576 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 48 - Hebrews 4:12-16 - Part 2

576: Hebrews 4:12-16 – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 48

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 48

Hebrews 4:12-16 – Part 2

Let’s go back where we left off in our last lesson and that would be in chapter 4, and verse 14 and I don’t feel like I really finished that verse as much as I should.

Hebrews 4:14a

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens,…”

And remember, going back to chapter 1, that when He passed into the heavens having purged our sins, He what? He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High.

Hebrews 1:3b

“…when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”

And you remember I made the point that when He sat down, what did it indicate? That it was finished. Right. Oh, that the finished work of cross took care of everything. There wasn’t another iota that could be added to it. And consequently, He could rest and be aware that it was totally finished. So here again:

Hebrews 4:14-15b

“…we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

And on the other hand He can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities because He was in all points tempted or tested like as we are, yet without, or apart from sin. In other words, even the thought of yielding to temptation never entered His mind.

Now the three categories of temptations that cover every possible scenario of the human experience can be found in the little book of I John chapter 2. Now we did this way back when poor old Eve was caught in temptations in Genesis chapter 3. We probably used it when we covered the temptations in our study of Matthew, but it never hurts to repeat some of these things. But first let’s look in I John chapter 2 beginning in verse 15.

I John 2:15-16

“Love not the world, (in other words this world system) neither the things that are in the world.(or materialism). If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (now here’s the world) 16. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

Now I’ve already mentioned Eve, so let’s jump all the way back to Genesis chapter 3 and see how that she was pummeled with all three of them at one time. Most of us are dealt with these one at a time. We may suddenly find ourselves confronted with something that is desirable to an appetite of the flesh, still another thing may just appeal to our pride, but sometimes it may appeal to our eye. But see, Eve was confronted with all three at one time.

Genesis 3:6a

“And when the woman (poor Eve) saw that the tree was good for food, and it was pleasant to the (what?) eyes,…”

So what have we got? Here was a fruit that was an object of the lust of her eyes. It was a beautiful fruit. I don’t think it was an apple, but whatever it was it must have been beautiful. It was alluring, it must have just looked delicious and of course with Satan’s prodding it just looked all the better. And then the next part was that this same beautiful fruit was something that would make her wise.

Genesis 3:6b

“…and a tree to be desired to make one wise, …”

Now what does that appeal to? The pride. Pride that it would make her wise, and remember that Satan’s temptation was that she could be as God. Then the third step was:

Genesis 3:c

“… she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat.”

Now listen, have any of you ever been so full of a good large dinner that you couldn’t eat another bite? Of course you have. Just the thought of another bite just almost becomes repulsive. So really, in order to enjoy something, you have to be a little bit what? Hungry. My wife knows that better than anybody. When you are hungry just about anything can taste delicious. So, even though the Scripture itself does not definitively say it, Eve must have had enough of an appetite to really want to satisfy the desire to eat. And then what does she so? She plucked the fruit, she looked at it again, and she suddenly desired the flesh of that fruit to satisfy her hunger. But also her old mind was just spinning like everything. What’s it going to do to her? It’s going to make her wise. And so here she is pummeled with all three categories of temptation at one time. I guess it’s no wonder she succumbed is it?

But you see, the Lord went through those same three categories in Matthew chapter 4, but remember, apart from sin. He never had any inkling to give in like Eve did. But nevertheless, in Matthew chapter 4 at the temptations, this was the whole purpose. This was the purpose so that when he became our great High Priest He knew exactly what we go through. He too was tempted with making those stones bread when He was hungry. He too was tempted to fulfill a desire of the eyes. He too was given the temptation, I guess the one that’s the easiest to understand, is chapter 4 and like I said, don’t ever get the idea that He even thought about succumbing but this is simply given to us to understand that He knows what we’re going through. Because you see you can’t really understand unless you’ve been there.

Just the other day I got a letter from a gentleman who had just lost his wife of 46 years or something like that. And I just wrote a short note to him and I said something like this: “I can’t say I know how it feels because I haven’t been there. I can’t really say that I can sympathize with you because I haven’t walked in your shoes. I haven’t lost my wife.”

And isn’t that true of anything? You can’t really understand the feelings that people are going through unless you’ve been there. And unless you have lost a spouse, you don’t know what it’s like. Unless you have been faced with a certain dilemma that’s unique to your own situation, you don’t know what it’s like. But see the Lord did. The Lord faced these three categories so that He would know exactly what the human race is going through. He knew what it was like when He was hungry to have Satan mention bread. He knew what it was like when Satan said, “Fall down and worship me and all the kingdoms of this world, I’ll give them to you.”

Well now it never affected Him because they were already His. But what we have to learn from it is, Satan was tempting Him with something that would make a human being proud. That’s why men attain to be emperors. That’s why they attain world power, to satisfy their pride. And so the Lord could honestly say without any doubt whatsoever, I’ve been there. I know what you are going though. I know exactly what its like. And that’s why we can go to Him with full assurance that since He has tasted temptations, He has been confronted.

Let’s even go a little further with this thought. As He was going through the suffering leading up to the cross, and He cried out at one time “Father if it be thy will, let this cup pass from me.” Do you realize what He was really saying? If there was any way that God could perform salvation without His having to go through that which was coming, do it the other way. What was that? Well it was really a temptation that He could have somehow avoided the sufferings of the cross. But He didn’t. He never did. And so always take these things into consideration when you read a verse like this. That He can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities because He’s been there. He’s walked in our shoes. Now back to the Book of Hebrews, and let’s go on down to verse 16. And again one of Paul’s favorite words:

Hebrews 4:16a

“Let us therefore…”

I love the way Paul uses therefore over and over and over throughout his letters. I guess the first one that comes to mind is Romans 8:1

Romans 8:1

“There is therefore (that’s right, I see you’re already wording it. Therefore, because of all that Paul had written in those first 7 chapters of Romans, there is therefore) no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,…”

In other words to those who have come into salvation by faith + nothing. Oh the world thinks it’s faith plus some works, you know, do this and do that. Fulfill this little prescribed ritual, and fulfill this little operation and then you can have eternal life. No, no. It’s FAITH + NOTHING! I guess if I’m known for anything it’s that. It’s Faith + nothing. But be sure it’s faith in the right place. It’s faith in that finished work of the cross, that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose from again, + nothing else. You are to believe that in your heart for salvation. Alright, now then, verse 16 of Hebrews chapter 4 again.

Hebrews 4:16

“Let us therefore (because of the high priest that we have, because He has passed into the heavens, He’s not someplace on earth. We don’t have to go to some headquarters, nor even our denominational headquarters. We don’t have to go someplace in order to get into the right mood and mode for prayer, but rather we can:

Hebrews 4:16b

“…come boldly unto the throne of grace,…”

Now I just went back and had to look up some of the Greek and some of the commentaries. Do you know what that word boldly means? Just exactly like you get it on the first impression. We go into the throne room without any apology. I don’t have to say, “Well now Lord here I am. You know I really don’t have any right to ask you this.” No. We are instructed; we are commanded to go boldly into His presence. Now why? Because again it just affirms what a great salvation we have. Now if I didn’t have this great a salvation, I couldn’t go boldly into God’s presence, but I can with anything that I want to approach Him with.

When we work cattle, I have no compunction about saying “Now Lord, let those critters behave themselves today.” Those of you who know livestock, know there’s a big difference from one day to the next. Some days they can be as cantankerous as they can be. Other days they’ll just walk into that chute like docile little teddy bears, so I have no compunction going right into the throne room and saying, “Now Lord make it a little easier on us today.”

Now that’s mundane I know, but nevertheless, that’s just an example that you and I can go into the throne room of heaven boldly, without any excuse, without any doubt, knowing that He knows Les Feldick, He knows Charles Daniels, He knows Jerry Pool, He knows everyone of you by name. And you don’t have to introduce yourself when you get there, because He knows who you are. He knows what you’re going to ask before we do. Alright, Oh what a precious verse we have here. I can just feed on it.

So, let us therefore remember all that has been coming out of these first four chapters. Don’t be like those Jews at Kadesh-barnea and in unbelief say “No God you can’t do it.” But come with faith, believing Who He is. He’s God the Son, He’s the Creator, He’s the Sustainer, He’s the One Who finished the work of salvation, and nobody can add anything to it. It’s done. And listen, all of Christendom is trying to add something to it. They’re patching on something here, and they’re sticking on something there, but remember you come into that pure unadulterated Gospel of the Grace of God, and you just believe it!

You know, I had a pastor write the other day, and he said, “Les, why is it the more I preach the grace of God the less people want to hear it?” And it’s so true, because people don’t want to hear it. They’d rather go and hear a big booming instrumental group entertain them than to hear what you’re hearing today, and you know it’s true, because that’s where the masses are and all they want is to be entertained. They want some feel-good, ear-itching stuff that they can go home and then go through the week and coast until they get another little high.But listen, we are resting on that finished work of the cross. The Christ Who has passed into the heavens. The One Who has faced every temptation that we face and consequently then, therefore, we can come boldly without any qualifications on our part to the throne of Grace.

What’s Grace? Unmerited favor! Do you and I have any reason to expect something like this? No. There’s no reason God should say, “Well come on in boldly and share your needs, share your joys, share your sorrows, I’ve got an open ear.” No there’s no reason for Him to do that. Except Grace. Oh how God loves to be gracious, how He loves to just pour out all of His goodness.

Hebrews 4:16b

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Alright, so we come into the throne of Grace that we may obtain mercy. But what do we deserve? Judgment. But what do we get? Mercy. Let’s go back to Exodus chapter 33, and that’s the first place that this is really explained in perfect order. This goes clear back into the Law of Israel. Even under Law, what made it possible for a Jew to get right standing with God? His Grace! My goodness, you all know it as well I do. Time after time, what did God have every right and reason to do with Israel? Wipe them off the face of the map. They didn’t deserve His Grace. But it isn’t just Israel. We’re no different. My as much as we love our beloved America, do we deserve another day of our liberty? No, we don’t deserve it, any more than any other group of people. But, oh, we’ve been enjoying it now for several hundred years because of God’s mercy and grace.

Exodus 33:19

“And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; (and now here it comes) and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.”

What’s that telling you? God in His Sovereignty can show mercy to whomever He will. Now He doesn’t have to, but He does, because in His Sovereignty that’s just His bent. He is the God of all grace, and He is the God of mercy. And so in order for us to come into this throne room of Grace, vile sinners couldn’t get there, no one polluted with the sin of this world could possibly come in to the holy presence of God, so what did He have to do? He had to make a provision because we couldn’t do it. And here we come right back full circle to that work of the cross. And so when Christ died and shed his blood and paid the price of our redemption and proclaimed it as what? Finished. Now what can we do? We can come right in to the throne room without having joined anything, without having done anything, without having given anything.

You know, somebody was telling me how his pastor was so hung up on tithing. And I said, “Next time you see him, you ask him if tithing is so all important to you people, why is it that 90% of church members don’t tithe?” Have you ever thought of that? Now I’m pulling that number out of the air, I’ll admit. But I get that number from years and years ago – a group of us were just having coffee after an evening church service and we got to talking about church finances and so forth. And it just so happened that our church treasurer was in our midst and we were not the kind of people that ever found out who was giving what.

But as we were talking about our church finances and so forth, our treasurer made this statement. He says, “Fellows do you realize that about 90% of our giving comes from 5 % of our people?” Now you take that into your own church and I’ll bet it’s not very far off in most congregations. Well if tithing is so almighty important so far as eternal destiny is concerned, what are they doing with these 90% that aren’t tithing? That would scare me to death if I were a preacher and I was depending on that. You know what I’d have to say? I’m doing something very wrong.

But see it isn’t on that. We are not boldly coming into the throne room of grace because I gave 20% of my income. I don’t come boldly into the throne room because I’m such a good guy. Every one of us comes in there on the same premise and what is it? The mercy and the Grace of God. That’s all. And oh, God is so good. My goodness, I have to tell him every morning, “Lord I don’t deserve all these blessings.” And neither do you. We’re all alike, we’re all human. Not one of us can go into that throne room and say Lord I’m here because I deserve it. No I’m here because of what you have done. So we come boldly that we may obtain mercy and find that unmerited favor especially when? When we need it. When’s that? All the time. That’s all the time. There isn’t a moment that we don’t need the grace and the mercy of God especially in the world in which we’re living today. We’re bombarded from every direction with everything imaginable and it’s only the grace of God we make it through each day.

That reminds me of a verse that we share so often when people call with a particular prayer request and many of you know where I’m going. Philippians chapter 4. What a basis for prayer.

Philippians 4:6a

“Be careful (or in our present day language we’d say worry) about nothing; (be careful or worry about nothing) but in every thing…”

Now what does the word everything mean? Everything! God doesn’t limit. Now there are some people that say God doesn’t listen to anything unless it’s spiritual. I don’t buy that. God listens to your every legitimate need. Now we’re not going to be frivolous, or silly when we come into God’s presence. But there isn’t anything that is of any note that God isn’t willing to hear about, wants to hear about it. So we’re not to worry about anything, but in every thing:

Philippians 4:6b

“…by prayer and supplication (but the secret is the next two words) with (what?) thanksgiving (in other words you thank the Lord before you even tell him what you’re asking for and you thank him for what he’s going to do and so with thanksgiving you) let your requests be made known unto God.”

Does God not know what you need? Of course he does. But what does the heart of God long for between Himself and the believer? Communication. God wants us to talk to Him, God wants us to commune with Him. And that’s what prayer is all about. It’s a two way street. He speaks to us through his Word; we speak to Him through prayer. Iris and I usually tell people, “Now that doesn’t say that He’s going to give a direct answer to everything we ask for. He may say yes. You may have an immediate answer. He may say no. He may not answer the way we think he should. Or he may tell us to wait a while.”

But the next verse is your immediate answer. The next verse is what we get every time we come to the throne room boldly and what is it?

Philippians 4:7

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

That peace of God. Not the peace with God. You got that when you were saved but rather the peace of God. But now as a believer you come into the throne room boldly and you share all your needs and your desires of your heart and whether God says yes, no, maybe or later – but whatever the answer, you have that peace of God that passeth all understanding.

575 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 48 - Hebrews 4:12-16

575: Hebrews 4:12-16 – Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 48

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 48

Hebrews 4:12-16

A lot of people, as they catch our program, see this class setting and wonder who we are. Well we’re just a layman, and I’m a cattle rancher from Oklahoma, and I make no apology for that. The Lord has just sort of given us an opportunity to teach the Word to anybody from 7 to – oh we get listeners way up in the 90’s, and the answer is almost always the same. “Been in church all my life, 94 years old and I’ve learned more in the last 3 months than I did in 93 years.” Well, I give the Lord the credit for that because we’ve been able to just open the scriptures without attacking anyone. I see no purpose in pointing out other people’s faults and so forth. We’re just going to simply look at what the Scripture says and trust the Holy Spirit will direct it to the hearts where they need it.

So now let’s go right on with our study in Hebrews 4 and we’re going to go right in to verse 13. And remember in our last half hour we were pointing out how that the Word of God is so powerful and is totally capable of separating even the soul and spirit as you could if you were a medical person, separate the joints and marrow. All right, now then we go into the verse.

Hebrews 4:13a

“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight:

In other words it’s just tied to this same concept that the Word of God is able to just simply penetrate into those areas that nothing else can do and so there is nothing, no creature that is not manifest in his sight. I always like to define that word manifest as a light under a microscope. That, until you turn that little powerful light on to beam up through the object that you are looking at, you don’t see anything. But once that light manifests everything that’s on that little glass slide, it’s made available for you to see. Alright, now that’s the way the Word of God is. It just simply puts God’s powerful spotlight on everything, and so he says:

Hebrews 4:13b

“…but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”

Now, never forget that Paul is constantly referring in the book of Hebrews to the living God. We aren’t worshiping some idol of wood or stone. We’re not worshiping some man-concocted idea, but we are literally aware of, and worshiping, and are saved by, a living creator God.

Alright, now I think I’m going to let the Scripture speak for itself, and periodically, in my own time, I just love to go back and read Psalm 139. Let’s go back and look at it in this light. How that God sees everything, the unimportant, the mundane, as well as the headline grabbing events of mankind. Nothing escapes His manifestations. Here in Psalms 139, David just puts it so beautifully and like I said, I’m going to let the Word of God speak for itself. In fact, I had a Jehovah’s Witness listener and they qualified themselves as a Jehovah’s Witness and this is what they said. “I so enjoy your reading program.” Well it kind of made us smile for a moment and I thought yes, that’s what I do most of the time. I read and let the Word speak for itself. And I had another letter again just yesterday that asked us to never stop putting the Scripture on the screen. This is the only Bible that a lot of people will ever read. And so this is why we put the Scriptures up as much as we do. As we begin with verse 1 of Psalms 139 we’ll just let the Spirit lead to see how far we want to go.

Psalm 139:1

“O Lord, thou hast searched me, and (what’s the next word?) known me.”

There’s not a part of us that God doesn’t know. Again, as we go into the throne room in prayer, and we’ll be looking at that a little later, maybe not today, but maybe in our taping next month, where he says, “Come boldly before the throne of Grace.” Do you realize, do you believe with all your heart, that when you and I pray and when we come into that throne room, it’s as if we are the only one. God isn’t dealing with millions and millions of people. Oh, he is, but as an individual. And I have that confidence that when I pray, it’s the Lord and I alone in the throne room, and you can have that same feeling. All right, and this is what David is saying. The Lord not only searched him but what? Knew him. Personally, as an individual man.

Psalms 139:2

“Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.”

The what? Our thought! You don’t even have to say it and the Lord knows what you are thinking. Now I think I got ready to say it a little bit ago. That doesn’t mean that God holds us responsible for every rotten thought that scoots through our mind. And if you don’t have rotten thoughts, then you’re not part of the human race. I’ll never forget years ago when it bothered me that once in a while at just the most revered time, my old mind could shoot these filthy thoughts through and then I read an article by a dear old pastor of a large church in Philadelphia years back. And this was his testimony. He said “It amazed me that there I could stand behind the communion table and as my deacons were out there passing the elements of the Lord’s supper, I would have the most awful thoughts.”

And you know what I said? Praise the Lord! Because that tells me he was no different than I am and I’m no different that you are. We do have thoughts like that, but as long as we don’t stop and dwell on them, I don’t think God holds us responsible. Our subconscious can shoot them on through and if we let them go, He’s not going to hold us responsible. But if we’re going to stop it and say now wait a minute, I’m going to think about this a little longer. Then it becomes something that we’re going to have to give an account for, and lose some rewards. But never lose sight of the fact that God is a discerner of the very thoughts of our thinking. Now verse 3.

Psalms 139:3

“Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.”

Now you know what that means? There’s not a moment in your time of living that God isn’t completely around you. Now I’m talking to believers. David was a believer. So this is the assurance that we have, that God is that aware of us as an individual. Not just as one of masses, but we’re an individual in His sight. Lets go on. This is interesting isn’t it? Man, I could just about spend the whole day in this chapter. Now verse 4.

Psalms 139:4

“For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, that thou knowest it altogether.” There is not a word that God isn’t aware of. That’s quite something isn’t it?

Psalms 139:5

“Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.”

Now verse 6, and this is almost a repetition of what I said a program or two back. That I cannot begin to comprehend some of these tremendous truths. Now look what David said.

Psalms 139:6-7

“Such knowledge (what knowledge? That he is an individual in God’s sight and that God knows everything about him, the individual, such knowledge) is too wonderful for me; (it’s beyond understanding, it is too wonderful for me) it is high, I cannot attain unto it. 7. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? (or whither) shall I flee from thy presence?”

What does that tell a believer? You’d better be careful where you go. Because you see, no matter where we go, God is there with us. We can’t check him at the door, because He’s with us every place we go. Alright now verse 8.

Psalms 139-8

“If (now that’s a conditional word, doesn’t say that he does, but if it were possible) I could ascend up into heaven, thou are there: (well that’s not too hard to comprehend) if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.”

Now you want to remember, David is writing from the Old Testament perspective and Hell was that place of the departed and was separated into two sides, Paradise and Torment, as we see in Luke 16, with the story of the rich man and Lazarus. And I’m quite sure that David isn’t putting himself in Torment. So when he went down into the Paradise of Hell of the Old Testament economy, God was there. Now verse 9.

Psalms 139:9-10

“If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10. Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”

What does that tell you? There’s not a place on this earth where you could go beyond the hand of God upon you. Not a place. Now verse 11.

Psalms 139:11

“If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.” In other words, darkness doesn’t stop God. The thickest, darkest night doesn’t keep God from seeing. He knows everything, and sees everything. Now verse 12

Psalms 139:12

“Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” So darkness doesn’t make any difference to God. Now verse 13.

Psalms 139:13

“For thou hast possessed my reins; (in other words, the desires of his life) thou hast covered me (where?) in my mother’s womb.”

What does that tell the abortionists? When does God pick up interest in us as an individual? In our mother’s womb! Paul says that God saved me by His Grace, from where? From his mother’s womb. Alright reading on.

Psalms 139:14a

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;…”

Well now, in our age of technology and information the average person probably knows more about the physiology of our bodies than MD’s did a century ago. And the more we learn, and the more we understand, the more we realize how complex this body really is. Just beyond human comprehension of how complex it is and yet God is aware of every little detail. Now verse 15.

Psalms 139:15-16

“My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.” 16. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” In other words, God knew the end from the beginning before the beginning ever started. Now verse 17.

Psalms 139:17

“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!”

Now you want to remember, David, according to Scripture “was a man after God’s own heart.” But David wasn’t in a class all by himself. We’re just as much prone to be in that kind of a mindset.

Psalms 139:18

“If I should count them, (that is all these precious thoughts, if I should count them) they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” 19. Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: (now of course remember this is in the Old Testament economy) depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.” Now verse 20.

Psalms 139:20

“For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.”

And so on, and on it goes, but what a gorgeous, gorgeous explanation of the Omnipotence of the God. Never lose sight of it. Even if you have to go back and read this Psalm once or twice a week and just get encouraged as well as convicted that the God of heaven, with whom we have to do, knows all about us.

Alright, lets come back to Hebrews again for the few minutes that are left. And so everything, not only of the human race, but of all God’s creation are manifested in his sight. Nothing happens that God isn’t aware of it. Now as we go into verse 14, we shift gears. Paul is great on that. Now all of a sudden, we go from the Omnipotent, Almighty, living God and this Book that is powerful, can even divide asunder soul and spirit, now all of a sudden we slip into the high priestly role of Christ.

Hebrews 4:14a

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is (now watch those next few words, that is what?) passed into the heavens,…”

Now you remember when we first started way back in Genesis 1:1, in the beginning God created heaven and earth, and way back then already I pointed out that through all of Scripture God deals in two realms. The earthly and the heavenly. Israel was God’s earthly people, and we are His heavenly. Alright, now when Christ finished the work of the cross, rose from the dead, and ascended or passed as the Book of Hebrews puts it, He passed into the heavenlies. Do you realize what that means? Up until that time, all worship, all concerns of the Word of God were primarily centered in Jerusalem, weren’t they? In the Temple worship and Israel. But once Christ passed into the heavens, where is now the seat and the core of all spiritual activity? Heaven. And so Paul is constantly reminding you and I now then as Grace Age believers that we’re not an earthly people, we’re a heavenly people, because He has passed into the heavens. He ascended gloriously into the heavens.

Alright now let’s just look at a few verses to go along with that. Come back to Ephesians, the little Book of Ephesians, in chapter 1, verse 3.

Ephesians 1:3

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings (where?) in heavenly places…”

Or better is the heavenlies, rather than in heavenly places. That’s the seed of everything. The heavenlies. We’re not tied to a temple worship; we’re not tied to a set of rituals here on earth, because we are heavenly. And as we saw in just the previous verses, we are involved with a God that we can come into his presence and he knows us as an individual. And we’re going to see, like I said a moment ago, a little later in one of the verses where he says, “come boldly into the Throne of Grace.” Now let’s look at another one over in Colossians chapter 1,

Colossians 1:12-13

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (or prepared us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13. Who (speaking of the Father, remember) Hath delivered us from the power of darkness, (where’s that? On the earth. He’s delivered us from that power of darkness,) and hath (past tense) translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” Well, where’s the Son? In heaven. Alright, now let’s back up a page to Philippians chapter 3 verse 20. Here we have concrete evidence of where our seat of worship is now located.

Philippians 3:20a

“For our conversation (or citizenship is a better word, for our citizenship is where) is in heaven; from whence we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:”

So our citizenship is already in heaven, and not here on the earth. We’re just strangers passing through. We’re foreigners, and we’re looking for our Saviour. We’re much closer to our Lord’s coming than Paul was. You remember I referred to a cartoon quite a few months ago and this old boy was sitting in front of his cave door, bearded and everything else, and over the cave door he said “The end is near” but he had added “er.” Remember that? And that’s what made me think of it. Paul wrote in about 63 or 64 AD that he was looking for the Savior from Heaven. But here we are 1900 and some years later, the end is what? Nearer. So we should be even more expectant than the Apostle Paul was. So remember “our citizenship is in heaven from whence we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:”

And when he comes, now you see, Paul is speaking as though we’re going to be alive when this happens. “Who shall change our vile body, (this one) that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” That’s why if the Lord decides to come yet before we leave this afternoon, that ceiling isn’t going to stop us. No way, because we’re suddenly going to have a body like he had. Did he have to walk around and find the door? No, he went right through the wall. He could have come in through the ceiling and we’re going to leave the same way. Never lose sight of that. That the scripture’s so plain that we’re going to have instantly a body like his resurrected body. And it’s going to work even as his did. Well anyway, the few moments we have left, let’s get back to Hebrews 4.

And so we have this great high priest, not in Jerusalem, not waiting in the sanctuary of the temple there, that’s long gone, but he has passed into the heavens. Jesus the Son of God. Now you remember when we were back there in the early chapters of Hebrews? We were emphasizing the Son. How that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son in Whom everything had been placed. Alright, we’re reminded again that He is the One Who is the core of our confession or profession. And that is what? That Christ, the Son of God, the creator of the universe, the One Who was born in Bethlehem, Who grew up in Nazareth, Who went the way of the cross, rose from the dead and ascended back to glory, that’s our confession. You know, I told one of my classes the other night, I think it was here in Tulsa, my, if I asked someone how do you know that you’re going to be in heaven, either after the rapture or after you die? How do you know? I only want to hear one answer. And what is it? I believe with all my heart that Christ died for my sins and I know that he arose from the dead. Now when I hear that, then I can say yes I have to agree, you’re going to be in glory. Because that is the only reason. You can work from now till doomsday and you’re never going to work your way into heaven. But our confession is this Jesus the Christ Who has passed into the heavens, Who is the Son of God. Now then in the moment or two that’s left, verse 15.

Hebrews 4:15

“For we (now back to Hebrews 4) have not (or do not have) a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities;”

Now I always like to put it into the positive. We have a high priest who can be touched with our infirmities. Doesn’t that make it easier to understand? Yes. We have a high priest who knows all about us. He sees our every thought as we just saw from the Psalms. There’s nothing that we can hide from him. There’s not a heartache that he doesn’t feel. There’s not a joy and an exuberance that he doesn’t know.

Now since we know that we have such a high priest, we can also rest on the fact that not only does He know all about us, but He knows where we are, because He too was touched with temptations. Now I always have to be careful and qualify it. He never was tempted to succumb, He was tempted only so that He could understand from virtual experience what we have to face. He never had the possibility of succumbing. Of course, the best ones, I suppose, that we are aware of, are the temptations in the wilderness when Satan said, turn these stones into bread. Now don’t think even for a split second that the Lord considered it. No way. But He went through those temptations so that the scripture could tell us that nothing, nothing that enters the life of a believer as temptation is something that He hadn’t already experienced. And so that’s what it means. Now we have a high priest who knows exactly what we’re putting up with. He knows what its like to be tempted. The only difference was that He did it apart from sin and we are so prone to sin. But He knows all about us.

574 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 48 - The All Powerful Word of God - Part 2

574: The All Powerful Word of God – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 48

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 48

The All Powerful Word of God – Part 2

Hebrews 4:12-16

As we teach we just simply open the Scriptures so that whatever your background you can go into the Word of God and understand what it’s talking about. And I guess the compensation that Iris and I have gotten for our effort is to receive all the letters and the phone calls stating that for the first time in people’s lives they’re understanding and they are able to read and study their Bible. Okay, now this is a Bible study and we’re going to get right back in where we left off a couple of programs ago in Hebrews chapter 4 and verse 12. It’s a verse, I suppose that most of you have probably memorized at some time in your youth. But, what a loaded verse! Of course, I say that about all of them, don’t I? Every verse I come to is just loaded! And it’s just hard to skip over any of them. Alright, verse 12 of Hebrews 4. What’s the first word?

Hebrews 12:4a

“For…”

Is that word there just to fill space? No! It’s an important word because you see, for the last several verses all the way back up, in fact to chapter 3, we have been dealing with a subject that the Bible probably refers to more often than any other one thing that I can put my finger on. And that was when Israel refused to go in and take the Promised Land at Kadesh-barnea. That was just unbelievable wasn’t it? God had promised they wouldn’t have to lift a sword, there wouldn’t be a drop of Jewish blood lost, and that everything was ready for them. God had given the Canaanites 400 years to get the land ready and to come to the end of God’s patience with them.

And so that’s what He told Abraham, that when the cup of iniquity of the Canaanites was full then the children of Israel would be able to come in and enjoy the land. But, after God had told them to go in and take it, it’s waiting for you, then Israel with only a few exceptions (Moses and Aaron and Joshua and Caleb and maybe a few others), the vast majority of the nation wept and cried. And said, “We can’t do it, there’s no way we can beat those Canaanites.” The spies came back and said “There’s giants in the land, and the cities are walled and so forth.” Well, so what! But the fact of the matter was, they just couldn’t believe what God said.

And when you can’t believe what God says, what does the Book call it? Unbelief! That is the most horrible sin that a man commits. Unbelief is far worse than any act of immorality. Unbelief is worse than anything you can think of, because it is in so many words, simply put, calling the Holy, Righteous, Almighty God a liar. When you don’t believe somebody, you simply tell them ‘you’re a liar.’

And to consequently this is something that God just cannot get off His mind. And the Scripture is reminding us they did not go in because of unbelief. The Word of God had told them, it’s there, so go in and take it. Alright, so what does the word ‘f-o-r’ refer to? The very same thing. This unbelief we’ve been looking at was a turning against the Word of God. And why is that such a disaster? Because. I suppose that’s another word for ‘for.’ ‘Because’ the Word of God.

Now don’t lose that! It doesn’t say, because God is quick, because that’s a given. But what most people don’t realize is that the Word of God, this Book, is alive! Now, I’m going to digress for just a second here. There are two ways we could look at the Word of God. Number one, we could look at all the times that God spoke and something happened. For example, at Creation. Let’s just go ahead to Hebrews chapter 11. This is one aspect of the Word of God.

Hebrews 11:3a

“Through faith (in other words again, by taking God at His Word) we understand that the worlds (that is the universe and all that’s in it) were framed (brought together) by (what?) the Word of God,….”

See? God didn’t have to commission legions of angels to go out and mix mortar and light fuses and put together energy. No! God spoke the Word and the universe came into being!Now that’s one aspect of the Word of God and it is powerful.

Now let’s come back to Hebrews chapter 4 again. I think a simpler illustration would be when they were on the Sea of Galilee and the storm was raging and the disciples were about scared to death and what did the Lord do? He stepped out on the deck of that little boat and said “Peace be still.” And the disciples were amazed, and they said, “What kind of a man is this that all He has to do is speak and the wind obeys His voice?” He didn’t have to do anything, but rather He just spoke it.

Well, the same way back in the Garden of Eden. He didn’t have to bring out a pile of dirt and funnel it all up and pat it in place and do all this. No, He spoke the Word, and Adam appeared. Over and over throughout Scripture we have instances where God spoke and things happened, and, He’s not through speaking. The day is coming where once again He will speak and things are going to happen. But, that’s what I call the ‘other’ aspect of the Word of God. The one I think we should be looking at here in regard to our study of the book of Hebrews is this Book. Always remember that this Book, from cover to cover, is the inspired Word of God.

He used men to write it, but every writer of Scripture, as Peter puts it in his little epistle, “Were holy men of God who were moved by the Holy Spirit to write what they wrote.” So, this part of the Word of God, which most people will cast aside, and let it collect dust, they’ll scorn it, and they’ll ridicule it, but I’ve got news for them. This Book is one day going to stand in total judgment of their unbelief. Now reading on in verse 12.

Hebrews 4:12a

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful,…”

Now the word quick normally coming out of the Greek in our King James speaks of “alive,” but now listen, this goes a lot further than that. The Word of God is alive. And as I was looking at this, I couldn’t help but think of some zoo experiences. Especially when you go to the cage of the huge serpents and the snakes – where are they usually? All coiled up in a corner, not even an eye blinking. For all practical purposes we think they’re what? They’re dead! But are they? No, they’re alive. But, they’re not active, but you see the Word of God is not like that! The Word of God is not something that’s just asleep on the shelf, or something that is defunct. The Word of God is not only alive and living; it is active! The Word of God is still permeating hearts and lives of people. It is still convicting lost people of their need, and it is still encouraging believers.

In fact, we did a short commercial advertising our television program just before we began our taping today telling believers how they should react to the days in which we are living. So what can I honestly say in that commercial? We don’t have to live in fear! We knew all these things were coming. I’ve been telling my classes in Oklahoma for years that these things were coming and this isn’t the last. So, do we run and hide? Do we go and build bunkers and live in some mountain someplace? No, because the Living Word tells us that God is in total control. He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us and we have that hope of Glory out in front of us that is beyond human imagination. And so, the Word indeed is living, and it’s active. And so, as we move on, the Word of God is not only actively living, it is what?

Hebrews 4:12a

For the word of God is quick, and powerful,…”

Now, I had to go and look up the Greek word for powerful. I thought it was going to be dynamos from which we get dynamics and so forth, but it wasn’t! It was ‘energy’! The Greek word is ‘e-n-e-r-g-e-s.’ It’s energes from which we get the word energy. What do you do with energy? Hey, you get things done!

In fact, way back in Genesis chapter 2, where it says that God rested from all the work which He had done. Again, you know what the original word was? “All the energy that He had compiled.” Now just look at the sun, and at the energy that it puts out every moment of every day, and has for as long as it’s been up there and will into the future. Now that’s power! We think of power in terms of electricity or even in terms of nuclear power and so forth, but listen none of that can compare to the power of this Book.

This Book is beyond, again, human comprehension. What little we understand and it’s only a particle, we take by faith. Yes, we believe it but there’s no way that we can comprehend it. As I’d said over and over on this program, can you (I can’t) comprehend how that the Creator of the universe, the One Who spoke the Word and everything fell into place, that that same Person took on human flesh. Born as baby in Bethlehem. Lived a lowly life of a carpenter’s son in Nazareth. And then went the way of the Cross and purchased man’s redemption. I can’t comprehend that. I believe it. But, it is so far beyond human comprehension.

Why would a God with such power and such authority, go to such depths of suffering and death for the sake of His created beings? But Christ did, see? Alright and so the Word of God is alive, and it’s powerful; it is beyond human comprehension.

Hebrews 4:12a

“…and sharper than any two edged sword,…”

Now of course, Paul, I’m sure, wrote Hebrews. I’ve stressed that often enough, and I think Paul was only too well aware of Roman soldiers. Oh, he was aware of them! And the Romans soldiers not only carried their large swords but they carried that hand to hand weapon which was the short ten-inch blade. I’ve been looking it up in the encyclopedia, usually made of brass and intensely razor sharp. And so Paul, by inspiration, of course, but also from his physical appreciation of the thing, refers to the Bible as that intensely sharpened two-edged sword.

Again, beyond our comprehension, because you see I’ve put it back on the board as we did back in Genesis. When God created man, He created us a three-part being. He created us (and I’m going to come from the inside out). He created us a spirit being with whom God Himself could communicate. He put within the physical body of the five senses, the personality, the mind, the will and the emotion. And all three of these are part and parcel.

Now let’s prove this from Scripture so that we don’t say well that’s just one man’s idea. Come back to I Thessalonians chapter 5, where the Scripture itself, gives us the whole three-part being of the human make-up. As Paul now winds down this letter to the Thessalonians he says:

I Thessalonians 5:23

“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; (or completely. And here it comes, and he says) and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body (all three as one unit) be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Now back to Hebrews chapter 4 again. I’ve also stressed over the years in my teaching, that humanly speaking, it is impossible for us to separate the soul and the spirit. They sort of blend in to one and I guess that’s the way most of us comprehend it. Because they are both the invisible part of us. The body of course, we can see, but the soul and spirit are both invisible and they were both placed within man at creation but God alone can separate them.

And the Word of God also is able to draw a distinction then between the spirit of man and his soul. I suppose the best way to explain soul and spirit is that, the soul is that which makes up our personality. You’ve seen me do this many, many times. The mind, the will and the seat of our emotions. That’s our personality. That’s the real you. This is the real me. The real person. The spirit on the other hand, is that part of us that can have fellowship with the Creator Himself.

As we remember from our Genesis study, when Adam fell, when Adam disobeyed God, his spirit became inoperative. It lost fellowship with God and consequently the lost person has no concept of God, and has no communication with God. His spirit is defunct and so the soul then became a sin-natured part of man until salvation would regenerate the spirit and give a new nature opposite the old nature.

Now, the only thing I want to point out here then is that the soul and spirit are discernable so far as God is concerned. The spirit is inoperative until God comes in with the power of Salvation and regenerates it. And then when His Holy Spirit comes and dwells opposite our spirit, that in turn has control over the new divine nature (as we’ve explained this so often.) And then these two now as a composite will have an effect on the body. The life that we live and the things that we enjoy and so on and so forth.

Alright now, I want to move on to the next part of the verse because here’s where I feel that the Word of God is so intrinsic. It is so past man’s ordinary comprehension. In other words, men couldn’t have written something like this. Who would have ever thought to compare? Now look what I’m talking about. That the soul and spirit is compared to the joints and marrow.

Hebrews 4:12a

“…and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow,…”

Unless you really stop and close your eyes and contemplate, what connection do the joints have with the marrow? See this shows you how far ahead of medical science the Word of God was. I’ve lost you haven’t I? Alright, stop and think. What happens in the marrow of especially our large bones? The red blood cells are manufactured! We all know that now, especially with leukemia and bone marrow transplants and so forth. The marrow is the manufacturing plant for the red blood cells, which are basically the very root of our whole being. Our blood system.

But, it doesn’t do you any good to have a blood system if you don’t have the joints. So as I was mulling this over, I just sort of put it into two categories. Now, this may not make sense to a lot of people but it did to me. You know, with the joints, our fingers and all of that, how much could be accomplished if we didn’t have joints? Or if they were all stiff? How much could you do if you couldn’t bend your fingers? Nothing! How could you walk if your knees didn’t bend? How could our athletes perform if it weren’t for their joints? That’s why knee injuries just take a football player right out of the picture.

Okay, so I’m going to put it this way. The joints are that which make us functional, and this is what makes us operate, but the marrow is what produces the energy to make the joints function. Does that make sense? I hope so.

So the Scripture then is saying that the soul and spirit is likened unto the joints and the marrow. The soul (the mind, the will and the emotion), that’s what makes us operative. This is what makes us function as a human being, but, just like our joints would be useless without the blood supply that is coming from the marrow, so also, our soul (our personality) is defunct until the spirit can energize it.

This is why then a lost person is just like we saw in that first half-hour. I didn’t probably make the point, but when Israel was out of the land, and was spiritually defunct, the Scripture called them what? Dead people! And they had been out there for so long, that it was like bones that had turned white in a Texas sun. See? Well it’s the same way with a lost person. The lost person, until that spirit is energized, is like someone who is functioning without any real energy. They are spiritually dead. Now, I didn’t intend to do this but here’s a verse that comes to mind. Come back to Ephesians chapter 2, and I guess it will all fit. I sure hope it does! I think most of you know this verse or you’re at least aware of it.

Ephesians 2:1

“And you (I always have to remind people, who does Paul always write to? Believers! Paul doesn’t write to the unbelieving world. So to the believer look what Paul says: And you)hath he quickened, (or made alive, actively) who were (before we were saved, what?) dead in trespasses and sins:”

Oh, we were living, yes, but spiritually we were dead, and that’s the vast majority of the world out there. They are spiritually dead. A world full of dead people. And they cannot function in its entirety until they get back into fellowship with their Creator. Until their spirit has been energized and that energized spirit in turn can work on that personality. And the personality and the spirit in turn influence the body.

That’s the whole idea of the Christian experience. See, that’s why we’re different. Now, when I say different, I always say, we’re not a bunch of oddballs. I don’t expect Christians to be oddballs. We are just somebody different, and we have different values. We have different hopes, and different desires. Why? Because the spirit has been energized and it now is influencing all of that. Now coming back to Hebrews let’s look at that verse again.

Hebrews 4:12a

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edge sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow,…”

I just had a thought! Do you suppose that’s why the unbelieving world doesn’t want to open this Book? They’re afraid of what it’s going to do to them. I know they are! They’re scared to death of what it’s going to do to them.

And you know what always thrills me, that people even in my classes in Oklahoma, some of you have said it, and many in our audience have said it. “Now that I’ve got a grip on what the Word of God is all about, I don’t have any trouble witnessing.” I just had somebody tell me the other night, “Les, I was always scared to death to open my mouth because I knew if they asked me something I wouldn’t be able to answer it. And I didn’t want to be embarrassed, but now I can give them an answer. Now I can turn to the Scriptures and show them what it says.” See! And this is where we have to be, but for the average lost person, no, they’re scared to death of this Book, because it is that sharp two-edged sword that divides asunder soul and spirit, the joint and marrow. Now then, the last part of the verse and that will wind up the half-hour.

Hebrews 4:12b

“…and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

The heart, the very most inner-being of everyone of us. The Word of God is able to tell us what we’re thinking. Now that’s hard to comprehend isn’t it? But you see, as you feed on the Word of God and you meditate on it, on those verses that I trust you learned as a kid, and you meditate on those verses, what does it do? It convicts. It convicts us of every evil thought. It convicts of everything that we do contrary to the Word of God because that’s its purpose. It is to reveal to us where we are missing the mark. It’s to reveal to us how far we are falling short and it’s only by God’s Grace, that He lets us get away with it.

We don’t deserve to continue on day after day being less than what God would have us to be, but see God doesn’t give up on us. God doesn’t say I’ve had it with you. Never! But the Grace of God continues to work and speak through the powerful Word!

573 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 48 - The All Powerful Word of God

573: The All Powerful Word of God – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 48

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 48

The All Powerful Word of God

Hebrews 4:12-16

This is the first time we’ve taped since the tragic events of September 11th, and so, consequently, I think we’ll digress from our teachings in Hebrews for this half hour, and comment on these events. My, we’ve been getting a lot of phone calls, and a lot of letters for our comments with regard to what’s taking place in the world today. Like I told Iris on the way up, I still hadn’t decided whether to or not to, but since we do have such a nationwide audience I do feel that it’s only appropriate that we address the fact that our hearts have gone out to those who lost loved ones, to those who went through the trying moments of hearing their loved ones say goodbye. I just can’t comprehend those kinds of circumstances. And yet, that’s part and parcel of being under the curse, because after all, that’s what precipitates all of mankind’s problems.

It’s not God. Never blame God for these things. Horror of horrors. We’re not living under the wrath of God, but rather His glorious Grace. Now the day is coming when the wrath of God will finally be poured out, but that’s not today. These disasters tear at the heart of God just as much as it does ours but it’s the work of the adversary who loves to bring misery into the human race knowing that it gets at the very heart of the Creator Himself.

So, again our hearts do go out to those who have lost loved ones amidst the turmoil of these last several weeks. We almost sympathize with our leadership. I don’t see how our President can sleep at night with the pressure that’s upon him. And again remember it’s not the wrath of God, although God permitted it to happen. But rather I think all these events are setting the stage for what’s coming. This is a wake-up call. This is just simply letting the world know what we are heading for in the days to come, like it says in Luke 21, and we may have time to look at that. But, Luke 21 says so clearly that the nations will be in perplexity. And certainly that’s where we are. There is not a visible enemy that you can send your troops out to confront. You can’t line up your artillery weapons and start bombarding on a front. But rather we are confronted with something that’s going to be hard to pinpoint. And I’m glad our leadership is letting us know that this is going to be a time consuming thing.

So what I admonish all my classes here in Oklahoma is that you just pray, pray, pray, that God will give our men in places of leadership the wisdom that they need to confront these things. No matter how bad something is there’s always some good and I think we can all realize as believers that the good that has come from this is that once again America is not ashamed to use the term ‘God.’ And our liberals and our ACLU should probably wake up and realize that even though they have cowed people, they have frightened people into a silence, that all of a sudden the true nature of most of our people has come to the fore and we are not ashamed to say “God Bless America!” We’re not ashamed to wave the flag. And, I think that again we realize that the enemy is always out there envious of what we have.

Because remember that the whole purpose of government down through history is to protect its citizens from those who like to come in and take what someone else has. That’s human nature. And even as great as America is we have to maintain a defense posture because as we’ve already seen there are people out there that would love to destroy us. So consequently, you be much in prayer and you encourage our government people to maintain our defensive posture. After all we’re living in a world that’s under the curse. We’re living in a world where Satan is the god of this world and God in His Sovereignty of course, permits these things but He certainly does not direct it.

I’d like to bring out the point, ‘Why has all this been precipitated?’ I think I can hit the nail on the head by saying it is because of the little Nation of Israel. 90% of our problems that are arising is that the enemy detests the fact that God’s Word is being fulfilled. And never lose sight of the fact, in fact, I just rehearsed it with someone the other day who had a grandchild who was about 18 years-old, and who was kind of adamant about believing the Bible. And I just suggested to them, next time you talk to this kid, just ask, “Have you ever stopped to think, that here we have the little Nation of Israel with only five million people, living in a geographical area smaller than one-half of New Jersey and yet they’re in the news every day of the week.”

I’ve made a habit now of checking the Daily Oklahoman and I can honestly say that there is not a day that the little Nation of Israel is not in the News. That should precipitate some common sense questioning. Why? Why, one little nation of only five million people constantly in the world’s spotlight? Well, you see, it just again goes back to prove that this is the only Book on earth (and I never attack other religions. I still don’t have to, as all I have to do is stand on this one.) No other Book on earth was able to tell things hundreds of years in advance and with what we’re seeing in the Middle East 3,500 years in advance. No human intellect could have ever done that. But it’s only because it is the supernatural Word of God.

We’re not going to have time to look at all of these but I just checked it again the other evening. King Josiah, one of the Kings of ancient Israel, was named three hundred years before he was born. King Cyrus of the Medes and the Persians was named and designated as the one who would make the decree to send the Jews back to rebuild the city of Jerusalem, one hundred years before he was born. And so all the way through Scripture we have these things that designate it as a supernaturally inspired Book.

Now I said the Bible foretells 3500 years in advance, so let’s start over in the Book of Deuteronomy in chapter 30 and this is the reason why we have the Middle East the way it is. Now remember, this was written by Moses 1,500 years before Christ. That’s 3,500 years back from today, and look what he wrote.

Deuteronomy 30:1

“And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, (now remember Moses wrote to the children of Israel) the blessings and the curse, which I have set before thee, (Now watch this.) and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,”

Now what does that tell you? That at some point future from Moses’ time and back from our time, the Jews would be scattered into every sovereign nation on earth. None excepted, and they were, and many are still in those nations, but many have returned to the little Nation of Israel. Alright, now look at the next verse. After they’ve been scattered to every nation under heaven.

Deuteronomy 30:2

“And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.”

Now in order to define that a little closer, I usually like to jump up to Ezekiel chapter 37 and most of you are acquainted with that as the chapter of the dry bones. Ezekiel saw the vision and he saw symbolically the Jews scattered out into the nations of the world. Out of the land of blessing. Separated from their Temple, without a priesthood, without a sacrifice. And it was just as if they were dead people, and spiritually, of course, they were.

Out of all those graves, then (as the Bible calls Israel living amongst the Gentiles while living in dispersion), the vision showed Ezekiel that one day those people would come back to a life (a spiritual life) and that God would supernaturally bring them back to the land. Now again, many times, even we as believers just take this as a mundane thing. It’s something we’ve always heard and we think nothing of it. But just stop and meditate. Here you have one little group of people scattered amongst all the other various nationalities and races with always the constant temptation to intermarry and yet for the most part they never did. And so for the 3,500 years that have elapsed they have not lost their national or racial identity. Unbelievable! They should have disappeared 2,000 years ago at least. But they haven’t. And even in spite of all their persecution and their pressure and being driven out of first one empire after the next, yet they’ve always survived.

Another facet of Scripture has always proved itself and that was the part of the Covenant that God gave to Abraham before the Nation of Israel ever began. And that was, that He would bless those who would bless the Jew and He would curse those who cursed or turned on the Jew. And all you have to do is go to your library and be a student of history and you’ll see that that has never failed. Sometimes it takes a while, but sooner or later any empire or any nation that turned on the Jew went down the tube never again to come back to a place of preeminence. And so that’s why I think we as Americans have to realize that God has blessed us in spite of all of our sin. In spite of all of our wickedness and unbelief God has continued to bless us because we have been a blessing to the Jewish people, we have been the only ones that have stood with her. And if ever that changes then America like everybody else will go down the tube, maybe not immediately, but sooner or later. And so we have to rest on the promises of this Book, which alone proves itself as the divinely inspired Word of God.

Alright, have you got Ezekiel 37 verse 11? After he sees the vision of all these valleys of dry bones, which were symbolically indicative of the Nation of Israel, scattered amongst the Gentiles nations, verse 11.

Ezekiel 37:11a

“Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel:…”

Again I have to stop for just a second. You know, there are those who say the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom were lost and disappeared into antiquity and that the only Jews were those that remain from the southern two tribes of Judea and Benjamin. Not according to this. It’s the “whole” house of Israel. All the tribes are going to be involved in their end-time scenario. So these bones are the whole house of Israel.

Ezekiel 37:11b

“…behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.” Because they’ve been out there for so long, and now God says to Ezekiel in verse 12:

Ezekiel 37:12a

“Therefore, prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God;…” The Creator God. We’re going to go back to Hebrews in our next half-hour and again we’re going to be dealing with that ‘Living God’ that Hebrews refers to so often. And here was the same One.

Ezekiel 37:12

“Therefore, (this Living God says) prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, (and this is the part I want you to underline or highlight. He’s going to bring them out of those habitations amongst the Gentiles) and I will bring you into the land of Israel.”

That’s the only reason they’re there back in the land of Israel tonight. There is no other valid reason why the Jew had been able to go back and out of a land that was desolate, treeless, rock-strewn, arid. Full of disease, predominately the malaria. Kept devastated by earthquakes for almost 2,000 years since the 70 AD dispersion and then all of a sudden the land becomes once again responsive. The Jews start coming in first in a trickle. Setting up the kibbutzes, clearing the land, planting the trees and now we’ve seen the results of it. It’s now again almost a Garden of Eden as you drive up and down the land of Israel. The green wheat fields. And the banana orchards and the nut orchards, and so forth, it’s literally a land that has been brought back from total desolation.

For some of our seminars this past summer and some of our Oklahoma classes I read a little clip from a book by Mark Twain and I don’t want to take time to read all of it here on the program. But I’ll just read you a line or two of how Mark Twain described the land of Palestine or Israel, as we know it biblically in the 1860’s. Now remember Titus destroyed the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD whereupon the Jews were emptied out of the land. But, just exactly like Leviticus told the Jews at the Babylonian captivity that when He would take Israel out of the land it would become a desolation. That even their enemies would be totally amazed at how desolate the land of Israel could become.

Alright, so this is what Mark Twain wrote then in the 1860’s and it comes from a book that is called The Innocence Abroad. I’m hopefully giving it the right credit. And this is what he wrote:

‘The soil is rich enough but is given completely to weeds. A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action. We never saw a human being on the whole route. We never saw a human being. We pressed toward Jerusalem and the further we went the hotter the sun got. The more rocky and bare and repulsive and dreary the landscape became. Jerusalem is lifeless. I would not desire to live there. Palestine is a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land. It sits in sackcloth and ashes.”

Now this is by a reputable man, the writer of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain or Samuel Clemens as he was known. This is out of his own book. That was the picture of the so-called Promised Land or the land that the Arab world would try to tell us has always been verdant and green and productive. But it hasn’t. God purposely kept it barren and desolate. Then I read not too long ago that one of the instruments God used to keep the land was earthquakes. And that from almost antiquity on up until 1900 earthquakes literally leveled any city that anyone tried to build. And those of you who have been with us to Israel remember some of the ruins at Bethshan and Caesarea on the Sea, and Sepphoris and some of these, where the Romans had built beautiful cities and they are devastated. Well, what caused it? Earthquakes. And so all the way through those 2,000 years there were enough earthquakes across the land of Palestine that nothing survived.

And as I’ve already mentioned, the malarial disease was rampant, and, one author even put it this way. Jews who tried to go back and eke out a living would never last more than two generations until disease would wipe them out. So, God’s Word was true that with Israel out of the land it would remain a total desolation. But beginning at about 1900, for the last hundred years now, God has been setting the stage. And that’s the best way I can put everything that has taken place, even in our lifetime, in the last 50 years, everything is simply setting the stage for the day when the man of sin will come on the scene. We call him the anti-Christ. Which, I think is sort of a misnomer because the term makes most people think that this guy is going to come on the scene hating God and he’s going to be anti-God, which of course, he will.

But that’s beneath the surface. On the surface, the term anti-Christ means the master counterfeiter. And that’s what he’s going to be. He’s going to come on the world scene as the counterfeit Messiah. And as I have taught and I guess we’re teaching this on the daily programs which are reruns of course, made almost 8-9 years ago, but when he comes on the scene, even Israel will think that he’s the long promised Messiah, because supernaturally, not under ordinary politics, but supernaturally he will be able to bring peace to the Middle East which no one today could do. But he will and he will actually get the Arab world to agree to let the Jews build a Temple.

Now, it’s not going to be a gold furbished temple like Solomon’s. It’s not going to be made with the Cedars of Lebanon. My own idea is it’s probably some kind of a prefab thing that is already sitting in a warehouse in Jerusalem. But, whatever. It’s going to be functional, because we know that for three and a half years Israel is going to once again go back under the Law and enjoy their Temple Worship. So, this man is going to negotiate that kind of a peace treaty. Well, the world will just be aghast that after all the efforts of America and Europe to bring peace to the Middle East, this guy will do it with one fell swoop. And so this is everything that is taking place.

You know about 8-10 years ago there were a lot of books out and there was a lot of talk about a so-called conspiracy. And that certain groups in the world were conspiring to bring about world government. Well, no doubt some of those things were true, but, I’ve always said, no. It’s not a conspiracy; it’s the Sovereign God. God is setting the stage. And I guess I usually use my hands for emphasis. I always sort of bring it to a point like a pyramid, because that’s what we’re seeing.

For the last ‘umpteen’ hundred years everything has been moving the world, just like up to the point of a pyramid to the time when this one man will be able to come in and perform the things that will just astonish the world. And we call him the anti-Christ, but I call him the counterfeit Christ and he will bring about peace to the Middle East. Israel will rebuild the Temple and then we enter into all the horrors of the seven years of Tribulation.

Now, we’re not in the Tribulation today. Not by any stretch of the imagination. As I said, early in the program. Today we’re in the Age of Grace. God is dealing with the human people in Grace, in spite of the catastrophe. In fact, I told people shortly after we realized how many people were normally in the Twin Towers on any given day. And I just simply used fourth grade arithmetic. The articles I read said that normally there were 40,000 people working in those two buildings plus about 10,000 that were there as tourists.

Forty and ten in my old arithmetic is 50,000 people. Now for the 5-6 thousand people that lost their life, it’s horrendous, it’s awful. But don’t people stop to think how that God by His Grace spared at least 40,000 who escaped with their life? But you don’t hear any of that. But that’s where I call it the Grace of God that spared that many.

But, the day is coming, beloved, when the wrath of God will begin and that of course, is all the horrors then of Revelation and the Old Testament prophecies that we covered when we were teaching end-time events, when we were covering I Thessalonians. The ‘Day of the Lord.’ It is going to be awful. And I reminded my classes all this past week, Revelation tells us that in the first three and a half years, one-fourth of the world’s population is going to go.

The world is fast approaching 8 billion people and again fourth grade arithmetic tells me that in the first three and a half years 2 billion people are going to lose their life. Now you math majors can just figure it in your mind. How many million is that a day? Every day. A million and a half people will be losing their life. And then you get into the last half of those seven years and six billion people are going to go in three and a half years. That double or triples to 2-3 million people a day.

So, yes, this is a wake-up call. The wrath of God is not here today, but, it’s coming. This Book is true. Israel proves it. That just as surely, God said He would take them out of the land and scatter them. Make the land a desolation while they’re gone. But the day would come that He would bring them back and the land would again come back into production. It would blossom like a desert rose. And we’ve seen it happen, and so all of these things are just reminders that we’re fast approaching the end. Now I don’t set dates. My, it could be several years, it could be just several months. But we as believers are told to be ready. We’re to be looking up, we’re to be realizing that our redemption is drawing nigh.

The other point that I guess I should make is watch Western Europe because it’s out of Western Europe that the events of the Tribulation will begin to come. This coming January, Western Europe will go under a common currency. The Euro Dollar and all of that is just again in a fulfillment of the setting of the stage. That’s the best way I can put it. All the players are being put in place, the background scenery is being put in place. Everything is being made ready for those final seven years. We’re not in them, however we think we’re getting close to them, and it behooves us as believers to just pray, pray, pray. Not for ourselves, but for our nation and for lost people around us.

572 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 48 - Hebrews 4:1-11 - Part 2

572: Hebrews 4:1-11 – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 48

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 48

Hebrews 4:1-11 – Part 2

Back to Hebrews, chapter 4 and verse 4. In the last lesson we didn’t quite finished with that verse, where it says he spake in a certain place, speaking of Genesis chapter 2 where we were in the last program.

Hebrews 4:4-5

“For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest (and that’s the word we’re really looking at. God rested) the seventh day from all his works. 5. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.”

Now this whole idea of rest then is laying on us the simple fact that if something is complete and there is nothing more that man can do, God himself has said “It’s very good,” then what are we to do? Rest. Now if you’re resting, and I’ll just use a simple childlike illustration. If you buy a ticket from Tulsa to New York and you go and take your seat and the plane no more than takes off and makes its curve and probably heading back toward the east, immediately, as soon as you’re able, you jump up out of your seat, you run forward and you may even be able to get as far as the pilot’s cabin, you say “Are you really going the right direction?”

Now we’d say that’s ridiculous. That pilot knows where he’s going. But listen, not half as ridiculous as when we doubt God. But you see this is exactly what people do. They make a profession of salvation, they may go through a prescribed ritual, and there’s no peace, there’s no assurance of salvation. So what do they do? They’re constantly running here, running there, trying to find the answers to their dilemma. I mean, we have it happen all the time. And then all of a sudden, they enter into this saving Grace of God where they suddenly realize they can do nothing but believe it and then what can they do? Rest. Just like the airline passenger that can sit back in his seat, relax, start reading something and forget all about the responsibilities of where that pilot is going. Because they have total faith in the plane and the system.

Well, that’s what we have to do with our salvation. God has said it’s finished and we don’t have to sweat and work and try to do this and do that. We just rest in it. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t work. I’m talking about the salvation experience. And see that’s why Canaan became such a beautiful picture of the whole scenario. Rest was rejected because of unbelief but on the other hand a picture of what rest really can be for the believer. Oh, we can just revel in the fact that we don’t have to work, work, work, work for salvation, as that’s all been done. It’s finished.

But just stop and think a minute of all the things that even Christendom lays upon their adherence. Oh you’ve got to do this, you’ve got to do that. You’ve got to fulfill this obligation; you’ve got to fulfill that obligation. And listen, God will have nothing of it because He finished it, and He cannot let man put his filthy fingers on it. It’s a done deal. And so, come back to the text again, and read verse 5 again.

Hebrews 4:5b

“…If they shall enter into my rest.”

And how is it to be entered? By faith and faith alone, plus nothing, because it’s finished. I don’t know how else to put it, I guess I could just go through various other places. Come back to Hebrews chapter 1 verse 3. And this again is just more ammunition to show that when Jesus said it’s finished, He meant what He said. Alright, we were speaking of the Son back in verse 2. Now verse 3.

Hebrews 1:3

“Who being the brightness of his glory, (He was God from the beginning, from eternity past. He was God in the flesh. He, as God took the sins of the world upon Himself. So being the brightness of His glory) and the express image of his person, and upholding all things (that is everything in this universe is held together) by the word of his power, when he had by himself (alone, without any help from anyone. When He had by Himself) purged (or taken away) our sins, (what did He do? What does it say?) sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”

And I said in the last half hour; what does that imply? It’s finished. He rested, and there was nothing more to do. He had done everything that God demanded. Now listen, I tell people, without compunction, I don’t care how great our faith, I don’t care how great an understanding a person can have of this Book, there is no way that you and I as mortals will ever comprehend more than just an infinitesimal amount of what was accomplished on that cross. I’ll never comprehend it. And when Paul in Ephesians speaks on the unsearchable riches of Christ, was he playing with words? No way. It is unsearchable. There is no way that I can understand all that God poured out first from the wrath side on God the Son who became the epitome of sin itself. I cannot begin to comprehend that. And on the other hand, He poured out what? Mercy. It was a two-barreled attack. He poured out His wrath because of the sin aspect. He poured out His mercy because of the love aspect. How can mortal man comprehend that? I can’t. I’m going to keep trying to get more and more and more. That’s the whole idea. But we could live to be a thousand years and we would never comprehend it all. And so what do we do? Take it by faith. God, you did it, you said it, it’s complete, it’s finished. I’m resting. I’m not going to come running up there to the pilots cabin and ask are you going the right direction. I’m not going to come running in every time and say, “God, but are you sure?”

But see, the reason Paul is making this so explicit to these Hebrews was that this was their dilemma. They still had not entered into Paul’s saving Gospel. They were still holding to Judaism, and they were still holding to their works religion. And that’s why you’ve got all these terms of conditions in this letter that scares people half to death. Listen, never do these verses that list conditions deal with the believer. That unless he does this, and unless he does that, he’s going to be back out there lost. No, that’s not what it’s talking about. It’s talking to these people who were on the fence. Unless you make a break with that religious system in your past and step into that finished work of the cross, you’re in danger, and this is what we have to let people know. Listen, you cannot drag one foot in legalism. You cannot leave one foot in religion of whatever sort it is and have the other foot in the Grace of God and be accepted. It won’t work. Because what does it say? “Well God you didn’t really finish it.” And God won’t have it. No little puny mortal man is going to tell God that he didn’t quite finish the job.

And so, here is the purpose of this letter. It’s to bring these people out of that position of being on the fence. That’s exactly what he meant when he said in Hebrews chapter 6 and I’ve had so many letters and I guess other Bible teachers have had the same thing. They’ll write and they’ll write and they’ll write, but doesn’t it say, “it’s impossible if we’ve been once enlightened and we fall out that there is no more sacrifice for sin.” Hey that doesn’t mean if you’ve been saved and you’re lost again. No way. All these verses in Hebrews are dealing with the same scenario. Steeped in religion and can’t make the break into Grace. But listen, God’s doing it. He’s breaking the shackles of more and more people who are coming out of that kind of a background into the Grace of God. Alright, let’s come back to chapter 4, and let’s come on down to verse 6.

Hebrews 4:6

“Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:”

Now you’re going to get sick and tired of me referring to it, but I can’t help it. What are we talking about? Those to whom it was first preached? Well, we’re talking about Israel at Kadesh. They were the first prime example of God giving such a glorious offer that all they had to do was take it by faith, but rejected it. And that’s what it means, unto whom it was first preached. It doesn’t mean that anybody before that never had an opportunity of salvation, but this is the first prime example of God offering something that was so perfect, so complete. Not an Israelite would have been killed by a Canaanite. Not a single Israelite would have gone to bed hungry. Not a single Israelite would have gone to bed cold and out in the elements. God had had those Canaanites working 400 years like bees getting everything ready. 400 years he told Abraham the Canaanites would be given every opportunity to come out of their wickedness. But instead of coming out it, what did they do? They went deeper and deeper and deeper until they were so morally filthy, God said it’s time to move them out and let Israel have all the fruits of their labor. And so it just became a primary example of God’s offering them a rest existence without having to fight and work. They could have had it. But why did they miss it? Unbelief.!

Look at the world around you. Look at our beloved America. We have Bibles in every home, in every hospital room, in every motel room, everywhere. How many people ever look at them? Almost nobody. Iris and I make it a practice – every motel room, we go and look and find that Bible. Has it been used? No. It’s just a skip in the day that the Gideons put it in there. Look at the multitudes around us, even here in the Bible belt. How many of them, I’m not judging, I don’t’ know, but I’ve got a pretty good idea. How many of our run of the mill people going up and down the highways of life ever, for 30 seconds, think about eternity? Not many. Precious few. Why? Because we’re no better than Israel. We’re a nation tonight of total unbelief. That’s our problem.

I’ve said on our program before, our problem isn’t Democrats or Republicans, the economy, our defense posture, the drug business, teenage pregnancy. Now those are all the result of our problem, but what’s our problem? Unbelief. America no longer believes this Book. America scoffs at everything this Book says anymore. And consequently, America is headed for the same kind of a downfall that other empires have experienced, that other nations have experienced. Because there comes a time when God says, “I’ve had it!” and so, here’s the text. Why did they not enter in? Because of their unbelief! Now verse 7.

Hebrews 4:7a

“Again, he limiteth a certain day saying in David,…”

Now if you think I repeat, I don’t hold a candle to this Book, because it’s always repeating and repeating and repeating. I think I made mention once before, I read a book by a theologian back in England in about the middle 1800’s if I’m not mistaken. That book is very thick, small print, and it only covers Romans 6 and 7. Now how are you going to write a book that thick with small print as a commentary on two chapters in Romans? Repeat and repeat and repeat, over and over and over again. He makes the same statements but of course he had his purposes, but the Bible does the same thing, as it just does not let this thing rest.

Hebrews 4:7b

“…To day, (which for the Gentile world is now been going almost 2000 years. That’s today. Alright read on. Today) if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”

Now a few programs back we made reference to Felix as Paul dealt with that political leader. But what did Felix do? Hardened his own heart. God didn’t harden it. He hardened it with his constant refusal until finally it gets to the place that that hardened heart never does respond. Now I also said God never gives up, of course not. But nevertheless, the warning here is, do not harden your hearts. Alright now then verse 8.

Hebrews 4:8a

“For if Jesus…”

I know your King James says Jesus in this verse, but I think most of your newer translations and your commentaries and my margin will call it Joshua, who had taken Moses’ place of leadership. And Joshua is going to lead them into the land of rest as Moses could have done at Kadesh. Joshua now is going to bring the Nation of Israel in from the East of Jordan. And as Joshua leads the nation into Canaan, what’s the scenario? War. They’re going to have to fight every inch of the way. Now God’s going to give them the victory, but they’re going to lose a lot of blood in the process. And so I do not like to use Joshua’s taking the children of Israel across Jordan into the Land of Canaan as a picture except when we enter into our Christian life in this world of sin under the curse. Is it a life of ease and rest like Canaan would have been? No. It’s a warfare. And so there is an analogy that yes, we’ve entered into that complete rest because of the work that’s finished. But on the other hand, we can look at Joshua’s occupying, that in this life, hey, there’s no easy row to hoe.

You know, I’ve so often used the illustration on this program. The Christian life today is like paddling a canoe in a river with a pretty good current. Now I don’t think I could make a canoe go upstream. I suppose a good professional could, but I don’t think I could, but even if I could paddle that canoe up against stream, which is a good picture of the Christian life, what happens the minute I take the paddle out of the water? Down stream we go. So what is the Christian life? It’s a constant battle. It’s a constant working to maintain our Christian experience. So you’ve got these two aspects. You’ve got the land of Canaan pictured as a place of total rest, a finished work, and Christ sat down because it was finished. But on the other hand, we have to look at Joshua because that’s the real world. We’re not living in a world where we can just sit down and not worry about anything. But positionally, in our salvation experience, yes, we’re in the land of Canaan at rest. But experientially, maybe I can put it that way. Positionally, we’re in the place of rest, experientially, we’re in a constant battle. Alright let’s go on with verse 8 repeating.

Hebrews 4:8

“For if Joshua had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.”

In other words, Joshua couldn’t make the same kind of promises that Moses and Aaron could because the Canaanites were still there. The first thing they had to do was fight. They had no easy road. My goodness, you go back and read the Book of Joshua and go on into the Book of Judges – I thank God that I wasn’t living in those days. It’s death and mayhem all the way through those Books of the historicals in the Bible. There wasn’t any rest associated with that. And so Joshua, as he took the people in under a mode of warfare, all he could promise was that which was coming. He couldn’t offer them rest because after all, he had to lead them in by warfare.

You all know the account back there after they crossed Jordan. What was the first thing they had to do? They had to face Jericho and you all know the battle of Jericho. Even though God did that one without lifting a sword, yet that was just the beginning of having to gain the land of Canaan, city by city, tribe by tribe, and they never did get to the place where they had total rest, and so that’s what the verse meant. Had Joshua taken them in under the same circumstances that Moses could have, he wouldn’t have had to speak of a future day when their battles were won and so forth. But Joshua couldn’t.

And so all of these things become just a great lesson for us that what Israel rejected by unbelief, they paid their dues when they went in later and had to work by the sweat of their brow, by the blood of their sons, and then never enjoy a full occupation of the land of Canaan without the presence of the Canaanite people. Alright, then lets go on into verse 9. I’ve got to wind this up rather quickly now.

Hebrews 4:9

“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.”

See, that’s the difference. For the unbeliever there is no rest, as it’s a constant turmoil. Even for these Hebrews, what can I call them? They’ve got one foot in Judaism; they’ve got one foot in Paul’s message of Grace, and neither one is profiting them anything. They’re not in any rest. And so this is the constant plea of the apostle. “Make the break. Come out from that legalism and come into the rest that only God’s Grace can offer.” Now then verse 11 may be a verse that throws a curve at a few people. They say, “Well, see, that shows you’ve got to work for your salvation.” Absolutely not!

Hebrews 4:11

“Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall (not out of salvation, but never having attained it) after the same example of (what?) unbelief.” Unbelief. It isn’t a matter of having been in and fallen out. They never came in. Now let’s look at what Peter says about this. I think it’s chapter 1.

I Peter 1:10

“Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied (spoke forth) of the grace that should (what?) come unto you:” At a future day. And so the prophets knew that there was a time coming when even Israel could come in without all the demands of the law.

Well the other one I was looking for where Peter says that we were to work to make our calling and election sure.” I’m not seeing the verse that I wanted. But what did he mean when he said that? Well it didn’t mean that you did physical work for somehow appeasing a Holy God. But it means that you get down into the Book. Make work of searching the Scripture and don’t just sit in some easy pew and let somebody feed you pablum. The Scripture says labor to enter into that rest. Not by doing something for salvation but make work of studying the Scripture. Because in them the Scripture says you have what? “Eternal life.” And this is the whole idea. But, you see, people just don’t want to get into the Book. And here’s where it’s at and once you get into it you can’t hardly close it. I mean it just consumes you. And so never lose sight of the fact that their whole example of not cashing in on the glory of the Promised Land was unbelief.