Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 49
Thou Art My Only Begotten Son – Part 2
Your letters are the highlight of our day and Iris and I just thrill at the way you share how the Lord is using us to bring you either to a knowledge of salvation or to make the Scriptures more enjoyable, whatever the case may be. We just give the Lord the credit for it. Alright, so we’re here to study the Bible so let’s go right back to where we left off in the closing moments of our last program and that was in Hebrews chapter 5 verse 5.
“So also Christ glorified not himself…”
Remember, we pointed out in the last lesson that no priest dared to take the role without God’s divine appointment. And so even Christ did not assume His priesthood but it was appointed to Him by God the Father.
“So also Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.”
Now we’re going to go back once again where we were earlier in Psalms chapter 2 because in case someone missed the last program we want you to understand what Paul is referring to. That God the Father designated to God the Son that He should be a high priest but not in the lineage of Aaron, the humanly priesthood, but it’s going to be the priesthood according to Melchizedek and we’ll see that a little later in this half-hour.
“I will declare the decree: the LORD (here of course, the Lord is a reference to God the Father) hath said unto me, (the Son) thou art my Son; (and remember it’s capitalized so we’re speaking here of Christ way back – 1000 BC.) this day have I begotten thee.”
Now let’s turn all the way up to Acts chapter 13 and find out what that meant when God said “this day I have begotten thee.” I pointed out, I think, in the last program, David wrote the Psalms around 1000 BC but that’s not when Christ became the only begotten Son of God – but prophecy-wise, that was when it was spoken. But in Acts chapter 13, we have the Scriptural definition of what it meant to be the only begotten Son of God.
I imagine most of us would be shocked that probably most people think that He became the only begotten Son of God at Bethlehem when He was born of the woman. But that is not so. Rather Acts tells us exactly when He became the only begotten Son. Here in Acts 13 we find Paul rehearsing how Christ was crucified, and how He was buried.
“God has fulfilled the same unto us their children, (that is the promise which was made to the forefathers) in that he hath raised up Jesus again; (that is from the dead) as it is also written in the second psalm, (that’s why I took you back there before I came into Acts) Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” (now verse 34 defines it) 34. And as concerning that…”
You know I’m a stickler for every word. The average reader just slips over this. As concerning that. Concerning what? That God declared Him the only begotten Son.
“Now as concerning that, he raised him from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.”
So when did Christ become the only begotten Son? At His resurrection! See, and this is why I’m always stressing, at least I hope I am, that salvation can be through no other way but through Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Turn to I Corinthians 15 again. For most of you this is over and over and over, but this is still the plainest portion of Scripture to reveal the gospel of the grace of God. This is where every lost person has to come. There is no salvation outside of this death, burial and resurrection.
Now you know that raises a lot of eyebrows. I had someone call again the other morning and say that their pastor (boy, I’d hate to be in his shoes) had said that after all, Christianity isn’t the only approach to God, there are many. Well, I’ve got news for him. He’s going to suddenly be shocked when he gets into eternity unless he has a change in the meantime because there IS ONLY ONE WAY. And another person called and had the same kind of a situation and the pastor had more or less said the same thing. And so he says on his way out, “Well, what do you do with John 14 verse 6? “I am the way the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” And you know what that preacher said, “Well, that doesn’t mean what it says.” Well, that’s a cop out, see?
It DOES mean what it says. There IS only one way and there is no other religion on earth that can make that claim, because Christianity is the only one that teaches resurrection from the dead. The others don’t mention it. Christianity alone teaches a resurrection from the dead. Not just a matter of dying and going to heaven but there is coming a resurrection day. Christianity alone stands on that premise. And that’s why Paul writes this 15th chapter of Corinthians then, in which there is more teaching on resurrection than all the rest of this Book put together and probably more than all the other religious books in the world.
And what’s the whole vortex of it? That if Christ be not raised from the dead then you are yet in your sin. And I’ve had some examples. Scientists especially and I’ve got one man in particular and he’s going to recognize it as soon as I share it. He said, “You know for the longest time I went to church and I had no problem with Christ’s crucifixion, that He died and that He shed His blood and that He was buried. But as a scientist I couldn’t accept the resurrection. But I was nothing more than a church member. But when I suddenly saw how that you constantly emphasized the resurrection, the Lord opened my heart and I could believe it. That yes, Christ was raised from the dead. And that’s where our Salvation lies.”
We’ve probably got multitudes of church members who believe like this man, that Christ died the horrible death of the crucifixion but would not accept the resurrection. Without it, they’re lost. Alright, now look at I Corinthians and this is why the resurrection is at the core of our belief system. Remember now, this is all coming from “this day have I begotten thee.” What day? The day He was raised from the dead.
I Corinthians 15:1-2
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel (not a gospel – but rather The Gospel of salvation) which I preached unto you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand; (as a believer, positionally. Now the next verse and plainer English could never be written.) 2. By which (that is this Gospel) you are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached unto you unless ye have believed in vain.” Now here is Paul’s Gospel!
I Corinthians 15:3a
“For I delivered unto you first of all (because he was the one to whom this whole concept was revealed.) that which I also received,…” In other words, the God of Glory appeared to this raging persecutor of those followers of Jesus of Nazareth – and converted him there outside Damascus – took him into the desert and unloaded on him all of these new concepts of salvation by faith and faith alone in the death, burial and resurrection. This was unknown before. Alright, now look what he said.
I Corinthians 15:3-4
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures (absolutely, the Old Testament foretold it.) 4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures;”
Now that’s the Gospel you must believe to have eternal life. You can’t pick and choose two parts. You can’t say, “Well I believe that He died. I believe that He was resurrected one way or another. But I can’t believe He was dead for three days.” See that? You take it all or you’ve got nothing. But when we believe that Christ died for our sin, He was dead, He was buried, He was in the tomb three days and three nights, and God raised Him from the dead and He became then the only begotten Son of God.
And when we believe that, God moves in and transforms us and make us a new person. And without it, they can be “church-memberized” until they’re blue in the face and they’re as lost as lost as can be. But it is this Gospel that is based on the fact He was raised from the dead.
Alright now, on that same premise I want to bring you back to Romans chapter 1, which falls right in line with Acts 13. Remember what Acts said. Now concerning ‘that.’ That God declared Him the only begotten Son of God, that concerning that, it was when God raised Him from the dead that He became then the only begotten Son of God. We’ll start with verse 1 to pick up the flow.
Romans chapter 1:1-2
“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2. (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures.)” See what that says. It fits perfectly with I Corinthians that He died for our sins according to what? The Old Testament Scriptures. That He rose from the dead. According to what? The Old Testament Scriptures. And here he repeats it, see? “Which he promised before by the prophets in the holy scriptures.” Now verse 3,
“Concerning his son (the same Son that Hebrews is dealing with) Jesus Christ our Lord, who was made of the seed of David (that is in the flesh) according to the flesh.” Now here it comes in verse 4.
“And declared (by the Psalmist. By God Himself. And here through the Apostle Paul’s writing) to be the Son of God with (what?) power, according to the spirit of holiness, (that is the very power of the holy Godhead. by the what?) the resurrection from the dead.”
Do you see that? That’s when the power of the Son was confirmed, was consummated, was established or whatever word you can put on it. When He was raised from the dead. And without it there is no Salvation. And so if you doubt me, when you get home this evening you just read I Corinthians 15 all over again and all through the chapter, how that, the very basis of our salvation is that Christ arose from the dead. Another good one is I Thessalonians 4:14. In that passage, believing that Christ died for us and rose again is the qualification we must meet before we can go in the Rapture.
Alright now then, back to Hebrews chapter 5 and we’ll go into verse 6.
“As he saith also in another place,…”
That’s in Psalms where it says “thou art a priest forever not after the order of Aaron but after the order of (who?) Melchizedek.” What a difference that makes!
We pointed this out in our Genesis study but, goodness sakes, that’s eleven years ago isn’t it? Most people have forgotten it or they’ve never seen it in the first place. Alright, let’s go back to Genesis because if Christ is a priest after the order of Melchizedek instead of after the order of Aaron then let’s go back and establish this Melchizedek. Genesis chapter 14, and for a little background remember that Lot had taken up residence near or in Sodom and Gomorrah and some enemy kings had overrun Sodom and took the Sodomites as well as Lot and his family captive. And when Abram got wind of that he raised up his own little private army and pursued them and utterly defeated them and took the spoil. Alright, then verse 17.
“And the king of Sodom (whom of course, Abram had rescued) went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of the Chedorlaomer, (that is the one’s who had overrun Sodom) and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh which is the king’s dale. 18. And Melchizedek (this is the first time he’s mentioned in Scripture) the king of Salem…”
I think most of you know what we’re referring to but in case you don’t. S-A-L-E-M is the last letters of what city? Jerusalem! And Jerusalem in Scripture is the city of what? Peace! It has never yet known peace but one day it will. One day the Palestinian problem will be completely taken care of. One day the world won’t have to wring their hands over the Middle East. Because when the Prince of Peace comes and the city of Jerusalem becomes His capital then it will finally reach that epitome of the capital of peace. Alright, but it’s been known as the city of peace from day one. And so this Melchizedek, verse 18 again:
“And Melchizedek king of Salem (the city of peace) brought forth bread and wine:”
Now we covered that when we were in our Genesis study but you see, bread and wine as such were not sacrifices in Temple worship. Bread and wine were never really introduced into the Scriptures until Paul in I Corinthians chapter 11 explains it as what most of us now call the Lord’s Supper. And the Lord’s Supper, as Paul explains it so graphically, had only one purpose. And what was it? Memorial! That’s what he says “and when you do this in memory.” So you see it’s a memorial service and a reminder of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection and that’s what the bread and the wine signifies. The bread spoke of His broken body and the wine spoke of His resurrection life and so whenever we partake of those two, the bread and the wine, it is simply a means of reminding us of His death, burial and resurrection. And here God is giving a little preview of it way back in the life of Abram. But that’s not the point we want to make. Verse 18, the last part. After he had brought forth the bread and wine, which was indicative of the coming death, burial and resurrection of Israel’s Messiah.
“…and He was the priest of (Jehovah? No it doesn’t say that? But what?) the Most High God.”
Now we have to realize there is only one God in Scripture but there are many names for Him and that confuses people. But you see, we have all these different names of God to signify a particular role in His being God. In His attributes. And so for example, when Abraham was going to sacrifice Isaac, and God withheld him. What was in the thicket behind him? Well, the ram! Who put it there? God did! And I always emphasize, you see, that ram was a wild ram. Remember Abraham was already three days journey from where he lived, so it was not a household pet like somebody tried to tell me one time. He was three days journey from home, so that ram in the thicket was not the family pet, it was a wild one. But, did Abraham and Isaac have any trouble getting that animal on the altar? None. Why? It was provided and it was docile, and it was a willing sacrifice. They didn’t have to struggle with it and. consequently. what did Abraham call the place? Jehovah-jireh which simply meant ‘God provides.’ Alright, so that was a name of Jehovah. Jehovah-jireh – He provides! It was just a distinctive attribute of God.
Psalms 23 is probably another one of the easiest ones. In the Hebrew it’s Jehovah-rajah, which simply means, I AM your shepherd. Well, any Jew could understand what it was like to be the sheep under the guidance and protection of a shepherd. Well, those are the various names of Jehovah to just simply explain how God would fill all these various needs of the human race.
Now, the same way then with this priest Melchizedek. He was a priest of – not Jehovah – but of the Most High God. My only way of defining that from Scripture in a real easy way is to turn to Daniel. Turn to Daniel chapter 4 and all the way through, periodically, but in chapter 4 I’ve got a couple that are real easy to pick out. And if you know anything of Bible study at all, Daniel is written of course, by the Jew, Daniel, but he deals almost exclusively with Gentile empires. Right? The Babylonian. The Medes and the Persians. And the Greeks and the Romans. All Gentiles.
Alright now, if we’re dealing with Gentiles, then it stands to reason that we’re not going to use the name of God that Israel claimed which was Jehovah. But we’re going to use the term “The Most High” because that’s how the Gentiles refer to Him. Here it is. Daniel chapter 4 starting at verse 1. Now this is the way you have to study the Scriptures.
“Nebuchadnezzar the (Babylonian) King, (a Gentile) unto all the people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth: (that is the then known-world) Peace be multiplied unto you. 2. I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.” Underline that. That’s how Nebuchadnezzar referred to him. He didn’t call him Jehovah. He called him the Most High God. Alright, let’s go to another verse. They’re scattered throughout the chapter, and they’re scattered throughout Daniel. But the next one I can see quickly is in verse 17, still in Daniel 4.
“This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones; to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth to whomever he will….” Now drop on down to verse 34.
“And at the end of the days, I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned to me, and I blessed the most High,…”
Now have I made my point? The name of God in Gentile language was the Most High God. Now flip back to Genesis then for just a second and we’ll see that this Melchizedek, King of the city of peace, Jerusalem, brought forth bread and wine, which spoke of His death, burial and resurrection. And now the important part for our study is “he was the priest (not of Jehovah. Not of Adonai. But he was the priest of what?) the Most High God.”
Now I guess I can bring you all the way back to Hebrews and finish out the half-hour. You put this all together then, we find that the priesthood of Melchizedek was not something associated with the Nation of Israel as Aaron was. But his priesthood was associated with what? The rest of the world! So the priesthood of Melchizedek was not limited to the children of Israel. The priesthood of Melchizedek was that priesthood that would envelop everybody. And you know that it wasn’t until Christ’s death, burial and resurrection that Christ turned to the whole world.
People get upset when you point out to them that when Christ came to the Nation of Israel, it was Jew only (with two exceptions), and, oh, it makes them upset. But listen, if you study your Scripture you know that’s what He was. He came only to the Nation of Israel, as we see in Matthew 15:24, and Romans 15:8. John tell us, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.”
But when His own rejected him then where did it go? It went to the whole human race.