451: Ephesians 4:25 - 5:6

451: Ephesians 4:25 – 5:6 – Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 38

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 38

Ephesians 4:25–5:6

Now I like to remind everyone not to go by what I say, but learn to search the Scriptures and really see what they say. And I’m sure that you’ll find as I have that a lot of the time it doesn’t say what we think it says, or think it should say. You don’t have to be highly educated to understand the Scriptures. If you can read, then you’ve got all the education you need to comprehend this Book, because the Holy Spirit then becomes our tutor. The Holy Spirit can certainly show us things that no professor could ever hope to do. Now let’s come back to Ephesians chapter 4, we have a few more verses left in this chapter. I think we’re to start at verse 31.

Ephesians 4:31

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”

Now you see those are all ear marks of the unregenerate individual, and Paul is always making that comparison, not that you and I as believers will be perfect, and occasionally slip into these things, but they’re not to become a daily lifestyle. I never like anyone to get the impression that just because we’re believers, we’re suddenly perfect or will ever be perfect in this life, as we can’t be. We’re still in the body of flesh, we’re still in a world that just saturates us with the things of the world, but the goal of every believer is to attain to these things as we grow in our Christian knowledge. So here again Paul makes that a comparison with what we came out of. Now just back up a few pages and you’ll see what I’m driving at in chapter 2.

Ephesians 2:1-2

“And you hath he quickened, (or made alive) who were (past tense) dead in trespasses and sins; 2. Wherein (in that old life) time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, (that’s Satan) the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:”

Do you see how Paul subtly brings in old Satan without actually blatantly using him all the time? Satan is the one whom the world marches to, and now verse 3.

Ephesians 2:3

“Among whom also we all (came out of that kind of background. Oh we may not have actively participated in it. We may have been raised in homes where these kind of things were not part of our lifestyle, but the potential was there.) had our conversation (or manner of living) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh, and of the mind: and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” Then Paul tells us in I Thessalonians 5:9 that we’ve not been appointed to wrath.

I Thessalonians 5:9

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”

So there’s that constant comparison between the believer and the unbeliever. In fact let’s look at another one in the Book of Galatians, chapter 5. When we become a believer and the Holy Spirit begins to influence our thinking, and our activities we put away former things.

Galatians 5:18

“But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”

Now remember that doesn’t make us lawless. The Spirit will do what the Law couldn’t do. Then Paul comes back and shows us the lifestyle of the lost person or unbeliever.

Galatians 5:19-21

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20. Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies. 21. Envying, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

We are to absolutely have no part of those things. Now coming back to Ephesians chapter 4 for a moment again. So Paul tells us that we are no longer to let any of these things to be a daily habit with us, but rather we are regenerated, our whole “want to” is changed, and the things that are appealing to the world, to us of course become almost anathema. Now verse 32

Ephesians 4:32

“And be ye kind one to another,…”

Now love begets love, doesn’t it? Love changes everything, because it’s that attitude of love that immediately puts into practice the keeping of the commandments, love will never let us covet, love will never let us steal, love will never let us commit adultery, because love changes everything. Well so does the new life. The new life changes everything, and so as a result of that we are to be kind one to another.

Ephesians 4:32b

“…tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath (already) forgiven you.”

God has already forgiven you, and what’s past is done! And when God finishes it, it’s done completely. Now let’s go back and see what it was like under the Law. Now here’s another graphic difference between Law and Grace. Look in Matthew chapter 6, and we’ll begin with verse 8. Now I maintain that this prayer is a complete misnomer. That should have never been called the Lord’s Prayer, but rather it’s the Disciples Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer is in John chapter 17, that’s what He prayed, but here He’s teaching the twelve disciples what to pray for the nation of Israel. So it’s the Disciples’ Prayer, remember that. Jesus is speaking here in His earthly ministry.

Matthew 6:8

“Be not ye therefore like unto them: (the unbelieving world all around them) for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”

Oh, that tells us something doesn’t it? Does that mean we don’t have to pray? No. The Lord went right on and told them how to pray. So even today people will call and write and say, “If God knows everything, if God is Sovereign and everything is going to be as He pre-planned it, then why pray?” Have you heard that? Yeah, you have. Well I tell people this, even in God’s foreknowledge of everything, do you know what He also factored into the formula? Your prayers. Now you chew on that for a week or two. So praying does enter into the whole sphere of things. Prayer does change things, not that we change God’s mind, but all of that is factored in to the fact that we are to pray. So here is how the disciples, under Law, were to pray.

Matthew 6:9-10a

“After this manner therefore pray ye: (and I think this part is appropriate for everyone. We still approach the Father, and we recognize and revere who He is) Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10. Thy kingdom come….”

You know we still think the Kingdom is coming, but not as they thought it was going to come. See, they thought it should have come while Christ was there, and that’s why He presented Himself as their Messiah, and King, and the Kingdom was also in the offer. But we look forward to the time when Christ will come and set up His Kingdom, and we’ll be ruling and reigning with Him over that 1000 year Kingdom rule, and it’s a lot closer than most think.

Matthew 6:11

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

This is also a reasonable request. But here in verse 12 is where there is such a graphic difference between Law and Grace. Always remember Jesus’ earthly teachings were all under Law. I stress that everywhere I go. Never once did Jesus tell the twelve disciples or any of His followers to stop Temple worship, did He? No! Did He ever tell any of those Jews that they were no longer under the Law? Quite the opposite was His answers. He told the rich young ruler who had asked how he might receive eternal life the following.

Matthew 19:16117

“And, behold one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17. And he (Jesus) said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”

Now that’s plain as day isn’t it? In another place he heals the lepers, and Jesus told them, “Go show yourself to the priest.” Why? Because that was the Jewish Law that they were under. One with leprosy could not go back into society until the priest at the temple had recognized the absence of their leprosy, and were pronounced free to enter back into society. So always remember everything that Jesus taught was in accordance with the Law of Moses. Never did He tell them that they weren’t under the Law, so just go ahead and forget it.

And that of course was where Paul got into trouble with the Jews of his day, when he started preaching to his congregations and writing in his letters that they were no longer under the Law, but rather under Grace. And that’s where I get into trouble also. Oh not real trouble, but people sure do raise their eyebrows, as they say, “Where do you get all this stuff?” It’s as plain as day, as here are some good examples. Under Law from the Lord’s own lips we read.

Matthew 6:12

“And forgive us our debts, (or sins or trespasses. When?) as we forgive our debtors.” Do you see how plain that is? In other words, according to the Law and Jesus’ teachings “before His followers could receive forgiveness, what did they have to do first?

Matthew 6:15

“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

They couldn’t expect forgiveness until they forgave. Now you see preachers and teachers are still trying to pull that into the Age of Grace, and say, “Well you can’t have salvation until you go to your neighbor that you’ve wronged and asked him to forgive you, and you forgive him.” But that’s not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that under Grace the following.

Ephesians 4:32

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, (why?) even as God for Christ’s sake hath (already) forgiven you.”

Now let me show you another one. Turn over to the right a few pages to the Book of Colossians chapter 2, verse 13. Now this is all Grace, and that doesn’t mean that we take advantage of it. It doesn’t mean that we completely throw all these other things to the wind, but here is where we must understand the difference between Law and Grace. Under Law there was no forgiveness until you forgave first. But now under Grace look what Paul says.

Colossians 2:13

“And you being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he (God up in verse 12) quickened (or made you alive) together with him having (past tensed) forgiven you all trespasses;”

Do you see how God has forgiven us first? Now as a result of this new found relationship with God, what does He expect us to do with people that we now need to forgive? Now you’d better forgive them, because if God forgave me, who am I to say, that I can’t forgive my neighbor. Do you see how logical again that is? Now there’s another one here in Colossians chapter 3, and it’s also verse 13. It’s the same kind of language we’ve been dealing with. Here in a matter of 3 or 4 pages in your New Testament you have the same premise, and when you’ve got something repeated 2 or 3 time in a chapter or two it’s there for emphasis.

Colossians 3:13

“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, (already) so also do ye.”

Christ has already forgiven you, it’s done! So if that be the case, then why in the world can’t you forgive your neighbor? God expects you to! God forgave you by Grace, and Faith + Nothing!

Sovereign Grace, that’s why God can forgive, and we looked at that a few lessons ago in Exodus chapter 33 God is Sovereign Grace, and I know that’s beyond human comprehension. God could have just as well zapped the nation of Israel, when they were down there at the golden calf incident with their nude dancing around that idol, and with all their immoral activity. Moses came down that mountain and hears all this music and dancing, and he was so distraught that he threw the Ten Commandants down and broke them, but you see, God is far more gracious than Moses ever hoped to be.

Oh yeah there were some Israelites that suffered as a result of that incident, but by and large, God didn’t destroy the nation, He could have, He had every right in the world, He’d already done so much for them. He brought them out of that paganism, brought them through the Red Sea, brought them down around Mount Sinai, His pillar of cloud by day, and fire by night, He provided all their needs, and then they turn around and as soon as old Moses is gone for a few days they have Aaron make the golden calf, and they begin all their horrific activity around it. Moses couldn’t handle it, but look what God says in verse 18 and 19. Now this is just shortly after this golden calf experience. And I guess we need to pick up the conversation in verse 17

Exodus 33:17-18

“And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. 18. And he (Moses) said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.”

That’s always human isn’t it? We’re never quite satisfied. It was enough for Moses to be in this place of privilege, but now he wants a little bit more. “Show me thy glory” he says. Now verse 19.

Exodus 33:19

“And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; (now here comes the Sovereign Grace of God, and if you don’t get anything else in our teachings today, remember this. This is God’s Sovereign Grace!) and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.”

Can anyone argue with Him? No way. Why? He’s Sovereign, He’s the Creator of the universe. I suppose way deep down Moses almost thought, “God why don’t you destroy them? They are just bent on sinning, they’re worthless, I can’t do anything with them.” I think Moses kind of expected God to simply annihilate that whole nation one of these times. But God had to show Moses, “Listen Moses, you don’t know my heart of Grace! You don’t understand that I Am Sovereign, and I will show Grace and mercy to whom I please!

It’s the same way today. My goodness we can think of people who have been awful. They’ve been enemies of society, but will God save them? Sure He will in a moment. Why? Because of His Sovereign Grace. Now if it were left up to us we’d probably say, “Hey that person isn’t deserving of God’s Grace, he deserves death, he deserves to be wiped off the scene.” But God says, and thinks differently. God says, “I died for that person.” And He did. God died for that person just as much as He did for you and me, and God’s Sovereign Grace can reach down and save that individual just as He saved us, so always remember that. Now back to Ephesians again. Because of the Grace of God, Paul can now write, “That we can forgive our neighbor and family members, and we should do this because God has already forgiven us.” So the lesson is if God forgave you, then why can’t you also forgive. Always remember that’s the vast chasm between Law and Grace.” Now the next verse in our study.

Ephesians 5:1

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;”

Now I love that term in Scripture, and I don’t know why. I have now for quite a few years. There’s another one I love even back in I John and it reads much the same way.

I John 2:1a

“My little children,…”

Those words are beautiful. Now John at this time was up in years no doubt, and it’s the same John that was one of the twelve, and he’s writing to those believers of his time, and says, “My little children.” Now do you know what I call that? That’s a statement of endearment, and we all appreciate it I think. You’re not normal if you don’t appreciate the love of family and friends and so forth.

I John 2:1a

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not….” Can’t you almost feel the heart of the old apostle? He didn’t want his believers to fall into sin and paganism. Then John goes on to say.

I John 2:1b

“…And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:”

But the point I wanted you to see is the same terminology that Paul uses, “as dear children” Now back to Ephesians chapter 5. We are as believers, members of the family of God, and as children we are to walk differently.

Ephesians 5:2a

“And walk in love,…”

Remember a lesson or two back I told you as a young person growing up one of the things that motivated me as much as anything to behave myself was my love for my dad. I mean we were together from the time I was able to walk until almost the day he died, as we worked side by side his whole life time, and I loved him. And yet I regret it, but we were from that kind of a German background where we didn’t show that love openly. Even to this day I’m not a hugger, because I didn’t grow up in that kind of a family. We never touched or kissed each other, but my goodness, dad and I loved each other and I wouldn’t do anything that would have hurt him.

All right, now this is to be our attitude toward the Lord. He has loved us so much that He suffered and died for us, and we’re to love Him in return with all our being. So Paul says, “Here’s your motivation as dear children, walk in love.” Now remember back in chapter 2, verse 2 Paul uses the same terminology, only then we were in the world before salvation.

Ephesians 2:1b-2a

“…who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world…” But now as believers we’re to walk according to the leading of the Spirit of God.

450: The Walk Of The Believer - Part 2

450: The Walk Of The Believer – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 38

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 38

The Walk of the Believer – Part 2

Now let’s just pick right up where we left off in the last lesson, and that would be in Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 28. And verse 28 is going to send us right back to the Old Testament.

Ephesians 4:28a

“Let him that stole steal no more:…”

Well where do you get that? Exodus chapter 20, and let’s go back and look at it. That of course is the chapter of the Ten Commandments, and right there in verse 15 it says it as plain as day. I know you all know this but I want you to see it in Scripture.

Exodus 20:15

“Thou shalt not steal.”

In other words, you have to respect the other persons property, so no one has the right to just simply abscond it and take off with it. It is one of the basic commandments of human society. Now again I always have to remind people that, yes the moral law is still the best system for society that you can find. In fact when we were studying in the Book of Exodus a few years ago, I think that I made the point that if society could keep the commandments we could send our legislature home. We could close up the court houses, we could just simply throw away the code books, because the Ten Commandments covers every aspect of society, and if society could keep them it would be all we’d need. But of course human nature being what it is, it takes all the above to even keep a semblance of sanity in our society today. Now let’s look at another one in Romans chapter 13, and here Paul says basically the same thing. Even though we as believers are not under Law, but rather under Grace, but yet these are fundamental even for a believer.

Romans 13:8b-9a

“…for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. (because under Grace, love is the power that makes us operate) 9. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shall not steal,”

Now that’s as plain as day. We realize that Paul writes to the believer, and we don’t expect the unbelieving world to not steal, because they’re going to do it one way or another. Whether it’s stealing from their boss’s time table, or cheating on their taxes, or any other way, people are bent to stealing, it’s part of the old nature. You can tell then from these words to Paul’s converts that they too had come out of society that thought nothing of stealing.

Ephesians 4:28

“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.”

Now what’s the lesson? If those who have would give to those who need, they wouldn’t have to steal. I guess nothing irritates me more than when I read of some poor fellow that is poverty stricken, and he is caught sealing little or nothing, and yet he ends us in the state penitentiary. And that does happen. Now I think that’s awful, and I’m all for punishment, but I’m also for fair punishment. And when a poor person is caught stealing just to supply his daily needs, to put him away is ridiculous. But Paul is teaching us here for the community that has more than enough, they should be willing to give some to those who are in need.

You know as I read, especially the Jerusalem Post and some of these other periodicals, as much as I may disagree with Judaism, and much of the Jewish Old Testament religion, I always have to give the Jewish people credit for one thing in particular. You know what they are? They are tremendous philanthropists. They’ll give by the millions if they’ve got it, and they don’t do that with the same motivation that we give. But there’s something about their makeup that if they have it they give it. Well Paul is making that very point for us as believers, that if we have it, we should be willing to share it with those who need it, and keep them from being prompted to steal in order to survive. Now verse 29 I suppose is a little harder to define, but we’re going to keep moving along.

Ephesians 4:29a

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth,…’

Can you tell the world that? Why they’d laugh at you because for most of them that’s the only way they can talk. But for the believer this is not to be part and parcel of our conversation. We are not to have corrupt language as part of our daily experience. So Paul says, “let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth.”

Ephesians 4:29b

“…but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

Now all of this as we’ve been coming down through these verse, is to the believer to help us to be a vehicle to approach lost people. Always remember no believer is ever going to get to first base with an unbeliever if he’s got foul language, it just won’t fly, as even the unbeliever knows that much. So here again Paul is admonishing us as believers to watch our anger, not to steal, and to recognize the wiles of Satan, and to be a giver as the Lord has prospered us. See all this is just common sense. I’ve always said that Christianity is so logical in the everyday Christian life as Paul teaches it, and I guess that is why I enjoy teaching it so much. So we’re to minister Grace to the hearers, and now let’s move on to verse 30.

Ephesians 4:30

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

Now I imagine that most of you know this, but maybe not. Do you know that the Bible never speaks of the Holy Spirit getting angry? There is no wrath of the Holy Spirit! There is no anger referred to by the Holy Spirit! This is the harshest word you can find in all of Scripture with regard to the response of the Holy Spirit, is to grieve Him. He will not get angry evidently. Now that’s something to think about, so when we go contrary to the Spirit’s leading, He’s not going to pour out His wrath on us for our disobedience, but rather He’s grieved, He’s hurt.

In fact I just told one of my little grandsons the other day, that while growing up I had such a love for my own dad that I wouldn’t do anything that would hurt him or grieve him. And I think that kept me out of a lot of places that if I’d have gone there I knew that this is where he wouldn’t want me to be, and I wouldn’t grieve my dad. Well you see this also what I told my little grandson, If you do something that will hurt your dad, then that same thing will also hurt me. So if you take that same analogy into our Spiritual life, the Holy Spirit doesn’t want to be hurt, and we’re not to grieve Him.

Now when it comes to Paul’s teaching of the Holy Spirit, there’s so many places I could take you I hardly know where to begin. But I think maybe I’ll go back to I Corinthians chapter 3. And as you remember when we taught the Book of Romans, for the first seven chapters, Paul hardly ever mentioned the Holy Spirit. Then all of a sudden from chapter 8 to the end of Romans he uses the Holy Spirit over and over. Then coming into his next letter of I Corinthians chapter 3, and verse 16 we find the following.

I Corinthians 3:16

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

Now it’s that same Spirit that he admonishes us in Ephesians that we’re not to grieve. In other words we should know without a shadow of doubt what is pleasing to the Spirit, and that is what we’re supposed to be prone to do, that which is pleasing to Him. Come on over to I Corinthians chapter 6, and we have another reference from the pen of the apostle regarding the indwelling Holy Spirit.

I Corinthians 6:19a

“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God,…”

The Holy Spirit was given the moment we believed the Gospel, and then Paul concludes that our body does not belong to us now, but rather Christ.

I Corinthians 6:19b

“…and ye are not your own?” Well Peter uses the same kind of language with regard to the blood of Christ.

I Peter 1:18a-19a

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold,…19. But with the precious blood of Christ,…”

So we’re reminded that since we’ve been bought with the blood of Christ, we are to respond by glorying God in our body. Now on the way back to Ephesians chapter 4, you can stop in chapter 1, and these references hopefully all fit together, that this is the same Spirit we are to be careful not to grieve. And that happens only when we go contrary to the revealed Word of God. We start out by speaking of Christ in verse 12.

Ephesians 1:13

“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom (speaking of Christ) also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.”

See how the Holy Spirit functions in the life of the believer? He indwells us, He motivates us, He directs us, He keeps us, and now another verse just comes to mind in the Book of Romans chapter 7.

Romans 7:5

“For when we were in the flesh, (before salvation) the motions (or the acts) of sins, which were by the law, (all the things that the Law condemned, the lost person activity) did work in our members (our physical body) to bring forth fruit unto death.

Now just hold that thought for a moment and skip across the page to Romans 6:23. These are all statements that are there to have an impact whether we’re lost or saved, as to how God and the Spirit works. Remember what Paul just said. “The things of the flesh, works, will bring forth their fruit unto death.” Paul puts it just a little different in verse 23.

Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Now what a comparison in one verse. Lost people work, and work, and work their whole life time to earn what? Eternal death! We as believers on the other hand under Grace, we just sit there with open hands and what do we take free for nothing? Eternal Life! Isn’t that amazing? The lost person is working his head off just to go to a devil’s hell. And we as believers just stand here and take God’s eternal life as a free gift. That’s what it says. Everyone should be able to understand plain language. What are wages? That’s what you get for working. Isn’t that right?

Romans 3:23a

“For the wages of sin is death;…” Now I put it in plainer language, I know I do. You work yourself to death, eternal death.

Romans 3:23b

“…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Now how much do you work for a gift? None! I’m not use to getting gifts, but when they come it’s usually a total surprise. Well that’s the way it’s supposed to be. It’s not anything that you’ve earn, or can say, “I’ve got that coming to me.” So that’s what eternal life is. Now let’s finish our thoughts in chapter 7. “So the work of sinful life brings forth fruit to death.” Now for the believer look at verse 6, and it’s a whole different world.

Romans 7:6

“But now we are delivered from the law, (or thou shalt, and thou shalt not) that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”

A lot of people just can’t understand when I teach, “You’re not under Law, but rather you’re under Grace!” Now to be under Grace doesn’t mean that we’re “Lawless.” It means we’re not under the heavy hand of the Law, but we’re still responsible to God through the working of the Holy Spirit to basically do the same thing that the Law demands. The Holy Spirit will never turn around and say, “Ok you’re a believer now, and under Grace, you can steal if you want to. You can go ahead and covet if you want to.” No way, that wouldn’t even be sensible would it?

But now instead of having the Law and all of it’s pressures to do and not to do, the Holy Spirit guides us just like a young mother teaching her little one to walk. Just simply guiding that young one and letting him take that next step, well that the same way the Holy Spirit works in the life of the believer. So looking at verse 6 again.

Romans 7:6b

“…that we should serve in newness of spirit, (through the leading and directing of the power of the Holy Spirit) and not in the oldness of the letter.” (which was the Law). And oh, what a difference that makes. Now back to Ephesians but let’s stop again in chapter 1. We were there a while ago, but I got side tracked, and back in verse 13.

Ephesians 1:13a

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

I had a letter again the other day that asked, “Do I have to work and work and work, and pray and pray and pray through to receive the Holy Spirit?” I can’t find that in my Bible, because it’s not in here. You don’t do anything to receive the Holy Spirit except believe the Gospel. That’s one of the automatic fringe benefits, as soon as you believe the Gospel the Holy Spirit comes in automatically. And that’s what Paul is saying here. Do you see that?

Ephesians 1:13b

“…in whom also after that ye believed, (+ NOTHING) ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” And what is that Holy Spirit of promise? He’s God’s down payment.

Ephesians 1:14

“Which is the earnest of our inheritance until (there’s coming a time, month, day and year, where we’ll experience) the redemption of the purchased possession, (which is our body)unto the praise of his glory.”

Now remember our Soul and Spirit are already redeemed as soon as we believe. That’s a done deal! But the body is still in it’s old corrupt state, it’s still heading for death if the Lord doesn’t come in your life time. But remember it does die, and they lay it in the ground, yet it’s going to experience the day when it too will be redeemed when it’s resurrected. So this is what the Holy Spirit’s work is, to guarantee that even if we pass off the scene that God will one day resurrect this body, and as the Book of Philippians says shall change our vile body, that it may be like Christ’s glorious body.

Well the role of the Holy Spirit, I think is sometimes dangerously maligned, and sometimes taught falsely, and other times it’s neglected totally, and that’s just as bad. But rather we have to understand that the Holy Spirit has been part of our salvation, He’s indwelling us, and He is the one that reproves us, He is the One who takes the place of the Law. Now coming back to our text in Ephesians chapter 4, and looking at verse 30 again.

Ephesians 4:30

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Stop and think a moment, once we’re redeemed physically, and once we have that new body, well I’ll show you from Scripture, I should have taken you there a few moment ago when I was quoting it. This is a Bible study so let’s just search the Scriptures. .We use these verses because they are so descriptive of what we’re looking for.

Philippians 3:20-21a

“:For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: (at His coming, and when he does) 21. Who shall change our vile body, (this one we now have) that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body,…”

Now I think too many times people don’t really understand the impact of the transfiguration. Do you remember that great event up there on the Mount of Transfiguration when Peter, James, and John were up there with the Lord, when all of a sudden right before their eyes, the Lord was transfigured. In other words, He became glory, personified. Then here comes Moses and Elijah into the midst, and the amazing thing here is that Peter, James, and John didn’t have to ask the Lord who they were, because they knew.

Well what does all that tell us? Well it’s going to be same way when we get to glory, everybody we see regardless when they lived, we’re going to know them. But the thing I wanted you to see here, is how that the Lord Himself was transfigured with all of His glory for just that moment of time so we can look through a little window of what it’ll be like to be fashioned like His glorious body. People will ask sometimes, “Will we wear clothes in eternity? Who cares, we’re going to be covered with that kind of glory, and if clothes are part of the deal that’s fine, but I do know we’re going to be fashioned like unto His glorious body.

449: The Walk Of The Believer – Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 38

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 38

The Walk of the Believer

We’re finding that by the work of the Holy Spirit we’re getting people into the Book, and that’s one our main purposes. It’s so thrilling when people write or call and say that “for the first time they are studying their Bible and are understanding it.” And of course the secret to accomplish that is to separate what Paul has shared with us concerning the Body of Christ. From Genesis chapter 12 to the end of Revelations you have basically God dealing with the nation of Israel. However right in the middle of the New Testament there are the Books written by Paul to us Gentiles in this day of Grace. So when you discover that secret, then the Bible will come alive, and you’ll be able to understand what is required for eternal life, and how to live the Christian life after salvation!

Now for starters today let’s begin where we left off in the last lesson and that would be Ephesians chapter 4, and verse 25. In the verses we have just studied, Paul has reminded us that as a result of our salvation, by believing the Gospel as found in I Corinthians 15:1-4, we have a new creation living within us which overcomes that old sin nature. When that happens then the new nature and the old nature are always battling each other, and it behooves us to feed the new nature with the things of the Spirit, because the old nature feeds on the things of the flesh.

We had that illustration as a beautiful picture when Noah first let the raven out of the ark, and it didn’t come back because it could feed on the old creation. But when Noah let the dove out, which is a picture of new life, the spirit life, the dove couldn’t feed on the old creation, and so it came back to the ark. Then I believe it was seven days later he let the dove out again, and it came back with an olive leaf which showed new life. Well it’s the same way today, once we become a believer we don’t feed on the old life we just came out of, but rather we feed on the things of the Spirit that enhance the new life.

Now I’ve been debating all the way up Tulsa whether I should do this or not, but I think in light of the fact that we have so many people constantly calling and writing, “Well what about all this trouble in Kosovo with regard to prophecy?” And the first thing I tell them is that we are not living in the time of prophecy being fulfilled, because that won’t happen until the last 7 years of Tribulation begins. But we are living in days where the end times are certainly coming to pass, not in fulfillment of prophecy, but to set the stage for prophecy which I feel will begin when the anti-Christ signs that 7 year treaty in the Middle East. Always remember that my definition of prophecy is when things are foretold within a time frame. So the Church Age is not in a time frame, therefore no body knows when it will end, so consequently it’s not an area of true prophecy. But certainly things are happening that are setting the stage for when prophecy will kick in, and as I said, that begins when the anti-Christ signs his 7 year treaty.

I just read a couple of interesting things about the European situation. A gentlemen sent me an article from the news magazine call “Europe” which is strictly a magazine to report the events in Europe, and out of that I picked up something that I had totally missed, and if I missed it I feel a lot of other people also missed it. Beginning in the late 50’s and through the 60’s and 70’s, we had those original 10 nations of western Europe which for the longest time, the world referred to as the “Ten,” then later on they became the common market, and European union, but the connotation was that it was the “Ten.”

So when I taught end time events of prophecy in this Through the Bible study a few years back I naturally referred to the “Ten” then as what I thought was the revived Roman Empire. It fits so beautifully with Daniel and Revelation that I was very comfortable with that, and then all of a sudden the “Ten” expanded to eleven and twelve, thirteen, and fourteen. I just explained to my classes, well maybe it will go on up to fifteen, sixteen, or seventeen, but by the time the anti-Christ is ready appear on the scene, it’ll drop back to“Ten.”

Well now I learn from this magazine “Europe” that there are two separate organizations in western Europe. One of them is the original “Ten.” And for our television audience, I’ll put it on the board, the “Ten” ever since the 60’s is equal to the western European union, it is now referred to now as the W.E.U., but it’s still the “Ten.” But the organization we’ve been hearing the most about lately is the European union without the Western on it. But within that European Union are the original “Ten,” but it’s now up to nineteen nations. So I’m still on solid ground because the “Ten” are still intact, they are a separate organization from these nineteen nations, and so they can still be the revived Roman empire out of which the anti-Christ will come.

Well when we left Indiana last Sunday, somebody had given me the Sunday edition of the New York Times, and one of the front page articles was that the “Ten” was frantically getting their own military established so that the next time something comes up they won’t have to depend on the American military for their power. As I read that I couldn’t believe my eyes. So they have already set a time table to have a real Czar, a real chairman of the board who by sometime in the year 2000 will be in total control of their military, their security, and they hope to have as strong a military force as we now have with the United States involved as well. They want to be able to do what we’ve done in consort, they want to be able to do it themselves. So that just tells me again that we’re getting so close to the time that out of that “Ten” nation complex which will be the real revived Roman empire, out of it will come then the anti-Christ.

So these are just little interesting items of tidbits and all I wanted to bring out of that is, Kosovo in itself, I don’t think, has a real implication on all this, but indirectly now, because of the Kosovo deal the western European union suddenly realized that they are inept militarily for such another fracas, so they’re going to have to really speed things up and get ready in case something else comes along and not have to depend on America. Always remember, there’s going to be three major areas of military power by the time we get to the Tribulation. That will be Western Europe, China, and Africa. I feel that Russia and the United States will somehow meet their demise and will no longer be a factor in the events of the Tribulation period.

Well that’s just something for you to chew on, but don’t worry about it, because as Church Age believers we won’t be here for any of the Tribulation. It’s so much more important to know what God wants us to know today, and how to live a full life. That’s another reason I spend so much time in Paul’s epistles, in which there is no prophecy, so we just continue to teach that which people need today. I’ll let the prophecy people take care of what’s going to happen after we’re gone. Now some of these things are appropriate because it tells us how close we are to the sudden coming of the anti-Christ, before which I feel we have to leave.

Now I suppose that takes care of half of this lesson, and so in the time we have left let’s pick up where we got to in the last lesson, and that would be in Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 25. Now I guess for a little quick review go all the way back to verse 12, where Paul has told us that God is leaving with the Church Age, three different kinds of men to carry on the work of the Body of Christ, and that was up there in verse 11 of this same chapter.

Ephesians 4″11b

“…and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;” Then the next verse told us the purpose for them being given.

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 I think I made the point when we taught those verses that there was no mention there concerning the lost. Was it that Paul wasn’t concerned about the lost? No, not at all. But when the Body of Christ is matured and edified they’re going to win the lost, and that’s the whole concept then of Paul’s teaching. If we can prepare the members of the Body of Christ, and make them skilled in the use of Scriptures, we’re going to accomplish more on a one on one basis than any huge evangelistic rally could ever hope to do. I’m also hoping that people will just simply talk to their loved ones, their people at work, their neighbors and be prepared to share the Scriptures one on one, because people are hungry. But they don’t want to be approached by somebody that doesn’t know what they’re talking about, and that’s understandable, I wouldn’t either. I wouldn’t want to waste my time with someone who was trying to tell me about something, when I know he didn’t know anything about that subject. But if somebody approaches me with whatever subject it is, and he’s skilled at it, hey, I’ll listen and I think you would also.

Well it’s the same way with this Book, we’ve got to be skilled, and be ready as Paul says in another place, to share these things with those who ask, “why we have such hope.” So all the way through these intervening verses then he is preparing us for this out reach to those who have never yet understood. Now coming back to our text in verse 24 & 25.

Ephesians 4:24

“And that ye put on the new man, (that new creation that happens the moment we’re saved) which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

And since we now as believers have that new nature, what’s the next word? “Wherefore…” That means we’re going to be different than the world around us. Like I said in the last lesson, not oddball different, not peculiar, where the world says, “Oh I wouldn’t want to be like them, they’re a bunch of kooks.” That’s not what God wants. But Paul’s converts, even in the midst of those idolatrous cities, weren’t something that made fools of themselves, but rather they were the kind of people that made such an impact on their pagan friends and relatives that this is the reason it turned the Roman Empire upside down. Now you know that would have never happened if those new believers would have acted so kooky and queer. But you see these believers knew what they believed, and what God had done for them, and of course that’s where we’re to be even today. Now verse 25. Because of what God has done in our lives we are to do the following.

Ephesians 4:25

“Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour, for we are members one of another.”

Now I had a bell rung when I read this verse, and said to myself, I’ve seen this before. As you know I spend quite a bit of time also in the Old Testament, and sure enough there is a verse in the Old Testament under Law that almost says the same thing. So even though we’re not under Law, yet many of the attributes of the Law are still applicable. Turn back with me to the Book of Zechariah chapter 8 and verse 16. And remember Zechariah is almost entirely prophecy, and yet as Zechariah wrote to the Jewish people, he says almost the same thing that Paul says to us.

Zechariah 8:16

“These are the things that ye shall do: Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour;…”

Isn’t that something? That’s under the Law granted, but now flip back to where we were in Ephesians and what does Paul say? Almost the same thing, and we’re not under Law, but Grace, but the same God. That’s what I always try to stress, when I say, we’re not under Law but Grace. Yes all the things that God hated in the lives of Israel, He still hates to day. God hasn’t changed His mind about these things, but we’re under a different set of circumstances. Now Paul the apostle of Grace can tell us the same thing, but it isn’t under the heavy hand of the Law, but rather it’s under the freedom of Grace.

Ephesians 4:25

“Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.”

And now then in everyday experiences especially in the household of faith we are constantly to be truthful with one another because after all we’re all in this together, we’re all in the same Body, and Building. Now verse 26.

Ephesians 4:26a

“Be ye angry, (that’s one of the human parts of our nature, and we’re going to get angry occasionally, but we don’t have to lose control of our anger. So the admonition is) to be angry, and sin not….”

Don’t let it become something of your nature that is uncontrollable. I personally don’t think that a believer can have uncontrollable temper tantrums. Now we can all get angry, but we certainly can and should control it. So if there’s something that basically wrong with a person, then I have to wonder if God had done a work of redemption. We have this certain amount of freedom that we can be upset by things, but not to the place that it become sinful. or that it has an effect on our family and loved ones, and co-workers. And for goodness sake, if you want to keep your health then don’t take it to bed with you.

Ephesians 4:26b

“…let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”

There’s nothing that will ruin your health quicker than to have these bugs literally churn in your stomach with anger. You can get mean ulcers for being upset often. So always remember it’s ok to be angry, but don’t let it control your life, and don’t go to bed angry. Now verse 27, and if we don’t finish it in this lesson, then we will in the next. And as you look at this verse you might say, “Well there’s nothing there.” But I tell you there’s a lot there. Se we’re to avoid lying and uncontrolled anger.

Ephesians 4:27

“Neither give place to the devil.”

In general terms how much print does Paul give to Satan? Very little. He’ll just make a statement about Satan here and there, and we’re going to look at a couple of them here in a bit. Turn with me to II Corinthians chapter 4, verse 3. Now these aren’t the only two instances, but this is the way it usually pops up. The reason I want to take time to do this is because we see so much lately of where the so called Christian community is being admonished to war against Satan. We have to fight against Satan, we have to do things against Satan, but Paul doesn’t teach that. Paul recognizes his power, but he doesn’t spend long verses at a time telling us how to fight a war against Satan.

Now we’ll see this a little bit in Ephesians chapter 6, but all he does is let’s us know that he’s there. Paul’s emphasis is not Satan, but rather is the Christ of glory. And when Christ rules our life, and when He’s in control, Satan can’t touch us, and we don’t have to worry all that much about fighting against Satan if we center on Christ and His work of the cross. And I think for this reason Paul doesn’t give a lot of ink to Satan.

II Corinthians 4:3-4

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4. In whom (the lost of this world) the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Now for goodness sakes who’s the god of this world? Well Satan is. See how subtle Paul puts this in here? He could have just came right out and said, “Satan had done it.” But he doesn’t, but rather he gives him another term, “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.” Now still in II Corinthians, turn over to chapter 11.

II Corinthians 11:13-14

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14. And no marvel; (don’t let this surprise you) for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

Do you see that? Oh he’s the god of this world back here in the earlier verses, and keeps people blind from the truth, but many times he blinds people with his light. And it’s a counterfeit light, and people are so gullible and will say, “Oh that must be the work of the Spirit.” But you see it isn’t. but rather it’s the work of the evil spirit, it’s the work of Satan the counterfeit, the impostor, the deceitful individual. So keep these things in mind, “for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” Now look at verse 15.

II Corinthians 11:15a

“Therefore (since Satan can do this, and we know he does) it is no great thing if his ministers also (human being that he’s using) be transformed as the ministers of righteousness;…”

That’s what they try to tell people that they’re the ministers of righteousness, but Paul tells us they’re emissaries of Satan. So what do we have to know? The truth from the false!And the only way we can do that is just keep our nose in the Book, and when we do that then the Holy Spirit will certainly do His part to be able to keep us discerning truth from error.

I pointed out in Indiana the other day that you always want to remember, and I don’t care what it is, if you’re aiming a rifle at a target, how far do you have to miss to miss everything. Just a little bit. I was a marksman in the military, I could hit that bull’s eye at 500 yards when I was young, but one thing I know for sure, that if you’re off just a little bit on the windage or anything else you’re going to miss the whole target.

Well it’s the same way with Scripture, these people can come in, and they can come close, but so far as the end result is concerned, they can totally drive people into a lost eternity with their false teachings. I’ve noticed this over the years, I’ve listened to them on television and on the radio, and at the time you think, “this old boy is right on.” And then after you listen for a little while, there’s about 5 or 10% error and he takes you clear off into left field. Well there’s only one way you can avoid that, and that is to just keep in the Word, and be able to discern.

448: Ephesians 4:12-24 - Part 2

448: Ephesians 4:12-24 – Part 2 – Lesson 1 Part 4 Book 38

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 38

Ephesians 4:12-24 – Part 2

Now as we teach we hope we don’t preach at you, but rather just give you an appetite to search the Scriptures and to study them. We know, according to our mail, that there are many that are doing just that. Let’s come back to where we left off in the last lesson, and I didn’t quite finish with verse 22 so let’s pick that verse up again.

Ephesians 4:22

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation (manner of living) the old man, (old Adam) which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts;”

We looked at that word corrupt in the last lesson, and found that it is that which is in complete opposition to God, and includes, violence, immorality, and dishonesty, and all the stuff that makes up the world of wickedness all around us. I think once in a while since the media and world around us is constantly ridiculing the fact that, God doesn’t always put up with men’s foolishness forever, and there is a day of judgment coming, I’m going to take you back, before we go any further, to Genesis 15. God has always promised that people would be judged all the way up through Scripture.

It goes without saying that when Israel, God’s covenant people, would go down the tube as we put it today, God would judge. Foreign nations come in and overrun them, or give them a king that would tax them to death. Sometimes they would be enslaved, and their young sons would be put into the armies and so forth. But when Israel would finally cry and cry, then of course God would bring them back out of it, bring them up to a high plain. They would be on the correct path for awhile and then down they would go again when they became disobedient. So God would not hesitate to judge that little nation when they needed to be judged.

In fact we find in the Book of Judges, a 400 year period of Israel’s history is nothing but a roller coaster ride. Up they’d go and down they’d go. They would no sooner get into a period of prosperity, and obedience to the Law and God, when they would become sensuous, and materialistic, and then down they’d go again. So you can see that God doesn’t always wink at man’s wickedness and put up with it. The first evidence of this is found in Genesis 15, where God is promising Abraham that his offspring, the nation of Israel, would one day be going down into Egypt into slavery and captivity.

Genesis 15:13a

“And he (God) said unto Abram, know of a surety (when God says it, you can bet on it) that thy seed (or offspring) shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs,…” Here God doesn’t name Egypt, but we know now from our side of the coin, that’s who he’s talking about.

Genesis 15:13b-16

“…and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14. And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: (and we know God did judge Egypt) and afterward shall they (the children of Israel) come out with great substance. 15. And thou (Abraham) shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.(Abraham lived to be 175) 16. But in the fourth generation they (the children of Israel who had been down in Egypt all these years) shall come hither again: (back to their promised land in Canaan. And why did God wait all those years to bring them back to Canaan) for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.”

In other words, God’s going to give those Canaanite tribes, at least a couple of hundred years to clean up their act, which was possible even for a pagan if he wanted to. But did they clean up their act? No, they kept going deeper and deeper into the gross immoralities, and the things that had plagued the human race. They had gone so far down that when Joshua was ready to bring the children of Israel into the Promise Land, from the east side of the Jordan, what did God instruct them to do? Kill every Canaanite in the land. Makes no difference whether it’s a new born infant or a person of many, many years, put them to death. Why would God say that? Because they were corrupt.

And if you put something good in with something corrupt, the corrupt doesn’t become good, but rather the good becomes corrupt! So God says to Caleb, “You’ve got to cleanse the land of them.” Well it was God’s judgment on their wickedness. So all the way up through their history there comes points of time periodically when God says, “I’ve had enough.”

The great next event before God judged the Canaanites was God’s judgment on mankind with Noah’s flood, and after the flood we find God judged Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis chapter 19. So God’s judgment fell on those people also. And God’s going to judge the world again, because the Bible is just screaming, “There is a judgment coming.” Now I’m not saying when, but we know according to Daniel, Luke, Matthew 24, and Revelation and other Books, that day is coming. In fact on our way back to our study in Ephesians let’s stop for a moment in the Book of Luke, chapter 21. You know once as we make these little detours, I think, I’ve got to hurry up and get through this chapter or that chapter, and then I stop and think, no, this is a Bible study, and as you know by now we’re not on a fast track, so we’ll just study as we go. But there is something here in Luke chapter 21 that I want to point out to you. Here Jesus is speaking during His earthly ministry.

Luke 21:20-22

“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compressed (or encircled) with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21. Then let them which are in Judea flee to mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter therein to. 22. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.”

Now a lot of people get misled here in Luke, and think that this is the Battle of Armageddon, when Jerusalem will be compassed, but it is not. This is the prophecy that Titus and the Roman Army in 70 AD will destroy Jerusalem, and it was awful. My, Josephus gives an account of it that is just unbelievable. Over a million Jews were slaughtered, unmercifully, when Titus finally overran the city of Jerusalem. Also you want to remember the pagans had no mercy, and the Romans of course became more infuriated than ever because of the Jews stiff resistance. One of the things that raised the ire of the Roman soldiers so much was when they were trying to scale the walls, the Jews would pour hot boiling water over them. Well that was enough to infuriate anybody. But this passage here all happened in 70 AD. What confuses readers so much, is the language here is much the same as in Matthew 24 which is all Tribulation and end time events. Now verse 23.

Luke 21:23

“But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.”

What is the controversy with the city of Jerusalem and the nation of Israel at that time? They had rejected their Messiah, and crucified Him! And after all the pleading, and after all the miracles, that Christ performed in the midst of these Jewish people who were so blind to whom He was, what was their cry? Let His blood be upon our children, and our children’s children. They didn’t know what they were saying did they?

But, oh listen, the wrath of God finally came in 70 AD, and the final push to get rid of the Jews that were left in Jerusalem and that region was at Messoda, when the Romans found out there were still some 900 Jews left that were holding out against Rome, those soldiers spared nothing as they tried to scale the walls at Messoda. And, you know the story of Messoda When the Romans finally got up there most the Jews had all committed suicide. But nevertheless the Jews of 70 AD came under the wrath of God, again because of their national sins of unbelief concerning their Messiah. Now here in verse 24 Jesus is still speaking.

Luke 21:24a

“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations:…” (as a result of this invasion by the Roman army.)

Now I hadn’t intended to teach Luke chapter 21, but right here is the clue that this is not the final battle of Armageddon, which will trigger the Lord’s return, as we find in Matthew chapter 24. Here in Luke, Israel is going to be led away into a dispersion into all nations, and they were in 70 AD, and we know that they were scattered into every nation under heaven.

I think in the opening remarks of his book, “The Source”, James Michener said he had found Jews in every sovereign nation on the face of the earth. So when God said He would scatter them into every nation, He was literal. That dispersion has lasted now for almost 2000 years, but that’s not the part of the verse that we’re really looking for, as it’s in the last part of the verse.

Luke 21:24b

“…and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until (we don’t know the date, but there’s coming a day, month and year when) the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”

Now what’s that speaking about? The Gentiles cup of iniquity. Just like God said back in Genesis chapter 15 that the cup of iniquity for the Canaanites, was not yet full, and would need another 200 years to fill it, so also the times of the Gentiles at the end time. By the time the Tribulation has run it’s course, their cup will also come to the full. Again we’re getting closer and closer as we see the wickedness circumventing the globe. You know I love America, and I still maintain as awful as our country is getting, we are still head and shoulders above the rest of the world when it comes to our morality, and our knowledge of God. But the time is coming when the cup of iniquity for the Gentiles world will be full.

Of course I always tie that statement in with Romans 11:25. I usually like to picture this as a simultaneous filling. Over on one side you have the filling of this cup of iniquity on behalf of the Gentiles, but over on the other side you have the filling up of the Body of Christ, the True Church (that’s us). These two sides are almost filling up together, the finished line for both is only seven years apart. Now let’s look at Romans 11:25, and don’t forget what our Lord said in Luke chapter 21 that we just looked at.

Luke 21:24b

“…and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” In other words God will have to bring his wrath upon the Gentile world – now the other side of the coin we find here in Romans.

Romans 11:25

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, (or this secret) lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; (and here it is) that (spiritual) blindness in part(just for a time) is happened to Israel, until (there will be a day, month, and year) the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” (the Body of Christ completed)

Those are two totally different concepts. In Luke it’s the cup of iniquity of the Gentile world. The deeper they go into sin, the fuller they’re getting their cup of iniquity. Over here in Romans we have the filling of the Body of Christ. Now for the last 1900 + years, people have been coming into the Body of Christ, and it’s getting closer and closer to it’s completion.These two concepts will almost work in union. Of course the cup of iniquity of the Gentiles will go 7 years beyond the filling of the Body of Christ. But over the big picture, time wise that’s not much difference, so what we’re seeing today is that the Body of Christ is nearly complete, the cup of iniquity of the Gentile world is also nearly complete.Now go to Ephesians 4 verse 24.

Ephesians 4:24

“And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Not a facade, not a counterfeit, but the real thing. Now back to Romans chapter 6, and let’s start with verse 5, and remember Paul always writes to the believer, He never writes to an unbeliever, he expects us to contact them.

Romans 6:5-6

“For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6. Knowing this, that our old man (the old Adam, that old sin nature that we’re born with) is crucified with him, that the body of sin (that influence of the old Adamic nature) might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

Romans 6:8

“Now if we be dead with Christ, (by our faith) we believe that we shall also live with him:”

If we identify with His death, burial, and resurrection, by faith, then God identifies us in that same set of circumstances. We have been crucified in the old Adam, we have now been given a new nature, and as He arose from the dead, we also arose from the dead. As He paid the sin penalty on our debt, God sees us literally on the cross, in the person of Christ. He saw us in the tomb in the person of Christ, He sees us in resurrection power in the person of Christ, and we appropriate all that by faith. We can’t put it in a box, we can’t lay it on a table and analyze it, but rather we take it by faith, and just simply believe it. I think we’re getting through to a lot of people that this is where it’s at. You just simply believe it, because we can’t always understand it. We can’t comprehend it, but we can believe it if we know that God has said it, and it’s true. On our way back to Ephesians let’s stop at II Corinthians 5 for a moment.

II Corinthians 5:14

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

By virtue of Adam’s fall, every human is spiritually dead when he’s born into the human family. This is why we’re sinners, we’re born sinners, we’re the sons of Adam. So consequently Christ died for the whole human race, because the whole human race was spiritually dead, and needed salvation. Now verse 15.

II Corinthians 5:15

“And that he did for all, that they which live (the believers) should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” (There the Gospel again.)

Paul just pops our salvation Gospel in there all the time. We are what we are because we believe that Christ died for us and rose again. Now verse 16.

II Corinthians 5:16

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

Now my own idea of this verse is, that Paul is referring to Christ and His earthly ministry. Paul knew all about Jesus of Nazareth, my goodness they were about the same age, and he walked contemporary with Jesus. We have nothing in Scripture that they ever confronted each other face to face, but old Saul of Tarsus knew who Jesus of Nazareth was, and Jesus knew who Saul was. So Paul says, “yet now henceforth on this side of the death, burial, and resurrection, we don’t know Him as still in the flesh.”

Now you see that’s where most of Christendom is tonight. They’re still over there in Jesus’s earthly ministry, in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John on the other side of the cross. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with studying His earthly ministry, but there’s no salvation in that. You don’t get saved by believing that Jesus ministered to the Pharisees. Many preachers and teachers spend most of their time there, how Jesus dealt with the Pharisee, and of course it’s commendable, and it’s something that we can learn, but it’s not where our salvation is found.

Our salvation is found in Paul’s writings on this side of the cross. Our salvation was one of the mysteries that was given to the apostle Paul for the Body of Christ. And that’s what Paul is saying here in this verse. “Since we’re on this side, I’m not going to be hanging on to Jesus and His ministry on that side of the cross.” There are many preachers and teachers that don’t want to face up to His shed blood, don’t want to face up to His resurrection, but they’d much rather talk about Jesus walking on the water. I think most of them know nothing of the Jesus who died for their sins, was buried, and rose again, because if they did that would be their message.

But nevertheless this is what Paul is driving home, “Henceforth since His death, burial and resurrection we don’t spend all our time back there in His earthly ministry, and that’s exactly what he says in verse 16.

II Corinthians 5:16

“Wherefore henceforth know we know man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.” Is she kidding? We only have one minute left? Let’s read verse 17, that’s the verse I brought you here in the first place.

II Corinthians 5:17

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: (creation) old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Only God can create, and salvation is that miracle working power of the Creator Himself, and that’s why you can’t do it with good works, or Church membership. It has to be that creative work of the Creator Himself, who now declares us a member of the Body, a Child of God, one who has believed the Gospel.

447: Ephesians 4:12-24

447: Ephesians 4:12-24 – Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 38

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 38

Ephesians 4:12-24

Now we’ll jump right back to where we left off in Ephesians chapter 4, and we’ll begin with verse 17. I’d like to mention the fact that we have two couples from Indiana with us today, we have the Roebkes and the Simpsons, and they didn’t know each other before they got to Tulsa. So hopefully they’ve made some new friends for down the road. We’ve also had folk in from other states over the years, and always feel free to join us when you can. Now back to our study.

Ephesians 4:17a

“This I say therefore, (and remember when Paul says therefore, he’s referring back to what he’s just covered.) and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth…”

Once we’ve come into the Body of Christ, we’re different, we’re totally different. Now, not that we’re to be odd balls. Oh it just gripes me when some Christians are just odd balls, that’s not what God wants. God doesn’t want somebody that the world would say, “If that’s being a Christian, then I’m glad I’m not one.” The world should be able to look at us, and say, “I wish I had what they’ve got. I wish I had their joy and happiness, and their outlook on life.” Always remember, when you come into certain positions, the world out there expects somebody to be worthy of that position, that’s just a given. Well it’s the same way here, when we come into our position as a member of the Body of Christ, it becomes a given that we’re to be different. And look what Paul says.

Ephesians 4:17b

“…walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind.” Now that word walk is a unique Pauline term. We saw that in chapter 2, and Paul is always referring to walk, and here it’s almost the same kind of description, but in a different setting.

Ephesians 2:2a

“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world,…”

Now what does Paul mean by that? Their everyday life’s experience before believing the Gospel, and the course they walked. Now coming back to chapter 4, and verse 17 our walk now is as a member of the Body of Christ. Paul tells us not to walk as those pagan Gentiles do. Now when I’m studying Scripture I try to remember the circumstances in which Paul lived and wrote. I guess it was never so graphically brought home to us as it was a couple of years ago when Iris and I visited Pompeii, some of you have probably been there. When you saw the proof of that corrupt city, the ungodliness and the wickedness that was evident even in the ruins.

So what must it have been like in it’s hay day? But that was the kind of a city into which Paul walked. He didn’t have the convenience of evangelists today. Most of them have help with all kind of publicity, they have the counselors ready, prayer warriors in place, but all Paul had was the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul would come in pretty much alone into these pagan cities. Sometimes he’d have a companion such as Luke or Timothy, but he had the Gospel, and he proclaimed it.. He would bring these people out of that abject, pagan, immoral, lifestyle.

You know I feel so sorry for our young parents trying to raise kids in this culture of today, where they’re bombarded with these same kind of things as an incitement. And it was terrible in Paul’s day. Look what he says.

Ephesians 4:17

“This I say therefore, and testify in the lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind.” In other words, they had no comprehension of what God expects. They just lived according to the appetites of the flesh. Now verse 18, and in this verse is the other Gentiles that Paul is referring to.

Ephesians 4:18

“Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.”

Now immediately two verses just pop into my mind. The thought here is having their understanding darkened. So let’s go back to John’s gospel chapter 3

John 3:19

“And this is the condemnation, that light (reference to Jesus of Nazareth) is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, (why?) because their deeds were evil.”

They lived in the gutter. Oh they may have lived sumptuously, and there again Pompeii shows that. Some of the ruins of those beautiful homes, they must have been mansions, and yet as you went down the street there was evidence of the immorality, and corruption everywhere you went. So when we look at what’s going on in America, and the Western world today, don’t think for a moment that this is the first time anything like this has happened. It’s always been this way, we’re just doing it in a grander scale I guess now. I remember telling my Sunday school class way back in the 1960’s when the favorite cliche at that time was, “the new morality.” Do you remember that? It was the so called sexual licenses, and I use to tell my kids, “Hey wake up, there nothing new about that, it’s the same old immorality that has plagued the human race from day one.” Now it’s the same way here in this verse.

John 3:19b-20

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

Now where did his lifestyle of evil deeds come from? Adam! All those evil deeds came from the fall of mankind, and evil has been with generation after generation since then. Now before we go to II Corinthians for a moment, first let’s come back to Ephesians chapter 4, and look at verse 18 again. I hope I’m not preaching to you, but rather teaching you.

Ephesians 4:18

“Having their understanding darkened (they loved walking in the dark, because their deeds were evil. But now what’s the next word in that verse?) alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:”

Now for this we must go to II Corinthians chapter 4. Where do they get such stringent blindness that they can’t even see through it and recognize the light? Where does it come from? Well of course it originated from Adam, but who picked up the dominion of everything when Adam dropped it. Satan did. Now if you don’t think some of our Churches are in trouble, one of my class people told me a while back that one of their pastors was holding a Bible study, and that individual said, “he didn’t believe in Satan.” Well no wonder we’re in trouble. If you can put Satan out of the picture, then he’s home free isn’t he? If you’re not going to recognize him, he has free reign. But oh the Scripture does recognize him.

II Corinthians 4:3-4

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (if they’re lost they’re in darkness. If they’re in darkness, they’re blind, and it’s just a vicious circle) 4. In whom (these that are lost) the god of this world (Satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Do you see how one feeds on the other. If you can keep people blind, they can’t see the light. If you can keep them from seeing the light, they’re going to stay blind, and the end will never meet, until the Lord moves in of course, and breaks this chain of blindness that is a blinder on the minds and hearts of lost people.

Now I’m going to read the next verse also. I’ve never had it happen, but I’ve been waiting for the time that some one will say, “Well Les, you make too much of the apostle Paul.”

II Corinthians 4:5

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

So always remember that when I’m constantly emphasizing Paul’s apostleship it is only because Paul gives us the true view of the finished work of the cross, you don’t get it anywhere else. This is why I spend as much time as I do in the Pauline epistles. Now this coming Saturday, I’m going to have a whole day seminar in Minnesota, and I’m sure they would like for me to spend the whole day in the Book Revelations, and prophecy. And I like to teach prophecy, but listen, by the time prophecy is being fulfilled, hopefully we’re out of here if you’re a believer. So why should I spend all that time in something that I’m not even going to be here to witness.

I’m going to teach in Paul’s epistles, because this is where we needed it in the here and now. This is what we have to know today, this is what we have to know to tell people how to get ready so they won’t be here for the Book of Revelation. I tell you what, I sure don’t won’t to be here for that. I know the world scoffs at the Book of Revelation, because they can’t imagine that these things are going to happen, but they are. I’ve been teaching the Book of Exodus in one of my classes in Oklahoma, and all the plagues that happened there. People don’t scoff at that because there’s enough valid proof that those plagues happened, but I say, if you can believe the plagues in Egypt, you’d better believe the plagues in Revelation, because one is tied to the other.

We’re just going to keep teaching what Paul teaches because he is going to be constantly pointing us to the crucified, risen, and ascended Lord. Now back to Ephesians chapter 4, verse 19, and Paul is speaking of these people who are in darkness. He’s speaking of these people who the god of this world is keeping blind.

Ephesians 4:19

“Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to

work all uncleanness with greediness.”

Now I just read in a magazine recently where a young man out in Seattle just became a multi-millionaire overnight nearly, by putting a pornography page up on the internet. He’s just reaping in the money. Alright, what about a young man like that, does God love him? Absolutely! Is the Gospel available to him? Absolutely! But do you think it’s very likely that he’ll ever see it? No. I mean, he is so blinded no doubt, by the chains of Satan, and all he’s got on his mind is more, more, more money, and the things that greed precipitates, because it’s greed that drives this stuff.

All right so in verse 19 they have gone beyond the feeling that would respond to the Gospel, because they are saturated with this immoral lifestyle, these immoral thoughts, and what have you, and all they can think about is working that which is unclean for the sake of satisfying their greed. I had a gentlemen in our Tulsa class tell me several years ago, it was his opinion that the human race is motivated almost entirely by one word. “Greed!” And you know he was completely correct. Now I love the capitalistic system, I love this freedom and all that, but you take greed out of it, and how long would it last? Oh it would die overnight, because it’s that constant push for more and more that keeps it going.

But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about those who are so saturated with the things of the this world especially the lower element as we’re seeing it take over our whole society tonight, and greed is the motivating power. Now verse 20.

Ephesians 4:20

“But ye have not so learned Christ;”

Speaking back to us as members of the Body. That’s not what we’ve learned Christ. We’re not in the Body of Christ to promote our greed. We’re not a Christian so we can have health and wealth, and my Bible doesn’t teach that. My goodness, you look back over the years of Christian history, How many millions suffered and died for their faith. They didn’t have health and wealth. Even today all around the world Christians are under tremendous persecution, we don’t hear much about it. There’s an organization up in Bartlesville, Oklahoma that puts out a monthly magazine, and they report on the persecution of Christians. It’s unreal the amount of persecution that’s going on against Christians right now as we speak today. There are places in almost every continent where they’re dying daily for their faith. These Christians are not in it for greed, but rather they’re in it because they love the Word of Truth!

Ephesians 4:21

“If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:” (Now everybody knows that verse in John)

John 14:6a

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:…”

Of course He is, and again I come back to my use of the synonyms. Truth, Gospel, and Christ, all mean basically the same thing. If you know Christ you know the Gospel. If you know the Gospel you know Truth, and they just all fit together. So what Paul is saying here in verse 21 is, if you know the Gospel, if you’re a member of this Body of Christ, then you have Truth, and we have Truth that the world knows nothing of. Now in verse 22, Paul comes into a review of what he taught more explicitly in the Book of Romans.

Ephesians 4:22a

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation (manner of living) the old man,…”

Now the old man in Paul’s language is old Adam. The old Adam who is responsible for sin, it’s the old Adam who makes us sinners, and since the old Adam is functioning in a person, he’s constantly trying to satisfy that desire of the flesh in one way or another. But the believer is instructed to put that lifestyle out of your everyday thinking, and actions.

Ephesians 4:22b

“…which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;”

Now corrupt isn’t a pretty word is it? And I want you to know it’s not a pretty word. If any of you have ever done any gardening, especially if you put out a patch of potatoes. When you dig up those new potatoes after the growing season, and you’re going through that nice fresh turned dirt, and picking up those new potatoes, invariably you’re going to stick your finger into something that will just about turn your stomach inside out. And what is it? That old seed potato that is now rotten, that old potato which is now corrupt. Now that’s what I think of when I see the word “corrupt.” It’s something that is repulsive, something that just turns your stomach, and something that you just want to push out of your mind. Now listen, I think in the eyes of God that I can safely say, this is what our old Adamic nature boils down to. It is corrupt in His eyes, and is something that just turns Him off.

Now God loves us, don’t get me wrong, but the old Adam is corrupt, and vile. The word shows us how bad it was back before the flood in Genesis. In fact let’s go back there and look at it for a moment in chapter 6. This chapter is introducing the flood, and what brought it on, and see, God is still looking on that kind of a world. My word, when I consider, and read some of these articles of the filth, and the corruption that’s permeating the whole world tonight, I have to wonder, how long can God put up with it. Well it was the same way back here in Genesis, and there came a day when He didn’t put up with it any longer, nor is He going to again.

Genesis 6:5-7

“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (does that ring a bell? Hey we’re there!) 6. And it repented (or made the Lord sorry) that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” Now you come on down to verse 11, and we’ll pick up with the word “corrupt.”

Genesis 6:11-12

“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh has corrupted his way upon the earth.”

There you have the word corrupt three times in 2 verses, and you know by now when God repeats something 2 or 3 times in a short period, what’s He doing? Emphasizing. It’s emphasis that the world leading up to the flood was rotten to the core. But I believe their technology at that time was also exploding. Why do you think Lot chose Sodom, rather than the highlands of Israel? Oh because it was thriving, it had an economy, it probably had a stock market above 11,000. They had an abundance of food, and an abundance of idleness, which gives you the whole picture now of our own society. This is where we are, and what did the Lord Himself attach to it? “As it was in the days of Noah, as it was in the days of Sodom, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man.” Hey, we’re close to that time again. I don’t put dates on it, but the more you see our slide down morality, and our technology, we’re getting so close it almost scares me. And in our closing seconds let’s look at verse 13.

Genesis 6:13

“And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence…” And when you have corruption, you have violence!

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