going to be blown up with nuclear bombs during this age of Grace. All of that will take place when God is ready to do it Himself. Now I don’t deny that there will be nuclear warfare during the seven years of Tribulation, but God is in control, and it won’t happen until He’s ready for it to happen. Now we come down to verse 10.

Ephesians 1:10

“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times (which I feel is the 1000 year millennial rule and reign of Christ on the earth) he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:”

Now we took the concept in the last lesson that the spheres that God has been dealing with through history is Heaven and earth. We went back to Genesis 1:1 where in the beginning God created Heaven and earth, and you can keep those two things separated all through Scripture. You can’t mix them because the heavenly things are those which were revealed only to the apostle Paul in the mysteries, the Body of Christ, we are the heavenly connection. All the rest of God’s history is earthly. The Nation of Israel, and all that was around them were earthly, and when Israel rejected everything then God turned to the Gentiles, and began to work in the heavenlies.

Now we really didn’t finish the earthly concept of it in the last lesson. I guess I should put it on the board now that beginning with the call of Abraham at 2000 BC the Nation of Israel began. God pulls that little nation out of the rest of humanity, and sets them apart. Then when Christ starts His earthly ministry to the Nation of Israel, the Jew, there were only two exceptions where he ministered to Gentiles, and don’t let anyone ever try to tell you that He went to Jews and Gentiles. I guess I’d better back that statement up, so turn with me to Matthew chapter 10. There are so many people that get confused with the false teaching that Jesus ministered to the Gentiles. The Scriptures make it so clear that He did not. He couldn’t because He came to the Nation of Israel to fulfill the earthly Covenant that He made with Abraham. Also the later covenants, which were also under the Abrahamic Covenant, the Davidic, the Mosaic, and the Palestinian as we call it because it was referring to the land of Palestine.

Someone asked me why I used the word `Palestine.’ Well it’s in the Scriptures, and refers to Israel as the land of Palestine. So I use the term only because of its geographical clarity. We know where Palestine is. Now Matthew chapter 10. In this chapter Jesus has just called out the 12 disciples. Now verse 5.

Matthew 10:5-6

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, `Go not unto the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans (who were half breeds) enter ye not: (but here was His command) 6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.'” (God’s earthly people)

So Christ’s earthly ministry was confined to His earthly people Israel, and there were only two exceptions, and I’ll show you one of them right now as it’s right in chapter 15. People wonder how I remember a portion of Scripture like this. Well I just know that’s it’s an odd number chapter. So here it is. You all know the account, and I think everybody out in television does also, but you probably don’t understand the ramifications of it.

Matthew 15:21-23

“Then Jesus went thence and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. (these two cities were up there on the Mediterranean Sea coast, and the area as we know it today as Lebanon, and it was two Gentiles cities. But He doesn’t go into the cities so much, as He comes to the border area.) 22. And behold, a woman of Canaan (a Gentile) came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, `Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.'” (or demon) 23. But he (Jesus) answered her not a word.(now what does that imply? He ignored her, because she’s a Gentile. Remember He has a ministry only to the Nation of Israel.) And his disciples came and besought him, saying, `Send her away: for she crieth after us.'”

Now this had no doubt been going on for a few days. Everywhere they went here was this Canaanite woman probably making a nuisance of herself, and so the disciples were getting out of sorts, and saying, “Lord she’s a Gentile and we don’t have anything to with her so get rid of her, send her away.” Well, the Lord has something else on His mind, and so now verse 24, so He answers to the Twelve.

Matthew 15:24

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

Do you see how plain that is? Now in plain English what the Lord is saying is, “I do not have a ministry except to the Jew.” That’s what He said in Matthew chapter 10, and now He’s saying it again.. Now in a while here she is again.

Matthew 15:25

” Then came she and worshipped him, (I think she literally fell down on her knees in front of him) saying, `Lord, help me.'”

Now notice how she drops the term, `thou Son of David’ because that was strictly a Jewish address, and as a Gentile she couldn’t use that legitimately so she learned something anyway, so now she just says, `Lord help me’ And again in verse 26 look at Jesus’ answer.

Matthew 15:26

“But he answered and said, `It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.'”

Well who were the children? Israel, the Jews. Who were the dogs? Gentiles. The Lord says, `I can’t take that which is on the table of Israel, and give it to Gentiles. Why? Because of the Covenant promises. He was there to fulfill the covenants made back here to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The prophets prophesied the coming of the Messiah to Israel, and there’s not a word in there that the Gentiles were to receive any of the blessing of Israel. They couldn’t, because it was Covenant ground, and that was only for the offspring of Abraham. So again Jesus says –

Matthew 15:26

“…It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.”

You go back into Psalms chapter 23, and when the psalmist says –

Psalms 23:5a

“Thou preparest a table before me…”

Now what was this table before me? This place of privilege that only Israel could enjoy so they literally feasted at the Lord’s table. How? They had the Word of God.. You’re looking at me kind of blank so turn with me for a moment to Romans chapter 3, and this is exactly what it meant. They were feasting at the Lord’s table because of their Covenant position. You can also pick this up in other various places of Scripture. We Gentiles were never feasting at the Lord’s table when God was dealing with Israel. Today of course, yes, we’re in that place of privilege, but back here it’s only the Jew. Now verse 1, and here Paul says-

Romans 3:1

“What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? (in other words, what benefit is it to be a member of the Nation of Israel?) 2. Much every way: chiefly,(They had everything going for them, from the Ten Commandants, the Temple, the priesthood, they had the sacrifices, they had the prescribed approach to Jehovah, they had the land and the people, they had everything going for them, and the miracles God was constantly working in the Nation of Israel with miracles. So they had a lot of things going for them, but chiefly what was their number one blessing?) because that unto them were committed the oracles (Word) of God.”

See that is what has blessed America the most the past 200 years, above all the nations of the world. America up until the last 50 years rested on this Book. All of our forefathers were believers of this Book. Now they might not have been what we would call born again Christians, but at least they were men enough to admit that America operated on the principles of this Book. All right now that was Israel’s blessing, they had the Word of God. Do you see that? Now flip back again to Matthew and let’s finish that portion. So this was the table at which the Jews were literally feasting, the Word of God. And they were a privileged people. Now reading verse 26.

Matthew 15:26-28

“But he answered and said, `It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.’ (but she comes back and says ) 27. And she said, `Truth, Lord; (in other words she recognized that, but) yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.’ 28. Then Jesus answered and said, unto her, `O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt,’ And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”

In other words, He could heal a Gentile if He wanted to, but you see He was under the Sovereign agreement with Israel, and Abraham, and the Covenant promises that He could not pour out Grace to Gentiles until Israel had every opportunity to hear the offer of the King and the Kingdom, and when they rejected it, yes, then God turns to the Gentile world through the apostle Paul. Now I’m not quite ready to leave off with the earthly aspect of Ephesians 1:10, and I know we won’t get much further than the earthly aspect in this lesson and we’ll have to pick the heavenly aspect up in our next lesson. Now continuing on with the earthly kingdom aspect in Scripture, let’s go back to Matthew 1:1. Now this will substantiate what I just said, that God could not break His Covenant promises with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Matthew 1:1

“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

Now that’s as far as it goes. It doesn’t go on back to Adam, but rather from Christ’s birth back to Abraham. Why is that? The reason is Matthew is going to present Christ as the King of the nation Israel, Israel’s Messiah. Matthew is going to present Him as the fulfillment of these Covenant promises made to Abraham, and so there is no need to go any further back, because this is where everything begins so far as Israel is concerned. Now come on up to chapter 3, and now we find that Jesus’ birth has been recorded, and John the Baptist is beginning to announce the coming of the King, and now verse 2. And this is John the Baptist’s message.

Matthew 3:2

“And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Now that doesn’t sound earthly does it? It sounds heavenly, but where was this heavenly Kingdom going to be? On the earth. All of the things that we see in the Old Testament were that this glorious Kingdom is going to be on the earth, but it’s going to be Heaven on earth, because Christ is going to be King. So the whole concept now is that the King is in the midst of Israel, they are being offered the opportunity to enter into all these earthly promises which are going to come to fruition. But of course according to Ephesians 1:10 that couldn’t happen until the Gentiles complement had also been completed, which was the Church. When we enter into the Kingdom economy like it says in that verse, “everything is going to come under Christ’s headship.” The earthly people of Israel, and their earthly kingdom, and all the ramifications of the heavenly people, the Body of Christ. All right we’re going to leave the Body of Christ at least for now for a later time, and continue on with the earthly concept.

So if you will come with me a little further in Matthew, and go to chapter 19. In this chapter again we’re in His earthly ministry, and He’s been proclaiming to the Nation of Israel that He is the Messiah, the Christ, and He’s been proving it with miracles, and signs, and wonders. Now verse 27.

Matthew 19:27

“Then answered Peter and said unto him, `Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?'” In other words, what shall we have for following Christ? Well Peter’s not talking about his salvation, he’s already got that. That was established back in chapter 16, and verse 16. When Peter said,

Matthew 16:16b

“…Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

So what Peter is saying here is much like what Abraham said back in Genesis chapter 15. Remember God promised Abraham the land, and promised him all these other things, and then the great man of faith still said what?

Genesis 15:8

“And he said, `Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?'” Then the Lord gave him a title deed. Well here in Matthew chapter 19 Peter is the same way. The Lord just got through telling him a few weeks before –

Matthew 16:17b

“…Blessed art thou Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”

But Peter comes back and says, “Well what else are we going to have for following you?” Do you see that? Oh they’re so human. Does Jesus dress him down for saying that? No. Jesus answers and says-

Matthew 19:28

“And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you. That ye which have followed me, (the Twelve minus Judas) in the regeneration (when the earth is brought back, and made like it was in the Garden of Eden, which will be this 1000 year reign with Christ on the earth) when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory (Christ laid aside His glory while down here, and went to the Cross. But in this 1000 year reign He will once again be in His glory. This is when He’s going to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords), ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

When you put all this together, Scripture is so logical. Do you see why Peter was up tight when the spot Judas had vacated was empty? Peter thought the King would be coming back at any moment in Acts chapter 1, and wondered, “We have 12 thrones to fill for the Nation of Israel, and we’ve only got 11 disciples.” So what did they do? Hey, they filled it real quick with the 12th man. That was the first item on the agenda after the Lord ascended. They had to get a replacement for Judas. So they chose Matthias.

Acts 1:26

“And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”

Well all of this is just to show that God was promising to the Nation of Israel this earthly kingdom. Then finishing up the earthly kingdom concept come into the Book of Acts chapter 1. Come on down to verse 3. Now the Lord has been crucified, He’s been resurrected, and has been walking among the disciples for 40 days.

Acts 1:3

“To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion (His death, burial, and resurrection) by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:”

Now we’ve always got to separate the two terms. Matthew over and over says the Kingdom of Heaven, and here in Acts chapter 1, and 28 we have the Kingdom of God. Well the best way I can differentiate is the Kingdom of God is that whole sphere of God’s influence, of His Sovereignty. Whether it’s Heaven or the outer fringes of space, whether it’s hell, or earth, anything that’s under God’s domain is included in that “Kingdom of God.” Now that’s a big subject. I mean anybody could talk about the Kingdom of God for days on end, so the Lord didn’t have any trouble doing that for 40 days. But within the Kingdom of God is going to be that glorious Kingdom on this planet called “The kingdom of Heaven” that everything is waiting for. It’s just like those of us sitting here in Oklahoma, we’re in the United States of America, but we’re in Oklahoma. Well that’s the way I like to liken it to. Now verse 6.

Acts 1:6

“When they therefore were come together, they (the eleven) asked of him, saying, `Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?'”

Do you see how plain that is? What kingdom were they talking about? The earthly kingdom over which their Messiah would one day rule and reign.