439: Ephesians 3:8-21

439: Ephesians 3:8-21 – Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 37

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick


Ephesians 3:8-21

Now as we begin this lesson turn to Ephesians chapter 3 and verse 11 where Paul writes to the Church Age believers the following.

Ephesians 3:11

“According to the eternal purpose which he (the God of verse 10) purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:”

Now that’s not the end of the sentence, but I’m going to stop there for a minute, and I’m going to have you turn with me to II Timothy chapter 1. I’m going to hone in on verse 9, but I want to begin in verse 7, and lead up to what Paul says in verse 9.

II Timothy 1:7

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind…”

Now that brings up a question that I don’t have time to deliberate here. Should believers ever have mental problems? I’m not saying could they, but should they? No, we really shouldn’t. I know it’s a possibility, but really we shouldn’t have mental problems. We should never be plagued with depression, which is one of the forerunners of a lot of mental problems. Because what have we got going for us? And we’ve got it so good here in America. Last night, for some reason I just wasn’t sleeping very well, I was thinking of those poor people in Yugoslavia, and Albania, and we’re so spoiled. I’ve told my classes over the years, and it’s almost my every morning prayer, “Lord I know I’m spoiled.”

How could I handle it if all of a sudden Texas was a sovereign country, and they would just literally move up to the eastern half of Oklahoma, which looks like is the size of Kosovo, all the way from I-35 to the Arkansas border, and would just literally cleanse the land of all of us? And they would just literally over-run us to where we died or had to flee to Arkansas, Kansas, or Missouri, and leave everything behind. Have you ever thought of it that way? Now God loves them, and they hurt, I tell you it’s absolutely awful. You can almost get emotional when you read and see the horrors of that situation. But anyway the Scripture says we are not to fear, but to have power, and love, and a sound mind. Now verse 8.

II Timothy 1:8

” Be not thou ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me has prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; “

Now you see you can have all kinds of preaching and the world doesn’t get upset with that. The only time the world will get upset with preaching is when the power of God begins to transform lives, now that the world doesn’t want. The world’s going to fight that tooth and toenail. But you see Paul says even though the power of God is being exemplified, we still don’t have to fear, because He is Sovereign. He is the One who is supreme. Now verse 9 is the verse I wanted to get to, and the verse starts off by referring to the power of God in verse 9.

II Timothy 1:9

” Who (God) hath saved us, (already) and called us with an holy calling, (now holy doesn’t mean angelically pure or sinless, but rather we’re set apart. Remember even the vessels in the temple were holy, because they were set apart only for temple use. So we are set apart for God’s purposes) not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Now that goes back to the unsearchable again doesn’t it? How in the world can I comprehend that before anything was ever created, God already knew me for what I am, and where I am. He knew you the same way. There was absolutely nothing hidden from God, and it was all in His divine purposes, His whole scheme of things, as it was laid out from eternity past. Now back to Ephesians chapter 3. So look at verse 11 again. Remember every thing that we comprehend of the mysteries are all part of His eternal purpose.

Ephesians 3:11

“According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:”

Now all that means is, “Why did Christ come?” Well we always teach that first and foremost, He came to the Nation of Israel to be their Messiah, and King. But the overall purpose was to die for the sins of mankind, and be the Saviour of the whole human race, and be our Lord for all eternity. Now verse 12. Remember when we started the Book of Ephesians I told you there were over 90 times that you have the prepositional phrase “IN HIM, IN WHOM, IN CHRIST,” because this little letter is positional!

Where are we as believers? We’re not just members of a local church on the corner, although that’s certainly applicable. But we’re members of the bigger universal picture, we’re members of the Body of Christ if we have believed the Gospel for our salvation! (Reference, I Corinthians 15:1-4). When we have been placed into the Body of Christ we have a union with Christ that the world knows nothing of. Now you want to remember that a lot of church members are not in the Body of Christ! I mean a lot of them. I hope with all my heart that I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am. We have multitudes of church people who have never had this kind of a salvation experience where God places them into the Body.

Baptism has always been a controversy from the very onset of Christianity. People get all hung up if you don’t practice it according their format of baptism. But listen, Paul puts baptism way down at the very bottom of everything, because that’s not the important thing. The important thing is “are you in the Body of Christ?” Listen, I don’t care what denomination you belong to, you know as you look out over your congregation, that there are people who have been baptized that are no more saved than the dog out there on the street. You know that and I know that. They have no new life, they have no love for the Word, and they have no love for the Lord, but they’ve been baptized in water. So baptism is not what counts, what counts is, “are we in the Body of Christ? Are we positioned where God want to position us?” Now verse 12.

Ephesians 3:12a

“In whom we have boldness…”

What does most religion do to people? That’s right. It just put them down in the dust where they grovel. And they live in superstition, and fear. Now that’s what religion does, but oh listen to be in the Body of Christ gives us a boldness that the world again knows nothing of. Now read on.)

Ephesians 3:12b

“… and access with confidence by the faith of him.” We have access to the very throne room of God. Now jump ahead in your Bible to the Book of Hebrews chapter 4, and let’s look at this.

Hebrews 4:16

“Let us (believers) therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Now isn’t that something? That’s not what religion teaches. Religion is going to make you go through all kinds of contortions, and rituals, but you and I as believers have instant access to the Father all day long, 24 hours a day. The throne room is always open, it’s unbelievable isn’t it? Now back to Ephesians chapter 3. Let’s look at verse 12 again.

Ephesians 3:12

“In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith (or faithfulness) of him.”

I hope I’m not doing any injustice when I use the word faithfulness in that verse. Because after all it’s Christ’s faithfulness that makes every thing that we enjoy possible. And when I say faithfulness, I mean that He has never failed. He will never fail! We will never have to wonder, “Did He really do it all? Did He really finish the work of salvation? We never have to question that as believers!” We know He did and He is faithful, and we can place our confidence in that faithfulness. Now then we’ve got time to go into a prayer of the apostle on behalf of you and I as believers. It’s one of the 2 or 3 prayers of the apostle Paul.

Ephesians 3:13

“Wherefore (because of this position we’ve been placed in. Because of the revelations of the mystery. ) I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.”

We know the apostle suffered beyond our imagination for the sake of the Gospel going to these Gentiles. Now verse 14.

Ephesians 3:14

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,”

In other words, here comes a prayer of the apostle on behalf of you and I as believers.

Ephesians 3:15-16

“Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16. That he (Christ) would grant you, (the believer) according to the riches of his glory, (in other words, everything that is Christ’s in glory, the whole bank of heaven has been made available to you and I. It’s all there for us. And) to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;”

Now I think I remember a long time ago putting a term on the board, and I think it’s about time we did it again. And that is the Greek word, “Pneuma Hagion.” The Pneuma of course is the spirit, but the Hagion really means “the power from on high.” Now the Pneuma Hagion is precipitated by the indwelling spirit. But when we live from day to day and the spirit is within us, we aren’t always drawing on the Pneuma Hagion. What do you suppose I pray for every morning before I come up to tape four programs? The Pneuma Hagion. I don’t have to pray for the Holy Spirit, because I know I have Him. But oh I pray for the power from on high, and I think it behooves everyone of us as we go through life, and face various trials and decisions to pray for out-pouring of the power on high, the Pneuma Hagion. I think this is what Paul is speaking of in verse 16.

Ephesians 3:16b

to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.”

And where is the spirit? In the inner man. He’s there all the time. The Holy Spirit never leaves us, you’ve got Him. But you can ask for an increase of His power. Now verse 17 as we continue his prayer.

Ephesians 3:17a

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;…”

And what’s faith? “Taking God at His Word!” So often people will says, “Well how do I know that I’ve been placed into the Body of Christ? Because the Bible says so. That’s all we have to go on. We don’t get a diploma, we don’t get a great big emotional high, we don’t see the trees ten shades greener, or the sun more red than before, or any of that. But rather we just simply take His Word for what it says. Another term I like for faith is “God said it and I believe it!”

How do I know that I have the indwelling Spirit? Because Paul says so. Let’s go back and look at it again, because it’s been a long time since we have. Turn with me to I Corinthians chapter 3, and come down to verse 16, and this is plain simple language.

I Corinthians 3:16

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Now again to just point out Paul’s revelations and I think this is all part of the mysteries, did you ever read that the believers were indwelt by the Holy Spirit of this in the Old Testament? No way. Now they knew of the Holy Spirit, but you want to remember like David and Sampson, the Holy Spirit would come upon them, but He wasn’t there permanently, He could leave at the drop of a hat. And of course that’s what happened to Sampson. When the Holy left off with Sampson he was as weak as a dish rag. But when the Spirit was upon him, he had all kinds of power.

Now here Paul is making it so plain then that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. How do I know the Holy Spirit lives within me? I don’t feel Him in there. I don’t hear Him talking to me. I’m not one of those who hears God talk out loud. I’ve never yet heard Him talk audibly to me. Now I think He affects our thoughts, and as we study the Scriptures God speaks to us through His Word. But to hear Him say, “Now Les I want you to do this.” I’ve never had that happen, and I’m a little bit dubious when people talk like that, because the Bible doesn’t teach that. But we do have the indwelling Person of the Holy Spirit living within us. Now back to Ephesians chapter 3. So Christ in the Person of the Holy Spirit is dwelling in our hearts as believers. By faith is the only way of knowing.

Ephesians 3:17b-18

“…that ye being rooted and grounded in love, 18. May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;”

Now when I come to that verse, I don’t have a lot of mathematical background but I’ve got enough to know that you and I in all our geometry, and trigonometry, how many dimensions do we normally think of? Three. How many are listed here in verse 18? Four. Now I read the other day where scientists think there are as many as 10 dimensions. Can you imagine, ten? I just thrilled of the fact that there’s a supernatural fourth one. I don’t know what they’re going to do with the other six. But nevertheless this is a supernatural dimension, because we live in the world of three. Now when I say that I think this is in the realm of the spiritual, that’s exactly what I mean. There is a dimension to the Christian life that the secular world cannot explain. I don’t think you and I can explain it either. But it is a dimension that brings us up into an understanding of the things of God that we don’t get until we become a believer. Now let me come back and show that in I Corinthians chapter 2. We’ll start with verse 9.

I Corinthians 2:9

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

Boy that’s quite a statement isn’t it? But the flip side, God has revealed those things to us by His Spirit. Now I’ve got to stop for a moment. I wonder how many times people have asked me, and I dare say that everyone of you have wondered, “What are we going to do in eternity?” I see heads nodding. Oh you wish I could tell you don’t you? Well I can’t! All I know is that we’re all going be busy, we’re going to be active, and we are not just going to sit on a cloud and strum a harp. That I know, but beyond that I can’t begin to tell you, because God has kept this from us. But this much I do know, eternity is going to be so fabulous that anything you can think of on this planet’s existence is just going to pale into insufficiency compared to the joys, and pleasures that God is preparing for us. But we do have a glimpse because the Holy Spirit has given us an inkling of it. Verse 10.

I Corinthians 2:10-11a

“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?…”

Now let me stop for a moment and give an example. You take out here in the secular, material world, if you have somebody who is a real expert in his field, for example an auto mechanic. This auto mechanic just loves his work. Greasy and dirty as it may be, it doesn’t make a difference. He loves being a mechanic. Now let me ask you, if you were to ask that fellow a question about the workings of the gasoline engine in your car, is he going to be real timid and just walk away? No. What’s he going to do? Hey he’s going to let you know everything he knows about an engine. He’s going to be proud of his knowledge. Isn’t that right? Now that’s exactly what God wants us to be with the Word of God. We should be so confident in our knowledge that when somebody asks us a question, we don’t try to avoid them and the question. But instead we’re willing to open the Scriptures for the answers. Well I see our time is gone and we’ll have to finish this in the next lesson.

438: Unsearchable Riches Of Christ = Part 2

438: Unsearchable Riches Of Christ – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 37

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick


Unsearchable Riches of Christ – Part 2

As I look at the classroom setting again today I see many different denominations represented here. Each denomination practices and believes different things, but the one thing eachmust believe is that our Lord Jesus Christ died for them, was buried and rose again. When we believe that for salvation then God sees our faith, and places us into the Body of Christ, as we see in I Corinthians 15:1-4 and I Corinthians 12:13. We can tell by our mail that we are certainly reaching people from every imaginable background. Remember when we come before the throne, whether it’s the Great White throne for lost people or the Bema seat in heaven for believers, the Lord isn’t going to ask you, “Well did you follow what your church taught?” But rather we’re going to be judged on the basis of what does the Bible say. Never lose sight of that because eternity is going to reveal what you have done with His Word!

So to begin this study together turn in your Bibles to Ephesians chapter 3, and come down to verse 9. In the last lesson we spent the whole lesson on verse 8, teaching that we are to be seeking out the unsearchable riches of Christ.

Ephesians 3:9

“And to make all men (notice men is italicized so it wasn’t in the original, but rather has been added by the translators. So he’s writing to make all) see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world (or age) hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.”

Oh, people have a hard time swallowing the fact that Christ created everything. But for now let’s go back up to the first part of the verse where Paul is now in his apostleship, and by writing, his letters are reaching out so that everybody might be able to understand what it is to come into this fellowship. Now when we speak of fellowship I think even the secular world even speaks of it. You can have your various service and lodge organizations and after all, when everything is said and done, what’s the purpose of their meetings? Well, to fellowship one with another. Now it’s the same way here. Paul is trying to bring out the fact that to become a believer of these Pauline truths brings us into a fellowship of like-minded people.

Now I’ve stressed this over the years on the program, that when you are a true believer you can go a thousand miles from home, and get into a fellowship of like-minded believers and you’re not a stranger over 5 minutes. Why? Because we have that like- mindedness of what we are in Christ by virtue of simply believing what He has done on our behalf. All right now he’s trying to help everyone see what is the fellowship of the mystery.

Ephesians 3:9a

“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery,…”

Now not everyone is going to agree with me, and I don’t expect them too, and they don’t have to, but to me when Paul speaks of the mysteries, then he’s speaking about this whole volume of revealed truths that had never been revealed before. Now that’s what the idea of a mystery is. It was a secret, so that means no one knew about them except God Himself. Now this the whole concept behind Paul’s teaching, that beginning with his revelations of the mysteries, God is now opening up to the human race, through this apostle, concepts that had never been revealed before. Now I’m not going to put the mysteries on just a singular mystery. I know some footnotes claim that the mystery was that God would make up the Body of Christ with Jews and Gentiles. Now I disagree with that, because that’s only part of the mystery. The mystery is this whole volume of the Pauline truths. And you can start these mysteries out with, “What is man?”

The Old Testament doesn’t really tell you, but when you get to Romans chapter 5, and I Corinthians chapter 15, Paul reveals “that man is a created being who has fallen from his relationship with the Creator.” And only Paul points that out. Now remember Jesus alluded to this in His earthly ministry by making the remarks that they were hypocrites, and sinful, but Jesus never really let them know why they were that way. Do you see the difference? And the same way in the Old Testament. There’s a Scripture that tells us that “the heart is wicked,” but how did the heart get that way? Let me show you what I’m talking about. Come back with me to Romans chapter 5 because I like to use Scripture as we can, because I’d rather you read it for yourself than listen to me any day.

Romans 5:12a

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;…”

Now that’s the only place in Scripture that you can find that sin and death are synonymous. But here Paul makes it so plain that they are. This is part of the revelations that you won’t find anywhere else. Now reading on.

Romans 5:12b

“…and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

Now just flip over a few pages to I Corinthians chapter 15, and let’s drop in at verse 45.

I Corinthians 15:45-47

“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made (was made has been added, and shouldn’t have. It should read the last Adam) a quickening spirit. (describing Christ) 46. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47. The first man (Adam) is of the earth, earthy: the second man (or second Adam) is the Lord from heaven.”

Now you see that’s a concept that was never revealed before in Scripture, at least not this clearly, and what does it tell us? That Adam, the head of the federal race, the created one, was the one that plunged the whole human race into rebellion. For which there could only be one remedy, and that would be what? The second Adam which was Christ. This Adam wasn’t a created being as Adam was, but rather this Adam was God Himself. And He came to set everything straight that Adam had corrupted, and you won’t find that anywhere but in Paul’s writings. That all goes back to what I said in the last lesson, “Searching out the unsearchable riches of Christ.” I guess before Paul’s revelations it was unsearchable. They had no way of understanding everything that had unfolded, because God had been keeping all of this secret.

But now with the revelations that were given to this apostle, yes, I can do like I did in the last lesson, and go all the way back and reconstruct how God has been unfolding everything, and will continue to unfold out into eternity. And all because of these revelations of the mysteries. Now coming back to Ephesians chapter 3. Some of the other parts of this revelation were that God would justify sinful men by simply believing the Gospel. Now listen you can’t find that any place else, it’s just not in there. But oh here Paul makes it so plain, that in the revelation of the mystery, how that Christ died for your sins, was buried and rose from the dead, and when we believe it then we can become all things in Christ. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the mysteries, because we’ve still got other references as we go on up through the Scriptures in the days to come. Now reading verse 9 again.

Ephesians 3:9a

“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, (these revealed Pauline truths) which from the beginning of the world (age. That only goes back to Adam) hath been hid…”

Now you see how often this word is coming along? I know people think I repeat a lot, and I do it purposely, because it’s the only way we learn, but that’s what the Bible does also. Do you realize how many times the Scriptures repeat and repeat? Sometimes it’s in a short span, and other times over a period of 4 or 5 different books, but it’s still repeating, and repeating, and repeating. Why? Because it’s the only way that it soaks in. I’m getting less apt to apologize for repeating, because of our mail. Most people, when they write say, “it takes repeating over and over before it soaks in.”

Now for a lot of you, you’ve heard it ever since you were little, but you’ve also got to remember that there’s a lot of people out there who have heard none of this. So all these revelations were hid in the mind of God until He revealed them to this apostle. God didn’t tell the Old Testament prophets, or share it with His disciples in His earthly ministry. He didn’t reveal it to Peter and the eleven in the Book of Acts, but now God is ready to turn to the Gentile world. He’s going to let Israel go out into a dispersion, and into a spiritual blindness, and now he’s revealing for His own intent and purposes things that had never been revealed before. And this is what you have to look for, and only Paul is the one to reveal it.

In fact let’s go back again for a little touch of review, back to Galatians chapter 1 where he makes it so plain that it was a revelation from the ascended Lord and not from the twelve in Jerusalem. Now we know that when Paul first began his earthly ministry of the missionary journeys and so forth, the only Scripture that he had was the Old Testament. But based on those Old Testament promises and that Christ had come and had died, shed His blood, he could now preach the mysteries. But they don’t become a printed fact until Paul’s letters appear, and that’s why I can stand here and tell you without any argument that you won’t find these things written previously because they’re not back there, but yet it was all building on it.

Galatians 1:11-12

“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. (do you see how plain that is? Why?) 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, (by men) but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Now the first thing you have to ask yourself, “Where is Jesus Christ when Paul gets the revelations?” Well He’s in heaven, He’s already finished the work of the Cross, He’s already experienced the power of the resurrection, He’s already ascended back to the Father’s right hand. And now some years after Pentecost, He has saved this fellow on the road to Damascus, now the ascended Lord revealed it. Now whether the Lord came down and Person to person taught the apostle back there at Mt. Sinai, or whether it was through visions, the Bible doesn’t say. But this we do know, that all of the things that this man is now teaching and preaching and writing were revealed from the ascended Lord in glory. And now come on down to verse 16, we find Paul’s whole purpose for coming on the human scene was this.

Galatians 1:16-17

“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.”

See what Paul is saying? “I didn’t go up to Jerusalem and ask Peter, James, and John, ‘Hey fill me in. Tell me what you know about this Jesus of Nazareth.’” That’s not what happened, because God didn’t want him to have any of their input whatsoever because they were still tainted with their legalism. When you’re steeped in legalism as much as they were, you never get over it. In fact a verse I like to use to prove this is in the Book of II Peter. Also remember that Peter writes his two letters about the same time Paul writes these prison epistles. It’s just before both of them are martyred, and about 30 years after Pentecost. Peter is writing to believing Jews:

II Peter 3:15-16a

“And account (or understand) that the long suffering of our Lord is salvation; (do you realize that the major purpose of this Bible from cover to cover is to bring lost people to a knowledge of salvation) even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16. As also in all his epistles, (Romans through Hebrews) speaking in them of these things; (of salvation) in which (in his epistles) are some things hard to be understood,…”

Now you would have thought that by now Peter would have been such a deep thinking theologian that he wouldn’t have had any problem. My he should have been able to discern what Paul was writing about, and said “He’s telling you right because I’ve known all of this for years.” But you see that’s not the case. Here after all these years, Peter by inspiration still says, “that in Paul’s epistles are somethings (salvation) hard to be understood.” Now that’s quite an admission isn’t it? That’s a lot more than most people will say today. But Peter had to admit that after his legalistic, law keeping background, to be able to read and understand, and yes, swallow, some of these things was hard for Peter to do, and he shares it with his fellow believing Jews. Now finishing the verse.

II Peter 3:16b

“…which (speaking of Paul’s epistles) they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, (twist) as they do also the other scriptures, (and what’s going to be their end results?) unto their own destruction.”

That’s tough language, that when people take the things of Paul and twist them, and the only reason they twist them is to try to make them fit with Christ’s earthly ministry, and that’s what they do all the time. And if they can’t twist them enough to make it fit, then they throw it aside and won’t have anything to do with his writings. And you see good old Peter saw that. He saw that people were twisting the writings of Paul, but when they do it their end is their own destruction. Their own eternal doom. Now back to Ephesians 3. So all of these revelations given Paul had been hid in the mind of God. It’s the same God who created all things by Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 3:9b

“…who created all things by Jesus Christ:”

Again the Old Testament never gives us a hint that it was Jesus the Lord, the Messiah Who was the Creator, but you see Paul repeats it over and over. When we get to the Book of Colossians, my goodness he makes it as plain as day, that Christ was the visible manifestation of the invisible God by Whom also He created the world. So this isn’t just a quirk of the pen or a translator’s mistake, because Paul makes it so known. Then John comes back with this same statement in the Book of Revelation, that Christ was the Creator of everything. Now let’s move on to verse 10. So all of these mysteries that God has kept secret were revealed to this apostle.

Ephesians 3:10

“To the intent that now (not going back to pre-Pauline time, but from Paul’s time forward to the intent that now) unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places (or heavenlies)might be known by the church (the Body of Christ) the manifold wisdom of God.”

Now you know I’ve read that verse for years, and I dare say that almost every Bible reader has, and we don’t really catch what it says. All of this has been revealed to you and I as a member of the Body of Christ with an intent, and what is it? That with our knowledge we can actually go unto the principalities and powers in the heavenlies which would be categorized in what type of being? The angels. Do you see that? So we being the Body of Christ might let the angels know the manifold wisdom of God. Do you catch it? Now this is mind boggling, and I know it is. Do you know that you sit here in this room, that when you get a comprehension of the mysteries of Paul then you know things that the angels don’t understand. That’s right, I’m not stretching it. The angels never could comprehend the Grace of God to save people. But we now have a knowledge that can actually reveal to the angelic host in heaven what God has done in and through us. Now listen, that’s beyond human understanding, but that’s what it says. Now read it again in that light.

Ephesians 3:10

“To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.”

Now what’s the manifold wisdom of God? Well I trust each of you know what a manifold is. A manifold on the engine of your car is the one that has many ports or holes. How ever many cylinders you’ve got in your car, then you have that many holes in the manifold. And all manifold means is “many.” Now all the various facets of the wisdom and knowledge of God have been imparted to us when we begin to comprehend these mysteries. And this manifold wisdom is what God wants every believer to partake of and share it with others. I’ve shared so often on this program, “Would to God that the church on the corner, the congregations, would teach their people, instead of just preaching at them.”

I had a letter from someone the other day that said, “Every time I go into a bookstore all I see are all these books on “how to.’” Hey we don’t need books on how to. But if you will just get into the Book and begin to understand the manifold wisdom of God and all those things take care of themselves. But we’re being inundated by all these books that are keeping people from the Book. I’ve never read one of those books that shows the manifold wisdom of God. Now verse 11. I shouldn’t start this verse with one minute to go, but we’ll read it and then come back to it in the next lesson. This revealed wisdom that we can acutely show to the principalities and powers in the heavenlies is going to be according to the eternal purpose. Now let’s read it.

Ephesians 1:11

“According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:”

Now as we close what’s the eternal purpose? The whole scheme of Scripture is to see lost people saved. God doesn’t want any person to go to Hell, but rather He wants everyone to be saved if that could only happen. But what’s the second purpose of Scripture? For us to be used of God to reveal these things that may spare someone from an eternal doom.

437: Unsearchable Riches Of Christ

437: Unsearchable Riches Of Christ – Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 37

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick


Unsearchable Riches of Christ

Now we’re still in book 37, and I guess we’ll just keep on printing them until the Lord comes for us in the Rapture, or He takes me home to be with Him, or we finish the Book As we teach the Book it’s so refreshing to hear people tell me that they have finally been able to see what the Book really says. I had a fellow call the other day who said, “For 20 years I was going down the wrong road, and it was so hard to admit that I had been wrong, and that I had been led wrong. But as you taught, the Word is what convinced me, as you showed me what the Book said as well as what it didn’t say.” So we’re just going to keep on teaching the Book and hope others also can come out of their works religion, and come into the knowledge and freedom of God’s wonderful GRACE! Now we’re ready to start our study for today, and that would be in verse 8, we find Paul telling us Gentiles about God’s Grace.

Ephesians 3:8

“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;”

Now here again, what is he emphasizing? Gentiles. I want you to realize that Paul is always emphasizing his message was to the Gentiles who are the non-Jews, although some Jews were certainly responding to his message. But for the most part they didn’t. In fact if you will remember when we were studying back in the Corinthian and Galatian letters, who were the people that were opposing Paul’s preaching to the Gentiles? Well, the Jewish people. These Jews thought that Christ was an impostor, and they certainly thought that Paul was, and so they were doing everything they could to disrupt his ministry. Nevertheless, Paul still had a fair amount of Jews in his congregations. Archaeologists confirm that a good number of early Church believers were Jews. They found proof of that away from Jerusalem, especially up in the area East of Galilee. But by the end of the first century they had just totally dropped out of the picture, and with exceptions here and there, most of Paul’s converts were Gentiles. Now looking at verse 8 again.

Ephesians 3:8a

“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints,…”

Here Paul says that he was least of all the saints. Now you know, how many people stop to think what a direct opposite that is of the “twelve” Because what were the twelve always debating? “Who’s going to be the greatest. Who’s going to sit next to the Lord. Who’s the greatest.” But this man says “I’m the least.” Paul never claimed to be the greatest except by inspiration back in I Corinthians, when he had to prove to those people that his apostleship had become the most superior of the apostles. That he was not one step behind Peter and the others, but now he was a step ahead by virtue of his revelations. But as an egotist he had none. He had absolutely no pride in himself other than the fact that he was the apostle to the Gentiles.

When I read this verse I have to think of an old time Bible teacher, William R. Newell. Many of you have heard of him and many of you haven’t, but he’s the one who authored the words to your well-known hymn At Calvary. In fact the next time you’re in church and you sing that song, just look at the top of the page and you’ll see that the author of the words was William R. Newell. Well, William R. Newell made the statement, “I can envision that one day when the Bride is introduced to Christ, Paul is going to be the honored one to introduce them”. And this was his reasoning. When the disciples were debating who would be the greatest, what was Jesus’ answer? “He that is the least.” Then when Paul says that he’s the least, then that must have been what the Lord was referring to.

Well be that as it may, we’re not going to make a big deal of it, but nevertheless this man is now again, by inspiration, even though he puts his own person down, yet he lets us know that the Grace of God has made it possible for him to be the minister, and the revealer of all these secrets by virtue of his being commissioned to go to the Gentile world. Now as you come on to the last part of verse 8 I think I could just about shoot a whole 1/2 hour on this alone. I’m not saying that I will, but look what it says.

Ephesians 3:8b

“…that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ:”

Do you know what that means? That means that you and I could spend almost the rest of our lives digging through Scripture, and literally bring up the riches of Christ, and we could never exhaust it. What are the unsearchable riches of Christ? Well as I was mulling this over in my own mind over the last several days, I just had to go all the way back to eternity past. That was when the Triune God first came together in what the Book of Acts calls a counsel. And at that counsel meeting of the Triune God they literally laid out the blueprint for the whole universe and the appearance of the planet earth to be inhabited, and the whole 6000 years of human history. You see this was all blueprinted way back there in eternity past, and became part of the “unsearchable riches of Christ.”

Now as you follow all of that with what knowledge you have of the Scriptures, you’ve got enough that you can begin to think how that God in His foreknowledge formulated not only the appearance of man, Adam and Eve, but knowing that they would sin, set in motion immediately afterwards, the plan of redemption. And then that plan of redemption would demand that the Creator Himself, the One who called everything into being in the first place would become flesh. Not created instantly as Adam was, but instead he goes through that whole human process of 9 months in the womb. He was born as a babe in the manger in Bethlehem, comes through the normal growing up process of a young man in Nazareth, and until the age of 30 hardly anybody caught on to Who He was except that one instant when He was 12 years old, and He was left behind at the temple. Other than that, in Scripture at least, there’s no record that anybody had any idea, not just Who He was, but what He was. Here He is walking on those little dusty roads of Israel, and Who was He? The Creator God Himself! Now that’s all part of the “unsearchable riches of Christ.”

Now listen, you start mulling that all over and we can sort of say “Yeah I can believe that.” But listen, to really comprehend how that God accomplished it all without a hitch, without any detours, and the day came when He came to the Nation of Israel, and for 3 years presented Himself to the nation, miracle after miracle. Showing His love and compassion for those people in spite of their unbelief, He didn’t give up on them. Never once does the Scriptures say that He left in disgust, and thought “So what! They’ll never listen anyway.” No, He never gave up on them. And then finally as Philippians tells us, “He so graphically died the death of the Cross, the most awful death ever invented.” Now listen that’s all part of these unsearchable riches of Christ.”

And it was all foreordained, it was all blueprinted. And through His death, and the shedding of His blood, the eternal Triune God could now reckon all of men’s sin as on Him.Now we can’t comprehend that, at least I can’t. Even today in any 24 hour period when we look at the mayhem that’s going on around the world like Yugoslavia, and other places in the world that’s in constant bloodshed. China in terrible persecution, Russia where they’re under horrible pressure, the whole planet tonight is at war. And yet in spite of all the suffering and the all the sin, I can stand here and tell you that all that sin that has ever been, that’s happening now, and will happen in the future was laid on Christ. Hey I can’t comprehend that, and I don’t think anyone else can either. That’s the “unsearchable riches of Christ.”

He was able, by being the Creator God Himself, to take upon Himself all the sins of this world. And we’re just getting a little glimpse of it. I still maintain without apology, after having just come back from overseas. Listen, morality in America is still head and shoulders above the rest of the world. As bad as we’re getting, and we’re getting worse by the day, but yet I still maintain America is a long way from catching up with the rest of the world when it comes to immoral practices. But God in His Grace continues to look down on sinful men and is willing to save to the uttermost anyone that would just simply believe that He did all of this for you and I. But the vast majority won’t believe, so don’t get discouraged, because they never have. Now that’s all part of the “unsearchable riches of Christ.”

You know I always shock people when I tell them that here we come from Adam all the way up for 1600 years to Noah’s flood. There were just as many people on the planet then as there are now, and how many believers were spared? Eight! Now isn’t that something. That’s all God had left after 1600 years. Then we come to the time of Elijah, and Elijah thought he was the only one left at that time. But of course God knew better, because he told Elijah that He still had 7000 left that had not bowed their knee to Baal. Now let’s say there was 7,000,000 Israelites at that time, but only 7000 were believers, what percentage is that? 1/10 of 1 percent. All of this to show you the unsearchable riches of Christ.”

Now let’s go on a little further to what Paul has been teaching here in Ephesians, and that is that the moment we believe God does something else that’s beyond human understanding.He places us into the Body of Christ in which we all become members around the world. This invisible, and yet visible consortium of believers, and we are all made one with Christ. Hey that’s beyond human understanding, but again that’s all part of the “unsearchable riches of Christ.”

We’re all looking forward very soon I think of the “Rapture,” the out-calling of the Church. How in the world is it going to happen? Have you ever stopped to think about that? You want to remember that 1/2 of the people are on the bottom side of the earth. Are they going to come zooming up and around? I’ve had some try to say that the Rapture would take place segmental so that every section of the globe would have it’s own Rapture, but I don’t think that’s going to work, but nevertheless God is going to take every believer off the planet in a split second. How’s He going to do it? Well we can’t begin to comprehend it. Oh again it’s all part of the unsearchable riches of Christ.”

How can He take a Hell-bound sinner, and by just by virtue of his faith, make him a heaven-bound saint. Not that we become sinless, but oh listen, we completely have a change of appetite. I’ve had so many calls in the past couple of weeks from people who fell into sin. I mean gross sin, and their argument always was, the individual with whom they experienced this fall was a professing believer, and this professing believer said, “Well after all, I’m saved, and didn’t have anything to worry about.” I said, “That’s not what my Bible tells me.” We don’t have that kind of license. You’ve heard me say it over and over that Grace is not license. Being able to do anything is not the unsearchable riches of Christ.

My Bible does not tell us that just because the Grace of God abounds, I can go out and do an immoral thing, and God’s going to wink at it. The Scripture definitely warns us against those things. I’ve been trying to come up with an illustration of how can I put it that a true believer will never find themselves in that kind of a situation unless it is just a momentary lapse, which can happen. But to just deliberately walk into something like this and practice it over a period of time, I just can’t believe it. So I came up with this illustration, going back to the Book of Romans chapter 3, and let’s look at verse 23 and 24.

Romans 3:23-24

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (that’s everyone of us. But look at the next verse.) 24. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”

Now you all know what redemption means? That’s the process of God buying us back out of the slavery of sin. When I teach Romans chapter 3 I always use the analogy of the Roman slave market, and I think it’s a very appropriate one, because it was very real. As the Romans would go out with their legions and they would conquer other people they would bring back, especially the younger people who were capable of slave duty, to Rome and they would end up in the slave market. And I drew the analogy, here we have a young blond, blue eyed fellow from northern Europe who finds himself in this market. Now that slave market was awful, because if you were bought out as a common slave you could end up doing any kind of horrible slave labor to include being sold to shipmasters to row their ships. It was awful, it was hot, and when they died, they just pitched them overboard. And if these slaves were not bought they could end up in the coliseums as meat for the wild animals. So that was the prospect of a Roman slave market.

But there was also the good side They could have a benefactor come and buy them out of the slave market. Say a benevolent slave owner would buy a slave and clean him up, give him a whole new set of clothes, give him light duty around his estate of trimming the lawns and so forth, and remember the Romans lived sumptuously. So here’s this young slave who’s been bought out of that horrible situation, and given this beautiful place to work, and have all the best food. Then one day this benevolent Roman owner comes and says, “Young man I’m going to go one step further, I’m going to give you your freedom. I have bought your citizenship. You are free to go and do whatever you want to do.” Now the analogy I’ve always used before is, “What’s this young man going to say? ‘Listen you’ve done so much for me, and I have learned to love you so much, I don’t want my freedom, but rather I want to stay here and serve you the rest of my life.’”

Now that’s where I’ve always left that analogy. But you know what a lot of Christians are doing now? What if this same young man would say, “I want to stay right here and serve you, but once a week can I go back into the slave market?” Now isn’t that ridiculous? Isn’t that as ridiculous as you can get? Here he’s been spared the horrors of the slave market, and that’s where every lost person is, they’re in Satan’s slave market. Christ paid the price of redemption, He bought us out of it, and then we have the audacity to say, “But can’t I just go back and get a taste of that sinful world once in a while?” Listen that’s what Christians are doing when they go back into the world! And to me it just does not fit. I’m not saying we’re going to be perfect, of course we’re not. We all fail, we all sin, but to go back into gross sin, and just glibly say, “Oh well, I’m saved and don’t have anything to worry about.” I don’t think a true believer can look at it that way.

When a true believer sins, they’re going to be convicted as David was. And when David saw his sin, what does the Book of Psalms say he does? He wept tears of repentance, and oh how he bemoaned the fact that not only had he sinned against the humans that were involved, but against God. And when we sin, this is what we have to come back and realize. Well all of this I just sort of lob into the “Unsearchable Riches of Christ.” It’s beyond human comprehension. I can’t understand it, and I don’t think anyone else can. But does that mean, we just close our eyes, and say, “Forget it, I can’t understand it anyway?” No. You just keep digging, and learning, and keep getting more and more excited about what Christ has done for us. And not only just for the here and now, but for all of eternity to come. Just like Paul says in I Corinthians chapter 2.

I Corinthians 2:9

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

And that’s about as much as it tells us what we’re going to enjoy in eternity. We don’t know because the Bible doesn’t tell us, but we know it’s going to be fabulous. What God has in store for us is going to be a million times better than the things you and I like to do down here, and it’s all because of the “unsearchable riches of Christ. Oh to have the knowledge that we can come into the very throne room of heaven in prayer and petitions is simply incomprehensible. Isn’t it? Just think we can immediately come into the very throne room, without having to go through any rituals. We don’t have to go into some prescribed place, at a prescribed time or God won’t hear us. As you sit there and as I speak you can be in an attitude of prayer, and you’re right in the throne room. Now that’s all part of the unsearchable riches of Christ.”

But I think the crowning act of all of it is that He could take a sinner, save him by Grace, and make him a brand new person. Totally new, totally different, a changed appetite, a changed lifestyle. The kind of a change that even the world around them can’t miss. So many times husbands who have wives who are lost will ask, “Well what can I do to convince my wife that she needs God’s saving Grace.” Or wives will call or write, “What can I do to convince my husband that he needs God’s saving Grace?” Well invariably I’ll take them back to the little letter of Peter, and what does Peter say? “Don’t preach at them. Don’t try to drag them to church or drag them in front of the television, and say, “You’ve got to listen to what Les says.” But rather what do you do? You just live such an out pouring of God’s love in front of that person, that sooner or later they’ll finally get the drift, “You’ve got something that I need!” It may take 6 months or a year or years, but you can rest assured that when you’ve done what God expects you to do, then that lost person is going to be faced with the reality of the love of God. And that’s all part of the unsearchable riches of Christ.”

436: Ephesians 3:1-7

436: Ephesians 3:1-7 – Part 2 – Lesson 1 Part 4 Book 37

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick


Ephesians 3:1-7

Now back to Ephesians chapter 3, and we’ll jump in at verse 6. Remember all of these things that we just looked at in these first 3 or 4 verses now tie into verse 6.

Ephesians 3:6

“That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promises in Christ by the gospel.”

Now up to the writings of Paul this is something totally unknown in Scripture. Isaiah didn’t write about it, Zechariah didn’t write about it, Jesus didn’t talk about it, Peter didn’t talk about it. Why? Because it was something that was totally kept secret in the mind of God, that there would be a period of time where God would go to the pagan Gentile world without the Nation of Israel. Now all the verses we looked at earlier in the Old Testament that referred to the Gentiles getting the light, it was to be through the Nation of Israel. They would be the vehicle to accomplish that, but when Israel rejected the Messiah, and refused to accept Him for what He said He was, then that began to change God’s program. Remember, God never changes, but His programs do. Israel had the chance to be the light for the Gentiles.

Then even after Peter and the eleven preached their hearts out in those early chapters of Acts, for the most part what is the Nation of Israel doing with it? They’re walking it under foot. In effect they were saying, “We’re not interested, thank you! And I always use Acts chapter 7, the stoning of Stephen, as the crescendo of that rejection. “We’ll not have that man Jesus of Nazareth to rule over us.” And so they stoned Stephen. After the stoning of Stephen the first thing we’re introduced to is Saul of Tarsus, whom God said, “He would send to the Gentile world.”

So the Holy Spirit keeps repeating all of this through the apostle Paul. None of this was known before, because it was supposed to go through the Nation of Israel. Now we don’t want to take anything away from the Jewish people because they have given us this Book. Every word in this Bible was written by a Jew! So they were still the vehicle which God used for that purpose. But when it came to this Gospel of Grace going to the Gentile world, they were left out. So this one little Jew almost single-handedly in the early going turned the Roman empire inside out. The more you think about it, the more you have to be amazed at the tenacity of this little Jew. I think he was short in stature, but he was long on energy and toughness. And as I said in our closing remarks in our last lesson, in spite of all the suffering and beatings, shipwrecks, and all the other taunts and torments that were thrown at him, he never slowed down. He just continued to preach the Gospel of Grace to the Gentile world.

Now in the last verse we looked at we come to a word that is strictly Pauline. I’ve begged my listeners over the years, whether it’s in my weekly classes or whether it’s on television, if you can ever find an Old Testament prophet referring to the Gentile Body of Christ, then you let me know where you found it. If you can find a place where Jesus in His earthly ministry ever referred to the Body of Christ I want you to show it to me. If you ever find Peter in the early chapters of Acts refer to this Body of Christ, show it to me, because I haven’t been able to find it.

But on the other hand, Paul is constantly referring to “The Body of Christ.” Consequently it has to be what I call a Pauline phenomenon. This, as I’ve said so often, is why I am so adamantly in favor of the pre-tribulation rapture. The Body of Christ will not fit in the Tribulation, which is Jewish. It would be as out of place as fish out of water, and it would flop even more, because we just don’t belong there. So we have to realize that some of the things are confined to what we call “the revelation of the mysteries.” So let’s read verse 6 again.

Ephesians 3:6

“That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers, of his (God’s) promise in Christ by the gospel:”

So as you see by believing the Gospel makes all of this possible. The Gospel of the Grace of God, that He’s going to save hell bound sinners if they’ll just simply believe with all their heart that Christ died for them. Now I always have to stop and qualify that. I’m not talking about an easy believism. I’m not talking about someone who says, “Oh yeah I believe that Jesus died, and I think I believe that He rose from the dead.” I’m not talking about that kind of person. I’m talking about the person who just out of his whole being rests on the fact that Christ died for his sins, and rose from the dead. We believe it. We’d be willing to be martyred for it, because that’s the very heart and soul of our life, and that’s that Christ died and rose from the dead, and as a result of our believing it then He has now placed us into the Body.

Now for a moment let’s come back to I Corinthians chapter 12, and again these are all verses that we’ve looked at before. When we taught I Corinthians we brought in these verses in Ephesians. And now since we’re in Ephesians we’ll use the Corinthian verses. And some day, if the Lord tarries and we get into Colossians, we’ll come back and use Ephesians and Corinthians with Colossians, because you see this is the way the Scriptures work.

I Corinthians 12:12-13a

“For as the body (this human body) is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body: (so Paul is talking about the human body with all of it’s members, our hands, feet, eyes, all of these members make up our physical body.) so also is Christ.” (or the Body of Christ, the Church!) 13. For by one (Holy) Spirit are we all…”

I always have to stop at the word “all” because we have so many groups today that maintain that unless you have done this or that then you’re not spiritual, or some even go so far to say that you’re not even saved. But you see Paul doesn’t do that. Paul says that every believer, whether he’s a giant in the faith, or is weak and still carnal, all have been baptized into the One Body of Christ. I read sometime ago that in California alone there’s something like 1500 denominations. That’s not according to this Book. Regardless, if we’re a believer of the Gospel we have been placed into the One Body of Christ. Now look how Paul defines it.

I Corinthians 12:13

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; (remember slavery or servitude was still part of the Roman world so those were the two classes of people. To be in servitude you had nothing, you had no property, and no rights, but on the other hand those that were free could have had whatever. But in the Body of Christ there is no distinction.) and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”

The work of the Holy Spirit places every believer into the Body of Christ. That’s the only Baptism that you have in Paul’s epistles. The Holy Spirit places that believer of the Gospel into the Body of Christ the moment he believes. And just like our bodies, when they were in our mothers womb, as they were finally completed, and all the functions of the body were now ready, we were delivered. All right now, the same thing happens with the Body of Christ. When the last soul is saved and the Body is complete, then the Lord is going to call the whole Body of Christ, the Church, out and up to glory in what we call the Rapture. I think we’re getting so close, in fact we’re closer than we like to think.

I tell people constantly, that if you’re getting in a hurry for the Lord to come, then you get out, share the Gospel, and become a soul winner. Go out and talk to people about the glories of salvation, because we’re living in a materialistic world to be sure, but the world still knows that they’re hungry for something. You know Sharon came up when I had the circles on the board a few lessons ago, and I had shown that it was the spirit that died, and how it needs to be generated. She said “This is why people are hungry.” Yeah it is. It’s a vacuum that has to be filled with the power of God.

So the moment we believe the Holy Spirit baptizes us, or places us, into the Body of Christ regardless of our status in life And remember no one has greater access to the Spirit than anyone else. Now verse 14.

I Corinthians 12:14

“For the body (whether you’re speaking of the human body or the Body of Christ,) is not one member, but many.”

And we’re all members of that same Body of Christ. Now just to show you how much emphasis the apostle Paul puts on this term “The Body of Christ” let me show you by hitting just a few of them. Look for example in I Corinthians chapter 12. And in verse 26 he’s referring to the human body.

I Corinthians 12:26-27

“And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; (you hit your thumb with a hammer, you hurt all over.) or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. (if you have an extra delicious dessert, boy you just revel in it. And the analogy is it’s the same with the Body of Christ. If a fellow believer is hurting, then we all hurt. If a fellow believer is being sumptuously blessed, we can all be blessed with him, and that’s the beauty of it. Now the next verse.) 27. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”

Now let’s look at another one for a moment in Ephesians chapter 1, and let’s just drop down to verse 22 and 23.

Ephesians 1:22-23

“And hath put all things under his feet, (the Triune God has put all things under the feet of Christ) and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23. Which is his body (I read it that way purposely, because at the end of verse 22 there’s just a comma so you continue to read. Do you see what a difference that makes to read it like that? and the Body is) the fulness (or complement) of him that filleth all in all.”

And remember when we taught this a few lessons ago, I made the analogy that it’s the same word that is spoken of as Eve was the helpmate or the complement for Adam, which meant that Adam was not complete until he had the wife. Well Christ is looking at it in the same way. He’s waiting, and waiting, and waiting for His Bride, the Body of Christ to finally be consummated with Him in glory. And so He is the head over all things to the Body, which is His Church.

Then across the page to Ephesians 2:16 we find another one, and all of these are just complementing what he says in chapter 3 of Ephesians, that all of these revelations of the mysteries were to bring about this one Body.

Ephesians 2:16a

“And that he might reconcile both (back up in verse 14 the both is Jew and Gentile) unto God in one body by the cross,…”

That’s why Paul says, “We preach crucified, and risen again.” It’s that death, burial and resurrection of Paul’s Gospel that makes the appearance and consummation of the Body of Christ possible. I would like to get a couple more before we quit. And this one is over in chapter 4. These verses that keep popping up about the Body of Christ, so if you don’t remember anything else this afternoon you’ll remember that Paul is constantly teaching the Body of Christ, and it’s the only portion of Scripture that teaches it. It’s absolutely not in the Bible anywhere except in Paul’s writings.

Ephesians 4:12

“For the perfecting (or the maturing ) of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”

Now let’s go to Colossians chapter 2 for a moment, and drop down to verse 16 and 17, but before we read those two verses, I can’t miss verse 14 since we’re so close to it, because I just simply love that verse.

Colossians 2:14-15

“Blotting out the handwritings of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, (that includes everything that was in the Jewish law and ordinances to include Leviticus chapter 5, the first 5 or 6 verses that we use so often dealing with having to bring sacrifices for touching anything dead) and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15. And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

Now I think those are the powers of Satan. Satan was utterly defeated at the Cross and resurrection tomb, and we never again have to succumb to his power because it’s broken. Now verse 16. Because the work of the Cross, because of the out pouring of the Grace of God, he tells us the following.

Colossians 2:16-17

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: (see that was all Law, and they were all crucified with Christ. But they had their place. How?) 17. Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body (which is here and now) is of Christ.”

I mean the Body of Christ is real. Oh we can’t see it in it’s whole, but we can experience it as we fellowship with like-minded believers. Just be aware that as you read Paul’s epistles that this term Body of Christ is a Pauline doctrine that comes out of the revelation of the mysteries, these things that were kept secret until they were revealed to this apostle. Now let’s come back to Ephesians chapter 3, and verse 7.

Ephesians 3:7a

“Whereof (to be the apostle of the Gentiles) I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God…”

Now remember what I taught earlier this afternoon at the times through human history God had reason enough to just wipe out the human race. Over and over He could have done that. I’ve been reading a book lately, a biography of a little girl who came out of the Ukraine during the communist rule of Russia, and the torment that people went through. First by the communists, and then along comes the Nazi army, and being taken back to Germany to become prisoners and slaves. She begins her story when she’s just an infant, and by the time that WW II is at it’s height she was 4 or 5 years old. She told of the horrors of all of that period of history, and all because of evil men.

Why didn’t God just zap them? Well He didn’t because of His Grace. Even a man like Hitler, as evil and wicked as he was, did God love Him enough to save him? Sure He did. Had Hitler recognized his shortcomings, God would have saved him. Now that’s beyond our comprehension, but He would have. But we look at from the point, “Why didn’t God zap them, because that’s what they deserved.” But oh the Grace of God that the ungodly knows nothing of. How does Paul put it in Romans chapter 5?

Romans 5:20b

“…But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: Now looking at verse 7 again in Ephesians chapter 3.

Ephesians 3:7a

“Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God, given unto me …”

Now Paul’s not writing from an egotistical standpoint, but rather he’s writing through the power and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God Himself. Now completing verse 7 we find the following.

Ephesians 3:7b

“… by the effectual working of his power.”

The power was of God. Paul was just simply the clay, he was just the instrument that God was using. It was God’s power that turned the Roman empire inside out, Paul was just the instrument. But again had Paul not been willing to suffer for the sake of the Gospel, could God have used him? Well of course not, and it’s the same way with anyone of us. God can’t use us unless we’re willing and pliable, and will let Him do what needs to be done. That power of course was epitomized, it was released at the resurrection. At His resurrection the power of God became all sufficient to fight all the powers of the Satanic forces, death and everything that went with it.

435: Ephesians 3:1-7

435: Ephesians 3:1-7 – Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 37

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick


Ephesians 3:1-7

Now we’re into an area of Scripture that a lackadaisical Christian won’t get into. But for those of you who really love the Word, and love the Lord, and love to study, of course Ephesians is a tremendous little Book that’s only 6 chapters long. But the whole idea of this Book is for us to understand who we are in Christ. It doesn’t matter whether we’re rich or poor, Jew or Gentile that is not the point. We are all one when we become members of the Body of Christ, which we’ll be seeing later even in this chapter.

Now picking up where we left off in the last lesson, we had gotten down to verse 3 where Paul again is taking credit for having the revelation of the mystery or the secret that has been held in the mind of God ever since the world began, which you pick up down in verse 9. In fact let’s just read verse 9 so that you’ll see why I’m spending so much time on this up here in the first 2 or 3 verses.

Ephesians 3:9a

“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, (secrets) which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God,…”

See, that goes right back to our first lesson this afternoon where God has the ability to hide things because He’s Sovereign. (Deuteronomy 29:29) As we teach we always try to be Biblical, it isn’t just my idea, or some denomination’s idea, but what does the Word of God really say? So these things have been hidden in the mind of God ever since the very onset of human history, but now are revealed particularly through this apostle. Now always remember when we speak of the apostle Paul as having the revelations there were other men that followed in his footsteps. We know that Barnabas started out with his ministry, and then came Silas, and then you have Apollos who comes into the picture. Then of course Timothy and Titus, and then there were also probably others, but they were all working in Paul’s footsteps, and each were proclaiming Paul’s Gospel of Grace. Paul makes that so plain in his second letter to Timothy.

II Timothy 4:1a-2

“I charge thee therefore before God,…2. Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (And now verse 5 and 6)

II Timothy 4:5-6

“But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 6. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

Paul is going to be taken off the scene, but he is charging the young man Timothy to continue with these mysteries you might say, that have been revealed to this unique individual. So now back to verse 3, where Paul tells us about these secrets.

Ephesians 3:3-4

“How that by revelation (by revealing) he made known unto me the mystery; (these things that had been kept secret) (as I wrote afore in few words, (in chapters 1 and 2) 4. Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)”

Now what in the world can he be talking about unless it’s something that had never before been revealed. This is the idea then of the revelations of the mystery. All right let’s go back to Romans so we can put some other Scripture verses with this. Romans is the foundational Book of Paul’s letters so far as doctrine in concerned. And yet Romans does not relay some of these deeper things that we’re already seeing in Ephesians, but he does make one reference to all this in his closing remarks in chapter 16.

This is a verse that I’ll refer to time and time again, because it says so much that most of Christendom hears nothing of. And why preachers and teachers avoid it I’ll never know, but I would love for people to just call me if they hear a sermon on Romans 16:25, because I’d like to know about it. So those of you out there who are pastors and are listening to me, goodness sake preach a sermon now and then on this verse, because this is what people have to hear.

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 the revelation of the mystery, (we have to proclaim the message) which was kept secret since the world begin.”

See, Paul was the very first one to preach this Gospel that Jesus died for you, was buried and rose again. No one else in Scripture preaches this as a salvation doctrine. This had been kept secret in the mind of God since the world began until revealed to this apostle, and you just can’t get around it. I’ve had people ridiculously try to tell me that Adam was saved by believing the Gospel. Isn’t that ridiculous? The Gospel hadn’t been revealed. All Adam and Eve did for salvation was do what God instructed them to do. Abel did what God instructed him to do, but they certainly didn’t know anything about the death, burial and resurrection and a crucifixion. They couldn’t have or this verse would be a lie.

They couldn’t have crucifixion because crucifixion wasn’t invented until the Romans thought it up, Sovereignly of course. No one had a concept, according to Paul, of the Gospel as we now know it. In fact let’s go all the way back to Peter’s first little epistle. And this was written at the end of Peter’s ministry, just as well as II Timothy is written at the end of Paul’s ministry, and I think they were both martyred within a year or so of each other. So this Scripture was written at about 65 or 66 AD, and Peter writes starting in verse 10 of chapter 1.

I Peter 1:10-11

“Of which salvation (as we now know in the age of Grace, and I’m sure he is now alluding to Paul’s Gospel at least somewhat.) the prophets (Old Testament writers) have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: (now look at the next verse) 11. Searching (they were looking, and looking for something they couldn’t find. And they never did find it.) what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.”

Now when I teach my classes here in Oklahoma we have time for questions and discussion, these things come up and we can cover them in detail. Now all the way though the Old Testament, in fact I usually put it this way on the board: all the way through the Old Testament you have two parallel lines of thoughts, they’re just like two railroad tracks. All the way up through the Old Testament, especially from Genesis chapter 12. “One of them is the coming of a suffering Savior, and the other one is the coming of a ruling King.” Scattered throughout the Old Testament there are verses that allude either to the first one or the second one. I remember reading many many years ago where some of the ancient Rabbi’s were all hung up on the situation around Rachel and the birth of Benjamin. And those of you who know your Old Testament know that as Rachel was dying she named Benjamin.

Genesis 35:18

“And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.”

Benoni was “the son of my suffering.” But Benjamin was “the son of my strength.” Well the Rabbi’s could deduct that this was either the name of a suffering Saviour, which would be Benoni. Or Benjamin the son of my strength which depicted a ruling King, so for centuries were hung up about this. Well how could this be unless they would have two Messiahs So that was also in their thoughts, “Maybe there are two Messiahs instead of one.” So when the Messiah came He had to be first the suffering Savior, you know that. He couldn’t be the King until He’d redeemed the Nation of Israel. So for most Jewish people today, bless their heart, they still can’t reconcile the fact that He has already fulfilled the “Benoni” part, but are waiting for the soon return of His Second Coming to be the ruling King. It’s the same Person, but fulfilling both roles 2000 years apart. Now this is exactly what Peter is talking about. Now read it again.

I Peter 1:11

“Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them (as they wrote by inspiration) did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, (the Benoni) and the glory that should follow.” (which was the Kingdom Age where He will rule and reign as King)

But did they ever figure it out? No. Was it their fault? No, because they weren’t supposed to as that was all kept secret in the mind of God. Now after reading Romans 16:25 a moment ago where Paul says “it’s the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mysteries,” let’s come on to I Corinthians chapter 4, and look at another one. Remember Paul writes here to the Gentiles at Corinth so in effect he’s writing more or less to us.

I Corinthians 4:1

“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.”

Now I told you in a lesson or two back that a part of the administration of the Grace of God, or a part of the dispensation of God was that there had to be an administrator. Abraham spoke of it way back when he was promised a son, and said, “Lord all I have is this Eliezer of Damascus who is the steward of my property.” Eliezer was the administrator, so that’s a perfect analogy. Now let’s come back to what we used earlier.

Here we have a corporation, and we have a gentlemen at the very top, he’s the chief executive officer. This gentlemen has gotten his education, he’s probably gotten his degree in business administration, he goes and gets a masters degree from Harvard, and he works his way up through the ranks, and all of a sudden he’s the chief executive officer of this great corporation. Now he’s worked hard to get to that position, and he’s being paid well for it. What is expected of him? To be a good administrator. That’s his job. Now that’s exactly what Paul is telling every one of us, that as soon as you get a good grasp on these mysteries, on these revelations that have been given to the apostle Paul, what are we to do with it?Pass them on! Administrate them, dispense them, do you see that?

But oh Christendom is so slow to react, and I keep thinking all the time of some of the great Bible teachers of generations back who saw the apostasy that was coming. They were almost pleading then already that the average Christian would get skilled in the Word of God so that when the apostasy would come that we could by person to person pass these things on. So this is what the apostle is saying, in verse 1, “that we are to be stewards of these secrets of God that are now revealed ” Now reading verse 2.

I Corinthians 4:2

“Moreover it is required in stewards, (or managers,) that a man be found faithful.”

We’re not to be sloppy, we’re not to be careless. We are to be constantly passing the Word on, and showing folks, what does it say. Not what you think it says, not what I say, or some preacher says, but show them what does the Word say. So we’re to be faithful stewards of the mysteries. Well let’s come on over to another favorite one of mine, and that of course is I Corinthians 15:51. And we’re getting closer and closer to this portion of Scripture being fulfilled. I think it’s a lot closer than most people like to think. Notice the word mystery just jumps off the page at you.

I Corinthians 15:51-52

“Behold I shew you a mystery; (Paul is going to tell us something here something that has never even been hinted at anywhere else in the Bible. The Old Testament knew nothing of it. Jesus never referred to it, although He knew about it. He too kept it secret, and the mystery is that) We shall not all sleep, (or die physically) but we shall all be changed. (we can’t go to glory in this old body of flesh, so we’re going to have to be changed. Now reading verse 52.) In a moment, (a finely split particle of time. It’s actually less than a second) in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the (believing) dead shall be raised incorruptible, (like Christ’s resurrected body) and we shall be changed.”

Those believers who are alive when this happens will be changed! Now that’s what the Scriptures say, this isn’t my idea, but rather this is what the Book says. We will be made incorruptible, because you see this corruptible body can’t go into glory so it has to be changed, and it will be in that split second. Well that’s all part of what Paul calls the mysteries. Since we’re in this chapter, let’s go back to those first four verses and look at another mystery that was only given to Paul. We’ve used these verses over and over because they are so paramount to our being ready for the mystery of what we just read. This passage is the Gospel of the Grace of God that all must believe in order to be changed at the Rapture of the Church we just read about. Here it is, this is the Gospel of the Grace of God, and according to Romans 16:25 it had been kept secret since the world began before being given to Paul. In fact Paul says it’s “his Gospel,” and the reason he could make such a statement was it was given to him for mankind by the crucified risen Lord in glory.

I Corinthians 15:1-3a

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand: 2. By which (the Gospel) also ye are saved, (now that’s as plain as you can get it.) if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. (now here’s the Gospel we must believe) 3. For I delivered unto you first…”

And he was the first one to reveal the Gospel of Grace. So here the Holy Spirit is absolutely true in having him write that I delivered it unto you first of all. Why? Because Paul was the one to whom it was first revealed, and oh that’s so hard for people to swallow. Oh they say what did Jesus preach if that’s the case? Well He preached the Gospel of the Kingdom.The Gospel of the Kingdom was a whole different message than the Gospel of Grace that was given Paul. Also remember Jesus preached that which was still under the Law. Every word that Jesus taught and preached in His earthly ministry was to the Nation of Israel under the Law. Never once did Jesus tell someone, “Well you don’t have to go to the temple, you don’t have to take sacrifices, you don’t have to keep the Law, because you’re under Grace.” Most people think that’s the way it was, but nothing could be further from the truth. Read your Bible and see what it says.

On the other hand that was Paul’s message. They didn’t have to keep the law, they weren’t under the demands of the law, but rather the Gentile Body of Christ is under Grace. Paul got into trouble more than once by proclaiming that message, because he had Jewish converts that still wanted to be under the Law. Now reading on as we were about to finish the Gospel that God had given him for us in the Church Age.

I Corinthians 15:3-4

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, (and here is what Paul received. This was the revelation) how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures: 4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”

Now folks that the Gospel! And when we believe that then God does everything else. He has already forgiven us, and so He imputes it on our behalf, He sanctifies us, He justifies us, He glorifies us, He baptizes us into the Body, He does all those good things when we believe this Gospel. And this Gospel was all part of the mysteries that had been given to Paul. These mysteries had never been revealed before, and I’ve begged people constantly to just go back anywhere else in Scripture, “Are you going to find this message for salvation?” Why of course not. You won’t find this message any place else. This simply is the message of the Gospel of the Grace of God, or as Paul says in another place “we preached Christ crucified, and risen again.” I don’t want to belabor the point, but oh if we can just get folks to understand that these mysteries, these secrets that God never revealed until He revealed them to this chosen vessel to take it to the Gentile world. Now coming back to Ephesians chapter 3.

Ephesians 3:5

“Which in other ages (or generations) was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;”

Well I’ve already alluded to them as being Barnabas, Silas, Apollos, Titus, and Timothy, and then there were other great men that followed after that. But it all begin with this man and his commitment to take the Gospel to the Gentile world. I had such a touching letter the other day from a person who was describing all the sufferings they had been through, and it was awful. It was almost more than what one person should have. But he said, “You know Les, until I started hearing you teach Paul, I would get so bitter, and I would blame God for all my troubles and sufferings, but now whenever pain comes, I just say, “Thank you Lord, because if Paul can do it, if he was sold out to serve You then I can be also.” This is what Paul tried to get across, that his suffering for the sake of the Gospel was to encourage us. Because otherwise all I have to do is be a true servant like Paul was and then everything will go smooth. But you see it doesn’t always work like that. So no matter how loyal Paul was to his Lord, yet he suffered, and suffered and finally he died the martyr’s death. So this is a lesson for us, that this is why he says, “Be ye followers of me, as I follow Christ.” Remember Paul was just as human as you and I.

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