564 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 47 - Hebrews 3:1-12 - Part 2

564: Hebrews 3:1-12 – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 47

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 47

Hebrews 3:1-12 – Part 2

I know many of you, as you join with us, feel that you’re right back there in the audience someplace. I remember when we first started all this several years ago, as we were talking to the channel 47 personnel here in Tulsa, and I said, “I’ll come on television (it was their idea, not mine) if I can have a classroom setting like I’m used to teaching in – if we can have tables and chairs, chalkboard, and a music stand to teach from.” Well they agreed to all that, and that’s where we first got the idea that we wanted a classroom setting, and you’d be surprised at how many people comment that that’s what they like about our program. It’s just like an old college classroom where they can sit with their textbook, and make notes and so forth.

Now let’s get back into Hebrews chapter 3, where we ran out of time in our last program, and we’ll begin with verse 7.

Hebrews 3:7-12a

“Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice. 8. Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9. When your fathers (now remember, Paul is writing to Hebrews so he’s referring all the way back to the forefathers of Israel) tempted (or tested is a better word) me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not know my ways. 11. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) (Now we have to take the next verse to pick up God’s number one controversy with the human race as well as Israel, as I pointed out in the last program, so he says) 12. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief,…”

Now he doesn’t mention any of the other sins of the flesh, but rather unbelief! Oh that’s what God hates more than anything, is a lack of faith. So looking at that last verse again:

Hebrews 3:12

“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, (and when there is no faith, then it’s an easy step to do what?) in departing from the living God.”

You’ve heard me say it on the program over the last several years, as you come back to Exodus chapter 23, “What is America’s number one problem?” It’s not politics, or economics, but rather it’s spiritual. We’ve lost our faith! As a nation of people we no longer have any respect for the absolutes of this Book, and we’re suffering the consequences. Restore America back to the faith of our fathers, and most of our problems will disappear. But they will not because they will not believe what God says. Well here is the lesson for us now from Israel’s experience going into the Promised Land.

Now during break time, I just drew a make shift map of Israel and a lot of people think that the Promised Land is just this little neck between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan Valley. Well, nothing could be further from the truth, and we’ll be seeing that in a little bit. But the Israelites came from down here at Mount Sinai in the Arabian desert, and came up to Kadesh, and yes, this is where they were going to go first, was up through the fertile area of what we presently call the land of Israel or secularizing it, it’s the land of Palestine. But the Promised Land was everything from the river of Egypt, around the Mediterranean, past Mount Herman, and all the way to the Euphrates River, clear out to the gulf of Persia, and back around to the Red Sea, and back over to the river of Egypt. Now that’s the Promised Land, not this that they have today.

I was just reading a book the other day, and do you know, according to the Bellfore Agreement of 1918 when Great Britain first agreed to give Israel a home land, all of this is about what they had drawn out. I mean just about all of this, but not quite, but you see it wasn’t very long until they started having second thoughts, so they pulled all that away and made Jordan, and then they gave Israel what we now presently think of as the land of Israel. But listen, the Promised Land is that whole middle east out to the Euphrates River, and I’ll show you that in Scripture in just a little bit. Now coming into Exodus chapter 23, and verse 25.

Exodus 23:25-27

“And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. 26. (and here we come with all the material and earthly blessings) There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil. 27. I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.” In other words, what does that mean? Hey, their enemies are going to run. They’ll be running out ahead of them. Now verse 28. God says:

Exodus 23:28a

“And I will send hornets before thee,…”

Now listen, I don’t care if the Canaanites were twelve feet tall, could they withstand a hive of hornets? No way, I don’t care how big they were. God said, “I’ll send hornets and just drive them out!” Can you picture it? And God meant business, He said, “This is what I’ll do. I’ll drive them out and you won’t even have to lift a sword. All you’ve got to do is walk in behind them and settle down.” Now let’s read on.

Exodus 23:28-29a

“And I will send hornets before thee which will drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. 29. I will not drive them out from before thee in one year;…” In other words I’m not going to drive them out so fast that you can’t pick up taking care of their vineyards and orchards and so forth. We’ll go slow enough that you can take over and cultivate, and keep everything going.

Exodus 23:29b-31

“…lest the beast of the field multiply against thee. 30. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.” (my what a promise God made. Now here come their boundaries) 31. And I will set thy bounds from the Red Sea (which is down here on the south remember) even unto the sea of the Philistines, (which is the Mediterranean) and from the desert unto the river: (which is the great river Euphrates) for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hands; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.” Now with all this goodness being spread before them, here’s the admonition in verse 32.

Exodus 23:32

“Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. 33. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.”

Now let’s go to the Book of Deuteronomy for a moment, and Deuteronomy is sort of a book review, where Moses recaps everything that has happened. I always have a hard time deciding where to jump in because this is all good. If you would like to have an interesting evening of reading just read the Book of Deuteronomy. It is one portion of Scripture that is almost like a story, and not hard to understand. So let’s just jump in at verse 2, because here is where I was referring to in our last lesson. It was just an eleven day journey from Mount Sinai to Kadesh – I mean just 11 days. Then they could have started taking the Promised Land, could have occupied it and could have had all the goodness of it. But like I pointed out before, instead of 11 days, how long was it until Joshua brought them in across the Jordan River? 40 years! So they stretched 11 days into 40 years because of unbelief.

Deuteronomy 1:2

“(There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb (Mount Sinai) by the way of Mount Seir unto Kadesh-barnea.” Do you see how plain that is? You don’t have to be a seminary graduate to understand that. Eleven days from Mt. Sinai to Kadesh. Now verse 3.

Deuteronomy 1:3-5

“And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD has given him in commandment unto them; 4. After he had slain Sihon the king of the Amorites, which dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, which dwelt at Astaroth in Edrei: 5. On this side (east) Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare this law, (or this Book of Deuteronomy) saying,” Now look what he says:

Deuteronomy 1:6

“The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, (at Mount Sinai after they had received their instructions for the tabernacle) saying, ye have dwelt long enough in this mount: 7. Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, (which is up toward Mount Herman on my map) unto the great river, the river Euphrates.”

See I don’t want someone to say, “Well, where do you get it that the Euphrates River is the east boundary?” See, that’s what the Scriptures say over and over. It’s the Euphrates River that would be their boundary and then down to the Red Sea and over to the Sea of the Philistines. Now let’s just compare before we go any further here in Deuteronomy, to the Scripture back in Genesis chapter 15. I don’t want you to think, “Well Moses was just being real normal, and all of a sudden his ambition got the best of him, so he concocted the idea that they could have the whole Middle East.” No, this is what God deeded to them here in Genesis 15, and let’s begin with verse 18.

Genesis 15:18

“In the same day (that God came down and fulfilled a title deed with Abraham) the LORD made a covenant with Abram, (Abraham) saying, Unto thy seed (his offspring, his generations down the road) have I given this land, (we’re not talking about something spiritual, bur rather good old physical earth) from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the River Euphrates:”

Do you see how plain that is? There’s no argument about that. God has given them everything from the River of Egypt, and I don’t think it’s the Nile. I think there was another river east of the Nile that sort of disappeared over time – but whatever, it was the River of Egypt all along the Mediterranean, up to the River Euphrates, and back to the Red Sea. But I wanted you to see that this is what God Himself deeded to Abraham. Now come on back with me to Deuteronomy and verse 8.

Deuteronomy 1:8

“Behold, I have set the land before you: (the Promised Land God has prepared through the sweat and tears of the Canaanites) go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.”

Do you see that? Now for sake of time I’m going to have to bring you all the way up to verse 18. Now I want you to see what Moses is showing, that when the children of Israel left Mount Sinai with everything set to go into and occupy the land, that they now had the Levitical priesthood set up and had the tabernacle built with all of the floor plan that followed up later in the temple. Everything was now ready for God’s covenant people to enter into a place of bliss, joy, and no bloodshed. As long as they were obedient, God would bless them, and my, it was as promised, the Promised Land, and everything was waiting for them. Now read on in verse 18.

Deuteronomy 1:18

“And I commanded you at that time all the things which ye should do.” Remember they’re under Law, and Law says, “Do this and I’ll bless you, do that, and I’ll bless you.” Don’t do this and don’t do that was the Law! And so Moses rehearses all that. Now verse 19.

Deuteronomy 1:19

“And when we departed from Horeb, (Mount Sinai) we went through all that great, and terrible wilderness, which ye saw by the way of the mountain of the Amorites, as the LORD our God commanded us; and we came to Kadesh-barnea.” Now I wish everybody could just be familiar with that term. Kadesh-barnea was the gateway to the Promised Land, and God brought them up there in that eleven day journey and set them there, and said, “Go in and take it, it’s ready for you. You won’t have to raise a sword, you won’t have to worry about losing a single young man, because I’ll drive them out with hornets.”

Deuteronomy 1:20-21

“And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the LORD our God doth give unto us. 21. Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy father hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.”

Now stop a moment and think. What did neither God or Moses tell the children of Israel? What did He not tell them? He didn’t say a word about sending in the twelve spies! Did He? No. God or Moses hadn’t said a word about sending spies to see if they can do it. But rather He said, “Take my word for it, and go in and take the land. There won’t be one item of opposition, just go take it.” But what does unbelief say? “Oh but wait a minute, aren’t you even going to let us check it out, and see if we can make it? You see that’s unbelief, but that exactly what Israel did, and that’s where God’s anger began.

Now God agreed to it, and condescended, and said, “Ok, if that will make it easier for you, I’ll let you pick one man out of each of the twelve tribes and you can send them in and spy out the land.” That was the biggest mistake that Israel ever made! Why? Because the majority report came back 10 – 2 and said what? We can’t do it. Now what did I say years and years ago on this program? When it comes to the things of the Spirit, the majority are usually wrong! You can just mark that up, because the majority is usually wrong. Just look at Christendom today, as for the majority of their people they have become a works religion, and don’t tell me that makes them right. So the 12 spies go in and search out the land, and Moses says in verse 22:

Deuteronomy 1:22

“And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.” But what had God said? “It’s all yours!” But what did Israel say? “How?” Isn’t that ridiculous? But you see this is unbelief at work, and so the first step down in unbelief was, “Okay let’s spy out the land first, and then we’ll go and take it.” No, you see unbelief is a downhill slide on a banana peel, and it is almost irrevocable, and this is a good example. Now let’s read on in verse 23, and here you are going to see one of Moses’ weak points. Moses should have been able to stand up to these people and said, “Now look, our God has said it’s ours for the taking, we’re not to put spies in there.” But Moses condescended and agreed and said:

Deuteronomy 1:23-25a

“And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve men of you, one of a tribe: 24. And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and searched it out. 25. And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands,…”

Now the first thing I imagine for anybody who has been to Israel, especially until the last few years, would say, “What in the world was God thinking, when He told Israel they could have the land flowing with milk and honey?” It almost looks like something that anyone would be glad to run away from. Now, today we’re seeing the land of Israel blossoming like a rose. But, when Iris and I went for the first time in 1975, we said, “What in the world did God think when He said that He would give them this Promised Land?” It was a barren wilderness!

In fact, Mark Twain reported in the 1860’s that it was absolutely barren and uninhabitable. He said, “We drove for miles and never saw a living creature, and we went up to Jerusalem, and it was just a heartache and despair, because there was nothing there.” Now that was Mark Twain and he wouldn’t lie. But back when God showed it to Israel, it was a variable garden flowing indeed with milk and honey! Now read on.

Deuteronomy 1:25-28a

“And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us. 26. Notwithstanding ye would not go up, (remember Moses is rehearsing all this) but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God:” They rebelled! 28a. And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. 28. Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven;…”

Now that was a lie, but what would they rather believe, the truth or a lie? Well, the lie, and it’s the same way today. That’s what Paul means in Romans when he says, “All these things are written for our learning.” See, you won’t find the plan of salvation back here, but you will find a gold mine of learning. And what’s the example? The world hasn’t changed one little bit. They’ll flock to the lie by the millions, but you hold up the truth and they’ll scorn it every time. They’ll scorn it, and many of you have experienced it. You try to bring truth into your Sunday School class, and they’ll just about kick it out the back door. Now, not all, but a lot of them will, and that’s exactly the way it’s always been.

So here’s Israel with the truth of God in front of them, but they would rather believe the lie of ten men. I mean it’s enough to make you weep, but that’s the human race. Now, let’s just keep going with verse 29.

Deuteronomy 1:29

“Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them. 30. The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;”

Now for goodness sake, what happened in Egypt? Well, the plagues. And God put a line around Goshen, an invisible line that the flies didn’t penetrate, and with the exception of the first few plagues, none of them touched Israel. When the death angel flew over, with the blood on the door post, not a Jew lost his life. Not a one! So Moses is saying, “The same God that brought you out of Egypt by opening the Red Sea – and if He could open the Red Sea, He could certainly drive out Canaanites. But they just couldn’t believe it, and isn’t it so sad? I mean it’s enough to just break your heart if you really get into it.

Then they stand there in abject unbelief and say, “No God, you don’t mean what you tell us. When you talk to us, you lie.” That’s basically what they’re saying, see? Now verse 31.

Deuteronomy 1:31

“And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.” What’s he talking about there? He provided water out of the rock, He provided the daily manna, their shoes and clothes didn’t wear out, and everything was provided by God. And with that we’ll have to stop with verse 32.

Deuteronomy 1:32

“Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God,”

563 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 47 - Hebrews 3:1-12

563: Hebrews 3:1-12 – Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 47

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 47

Hebrews 3:1-12

Hebrews chapter 3 verse 4. Remember, we showed in our last lesson, how that Jesus the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth (so we are sure you know Who we are talking about) was the Creator of everything! He is the Creator, the Sustainer of the universe. Now this verse just substantiates that:

Hebrews 3:4

“For every house is builded by some man; (Nothing happens without man putting his works of hands and fingers to whatever needs to be done.) but he that built all things is God.”Remember, the God that we are speaking of here is the Man, Christ Jesus. Now verse 5.

Hebrews, 3:5

“And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, (I think I made that point in the last lesson – how that Moses never failed his commission. He was faithful in all that God has entrusted to him.) as a servant, (He was not the main player. He was simply a person that God saw fit to use, so as a servant) for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;”

Let’s go back to Deuteronomy 18 and we can see how this was all foretold way back in Israel’s beginning years as Moses is writing the Torah or the first five books. The same verses that we looked at before, I think are appropriate. Verse 15.

Deuteronomy 18:15

“The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;” Moses is writing from his own position as the leader of Israel, but he is speaking of this future One.

Deuteronomy 18:16-18

“According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. 17. And the LORD (Moses said) said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. 18. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, (That’s why Jesus had to come from the line of David and from the home of Joseph and Mary as He was born in Bethlehem.) like unto thee and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.”

Come back to Hebrews chapter 3. So, Moses was a faithful servant in everything that God had committed unto him.

Hebrews 3:6

“But Christ (See the comparison, over and over. Moses on the one hand and Christ on the other and how Moses just pales by comparison to the role of God the Son) as a son over his own house; (Moses was a servant of the Almighty Creator, so he couldn’t say that this is “my” house. He was merely the servant, but Christ as a Son over His own house, He is the owner! He is the total proprietor of this spiritual house that we are going to be looking at) whose house (Paul says) are we,…” What is the lesson? What kind of a house are we talking about? We are not talking about wood and stone and concrete. We are talking about something Spiritual. We are talking about a house being built in the heavens, for eternity! So as ason over his own house, whose house we are! Let’s pick this up in I Corinthians chapter 3.

Like I have said over and over, I feel the Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the Hebrews and he is admonishing the Hebrews with the same basic doctrines that he has given to us. We cannot just separate the book of Hebrews and say well, that has nothing to do with me because that was written to the Hebrews. No, the Book of Hebrews is full of information for us as Gentile Grace Age Believers.

I Corinthians 3:9

“For we are labourers together with God: (See that? We are a part and parcel of God’s building, the rest of the verse says it!) ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.”

We are a part of that which God is building for eternity! And, it is not wood, hay and stubble or gold, silver and precious stones, although those are used as examples of our building materials only to show that as we are laboring in this process of building the building that our labor is set up for rewards. So we are God’s husbandry, we are God’s building, but only in the effect that as a part of this building, we are now contributing to it with our works. Then you come down to verse 12. We taught this clearly when we were in I Corinthians.

I Corinthians 3:12

“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;”

I always divide those three elements as the first three cannot be touched by fire. If anything fire would enhance it. But, the last three would go up in a puff of smoke! That’s what Paul is saying, that as believers, as we are building in this spiritual building, over which God is the Master and Paul is the contractor, who laid the foundation, which is Christ Jesus, then, as we labor, our works will be manifest! Are we putting in wood, hay and stubble that will disappear in a puff of smoke? Or, are we putting in gold, silver and precious stones? That boils down to several factors, most of which, I think, is motivation.

Why do you do the so-called good works that you do? To get the acclaim of men? Whenever I think of this verse, and Iris has probably heard me tell it a “zillion” times but it says it all! I was teaching in a place one time and we were in a home Bible study and I was pointing out the fact that our good works mean absolutely nothing if the motivation for doing them is wrong! You can do ever so much and if your motivation is wrong it counts but wood, hay and stubble.

This dear young lady was sitting over there. She was a young mother and I’m sure she had her hands full just raising her kids but she was going to contribute pies to their denominational convention, which was coming to her local church in the next couple of weeks. And, she said, “My, am I glad I heard this! I was going to try to bake 25 apple pies for our convention just to prove that I could bake more than anybody else in church!” Then she said, “It would count for nothing, wouldn’t it?” That’s right! Nothing!

Why? The motivation is wrong! Now, if she was going to bake these pies to bring glory to the Lord! Yeah, it would count for glory! And, this is the way we have to look at what we say, think or do. Why? Why are we doing it? Why do you give? If you give just so you can impress somebody how much you have given. I have to go back to my childhood, but I can remember when the treasurer of our church at the end of the year would read off the contributions of all the various church members. What was the motivation for his doing that? To get people to give! After all, it would sound awful if you only had a record of giving $5.00!

But, you see, if all you are going to give for is to impress your fellow church members, forget it! It’s going to be nothing but wood, hay and stubble! It will go up in a puff of smoke! If you give to whatever it is, your church or anything else, and you are doing it to bring God the glory, then yes, it will be gold, silver and precious stones! Everything is based on motivation!

Same way with any other good works that you can do. Why are you doing it? What’s your purpose? And, if your purpose is honorable in bringing glory to the Lord, it is gold, silver and precious stones. If the only reason you are doing it is to impress somebody else, it’s nothing but wood, hay and stubble! Well, I didn’t intend to put that in this lesson, so I guess you got that for free today! But, maybe it will save you some sweat or tears knowing that there is no use doing something if you are only going to do it to impress others.

That’s the building of which we are a part. It counts for nothing unless we are first and foremost based on the salvation around Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Our confession is as it should be, we saw some time ago, then as verse 6 makes it so plain:

Hebrews 3:6

“But Christ as a son (or THE Son, the Preeminent One) over his own house; (that He’s building for eternity) whose house are we, (Now, I know that a lot of people like to take a verse like this and say IF we hang on. Well, I don’t think Paul ever uses that kind of language to impart that thinking, that IF we hang on and IF we have done enough. Rather it is a word of warning not to take these things flippantly. These things are graphic. They are important, but we are not going to lose our eternal salvation if we do not measure up to how we are building in this Spiritual house. Nevertheless, we have this admonition that) if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”

I wish I could have just ended this lesson there and started the next one in verse 7 but I can never preplan these programs that closely, so we are going to have to go in the verse 7 in this lesson. And, it is dealing with that gross time of unbelief in the life of Israel when they failed to go in and take the Promised Land. Scripture refers to it over and over and it is a constant reminder to us today, that there is nothing that God detests more than unbelief! Unbelief! It is awful and I don’t want you to leave this lesson without realizing that it is the worst possible offense against God.

I can bring it into the life of everyone. I have used the example more than once. If you know that you are saying something that is absolute truth. and there is not a hint of anything false about what you have said, how would you feel if somebody would come up and say to your face, “I don’t believe a word of it? You are lying!” Just think for a moment. How would you feel if anybody, I don’t care who it is, after you have said something that you know is absolute truth with no hint of error – doesn’t have to be spiritual, it could be anything. A witness to a car wreck at an intersection. Or it can be anything else that you can think of and you KNOW that you have spoken truth. How would you feel if someone would just come up and call you a liar? If you are human, it’s going to make you almost mad enough to do something drastic! Isn’t that right? Of course it is! Because nobody wants their honor impugned in that way.

Think! When the God of Glory, the God of Creation, the God Who knows nothing BUT Truth has said something in His Word and puny men come along and say, “I don’t believe it.” Do you think God’s going to take that lightly? I know that His Grace is greater than all sin, don’t get me wrong. But, this whole idea of the rest of this chapter is to impress on us how God detests unbelief! Let’s go back and read Hebrews chapter 3, verse 7 on down.

Hebrews 3:7-10a

“Wherefore ( as the Holy Ghost (Spirit) saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, (If we are going to hear what God says, what is He going to expect? He expects us to believe it! So here is the warning.) 8. Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation (testing) in the wilderness: 9. When your fathers (remember, Paul is addressing Hebrews, so he’s going back to Israel coming out of the land of Egypt around Sinai and getting ready for the Promised Land. So when your fathers tested) tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation,…”

Now, let’s go back to see what the Apostle is talking about. Go to Exodus chapter 23 and I am going to assume that most of you have got a pretty good handle on Israel coming out of Egypt under Moses and Aaron. How they went straight to Mt. Sinai. There at Mt. Sinai God gave Moses the Law. The Ten Commandments. Gave him all the instructions for building that beautiful little tabernacle out there in the desert, gold like you wouldn’t believe! And then, after they had received the instructions and had built the tabernacle they are ready to head up to the Promised Land.

Here is a shocking thought! From Sinai to Kadesh-Barnea which was the border of the Promised Land was eleven days. Eleven days. How long did it take Israel to get there? Forty years and eleven days! They had a forty year detour. Why? Unbelief! Isn’t that sad? Just because of their unbelief instead of getting in and enjoying it after eleven days, they had to wait forty years.

Well, here it goes, Exodus chapter 23 verse 20. The Lord is speaking to Moses. This is back when they are encamped around Sinai and in chapter 25 He is going to give the instructions for building the tabernacle, so this is just shortly before they begin the work. God is already telling them what is waiting for them!

Exodus 23:20a

“Behold, I send an Angel…”

Now, that is capitalized! So Who is the Angel when it is capitalized? It’s God the Son again! It’s the Lord. The Angel that redeemed me is the way Jacob puts it and there is only one Redeemer in scripture. So, it has to be God the Son! Here is another good example. Who is speaking? God the Son! Who is He going to send? God the Son! You have to remember that all through Scripture, God the Son can speak to God the Father but what are they? They are one and the same so far as all practical purposes are concerned.

The only difference that you have is in Christ’s earthly ministry when He speaks from the flesh and now He addresses or prays to the Father, what makes the difference? Well, now he is speaking from His humanity and indeed He can address God the Father as His Father. But, when he speaks from His position as Deity, then I think it was Martin Luther who came to the tremendous conclusion that it was God speaking to whom? To God!! So, don’t let that throw you – sometimes God the Son speaks concerning Himself.

So, here is another good one. Exodus 23 where God the Son is speaking to Moses and He says I send an Angel:

Exodus 23:20b

“…before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.”

What’s He talking about? Canaan! The Promised Land! How long has He been preparing it? Four hundred and thirty years! How do I know? Because that’s what He told Abraham when He called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees. He said, “in 430 years I am going to bring you back to this land.” He couldn’t do it any sooner. He couldn’t do it in 300 years or 200, He had to wait the whole 400 years for what purpose? The iniquity of the Canaanites had to be filled full. Then after that 400-year hiatus, the Canaanites had gotten so filthy, rotten, wicked that God could just push them out and let Israel enjoy the works of their 400 years of getting the land ready. I hope you understand that.

It’s the Canaanites who had those grapevines that could grow those clusters of grapes that took two men to hold! The Canaanites did all of that. They had everything ready. I imagine they had some beautiful vineyards. They had some beautiful homes, beautiful pastures and places for cattle. They had it all! But now God is going to take it away from them because of their wickedness. Their iniquity had now hit the full mark. Let’s read on in Exodus.

Exodus 23:21

“Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.” In other words, it is speaking of how they were to respect the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Verse 22.

Exodus 23:22

“But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.”

Israel is God’s earthly people! They enjoy what kind of blessings? Earthly! Here’s a good example. God’s earthly people are being told that their earthly enemies would be driven away and that they could have everything for their own good. How’s God going to do it?

Exodus 23:23

“For mine Angel (He’s speaking of Himself) shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.” God says, I will destroy them! I will move them out! Verse 24 is giving them warning. When you get there, they are going to leave some of their idols behind and some of their high places so He said:

Exodus 23:24

“Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.” Verse 25.

Exodus 23:25

“And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless they bread, and thy water; (What does that speak of? Material blessings! He’s not promising them eternal blessings in the heavenlies, like we are. They are being told that if they are obedient, they will immediately have material blessings. This is what you have to understand. All the material blessings that were common to Israel have no validity for us because we are not an earthly people. We are a heavenly people! I wish I could get that through people’s heads!) and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.” Now, what is that? That’s material blessing!

Exodus 23:26

“There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in they land; the number of they days I will fulfil.”

562 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 47 - The Evil Heart of Unbelief - Part 2

562: The Evil Heart of Unbelief – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 47

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 47

The Evil Heart of Unbelief – Part 2

Hebrews 3:1-12

It is such an encouragement when we realize how the Lord is opening His Word to so many. We thank you for your letters and your financial help, because after all, television time is not cheap.

Let’s get back into the study in Hebrews chapter 3. We barely got over halfway through verse 1 in the last lesson.

Hebrews 3:1

“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;”

Now we’re going to go into the word ‘profession.’ We are to consider, as I pointed out in the last lesson, with all the intensity of your ability to concentrate, on this One. After all, we should! He’s the Creator! This is what so many people fail to realize, that the One whom we serve is the Creator of the universe!! He’s not just the carpenter’s son. He is the Creator of everything! He’s the Sustainer of everything. And so indeed, consider!!

My, how many people in the world never give a second thought to Jesus Christ? Not even a second thought. How many even think in terms of eternity? Not many. I’ve said it before, as you travel up and down the highways and the freeways and the mass of people coming in out of stadiums and ballparks and so forth, do you ever stop to ask yourself, how many of them ever think about eternity? We don’t know, but I’m guessing, it’s a precious, precious, small percentage. People today have no time for anything but the things of this world. But for those of you and I who know better, who know this Creator as Lord and Savior, as the One Who suffered and died in our place, yes we can focus on Who He is. The Great Apostle, as well as the High Priest of our confession.

Now I said in the last lesson the word “profession” can be enlarged and made more understandable with the word “confession.” Because, after all, when we confess Him, what does it really amount to? We’re letting the world know that He is the One Who is the object of our faith. He is the object of our reason for living. Without Him, what are we? We’re nothing. Even though the world out there can be successful and they can make their millions, and they can make the headlines – but, when cancer strikes, they die like anybody else.

You know, I always have to think of the founder of WalMart, Mr. Sam Walton, with all of his billions, yet when he was stricken with cancer, I’m sure the family got him the best medical help that this world had to offer. But what happened? He slipped out into eternity. His billions could not cure his cancer. And so we have to constantly come back and be realists. This world is not our home; we’re only here for just a little blink of time, and eternity is forever. And this is the whole purpose of God giving us the Word, so that we can be prepared for eternity. We don’t have to shrink from death.

Even as the individual that I called in his hospital room. With tears in my heart and eyes, I could bid him goodbye. I knew he wasn’t on this world very much longer. But, I could also say, “We’ll see you again,” because this is the blessed hope that we have as believers. Death isn’t the end. It’s just a little stopgap, and then one day we’re going to be with our loved ones for all eternity.

Alright now, this is our confession. That our hope for eternity is not based on what I have done or what you have done – it’s not based on our works. It’s not based on what we’ve accomplished. It’s based on our FAITH in that accomplished work of the cross. In fact, let me use a verse that says it as plainly as anything in Scripture.

Now for a moment, come back to Ephesians chapter 2. Here Paul has just listed the appetites and things of this world that plagued us while we were still in unbelief. And while we were steeped in the old Adamic lusts of the flesh, and as he says in the closing words of verse 3:

Ephesians 2:3b

“…and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” What’s the first word of verse 4?

Ephesians 2:4a

“But God…”

What does that mean? The flipside, we’re no longer in the desires of the old Adam. It’s a whole new world for us, but not because of what I’ve done, not because of what you’ve done, but what God did. I think I could stand here by the hour and enlarge on those two words, But God, not but I, not but you, But God. He did it! You know I’m always referring to “Lord give us Lydias today,” because what did the Lord do with Lydia? Opened her heart, her understanding so that she would listen to what the Apostle Paul had to say. But God opened her heart. But God formed the plan of salvation, man didn’t. But God can go on and say I’ve done it all so that you can be saved by Faith plus Nothing. Now let’s read on.

Ephesians 2:4

“But God, who is rich in mercy, (He doesn’t deal with us according to what we deserve) for his great love wherewith he loved us,”

Now, I’m not going to take time today, but we’ve done it before, back in the chapter in John’s gospel where you have the account of Lazarus dying. Mary and Martha were rather shook up with the Lord that He hadn’t been there to heal him and spare his demise.

But, to me, the important part of that chapter is not even so much that He had the power to raise Lazarus from the dead, but you know what that chapter says over and over? How Jesus loved them! Not how much they loved him, but how He loved them. And, consequently, you ended up with the shortest verse in scripture. Jesus wept.” Why did he weep? He loved them. And He saw their heartache, He saw their sorrow, and because He loved them, He could weep with them.

So here, Paul says the same thing. That that great love wherewith He loved us. We didn’t come into this place of salvation and the hope of Glory because we loved Him. We’re just like everybody else. What does it say in John’s Gospel? They hate the light. Why? Because their deeds are evil. Are we any different? I can remember as a kid, in fact, I can go back to when I was small enough to lie on my mom and dad’s lap and I can remember in my mind that just as soon as that preacher got up in the pulpit to preach I stretched out so I could go to sleep. And I’ll tell you, my little rebellious mind didn’t change for a long time. I didn’t want to hear it. Leave me alone. And listen, that’s typical. That’s most people. We don’t want to hear it. Our deeds are evil, But God! He loved us!! Alright, verse 5. When did He love us?

Ephesians 2:5a

“Even when we were dead in sins,…”

That’s a spiritual position, but nevertheless, I’ll just make the point – how lovely are dead things? Now most of you don’t have an appreciation for it like I do with all my livestock because every once in a while something will die and we have to deal with it. And death is not pretty. I hate it. I’ll admit it. I hate it. If I lose a cow or baby calf I just get gut-wrenched. It just drives me up the wall because I hate death. Many of you have lost a pet and it just tears you apart. Why? Because death is not pretty.

Now I can bring that same analogy when God looks at sinful men – are we pretty? No! Sin is a dilemma, but God loves us anyway. Look at all of the ramifications of sin in the world today. It’s at the root of all our social problems. Sin, it’s at the root of everything. But in spite of it, God loves us. Even when we were dead in sin, now read on.

Ephesians 2:5b-8

“…he hath quickened us (or made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (When He saved us by His Grace, He didn’t just leave us and say, oh well, I’ve done all that needs to be done. No, He continues with us.) 6. And hath raised us up together, (out of our spiritual deadness) and made us sit together in (what? The heavenlies! Not the Lincoln bedroom and I guess that must be a pretty nice place to spend the night. But listen, that is a pigpen by comparison and He has placed us in the heavenlies already. That’s our position and He has made us sit together in the) heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7: That in the ages (ions is the Greek word, which is beyond our human comprehension) to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (Now here’s the verse!). 8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

I think I’m known from almost coast-to-coast now as the promoter of Faith plus Nothing!. Faith plus Nothing! And this riles a few people. They say, “Where do you get that?” Ephesians 2:8. Because when you read that, that’s what it is. For by grace are ye saved through faith. Plus anything? No! So then it’s plus what? Nothing. It’s the gift of God. And again, you’ve heard me explain it a hundred times. How long is it a gift? As long as you don’t pay for it. The minute you contribute to the cost of your gift, it is no longer a gift and the same thing holds true in the plan of salvation. Just as soon as people think they have to work for it, then they have canceled the gift aspect and it now becomes something that puts God in their debt.

Well, that’s our confession. That we have placed our faith in the Christ of Glory, the Creator of everything, the One Who took our place on that Roman cross, the One Who arose victoriously over sin and death. And by believing what He has said, He has done everything that needs to be done!

I had a lady call the other morning asking whether I had experienced a particular phenomenon and I said, “No and I don’t expect to.” And I know I shocked her. She said, “How then do you know?” And I said, “Because the Word says so! The Bible tells me that I’m indwelt by the Holy Spirit and I don’t need a signed certificate, I don’t need anything else. When the Bible says that you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, I believe it, I trust it and that’s where Faith comes in. You don’t feel it. You don’t have some magnificent out-of-this-world experience. The Book says it.” And that’s our confession. What Christ has said and has accomplished, we believe it and so then it becomes by Faith plus Nothing.

Now lets get back to Hebrews chapter 3,and verse 2. We’re going to make a little headway today. You know what I hope? I hope the Lord comes back before I finish Hebrews. I really do!

Hebrews 3:2

“Who (Christ Jesus) was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.”

I’m not going to take the time to go back and look at the Scriptures. We could look at a bunch of them, but you all know enough about Moses that when God spoke to him at the burning bush; sent him back to Egypt for the purpose of delivering the children of Israel out of slavery, he was obedient to that and went through all the turmoil of the plagues and dealing with Pharaoh.

But then the culmination of it all was, he brought Israel out of Egypt and took them down to Mount Sinai. There at Mount Sinai, God gave the Law to Moses and Moses took it down the mountain and gave it to the children of Israel. He was faithful to everything that God commissioned to him. Never do we have a record that Moses himself failed. He was disobedient a time or two but he did not fail what God expected him to do concerning the Nation of Israel. And so he was totally faithful and every Jew that had any concept of all of their Old Testament heritage had a high esteem of Moses.

Of course, of Abraham as well, but I’m speaking now because the Scripture is, only of Moses. Their deliverer, the one who brought them out of bondage, the one who gave them the law, and the one who led them, as we’ll see a little later in this chapter, in that horrible 40 year period in the wilderness. But Moses was never found unfaithful. He was God’s faithful servant.

Consequently, when the Jews in Christ’s earthly ministry tried to pin Him down with some questions on doctrine or teaching, what did Jesus tell those Jews? Well, you have Moses, go back and see what Moses said. Because he was faithful and everything that Moses had instructed was according to God’s dictates. So Moses is set up as a prime example of someone who was faithful to the commands of God. There was not a point in Moses’ past where there could be any doubt that he was God’s man for the hour. He was always faithful.

But, what’s it building up to? You remember I showed you when we first started Hebrews this whole Book is a comparison of things that were good, but this is better. Absolutely, Moses was great. He was a man that God entrusted. He was a man who remained faithful to everything God commissioned him to do, but when it comes to the comparison, he pales next to the Lord Jesus Christ.

So here we come now, here’s another instance where we have the comparison in chapter 2 that He is higher than the angels even though He was lower for a little while. But Christ cannot be compared with the angelic host. His power is more than the multitudes of angels put together. So now then, verse 3:

Hebrews 3:3a

“For this man…

The word man has been added by the translators, but they’re still right in doing it because this is what we’re looking at. We’re looking at the God Man Christ Jesus. The One Who had walked the dusty roads of the land of Israel, the One Who had walked that way of the cross, the One Who had suffered and died for your sins and mine.

Hebrews 3:3b

“For this man was counted worthy of (what’s the next word? More. See the comparison? As great as Moses was, this man makes Moses pale into insignificance.) more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.”

Now here we come back to an everyday experience. Whenever you see someone building a lavish home, when it’s finished, people probably drive by and admire it and that’s all well and good. But what has more esteem than the house? The guy who owns it, the guy who built it, the guy who had the wherewithal to bring it all together. This is exactly what we’re showing here. Moses was great. Moses filled a tremendous slot in human history as well as Israel’s history. But this One, this Jesus of Nazareth, this Man, this God Man, is not only the owner of everything, He made it!

This is why I’m fairly confident when I say the vast majority of professing Christians do not understand that Jesus of Nazareth was the Creator of Genesis 1:1. It just shocks them to even think about it. But He was! He was the Creator of everything! Now where does that put Moses? Moses is nothing when you compare it to that. Moses was a part of the creation. Moses was just simply, a faithful servant. This is the Creator we’re talking about!

I’ve used this analogy over the years. Look how the world will flock to famous people. Just a week or two ago, Tulsa experienced it with the golf tournament. And whom did everyone want to see? Tiger Woods. They probably came from miles around just to get a glimpse of Tiger Woods because of his fame and expertise as a golfer. Or if the Pope flies into some place, the highways will be chocked full. It will just literally put it into a traffic gridlock. Why? They want to see this famous man. Or any other famous individual, the people will flock just to get a glimpse of this famous individual. And yet, this man, He’s not just the head of a great number of people. He’s not just a famous athlete. He’s not just a famous politician. He’s the Creator of everything and why can’t get people excited about that?

We serve the Creator! The One Who called the universe into being. The One Who at the spoken Word one day, I think, will be able to just bring it all back to that zero beginning it came from and He’ll speak the Word and here will come a new universe. It’s the same One. Remember, as great as Moses was, he was nothing compared to the Creator whom you and I serve and Who was the Author or as it said back in chapter 2, the Captain of our Salvation. Verse 3 again:

Hebrews 3:3

“For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.”

Come back with me to Colossians chapter 1 because someone hearing me for the first time may say, “This guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” Well, if I don’t know what I’m talking about, then this Book doesn’t, because it says it as plain as English can make it. Colossians chapter 1 starting at verse 14. I’ll be looking at verses 12 –13 later on in Hebrews, so we’ll start here with verse 14.

Colossians 1:14-16

“In whom (in the Son) we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15. Who (God the Son, the Man that we’re talking about in Hebrews) is the image of the invisible God, (He is the visible manifestation of the invisible God) the firstborn of every creature: 16. For by him (by the Son) 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: (here it is) all things were created by him, and for him:”

561 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 47 - The Evil Heart of Unbelief

561: The Evil Heart of Unbelief – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 47

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 47

The Evil Heart of Unbelief

Hebrews 3:1-12

As we begin our study today, we will be looking at Hebrews chapter 3 verse 1. Again, we are just an informal Bible study. We go verse by verse and as I have said so often, we don’t promote any group. We don’t attack anyone, we are simply going to open the Scriptures and let the Holy Spirit do the work of touching hearts and lives. How we thank you for your letters and your phone calls that express just that! How that the Lord has touched a multitude of hearts and lives and created an interest in the Word like folks have never had before.

I’m going now to Hebrews chapter 3 verse 1. The very first word, as Paul so often does in all of his letters, starts it off with a wherefore or therefore which basically is the same, and he uses it mostly back in Romans, and he used it over and over. Every time you come to a new chapter he’d say “wherefore or therefore.” What’s it there for? Well to make you go back and remember what he has just covered. We’re only in chapter 3 so this wherefore is going to go back to the beginning of chapter 2 where he had another therefore. So in reality this one is taking us all the way back to chapter 1. Back there in chapter 1, we were epitomizing Jesus of Nazareth as the “Son.” The Son Who was pre-eminent of everything. He was the Creator, He is the Sustainer of the universe and we had to do all that we could to show how He had finished the work of redemption. Then He sat down at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us.

When we come into chapter 2, we see the Son as “man” in his humanity but in His humanity then He has accomplished the work of the cross. And in order to accomplish the work of the cross He had to take on human flesh, He had to become lower than the angels for a little while. And of course, that was only for his earthly sojourn. So, indeed, the Scripture says that He was made a little lower than the angels but mostly the important part is that He was for a little while lower than the angels. And then we went on through the rest of chapter 2, how that He tasted death for every man. No one will ever slip into their lost eternity saying “I never had a chance.” Yes they did. He has accomplished salvation for every human being that has ever lived. Alright, now I think we can go on into chapter 3.

Hebrews 3:1a

Wherefore, (because of what we have already established) holy brethren,…”

Now here we’re not talking just simply to the Hebrews in the flesh, but we’re talking to believers who are brethren in Christ, because we’re sure Paul wrote this and so Paul is going to be constantly, by innuendo, if not by direct statement, bringing in the position of the Grace Age believer, saved as we are by faith in that finished work of the Cross. So he speaks of them as brethren in Christ not just as brethren in the flesh as Jews. Then he says:

Hebrews 3:1a

“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling,…”

Once in a while it just thrills my heart when someone writes that, as they saw a program, they saw something for the first time that they had never understood, even though they had read the Bible over and over or they’d been in Sunday School, they never understood this concept before – and that was that Israel was God’s earthly people, we in the Church Age are God’s heavenly people. And there’s that much distinction.

God’s earthly people, Israel, were associated with all the earthly promises of materialism. And all you have to do is just stop and think for a moment. Abraham, was he rich or poor? According to the economy of their day he was wealthy. All that wealth went right on to the next one, Isaac. And by the time Isaac finishes his sojourn on earth where does all that wealth go? To Jacob. And so indeed they were blessed with material blessings and so Israel was admonished throughout her Old Testament history that if they were obedient, God blessed them. When they were disobedient, God chastised them in the area of the physical and the material.

But see, we don’t live under that kind of format in this Age of Grace. God may bless us materially, but He isn’t duty bound to. There’s nothing in Paul’s writings that said if you do good He’ll make you a millionaire. That’s not in there. All our promises, all our blessings are heavenly and, consequently, we do not get tied to the earthly things. If God sees fit to bless us, great, but if not, we’re not going to complain, because our riches are waiting for us. I don’t care if we do have to go through 70, 80, 90 years with little of this world’s goods, the eternity that is waiting for us is more than worth it. Alright, so he says that we are:

Hebrews 3:1b

“…Partakers of the heavenly calling…”

Even these Jewish believers. Now we don’t want to lose sight of the fact that the Book of Hebrews is written to Hebrew believers. When I started the book of Hebrews, do you remember I said there is no Roman Road in the book of Hebrews? There’s no plan of salvation laid out so clearly like it is in Romans or Galatians, but it is a letter written to Hebrew believers who had been steeped in Judaism, the religion of the Jew. And anytime, I don’t care whether it’s Jew or Gentile, whether is was then or now, whenever someone tries to make that break with “religion,” it is tough. It is not easy to turn your back on something that has been drummed into you since you were old enough to walk.

That was the lot of these Hebrew believers that Paul is addressing. They had come out of Judaism, they had made the break and now they’re having second thoughts. Is this Jesus of Nazareth really Who He said He was? Is He really the Messiah, the Redeemer of mankind? And so this is the thrust of this Book of Hebrews. Here again now, Paul says that even these Jewish believers, having come out of the religion of Judaism, are now partakers of the heavenly calling. And I’ll be pointing to that in a little later verse this chapter, how that we are already citizens of heaven and we have that heavenly connection.

Alright, so now he says we who are partakers of this heavenly calling, the next word is rather a blasé word in our English and that’s unfortunate, the word is:

Hebrews 3:1c

“…consider…” In the Greek it means- with all the attention that you can muster, focus on this man from Glory, the apostle of our confession, which another word would be the prophet or the Messiah. Now don’t take that word “consider” lightly. In the Greek it just can’t emphasize it enough. One time we were taking the ship up to Alaska and the whales were jumping. Way over, about a mile over and my little binoculars weren’t good enough and a fellow there had a great big set and he said, “Here use mine.” Well, when you concentrated through those binoculars, even though they were a mile away, my you could see those humongous whales just jumping. But what did you have to do? You had to focus on it or you’d miss it.

Now it wasn’t just a casual scanning the ocean, it was focusing in there and watching the activity. Now I think that’s a good way of explaining this. We are to just focus in on this Man from glory, the Carpenter of Nazareth, Who is the eternal Sovereign Creator, God of the universe. So now as partakers of this heavenly calling we are to focus in with all that’s at our disposal. So reading the verse again.

Hebrews 3:1

“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostles and High Priest of our (confession is a better word than) profession, Christ Jesus;”

Now of course you all know, I trust, that the word ‘Christ’ in the English, is ‘Messiah’ in the Greek. The Messiah, Jesus. And that of course, comes out of all the promises of the Old Testament. So let’s look at it again. We are to consider, we’re to focus in with everything of Him being our apostle.

Now I’m going to wait for the High Priesthood until we get a little later into Hebrews, especially chapter 7, but for today I’m going to let the High Priesthood just sort of sit and we’re going to look at this word ‘apostle.’ Normally we don’t think of Jesus as an apostle and it even shook me up when a long time ago I started preparing for this study of Hebrews, and I always knew He was Prophet, Priest and King but I’d never really heard of Him as an apostle.

Well the word means the same thing. An apostle in the Greek is really someone who was “sent,” in other words the Twelve. What did Jesus do? He sent them. When the Apostle Paul was commissioned in the Book of Acts what did the Lord tell him? I’m going to send you far hence to the Gentiles. Now we have the same concept here then concerning Christ. He was“sent.” Well, Who sent him?

Let’s go all the way back to Deuteronomy because, after all, the Old Testament fits with the New and we can’t separate them. Come back to Deuteronomy chapter 18 verse 15.

Deuteronomy 18:15-17

“The Lord thy God (the Father) will raise up unto thee a Prophet (or we could say from the book of Hebrews, an apostle) from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me;(Moses is speaking) unto him ye shall hearken: 16. According to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb (that’s the other word for Mount Sinai) in the day of the assembly (when they were gathered around the mount) saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. 17. And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.” Now verse 18. God says to Moses.

Deuteronomy 18:18

“I will raise them up a Prophet (an apostle, someone that I am sending) from among their brethren, (now the word ‘brethren’ here is talking about the Nation of Israel from whence Christ came.) like unto thee and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I (the Father says) shall command him.” See how clear that is? Now verse 19.

Deuteronomy 18:19

” And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken (or listen) unto my words which he shall speak in my name, (God says) I will require it of him.”

Alright, now to pick up that “being sent” concept, let’s go all the way up to Matthew and again I’m using this for more than one reason and that is, whenever I teach that Jesus came only to the Nation of Israel to fulfill all the Old Testament promises and prophecies, some people get all shook up. I think I’ve shared this before that while I was teaching this one time in Jerusalem on one of our Israeli tours, a gentlemen just got as red as a beet. He was that up tight. He said, “Then what do you do with John 3:16? That doesn’t say He sent Him to Israel, it sent Him to the whole world.” I said, “He came first to the Nation of Israel and when Israel rejected Him, then yes, He became the Savior of the whole world. But in His original ministry, He came only to the Nation of Israel.”

Now in Matthew 15, most of you know the account of the Canaanite woman. And we almost have to take all of it; otherwise it just doesn’t make sense. So let’s start at verse 21. And this is taking place during His earthly ministry.

Matthew 15:21-26

“Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts (or the borders, or city limits) of Tyre & Sidon. (Roman cities up there on the Mediterranean Sea coast.) 22. And, behold, a woman of Canaan (a Gentile, she was not a member of the tribes of Israel) came out of the same coasts, (in other words, the cities of Tyre & Sidon) and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23. But he (the Lord Jesus) answered her (how much?) not a word. (He never even responded that he heard her.) And his disciples (The Twelve) came and besought him saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24. But he answered and said, (in her hearing) I am not sent (now underline that word sent) but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25. Then came she and worshipped him, saying Lord, help me. (And again he gave the answer, which tells us so clearly that he was under covenant responsibility. He could not betray the promises that God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.) 26. But he answered and said, It is not meet (it’s not right) to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.”

Now goodness sakes, I trust you’ve all been in Church and Sunday School long enough. Who were the children that Jesus is referring to? Israel, the Jewish people! They were God’s covenant people, the children! And who were the dogs? The Gentiles! And so the picture was God’s table.

Whenever I teach this I always have to bring up Psalms 23. What does David say about the Lord’s table? It was set before him. Now that wasn’t a table of meat and potatoes and vegetables or any of the other Jewish kosher food. What was he referring to? The spiritual blessings that Israel was positioned to partake of. That was part of their being in the covenant promises. They feasted at the Lord’s table. Now you see the Lord brings that all the way up out of Psalms 23 into his earthly ministry and he said, “It’s not right for me to take the things from the Lord’s table that is for Israel and give it to you Gentiles.” He couldn’t do that! Because he was under covenant promises.

But this is one of those exceptions in His earthly ministry, that He condescended to a Gentile and He finally gives in and He says:

Matthew 15:28

“Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”

Now the only other Gentile that this happened to, was the Roman Centurion on behalf of his son. Jesus had nothing to do with the Gentile. He couldn’t because He was under those covenant promises and He was sent by God the Father to fulfill those promises. Now another companion verse, of course, is in Matthew chapter 10 and we’ve looked at some of these verses off and on but I have to always remind myself that we have new listeners coming in every day and even though some of you have heard all this from Genesis 1:1, we have a lot of listeners who have not. And so, we’ll just keep repeating these things for their benefit. Now Matthew chapter 10, and again this is the beginning of Christ’s earthly ministry.

Matthew 10:1a

And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples,…” And then it names them. Now come all the way down to verse 5.

Matthew 10:5-6

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, (that’s why they’re called apostles) and commanded them, saying, Go not (see how plain this is. We’d say it in our English vernacular, do not go) into the way of the Gentiles, and (do not go) into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not. 6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Now good heavens, that’s plain English. There’s no gobbledygook here. There’s no way of twisting this to make it mean something else. It says what it means and it means what it says.Jesus said, “do not go to a Gentile. Do not go to a Samaritan. These promises are given only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel because of the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” And as you read the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and all the rest, they never write to the Gentile world. They write to the Nation of Israel. And so everything was directed according to these covenant promises.

Now let’s go all the way to Acts chapter 3 and Peter is now preaching shortly after the day of Pentecost. Chapter 2 is the day of Pentecost but now I’m going to take you into chapter 3, which is just a very short time later. Let’s drop in at verses 22 and 23,and now remember, what’s Peter’s purpose of preaching this message? To convince his Jewish listeners, shortly after Christ’s earthly ministry, that the one they crucified was the Christ. He was the promised Messiah, but God raised Him from the dead and so you haven’t stopped God’s program. It’s all been made ready now. The work of redemption has been accomplished and He’s alive and He can yet fulfill all the Old Testament promises. Plain as day isn’t it? Now look at what Peter says.

Acts 3:22-23

“For Moses (see how he goes back to the Old Testament) truly said unto the fathers, (now who were the fathers? The tribal leaders of Israel, the Twelve Tribes) A prophet (an apostle)shall the Lord your God raise up unto you (not the whole world yet, to Israel) of your brethren, (in other words, he was born of the Jewish family of Joseph and Mary) like unto me(now Moses was speaking of himself as a Jew, raised up out of one of the twelve tribes of Jacob); him shall ye hear (Peter said, quoting it from Moses) in all things whatsoever he(that is, the Messiah, the sent prophet) shall say unto you. 23. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, (that Jesus of Nazareth) shall be destroyed(or removed from the scene) from among the people.”

Now what’s he saying? Israel was under a tremendous responsibility to believe that this carpenter’s son, once he proved it with signs and wonders and miracles, was the promised Messiah. And if they couldn’t believe it they would be removed from Israel, and of course, we know that’s what happened. And when they cried for His crucifixion and they said let His blood be upon us, they didn’t know what they were saying. And for 2000 years the Jewish people have been suffering immeasurably. I was reading a book again the other night just detailing the suffering of the Jewish people for the last 2000 years. It is beyond human comprehension. Of course the holocaust was the epitome of all that.

I have one more reference in Acts chapter 7 verse 35. We’re still going to have a reference to Moses, but now Stephen is the speaker and he is addressing the religious leaders of Israel. Stephen, just like Peter before him, is trying to convince these Jews that Jesus was the Christ. Yes He’d been crucified, but God had raised Him from the dead and He was now alive and could still fulfill all those Old Testament promises. There’s not a word of God’s Grace in here yet. There’s not a word of the Gospel of Grace. There’s not a word in here about what we call Paul’s Gospel, of believing for salvation that Jesus died for your sins, was buried and rose again. This is still dealing with Israel.

Act 7:35-38a

“This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? The same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer (40 years later, remember) by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush. 36. He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. 37. This (speaking of Jesus of Nazareth, the one whom they had crucified) is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren (in other words, out of the Nation of Israel), like unto me (and as Moses was the deliverer, so Jesus of Nazareth was to be the deliverer of Israel into the Kingdom promises); him shall ye hear. 38. This is he, (this is Who was in the midst of that assembly or) that was in the church in the wilderness…”

In other words, Who was the pillar of cloud by day? It was Christ. Who was the pillar of fire by night? It was Christ. Who was the One that rained down manna for Israel? It was the Christ!

560 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 47 - 2 Corinthians 5:14-20

560: 2 Corinthians 5:14-20 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 47

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 47

2 Corinthians 5:14-20

Let’s get back to where we left off in the last lesson and that would be in Hebrews chapter 2, and now we’re going to go into the next verse which is verse 17. Remember now all these verses are building on the fact that Christ, Who Israel knew as Jesus of Nazareth, was indeed God the Son. And it’s in the Son that all power was delegated to Him for creation and for bringing about this tremendous plan of salvation.

Hebrews 2:17a

“Wherefore (since it came by the seed of Abraham, through the Nation of Israel) in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren,…”

He became not just a man but He became a Jew. You know I’m always emphasizing that in Christ’s earthly ministry, how did He live? He lived under the Law. He went to the synagogue on the sabbath day just like any other Jew, and He kept the Law. Oh, a lot of times they accused Him of not keeping it, but nevertheless, He kept the Law in all of its purity as a Jew. So, the Apostle Paul is appealing to these Hebrew people on that basis, that this One that he is lifting up in all of His power and glory was from the seed of Abraham. Verse 17 again.

Hebrews 2:17a

Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, (like the children of Israel) that he might be a merciful and faithful (now a word is going to pop up for the first time in Hebrews and what is it?) high priest…”

We haven’t seen that before. Do you see how the Scripture builds? See, we’re going to be getting into the priesthood here in Hebrews and it’s not going to be the Aaronic priesthood, but rather it’s going to be Melchisedec. And Melchisedec was not the priest of Israel, but rather He was the priest of the Most High God, which was reference to what people? Gentiles. That’s why the verse we looked at in the last program in Deuteronomy 32:8, what did it say?

Deuteronomy 32:8

“When the most High (the term of God concerning Gentiles) divided to the nations 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.” So the Most High is the term of Deity that reflects on the Gentile world. Now here in Hebrews chapter 2 is the first mention of a high priest in this book.

Hebrews 2:17b

“…that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Now that word reconciliation, if I’m not mistaken, is almost exclusively used by the Apostle Paul. I don’t know of any other place that it’s used, but I always stand to be corrected, and I should have checked this word out before I came to class today, but I think it is a Pauline term. Now let’s go back to Romans chapter 3, and we’ll just build on this whole premise in these last few moments, how that now we have reconciliation as a part of our salvation experience.

I suppose that it never hurts to define terms does it? What does it mean to be reconciled? Well the best place we can use it in everyday living is husband and wife. A husband and wife can have something come up that just totally drives them apart. Iris and I have found over the years that it can be the least of reasons, and invariably it will do just that. We have found over and over for example that a tragedy strikes a couple, and the one that I’m thinking of right now, is their home burned to the ground, and one or the other had failed to send in the payment for their fire insurance, and so they ended up with no coverage. It ruined their marriage and ended up in divorce, because one accused the other.

We’ve known others where a child committed suicide and it drove that couple to divorce, it became a dividing point, as one blamed the other. Now there’s only one remedy for such a thing and what is it? Reconciliation. By bringing them back together again, and that is exactly what has happened to the human race. When Adam sinned, what happened? There was a great division that developed between God and the human race. Just like a husband and wife who have had a tremendous falling out by a tragedy, but the tragedy in Adam’s case was what? He ate of the fruit. Now that’s simple, and through the tragedy of his eating he lost fellowship with his Creator, and so what did they need? Reconciliation. He needed to be brought back into fellowship with God.

Now we don’t use reconciliation as a doctrinal word, as I see some of you are looking in your concordance for that word, and if you find one let me know, because I’m just sort of shooting from the hip on this word, but I don’t think reconciliation is a term until we get to Paul. It was a concept, but it wasn’t actually used, but here in Romans chapter 3, some verses that we even used earlier this afternoon. Let’s just start with verse 25.

Romans 3:25-26

“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26. To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: (in other words the Righteousness of God) that he (God, Christ) might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

Now there in that word propitiation is the first implication then of God’s role of reconciling lost mankind to Himself, and this is His whole premise, it’s His whole reason for bringing about the work of the cross. Now to use the word more explicitly than it is here in Romans, follow with me to II Corinthians chapter 5. And here again I hardly know where to drop in, but let’s just start with verse 14, because this is just too serious a subject to take lightly. This whole idea that God wants to reconcile lost humanity to Himself and bring us into full fellowship as a husband and wife who have been estranged and are brought back together. That’s what God wants to do with lost humanity. So this is a good place to look at that for a few moments.

II Corinthians 5:14a

“For the love of Christ…”

Now just stop and think. If a husband and wife had lived together for years, they’ve worked together, they’ve gone through thick and thin together, and raised their children together, and all of a sudden they’ve had this tragedy that separates them, what spark still has to be there to bring them back together? Love! Love has to still be there to rekindle, and bring them back. Now it’s the same way with God. Remember, God’s love hasn’t died down to a fading ember, it is always vibrant, but mankind’s love is a different story. So we have to kindle that spark of love that will respond to the love of Christ.

Now again, I could just go all day I guess. You remember way back when we talked about creation, what was the main purpose in God’s thinking, in creating man in the first place? Well, to have a creature that He could extend love to and have it returned. So it’s the same way in the marriage relationship. It’s an extension of love, and a return of that love. Now this is exactly what Paul is talking about. The love of Christ that is constantly being extended to lost mankind.

II Corinthians 5:14-16a

“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one (Christ) died for all, (the whole human race) then were all dead: (and in need of reconciliation) 15. And that he died for all, that they which live (spiritually) should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. (Paul’s Gospel of salvation that we must believe.) 16. Wherefore (Paul says, ‘because Christ died, and rose from the dead’) henceforth know we no man after the flesh:…” A reference to Christ’s earthly ministry. Paul couldn’t keep salvation based on Christ’s earthly ministry of miracles and signs and wonders because that’s not where salvation rested. Salvation rested in His finished work of the cross. So he says in verse 16 again:

II Corinthians 5:16a

“Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh,…”

I hope when you read something like that, that you know what you’re reading. I tell people constantly when they come up and say, “Well I never understood this until I heard you read it.” I said, “You know why? Because I’m constantly making people aware of what it’s saying.” Most people just read it, and don’t get what it says. So do you see what it says here in verse 16? Paul says I have known Christ after the flesh. Well what does that mean? Paul was living contemporary with Jesus of Nazareth. I think they were both born within a year of each other. I think Paul, or Saul of Tarsus, was a young man of 30 about the same time that Christ began His earthly ministry, so yes, Saul knew Christ in the flesh. Now knowing Him is not recorded in Scripture until we get to the stoning of Stephen, but listen, Old Saul of Tarsus knew all about Jesus of Nazareth, and don’t think for a minute that he didn’t, and that’s what he’s referring to here.

II Corinthians 5:16b

“…though we have known Christ after the flesh,…” Paul knew all about His signs, wonders, and miracles, but Paul thought He was an imposter and blasphemer – that’s why he became the chief persecutor.

II Corinthians 5:16b

“…yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now (this side of the cross) henceforth know we him no more.”

See, that’s why Paul will never mention Bethlehem or His earthly ministry, because that’s moot. The closest he comes is in Galatians 4:6 when he refers to Christ’s birth, not as being born in a stable in Bethlehem, but all he says there is, “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.” Now that’s as much as Paul gives us, because that had nothing to do with the message that Paul had for the world and that is, that Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead. See, that’s where it’s at, and so now he says, henceforth know we him no more, and that’s why he doesn’t make reference to his earthly ministry. Now verse 17.

II Corinthians 5:17-19a

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: (it’s the new birth) old things are passed away; (the old lifestyle, the old habits, the old desires) behold, all things are become new. (and here comes our word in verse 18.) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself (How?) by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19. To wit, (that is to say) that God, (the Triune, Creator God) was in Christ,…”

Now let’s back that up with another Scripture, Colossians chapter 2 verses 8 and 9. Now remember why we’re going to Colossians, we have been reconciled by the God Who was in Christ.

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, (world based religions) and not after Christ. (now here it comes in verse) 9. For in him (Christ) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead (how?) bodily.” Do you see how plain that is? Now fit the two together. In Christ sits the whole Godhead bodily according to Colossians, but now coming back to II Corinthians chapter 5, and it’s in the reverse word form, but it’s the same meaning.

II Corinthians 5:19

“To wit, that God was in Christ, (how much of God? All of Him! The whole Triune God, the Father the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all embodied in God the Son, and as such then)reconciling (or bring that estranged mass of humanity) the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and hath committed unto us (I think here Paul not only speaks to himself, but all of the believers) the word of reconciliation.” Now verse 20, and to me this is a far more sensible commission than anything in the Four Gospels. This is something that you can set your teeth into without question.

II Corinthians 5:20a

“Now then (we as believers with the message of reconciliation) we are ambassadors for Christ,…” Now again we need some definition don’t we? What’s an ambassador? And ambassador is someone living in a foreign country, but he’s a representative of his home country, you all know that. Well what are we according to the old hymn “This world is not my home, we’re just strangers passing through,” that the quartets use to sing? Well we’re ambassadors, as that’s so true, so where is our home? In heaven! Our citizenship Paul tells us, is in heaven, and we’re strangers, we’re in foreign territory, so what are you then? You’re ambassadors? You’re not in your home territory, you’re in a strange country, so we’re ambassadors for Christ. Continuing on with verse 20.

II Corinthians 5:20b

“…through God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead,…”

So we pray you in Christ’s place, since He’s ascended to glory, and since He’s now imputed this responsibility, He’s given us the Scriptures, the power of the Holy Spirit, that every one of us can be an ambassador. That doesn’t mean you’re all preachers, or teachers or missionaries, but rather you’re playing the role of an ambassador to reflect Christ. So everywhere we go we should be reflecting the Lord Jesus with our language, with our appetite, with our lifestyle, because the world can tell. Hey don’t tell me they can’t tell. I went to the university and I was in the Army, and I know that the guys would come up and say, “What have you got?” And I wasn’t a goody, goody gum drop or anything like that, but the troops knew that I was different. In fact I was just thinking last night as I was lying awake in bed that every bull session in our barracks was around the head of my bunk. And it was never filthy stories or anything like that junk, as we were always talking about the things pertaining to the Scriptures.

At that time I didn’t realize or think anything of it, but when guys would ship out, they would come up to my place of duty, and guys I never even knew, and they would say goodbye, they were heading out for Korea, and they would share with me, that I had shown them that there was something that they didn’t have. Well I wasn’t the kind that was constantly pushing at people. No way, I’m not that way, but I maintain that we can reflect the Lord Jesus with just simply our everyday behavior, our language, and the things that we talk about, the things that we think about, and every believer can be that kind of an ambassador. Now completing the verse.

II Corinthians 5:20c

“… be ye reconciled to God.”

Don’t go through life estranged, don’t go out into eternity estranged, but be reconciled to God, and be brought back into that relationship with Jesus the Christ, the God of glory. Well there was another one that I thought of a moment ago and I believe it was in Ephesians chapter 2. Let’s see if that’s the one I wanted, I may have to look a second. Yeah, Ephesians 2:16. Where once again we have this word reconciliation.

Ephesians 2:14

“For he (Christ) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;” Now here Paul is speaking as a Jew, and that God has taken away that partition in the temple area as it was mostly made known between the Jew and Gentile. That partition is no longer there.

Ephesians 2:15-18

“Having abolished in his flesh (that is through the work of the cross) the enmity, even the law of commandments, contained in ordinances; (that’s all been abolished) for to make in himself of twain (the two, Jew and Gentile) one new man, (that’s the uniqueness of the Body of Christ) so making peace; 16. And that he might reconcile both (not just Gentile or just Israel, but both) unto God in one body (there’s not a separate Body of believers for Jews and a separate Body for Gentiles, as we all come in on the same level playing field, and we become one in the Body of Christ) by the cross, (and through the work of the cross, what has He done?) having slain the enmity thereby: 17. And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, (Gentiles) and to them that were nigh. (Israel) 18. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” Now, I’ve got one more in Colossians chapter 1.

Colossians 1:20-21

“And, having made peace (see, that’s the whole idea of reconciliation isn’t it? When people have been estranged – my, imagine when they get together they can fight like cats and dogs, but if we can reconcile them and let love take over, then you see we can have the same thing we see here, having made peace) through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile (bring back together) all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21. And you, (speaking to Gentiles in particular) that were sometime alienated and enemies (of God) in your mind by wicked works, (nobody knew how to be wicked better than the Gentiles of Paul’s day. I mean they were practiced at it) yet now hath he reconciled.” They have been brought unto Himself, and that’s what faith and faith alone can do!