487 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 41 - Colossians 2:1-13

487: Colossians 2:1-13 – Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 41

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 41

Colossians 2:1-13

Now as we start this lesson we’re going to just read verse 8, as I finished commenting on it, but we need to read it to introduce verse 9.

Colossians 2:8-9

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, (that which is strictly materialistic) and not after Christ. 9. For in him (Christ) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”

Now you have to constantly remember that when Christ made His appearance among men back there in Bethlehem He never stopped being God. Now because He was God He was able to limit his powers, He didn’t abuse it like we would, but He never stopped being God. In fact we look at that several lessons back, and just turn the page back to Colossians chapter 1:15. See the reason Paul keeps repeating this all the time is to drive the fact home as to who is Jesus Christ. Well He is the visible manifestation of the Godhead, all three.

Colossians 1:15

“Who (speaking of God the Son in verse 13) is the image of the invisible God,…” (the Godhead)

Then to show who He really was you go on into verse 16 and it shows us that He was the Creator of everything. He’s the God of Genesis 1:1.

Colossians 1:16

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” Now coming back to Colossians chapter 2, and let’s read verse 9 again.

Colossians 2:9

“For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”

Now I know this is hard for us to comprehend, I know it is. Let’s take the time to look at John’s gospel chapter 14 to follow up on this. This is a passage of Scripture I think we used a couple of weeks ago, but it just says it all. But you know I don’t mind when people have a little trouble comprehending this because the twelve disciples couldn’t either. It’s epitomized here when Philip says, “show us the Father” Now let’s start with verse 7. And here Jesus is speaking to the twelve.

John 14:7-8

“If ye had known me, (If you really know who I am) ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. (Do you see that? Now that’s a hard pill for many to swallow, and it was for the twelve.) 8. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.”

Now you want to remember that these people were just as ordinary as you and I are. These men had the same thoughts, they had the same questions that we do. Now look at Jesus answer to Philip.

John 14:9

“Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, (three years now) and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath (already) seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”

They had seen the Father. How did they see Him? Because in Christ dwelt the Godhead bodily. So always remember that when Scripture speaks of the Lord – let me give you a good example. Come back with me to Acts chapter 16. This is a good verse to use periodically anyway, and I haven’t now for a few weeks. In fact I’ll just use several Scripture as we can also go back to Matthew 16. In fact let’s just start with Matthew chapter 16 so that you can see that all the persons of the Godhead can be referred to synonymously.

Here in Matthew the setting is Jesus and the twelve clear up in northern Israel at the headwaters of the Jordan river. They’re going to be making their way down to Jerusalem for the last Passover and His crucifixion, and He ask the question up there in verse 13. “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” And they said – and remember they had been with Him for three years, and seen miracles upon miracles and also remember the Bible gives us only a little sample of all the miracles that Jesus performed. He must have performed miracles by the dozens everyday because the last verse of John’s gospel says –

John 21:25

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.”

Now even if that were a play on words it just simply tells us that we only are told a sampling of the ones that He performed. Now look at how the disciples answered him in verse 14.

Matthew 16:14-16

“And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; (Elijah) and others, Jeremias, (Jeremiah) or one of the of the prophets. See they had all kinds of ideas except the right one, that He was the Messiah) 15. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?” (And Simon Peter answers with the right answer in verse 16.) And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Now here’s the verse I wanted you to see in verse 17.

Matthew 16:17

“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”

Now in our line of thinking, who was the One that should have given Peter that kind of knowledge? Well the Holy Spirit. Isn’t that right? It’s the Holy Spirit who gives us knowledge in those things, but here it’s the Father. And I’m sure it was the Spirit that accomplished it. Now let’s go to Acts chapter 16, and we’ll begin with verse 14. Here of course we find Paul and Silas at Philippi.

Acts 16:14a

“And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened,…”

Instead of the Father opening her heart it was the Lord. Now who is the Lord? Well God the Son. It was Christ. But we know from all the rest of Scripture what person of the Godhead actually opened the eyes of Lydia? Well the Holy Spirit, as He’s the One who opens our understanding. Now let me prove that over in I Corinthians chapter 2. Now don’t let this throw a curve at you because you want to remember that the three persons of the Godhead even though we recognize their separate entities, yet they operate as One. It doesn’t make any difference if it’s the Spirit who opens Lydia’s heart or the Lord or the Father, it’s still the same God. Here in I Corinthians chapter 2 it’s definitely the Holy Spirit.

I Corinthians 2:13-14a

” Which things also (Paul says) we speak, (all of these things he’s been writing about) not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: ….”

Now, does that leave God the Father and God the Son out of the picture? Of course not! They’re all involved constantly in the working of any one of the three. And so always be careful that you don’t just say, “Well, now I can’t figure out who is doing it. Is it the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit?” Now come back to Colossians chapter 2 and verse 9.

Colossians 2:9

“For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”

There you have it. Christ is God the father, God the Son and God the Spirit. But yet they function in their individual roles. Now let’s move on.

Colossians 2:10

“And ye (believers. Remember, Paul never talks to the unbelieving world. He always talks to the believer) are complete in him, (that God head epitomized by Christ) which is the head of all principality and power:”

What does that involve? Everything!! Whether it’s the satanic powers or the angelic powers or earthly powers, or kingdoms, He is in control of everything. There’s never been an emperor that assumed a throne without that sovereign God in control. He doesn’t use a puppet string, but nevertheless, in His sovereignty nothing happened. Now again, let me show you from the Scripture what I’m talking about. I hate to have people think, “Well where does this guy get this stuff.” Because I imagine I’m accused of that more than once. Come back to Romans chapter 13 and let’s start at verse 1. And remember why I’m coming back here. Christ is the head of all principality and power. Not just in the realm of the spiritual but in everything.

Romans 13:1

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. (He’s not talking about spiritual power here. He’s talking about political power or government.) For there is no power (government)but (how?) of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”

There’s never been a government on the face of the earth that wasn’t ordained of God. Even a Hitler or Stalin. They are all there for His purposes. They are all ordained of God and we can’t ignore that. Now come back to Colossians and it says just exactly what it means and it means what it says. That Jesus the Christ, the very epitome of the Godhead bodily is still the One who is the head all principality and power. Now, I’m going to have to do with a couple of verses here like I did in the last program. I’m going to have to jump down and I want to cover verse 13, before I cover verse 11. Now that may seem like gobbledy-gook to you but I think it’s going to make sense when you see what I’m doing. Let’s drop down to verse 13 and then I’m going to come up and deal with verse 11. Don’t worry, I’m going to hit verse 12 too, but we’re going to leave it for now.

Colossians 2:13

“And you, (talking to believers) being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he (God) hath he quickened (made you alive) together with him, having (past tense) forgiven you (how much?) all trespasses;”

Now we’re going to look at the word ‘justification’. We’ve been justified from all things. You remember what my definition of ‘justification’ is? It’s the judicial act of God whereby He declared the sinner “just as if’ he had never sinned.” That’s beyond human comprehension. But you see, that what the Grace of God does the moment we believe. Now, let’s explain from Scripture what he’s talking about in verse 13. Come back a few pages again, to Ephesians chapter 2. Now this is going to get a little sticky and I know it is. I’m going to have to go as slow as I can. Let’s look at verses 11 and 12. These are verses that we’ve used a lot of times.

Ephesians 2:11a

“Wherefore remember, that ye (the Ephesians. But he’s writing just as well to us today) being in time past Gentiles in the flesh,…”

In other words, our genetics were not Jewish. They are non-Jew, so we are Gentile. That’s all the word Gentile means. A Gentile simply means someone who is not a Jew. So whether you’re Oriental, African, American Indian, European, or whatever, as long as we’re not out of the stock of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we’re a Gentile. It’s just that simple. So now then Paul is saying of us –

Ephesians 2:11b

“…that ye being in time past Gentiles, in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;”

The Uncircumcision. That was the Jewish term for a non-Jew. He was the Uncircumcised. And a lot of times they would add the word, “dogs.” “Uncircumcised Dogs” is what they thought of Gentiles. Now, I’m going to give you one more. Come back a few more pages to Galatians chapter 2 and verse 7.

Galatians 2:7

“But contrariwise, when they (the leadership of the Jerusalem Jewish assembly) saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;”

Now how many classes of people do you have? Two! Paul and Barnabas were the apostles of the uncircumcision or the Gentiles. Peter, on the other hand, and James and John and the other of the disciples, were the apostles of the circumcision, or Israel. I could stand here for another hour on that alone. Why do you suppose Jesus chose the twelve inside of Israel? Because they were to be the apostles of Israel. That’s why He told them not to go to the Gentiles in Matthew 10:5. Why do you supposed He chose the apostle Paul outside of Israel? Because he was to be the apostle to the Gentiles. And so all of this just fits together. But what I’m trying to show you here is the terminology, the uncircumcision, is the non-Jewish world of which you and I are a part. The circumcision was the Jewish world. Now, let’s go back to Ephesians chapter 2 and verse 11. I’m almost sure I’m not going to finish these two verses in this half hour.

Ephesians 2:11b

“….who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made hands.” In other words, the Jew would refer to the Gentiles as uncircumcised. Now let’s go to verse 12.

Ephesians 2:12

“That at that time (while God was dealing with the circumcision, Israel) ye (uncircumcision, Gentiles) were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:”

That was the lot of the Gentile world. Because God was dealing with Israel. But the day came when Israel rejected everything and God turned to the Gentile world through this apostle. Now, come back to Colossians chapter 2 and I’m going to try and take this slow enough that I don’t leave everybody totally confused. But now let’s look at Colossians chapter 2 and verse 13.

Colossians 2:13a

“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh,….”

Now you tie the two together. Why were they dead in their sins? Because they were outside the covenants of Israel, outside the citizenship, they were Gentiles. And so this is what Paul is saying – This was our past. We were dead spiritually, mostly because we were Gentiles and were outside the covenant promises. And so as the uncircumcised physically, we were dead spiritually but what has God done? He’s quickened us. He’s made us alive. What has happened? Come up to verse 11 and I’ll leave this half hour in total confusion, I’m afraid.

Colossians 2:11a

“In whom (Christ) also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands,….”

What is he talking about? A spiritual circumcision with which the flesh had nothing to do with. Now, I guess the Lord must have instituted circumcision in the flesh knowing that the day would come when it would be the perfect example of spiritual circumcision. And this is what we’re going to see in these two verses. I’m not going to finish it in this half hour, I know I can’t. So now then, we who in the flesh, uncircumcised, in the spirit we are circumcised, not the fleshly circumcision, but a spiritual one. I hope I can put it on the board in the next half hour and clarify it. And that simply means that God has done something spiritually that was a good example of that which practiced in Israel physically. And that was cutting off that which is superfluous or no longer needful. That’s the whole concept.

Now for you and I as believers, what did God cut off that was now superfluous? The old Adam! The old Adam has been cut off. It’s been crucified with Christ and we’ll pick it up in our next half hour so hang by a string if you can. But anyway this is the whole idea of these two verses – that yes, in the flesh we’re uncircumcised, we’re Gentiles. But spiritually we’ve been circumcised by virtue of the old Adam being crucified with Christ, cut off, and is no longer something that we have to deal with as far as eternity is concerned because it has been done by God Himself.

486 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 41 - Paul Warns the Church - Part 2

486: Paul Warns the Church – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 41

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 41

Paul Warns the Church – Part 2

Colossians 2:1-13

Now in this lesson we’ll pick up our study in Colossians, chapter verse 4. I’m going to pretty much skim over these verses 5, 6, and 7 because verse 4 and verse 8 I’m going to tie together. But I’m going to wait till we get to verse 8 before I teach verse 4. They both teach about deception, about being beguiled so we’ll put them together.

Colossians 2:4-7

“And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 5. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. 6. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7. Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”

A verse just comes to mind that we need to look at. Like I just told Jerry, a lot of times I don’t intend to start chasing Scriptures, but we trust the Holy Spirit has a reason for prompting me. Come back with me to II Corinthians chapter 11, because I’m sure this is exactly what’s on the apostle’s mind as he writes. Now remember the Corinthian letters were written several years before the prison epistles, and here he’s rehearsing his sufferings.

II Corinthians 11:27-28

“In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. (and I even skipped the verses about his beatings and stoning, and shipwrecks, and being robbed so often) 28. Beside those things (the physical sufferings) that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the Churches.”

I mean the man was just constantly burdened, wondering how that Church in Philippi was doing? How are those folks over in the Colossi Church? How are the members over at the Ephesus Church? See, all of this was on his mind constantly, and it was a daily concern for him. Now coming back to Colossians chapter 2. I can’t help but feel that those Churches were on his mind as he wrote verses 5, 6, and 7. Now I’m going to come into verse 8, and tie that up with verse 4. And what’s the first word of verse 8? Beware! Look out, because there’s danger ahead. And what’s the danger? False teachings.

You know I’ve often said, I know with God, He’s Sovereign and He saw to it that the Church survived. But have you ever stopped to realize what a miracle it is that Christianity ever survived? I mean it’s a miracle. Here we have little groups of believers that have just come out of paganism, they had Paul and one of his helpers for a few weeks, and then they moved on to another congregation. They had no printed Book to leave with them, and no trained pastor to leave with them. Then the moment they moved on to a new congregation the false teachers, the Judaisers, would come right in behind Paul and tell these people that you can’t be saved by faith and faith alone. You have to keep the Law of Moses, you have to be circumcised, this and that act is also required. And it’s almost that bad today with false teachings, and the passing on of tradition. I’m amazed that it all survived. But of course God is Sovereign and He watched over it, we know that. Now let’s read verse 8 again.

Colossians 2:8a

“Beware lest any man…” So in the Colossians Church I feel there was somebody who was guilty of this and Paul didn’t name him, but he certainly made the congregation aware of what he was doing.

Colossians 2:8

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Now tie verse 8 and verse 4 together.

Colossians 2:4

“And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.”

Now listen, I’ve been telling people for 25 years, that you’re not going to have someone come in behind your pulpit and just flat out say, “Now look folks, I’m going to deceive you.” You know better than that, nobody would do that, but rather they come up there like wolves in sheep’s clothing don’t they? Again I got a call from west Texas where this Church had a guest preacher situation, and it was pitiful what he was proclaiming. Yet the congregation didn’t even realize what he was. Well it was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I’m sure the guy didn’t come into that pulpit and say, “I’m going to fill you up with false teaching today. But instead these false teachers make it sound like they’re the authority and you’d better believe it. Like Paul say, “they come with enticing words.” Now let’s compare that then with the apostle himself, and let’s go back to Romans chapter 16. Paul is always showing the opposite side of the coin with his own ministry. That he would never deceive any body, he would never bring anything but the truth.

Romans 16:17-18

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; (their own physical, material appetite. Boy doesn’t that ring a bell? My they’ll come into our congregations and just milk them from start to finish, to line their own pockets.) and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”

We’re not talking about simple minded people, but rather believers who are not yet rooted in the truth. And like a child who was still simple these early believers could be so easily led astray. So Paul is warning them to be aware. For such people offer nothing but to fill their own physical and material desires. Now let’s go to another one in I Corinthians chapter 2, and I think I want verse 4. Now this is how he came to these congregations as opposite of false teachers.

I Corinthians 2:4

“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but (my preaching was) in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:”

Remember, I told you in the last lesson that Paul likes that word power. The Holy Spirit inspires him to use it every once in a while. It was the power of God that kept driving him on. Now verse 5. Why did the man just simply, totally depend on the power of the Holy Spirit, and to make sure that everything he said was honest, and above board? It was to enhance their Spiritual well being, and here it is.

I Corinthians 2:5

“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

Our faith isn’t set in the wisdom of men, and we’re going to see when we get back to Colossians when it speaks of philosophy and traditions of men. That’s not where our faith rests. Our faith rests in the Word of God! Now read verse 5 again.

I Corinthians 2:5

“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

See when we rest in the power of God, then we’re on solid ground. Now let’s go to another one in II Corinthians chapter 11, and verse 13. I’m always afraid I don’t use enough verses, and yet I don’t want to us too many that we waste time.

II Corinthians 11:13-15a

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. (they are self proclaimed) 14. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness;…”

Now that’s scary language isn’t it? What does it tell us? Oh we have to be so careful. We can’t just sit down and say, well that man is using the Bible, and he’s behind the pulpit, and if he’s behind the sacred desk, so what he says, must be true.” Don’t you ever do that. Not with me or anybody else. But what we have to look at is this. “Is what he is saying lining up with the Word of God? Also is he separating Law and Grace? Remember Law and Grace won’t mix.” Now reading on in verse 15.

II Corinthians 11:15b

“…whose end shall be according to their works.”

Do you know what tells me? They’re going to be at the Great White Throne! And we all know who’s going to appear there don’t we? Only the Lost! Because these men can’t be the possessors of eternal life, or they could not be used of Satan in such a way. Now I have another one in Ephesians chapter 4, and verse 14.

Ephesians 4:14a

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, (in our spiritual learning) and carried about with every wind of doctrine,…” Now there again you have no idea how many people will call and say, “they’ve been in many, many different groups, and one was just a bad as another, but finally they saw the light and came out and embellished the truth.” Listen the world is full of these false teachings, and a lot of times it’s the cults, but not always. So Paul is warning us here “not to be carried about with every wind of doctrine.”

Ephesians 4:14b

“…by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”

See, that’s their job. It’s also all they’re living for, is to deceive the masses. And oh we’re seeing it, and yet the Scriptures warns us that those kind of people are to be avoided at all cost. Now I think I have one more in the next chapter, and that would be in Ephesians chapter 5:6. See how much Paul deals with, “beware of deception?” It’s almost as much as the positive, and this is what we have to be careful of.

Ephesians 5:6

“Let no man deceive you with vain word; for because of these things, (these false teachers) cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” And these guys are going to be part of it. They’re going to be part of the people they have deceived. Now verse 7.

Ephesians 5:7

“Be not ye therefore partakers with them.”

Stand up and say, “Hey, I’m not going to follow this.” My, we’ve got people in other states around the country that have come out of some of these groups, and they’ll admit with a question, “How in the world did we sit there for 10 years and listen to this stuff?” But you see they didn’t know any better. I hope I can say this and get away with it, one guy said, “We had a guy come into our Church, and say, “Now look people, so far as you’re concerned, I am your God.” And he said, “It didn’t even bother us a bit that you could tell, as the rank and file of people are still going.” But the Lord opened their eyes and they came out of it.

You’d be surprised at what we hear, but that’s what’s out there. See this is what the apostle Paul was constantly aware of, that you had all these false teachers coming in and hoodwinking the people. Oh I could stand here all afternoon and give example after example of what people are telling us that they’re being subjected to. It’s frightening. And even the Lord Himself warns of this. Let’s go back to Matthew chapter 24 for a moment and look what He says. In my Oklahoma classes I almost deluge them with this verse for six straight months. Every week I would remind them what the Lord said in this chapter. And let’s just start with verse 3. The Lord here is in His earthly ministry and before His crucifixion.

Matthew 24:3-4

“And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples (the twelve) 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 answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.” Now what does that tell you? That’s a sign of the end times! The world is going to be inundated with deceptions. And we know the world has to be made ready for the man of sin, the global leader that’s coming on the scene, and I feel we’re getting closer and closer to that day. So consequently in order to get the world ready for him, Satan is deceiving them so that they’ll be ready for him with open arms. But you see, you and I are to know better. We’re not to fall into that trap, we’re not to be ready for the man of sin, but rather we’re to ready for the Head of the Body at His soon return. Now coming back to Colossians chapter 2. Again I thought we’d finish Colossians today Jerry, but I don’t think we’re going to make it.

Colossians 2:8a

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy…”

That is the thoughts and mind of educated men. Now I’ve got nothing against education, but I’m going to look at it the way the Scriptures does. When educated men get puffed up and feel that their thoughts and their own idea supersedes the Scriptures, then I have to get my hackles up and say, now listen we’re not going to go by the intellectuals idea of men’s philosophy..

Colossians 28b

“…and vain deceit, after the tradition of men,…”

Now you’d be surprise how many times I can ask a pastor a particular thing that he may not agree with me on. So I’ll just ask then to show me in the Scripture, “Why you do what you do”, and they can’t.! “Then why do you do it?” And after a blank stare of about 30 seconds here it comes, “tradition.” And oh how Paul hated the word. You say, “Where do you get that?” Back up a few pages to Galatians chapter 1. And of course Galatians chapter 1 and 2 is a recap of course of his early ministry. Chapter 1 is conversion to the road to Damascus, and he’s given us a brief glimpse of his background.

Galatians 1:11-13

“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. (he’s not following philosophy of man) 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (now that’s the mystery again that he referred to in Romans 16:25.) 13. For ye have heard of my conversation (or manner of living) in time past in the Jew’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church (or assembly) of God, and wasted it:”

In other words those Jewish believers who had embraced Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah for their salvation, had come aside out of the main stream of Judaism, although they still kept temple worship. They had believed that Jesus was the Messiah, and had repented and were baptized in water as was required by Peter’s gospel of circumcision. These Jewish believers were now congregating on their own, and recognizing that Jesus was the Messiah. Alright, that’s the people then that the apostle Paul just ravished, because he thought they were imposters, and heretics. But that’s not why we came here. Look at verse 14.

Galatians 1:14

“And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.”

Now you want to remember we’ll see this a little more clearly as we come along in our study. The Judaism of Christ’s day was a far cry from the original with Moses and the tabernacle worship in the wilderness. Well what had happened? Well the Rabbi’s, bless their hearts would sit there by the days and hours and would be examining all these concepts of the Torah, and like today they would set up a commentary of what it really meant. Well after all the Rabbi’s had made these commentaries, Judaism by what I’ve been able to put together by the time of Christ was 613 rules. Now I’m going to be commentating on that again when we get to verse that these Law and rules had been crucified. But nevertheless, that was the tradition of the fathers that Saul of Tarsus had been steeped in. I dare say, he knew all 613 forward and backwards. He just knew them, and it was part and parcel of him.

Well we’re seeing the same thing today, when people are steeped in some false cults for a lifetime, maybe 70 years, and then they begin to see the truth, but is it easy? No! It’s never easy to give up tradition. It’s a battle to pull away from it, and every time they make a step forward, that old pull of tradition draws them back. Well this is what Paul knew was to follow the traditions of men. So even for us today, we have to be constantly aware, “Are you just simply following what grandpa believed?” What if grandpa is in Hell? Are you going to follow him there? And that’s what we have to realize. Just because grandpa could quoted Scripture, that doesn’t mean that he had the truth of the Word of God.

485 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 41 - Paul Warns the Church

485: Paul Warns the Church – Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 41

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 41

Paul Warns the Church

Colossians 2:1-13

As we begin this series of the next four lessons, I must let our television audience know that we’re finally in our new studio here at channel 47 in Tulsa. When Lesea sold the old building and bought this new one we had to put up with that makeshift studio, which was more cramped, with no room for tables, while they built this whole new addition. Anyhow I certainly want to thank the Lesea people and their president Pete Summerall for this state of the art studio.

Now we’re ready to start our study for today, and we’ll begin with Colossians chapter 2, and verse 1. I was going to put the timeline on the board again, but I think I’ll refrain until we finish Colossians. It’s been a while since we’ve had it up there, and it helps so many people to understand their Bible better. But before we go into the Thessalonian letters I will again review some of those things. I hope you do realize that we have new listeners everyday, and we have to keep reviewing these things so that they also know where we’re coming from and what we’re talking about.

But for now we’re in Paul’s little epistle of Colossians, which was written to a little congregation east and south of Ephesus. Then, almost due north of Colossi was the other little city in Asia Minor or western Turkey called Laodicea. So when Paul makes mention that the Colossians should pass this letter on to the Laodicean people, it was just that they were a neighborhood congregation. And as I mentioned in one of the earlier programs, Paul himself had nothing to do with starting that Laodicean church. They were probably begun by some of his converts in the Ephesus Church. He makes mention that he’s never met them face to face, but he has such concern for them because false teachings followed the apostle everywhere he went, and consequently it disturbed him. Now he writes beginning with verse 1.

Colossians 2:1a

“For I would that ye knew what great conflict (struggle) I have for you,…”

He was struggling with the fact that these people were left with no written Word. Never forget they didn’t have any New Testament until Paul’s letters started coming, which was in about the early 60’s or late 50’s and he’s already been out establishing churches for 15 or 20 years, so you can see his concern. So he says I just want you to know what a great struggle I have for you.

Colossians 2:1b

“…and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh:”

They had never seen the apostle Paul personally. So he didn’t have a direct part of establishing these two little congregations. Now for the time being let’s just go on into verse 2.

Colossians 2:2a

“That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding…”

Now this is why I teach. So many Christians have made a profession of faith, they joined the Church, they get active in the social aspect, but they know nothing of the Scriptures, and I’m sure you’re all aware of that. But you see Paul’s hearts desire was that even these people in his day, who had come out of idolatry and paganism and knew nothing of even the Old Testament, could maintain their Christian experience with no more background than they had. So his concern was that they had a full understanding.

Colossians 2:2b

“…of the full assurance of understanding to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father and of Christ.”

Now those of you who have been with me for ever so many years, you know I’m always stressing the mysteries that were revealed to the apostle Paul. In fact just in the last week I don’t know how many people have called and said, “I’ve never even heard the word mystery before.” Well that doesn’t shock me too much, because I think as I look back that I probably didn’t either. Remember Paul was the only one given the mysteries, and since most preachers and teachers don’t bother with his writings then most people don’t know about the mysteries either. But the heart of Paul’s gospel is this revelation of these mysteries. Now let’s look at some of them, so come back to Romans chapter 16:25.

Romans 16:25a

“Now to him that is of power (that’s another one of Paul’s favorite words. The power of God, The power of His resurrection, The power of His Spirit) to stablish (or root) you according to my gospel, (not Jesus’ gospel that He and the twelve preached, but rather Paul’s gospel that had been given to him only) and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery,…”

Not the preaching of Jesus Christ according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery, these secrets. If I remember correctly in our last program, I went all the way back to Deuteronomy 29:29 and found that “the secret things belong unto the Lord our God.” What does that tell you? In His Sovereignty, He doesn’t tell us everything all at once, and He doesn’t have to. But He says, “Those things which are revealed belong to us and our children.”

So you always have to look at this whole concept of the revelation that Paul talks about are these secret things that God did not reveal to the Old Testament writers, or to Peter and the eleven, but rather He waited until Saul of Tarsus was converted, and He sent him down to, I think, Mount Sinai and poured out at least a good portion of the revelation of the mysteries.

Romans 16:25b

“…which was kept secret since the world began.”

God kept this whole package of truths secret, and never gave anybody an inclination of what was coming until it was revealed to this apostle. The other night I woke up in the middle of the night, and the thought hit me of this verse that we’ve looked at many times in Peter. And let’s look at it again, because Peter didn’t have any concept of what Paul was going to have revealed to him, these things that are called the mysteries.

As I was lying there, two things struck me in particular. First, Peter is recognizing that the Gospel for this period of time came from the epistles of Paul. The second point was Peter puts Paul’s writings as Scripture, which meant that Paul letters have just as much authority as Moses, Isaiah, Matthew, John or Peter, or any one else, because His words are Scripture. Before we read I want to remind people of when these things were written. Peter is writing this shortly before he’s martyred, at the end of his life. He’s not writing this way back there 20-30 years ago. This is at the end of his life, and probably in the middle 60’s shortly before the temple is destroyed.

II Peter 3:15

“And account (or understand) that the longsuffering (the patience) of our Lord is salvation; (that’s the whole purpose of this Book. Whether it’s Old or New Testament, it’s to bring mankind into a knowledge of salvation, whether it was under Law or the Kingdom economy, or now under Grace. God’s heart is for the salvation of lost mankind.) even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;”

Now you’ve got to remember, what group of people is Peter addressing? Jews of the dispersion, and he tells us that in I Peter 1:1. So even to his own Jewish people he is admonishing them to go to the letters of Paul. Now Paul’s earliest epistles had only been out there 7 or 8 years, and his later epistles had only been out there probably a year or two. But Peter is admonishing his fellow Jews to go those letters of Paul for instructions. Now verse 16.

II Peter 3:16a

“As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; (that is salvation as we now understand by faith alone through the Grace of God) in which are some things hard to be understood,…”

Now most people read right over that, and don’t even realize what the man is saying. But here Peter is admitting that this revelation to the apostle Paul was hard for good Jews to comprehend. Why? Because it was totally, totally different. It was completely removed from temple worship, it was completely removed from the covenant promises of Israel, and here was the offer of salvation to these pagan idolatrous Gentiles that if they would just simply realize their lost estate, and believe the Gospel of I Corinthians 15:1-4, God will bring them into Himself. Hey, that’s hard for a good Jew to comprehend. Now finishing the verse.

II Peter 3:16b

“…which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, (twist) as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”

So what’s Peter doing with Paul’s epistles? He’s lumping them in with the rest of the Bible. They are Scripture! They’re the inspired Word of God! Now isn’t it amazing that men just ignore this, and almost refuse to go into Paul’s writings? I don’t know why, but I can see it over and over that they just almost ignore them purposely. “Willingly ignorant,” as Peter says concerning the flood in his little epistle. Well anyway, this is all part and parcel of this revelation of what Paul calls his Gospel, and that is God in Grace. Now of course as we’re going to see a little further on in Colossians the mysteries are in several different categories. We’ve got, for example, the mystery of what I call the Rapture or the catching away of the Church. It’s a mystery we find in I Corinthians.

I Corinthians 15:51

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” Another mystery was that the Gentiles would come into the Body of Christ on equal basis with the Jew.

Romans 3:22

“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:”

Hey, that had never been revealed before, so it was a mystery. Now here in Colossians we’re going to see that this particular mystery is a revelation of the Godhead in a way that the Old Testament never explained it. This is an explanation of the Godhead the likes of which Peter and the apostles couldn’t even preach or comprehend.

But now it’s revealed to this apostle, that this Godhead, and that’s the term Paul will use a little later in this chapter. It’s that composition of the Three Person and yet One. See, this throws a curve at so many people. I had a phone call early this morning, and the person was hung up on this very same thing. They could not believe that Jesus was God! And the term that throws so many people is the “Son of God.” Which means that God procreated Him. It’s absolutely unreal what people are being taught. But you see they can’t conceive of the fact that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all three co-equal. There is no One of them that is above the other, and yet they operate as One. I can’t understand it, I can’t describe it, but I sure believe it, because it’s in the Book. Now here it comes in verse 2 of Colossians chapter 2.

Colossians 2:2-3

“That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, (and what is God? Well at least in most of the translations, the mystery of God is this composite of all the persons of the Godhead,) and of the Father, and of Christ; 3. (that in this Godhead of the Father, the Son and the Spirit) in whom are hid all the treasurers of wisdom and knowledge.”

Now we’re in a technology explosion today aren’t we? I was just reading to Iris a little article last night that in the next 5 years we’re going to see more technology exploding around us then we’ve seen in the last 50 years. Now goodness sake we’ve had a lot of technology in the last 50 years. Then the author of the article went on to explain that the fiber optics, for example, had just sort of been laying dormant. But the Lucent Company has just suddenly brought in such technology for the fiber optic system that it just blows your mind. But you know what? Every time they discover or invent a new technology God smiles and says, “Hey I created it.” Well if He created it, then He knows the deepest secrets of every electrical formula, and all the steps of physics, He created it, so He has the knowledge of these things before they’re ever discovered.

When God speaks of His wisdom and knowledge, I always have to think of poor Job. And when I say, poor Job, I’m not referring to him that way because he lost all of his daughters, and livestock, but rather Job lost his pride. Oh, the Lord must have made Job feel, as we would say today, not worth two cents. Let’s go to Job 38, and everyone won’t agree with me, but I think Job’s basic problem was pretty much like today. He was proud. Proud of his what? His humility. He was proud of the fact that he was blessed of God, that He was a righteous man, he loved God, and I don’t take any of that away from him. But when you come through the whole Book of Job and then come to chapter 38, and I feel sorry for the poor old fellow. My, when the Lord got through speaking to him, he must have felt like crawling into a rat hole. Just look at what God says.

Job 38:1

“Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, (now I wish I had time to read all of chapter 38 and 39, but I’m not going to so don’t worry. But you do that in your spare time, and then you’ll get the drift of what I’m talking about. Now look what the Lord says) 2. Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?” Well the casual reader is going to say, “Well God is referring to Job’s three friends. No. God is talking to Job, and He says –

Job 38:2-3

“Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? 3. Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.” Now Job is on the spot isn’t he? Oh he’s on the spot. Now look at what the Lord says in verse 4.

Job 38:4

“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare; if thou hast understanding.” What did Job say? Nothing. I mean, he’s helpless, he’s wordless, he doesn’t get a word in edgewise.

Job 38:5

“Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?”

Do you get what I’m driving at? What is God imparting here? That Job thought he knew it all. In so many words God says, “Ok Job if you are so smart – and this is exactly what God could do with our scientists today. Oh, He could take the greatest brain from Silicon Valley and put him in front of Him and say, “Ok where were you- If you’re so smart tell me.” God could bring things into their thinking that they have not even yet considered as He’s doing here with Job.

Job 38:6-8a

“Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof: 7. When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8. Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth,”

And one of the verses that I was really thinking of when I saw this in Colossians was verse 22. Which of course now in our technology even our little grade school kids know this from fourth and fifth grade science I guess. But back in the ancients they didn’t have the microscopes and so forth. But look what God says here to Job.

Job 38:22a

“Hast thou entered into the treasurers of the snow?…”

Well what’s He talking about? That even in a tremendous blizzard there’s no two snow flakes alike. Did Job know that? No. Then come all the way up to verse 31.

Job 38:31

“Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, (or what we call the seven sisters I think) or loose the bands of Orion? Job can you control the stars in their orbit? Can you control the constellations?

Job 38:33

“Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?”

Do you get what I’m talking about? And with every question He just puts Job lower and lower, lower, and finally Job has to realize that he doesn’t know anything. Now as time has expired I guess we’d better come right back to Colossians and looking at verse 3 again. It’s this same God that confronted Job and reveals all the knowledge of those two chapters of Job 38 and 39. He is the One –

Colossians 2:3

:In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

484 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 1 Part 4 Book 41 - Colossians 1:17-29 - Part 2

484: Colossians 1:17-29 – Part 2 – Lesson 1 Part 4 Book 41

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 41

Colossians 1:17-29 – Part 2

Now let’s get back to where we left off in Colossians chapter 1, and verse 26. To fulfill the Word of God coming out of verse 25, and this is all part of fulfilling.

Colossians 1:26a

“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations,…”

Does that mean what it says? Yes it means what it says. This whole body of truth that’s coming out of Romans through, especially the little letter of Philemon, is truth that was never ever revealed before to the human race. Oh the background for it had been, of course. Paul says that himself, “that all of this was built on the prophets and the apostles, but so far as the doctrinal truths that we find in Romans through Philemon, this was hidden from human understanding until it was revealed to this apostle of Grace. That’s why so many times when people write or call with questions especially concerning the Book of Acts. Well the first thing that I will tell them is look, there is no Pauline doctrine of such in the Book of Acts, because Acts is the in between Book that moves from the Judaism system into the Church Age or into the Age of Grace. But when it comes to Church doctrine you have to go by what Paul says. And it was to him that these mysteries were given.

Colossians 1:26a

“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations…”

Now some of you are going to say, “Oh no not again.” But let’s go to Deuteronomy chapter 29 and look at it. Now this is for the benefit of new listeners who are probably just catching us in the last few days for the first time. This is Moses writing to the nation of Israel, but like I showed you in the closing moments of the last half hour, God has always been the God of the whole human race, not just Israel and not just Gentiles, but each in their own segmented period of time. First He dealt with Israel, and now He’s been dealing primarily with the Gentiles. And this portion of Scripture just falls right in with what Paul says.

Deuteronomy 29:29a

“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God:…”

Why? Because He’s Sovereign. Now listen, most of you that I can see here in the class room have been parents, and when those kids were little were there things that you didn’t want your kids to know? Well of course there were, you were the parent. I can remember when I was little my folks, if they didn’t want us to know what they were talking about, would talk in German. You’d sit there and cock your ear and thought you had lost your hearing, but they were keeping some things secret from us kids. Well God can and has done the same thing, He’s Sovereign, He doesn’t have to tell everything, and He didn’t. Now for the next part of the verse.

Deuteronomy 29:29b

“…but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we (as far as Israel is concerned) may do all the words of this law.”

God is dealing on that same basis with the Gentile world. He has kept all these revelations that come through the apostle Paul a secret. Jesus never betrayed any of these secrets in His earthly ministry. Jesus never made mention of anything about the Body of Christ, and the saving of Gentiles outside of Judaism. He never did any of that. Why? It was not time to reveal it, and He was not about to betray that Sovereign attribute until He wanted it revealed. I personally think that the secret of understanding Scripture, is that God didn’t not reveal everything all at one time. As He came up through Scripture, even dealing with the nation of Israel, He didn’t tell them everything from start to finish, it was a progressive revelation.

Then you come to the ministry of Christ and again even that’s a progressive revelation. But when we come finally to Acts chapter 9 and the appearance of the apostle Paul, out comes these revelations of secret things. Paul is always referring to them as the mysteries. And remember the word mystery in the Greek is “musterion.” It is the word translated usually asmystery, but also at times is translated secret. So the two words are synonymous. If it’s been a mystery kept in the mind of God, it was a secret, and that’s what Paul is constantly referring to then as this body of truth that he calls the mysteries. Let’s come back to I Corinthians chapter 4, and these are all verses that we’ve looked at in days gone by but let’s look at least some of these reference.

I Corinthians 4:1-2

“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards (or overseers, or managers) of the mysteries (or secrets) of God.” What secrets? The things that He has kept secret until now are being revealed. Now verse 2.

I Corinthians 4:2

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

Now when you go all the way back to Genesis when Abraham was being promised a son and none was forthcoming and he was almost getting frustrated.

Genesis 15:2

“And Abram said, Lord GOD what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?”

Well, what did he mean? Eliezer was the manager of Abraham’s possessions. It was more than what Abraham could handle himself, so he had this hired manager or steward. Now, it stands to reason, if you’re going to be faithful to the owner of the estate and you are now at the second tier of management, if you’re going to be all that you should be, you will be what? FAITHFUL! Because the name of the game is to do all that you can to enhance your master’s estate. Now Paul is bringing this same idea down to the revelation of the mysteries, this revelation of secrets that you and I as believers are put in a place of responsibility as a manager over a business. We are to be faithful in passing these things on to those who have never heard. It’s our responsibility. And you’d better know what you’re talking about because this is what the world is hung up on. Confusion and deception, and we have to come with that which is pure truth. The revelation of things that had been kept secret. And the Apostle Paul is the only one who is over and over referring to that very same concept.

Alright, you’re still in I Corinthians, aren’t you? Come on over to chapter 15, and dropping down to verse 51. And here again, I’ve made it very plain on the programs, as long as I’ve been on the air, that I am a proponent of a Pre-tribulation out calling of the Church, the Body of Christ, which is the Rapture. And a lot of people are all shook up by it and can’t understand it. Well, it’s because they don’t understand the mysteries that were revealed to Paul. Granted, there is never anything else in Scripture, in the Old Testament or the Gospels, or Acts, or Revelation or any of these others, that even alludes to what we call the Rapture. Why? Because it’s a Pauline revelation. Now, when I say Pauline, I mean Paul in the other extent. It’s a Pauline revelation and here he calls it what it is. But all the other writers when they speak of the Lord’s return, they’re speaking about His Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation and not the Rapture of the Church just before the Tribulation begins.

I Corinthians 15:51

“Behold, I shew you a (what?) mystery: (a secret) We shall not all sleep, (die) but we shall all be changed.”

Paul says he’s going to reveal a secret. This is something that’s never been revealed before. Never! And what is it? That there’s coming a day, and Paul thought it was a lot closer than it was, and maybe we think it’s closer than it will be, and I think it’s getting close, but there’s coming a day when all of a sudden there’s going to be a great resurrection of the believers who have died and at the same time we who are alive shall be changed into a new body. We’re not going to die if we as believers are alive when this event happens. Now verse 52.

I Corinthians 15:52a

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:…” Not one of the angelic trumpets in Revelations. This is a singular trumpet in God’s hands.

I Corinthians 15:52b

“…for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

That’s a revelation of a secret. It’s never been revealed before. The Lord never talked like this. The Lord talked of resurrection, but He never talked of a group of people who would be alive at the time. And so here we have a revelation of a mystery. Now, I’m not going to have time for all of them, but if you’ll come on over with me to Ephesians chapter 3 where this whole period of grace was unknown to the whole human race. Jesus never referred to it. Peter couldn’t have referred to it. But Paul is the one that God, by grace, used to reveal these secrets to the whole human race. And what is it?

Ephesians 3:1-2

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles. 2. If ye have heard of the dispensation (or administration. Just as Eliezer was the administrator of Abraham’s estate. And it was a viable thing, so also is this administration) of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward.”

Listen that’s never been held before the human race before. If you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward and here it comes.

Ephesians 3:3

How that by revelation (what’s the other word for revelation? A revealing) he made known unto me the mystery….” (secret.)”

And what’s the secret? This whole body of Pauline truths, how that the work of the cross completed every thing that the human race needed for salvation. We don’t have to do a thing. God has done it all. But you don’t find that until you get to Paul. And this is the whole revelation of that which was kept secret. Now reading on in chapter 3 of Ephesians. We looked at this a few weeks ago when we were in the book, but now verse 4 & 5.

Ephesians 3:4-5

“Whereby, when ye read (Paul’s epistles) ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ. (a secret) 5. Which in other ages (generations) was not made known (see how plain that language is when you understand what we’re talking about. Don’t forget Deuteronomy 29:29 which says, “The secret things belong to God.” He’s Sovereign. And He doesn’t have to reveal it until He’s good and ready. And that was when the Apostle Paul was sent to the Gentiles) to the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.”

And remember Paul had others that followed in his footsteps. I think Barnabas could be considered one and maybe Timothy and some of those. But here was the whole concept that was never revealed before. Now verse 6.

Ephesians 3:6

“That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs (not just subjects of Christ’s kingship like Israel will be, but Gentiles are to be brought into that position of joint heirs of Christ. You can’t find that anywhere else in Scripture except Paul’s epistles. It’s just not in there. You can look, but here it is.) and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.”Now let’s go on down to verse 9, which we used a couple of programs back.

Ephesians 3:9

“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery (secret) which from the beginning of the world hath been (what’s the next word?) hid (see how plain that is?) in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.”

All the way through Paul’s epistles you have this word popping up – “the mysteries.” That it was revealed only to Paul. Now a verse just comes to mind. Poor Peter, bless his heart. And I don’t put him down one iota but let’s come back to his second epistle, chapter 3 and we’re going to start at verse 15. We haven’t used these two verses in a long, long time. But now, remember, Peter didn’t have the mysteries revealed to him. Only Paul did. But as Paul began to preach these mysteries and the Gospel that was Paul’s Gospel and the appearing of the Body of Christ, Peter just stood there, I think, from the outside looking in. Let’s read the verses first and then I’ll comment. And remember Peter writes these little epistles about the same time Paul is writing the prison epistles. It think the two men were probably martyred within a year of each other. And so this is at the end of Peter’s ministry. Shortly before he’s martyred.

II Peter 3:15

“And account (understand) that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation; (of course. That’s the main theme of the whole Bible) even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him (by the revelation of the secrets) hath written unto you. 16. As also in all his epistles, (from Romans through Philemon) speaking in them of those things(the things that pertain to salvation) in which are some things hard to be understood, (That’s Peter writing by inspiration.) which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest (twist) as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”

Do you see what the man is saying? That when Paul reveals these mysteries that had been kept secret it was such revelation, such breaking of new ground, that even good old Peter couldn’t grasp it all. It was beyond him. And I can see why. Because Peter was steeped in Judaism. He was steeped in legalism. He was steeped in the Christ of His earthly ministry. And so when the Apostle Paul comes along and presents all this to the Gentile world, like I showed you in the last program, who did Peter address in Acts chapter 2 & 3? “Ye men of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers”, and then all of a sudden have these things promoted among the Gentile world. I can see why Peter couldn’t comprehend it. And I don’t believe he had a full understanding of it right up until the time he was martyred. It was just something totally beyond him.

And so when Paul speaks of these mysteries, for goodness sake don’t just shove it off and say you just can’t understand what he’s talking about. He’s merely telling us that he is being used of the same God that called Abraham, that called the twelve disciples up there in Galilee, but the same God is now revealing to this apostle a whole new concept of things that had never been heard of before. One of which is that we are joint heirs with Christ. Another one is that one day the trumpet will sound and we’re going to be gone. Now I know that’s hard for a lot of people to swallow, because it’s not in the rest of the Scriptures, but it’s only in Paul’s writings. It is part of the revelation of the mysteries, and then it’s not hard to comprehend. So now coming back to verse 26.

Colossians 1:26

“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages (thousands of years God kept it secret) and from generations, (all the generations of Israel) but now is made manifest to his saints:

The world doesn’t know what we’re talking about, and a good percentage of Christendom don’t know what we’re talking about. Do you know why? Because they avoid Paul’s writings like the plague, they won’t come into Paul’s writings if they can possibly avoid it. I had a gentlemen tell me the other day, “Les I’ve been keeping track, every Sunday morning for the last three months, our sermon has been out of the Book of Matthew.” Why would this be? Now I have nothing against Matthew, it’s the Word of God, but when you spend 100% of your time in Matthew, you’re missing the revelations of the mysteries.

You’re missing justification by faith alone, you’re missing this whole concept of the Body of Christ, as it’s not in Matthew or the four gospels. You’re missing this whole concept of the Grace of God, it’s not in Matthew. You’re missing the whole concept that you’re sins are already forgiven. You’re missing the whole concept about the blessed hope as Paul writes to Titus that one day the Great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ will appear for us in the air. See that’s not in Matthew. And there are just countless others that you’re missing including Paul’s Gospel by which is the way we have eternal life. That was only given to Paul. So when you leave Paul’s writing out of your study you’re missing out on all the good things that God wants us to have.

I’ll never forget years ago, I hadn’t been in Oklahoma very long and I had a doctor come to my class. He would sit right in front of me. And oh he would almost sit there like a starved bird and would say every so often, “Les why haven’t we been taught these things before? Fifty years I’ve been going to Church and now I can see they’ve been cheating me.” Well I’m afraid that’s too often the case, and you know why? Because they will not study the mysteries, and this is where it’s at for us Gentiles. And I say this kindly. You have to understand the revelation of the mysteries to understand God’s dealing with Gentile world. Now moving on.

Colossians 1:27a

“To whom (the saints, the believers of the Church Age) God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles;…”

Now I’m not leaving the Jewish people out of this, but I’m going to say what the Scriptures says, that this is directed primarily to the Gentiles. I know I have many Jewish believers in the listening audience, I know I do. We stay with a Jewish Christian couple when we go up to Minnesota, and we can revel in these things, but for the most part the Jew can’t except the fact that Jesus has already come the first time. So this secret in particular that’s he’s talking about here is for the Gentiles.

Colossians 1:27b

“…God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, (by the person of the Holy Spirit) the hope of glory:

That’s what we’re living for. We’re not living for this world. Oh we all have our ambitions and I’m just as ambitious as anyone. I love my cattle herds and my ranching as much as anybody, but hey this isn’t the end. Glory is the end, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy these things in this earthly sojourn.

Colossians 1:28-29

“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect (or spiritually mature) in Christ Jesus: 29. Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.”

483 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 41 - Colossians 1:17-29

483: Colossians 1:17-29 – Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 41

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 41

Colossians 1:17-29

We want to thank you for your letters of encouragement, and sharing with us how the program and the Word of God is making an impact on your lives. We also want to thank you for contributing to the ministry as the bills have to be paid. And for those who only send a small gift, don’t apologize for that. Don’t ever apologize because the Lord looks at the heart and that $5.00 gift means just as much to Him as a $5,000.00 gift from the heart of somebody else. So don’t feel obligated to give more than you can afford. And if you’re strapped in your income with bills to pay, then don’t feel obligated to send anything to us. Just keep watching and studying.

I think we’re ready to go back to where we left off in Colossians chapter 1. We’re going to take it verse by verse and now we’ll start with verse 21. Remember in our last lesson we were talking about reconciliation, how that God when He justified us, redeemed us, and forgave us, He also brought us back into that relationship with Himself which we call of course reconciliation.

Colossians 1:21

“And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies (see people don’t like to think of the lost in that light. But the lost person is an enemy of God, and we were also before salvation. So this is the thing that we have to keep uppermost, that the lost person, the unregenerate person is so far as God is concern an enemy. And as a result of a person being lost their works are wicked) in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.”

Let’s go back to the Book of Galatians and look at the works of the lost person. In chapter 5, we get a good picture of how we were at one time or at least we had that potential. I know a lot of us came from good homes and are not guilty of all these things in the activity of our daily life, but nevertheless potentially everyone us were capable of doing all these things. These are basically the things that the Scripture refers to when they talk about the things of the flesh.

Galatians 5:19-21a

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20. Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulation, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21. Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:…”

Those are all the things that are the acts and works of the flesh, and the spirit wants us to realize that. Now back to Colossians again. So this is what we were all capable of whether we actually did it or not is moot, we were capable of it.

Colossians 1:21

“And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.”

And of course when Paul wrote to the Colossians that’s what they had just came out of. These Colossians people didn’t have the wherewithal to come from Christian homes like a lot of American do. Remember they were pagans, and idolaters, and all the attendant vice that was with that lifestyle. For us of course like I’ve already said, it merely means that we’re capable of it, but most of my American listeners at least have been raised in a Christian environment to some degree. At least we have not been out there in a home that practice paganism and idolatry, so always redeemer that these early believers, that’s what they came out of and we’ll see that again when we get to the Thessalonian letters. Now verse 22.

Colossians 1:22a

“In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy (set apart. God has taken us out of that environment of wickedness and of the world and He has set us apart.) and unblameable…” Now when I read a word like that, immediately verses come to mind. So let’s come back to I Corinthians chapter 1, and let’s begin with verse 5 to pick up the flow.

I Corinthians 1:5-8

“That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6. Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7. So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 8. Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Now what kind of believers were the Corinthians? Carnal! They were not a spiritual group of people. They had all kinds of problems, and so even to those carnal believers at Corinth who had still not totally removed themselves from all the excesses of their pagan background, they were still experiencing immorality, they were still experiencing divisiveness in the congregation, but yet Paul writes the Corinthians were blameless. Now that’s not license but rather GRACE, and that’s what it says. And the reason for that is because the work of salvation is so complete. Now back to Colossians again.

Colossians 1:22b

“…to present you holy and unblameable and unrepoveable in his sight:”

Now some people are going to jump on this word if in verse 23 here and say, “well that means you can lose it.” No I think Paul merely puts the thought here that we are dealing with something that is so precious that we’re not to take it lightly.

Colossians 1:23a

“If ye continue in the faith (how?) grounded and settled,…”

In another place he says, ‘not driven about with every wind of doctrine,’ And that’s what a lot of people have been guilty of. We get letters all the time where they have jumped from this group to that group and ended up just totally confused. They’ve gone with every wind doctrine. What just say, “Well this is what the Book says.”

Colossians 1:23a

“If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; …”

Now that’s quite a statement isn’t it? Now I’m not taking away from the need to send missionaries to foreign places. But over and over the Bible tells me that people have already been given enough that they’re going to be held responsible. Now that’s shocking I know. Let me show you what I’m talking about. Come back with me to John’s gospel chapter 1. And don’t ever construe this as an excuse for not going to the mission field because there is a dire need for missionaries in many many places around the world. But on the other hand when Paul writes in Romans chapter 1 that one day these lost benighted souls will stand at the Great White Throne and here their condemnation and Paul says, “they are without excuse.” Well how can they be if they have never heard the Gospel before? Well evidently they have. Look at John’s gospel chapter 1, verse 6.

John 1:6-9

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. (the Baptist) The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, (a reference to Christ, the Light of the world) that all men through him might believe. 8. He (John) was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. (now if that doesn’t grab you I don’t know what does.) 9. That(speaking of Christ) was the true Light, which lighted every man that cometh into the world.”

That’s what it says, and whom am I to argue with it. Every man in the world has received a certain degree of Light and consequently then “they are without excuse.” Let’s look at that verse over in Romans 1, verse 20. In fact we really should read verse 19 also.

Romans 1:19-20

“Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (the whole human race) 20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, (created) even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they (the whole human race) are without excuse:”

That’s also what it says, and I’m sure that the Lord will say to them when they come up before Him at the Great White Throne judgment. I know they’ll say, “I never had a chance, I never heard,” And I’m almost confident that He’s going to come right back and quote John 1:9. “I was the Light that came into the world. I Lighted you at one time.” Now we don’t understand how this is possible, at least I sure don’t, but the Scripture is true, let God be true, these people are going to be held responsible. It’s just totally beyond my comprehension but I’ve got to go by what the Book says.

Now back to Colossians chapter 1. Here again Paul uses that same connotation that every human being has somehow or other been made aware of the Gospel. Let’s look at Romans chapter 2, verse 16. I’ll bet this is a verse that 9 out 10 professing Christians don’t know is in here, and yet it fits with what we’ve just been saying.

Romans 2:16

“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my (Paul’s) gospel.”

Isn’t that something? Now what does that mean? At judgment day there at the Great White Throne the masses of the whole human race are going to be confronted with Paul’s Gospel even though it was only preached from Paul’s time on. Don’t ask me to explain that because it’s beyond me. But again let God be true. Every human being will stand before the judge absolutely without excuse because somehow or other the Light of the Gospel has appeared to every man. In Titus chapter 2 he says basically the same thing.

Titus 2:11

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” Now back to Colossians chapter 1, and let’s look at the last part of verse 23 again.

Colossians 1:23b

“…which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven: (now we know there are areas in South America that are practically uncivilized. And we have to say, ‘they’ve never heard.’ So let’s just leave that in God’s hand.) whereof I Paul am made a minister;”

That’s what made me think of Romans 2:16 that said, “they will be judged by Paul’s Gospel. And what is Paul’s Gospel? I Corinthians 15:1-4 and Romans 10:9-10 explains his Gospel perfectly, and by believing Paul’s Gospel is the way to have eternal life.

Colossians 1:24a

“Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you,…”

And again that goes back to all the physical suffering that the Apostle Paul went through for the sake of the Gospel. My goodness he could have just thrown up his hands and given up and gone back to Jerusalem, and lived high on the hog couldn’t he? But he didn’t do that. He continued on and counted the things of this world as trash, things that was worthless so that the Gospel might continue throughout the Roman empire.

Colossians 1:24

“Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh (his own sufferings that we have read about so often) for his body’s sake, which is the church:”

See there again the Apostle Paul is making the distinction that the Church he refers to is the Body of Christ. Do you see what a difference that makes? Always remember that no where else in Scripture do you see that. You don’t see it in the four gospels, or the Book of Acts, but only from the Apostle Paul’s pen do you find the Body of Christ, the Church. This is uniquely Pauline see? That Body of Truth as we’re going to see in a little bit he refers to constantly as the revelation of the mysteries. So he says, everything that he’s gone through is for the sake of the Body which is the Church.

Colossians 1:25

“Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you,…”

Now remember, what kind of a congregation was Colossi Jew or Gentile? Well it was Gentile. Oh there may have been a smattering of Jewish believers, but it was primarily a Gentile congregation. And look at his language in that verse.

Colossians 1:25b

“…according to the dispensation (or administration) of God which was given to me (Paul) for you. (It was for the benefit of these Gentiles, and for us today) to fulfil the word of God.”

And this is why we have to differentiate that God dealt differently with Israel then He deals with the Church. And the only place we can differentiate is that Paul writes to the Church where the rest of Scripture writes to Israel. Now come back to Ephesians and he uses almost identical same language, and remember repetition is for emphases. This is why I’m sure the Holy Spirit caused him to write it. I don’t think Paul set there beating his head, and wondered how he could repeat this. No the Holy Spirit just caused him to dictate it or however he did it, and that’s consequently the inspiration of the Scriptures.

Ephesians 3:1

“For this cause (because of what he wrote in those first two chapters) I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for (what people?) you Gentiles.”

Now don’t miss that. It is specifically directed to the Gentiles. Now we know that everything from Genesis chapter 9 up through the four gospels accounts and early chapters of Acts were all directed to the Jews. Let me show you for example in the Book of Acts chapter 2 so you can see the difference. This is just for comparison sake, and let’s just start with verse 22. Now watch this real careful because I’m going to throw you a curve.

Acts 2:22a

“Ye men of Israel, (and all you Gentiles. See it doesn’t say that. Everybody thinks it should, but it doesn’t include a Gentile no how, but rather) Ye men of Israel, hear these words;…”Now come on over to chapter 3 and you’ll see this isn’t just a misprint. Just as clearly as Paul says, “to you Gentiles,” Peter says “to you Jews.” Verse 12.

Acts 3:12a

“And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel….”

Do you see how Peter qualifies who he is speaking to. And then come on down to verse 13.

Acts 3:13a

“The God of Abraham, and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, (Peter is speaking to Jews)

Now in Ephesians and we find that Paul is going the other direction and he says, “I am the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles.” And in Romans 11:13 he tells us who he was sent to minister to.

Romans 11:13a

“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles;…” Now back to Ephesians 3 and look at verse 2.

Ephesians 3:2

“If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:”

Now the part I really wanted you to see was the last part of that verse which is identical with Colossians 1:25. What’s the process? God revealed this whole body of truth to this one man, this Apostle of the Gentiles, and he was instructed that he was to take this message to the Gentile world. Now granted he tried to go to the Jew first and then to the Gentiles, but when the Jews rejected his message he would end up with his greatest results among the Gentiles. And that’s the way God intended it as this is the age of Grace with God dealing primarily with us Gentiles. Now coming back to Colossians and let’s read verse 25 again.

Colossians 1:25

“Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;”

Let’s go all the way back to the Old Testament to see how it all fits together. Come back to Isaiah chapter 42, and then we’ll have a couple of others that we can look at. Oh my goodness you mean we only have a minute left? Ok Isaiah 42 and maybe this will suffice.

Isaiah 42:1

“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: (who are we talking about? The Messiah.) he shall bring forth judgment (rule) to (what people?) the Gentiles.” See God had forgotten about the Gentiles. Verse 6.

Isaiah 42:6

“I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, (Israel) for a light of the Gentiles;” That was Israel’s prospect. Now chapter 60.

Isaiah 60:3a

“And the Gentiles shall come to thy light,…”