Philippians 1:1-27

463: Philippians 1:1-27 – Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 39

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick


Philippians 1:1-27

Now we’re going to get right back into where we left off in the last lesson. I ran out of time so we’ll go back and pick that verse up. I was looking at it and didn’t have time to read it, and that would be in Philippians chapter 2. Remember we were talking about Paul’s term “the day of Christ, or the day of the Lord Jesus Christ” which is a reference to the end of the Church Age in what we call the Rapture. And only Paul was given this term to use.

Now again, teaching the line that I teach, I have to constantly remind people that when only Paul speaks of something, then mark it down that it is only for the Church, the Body of Christ. No other portion of Scripture refers to “the day of Christ.” They refer to “the day of the Lord, or the day of Jehovah, or the day of the wrath of God.” But Paul uses this term, “the day of Christ, ” referring to the Rapture or the end of the Church Age as we know it. Now the verse I wanted to read in our closing moments was Philippians chapter 2:16

Philippians 2:16

“Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”

In other words, everything was looking forward and still is to “the day of Christ.” It’s that day when the trumpet call will sound and we’ll be gone from this old earth. Now then let’s go back and pick up where we left off in chapter 1, and that would be in verse 7.

Philippians 1:7-9

“Even as it is meet (appropriate) for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all (every member of that Church) are partakers of my grace. 8. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels (or the innermost being) of Jesus Christ 9. And this I pray that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment:”

The average Christian today is so ignorant, and that doesn’t mean that they’re short on brain cells. It isn’t that they’re short on intellectual ability, but they’re short on teaching. I just look at so much of the stuff that people are being taught, it is just fluff. I haven’t been to a fair in a long, long, time, but it used to be we see kids running around with what we called cotton candy. I know what it is, it’s nothing but air they put in their mouth, and it disappears. Well that’s mostly what our Sunday School material is, it’s just cotton candy. The people take it in and there’s nothing there.

Well Paul is constantly praying that believers would gain knowledge. And you don’t gain knowledge of the Word unless you study it. My how we thank God for all the letters that come in that tell us, thanks to our program they’re studying the Bible. We want people to learn to study, and this is Paul’s constant prayer. Remember one of Paul’s prayers back in the Book of Ephesians, let’s go back and look at that one. And this is all so appropriate for every believer today, young or old. We even had a letter yesterday, that a 13 year old girl was watching the program. Well anyway this is for every believer.

Ephesians 1:16-17

“Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17. That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:”

You know I’ve given the example on this program over and over, that one of the most impacting things that I think has happened to me is when I asked someone, where he was coming from. And his answer was, “Who in the world is Jesus Christ?” And I thought, “In America we have this question?” In my part of the world? And now I’m finding out, that’s most people, they really don’t know who He is. They don’t know that He is the Creator of everything. In fact I was going to make reference to it a little later in the chapter, but I guess I can do it now. You know people probably sometimes wonder, “Why did the apostle Paul have such an allegiance to Jesus Christ?” Why should we just be willing to pour out our life for Jesus Christ? It’s because of who He is! He’s the God of glory, the Creator, the One who even today is in control of all the galaxies by the billions. And now the Hubbell telescope tells us, “they’re still out there exploding, and forming,” and He’s in control of every bit of that.

Then someone like the Pope can go anywhere and people will flock to him by the millions just to get a glimpse of him or his airplane, and that’s their prerogative. I’m just making the comparison, why can’t they do that with the thought of Jesus Christ? But they don’t. You could announce that Christ is coming to some airport, and I don’t think you’d get a crowd, but tell them the Pope is coming and they’ll clog the interstate for miles around. Now listen the Pope is a human being like the rest of us, he puts on his pants like I do. He has to eat and sleep like anybody else, he gets sick, and one day and it probably won’t be too long, he’s going to die, why? He’s human. But oh the Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator of everything. And see, that’s beyond human comprehension. And this is all Paul is praying for, that we could get a little better grasp of who He really is. Now to complete our thought in Ephesians chapter 1 about the knowledge of Him.

Ephesians 1:17b-19

“…may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18. The eyes of your understanding bring enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19. And (we can know) what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.”

Oh listen, all of this is beyond human understanding. Now coming back to Philippians again and picking up with verse 10, and this is his prayer even for us today.

Philippians 1:10

“That ye may approve things that are excellent;…”

Now it’s unfortunate that the King James translators used that word excellent, because every place else in the New Testament that Greek word is translated different, and read it that way.

Philippians 1:10

“That ye may approve things that are (different) that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;”

Well what’s the difference? Well I read one commentary once and he said we have to determine the difference between right and wrong. Well maybe? But I think the things that really are different is “Law and Grace.” See, the Philippians understood that. They understood that they were under the Grace of God. They had no compunction to try to go back to Jerusalem and carry out the feast days and temple worship. They knew better, because they had discerned the difference between where they stood in Grace and the Old Testament believers under Law. But there are millions today that still don’t know that difference. They think that somehow or other we’re still connected to that Jewish program, and we have to keep the commandments, repentance and baptism, and have to do this and have to do that or we’re lost. But no, no, no, under Grace there is none of that., “IT’S ALL DONE!” So many people try to bring what was under Law and put it over in Paul’s teaching. They try to hook something to Paul’s Gospel to try and make it complete. Listen it’s complete just like God wanted it as it sits in I Corinthians 15:1-4, and Romans 10:9-10, and other places Paul has written, and we just stand in His wonderful Grace.

So the whole concept here in this verse 10 is that these Philippians, and Paul is still encouraging us the same way, that we can discern the difference between God’s dealing with Israel under the Law, and His dealing with us Gentiles under Grace. And oh when you can see that, then this Book just opens up, and you’re able to rightly divide the Word.

And I know that it’s difficult for people to turn the Law loose, especially when Jesus and the twelve were teaching it, and I know it is. That’s why our Lord had Paul write that he, Paul, was our apostle and about five times tell us that he, Paul, was our example and we are to follow what he teaches in this Age of Grace, and most can’t except that. But anyway determine the things that are different, and Law and Grace are so different. Ok now verse 11.

Philippians 1:11

“Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”

Now a verse comes to mind, and I hope I’ve got the right one in the Book of Romans, chapter 7. Now remember what Paul just said, “That we might be filled with the fruits of righteousness, which comes by Jesus Christ.” Now drop in at verse 4.

Romans 7:4

“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law (just like a spouse dies, and that spouse is no longer legally connected to the one who remains. so you are dead to the law) by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, (now you can’t be married to Christ if you’re still married to the Law. It just won’t work. So the Law has to be declared dead, and out of the way, so we can be married to Christ. See how plain that is?) even to him who is raised from the dead, (I’ve always said that salvation is not just a fire escape that most people think, but) that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”

We’re to be producing fruit. Now then in a marriage relationship, first in the physical, what is the fruit of a marriage relationship? Children. Absolutely it is. We are to produce others that will take our place. Now it’s the same way in the Christian experience. Once we’re married to Christ, what should we look for? The result of that union, which should be other believers that we can take with us in the Rapture, or take our place when we’re gone if we have to go by the way of the cemetery. Now look at it again in that light.

Romans 7:4

“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law (we’re under Grace) by the body of Christ; (His work of the cross) that ye should be married to another, (now we’re in union with Christ) even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”

And the fruit is “New Believers!” That’s our job, and that’s why I’m always making the point, that it isn’t just the Church’s responsibility to save the lost, because lost people don’t go to Church anymore, they’ve got too many other things to do. So who’s going to reach the lost? You and I. And how can you do that if you’re not prepared. How can you reach the lost if you can’t show them a verse of Scripture? And that’s the problem. Oh, listen if America’s Christians get as sharp in the Word as the apostle Paul was, do you know what we would do in a matter of a year or two? We’d turn this country inside out. But the Christians won’t do it. They’re ignorant of the Scriptures and don’t want to learn, so they must be waked up. There must be that desire to be filled with the righteousness of Christ, and in turn bring forth fruit unto God. Now back to Philippians chapter 1.

Philippians 1:12

“But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;”

Now I imagine that most of us, if we had been in Paul’s shoes, would have said, “Why?” Here I was out there turning the Roman Empire inside out, I was getting Churches established, I was seeing these pagans glorious saved, now Lord why am I locked up in prison?” Isn’t that right? But what did Paul say? Hey it was for all the right purposes. Now you all know the verse and should be already thinking of it in Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28

“And we know that all things work together for good (is this for everybody? No, but) to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

And you see that’s where Paul was, he was exactly where God wanted him. Even in that Roman prison right next door to Nero’s palace. And in the midst of the Praetorian guard, and here he says, “everything has fallen out to the furtherance of the Gospel.” Now verse 13, and remember, why is Paul there? For the furtherance of the Gospel.

Philippians 1:13a

“So that my bonds (chained to a Roman soldier) in Christ are manifest in all the palace,…”

Now think about that for a moment. Things weren’t as big as they are today, but nevertheless Rome was quite the empire. All roads led to Rome in that day. Rome to the ancients was what Washington DC is today. The whole world goes to Washington and goes home with our money. And it was no different then. We’ve noticed that every place we go in the Middle East is tremendous Roman improvements. The great pillars, and buildings, streets and everything. Well listen, those poor pagan uncivilized people of that outer fringe of the empire didn’t have money for that in Paul’s day, so where did it come from? Rome. Where did Rome get it? Taxes. So things have never changed.

If you study Roman history, we in America today are lock step with them. Sure we are, we’re in lock step with the Romans. Everything that they saw happen to the Roman Empire, we’re seeing happen here today. All roads led to Rome, and now all roads lead to Washington D. C. Everything gets so big and corruption comes in that you can’t control it, it’s impossible. Well when that comes along pretty soon you’ve got more goods and services than you’ve got money, and so when there’s a shortage of money, what does every government do? Print some more, and when you do that you’re asking for inflation. That’s what happened to Rome. Rome killed itself from within with it’s gross immorality, but also with it’s inflationary economic practices. So as I’ve said, nothing changes.

So here is the apostle Paul in bonds, chained to a Romans soldier, and that guard would be changed maybe twice a day. And Paul is right next door to Caesar’s Palace. From what I can gather in my readings, it wasn’t the actual residence of Nero so much as it was the headquarters of Nero’s private guard. And then the platinum was where his actual residence stood which was right next door to the Praetorian guard. So Paul was in an eye shadow of Nero’s Palace, but his most contact was through these private guards of Nero. Now keep all that in your mind, because I’ve got a reason for bringing that up in just a moment.. Now reading verse 13 again.

Philippians 1:13

“So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places.”

Now hold that in your computers and come on over to the last chapter of Philippians, and let’s look at verse 22. Oh I hope I can get you to feel this. I mean I want you to feel this. Now I’m not much on emotions as you know because feelings isn’t a word in Scripture, but here’s something that I think we can all begin to feel.

Philippians 4:22

“All the saints salute you, chiefly (or most importantly) they that are of Caesar’s household.” Now come back and look at verse 13 again.

Philippians 1:13

“So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;”

Here he is in bonds chained to Roman soldiers who rotated day in and day out. They were hardened veterans of the war campaign, and evidently many of them as a result of being chained to Paul for maybe 12 or 24 hours became believers. He must have had a tremendous power of witnessing. And as they rotated I’m sure some of them went on into the palace in the line of servitude. Now if you were in Paul’s shoes, and you were suddenly realizing that your testimony, your witnessing actually bearing fruit among these hardened Roman soldiers who were in turn bearing fruit in the very palace of the most wicked person that ever lived in Nero, what would it do to your emotions. Wouldn’t it just thrill you to death?

Consequently even though he’s in prison and in bonds and chained, what is the key word to the Book of Philippians? “REJOICE!” This man was literally bubbling over with joy in spite of his circumstances. I got to thinking, my wouldn’t any one of us feel the same way? We get letters from people that are picking us up in Washington DC and you wonder how close are these people to our government? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to get a letter from someone who actually worked in the White House? I think I’d get pretty excited, and I think you would also. Just to think that somebody right up in the upper echelons of our government are hearing me teach the Gospel, and getting saved, and spreading it around the capitol? Hey if that wouldn’t make me happy then they’d better get me out of this business. And if I would share that with you, what would you do? Oh you would rejoice with me, and see that exactly what he’s trying to tell the Philippians. Rejoice, the Gospel is penetrating the palace of Nero.

And for us here today, let’s get excited because we might be able to reach into some of the hallowed halls of Congress or our state capitol, because this man did. This man who was no better or any more gifted than anyone of us. Remember he was always bringing himself down to the level of an ordinary believer, but also remember he was the tremendous apostle Paul. Now moving on to verse 14 in the time we have left.

Philippians 1:14

“And many of the brethren in the Lord, (the believers) waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.”

You know what these believers were doing? When they saw Paul’s circumstance and I think he’s still talking about some of these Roman guards, some of these employees or the slaves that were working in the palace of Nero, when they saw that joyful out look, and probably heard him singing hymns while in prison, it encouraged them also. Hey if he can do this under those circumstances, then I can too. And I think this is why this letter is written for you and I today, so that we can come out from not being confident, and realize that God can use you and me even though we’re common ordinary people, because this is the type of people to whom this Book is written. Now verse 15, and this is probably a bad verse to end the program on today.

Philippians 1:15

“Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:”

Now what does that mean? Well I think maybe some of the people that didn’t really like Paul, and they may have been some of the Jewish people who were trying to get rid of him thought they could get him deeper in trouble by proclaiming his Gospel out there, and telling people they had picked it up from Paul that guy you’ve got in prison. They were hoping that that in turn would come back and get him into worse trouble, but whatever, Paul says, “It doesn’t matter, as long as people hear the Gospel of Christ it’s going to touch their hearts, and finishing with verse 16.

Philippians 1:16

“The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds;”

Now you see some people will go to any end to bring about a little bit more misery for a believer, and it’s always been that way. So even unbelievers can propagate the Gospel, it’s not the best way, but God can use it, and so always remember that the circumstances of this apostle in this prison in Rome is beyond our understanding, but on the other hand we can learn from it , and we can do many of the same things that he did.

As Believers, Always Rejoice - Part 2

462: As Believers, Always Rejoice – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 39

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick


As Believers, Always Rejoice – Part 2

Now hopefully after our last lesson on the review of the timelines, we’re ready to get into the letter of Philippians. Those of you who have been with us all the time know that in Paul’s letters so far we have come through Romans, the Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, and now we’re ready for the next letter that Paul writes, and that is to the Philippian Church. As you can see I’ve drawn a make shift map here on the board because I think a lot of people are not always aware of geography. We have Antioch up in Syria, directly North of Jerusalem which was the church that Paul and Barnabas left from to go on their first missionary journey, but that was limited only to Asia Minor which is now Turkey, and then they came back to Antioch.

The next journey, Paul took Silas with him and they were spending some time Ephesus. And then when they got to Troas, which is probably the old ancient city of Troy as we know it, they had intended to go back up through Bithynia and then back to Antioch. But while at Troas they received a call from the Holy Spirit to go to places that the Gospel had never been preached. So let’s look at that in Acts chapter 16 for a moment. This is more or less introductory to the Book of Philippians.

Acts 16:6-9

“Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, (central Turkey) and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, 7. After they were come to Mysia, they assayed (intended) to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. 8. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. (fairly close to the sea coast) 9. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, (Northern Greece) and prayed (begged) him, saying, Come over into Macedonia and help us.”

Well I had almost the same thing happen in the state of Washington recently. I received a letter from a group of people who also said, “Please come out here and help us.” Well we did and my it was worth it. But anyway that’s another story. Here Paul gets the vision that they were to go across the Aegean Sea to Macedonia. Now verse 10.

Acts 16:10

“And after he had seen the vision, immediately (no argument, no debate, he knew the Lord was leading) we (Luke is writing this) endeavored to go into Macedonia assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.”

Now remember the Gospel had never gone onto the European Continent before this. Now verse 11.

Acts 16:11-13

“Therefore loosing (they were going by ship) from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; 12. And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: (it was a Roman colony which meant that they had certain amount of freedom) and we were in that city abiding certain days. 13. And on the sabbath (remember Paul is still fresh out of Judaism, so it would be the Saturday sabbath) we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.”

Now evidently Philippi did not have an official synagogue. There were probably not enough Jews in that part of northern Greece to warrant one. So evidently these were just a group of Jewish women who were having their devotions and so forth, because there’s nothing to indicate that it was a synagogue. Now verse 14. Oh my goodness this is one of my very favorite verses and you know it is.

Acts 16:14

“A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, (the most expensive of the clothing) of the city of Thyatira, (she was probably an up and coming business lady, and highly civilized) which worshipped God, (but was lost) heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.”

Notice Paul didn’t open Lydia’s heart, but rather the Lord opened it. And that Jewish lady who thought she had all she needed suddenly realized from Paul’s message that she was as lost as those pagans around her. I think I’ve shared this before, but I recently told a pastor out in North Carolina that I pray every morning for Lydia’s. I asked the Lord to give me people who hearts He has opened. Always remember we’re working for nothing unless the Spirit does the ground work.

Then as you continue on in this chapter you’ll find that Paul and Silas ended up getting beaten, and in trouble with the authorities, and thrown into the dungeon and that’s the story of the Philippian jailer and his salvation. So what you probably have here between Lydia and the Philippian jailer, and probably another few, are the very seed of the Philippian Church. So this is the congregation that is now grown over the years to which Paul is now addressing this little letter we are about to study. Now let’s come back and look at this letter to the Philippians which Paul wrote from Rome where he was in prison. There’s a lot of debate whether he had one imprisonment or two, and I don’t think it makes a lot of difference which is correct. We do know that he wrote all these prison epistles while in prison in Rome. That would be Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I and II Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, and then the Romans would behead him in death.

Also for background in order for you to get just a little picture of what the man is talking about, the Roman Empire had almost forgotten a lot of the mythological gods, and it had become a worship of “Caesar,” and in this case it’s “Nero.” So it had come to the point that whoever was the Caesar at that time, the people worshipped him. So this even made it harder for Paul while in prison. It wasn’t so much pagan gods and goddesses that he was up against, but this whole concept that Rome was the seat of world power, they were the seat of world religion, because the emperor was now god. This also was what caused so much persecution among the believers, because when they made their allegiance to Christ, then that meant that they had turned their back on the Roman power and this is what brought in the horrible persecution.

Also remember that while he’s in prison, he’s right next to the palace of Nero. He’s probably associated more closely with the praetorian guards which were right next to the palace. As I was thinking on these things, I couldn’t help but remember when we were in Desert Storm, and we were up against we thought the most fearsome troops that Iraq had, and what were they called? The Red Guards. And what were? They were Saddam Hussein’s personal guards. They were supposedly the toughest fighters in the Middle East. Well they didn’t turn out to be quite that good, but Paul is up against the praetorian guards who were probably battle hardened soldiers of the Roman Army who had come in as the elite to be the personal guards of the emperor Nero. Also remember that one of these soldiers was chained to the apostle Paul at all times. Early on Paul had the freedom of what we call house arrest, but by the time we get to his writing of these prison epistles I think they’ve got him more confined, and he is now constantly chained to these hardened Roman soldiers. And as we study Philippians I want you to see what an impact that man had even on those kind of men. So also use that as background as we begin our study.

Philippians 1:1a

“Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints…”

Not just the Church leaders or the hierarchy, but rather this letter is written to the lowliest member of the Body of Christ. You know I’m always using the analogy of Tyndale’s prayer as he was being burned at the stake was “God, open the Kings eyes, and put the Word of God in every plowboy’s hand in England.” How much education did those plowboys have? Not much, just enough to read some, but yet they were capable of handling the Word of God. So this Bible is not just for the highly educated or the theologians or the Clergy, but rather it’s for everybody regardless of our status. So back to verse 1 again..

Philippians 1:1a

“Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus…”

Notice Paul never writes to the unbeliever. It’s always to the saints, the believers in Christ Jesus, and that puts a load of responsibility on us to share these things with the unbelievers. See that’s God’s way of doing thing. The unbeliever can read this, and can’t get anything out of it. It’s just Greek to him, and I’ve had that happen over and over and over. God doesn’t expect them to get anything out of it because He’s got the saints to show and explain it. So Paul writes to the saints.

Philippians 1:1b

“…which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:”

Now the word bishop throws a curve at most people. When we hear that word we normally think of someone in the hierarchy, up there at headquarters. No, the word in the original Greek simply meant “the overseers.” Paul is just simply writing to some of the fellows who are more or less holding the group together. Now remember this isn’t a big congregation. Mostly we think today the Church as a great big plant with swimming pools, tennis courts, and basketball courts, and all the rest of the entertainment you can think of. But that’s not the New Testament Church at all. That Church was just a small group of believers, probably meeting in homes, and I think the true Church will come back to that before too long.

But whatever, Paul is writing to the bishops and deacons of this little congregation up there in Philippi. And of course which is in accord not only to the grammatical and the official way of addressing people, but Paul does this through all his letters.

Philippians 1:2-3

“Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,”

Now you’ve got to remember, what was Paul thinking of? I’m sure he thought of that very first experience up there in Philippi where the authorities had beaten him and Silas to a pulp, had thrown them down into the dungeon, and then God miraculously sent an earthquake. Do you remember all that? Now Paul was just as human as you and I, and I suppose every time he heard the word Philippi the first thing he thought of was that beating, that dungeon, the salvation of the jailer, of Lydia, and then years later he comes through Philippi and it appears that he was on his death bed. He was deathly sick, and almost no hope to recover, but the Philippian Church ministered to him, and he survived it, and he makes mention of it then on how close he was to death. So Paul had a lot of reasons for thinking pleasant thoughts of all that had taken place in Philippi. Now verse 5.

Philippians 1:5-6

“For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day (when he first set foot in Europe and Philippi with those Gentile believers.) until now; 6. Being confident (now when Paul saysconfident he means confident. He means no doubt, no I wonders, this is it, I believe it with all my heart.) of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

Now here again you’ve got to be a Bible student. What is “the day of Christ?” That’s only a Pauline term, and you won’t find it any where else in Scripture. The day of Christ” will be the day that the Rapture takes place and removes the Body of Christ from the earth. Everything beginning at Paul’s conversion experience and the building of the Body of Christ, which is also a term used only by him, is waiting for the day when the Rapture of Church will take place. The dead in Christ will be raised first Paul says in I Corinthians chapter 15 and I Thessalonians chapter 4, and then we believers who remain and are alive will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Now that’s “the day of Christ!” Remember everything written to the Church is written in that parenthetical unknown period of time. (Church Age) And it is leading up to “the day of Christ,” which will end the Church Age.

Another term used in Isaiah chapter 2, and verse 12 is “the day of the LORD,” Let’s look at that Scripture for a moment. Now this is back in the prophecy end again, and I would remind you that everything written to Israel is prophecy, it’s within a time frame. And the term day of the LORD is associated with this same prophecy and Christ’s Second Coming. Now here it is.

Isaiah 2:12

“For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:”

Can you see, that’s not Grace. That’s judgment, and judgment is coming upon the proud and the high and lofty, and all the verses that follow verse 12, and none of that is language for believers, but rather for unbelievers. And that’s going to be the day of judgment, the day of the Lord. Always remember that “the day of Christ” is not a day of judgment. It’s a day of suddenly being out of here for us Church Age believers.

Now let’s go back to Revelation and look at this day of the Lord, and coming judgment. Revelation of course is the picture of the whole 7 year period of Tribulation, and the accompanying Second Coming of Christ, which is all part of that day of the Lord, or the day of Jehovah, and it’s finally going to culminate then with chapter 19.

Revelation 19:11-13

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.”

Well then you come all the way down through that chapter and come to verse 16.

Revelation 19:16

“And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

And so that is the day of Jehovah, the day of judgment that is coming on the earth. But you see the Body of Christ never has that kind of language. The Church is never warned to look for the sun being turned into blood, and all these cataclysmic things that will happen. We’re not warned that these things are associated with what Paul calls “the day of Christ,” but they are associated with the day of the Lord.

Now for a moment let’s look at Paul’s term, “the day of Jesus Christ.” and let’s begin in I Corinthians chapter 1, and I just want you to see how often Paul uses this term. And remember no other writer does. The prophets never refers to the day of Christ, the four gospels don’t refer to the day of Christ, but only Paul, and that again should tell us something. This first verse we’re going to look at is almost a carbon copy of the verse we just read in Philippians, that he was confident that the Lord would keep these Philippians until the day of Christ. Now look what he writes to the Corinthians and remember they weren’t as noble as the Philippians. See the Philippians were a good bunch of people, I mean they were, I think, Paul’s pride and joy. The Corinthians to Paul, I think, were kind of a disappointment, they were a drag. They were carnal, and had a lot of divisions and problems where the Philippians had none of that. But Paul still writes the same things even to the Corinthians, and look what he says.

I Corinthians 1:8

“Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless (those Corinthians? Yeah that’s what the Book says) in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Isn’t that something? Now remember Paul expected the Rapture to take place in his lifetime, but even to these carnal Corinthians, he said, “If the Lord should come you’re going to meet Him, so be ready.” Now there’s another one in chapter 5:5 and this is even more graphic. Now this isn’t license, this isn’t telling the believer to go ahead and do whatever you want to and you don’t have to worry. No way, because we’re still going to all appear before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of what we’ve done in our bodies for our reward. Here Paul is dealing with the immorality in the Corinthian Church.

I Corinthians 5:5

“To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, (physical death) that the spirit may be saved (when?) in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ,”

Now there’s the Rapture of the Church, “the day of Christ!” So even these immoral Corinthians, had the Lord come, they would have still been saved. Now he would have to deal with that sin at the loss of rewards because of it, but his sin was totally forgiven and taken care of, and I know many can’t understand how God can forgive such, but if God could kick out atrue believer then it wouldn’t be Grace, and Romans 8:39 would be a lie. Now in II Corinthians 1:14 we have the next one.

II Corinthians 1:14

“As also ye have acknowledged us to part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.”

All Paul was looking for was the time when this great day of Christ would become a reality. Now the next one is in Philippians 1:10

Philippians 1:10

“That ye may approve things that are excellent; (different) that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;”

The next one is in chapter 2, verse 16, and isn’t it amazing that only Paul was given by inspiration this wonderful term. Have you ever wondered why? Because only Paul writes about the Body of Christ. Well I see the program is ending to quickly for me, so we’ll pick this verse up in the next lesson.

As Believers, Always Rejoice

461: As Believers, Always Rejoice – Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 39

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick


As Believers, Always Rejoice

Now we’ve got a lot to cover again today so let’s buy up the time and drop right back into our study. We were to start with the introduction to the Book of Philippians in this lesson, but as I was preparing for today, I happened to realize that it has been a long time since I had put the timeline that has brought us all the way from Genesis to where we are now. So for the benefit of many of you who have not been with us all that long, I’m just going to make a real quick review of the timeline. You have to start with the Old Testament program, and the reason I call it that is because there’s nothing in the Old Testament or in the four gospels that ever spoke of the Church Age.

The Church Age was something that was unknown, and as Paul puts it, It was a mystery,” and that mystery had been kept in the mind of God until revealed to the apostle Paul.Deuteronomy 29:29 is a verse we’ve used so often over the years where it says so plainly, “the secret things belong to God,” and that’s His prerogative, because He’s Sovereign, and if He doesn’t want to reveal something, He doesn’t have to. So for the last 1900 + years God has been dealing mainly with the Gentiles, and it was His prerogative not to reveal anything concerning the Church Age, and this period of time we are now living in.

Now looking at our timeline, we have the first 11 chapters of Genesis that dealt with creation, and then the flood of Noah, and then the Tower of Babel, and by then the whole human race had again gone down the tube. And at that point, beginning with Genesis chapter 12, we find God pulls out of the main stream of humanity one man, and of course those people that come from this one man are going to go back into the mainstream at a later date. We find that when he pulled Abraham out of that mainstream, He gave him a covenant, and that covenant said that He would one day make out of that man a nation of people. That nation of people would be separated from all the rest of the human race, it was to be a covenant people. Then one day God would put them in their own homeland, and we find that delineated in Genesis chapter 15. That homeland was certainly not just from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, but all the way from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates River down to the Red Sea, and back up to the river of Egypt and that was all deeded to Abraham back there in that chapter.

Well as time went by we went through the Patriarchs and the appearance of Isaac, Jacob, and the 12 sons. Then Israel became a nation while they were in captivity down in Egypt, so that when Moses brought them out of that land they were now one of the largest nations in that part of the world. So from the call of Abraham and the giving of the Abrahamic Covenant we see God dealing almost exclusively with that Jewish nation.

Then when you get to Daniel, which was written about 600 BC, we find that Daniel was revealed a time outline for the nation of Israel’s next 490 years. Now those of you who have heard me teach for very long know that prophecy is directed only to the nation of Israel, and almost always within a time frame. In other words, when God first promised Abraham that the nation of Israel would be coming on the scene He gave it a time frame of 430 years. And it was exactly 430 years from the time of Abraham’s call until Moses took them out in the Exodus.

Well one of the major prophecies is the one in Daniel chapter 9, where God prophesies on the nation of Israel 490 years. So that 490 years, according to the Old Testament, took them on up to the cross, but also would include the 7 years of wrath and vexation after the cross, which we know has not taken place yet. So 483 years of that prophecy ended at the crucifixion, but since Israel did not receive their King, the other 7 years were pushed out into the future, but will still happen one day. Now to make this Scriptural we’ll need to go back for a moment to Psalm chapter 2 which I have always referred to as the outline of other prophetic programs, or the Old Testament program. I think it’s so easy to see and to follow so let’s just begin at verse 1.

Psalms 2:1

“Why do the heathen (Gentiles) rage, and the people (Israel) imagine a vain thing? 2. The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers (again of Israel) take counsel together,(so you have Jew and Gentile now conspiring) against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 3. Let us break their bands asunder, (that is the bands and control of the Godhead)and cast away their cords (reign) from us. 4. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. 5. Then (that’s a time word,) shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. (that of course is the Tribulation that we feel is not too far in the future. That seven years will complete the 490 years that was prophesied on the nation of Israel) 6. Yet have I set thy king upon my holy hill of Zion.”

Now in verse 6 we have the 1000 Kingdom reign that will come on the scene after the 7 years of Tribulation. So that’s all the Old Testament ever knew as you read the prophecies of Joel 2, and Zechariah chapter 14, Isaiah 11 and many more. This is the 490 year program in Psalm 2 that they are all referring to, it’s as plain as day. All the Old Testament speaks of that. That’s what Jesus spoke of in Matthew chapter 24, and that’s all Peter could speak of in Acts chapter 2 because that’s all they knew. But in the mind of God, kept secret was this lower timeline that includes something that’s not on this upper timeline, and it’s this Age of Grace that we’re now living in. On this upper timeline Psalms chapter 2 is laid out just perfectly the way the program was supposed to have been completed. But on this bottom timeline since Israel rejected their King, God turns to the Gentiles through the apostle Paul, with this Age of Grace, and the 7 years of His wrath and vexation, and the 1000 year Kingdom rule has been pushed out into the future. And since this is something totally removed from the Old Testament program or prophecy, it cannot be mixed with prophecy so that’s why I am such an adamant proponent of the Rapture.

The Church cannot go into that which pertains to Israel, and the Tribulation is Israel. The whole Book of Revelation is directed to the nation of Israel. Matthew chapter 24 is only directed to the nation of Israel! Once people see that, then it’s easy to understand that, yes, if God is going to pick up where He left off with Israel up here on this top timeline, then it stands to reason that He has to remove the Body of Christ that we see on the second timeline, and take it out in what we call the Rapture of the Church. After that happens we will still have the unfolding of the rest of the prophetic program that is directed to Israel. 7 years of wrath and vexation, the Second Coming of Christ, and then the setting up of the kingdom. Now as soon as you can understand that process this old Book just opens up plain as day.

So much of the stuff that people send me pertaining to end time events from our television audience, bless their hearts they mean well, but they’ve got it all jumbled up together, they don’t separate anything, and I’m sure that’s the way they’ve been taught. I finally had one guy who said, “Yes we’ve got to rightly divide the Word of Truth, we’ve got to separate the New Testament from the Old.” Well that’s over simplifying it. You don’t just separate the New from the Old because when you come into the four gospels that’s Christ earthly ministry, and promises being fulfilled in the Abrahamic Covenant to the nation of Israel. (Matthew 15:24 and Romans 15:8) And the early chapters of Acts are still Old Testament.

Now let me show you what I mean by that. Turn to Acts so we can see some of these verses that just scream at us to pay attention to whom it is written. Here in Acts chapter 3 so far as Peter was concerned he was up here on this top timeline. He was in this Old Testament prophecy and the prophetic program and he knew nothing of the mysteries that were revealed to Paul down here on the second timeline. Remember Peter wasn’t ignorant, he wasn’t out there by himself, he had the power of the Holy Spirit to direct him. Now we’re in Acts chapter 3, Pentecost was in Acts chapter 2, so this may be a week or so later, but whatever. Peter goes through another message to Israel telling them that the One they crucified was the Messiah, was the Christ, and then come all the way down to verse 24 and 25. I don’t see how God could make this any plainer if you really want to see it. The trouble is most people do something God wouldn’t do, they just put us Gentiles in the place of the Jews and Israel here and say, “this is for us. Don’t bother me with what the Scriptures really say!”

Acts 3:24

“Yea, all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days,”

Well what’s Peter talking about? Christ’s first advent. The whole picture, His coming, His ministry, His crucifixion, His burial, and resurrection was all in the Old Testament, and that’s all Peter had. It was all prophecy. So Peter says, “you’re seeing what they prophesied happen.” But don’t stop there. Verse 25.

Acts 3:25a

Ye ( You Jews to whom he’s preaching) are the children of the prophets,…”

See that’s why I said this was predominately Jew only, because the prophets didn’t write to Gentiles, but only to the nation of Israel! Now the only time prophecy refers to Gentiles back here is how God some day will pronounce woe upon them for the way they have treated Israel, but nothing in the Old Testament is written to those Gentiles. When Peter is writing this Israel is still under the Law and look what he says.

Acts 3:25

“Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.”

So you see up here on this top timeline, Peter is still looking forward to this wrath and vexation, and he knew it still had to come, and also the coming of the Kingdom, because he’s still on the Old Testament prophetic program. Peter has no concept whatsoever that God is going to all of a sudden do something totally different and that He’s going to go to the Gentiles with the apostle Paul. Now the Jew had an understanding, that yes, they were to be vehicles to the Gentiles someday. In fact someone had that come up in their Sunday School class and was sharing that with me. Let’s look at Israel’s prospect they had of being the vehicle to bring Gentiles to the Lord. And to do that let’s turn over to the Book of Isaiah. There are many Scriptures that shows us this fact, but today let’s just start with chapter 42. Of course God hadn’t given up totally on the Gentiles, but they were going to have to be brought to Himself through the nation of Israel, they were the vehicle. But you see by the time we get to the apostle Paul, things have changed so much that the program is totally different than that. At that time God turns to the Gentiles without Israel. Oh He uses a Jew in the apostle Paul, but not as a vehicle of Judaism. But nevertheless God’s purposes for the nation of Israel was that they were supposed to be the light for the rest of the world.

Isaiah 42:1

“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: (the Him here refers to Christ, the Messiah) he shall bring forth judgment (rule, government) to the Gentiles.”

Do you see how plain that is? Sure God had His mind on the Gentiles, but He’s going to do it through Israel. Now let’s flip on over to chapter 59. Now these are all verses that people who have been watching the programs for several years have heard it all before as we use these verses occasionally. But if you’re new to the program, hopefully this will help you see where I’m coming from.

Isaiah 59:20

“And the Redeemer (the Messiah, the Christ) shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.

Now here you’ve got to know your Bible. It’s not speaking here of Christ’s crucifixion when He comes to Zion, but rather it’s to be their King! You see David ruled from Mount Zion, not from the Mount of Olives, or Mount Moriah, but rather from Mount Zion, so this is a reference to His coming to be the King so that He can reign and rule for those 1000 years. Now verse 21, and here God almost gives word for word the new covenant that He gave Jeremiah in Jeremiah 31:31, and is strictly to the house of Israel according to my Bible. But now come on down to chapter 60.

Isaiah 60:1-3

“Arise, shine, for thy light is come, (always remember that Isaiah is always writing to the Jews, the nation of Israel) and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. (at Bethlehem when He was born and presented Himself as their King) 2. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, (the nation of Israel) and his glory shall be seen upon thee. (hopefully because they have embraced their King and their Messiah) 3. And the Gentiles shall come to thy (Israel’s) light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”

I’m always stressing that God separated totally the nation of Israel from the rest of the world. Let’s come back to chapter 32, but since we’re that close let’s also look at a verse that we talked about earlier. Here in Deuteronomy 29:29 this is so obvious. My goodness a child can understand this.

Deuteronomy 29:29

“The secret things (something that no one else knows,) belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” God can keep things secret, but when He reveals it, what are we to do? Believe it! Now turn the page to chapter 32 and verse 8. This is the verse we came here for with regard to Isaiah.

Deuteronomy 32:8

“When the most High (that is the name of God with regard to the Gentiles) divided to the nations (the Gentiles) their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.”

Now what does that tell you? At the very core of God’s dealing with the people of the world is the little nation of Israel, and you can’t take that away from them. I just shared with someone just the other night that if someone cast doubt on the Scriptures, and actually asked you, “Why do you believe that Book anyway?” You answer with one statement,“Because of the Jew!” The Jew is living proof that this Bible is supernaturally written, because everything concerning the nation of Israel is unbelievable. In view of the fact that they’ve been scattered into every nation under heaven, and now here they are thousands of years later, back in their homeland, back with their old original Hebrew language, that should have never happened. But you see this old Book said it would, and so it’s living proof. Now coming back to the Scriptures for the moments we have left let’s pick up again with the prospects that Israel had of being the vehicle to bring the Gentiles to their Lord, and that would be in Zechariah chapter 8.20, and this says almost the same thing.

Zechariah 8:20

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: 21. And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, (Jehovah) and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. 22. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, (where His throne will be set up) and to pray before the LORD. 23. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”

Do you see Israel’s potential? But when the Messiah came and presented Himself, proving Himself with signs and wonders, and miracles, what did Israel do? They rejected and killed Him! They said “nothing good can come out of Nazareth.” So Israel dropped the ball, and they lost that opportunity of being this light to all the nations of the world. But it didn’t stop God. God just picked out one little Jew, a little fellow, and he turns the Roman Empire upside down, one man, and we’re going to be commenting on that when we get into Philippians. How that one man was such a vibrant testimony of the Gospel, that he just literally permeated that wicked, vile, Roman empire with the Gospel of the Grace of God aside from Israel.

See, Paul never did say, “You’ve got to go to Jerusalem and worship at the temple, or bring your sacrifices,” but rather Paul said, “That’s all done!” Christ satisfied all the demands of the Law when He died on that cross, was buried, and rose in power and glory, and announced through this apostle something that had been kept secret in all the prophetic utterance. “We’re going to put this wrath on hold, God’s going to postpone it until a future date, and then God opens up this bottom timeline with at least 1900 + more years than Paul expected. Paul expected the Lord to return in his lifetime and take his little group of believers out in the Rapture. But here we are 1900 + years later and I think He’s going to take it out in my life time. Maybe He won’t but I’m just pretty sure that He will, but if not the Gospel of Grace will continue on primarily to the Gentiles, because Israel is blind as a nation to the Gospel.

I know there are some Jews that are saved, but for the most part they just can’t believe that He was the Christ, and so it’s predominately a Gentile period of salvation. But one day this Age of Grace is going to come to an end and the Body of Christ will be complete and Christ will call us out and up. He’s going to meet us in the air as I Thessalonians 4:13-18 tells us. After that happens then God’s prophetic program will pick back up with the nation of Israel. At that time the wrath and vexation will come, followed by the Second Coming of Christ, and then followed by that glorious Kingdom on earth.

So always remember that the prophet program was something that Jesus never alluded to. Now He knew it, He could have told us the exact day and hour that the Lord would come, but since it was a secret held in the mind of God, He couldn’t. And if you’ll just check His language throughout His earthly ministry you will notice that there were times He could have made references to the Church Age, but He didn’t. He just glaringly leaves it out of the picture, and keeps it a secret, and so that’s why then the apostle Paul is always referring to the fact that he was the one to whom this revelation and secrets of the Church Age was revealed to.

Ephesians 6:1-24 - Part 2

460: Ephesians 6:1-24 – Part 2 – Lesson 1 Part 4 Book 39

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick


Ephesians 6:1-24 – Part 2

Now we’re ready to go back to Ephesians chapter 6 where we’ll finish this tremendous Book in this half hour, and maybe even have time to get into Philippians. So let’s begin with verse 15. Remember we didn’t finish that verse in the last lesson.

Ephesians 6:15

“And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;”

Now let’s go all the way back and pick it up in the Old Testament first and that will be in Isaiah chapter 52:7. This is a verse that most of you are aware of, but I always like to show that the Old and New fit so beautifully in so many ways, and here’s another one.

Isaiah 52:7a

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation;…”

I made the comment in our seminar in Pennsylvania recently, that the primary purpose of this Book from cover to cover is that one word “Salvation.” The main purpose of the Word of God is to bring lost people to a knowledge of salvation. Remember God’s not willing that any should perish! And if they’re not to perish, then they need to get the remedy from the Word of God. And as I’ve said so often, that remedy can only be found for the Church Age believers in Paul’s Gospel as we see in I Corinthians 15:1-4 which is faith + Nothing in the finished work of the cross. So whether it’s Old Testament or the New Testament, salvation is the main purpose for mankind to have the Bible. So looking at Isaiah 52:7 again.

Isaiah 52:7

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”

That portion of Scripture was written explicitly to the nation of Israel, but the overall is still the same. Now come back to the New Testament to the Book of Romans where the apostle Paul uses much the same language with regard to the feet of the one that is taking good news. Now remember, this isn’t limited to pastors, preachers, and evangelists, but rather this is for every believer, whoever we are, and wherever we are. We should always be ready to proclaim the good tidings of salvation. So let’s look at Romans chapter 10 for a moment.

Romans 10:15

“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, (and here is where Paul goes back to the verse we just read in Isaiah) How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

Beautiful feet, because the Gospel always lifts people out of their misery. Now we don’t make the claim that when we become a Christian everything suddenly becomes a path of roses or smooth goings, but it is such a far cry from the misery of the world that words can’t explain it. Always remember where you and I as believers come head and shoulders above the rest of world is, yes we’re going to have problems, we’re going to have trials, we’re going to have tribulations, but the Lord is with us, and He takes us through it, and that’s what makes the difference. So be ready to take the good news of salvation wherever you are, and the moment you do you are using your beautiful feet. Now coming back to Ephesians chapter 6, and looking at verse 16.

Ephesians 6:15a

“Above all, taking the shield of faith,…”

The next is probably the most important weapon we have against Satan. This is what we’re to use in our Spiritual warfare. Now I’m sure you’ve all heard it at one time before but we’re going to repeat it again. All the things that Paul is mentioning here are on the front of the soldier, and what does that tell us? You’re to never run, because the back side is left undefended. All the Roman soldiers armour was to the front, as he was never to retreat. So now looking at verse 16 again.

Ephesians 6:16

“Above all, taking the shield of faith, (the Roman soldier used the shield to deflect arrows, and so forth) wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (or the wicked one)

So the shield is what? Our faith! And how I’m always emphasizing faith, and what’s my definition of faith? “Taking God at His Word!” See, we have all these promises that God has given us, and so how do we appropriate them? By faith, we believe them. And everything that comes from the opposition, we deflect with something that the Word has promised. I think that even the staunchest believer has to admit that Satan will come and hit us with doubt. I don’t think that there is anybody that isn’t hit at times with doubt. Well, how are we going to deflect it? With our faith. How are we going to resist all these attacks of the evil one? With our faith. It’s just simply “but God has said it and I believe it,” and if God has said it what more do you want. So our shield is faith, and oh what a word that Paul uses over and over. In fact just back up a page to Ephesians chapter 2.

Ephesians 2:8a

“For by grace are ye saved through faith;…”

Remember faith isn’t something that you can lay out on the table, faith isn’t something that you feel. But rather faith is something that you just simply take the Word of God and say, “I BELIEVE IT” because this is what God has said. In every aspect of our Christian experience, how do we know that the Holy Spirit dwells within? Remember the Holy Spirit didn’t make some big announcement saying, “I’m coming in to live with you.” There isn’t a diploma that someone signs, that the Holy Spirit dwells within. So how do we know that He does? The Bible says so, and we take it by faith. We can’t feel it, but we know He’s there, because this is what the Word teaches.

I just had a phone call early this morning, and I’m going to take you back to the verse that I gave them in the Book of Matthew chapter 24. The question that was asked was, “What about all these different things that we’re hearing and reading about in Christendom today?” They are as different as daylight and darkness, and they are as false as false can be, and what does all of this tell us? Well, according to Matthew chapter 24, it just tells me that we’re at the end of the age, and one of the basic signs of the end times is a tremendous wave of deception, and we’re seeing it. Look at what the Lord Himself says in this great chapter. And as we look at this let’s start with verse 3. This is in the Lord’s earthly ministry and the twelve have approached him with a question.

Matthew 24:3-4

“And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (age) 4. And Jesus (the God of glory Himself) answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

So what is it? Deception is a sign of the end times, and we’re seeing it like never before in all of Church history. The various idea and contraptions that are coming at people from every direction are deceiving many, many people today. You can hear and see everything but the Gospel proclaimed today. When is the last time you heard the plan of salvation as outlined by the apostle Paul for the Body of Christ believers proclaimed anywhere? We are seeing this wave of deception and the only way we can confront it is to have the truth, and our faith in the Word of God. That’s our only defense, because the masses are going to fall for these deceptions, and we’re seeing it on every hand. Alright so it’s through our faith that we rest on what God has said, and what He has promised, and with it we deflect all these deceptive statements and teachings and doctrines that are being spewed out from every direction.

Now you can be coming back to the Book of Ephesians chapter 6. On Monday morning we have so many phone calls with questions because of what the people have heard the day before, which of course is Sunday. And when they ask most of these questions I usually asked them a question in reply. “Can you find it in your Bible?” And most of the time the answer is no, that’s why I’m calling.” Well if you can’t find it in your Bible in the age of Grace teachings, especially with Paul teachings, then run from it, because it’s a deception. It’s part and parcel of the end time scenario where people are believing men, and what they read in books instead of coming to the BOOK!

Now I’m not going to condemn good authors and good books, but we’re living in a day now where good Christian books are hard to find. It’s like one lady called from one of our major cities that has one of the largest Christian book stores in the country. And she said, “Les until about 5 or 6 years ago the whole front of that store was Bibles, but today, they’re all gone, they’re at the back of the store, and nothing but New Age material are up in front, and people are buying it by the case load.” Well what is that? It’s that wave of deception, and they can make it sounds so good. But the problem is they’re putting the Book at the back of the store, and they’re putting the books up front, and that’s exactly what we’ve told to be aware of.

Now coming back to the Book of Ephesians and this shield of faith, we know that all these false statements can come at us and how are we going to deflect them? What does the Bible say? Does the Book say it? If it doesn’t, then deflect it as a false teaching, and that’s the only thing I can tell people. Now let’s go on one more step in verse 16.

Ephesians 6:16b

“…wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (one)

There again it’s a defense. We don’t attack him, but rather we defend against him, and we do it with the Word of God. Now verse 17.

Ephesians 6:17

“And take the helmet of salvation,…”

What does the helmet protect? Well the head, and what’s in the head? The brain, and what’s in the brain? The mind, and to look at the mind turn ahead to Philippians chapter 2, and then we’ll go back to Romans chapter 12.

Philippians 2:5-8

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7. but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8. and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

I think I emphasized a few weeks ago the death on the cross, I know I did in one of our Oklahoma classes. What made the death of the cross so unique so far as you and I are concerned? Not just the crucifixion, because they crucified them by the thousands back in Jesus’s day. But it was unique because it was on Him that all the sins of the world were placed. That’s the death of the cross. That my sin and your sin was laid on Him, and that is why Isaiah could write that He was more disfigured than any man that had ever lived. Because of that curse of man’s sin that was laid upon Him as He died that death of the cross.

But the point we want to see here is that it all come to us through the mind. The Spirit gives us understanding and we with our mental capacity except these things by faith. Now for a moment let’s follow the mind to Romans chapter 12, because we can’t take the mind out of this. It’s part and parcel of our makeup, and it’s through the mind that we function, spiritually as well as physically.

Romans 12:1

“I beseech (beg) you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your (physical) bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service.(There is nothing unreasonable or bizarre about that request at all is there? Now verse 2.) And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed (made totally different from the world around us) by the renewing of your mind,…”

This is where we have to start. We have to analyze it, and have to think of all these things that God has done on our behalf, and it has to be done through the thought processes, and you can’t do it any other way. I shared with a pastor in North Carolina, and he agreed with me so whole heartily, and it’s a verse that I like to use over and over and it’s almost a daily prayer of mine. So again turn with me to Acts chapter 16. This is when Paul and Silas went to Philippi. Now remember this is the first time that the Gospel had been on the European side of the Aegean Sea.

Acts 16:13-14

“And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. 14. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us:(now here’s the part I always pray for. Oh Lord give me Lydia’s today. )whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.”

Now that says it all doesn’t it? Even the apostle Paul, had the Lord not opened Lydia’s heart, how far would he have gotten? Well as we say today, not even to first base. But you see as Paul was laying out the Gospel of the Grace of God, how that Christ died for the sins of the world, and how He rose from the dead in power, and glory. And as Paul laid that out to her, the Lord opened her understanding.

Have you ever stopped to think that when the apostle Paul began his ministry among these pagan Gentiles, they had no knowledge of any of this. They had no knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures or the God of Israel. They had no knowledge of a promised Messiah and King to the nation. Oh they knew those Jews were different, but they knew nothing of Judaism or nothing of the Old Testament. And yet this apostle can come into these pagan cities and preach a crucified Jewish Messiah who rose from the dead and they believed it by the thousands. It was to such an extent that it literally penetrated and turned the Roman empire upside down, now this is unbelievable.

At least you and I, when we share the Gospel with people, hopefully they have a certain amount of knowledge of these things. They at least know the story of Christmas and Easter if nothing else, but these people had none of that. So the Lord opens their understandings, and immediately they could embrace it, they could believe it, and of course Lydia’s house, I think, became the very first congregation on the European Continent. But it took the Lord supernaturally opening the mind and the thinking processes of this lady so that she could comprehend what Paul was talking about. So always remember, whether it’s myself or you, or anybody else, we are just beating the air unless the Lord opens the heart and the mind to those we are witnessing to. Now coming back to Ephesians again.

Ephesians 6:17

“And take the helmet of salvation, (our whole process of thinking and believing it, taking it by faith. Now we come to the only part of all that’s listed which is a weapon. and what is it?) and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.”

Now I know you’re all aware that when they came to arrest the Lord in the garden, what did Peter draw and strike out with? A sword. I don’t know if it’s still there are not, but I was reading a gentlemen who wrote back in the 1800’s, and at that time in Rome there was a statue of Paul, and he had on his side this little Roman sword. It was not the big long battle sword, but rather what we would call a dagger. Then I happened to think of Peter the night of the arrest, so it must not have been unusual for these men to carry a defensive weapon on their person wherever they went.

I’ve often thought, and I know that he was under the Lord’s protection, but on the other hand the Lord sometimes in certain situations leaves us to our own abilities. But I often wondered, how did Paul survive those wilderness treks through Asia Minor where robbers and bandits lurked at every turn? Was he armed with something of self-defense? Maybe he was, but whatever, Paul uses the analogy that as a believer we do have the weapon that we can use in our defense, and you all know what that weapon is. “The Word of God!” Now let’s compare some scriptures again. Oh my, do we only have 30 seconds left? Quickly turn to Hebrews chapter 4.

Hebrews 4:12

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

We also know that from the Book of Revelation, that you have the same analogy that God’s Word is the sword with which He fights.

Ephesians 6:1-24

459: Ephesians 6:1-24 – Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 39

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick


Ephesians 6:1-24

Now we’ll go right back to where we left off in our last lesson, and that will be in Ephesians chapter 6, beginning with verse 10. As most of you know we as a class are not affiliated with any particular group, most of us attend our own different denomination each week. So this is truly just a Bible study that has been going on for many years now, and since 1991 we have shared this Bible study, with your help, to our television audience, and God always seems to supply our needs. So we again thank you for helping us pay the bills and for your kind letters we get each day, we just can’t thank you enough. I think most of you realize that Iris is totally a “help mete” in this ministry, and we always appreciate the fact that 99 % of our letters begin with “Dear Les and Iris.” And I appreciate that so much because I just couldn’t do it without her.

I mentioned back in our study of the Corinthian letters, that you’ll notice that every once in a while Paul just seems to shift gears, and will go from one subject to something seemingly totally different, and here is one of them. Now in the last two lessons he came out of the relationship between the husband and the wife, based on love, and the comparison of the love of Christ and the Church. Then he carried on into chapter 6 with that same attitude between the parents and their children, but now we come into something totally different. Now we’re going to cover the territory of dealing with our adversary Satan and the powers that be. Now verse 10.

Ephesians 6:10-11

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

Now you have no idea how many letters and phone calls I get, that ask, “Is it Scriptural that we are to bind Satan?” Personally I’ve never heard it, and it sure isn’t in this Book. There is no way that we humans can bind Satan. Satan is a spirit being, and God in the power of an angel will one day, as we see in Revelation chapter 19, bind him and put him in the pit for a thousand years. But there is no way that we can bind Satan today, nor are we instructed to. I pointed out to one individual that the instruction as we see right here is to resist him, to oppose him, but there’s no way we’re going to bind him. Look at verse 11 again.

Ephesians 6:11

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

Now the first thing you always have to do in Bible study is think of a situation way back where we have a perfect example of what Paul is talking about here. I like to do this just to make people think. Where you can you think of an instant where someone resisted Satan? Well the Lord did in Matthew chapter 4. Let’s go back there for a moment and look at it. Now if Satan were to have been bound, then the Lord would have done it right here, but He doesn’t, but what does He do? He resists him. And how does he resist old Satan? With the Word of God. And it’s no different for us today. We can not bind him, but we can resist him by the Word of God! And here it is in Matthew chapter 4.

Matthew 4:1-3

“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted (or tested) of the devil. 2. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. 3. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” Now we know the Lord could have done it. but He certainly wasn’t going to do at Satan’s command, so what does He do? He withstands him, He resists him, and look how He does it.

Matthew 4:4

“But he answered and said, It is written, (He quotes Scripture) Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Alright now you come through these various temptations and every time, what does Jesus quote? The Scripture! Now that’s our defense, do you see that? Now coming back to the Book of Ephesians, as you look at these verses in whole, there is not one word in here that we are to attack Satan. All of the attributes of this event are defensive, and that’s all we can do. We can withstand him, James says we can resist him, and he will flee from us, so here is where we have to have a knowledge of the Scriptures in order to confront Satan if and when he approaches us.

So we’re to be prepared because he will attack at one time or another. You know, I don’t think we have to feel that he’s constantly attacking us day in and day out. I told someone the other day, and it probably shocked them a little bit, that I have more trouble with my old sin nature than I do with Satan. Isn’t that right? It’s our old sin nature that gives us the most problems. Satan, I think, is periodic in his attacks on the believer. But our old Adamic nature is a 24 hour battle, because that’s where we’re in a constant warfare. Now moving on to verse 12.

Ephesians 6:12

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Now let’s come back to Romans chapter 8, because the only way I can teach is to compare Scripture with Scripture, because it usually explains itself better than I can. Here Paul writes in the conclusion of this great chapter of Romans 8 about our security as a believer.

Romans 8:38

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, (creation) shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Now come back to the Book of Ephesians. In other words, these principalities, and powers that Paul speaks of are in Satan’s domain. These are the powers of darkness that Paul warns us about in Ephesians, and again he does not tell us to attack them, but rather we’re to resist them, we’re to have a defense against them, and be ready with the Scriptures to resist. We always have to understand that it’s not flesh and blood that we defend against. Paul knew that better than anyone. As he writes this letter to the Ephesians believers, where is he? Well he’s in prison in Rome, and whether it was this exact moment, or a year or two later, who became the most awful emperor that the Roman empire had ever experienced? Nero. It was under Nero of course that Paul was finally put to death.

Now I have to feel as I study some of these things that some of the freedom that Paul experienced in his earthly prison experience was because there was another emperor – Nero came in a little later. But we do know that Nero was the emperor when Paul was put to death. Nero was wicked, and like Ahab in the Old Testament, and he also had a wife that was worse than he was. She happened to be a wife that had been a proselyte of Judaism, and she of course would listen to the Judaisers who detested the apostle Paul, and wanted his life to end. So she egged Nero on in a lot of his wicked things.

So Paul writes from a position of full understanding what it is to be up against the powers and principalities and the wickedness, and darkness of this world. He knew what it was, as he was talking from first hand experience. But on the other hand, Paul never gave up, Paul never despaired, but his makeup was constantly up beat as we’ll see when we get into the Book of Philippians where his comments were rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, over and over, in spite of his horrible circumstances, and so it’s an encouragement to us.

My, we have no idea what the apostle had to go through, but we do get a little picture of the wickedness, and the things that are taking place in the realm of the principalities and powers, because all you have to do is pick up your daily papers. What is causing the murders and the random violence that’s sweeping not only America, but the whole world? Well it’s the Satanic powers, and the things that are constantly producing such wickedness. Now verse 13, and Paul begins with the word “Wherefore,” since we’re dealing with something beyond the physical, this is something that is in area of the invisible. And that of course is where Satan’s domain is.

Ephesians 6:13

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

Now another point I like to make is, if Paul is in prison in Rome, who is constantly in his presence? Roman soldiers, as one of them was usually chained to him. So he had a first hand view of the operations of a Roman solder. It’s unique to Paul I think, that he uses the things that were around him in the everyday world to make his point even though it was Holy Spirit inspired. For example, when he tells us to run the race, what is he making the analogy with? Well the Olympics. He gives us the same background that the Olympic runners had to prepare to run their race, and so do we have to prepare to run our race for the Lord.

Now of course he’s using the Roman solder to make a point. These soldiers were known for their ability in battle. Now as he comes down through these verses he’s going to literally look at that Roman soldier, prepared for altercation of one sort or another. He may not have had all his battlefield armour on, but yet Paul was aware of all the things that Roman soldier needed before he went into battle. He was seeing it around him all the time. Paul was such a tremendous witness for the Gospel that even these pagan Romans soldiers, as they took their place as his personal guard, by the time they rotated out to another place of service, what where they? They were believers!

So this is why he could say in the Book of Philippians chapter 1:13, that the Gospel had reached even unto the palace. I mean this is hard to comprehend, that under those horrible pagan circumstances, yet the man in the power of the Holy Spirit was constantly winning these men to Christ, who in turn were going into other places of duty and were becoming a testimony as well.

Philippians 1:13

“So that my bonds (those chains to which he was attached to a Roman soldier) in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;”

That is throughout Rome. Now go over to chapter 4 and this just builds on verse 13 we just looked at. Here Paul is closing the letter to the Philippians and says the following.

Philippians 4:22

“All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.”

That’s why I don’t think Nero was yet the emperor, because Nero would never have allowed this. But because of Paul’s testimony to these soldiers who would come in and be his personal guard, and when they were rotated out to other places of service, they were actually penetrating the household of the emperor. Now some of course feel that this was limited to the Roman headquarters of that garrison, rather than the actual palace of the emperor. But whatever, Paul was having such an impact on those Roman soldiers as they would come into to guard him 24 hours a day that by the time they left that tour of duty they went out as believers. I think that they went to the ends of the Roman empire, and that is why that Paul could write to Titus in chapter 2 the following.

Titus 2:11

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

Now just stop and think about that. What a testimony that man had even as a prisoner, winning those pagans around him to a knowledge of salvation. Now if you’ll come back to Ephesians chapter 6, we find that Paul writes from first hand experience of the preparations for battle that the Roman soldier had to go through. Also that all of these things that Paul mentions are defensive weapons. There’s only one offensive weapon mentioned and it is also used defensively, and that is the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Now verse 14.

Ephesians 6:14a

“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth,…”

The loins is the upper legs, and that of course was to deflect the spears and the arrows of the enemy. Paul is going to bring that now into the Spiritual realm, and so as the Roman soldier had his loins protected with some sort of armour, we too are to have our spiritual loins girt about with truth. Now those of you who have heard me teach very long know there’s another term that we can always substitute for the word “truth” and not do violence to the Scripture, and what is it? The name of Christ!

If we’re literally protected by the presence of Christ, then Satan can’t touch us. You know as Iris and I travel a lot, and as we put the nose of the car into traffic, we have learned to just ask the Lord to just hedge us about with His presence. When that’s there nothing can touch us. Now we run across horrible accidents constantly, and during this last trip we made we came across four of them. That’s enough to just curl your hair, but we have to constantly rest in that knowledge that we’re in His protective care, and Satan can’t touch us. Always remember Satan can’t touch us without God permitting it to happen. So here again we are to have our lions girt about with the very presence of Christ, the Truth. Let me show you in Ephesians chapter 1.

Ephesians 1:13

“In whom ye also trusted, (in Christ in verse 12) after that ye heard the word of truth, (an again I can put the term Christ in there for truth, which is) the gospel of your salvation:(that’s when we became a believer. When we heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel) in whom also after that ye believed, (and nothing else. Then after you believed) ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,”

So the whole concept of Paul’s teaching is, “That Christ is the very Truth of God, He is the Word of God, and we are to be surrounded with His very presence. Now the last part of Ephesians 6:14:

Ephesians 6:14b

“…an having on the breastplate of righteousness:”

Now those of you who remember when we taught back in Romans chapter 3, how do we receive the righteousness of God? When we believe the Gospel! Now I had to do a little research on this because I never want to put something in here that’s not here. But the breastplate of the Roman soldier that Paul was looking at as he was writing this did not just cover the upper chest as we think of a bullet proof vest today. But the breastplate actually went to the lower part of the torso where the legging then would pick up. So this breast plate of righteousness was that which covered the whole torso of the Roman soldier. Now let’s look at Romans chapter 3 for a moment. You’ll recognize the verses because we’ve used them often. And remember the breastplate is righteousness! This is our security, it’s our defense against the principalities and powers. Now verse 21 and 22.

Romans 3:21-22a

“But now (that we’re under Grace rather than Law) the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22. Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:…”

What is unto all and upon all? Righteousness! God’s righteousness is imputed to us, it covers us, it’s our defense against the powers of darkness. This righteousness has been placed upon all them that believe! Another one I always like to use from the Old Testament is found in Isaiah chapter 61, and verse 10. Now this is a Jewish prophet, but he is also writing by the inspiration of the Spirit the same as Paul does.

Isaiah 61:10

“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he (God) hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments,…”

Do you see the analogy? Oh as God’s righteousness has been imputed, it becomes the breastplate that Paul talks about in Ephesians chapter 6. And it’s our defense against the powers of the evil one. Now coming back to Ephesians for just a moment, let’s look at verse 15.

Ephesians 6:15

“And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;”

Now can you imagine a Roman soldier out on the battle field in briars and sharp rocks with nothing to protect his feet? Of course they had to be protected, otherwise he would have been powerless against the enemy. But we too must have our feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. There’s a couple of good verses for that where we have the feet referred to in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament,. Always remember, the feet are beautiful in the sight of God when we take the Gospel to other people.

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