456 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 38

456: Ephesians 5:7-33 – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 38

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 38

Ephesians 5:7-33

As we start this last lesson, let me remind you that we do not promote any denomination. I maintain that this Book is for everybody, as no denomination has a corner on heaven or salvation. So we just simply teach the Word and we let the chips fall where they may. Not everyone likes where the chips falls, and sometimes we step on toes. One lady, as she left a class of mine, once said, “My toes are bleeding.” I said, “Well come back next week and we’ll do it all over again. I can’t back off what the Book says, just to keep from hurting your feelings.” We just try to lay out so plainly what the Bible really says, and what it doesn’t say.

In our last lesson we had gone back and looked at how Abraham and Isaac were both failures as husbands a couple of times, but God interceded, and took care of their wives in spite of their failures. I feel the same thing is appropriate today. When we’ve got a wife who submits to her husband, he may not always be right, he may at times stumble, yet if she plays her role as God intended it, He will make up the differences. Always remember that Paul is talking about the marriage relationship of believers. Now Lord knows that ungodly men cannot be given this kind of freedom and responsibility, because they would abuse it.

But we’re not talking about those kind of men. But rather we’re talking about believing men who know the Lord, who love the Lord, who, as we’ve seen in these previous verses, knows what it is to walk in the fullness of the Spirit. What is to walk in the life of rejoicing and happiness, knowing the Lord is the head of the husband, as the husband, in turn is the head of the wife. So always keep this in perspective. This is not given men a free reign to just simply lord it over the women. No way! Nothing in Scripture ever gives men that prerogative. But when it comes to the final analysis of decision making, and especially when it comes to disciplining the children, then the major responsibly falls on the father, as we’re going to see in our next lesson, in chapter 6. We know that’s a far cry from today where most of the discipline is left to the poor mother. Now verse 23.

Ephesians 5:23

“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”

Now always remember that the word “Church” does not mean that building on the corner. As I was thinking about these things last evening, I remember when Iris and I were first married. She was from Oklahoma and I was from up in Iowa, and her expression always was, “The Church house.” “We’re going to go to the Church house.” Yeah, I see you nodding your head. Well up North in Iowa, and for most people today, that’s almost an unknown term. Oh I used to ride herd on her for saying that, and would ask, where do you get that? Well she would say, “that’s what it is!” But I had never heard of such a thing, we just called it the Church. But you know what? She was right, it is the Church house, that building is not the Church.

That building is just brick and stone. The Church is made up of the true believers who meet in that Church house. So I was completely wrong on that one, but according to our culture this is the way we’ve come to look at it. The Church is made up of the believing element, “the Body of Christ.” and that’s the way Paul always uses the word Church. The word in the Greek is “Ecclesia” and you can spell it with k’s or c’s, it doesn’t make any difference, and is always translated with one or two exceptions, as Church, but it should be defined as “A called out assembly.”

So the called out assembly is the Body of Christ when Paul uses it, but it’s not that way in other passages. For example in Acts chapter 7 we find Stephen speaks of the Church which was in the wilderness. Well now it wasn’t a building with a steeple, you all know that. Neither was it a Church that practiced the Lord’s Supper, and had pastors, bishops, and deacons. But rather it was the children of Israel, recently come out of Egypt. So why in the world does the New Testament call them a Church? Well they were a called out assembly of people recently in Egypt and now around Mount Sinai, but for goodness sake they weren’t a Church as we think of the word Church. So when you see the word Church, this is why Paul almost always identifies it as “The Church which is His Body,” which makes a big difference from the word Church that’s maybe used elsewhere in Scripture.

Ephesians 5:23b-24a

“…even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24. Therefore as the church…”

This composite of believers around the whole world that makes up the True Body of Christ, whether we’re Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans, Catholics – that’s moot. If we’re born again and children of God, we are automatically in that Body of Christ, and that Body of Christ will be meeting in Church buildings. But always remember that not all people meeting in those Church buildings are in the Body of Christ. That depends of course how much of the “Truth” is promoted. If the people in that particular building believe for their salvation that Jesus Christ died for their sins, was buried and rose again, + Nothing, then these people are what are called “true believers, and are part of the Body of Christ!” Now completing verse 24 we find that this true Church,

Ephesians 5:24b

“…is subject unto Christ, so (in like manner then) let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Do you see the analogy? Now goodness sakes Christ has never brow beat a member of the Body of Christ, has He? Christ has never made life miserable for a member of the Body. Christ has never made unfair demands on the Body, neither should a husband do that to his wife. Do you see that analogy? Now unless people think, “Well that’s just Paul talking,” let’s turn to I Peter, and as amazing as it seems, Peter uses almost the same kind of language, so far as this martial relationship is concerned. My goodness these are two totally different apostles in their view of things, but when it comes to this marriage relationship under God, they can use the same language.

I Peter 3:1a

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands;…”

Oh I can just hear the feminists, and the equal rights amendment people, because they don’t like this kind of language, but this is God’s format. Now the rest of this verse deals with a Christian wife with an unbelieving husband. She is unequally yoked, but look at these instructions for that particular circumstance.

I Peter 3:1b

“…that, if any (husband, they’re an unbeliever) obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation (manner of living, or the lifestyle) of the wives;”

My that’s quite a statement isn’t it? Do you know what Peter is saying? Listen believing wives don’t preach at your husband, don’t try and drag him to the Church house against his will, don’t nag him to get into the Book, but rather you practice the Christian walk so that he can’t help but be amazed at what an example of Christianity that wife really is. When that wife operates under those conditions, realizing that she’s doing it with God’s help, and that her whole desire is that her husband will come to a knowledge of salvation, God’s going to honor it. Now it may take longer or shorter, depending on the case, but sooner or later, God’s going to honor that wife’s testimony. I’ve seen it happen, and have already rehearsed it on the program before, it was extreme, but in a matter of months that fellow, highly educated, tremendous income, and yet because of that Christian walk of the wife, he suddenly realized what a reprobate he really was. He’ll tell you himself , he told us at the time, “I just fell on my knees in my office, and said God I’m a sinner, I want the salvation that my wife has got.” And this fellow became a real trophy of God’s Grace. He became active in a local Church, and went on from there. Now let’s read verse 2.

I Peter 3:2

“While they (the unsaved husband) behold your chaste (pure) conversation (manner of living) coupled with fear.”

Now that’s not the kind of fear we think of when we’re just scared to death. No this is a fear of respect, and reverence. Now here in verse 3 is how the wife is to actually have an impact on that unsaved husband.

I Peter 3:3

“Whose adorning (or beauty) let it not be that outward adorning (beauty) of plaiting (fixing) the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;”

Now listen. Here’s where some groups have taken the Scripture completely out of context, and say that you can’t fix your hair, you can’t look decent, you can’t wear jewelry, but that’s not what this verse says. All this verse says is, “if the woman is going to make an appeal to the man’s lost estate, instead of trying to do it with her outward attraction, do it with the inner, and that’s what Peter says in the next verse.

I Peter 3:4

“But let it be the hidden man (woman) of the heart, (let her salvation experience literally have an impact on that old boy who is out there lost.) in that which is not corruptible, (in the realm of the spirit) even the ornament (or dressing up) of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

Oh the Book of Proverbs chapter 31:10-31, says it even better than that, doesn’t it? It tells all she can do, and will do. Now verse 5.

I Peter 3:5

“For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, (in the realm of the spirit) being in subjection unto their own husbands:”

We just saw in the last lesson how Sarah, and Rebekah in complete subjection to their husbands obeyed. But also remember that God, in spite of their husbands goofs, didn’t let anything blow up. Now verse 6.

I Peter 3:6-7a

“Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham calling him lord: (that’s a small l, so it’s just simply a term of respect) whose daughters ye are (and of course Peter is writing to Jewish believers in particular) as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. 7. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel,…”

It doesn’t say, “equal vessel, but the weaker one. But oh listen, for the wife that has a husband that behaves himself as the Lord treats the Church, she doesn’t have to be afraid to admit that she’s the weaker vessel, but rather she’s to be most envied. Now reading on in verse 7.

I Peter 3:7b-8a

“…and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. 8. Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren,…”

Now this goes on and stretches beyond the home, but it’s still so applicable to the husband and wife relationship. Now coming back to our text in Ephesians chapter 5. And so we have found that Paul and Peter agree on this subject of the husband and wife. And that’s natural because it’s Holy Spirit inspired, that the wife is to be submissive to the husband, but the husband is to love his wife.

Ephesians 5:25a

“Husbands, love your wives,…”

Now that’s a commandment! There are many people who think the only commandments in Scripture are the Ten. Oh no! The Scripture is just full of commandments. Paul has all kinds of them for us in this Church Age we’re in right now. Now they’re not under the same scenario as the Ten, but they’re still Scriptural admonitions. In another place Paul tells us, “to pray without ceasing,” and in still another place he tells us, “to resist the devil.” Now those are commandments that we should be doing.

And this commandments in Ephesians commands the husband to love his wife, and any time we husbands, myself included, get less than loving we have to immediately say, “Now wait a minute, God’s command is to love her.” Whether you think you have reason to love her or not, the command of God is, “you love her.” After all that’s why the Lord gave her to you.

Now I always point out, and this is to the chagrin of the men, and for the benefit of you women. “Men are commanded to love the wife, the wife is never commanded to love the husband.” Now does that mean she’s free to just simply take off and leave him? No. Do you know what that means? That God has so constructed in the creation of the female, assuming that she’s normal, “that if she has a husband who loves her as much as Christ loves the Church, she is automatically going to love that man, and she doesn’t need anyone telling her how to do it.”

Now you see this all goes back to the Garden of Eden in Genesis chapter 2, verses 23 and 24. This is where this whole format of the husband being the head of the woman began, and God never rescinded it. Never! It has been part and parcel of Scripture all the way up through human history, and it’s still valid today.

Genesis 2:23-24

“And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. (Eve was in Adam) 24. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

Now that’s the way it began. Even though Eve was in Adam at creation, yet it wasn’t until God presented her to the man as his wife that they took on the concept of the two becoming one. That’s where it really began, and Paul will refer to that here in Ephesians.

Ephesians 5:25-26

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.”

We’re already forgiven, but we’re in the old world and we’re going to be defiled occasionally by sin, and so we need that daily cleansing that only the Word can give us. It’s the only washing that Paul gives us. Now verse 27, Paul continues on with the spiritual.

Ephesians 5:27

“That he (Christ) might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

And then in verse 28 Paul comes back to the physical aspect.

Ephesians 5;28

“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.”

I mean everyone of us knows that. As soon as we are less than loving to our wives, we’re going to notice it. She’s not going to be as responsive. I’m not going to expect fresh made apple pie if I’ve been treating her like dirt. But oh my when I treat her right, then those are some of the things that I can expect. Now moving on.

Ephesians 5:29-33

“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church: 30. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31. For this cause (because we’re one with Christ, and one with our wife) shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

Now I’ve been teaching this for young and older people for I guess over twenty years, and I’ve always said that if we could practice this the divorce rate would drop to zero.

455: Ephesians 5:7-33 – Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 38

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 38

Ephesians 5:7-33

Now we’ll be turning to Ephesians chapter 5 again as we begin this lesson. In our last lesson we finished verses 19 and 20, but before we read verse 21, I think I’m going to go back up to verse 18, because all of this ties together so beautifully. After seeing how Paul tells us how to walk the Christian walk, and so forth in those verses up in 10, 11, and 12, then he comes to verse 18.

Ephesians 5:18

“And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess; (don’t respond to the spirits of alcohol to mind bend your thinking) but be filled with the (Holy) Spirit:”

Of course that goes along with my concept that at salvation we get the fullness of the Holy Spirit. My we just get a whole fresh start, but just like anything else it kind of wears down, and then periodically we’ve got to be refilled. So according to Ephesians 4:5 and I Corinthians 12:13 there is one Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and that happens the moment we’re saved, but after that you can have many fillings. I think it behooves us then to continue to be filled by the Spirit, which comes of course by the soaking up of the Scriptures, the study, prayer time, fellowship, and so forth, but we need that constant filling of the Holy Spirit.

Now then, when we’re filled with the Holy Spirit as you look at verse 19, it’s going to have an effect on our whole life style. It’s going to be a life of speaking of songs and hymns, and spiritual songs. Now that doesn’t mean we will never have bad times. Christians have just as many problems as the world around us. The difference is we have the Lord to take us through those times. Don’t ever accuse me teaching, that when you become a believer, you’re going to have a rose covered pathway, because it’s just not going to happen, but we do have the Lord to carry us through when it does happen.

And then in verse 20 in our closing remarks in the last lesson, that along with our rejoicing, and our happiness, we are to be constantly in an attitude of thanksgiving, and it’s all to be given to God though the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I’ve had people ask, “Are we still supposed to pray in Jesus name?” Absolutely. He is still interceding for us at the Father’s right hand, and so we pray to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now in this same line of joyful Christian living, of all things what does Paul bring in? The marriage relationship, isn’t that amazing? In other words, at the very heart of a Christian community is the family and the home. And there’s a lot of talk lately about family in politics, but unfortunately they’re not using Paul’s approach to it, but rather they’re using the secular world, and the world view. But in this lesson today we’re going to look at the marriage relationship according to the Scriptures.

About a year or two ago, one of our major denominations made a statement concerning this very part of the marriage relationship “that the husband was to be the head of the wife,” and remember the liberal press just about went into orbit. I remember all the feminist movements just about had a fit, and one lady said they had set equal rights back at least 30 years. No, the Christian community is not setting anything back, but rather we’re exemplifying what the Scriptures says about the husband and wife relationship.

I’ve said it as long as I’ve been teaching there has never been anything so instrumental in giving women their freedom, and their rights as Christianity has. You want to remember all the way back in human history, not just Israel, but in all of human history, the women were nothing. They couldn’t get an education, they couldn’t read, they couldn’t work math, they were kept ignorant purposely. Christianity is what opened the door for you. I’ve said it over and over, don’t ever accuse Paul of being anti-feminist. He did more for the female gender than any other man of the human race.

I had a lady call and said, “Les I used to hate the apostle Paul, I wouldn’t read any of his letters, in fact I didn’t even think it should be in the Bible. It was such a strong feeling that I also passed it on to my two married daughters. But thanks to you, I can now see the Scriptures completely differently. I see now that Paul is our apostle, and now I’ve got both my daughters convinced.” Well praise the Lord that her eyes were opened. Here the apostle simply goes back to format that God intended. Oh it’s not what the sociologists think, or the psychologists say, or what the advice columns say, but what God says. Now don’t lose sight of this. In this whole format of being filled with the spirit, speaking and singing in songs, and making melody, giving thanks to God for everything, what does the next verse say?

Ephesians 5:21

“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

Now you see we’re in a time when people don’t like to submit to anybody. We’re in the period of the big ego, the big number ONE. But the scripture says, “that we are still to be submissive first and foremost to God. That’s an attitude of the Christian life. A verse just comes to mind in the Book of Psalms. I hadn’t intended to use this, but I referred someone to this a few days ago who was going through some trying times. They were almost despairing that God was even aware of them. So let’s look at Psalms 37:5 and I can pass this on to anybody that’s going through trying times, whatever the case may be. Even though it’s Old Testament, and David speaking it, yet God hasn’t changed.

I told someone early this morning that called that they were putting too much of your doctrine on the Old Testament, that Law. He said, “Well what am I supposed to do, throw it away?” No. You don’t throw the Old Testament away, it’s the same God, the only thing is He’s operating differently under Law than He does with us under Grace. But many things that David says are very appropriate for us in the Church Age, and this is one of them.

Psalms 37:5

“Commit (that’s almost in the category of submit) thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; (remember there’s three words that means the same thing, Trust, Faith, and Believe,) and he shall bring it to pass.” Now we don’t know when, we just rest in the fact that’s it’s in God’s hands, and we submit it into His care and keeping. Then you come down to verse 7, and what’s the first word?

Psalms 37:7a

“Rest in the LORD,…”

Once you’ve committed something to God, we can rest. I’ve used this illustration more than once. Say you’re taking a trip on an airplane, you find your seat, and get all squared away and take off. Do you start fretting and sweating and wondering, “is this plane going in the wrong direction?” Maybe some people do, but I think the average passenger sits down, picks up something to read, and you have totally committed your life and direction to the airline. And you just absolutely trust that they’re going to take you where you intended to go. Well it’s the same way in the spiritual, once we have committed to the Lord, then we know what direction we’re going, and we don’t have to wonder and worry. Now completing verse 7.

Psalms 37:7a

“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him:…”

But you see we’re not patient, we’re living in a time of instant gratification. I want it right now. But you see the Lord doesn’t move as fast as we think He should, but rest assured if we wait patiently, He’s going to bring it to pass.

Psalms 37:7b

“…fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.”

And isn’t that always a temptation? We see the ungodly prosper, they’re driving their big cars, and living in their huge homes, and we know that they’re ungodly. Don’t worry about it, living today will probably be the only heaven that they’ll have, their doom is waiting them. So don’t worry about that, and use those two verses when trying times come your way. Now come back with me to the Book of Ephesians. It’s the same way in the marriage relationship. We commit our marriage unto the hands of the Lord, and as the husband and wife in union commit that marriage to the Lord, then it follows that we’re going to follow God’s format. And God’s format was established back in the Garden of Eden. And here it is.

Ephesians 5;22

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, (not as some slave master, but like a husband) as unto the Lord.”

There’s nothing wrong with being submissive to that kind of husband. 99.9% of women would just thrive in that kind of an environment, to be married to a man who treats her, even as the Lord treats him, and that’s the analogy all through here. Now verse 23. Why should the wife submit to the husband? Because of God’s decree.

Ephesians 5:23

“For the husband is the head of the wife, (and again look at the analogy) even as Christ is the head of the church: (the Body of Christ) and he is the saviour of the body.”

Now in order to become the saviour of the Body of Christ, what did Christ have to do? He had to die! So what’s the admonition to you and I as husbands, men? We’ve got to be willing to die for our wives, and I think I could die for Iris, unless something drastically would happen I think I would die for her, because that’s what the Scripture demands. We are to love our wife with such a love that we’re willing to give up our life for her.

Now I’m going to take you back to the Old Testament, for the benefit of the women out in television, as well as here in the studio. How many women will say, “Well I’m not going to go by what my husband says, because he can make the dumbest decisions.” Isn’t that right? Sure, we all do. You know I’ve made a couple of whammies myself, I really have. But Iris doesn’t constantly remind me of it, she could, but she’s a good wife. Do you know what God has promised by our going back to the Old Testament? That in spite of our dumb moves, God works it out for His own good.

So come back with me to Genesis chapter 12, I know I probably can’t finish this in this half hour program, so we’ll have to continue into the next lesson if that’s the case. Iris and I are going out to Pennsylvania next week for a seminar, and a lady called this morning and wanted to know what I was going to speak on. I told her that I would tell her as soon as I stood up before them and got started, that’s probably when I’ll know, and not until. Here in chapter 12, we’re dealing with Abram and Sarai before God gave them the name Abraham and Sarah. Abram has just been given the Abrahamic Covenant, so he’s on right standing with God, he’s a believer, he’s a man of faith, and no doubt Sarai is as well, because of what Peter says about these people. So here we’ve got two believers, and they’ve just begun their walk with the God after He had given them this tremendous covenant promise earlier in the chapter.

And as I tell people so often when I’m instrumental in leading them to the Lord, “Now in short order, you’re going to come through a time of testing.” That happens every time to a new believer, God will test them. And all it does is just deepen their faith. Well here we have the same thing. Abraham has just now begun his walk on covenant ground and there’s famine in the land of promise.

Now I’m sure Abram has been instructed not to go down into Egypt, but yet he goes contrary to those instructions. Now for those of you who knows your Bible, Egypt is always a picture of what? The world. So he leaves the land of blessing, and land of promise, even though it’s being tested with famine, and drops down into Egypt, which was a lot like Washington DC is today. Egypt was at the very core of all the commerce, and economic activity and so forth, so it had all the lurement that the world even today has. So here Abram and his wife, and of course his nephew Lot is also still with him, can’t take the heat of the famine in Canaan, so down to the world they go. No doubt there’s plenty of food and grain there.

Genesis 12:10-12

“And there was a famine in the land; and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land. 11.. And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, (he’s on the border) that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: (now this is a believing husband speaking to a believing wife) 12. Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife; (she is such a knock out, Pharaoh is going to want her in his harem) and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.”

You want to remember that the ancients had a moral code, and don’t think for a moment that they didn’t. They may have abrogated most of the time but they had a moral code. So Abraham knew his life wasn’t going to be for long, and he was thinking up a plan to stay alive. Now you’re going to see the thing that Abram did was the exact opposite of what Paul instructs us to do concerning our wives in this Age of Grace. Paul is teaching that Abraham should have been able to say, “Sarai, you’re beautiful, they’ll probably kill me, but for your sake, I’m willing to let them do it.” But Abram chickened out. I mean he chickened out, and said, “Now Sarai, we’re not going to let them kill me for your sake. You just go ahead and tell them that you’re my sister, and they will spare my life.” Now isn’t that something?

Now according to today’s thinking, the sociologists, the psychologists, and the feminists, they would say, “What should Sarai have done?” She should have wrapped him on the side of the head and said, “I’m not going to do such a thing. I’m not going to end up in some pagan king’s harem just for your sake.” Isn’t that the thinking today? But you see Sarai didn’t respond that way. Sarai, obediently let them take her, and sure enough old Abram was right as they took her into the king’s harem. But you know what? The Almighty overruled. Even though Abram pulled a dumb stunt, God still overruled on behalf of Sarai. And I think the lesson for women today is, yes once in a while your husband is going to make a dumb move, but you know what we know? “God is going to intervene in such a way that the end result for both husband and wife will still be for our good.”

Now let’s look at another one in chapter 20, and by now you’d think Abraham would have known better. He got kicked out of Egypt the first go around because of what he tried to do, and so now he’s back in that same border area of Gerar, a different king of course, and now verse 1, and this was a good many years later, his name has been changed from Abram to Abraham already.

Genesis 2-1-2

And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar. 2. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.”

Now you have to understand the pagan thinking of the ancients, and that was that they would kidnap beautiful women and bring them into the kings harem against their will. So Abraham instead of standing up and giving his life for Sarah lets them take her, and so she ends up in Abimelech’s harem, but God intervenes.

Genesis 20:3

“But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife.”

And of course you know what the story goes on to say. Abimelech woke up and brought Sarah quickly back to Abraham. Then there’s one more occasion this happens, and we find Isaac pulls the same stunt with his beautiful wife Rebekah in chapter 26 of Genesis. Remember this is a whole generation later.

Genesis 26:6-7

“And Isaac dwelt in Gerar: 7. And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon.”

Instead of saying, “That’s my wife and I’m ready to die for her”, he says, “She’s my sister.” In so many words Isaac is saying, “You can have her.”

Genesis 26:8-9

“And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife. 9. And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife: and how saidst thou, She is my sister? And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die for her.”

Well we know that the Lord intervened again, before anything happened, and spared both Abraham, and Isaac, and their wives.

Do you see now how women can rest on the promises of God that if you are submissive to your husband as Sarah and Rebekah were, even though your husband can make a stupid move, God by His intercessory power can take care of the situation. So don’t ever doubt that God can overcome every bad situation.

454: The Light of Christ in Your Life - Part 2

454: The Light of Christ in Your Life – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 38


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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 38

The Light of Christ in Your Life – Part 2

You know the most thrilling letters we receive are the ones that tell us that, “For the first time in my life I am reading my Bible and understanding it.” What more could I ask for? If I can just get people to realize that this is not a closed Book, it’s not a dusty old Book, or a bunch of old fables told around a campfire, but rather this is the miraculous Word of God, and it fits so beautifully from cover to cover as it all just dovetails together, and you can understand it when you separate the Scriptures.

As you are probably realizing by now that if you don’t keep Paul’s little epistle, his teaching to the Gentile Body of Christ for our doctrine, separate from the teachings to the nation of Israel by the Old Testament prophets, Christ and His earthly ministry teachings, as we see in Matthew 15:24, and Romans 15:8, then you will never fully understand this tremendous Book.

But oh when you do see how Paul reveals from the mysteries that were given only to him that we’re saved by Faith + Nothing, how we’re baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ the moment we believe the Gospel as outlined in I Corinthians 15:1-4. And then how as believers we’re citizens of heaven, waiting for the Rapture of the Church so we can be caught up bodily to be with Christ, to go home with Him, and live with Him forever, then this Book becomes so exciting that we truly enjoy reading it.

Now in the last lesson we got as far as Ephesians chapter 5, verse 13, and we’re going to pick right up with verse 14. Remember all of this is Paul’s admonition to all of us in this Age of Grace, where we’re not under Law, we do not have a set of rules and regulations to guide us, but rather it’s a common sense approach. The Christian life is so practical, there’s nothing kooky about it, there’s nothing that should make people say, “Well I’d hate to be a Christian.” because it is so practicable. Now I know that from the wicked area of the world they may think that we’re a little bit odd, but on the other hand I always have to make the point as we saw in verse 9 in our last lesson.

Ephesians 5:9

“(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.)”

Well who could argue with those three attributes? They’re what makes a society good, I don’t care where that society is. So again remember, Paul’s admonition to walking the Christian walk is not something silly, or something in general that the world would scoff at if they have any sense whatsoever of things that are good. Now in the last lesson we were talking about stepping in the Light of Christ who is the Light.

Ephesians 5:14

“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”

Well there again, that’s a loaded verse. Who are the ones that are dead? Those that are still in their darkness, those who have still not stepped into the Light. And as one of the fellows just reminded me at break time, he had picked it up some where that the lost person is blind spiritually and doesn’t really know it. So it behooves us then as believers to let them know how blind they really are, and I like that concept. They just don’t know what they’re missing out on.

We see it everyday that people will call or write, “That for the first time they know what I’m talking about, their joy is just running over, and to have such freedom, that they’re not under some legalistic program anymore.” This is all part and parcel of Paul’s teaching, that when we step into the Light, the Light manifests itself and we are set free then from our darkness. Now then verse 15.

Ephesians 5:15a

“See then that ye walk circumspectly,…”

Now a lot of people just gloss over some of these words without realizing, what’s he talking about? What does he mean to walk circumspectly? Well the word “circum” come from the word Circumference, and so what you’re really seeing here is a circle. I like to picture that you and I, as we walk in this world of darkness, wickedness, and iniquity, it’s just as if we are walking around them constantly, and they can see us from every side.

So Paul’s admonition then is, as we walk in the view of all the world around us they should be able to see nothing but a manifestation of the Light that we represent. Of course this is where so many professing believers fail. As we’ve said in past programs that the Lord is grieved, because His own people do not live a life that the world can look at without scornfully saying, “That’s the last thing I’d want to be.” But we are to walk in such a way that they can say, “I wish I had what that person has. So we’re to walk circumspectly. And now what’s the next part of the verse?

Ephesians 5:15b

“…not as fools, but as wise.” Now we all have our own idea of the definition of a fool, but I always have to use the Scripture for the best definition. So let’s go back and look at it in Psalm chapter 14.

Psalms 14:1a

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God…” Now most Bibles will have the “There is” italicized, which means that it’s been added to hopefully clarify it, but in this case they didn’t do this verse any good at all by adding those two words. I like the way it read just by leaving it the way it was intended.

Psalms 14:1a

“The fool hath said in his heart, no, God….”

Not that there is no God, because I don’t think there’s a person alive that can honestly say that. Now there are some who try to claim they’re atheists, but way down deep inside of them, when the death angel comes knocking on their door, they’re suddenly going to realize too late, that there is a God, and that there is an eternity. So I don’t like to look at this verse in that light, but rather if you’ll put a comma after the word no, the fool says no to God. Do you see that? The fool says, No, God, I’m not going to do what you tell me, I’m not going to believe what you say. Now that’s a fool! Now as soon as you get the concept that the fool is the person who says no to God, he’s the man who is then destitute of faith.

So the definition of a fool then is actually a person who is destitute of faith, and we’ve had examples in the Scriptures of such people. Cain was the first one. The guy was destitute of faith, and consequently he didn’t bring the kind of sacrifice that God had told him to bring, because he didn’t believe what God had said, he rationalized. The next one we come to early on in Scripture is Ishmael. Ishmael was not a man of faith. He went and did just exactly opposite of what God, through his father Abraham had said, “Not to marry Canaanites,” so he went and did it anyway. He showed the fact that he was destitute of faith because he said no to God.

Well the next one that’s a classic example of no faith is Esau. He was probably a nicer guy than his brother Jacob, but what was his problem? He had no faith! He couldn’t put an ounce of importance on anything God said, so consequently what happened to him? He became the epitome of a man with no faith. We also have the example of the nation of Israel when they were there at Kadesh Barnea, and God had told them, “The land of promise is ready for you, the land is flowing with milk and honey, it’s productive. I’ll drive the Canaanites out of the land with hornets, you won’t even have to fight with them and lose a drop of blood, just go in and occupy the land.” But you see the nation of Israel did not believe what God said.. So what did they say? “No, we can’t take the land, because we would be like grasshoppers in their sight,” and consequently because they couldn’t believe what God said, they missed the blessings of the land of milk and honey. Instead for 40 years ended up out there on that old barren dessert, and died like flies because they had no faith. And of course Hebrews chapter 3 teaches that.

Well, we see all this through Scripture where over and over that especially the nation of Israel had no faith. Also in the nation of Israel we find the Messiah came and presented Himself to be their King, and because they couldn’t believe a word that God said, through the Old Testament prophets, what was their attitude? “Nothing good can come out of the city of Nazareth.” After His 3 years of performing miracles, signs and wonders, because of their unbelief as a nation of fools, if you please, what did they do? They crucified Him! So we see all through human history, that a person who refuses to believe the Word of God in actuality becomes a fool in God’s sight. He’s a man who says, “No to God!”

Now back to the Book of Ephesians chapter 5. So don’t walk as someone who doesn’t believe a thing that God says, but on the other hand we are supposed to walk as people of faith, knowing that this Word is true. I was thinking on the way up to Tulsa this morning that a few years ago at one of our gatherings, there was a fellow sitting in front of me as we were having coffee, that had a stencil on the back of his shirt that said, “Eternity! Have you thought about it?” That made such an impression on me, and I hope it did on the others that were there. Now think of that. How many people today even stop for 5 seconds, and consider eternity? It’s quite a thought isn’t it? Eternity is out there, and it’s not just a figment of our imagination, it is real, there is an eternity that is never ending. We have two choices in that matter. It can either be in God’s presence or it can be separation from God forever. So again, the fool says, “No God, there’s no eternity to concern myself about. I’m going to live it up here and now.” But here in Ephesians Paul says, “Don’t be the fool.”

Ephesians 5:15

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise.” (people of faith) Now reading on in the verse 16.

Ephesians 5:16

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

Now Paul wrote that approximately 60 something AD. The world was just as evil then as it is now. The only difference was that there were fewer people on the earth at that time. But in the realm of the Roman Empire, I was just reading again the other night a series of biographies of something like 15 or 20 Romans emperors. Now this of course was Rome on the decline. These were just very short biographies of a paragraph or two long. Do you know that out of those 20 or so biographies, there were only two of those fellows that lived out a normal life span, and were buried in a normal old age? All the rest of them were murdered while they were in office. Emperor after Emperor was either poisoned, or killed one way or another, and died by a violent act except two.

Those that were with us a couple of years ago when we traced the steps of the apostle Paul, and at the time I wished I had never taken people to some of those places, but they all agreed that it was quite a lesson. Because it showed us the horror of the immorality that was rampant everywhere that the apostle Paul went. So don’t think that this is anything new. I remember back in the 70’s when we came out of the hippie movement of the 60’s and they were talking about the new morality? Well way back then I was telling my classes that it’s not a new morality, it’s the same old immorality that has plagued the human race from day one, nothing has changed. So when Paul says here in verse 16.

Ephesians 5:16

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

Paul wasn’t looking ahead 2000 years and seeing our day per se. It was evil in his day. It was rotten and that’s why the Roman Empire fell. It was rotten to the core. Political corruption, economic corruption, moral corruption, and consequently the empire fell. We’re seeing basically the same thing here in western civilization. Don’t think for a moment that America is alone in their immorality. It’s just a fact that the days are evil. So we’re to redeem the time, buy it up, use it to the fullest extent. Now verse 17.

Ephesians 5:17

“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”

And there is only way that you will find the will of the Lord, and that’s get into the Book! When you get into the Book, then things began to happen. Now as you know I’m not a prosperity preacher. I don’t tell people, if you do this and do that, you’ll become a millionaire. In fact anything but. I had a gentlemen call one morning and told me that he’d been doing this, and now he was bankrupt. I told him, he deserved it, tough love, huh? But I told him I didn’t feel a bit sorry for him, because there’s nothing in this Book that substantiates that kind of behavior. You’re to be prudent, you’re to be wise, you’re to use things according to the Scriptures. and not according to these ole buddies that’s out there giving you all this old hoopla that you can become rich giving to them. You’ll never find Paul in his teaching to us in this Age of Grace to do anything like that. You’re not going to tweak God’s nose, He’s not a Santa Claus. So we’re not to be unwise.

Ephesians 5:17

“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” Now this is all the same process of living under the Light, living according to the wise steps of a man of faith. Now verse 18.

Ephesians 5:18

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but (instead of using wine as the spirit) be filled with the (Holy) Spirit:”

Now I don’t know how many people stop to think of this; how many times have you driven through the city and you’ll see a sign over the liquor store that says, “spirits” Where do they get that? Alcohol is a spirit, it’s a mind bender. You know in the cattle business when they have auctions of their pure bred stock, they use to have about 5 o’clock in the afternoon, a cocktail hour. Do you know what they call it now? It’s an attitude adjustment time. That’s pretty coy isn’t it. Well I guess what they want to do is adjust the guy’s mind so he’s willing to spend a lot more than what he’d planned on spending. But the concept is the same here in the Scripture. We’re not to depend on the spirit of alcohol to effect our thinking, but the flip side is the Holy Spirit is whom we’re to depend on. The Holy Spirit becomes our mind adjuster, if you want to call it that, and He is the One who will lead us and direct us into all the things that God would have us to do. Now verse 19, I mean this is all in this same concept of the Christian walk. Is it to be a life of humdrum, or a life where you got your chin on your chest? No it’s a life of joy.

Ephesians 5:19

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”

When I was looking at verse 19 last night preparing for today, I couldn’t help when I was reading this to think about the Haitian people we taught a couple of years ago. We’d start at 6:00 P.M. and for the first two hours it was sing, sing, sing. They would just lift the rafters, and although some of the songs were in languages we didn’t understand, we understood the melody, and so we’d sing it in English, but it was an experience. Now you want to remember, those people are in abject poverty, they have absolutely nothing of this world’s goods. But boy when they started singing you’d never know they were lacking anything. And that is to be the Christians behavior. Ours is to be a life of joy and happiness, and singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Now you know how King David responded more than once. My he just got exuberant, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Now verse 20, and this is still along this same line of thinking.

Ephesians 5:20

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ:”

Now after that verse I’ve got to turn to the Book of Philippians chapter 4, and verse 4. What’s the first word? Rejoice. Now that means exactly what it says. We’re not to be a people of chins on our chests and moping around thinking, “what a tough old world this is.” No, but rather we’re to be in an attitude of rejoicing.

Philippians 4:4

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”

Now look what were the circumstances that Paul was in when he wrote this? Well he’s in prison in Rome, he’s under Roman guard, he’s got bands probably on both arms, and yet the man could write, “Rejoice.” Earlier in his ministry, he and Silas was down in the dungeon at Philippi, and they had just been scourged, which meant that their backs and torsos were like raw hamburger. Their feet were in stocks, rats and the like were running all over them you can be sure, and yet did Paul and Silas bemoan their condition? No, but rather they sang hymns. They sang those hymns so loud that all the prisoners took note of how these two men under their circumstances could still sing. So here in verse 4, Paul didn’t say this flippantly. Paul isn’t just all of a sudden writing from some great beautiful hotel room, and telling his poor people out there, “Hey rejoice” No, he’s in the worst of circumstances himself, and then he can say it twice in one verse. Now verse 5.

Philippians 4:5

“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” Well if Paul thought the Lord was at hand then, how much closer is He today. But here’s the next verse that we came here to see.

Philippians 4:6a

“Be careful (or worry about nothing) for nothing; but in every thing (not just in some of the things of the Spirit, but in every thing that is important to us, God wants to hear it.) by prayer and supplication (now here’s the key) with thanksgiving…”

Most people today when they pray never think to thank Him. All most people do is ask, ask, ask. Well I can tell you right up front, those kind of prayers are not very apt to be answered. Every time we pray, we preclude it with thanksgiving. “Thank you Lord for what you’re going to do.” And when it happens for goodness sakes, don’t forget to thank Him again.

Philippians 4:6b

“…let your requests be made known unto God.”

How do we make our requests be made known unto God? We verbalize it. Do you see that? Now I know God can read our thoughts, don’t think for a minute that I don’t know that. But does God just expect us to think something, and then He takes it as our request? No. No, He expects us to verbalize these things, “Lord this is what I need. This is what someone else’s need is.” We usually open our classes and our television programs with a time of prayer requests, and regardless what it is we know that God is concerned, but He expects us to verbalize these requests. Talk to Him about what concerns you. Then in verse 7 I always teach that this is the answer to every single prayer that you have uttered. If you are a true believer, every prayer that you utter is answered in verse 7. Then the direct request may be answered in the way you expect. But whether He says, “Yes, No, or Maybe later to your request in verse 6, He has already promised the response of verse 7, and what is that?

Philippians 4:7

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Now what does that mean? Regardless of what we’re praying for, whether it actually becomes a reality and is answered, that’s moot. But you know what’s important? THE PEACE WITH GOD! Even if we lose that loved one that we’re praying for, the peace with God puts us in a position to accept that, and to live with it. He may respond and answer exactly the way we hoped He would, but He is not bound to. But He is bound to give us that peace that passeth all understanding through Christ Jesus.

453: The Light of Christ in Your Life

453:The Light of Christ in Your Life – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 38


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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 38

The Light of Christ in Your Life

Now as we begin this lesson we’ll start with Ephesians chapter 5 and verse 7, and once again let me say, that we covet the prayers of each of you. As you know, we’re in a spiritual warfare, and it’s only as we lean upon the power of His Spirit that we can continue to hold forth the Word of God, which we trust we’re doing it in truth and verity. As we’ve come up through Paul’s epistles we’ve pretty much taken the Scripture verse by verse, as Paul is writing to you and I, Gentile believers, in this Age of Grace. And so since he’s writing directly to you and I, we cannot glibly pass over anything in his epistles. As we begin today rather than just jump in at verse 7, I’m going to go back again to verse 6 for an introduction to what we’re going to say next.

Ephesians 5:6

“Let no man deceive you with vain words:…”

Now you all know what the word vain means. It means that which is superfluous, it doesn’t make sense, it’s confusing, and Lord knows there’s so much of that out there today. So this is so appropriate, that we take this verse to heart. We’re not to be deceived with words that are not appropriate, and not based on the Scriptures. I’ve told you before that Monday morning is when our phone rings the most, and invariably it’s because they have questions of what they have heard on Sunday morning. Well when they come up with some of this goofy stuff the first thing I say is, did you look for it in your Bible? And if it’s not in there, then forget it. If you can’t back it up with Scripture then it’s a deception, it’s a false teaching, and always remember Satan is the angel of light, and he can transform himself into that. So we have to be so careful that we’re not taken in by vain, deceptive words. Now reading on.

Ephesians 5:6

“Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things (this mass of deception) cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”

I think I mentioned in our last lesson that most of the unbelieving world scoffs at the idea that God will one day yet pour out His wrath and judgment upon Christ-rejecting-mankind. They think that’s just some figment of our imagination, but I’ve got news for them, “It is coming!” It may not be in my lifetime, although I think it will be, but this I do know- it’s coming! There will be a day when God will finally say, “ENOUGH!” When that day comes then His wrath will be poured out and a big portion of that wrath will be on these who have been deceiving the multitudes. Now then we can go into our next verse.

Ephesians 5:7

“Be not ye therefore partakers with them.”

In other words, God has given every believer enough knowledge of the Word that with just a little effort, and it doesn’t take a lot, but with just a little effort we can line these things up with the Word and see immediately that it’s false. And if it’s false we run from it, and this is what Paul is admonishing us to do. Let just use the example, “If someone teaches you that you must do works for salvation, then that’s contrary to what Paul teaches the believer. So run from that kind of teaching. Paul teaches that salvation is a free gift we receive when we just simply believe the Gospel as outlined in I Corinthians 15:1-4.” Now verse 8.

Ephesians 5:8

“For ye were sometimes (or at one time in) darkness but now are ye light in the Lord: (consequently since we have come out of darkness,) walk as children of light:”

Again you can just take that into any kind of an every day experience. It’s no fun to walk in the pitch dark, is it? Well it’s the same way spiritually, when people are walking in a spiritual darkness, they are in utter confusion, they just don’t know up from down. And this is where most of the world is walking tonight, but you and I as believers don’t have that problem, we’re not walking in darkness. We can walk with surety that we’re in the light and the light, as we’ll see in John 3 in a few minutes, is Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:9

“(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all (things) goodness and righteousness and truth;)”

Now who in the world can find fault with those three words? Who can find fault with goodness? I don’t know who could. Who can find fault with righteousness? Who in the world could find fault with truth? The world is always looking for truth, but the only problem is they’re looking in the wrong places. See these are three words that are the epitome of the Christian experience, and so consequently, “if we walk in the light, as John puts it in his little epistle, as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with Him, and in us there is no darkness at all.” So as a result of our walking in the light we should be able to put forth goodness and righteousness, and truth, which no one should be able to find fault with. Now verse 10. Remember as we walk in the light, and as we are the epitome of goodness, righteousness, and truth, at the same time what are we doing?

Ephesians 5:10

“Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.”

We’re not proving what is acceptable unto society, or friends and relatives, but unto God. Now that’s what counts. Are we doing what is pleasing in His sight, or are we simply pleasing the world around us? Now verse 11. This is what people don’t like to hear.

Ephesians 5:11

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

Now we’re living in a day when even some of our politicians, and some of our more belligerent elements of Christianity thinks that we can literally turn the world around. They think we can just stop this slide down into more and more wickedness, down into more and more satanic power, and they try to give us the idea that we can reverse this trend. But we can’t. Nor does the Scriptures say we will. But what are we to do? We are to be in constant opposition to these forces. We are to stand like a dam in the river, and try to hold it back, but we’re not going to reverse the direction of that river. I just simply can’t find anything in Scripture that indicates that we are admonished to reverse the trend, it just won’t happen. But we can stand in opposition, and reprove these works of darkness, and that’s all God expects from the believer. Now to back me up on that let’s go to II Thessalonians chapter 2. We’ve used these Scriptures when we teach the coming of the anti-Christ, and so forth. Now this is the responsibility of every believer, in whatever time he has lived. Whether it was in Paul’s day, or whether it was a thousand years ago, or whether it’s today. This has been the proclivity of the truth believer.

II Thessalonians 2:6

“And now ye know what withholdeth (or holdeth back) that he (the anti-Christ up there in verse 4. There is this power that is holding back, that the anti-Christ) might be revealed in his time.”

In other words, not ahead of time, and not behind time. So we become then a force under the power of the Holy Spirit to hold back these forces of iniquity that would literally prepare the world for the anti-Christ before his time. God isn’t going to let that happen so He uses the believers to reprove these works of darkness that are coming in as a flood. Now verse 7.

II Thessalonians 2:7a

“For the mystery of iniquity doeth already work:…”

I mean, this isn’t something that started in the 1900’s, or in the last thousand years, but rather this has been going on, I think, especially since the Tower of Babel when Nimrod caused people to fall into the trap of false gods, and satanically inspired mythology, and all these things. So this is where I think Paul is referring back to, although there was plenty of iniquity between Adam and the Tower of Babel. Always remember that all of the false religions that we’re up against today, and I don’t care what it is, whether it’s a huge religion, or a cult, or some little off shoot of something else, they all have their roots right back to the Tower of Babel, everyone of them, and have been working against God now for the last 4000 years, so it’s nothing new. Now back to the text.

II Thessalonians 2:7

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth (or hinders) will let, (or hinder) until he be taken out of the way.”

I’ve always felt that God here is referring to the work of the Holy Spirit, working through the believer. We are the ones that are to stand up and reprove, and hold back these forces of iniquity that would cover the world and make the anti-Christ’s appearance premature. We must slow the river of iniquity down, and that’s all we can do.

II Thessalonians 2:8a

“And then shall that Wicked (one) be revealed,…”

After we’re taken out of the way in the Rapture then the anti-Christ will be revealed, and when that happens it will be just like a dam being taken out of a river. Down stream there will be a flood like you can’t imagine, and it will be a flood of iniquity, and even though the first 3 1/2 years of that 7 are not going to be like the last 3 1/2 years, yet rest assured it’s going to be bad enough. Now verse 8 and then we’ll go back to the Book of Ephesians.

II Thessalonians 2:8

“And then (when that dam in the river, the Body of Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, when it is taken out of the way) shall that Wicked (one) be revealed, whom the Lord shallconsume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.”

Now coming back to chapter 5 of Ephesians, and verse 11.

Ephesians 5:11

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

A dam in the river, we’re to hold it back, and that’s the best way I can explain it. Now that doesn’t mean that we have to go out and demonstrate, and do all these things that cause all kinds of problems in society, but we are to be that constant power of the Holy Spirit to admonish people to refrain from these things, and to be a reproving of these unfruitful works of darkness. Now verse 12.

Ephesians 5:12

“For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.”

Now up until a few years ago most of this abject wickedness was kept secret, and we called it in the closet. But anymore it’s coming out in the open, there is no shame, there is no holding back and they have absolutely no conscience of what’s right and wrong. And so with that we have to move on to verse 13.

Ephesians 5:13

“But all things that are reproved (all of these things that the Bible declares are anti- God) are made manifest (are shown to be what it really is) by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.”

Now when I come to that word “manifest” I always make the comparison of the little light under your microscope. I know every body hasn’t had a chance to look through a microscope, but any more I imagine that most have. And you know that when you put that slide under the lens you still don’t see anything until you turn of that power little light, and then you see things that you would never see otherwise. That’s what the Scripture I think means over and over when it uses the word “manifest.” Now for a moment let’s come back to John’s gospel and see how Paul is in perfect accord with even the gospel accounts of some of these things. Here in John chapter 3 we have Jesus speaking in His earthly ministry to Nicodemus. And, I always have to make people understand that He was just more than the carpenter of Nazareth. He was the Creator God who knew the end from the beginning. He was the God of all power, He was the same most High God that Nebuchadnezzar came to recognize, but now as He has come in the form of the flesh, this same God speaks with that same authority that only God can have. Now look what Jesus said in verse 19.

John 3:19

“And this is the condemnation, (this is why the human race is already condemned) that light is come into the world, (and even with the Light on the planet, walking there on the dusty roads of Israel) and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

Is it stupid really? Like I’ve already said, there’s nothing more miserable than trying walk in pitch darkness. You stumble around, you don’t know where you’re going, and you don’t know what’s ahead of you, it’s just not a very happy experience to walk in total darkness. And yet mankind is stupid enough to rather walk in spiritual darkness, as to step into the Light.

Way back in one our earlier lessons, I used the example that I’m a rancher, and I’m down here in the mountains of Southeastern Oklahoma, and I have an abundance of rocks. Every once in a while on a hot summer day, I’ll just flip over one of those rocks to see what’s under it. It might be a snake, or spider, you never know what to expect. But you know what I’ve always noticed? When you turn that rock over on a real bright sunny Oklahoma day, those little creatures scurry for their little tunnels to get away from that light. They are accustomed to their darkness, and that’s what they prefer. Well that is a good example that mankind also is. Just as soon as the Light of the Word of God hits them, they scatter like a covey of quail, because they don’t want the Light, they love their darkness.

“Leave me alone” they say, “I’m happy in my miserable state,” and that’s what they are, they’re miserable. My goodness, all you have to do is read the newspaper. Now I know it’s not the vast majority, but it’s too large a percentage that is in total misery. Most of the time they don’t even know it.

I don’t know whether I want to tell this or not because I love this state, and don’t want to bring a bad reflection on this state. But the other day in my “Daily Oklahoman” I happened to be going through the legal section, and there was a list of names in small print at least a foot long, of the divorces that had been filed that week in just one city. I look at that and think, “Look at all those couples that are going through the trauma of divorce.” I’ve visited with enough people from coast to coast that I’ve never yet talked to anybody that said divorce was a pleasant experience. But rather it’s a traumatic experience, and yet these multitudes are going through all of this because most are walking in darkness, and know not what it is to walk in the Light, and consequently they don’t even realize the source of so much of their unhappiness, and misery. Now coming back to the text in John chapter 3 let’s complete the thought.

John 3:19b-20

“…and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

That’s why they hate the Light. If they step into that Light then they suddenly see themselves as God sees them, and they don’t like that. So immediately they slip back into the darkness, just like my bugs under the rock. Now verse 21.

John 3:21

“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest,…”

The ones that do come to the light are willing to let their deeds be seen, because the Light is now dealing with them. And remember that the Light of Scripture, the Lord Jesus Himself, does not deal with a person who wants salvation in His wrath and judgment, but instead He deals with the sinner in Grace and mercy, and compassion, and love. And he says, “You’re the one I’m looking for. I’ve loved you, I do love you, and I want you for myself,” and all we have to do is step into the Light and we understand all that..

John 3:21

“But he that doeth the truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, (that they can be seen for what they really are) that they are wrought in God.”

Now of course the deeds that promoted from God Himself would be the good deeds as a result of our stepping into the Light! And a little further in John the Lord tells us, “I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!” Now back to Ephesians for a quick wrap up of what we’ve been saying for last several minutes is in verse 13.

Ephesians 5:13

“But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.”

So the whole secret for our Christian experience is that we rest on the knowledge that comes for the Light. And the Light of the world is Christ!

452: Ephesians 4:25 - 5:6 - Part 2

452: Ephesians 4:25 – 5:6 – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 38


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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 38

Ephesians 4:25–5:6

Now at this time I would like to commend our television audience, because I really thought that I would have a hard time keeping interest in these Church letters, because everybody likes prophecy today. But we’re getting so many such good comments on these lessons in Galatians and Ephesians and so forth, and I’m so glad to see so much interest in Paul’s teachings. Now let’s come back to where we left off in the last lesson, and that would be verse 2 of Ephesians chapter 5, but again let’s begin with verse 1.

Ephesians 5:1-2

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; (it’s just like a child who loves his parents, and the parent love his children, and this should be the relationship) 2. And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.” (or aroma)

Such as an incense or maybe a perfume or that which would come from flowers. That was what His offering and sacrifice was to God in reality. Even though the cross was a horrible place to look at physically, and the suffering that He went though, but you see the end result was the salvation of countless numbers of sinful people. It won’t be as many souls I guess as we would like to think, but nevertheless that work of the cross is having it’s fruition in the salvation of multitudes throughout the last 2000 years. So it becomes then a sweet aroma to God because of what Christ has done. Now you know I always like to use as many Scriptures as I can, so let’s go on over to the Book of Philippians chapter 2. And this passage fits so perfectly as we walk as dear children, then naturally it has to be a mental thing, as everything we do starts in the mind. So now Paul instructs us to how this all has to work.

Philippians 2:5-6

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (do you see how close that brings unto Him? I mean we get to the place that we think as He thinks. Now speaking of Christ)6. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:”

Now that sounds likes a play on words of some sort, but what it really meant was, that Christ did not feel or think that He was robbing something from the Godhead because He was God! Now verse 7.

Philippians 2:7

“But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, (or bond slave) and was made in the likeness of men;”

Now you remember a few months back when we were studying in the unsearchable riches of Christ? Remember I tried to get people to think in these terms, but it’s beyond human comprehension to think that the Eternal, Sovereign, Creator of the universe lowered Himself to such a place that He went the way of the cross. It’s beyond thinking, but we can only take it by faith.

Philippians 2:8

“And being found in fashion as a man, (Christ had all the attributes of a man although He was still God) he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Christ humbled Himself and permitted the Romans and Jews do what they did. Oh goodness, have you ever stopped to think that as they were laying him on that wooden cross, He could have zapped the whole caboodle of them, couldn’t He? Then there wouldn’t be anything left except He Himself, but He didn’t. Why? Love! Love kept Him on the cross, and so He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death on that cross.

You know the Romans crucified Jews by the thousands. I read one time, that there were 2000 Jews hanging on crosses along one of the Roman roads all at one time, so it wasn’t just the death by crucifixion that made it so extraordinary, but that in His death, He took upon Himself all the sin of humanity. That’s what makes his death so unique as Paul speaks of it here, “even the death of the cross.” It wasn’t the matter of fact that He was crucified, as bad as that was, but that all the sins of the whole human race from Adam until the last person that will be zapped at the end of the Kingdom Age. All their sins were laid on Christ!

Now you see that could have never even been a thought in our mind had He been anything less than the Creator God. If He’d been anything less than the all powerful, Sovereign God, He could have never taken all the sins of the world on Himself, but He did, and we have to take that by faith. If Christ didn’t do that, then we might as well fold this book up and go home, but He did, and we can believe it. Now let’s come back to Ephesians chapter 5 again.

So we’re to walk as a result of that. Since He has paid the sin debt, and He has now declared us “a child of God,” not by anything we have done, but rather what He has done. Now there’s a lot of Churchy things that a person can do after salvation such as joining the local Church, being baptized, and so forth, and I’m not against any of that, but there are multitudes that are doing that for their salvation, and are ignoring this finished work of the cross, and believing in it for their eternal destination. Do you think God’s pleased when people ignore the work of the cross? Heavens no He’s not pleased. When He’s done everything that needs to be done, and then people get the idea that if I just join the Church, then I’ll make it? Man I’ve got to be blunt, they’re not going to make it. I don’t care what Church it is, whether it’s mine, or yours, or anybody else’s. But rather we have to come back and recognize that it was that death of the cross that made it possible for God to make us His dear children. And consequently since He loved us first, that love is to be returned, and we are to walk the walk that He wants us to walk. And then as Paul does so often, shows us the other side of the coin.

Ephesians 5:3

“But fornication, (that is sexual immorality in all it’s rankest form) and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you as becometh saints;”

Now Paul doesn’t go through all the long list like he did in Ephesians chapter 2 or Galatians chapter 4, or Romans chapter 3. Oh it’s a horrible list, but he does name some of the key ones, and among them is covetousness. Now that reminds me of Romans chapter 7, so let’s look at it for a moment. A lot of people have problems with this chapter in Romans because they can’t quite figure out what Paul’s talking about. Whether he’s talking about a lost person, or about a believer who has all these problems, but the one thing I want you to see here is here in verse 7.

Romans 7:7

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? (is the law in itself evil?) God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, (or my old Adamic nature, which is really what sin is. He said I wouldn’t have ever known about my old Adam) but by the law: for I had not known lust, (or desire) except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”

Now over the years I’ve always taught that you can hardly commit a single sin against God without coveting first? That’s why Paul will constantly refers to coveting, because it is the bench mark for everything else. Now it’s the same way back here in the Book of Ephesians.

Ephesians 5:3

“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, (desires that are not good) Let it not be once named among you as becometh saints;”

Then Paul goes on and lists some more of these terrible sins. Oh my as we look at those listed we can see the bag is full isn’t it?

Ephesians 5:4

“Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: (or normal) but rather (use your breath to) giving of thanks.”

Now I’ve had people come to me with this verse and say, “You mean it’s not right for us to tell a joke, and have a good laugh?” No that’s not what that verse means. Man, nobody appreciates a good laugh any more than I do. There’s nothing wrong with a good laugh, it’s healthy for you. My goodness David had all kinds of opportunity to rejoice, and Paul says in Philippians to rejoice, we don’t have to walk around with a long face. We don’t have to walk around like death has just been warmed over on us. But when it comes to foolishness, and the filthy thinking of the world, then, no, we’re not to have it because it just doesn’t fit.

But rather we are to use our breath and tongue to give thanks. Let’s look at that for a moment in chapter 4 of the Book of Philippians. This is one of the best two verses on prayer in the whole Bible. When people today call or write about prayer this is the first place that I take them. These are absolutely the best verses on prayer.

Philippians 4:6a

“Be careful (or worry) for nothing;…”

You’ve seen these little wall plaques that say, “why worry when you can pray.” Well there’s more to that than meets the eye. We’re not supposed to worry. Now we can be concerned. I think everyone of us have concerns, and we have that right to have those concerns, but we’re not to fret and worry.

Philippians 4:6b

“… but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving…”

It doesn’t do you any good to petition God if you forget to thank Him for it in advance as you pray.. Thanking God is the criteria, that’s the modus operandi for prayer. Make it with thanksgiving.

Philippians 4:6b

“…let your requests be made known unto God….”

He isn’t limiting your request. It can be anything as long as it’s in Godly reason of course, but let your requests be made known unto God. Here we can come, and ask with thanksgiving, but God may say, No! He may say, no not right now, maybe later. He may say, Yes. But regardless how He answers in verse 6, you’ve already got the answer in verse 7. We’ve got the answer to our prayers here in verse 7, and what is it?

Philippines 4:7

“And the peace of God, (no matter how God answers our request) which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Do you see why we don’t have to worry about anything? It’s because we have that peace of God, and that’s what keeps us. I know that’s beyond human understanding. I know we’re all human and we do worry and fret, and get overly concerned, and yet I think most of us have to admit that through all of our tight spots, we came through it with God’s help. Now that’s where we have it over on the world. God never promises us that we’re going to go through life without problems. We’re going to have just as many problems as many in the world around us, but what’s the difference? We have God with us in our problems, we have Him to take us through and we can rest assure in that.

Another Scripture comes to mind in Psalms chapter 37. Now this is from David even under the Law, but I can still go back and use it in application, and it’s a beautiful couple of verses. This passage fits right along this same line of thinking. The peace that passeth all understanding will keep our heart and minds through Christ Jesus. Now let’s look what David writes, and let’s start with verse 5. My what a promise.

Psalms 37:5

“Commit thy way unto the LORD trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass”

Maybe not in our timing, but in His. Isn’t that a promise? My I’ve gone through trying times myself, and I just about wear that verse out. But do you know what it means to commit something? It means you take it to God and leave it with Him. I think I’ve given this example before. Regardless what you think of the Post Office, I think most of you just go and drop your letter in the mail slot. Do you go home and for the next week fret and worry whether it got to it’s destination or not? No. Because as soon as you dropped that letter, what did you do? You committed it to the Postal Service to take care of it. You don’t go home and lose sleep over worrying if the letter got there. Because you’re assuming that it will. You committed it, and you let it go at that. Now this is what verse 5 means.

Psalms 37:5

“Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”

When you have a need, a problem, or concern, you simply commit it to the Lord. You take it to Him, and you leave it there, you don’t hang on to it. If you hang onto that letter, it never will get down into the mail, because you’ve still got it. But if you let it go then it’s committed. The other verse I like here in this chapter is verse 7.

Psalms 37:7a

“Rest in the LORD,…”

Do you know what it means to rest? It means to relax. Turn those concerns over to Him, don’t hang on to your problems. But rather “Rest in the Lord.”

Psalms 37:7b

“…and wait patiently for him:

See, we’re in a society of instant gratification. Give it to me now Lord, I’m in a hurry! No we have to learn to “wait patiently for him.”

Psalms 37:7b

“…fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.”

Boy we see that every day don’t we? We look at the young ungodly world around us, and all their prosperity, and wealth, and wonder, “Why?” Don’t worry about that, because those are things that are in God’s hand. But our responsibility is to commit our way unto the Lord, trust in Him and let Him bring it to pass in His own time. Some times it takes a lot longer than we think. It may take years, but God will do it in His own time. Now back to Ephesians chapter 5 for a few moments. Now verse 5, and again Paul comes back to the opposite side of the coin. Now in the next verse I can’t think that professing Christian would do this kind of a lifestyle, but if so then a professing Christian better read some of these things. Remember we’re living in a society any more where these things are almost a norm.

Ephesians 5:5

“For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”

Now that’s plain language isn’t it? How can people say, “Well don’t you think the Grace of God will be sufficient?” No not in this case. My Bible says, “They will not be in the Kingdom of Christ! In fact turn on over to the Book of Colossians chapter 1, verse 12 and 13. Now these are all the same words that Paul is using throughout his letters.

Colossians 1:12-13

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (or prepared us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13. Who (the Father) hath delivered us from the power of darkness, (where all these things take place constantly) and hath (already) translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:”

Now come back and compare that with Ephesians chapter 5.

Ephesians 5:5

“For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”

There is no way they can, because the Scripture says they can’t. I don’t care how they shake it out, they will not be there. Now then verse 6.

Ephesians 5:6

“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”

Now I’m not going to have enough time for this verse, I can see that already, but remember God is not pouring out His wrath today, the whole world is under His Grace, but His wrath is coming. His wrath is coming and it is sure! For a moment let’s turn to II Timothy chapter 2, and we’ll read verse 16 and 23 both. Now here again within a matter of a few pages in your New Testament you’ve got three times where we are to look out for deceitful, false teachings. And this false teaching is abounding. My goodness like I told my folks in Indiana the other day, “You ought to hear some of our phone calls on Monday morning after they’ve been to Church the day before. It’s ridiculous what teachings are going on.”

II Timothy 2:16a

“But shun (turn your back on) profane and vain babblings:…”

When I see the word babbling, do you remember back in the book of Acts when Paul came down to Athens and the big intellectual philosophers called what he had said- what? Babbling! Let’s hear what this old babbler has to say. But you know a few years ago Iris and I were on Mars hill, and you know I couldn’t help but smile, inwardly and well as outwardly. Here on that this big stone on the way up to Mars Hills is this beautiful bronze plaque. Not to Socrates, nor to Plato or Homer, but to the apostle Paul. So all the babblers have long been forgotten, but the Greek government or whoever did it put a huge plaque up to honor the apostle Paul. So Paul wasn’t the babbler, but rather they were. Well anyway we’re to shun profane and vain babblings.

II Timothy 2:16

“But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”

It’s not going to bring you into more godliness. Now skip all the verses in between and now come down to verse 23. This verse is along that same line of thinking.

II Timothy 2:23

“But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.”

In other words don’t ask foolish questions over and over. I’ve told people umpteen times when they have a question, not to ask me who’s the third son of the second wife of King so and so back in the Old Testament. Because to me that is vain. There’s no need to get all hung up on some of these little details that are way back there in the Old Testament, they have nothing to do with us today, and yet some people can get so hung up on these things, when actually all they need to do is get down and see what Paul really teaches.