643 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 54 - I Peter 1:1 - 2:14

643: I Peter 1:1 – 2:14 – Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 54

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 54

I Peter 1:1 – 2:14

We’re glad you’re with us and we trust that you’ll study and search the Scriptures; and just don’t take what I say. You can disagree with me. I don’t mind disagreement one bit, but you have to do it scripturally. Not just because of what your denomination says, or what my denomination says, or anybody else’s; but what we go by is what the Book says. And I find that when we don’t agree, it normally is because people like to stay in the Law rather than in what the Apostle Paul has written to us. So you have to rightly divide the Word of God.

Okay, now, to pick up again with our study. We find that I Peter is in this little group of Jewish epistles at the back of our Bible, that is written to the Jews. And we showed that, at the beginning of the chapter, he is writing to the strangers, or to the dispersed Jews out there in the Roman Empire, primarily in Asia Minor. Now, of course, there were other groups as well, but I think most of these Jews of the Gospel of the Kingdom persuasion had believed Jesus was the Christ, and they’re now waiting for His soon return. And all the pressures of persecution are building and yet it’s nothing compared to that which they think is just in front of them, which at the time Peter is writing, is the 7 years of Tribulation.

So, even though that 7 years of Tribulation has been postponed for nearly 2,000 years, yet we have come full circle, and here we are almost back in the same kind of a setting. At that time, the Roman Empire held forth, but today, Western Europe is coming up fast, as is prophesied in Daniel. So the revised Roman Empire is coming on the scene. Israel was still in the land as of Peter’s writings, and they did not experience the Roman invasion and destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, so they still weren’t aware of that. And the same way today, the land of Israel is in Jewish hands for the most part and we trust that when the seven-year peace treaty is signed, the first thing they’re going to get will be a restored Temple of some sort. So all of these things are now almost back as they were before.

All right, so coming back now in I Peter chapter 1 – we left off with verse 11; how that all the Old Testament prophets had an inkling, and yet no understanding of some of the things that were to come. They knew there was to be a suffering Redeemer. They knew there was to be a glorious ruling King. And I think a lot of the old rabbis and so forth thought that they might even be two separate people. But, if it was One and the same, they certainly couldn’t comprehend that it was separated by a period of time, which now, of course, has been almost 2,000 years since the suffering Savior and we are now getting ready for the return of the glorious King and His Kingdom. All right, so, reading verse 11 again just to review our thinking that these prophets in verse 10 were:

I Peter 1:11a

“Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify,…” Which again, what does that tell you? Even the Old Testament saints were moved as Paul says, that “all Scripture was inspired of God.” The Old Testament writers were just as much inspired by the Holy Spirit as our New Testament writers and here it is again.

I Peter 1:11b

“…when it testified (to those Old Testament prophets,) beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” In other words, after He would suffer the death of the Cross, and He would ascend back to Glory, then in short order would come the horrors of the Tribulation, and then the King would return and set up the Kingdom. That was the Old Testament format and timeline according to Psalms chapter 2, but none of them had an inkling that God would stop it and usher in the Age of Grace with the Apostle Paul.

Now the Lord Himself did. Jesus, in Luke chapter 4 gave us, as I’ve used so often, our reason for opening up our timeline. Because Jesus understood that the Tribulation would not be coming as quickly as Psalms 2 indicated, but He did not betray that knowledge except when he read from the book of Isaiah.

Maybe we should go back and look at that because we haven’t done that for a while. Let’s go back to Luke chapter 4. Sometimes there’s no apparent rhyme nor reason to what I do, and yet I have to feel the Lord has done it the way He wants it done, because we’re seeing so many people understand Scripture like they never have before. Now remember here in Luke chapter 4, we have Christ in His earthly ministry, and Christ is still under the Law.

Luke 4:16-17

“And he (Jesus) came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, (of course) and stood up for to read. 17. And there was delivered unto him the book (or the scroll) of the prophet Esaias (Isaiah). And when he had opened the book, he found (in other words, he looked for it) the place where it was written;” Now this is what he read from Isaiah.

Luke 4:18-20

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel (or the good news, which in that case was of the King and the Kingdom) to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, (which he did when he went down into hell or hades those three days and three nights in the tomb.) and recovering of sight to the blind, (a reference to His miracles and signs and wonders) to set at liberty them that are bruised. 19. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.” And then, when Jesus realized that they were looking for some kind of a statement from him, He said again:

Luke 4:21

“And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture (Isaiah 61 verses 1, 2 and 3) fulfilled in your ears.”

Now we always have to go back to Isaiah 61 and see why there was such consternation in that Synagogue group when Jesus stopped reading. Well, of course, the reason was that He stopped right in the middle of a verse or even in the middle of a thought.

Isaiah 61, and we won’t take time to reread verse 1, but come up to verse 2 and I want you to notice where He stopped. But no one else figured it out. The disciples didn’t figure it out. They didn’t understand, and so we in retrospect can. All right, in verse 2 of Isaiah 61.

Isaiah 61:2a

“To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,…” (and that’s where He stopped). He stopped right in the middle of the thought. But why did He stop? Because He knew the rest of those verses were not going to be fulfilled at that time. But He never betrayed that secret. He didn’t tell the Twelve what He was talking about. All right, now look where he stopped as we finish that verse.

Isaiah 61:2b

“…and the day of vengeance of our God;…” (the 7 years of Tribulation). See, He knew that wasn’t going to come right away like all the rest of Scripture had laid it out – that all these things would come right down the pike, one thing after the other. But Jesus here, in His knowledge as God, knew that it was going to be interrupted and so He stopped in the middle of the verse, so that He could honestly say, “this has been fulfilled in your ears.”

But the day of vengeance hadn’t been, that was still future. And then after the day of vengeance the next thing on the agenda of all of prophecy was what?

Isaiah 61:2c

“…to comfort all that mourn;” That’s the Kingdom! That’s what the Kingdom will do. That’s when the curse will be lifted and there’ll be no more sorrow and sin and death. And so Jesus here, I think, gives us the authority that I take in opening up that timeline and showing how everything stopped when Paul began his ministry to the Gentile world, in what we call the Age of Grace. And when this Age of Grace is finished and out of the way, then God will pick up where He left off back here in Israel’s history, and then that 7 years of Tribulation and the Kingdom will come in!

All right, back to I Peter where he thinks the Tribulation is just over the horizon, and he continues to warn his little flock of Jews. And as we come back to the text, we have been studying how these Old Testament Prophets had been searching the Scriptures.

I Peter 1:12

“Unto whom (that is the Old Testament believers) it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us (the believers now at the time of Christ’s first advent) they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.”In other words, the angels have always had that desire to get a comprehension of God’s dealing with the human race. And that’s why Paul warns us not to get involved with these angelic beings. All right, verse 13.

I Peter 1:13

“Wherefore (Peter writes) gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you (when?) at the revelation (or the second coming)of Jesus Christ.” See how all of this is just as if it’s right out in front of them. Hang tough! Don’t give in to these persecutions because, one day soon, Christ is going to return and all of this will fade away; and we’ll be in the glories of the Kingdom. Notice Peter never mentions the Rapture of the Church like Paul does? None of that was ever revealed to the Twelve. But rather it was only revealed to Paul for us in the Church Age. Aren’t you glad Paul never tells us we’ll have to go through the Tribulation, like Peter tells his flock they would have to? Now verse 14.

I Peter 1:14-15

“As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts (or desires) in your ignorance: 15. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;” In other words, Christ was not only their example, He was also their Messiah and coming King, and they were to pattern their lifestyle after Him, even as we do. To a certain extent, we try to live Christ-like lives – He is definitely an example to be followed, although the Holy Spirit directed Paul to write to us, telling us in 5 or 6 different places that Paul was our example and pattern here in the Church Age. All right, now verse 16.

I Peter 1:16-17

“Because it is written, Be ye holy; (set apart) for I am holy. (set apart) 17. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:” What does that word “sojourning” imply? Just a short period of time. Just a little short period of time and all this pressure and suffering will end and the Kingdom will be their lot. All right, now verse 18. Here, again, we come as close as Peter can to bringing salvation into the lives of these Jewish believers.

I Peter 1:18

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed (or bought back) with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (manner of living) received by tradition from your fathers;” In other words, Judaism, Law-keeping, sacrifices and all that. Now these believing Jews have something more concrete.

I Peter 1:19

“But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” Now remember this is after His death, burial and resurrection, and Peter can proclaim that that’s what the Cross accomplished, even though they did not believe that per se as their Gospel of salvation. Their Gospel of salvation was to believe that Jesus was Who He said He was. “Their Messiah! The Christ! The Son of God!” And that’s all God expected them to believe for their salvation. But, when they believed what God told them to believe, then God reckoned all the work of the Cross as credit to their account, naturally.

I Peter 1:20

“Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,” In other words, as we’ve seen in Acts chapter 2, in days gone by, long before anything was ever created, what did God set up? The Plan of Redemption. See? It was way back before eternity past. All right, and Peter’s reminding them of that, that all of this was foreordained before the world was ever created but it’s all been brought into the spotlight now. It has all been brought to their understanding in what times? “These last times.”They think they’re at the end of God’s program for the human race.

They had no concept of another 2,000 years before it will all wrap up. They thought they were ripe, ready for the Tribulation and the Second Coming and the Kingdom.

I Peter 1:21a

“Who by him do believe in God, (the same God) that raised him up from the dead,…” Peter makes no apology for the fact that Christ died and rose from the dead. But he does not proclaim it as their Gospel of salvation. Now let me show you how perfectly this agrees with what he preached on Pentecost.

Come all the way back to Acts because I want to be able to show you this whole concept of Israel’s Messiah and that they were not expected to believe in the death, burial and resurrection for their Salvation. Acts chapter 2 starting in verse 22. Now this was Pentecost, that Jewish feast day where we had multitudes of Jews coming from every corner of the then-known world to the Temple worship of these seven feast days of Jehovah throughout the year. All right, this was the feast of Pentecost. Peter is addressing Israel.

Acts 2:22

“Ye men of Israel, (there’s no Gentile language here) hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:” Remember the timing. How long has it been since He was crucified? Seven weeks. Fifty days. That’s all. So we’re close to the crucifixion. And he says, “As you yourselves know.”

Acts 2:23a

“Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel…” In other words, before eternity past had even brought about creation – back there in that determining counsel. Now continue the verse.

Acts 2:23b-24

“…and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24. Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.”

Does Peter mention anything about their salvation in believing that? No. What’s he proving? That even though the Messiah was crucified, God has raised Him from the dead, He can still be our King. He’s alive! He’s well! Don’t give up on His Kingship. Don’t give up on the Kingdom – that’s the message. Not that they were to believe it for salvation. The message of faith in His death, and burial, and resurrection for salvation was only given to Paul for us in the Body of Christ. It was never given to the Twelve for Israel. A lot of people think it was, but it’s not in the Book!

All right, then he comes from the Psalms in these next series of verses, showing from the Psalms that the Messiah must suffer and die and be raised from the dead, verse 31.

Acts 2:31-33

“He (that is David the writer of the Psalms) seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, (way back in the Psalms, 1000 BC) that his (Christ’s) soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32. This Jesus (whom had just been crucified seven weeks ago) hath God raised up, (from the dead) whereof (Peter said) we are all witnesses. 33. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” Well, he said, David isn’t talking about himself – he didn’t ascend up to the heavens, but he wrote Psalms 110 verse 1 which says:

Psalms 110:1

“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” And then verse 36 of Acts chapter 2. Because all of this has now been accomplished according to prophecy:

Acts 2:36

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

The first program this afternoon, we went back to Acts chapter 3 where Peter says again that, if they would just repent of having crucified their Messiah and get right with their God, Christ would return and give them the Kingdom. But, the Tribulation had to come before that could happen. All right, so Peter is still on the same ground. Peter isn’t on church ground. Peter is on prophecy. Peter is on the Old Testament promises concerning the Nation of Israel. All right, back to I Peter, and verse 21

I Peter 1:21

“Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” See how he’s rehearsing all this that was back there in that Pentecostal sermon. Now verse 22.

I Peter 1:22-23a

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23. Being born again,…” Now I’ve got to stop a minute. Were did you first hear that term? Where did you first hear of being born again? John chapter 3. Jesus is dealing with Nicodemus and what did He tell Nicodemus? “Unless you are born again you cannot see the Kingdom.” The same Kingdom, which they were all looking for that is coming to the earth. That’s the 1,000-year reign and rule of Christ we read about in the Book of Revelation. All right Peter uses the same terminology.

I Peter 1:23b

“…not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”

Now this brings up a point. Does Paul ever use the term “born again?” No. And it seems odd. Now he certainly speaks of becoming a new person in Christ. He certainly speaks of the death of Old Adam and of a new nature. And he speaks of our being crucified with Christ, buried with Christ, resurrected with Christ. But he never uses the term, “born again.” And I’ve wondered at that over the years but, evidently, there has to be a technical difference that maybe only God knows. But Peter certainly uses it now, even as the Lord used it – that, if they’re going to go into the Kingdom of heaven on earth that’s coming, they had to be born again. Now verse 24.

I Peter 1:24a

“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass….” In other words it comes up and it’s clipped off and it’s done.

I Peter 1:24b

“…The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:”

I read a poem or something, years and years ago, and it has always stuck in my memory. “Snow on the River.” Have you ever seen snow falling on the river? How long does that snowflake last? (Snap) It’s gone. That’s what life is, life is like snow on the river. And this life, whether it’s 70, 80, 90 or 100 years is nothing in the light of eternity. It’s about as long as a flake of snow hitting the river. All right, the Psalmist does it and so does Peter – refers to it as grass that springs up in the morning and in the afternoon it’s clipped off and it’s gone. That’s life. Now verse 25, and here’s the flip side.

I Peter 1:25

“But the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”

Now let’s go back to Matthew chapter 9 so that you’ll get this concept of the gospel that Peter is speaking of. A lot of people think that when you hear the word ‘Gospel’ you’re thinking about the Gospel of Grace that we’re saved by – and that is, of course, as Paul teaches in I Corinthians 15:1-4, that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose from the dead. That’s our Gospel of Grace.

But, look what Jesus says back here in Matthew chapter 9; and here’s where you have to compare Scripture. And this is the Gospel that Peter is still resting on. Nothing has changed so far as Peter is concerned. They were still on the same Gospel that Jesus preached in His earthly ministry. Matthew 9 verse 35.

Matthew 9:35

“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” All right, then, you come over to chapter 10 where it shows it so clearly – it’s all Jewish as we see in verse 5.

Matthew 10:5,6

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of Samaritans enter ye not: 6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” And what were they to preach? “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. That was the good news of the Kingdom; that Israel’s Messiah was here and is ready to give the Kingdom to Israel if they would just believe that He was that Promised Messiah. That’s the Gospel of the Kingdom. It has nothing to do so far as their faith was concerned in death, burial and resurrection.

642 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 54 - Peter Continues the Kingdom Message - 2

642: Peter Continues the Kingdom Message – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 54

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 54

Peter Continues the Kingdom Message – Part 2

I Peter 1:1 – 2:14

I have to remind you that these little epistles are addressed primarily, not exclusively, but primarily, to Jewish believers who were facing the horrors of the Tribulation, which at that time they thought were just over the horizon.

So all the language in these little epistles is preparation for testing, pressure and suffering that will be coming upon these Jewish believers in that 7-year period of Tribulation. They were not written to Grace Age believers such as you and I, as our instructions come primarily from the pen of the Apostle Paul. However we can certainly glean something from some of these writings.

I Peter 1:6

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, (now for just a little while) if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations;” Now, not the temptation to sin but the testings of persecution. Again, I think we have to understand that these Jewish believers who had embraced Jesus as the Messiah for their salvation were so relatively small in number. The vast majority of Israel had not accepted Jesus as the Messiah, so even within the Jewish community these believers were a small, small percentage.

Well, then, compared to the whole world around them, they almost felt like they were nobodies. So they were already coming under a lot of persecution and pressure, even though they weren’t in the Tribulation. So, this is what Peter is addressing. Don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged because you’re under these kinds of testings. Verse 7:

I Peter 1:7

“That the trial (or the testing) of your faith, (They were trusting that the King, the Messiah would shortly be coming and setting up His Kingdom. And so,) being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the (what?) appearing of (Whom?) Jesus Christ:” Now let’s compare some Scriptures again. Go back first to Jeremiah chapter 30 and begin with verse 4, because the Jews are resting as much on the Old Testament as was possible. Now this is prophecy written way back about 600 BC. But these believing Jews in Peter’s day are looking at the fulfilling of it.

Jeremiah 30:4-7

“And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah (in other words the whole nation) 5. For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. 6. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, And all faces are turned into paleness? 7. Alas! for that day is great, (the Tribulation period) so that none is like it; it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; (the Nation of Israel) but he shall be saved out of it.”

Let’s go to Zechariah chapter 13 on your way back to the New Testament, and let’s begin with verse 8. Now this is all prophecy, but yet these Jewish believers now in 50-60 AD thought it was about to be fulfilled in their lifetime.

Zechariah 13:8-9

“And it shall come to pass, (what does that mean? It’s going to happen! Don’t you think for a minute it isn’t going to happen just because it’s been delayed for 2,000 years. It’s still out in front of us) that in all the land, (that is the land of Israel) saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. 9. And I will bring the third part through the fire, (that is the trials and the wrath of the Tribulation) and will refine them as silver is refined, will try (test) them as gold is tried: (tested) they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: (now this is at the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the 7 years) I will say, It is my people: (now it’s been a long time since God has called Israel “My people.” But again He will!) and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”

Now that’s of course what Paul, I think, refers to over in the Book of Romans chapter 11 and verse 26 – that a remnant shall be saved, and then he calls the remnant “All Israel”because they will be the total of the nation going into the Kingdom.

Now in that same light, come back to Acts chapter 3 verses 18 through 21, and here Peter is appealing to the Nation of Israel to still recognize that the One that was crucified was their Messiah.

Acts 3:18-21a

“But those things, (now this is Peter addressing the multitude of Jews there in Jerusalem) which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. (that is the death on the Cross) 19. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; (how?) 20. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: (but Peter knows prophecy, so the next verse) 21. Whom the heaven must receive….”

Remember, for the last year or two we’ve been stressing Psalms 110:1, especially when we went through the book of Hebrews.

Psalms 110:1

“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” What was the “until?” When He would return. That’s what Peter’s referring to. That if Israel would repent of having crucified their Messiah, and they could experience the remission of sins, God would send Jesus Christ to fulfill the prophecies and the Kingdom would come in – but verse 21 would have to happen first.

Acts 3:21a

“Whom the heaven must receive (sitting at the Father’s right hand) until…” I’m always emphasizing time words in Scripture. Until is a time word. So He would sit at the Father’s right hand until it would be time to return, and that couldn’t happen until:

Acts 3:21b

“…the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”

Back to Peter – so what was the restitution of all things? This earth has to be cleansed of all the defilement before God can bring in that glorious Kingdom and that’s what the Tribulation is going to accomplish. The Tribulation is going to accomplish the destruction of everything that man has put on the planet the last 6,000 years. He has too! I stressed it here several weeks ago. Can God set up a Heaven on earth with bars on every corner? Racetracks all over? Bingo places and gambling casinos? That’s all got to go. That won’t work in the Kingdom! And all the other places of dens of iniquity – they’ve got to go! Everything is going to go. It’s going to be cleansed and made ready, then, as it was in the Garden of Eden. And so all of prophecy is looking toward that day.

But these Jewish believers thought it was just over the horizon. And that was another reason why they so glibly sold their houses and their land back there in Acts chapter 2. They cashed in their savings and put everything into a common kitty, because they thought the Kingdom was just over the horizon.

Now, with the persecution that’s settling on them, they really think it’s close; and Peter is encouraging that line of thinking. “Get ready because the Tribulation is right out in front of us, but once we go through the Tribulation, the King and the Kingdom will be our lot.” See? All right, so verse 7 again.

I Peter 1:7-8a

“That the trial (the testings) of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ; 8. Whom having not seen,…” Now, as I was looking at this, something struck me. What does that tell you? Evidently none of these dispersed Jews now living somewhere in that area of 50 to 65 AD, had witnessed Christ’s earthly ministry. These Jews had either been out of the land or for one reason or another had never been part and parcel of His earthly ministry or His miracles and signs, because Peter says, “you haven’t seen Him.”

I Peter 1:8

“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, (see there’s the faith aspect, always by faith!) ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:’

I had a phone call this morning from a gentleman who had come out of a cult – you talk about somebody full of joy unspeakable! I said, “You’ve made my day!” And you could just feel it over the telephone; how thrilled he was that he had seen the light and had come out of the darkness of this cult and was now in the Grace of God! Well, these Jews were in the same situation. They had come away from Judaism with all of its works religion now with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

I Peter 1:9

“Receiving the end of your faith, even (what?) the salvation of your souls.” It’s always by faith, even as I stressed in that last program.

I Peter 1:10a

“Of which salvation the prophets…” Now, the prophets, where were they? Way back before Christ. Going all the way back to Isaiah and Jeremiah and all the rest of it – Moses was a prophet to a degree. So, going all the way back, especially to the beginning of Israel’s experience with the prophets:

I Peter 1:10b

“…have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:” Now when you analyze that verse and pick it apart, what does it tell you? The Old Testament prophets had an idea of something that they could not take hold of. They couldn’t comprehend it. Let me give you an example. Come back with me to Daniel, chapter 12 verse 8, and this is just one example. This just says it all, and is exactly what Peter is referring to, that the prophets knew that there was something that they couldn’t put their hands on. And I still can’t.

Every once in a while somebody will write or call and ask, “Les, how were the Old Testament people saved?” Well, it was by faith. There had to be animal sacrifice, I know that, but yet, when you get down to the full minutia of Old Testament salvation, it’s hard to put your thumb on it. And I had a dear old widow of a tremendous Jewish Bible teacher who was in one of my classes years back and I asked her one time, “How did your husband describe the Old Testament salvation?” She said, “He said just exactly what you said tonight, you can’t put your thumb on it.”

And that’s the only way I can explain it because there are certain things that just keep popping up as questions that we can’t answer; but here it’s so obvious, then, that these Old Testament prophets understood there was something, and they looked into it. They searched diligently, but they couldn’t put their thumb on it. All right, here it is; Daniel 12:8:

Daniel 12:8

“And I heard, (in other words, as the Holy Spirit gave him utterance to write) but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?” In other words, Daniel, after writing all these prophecies and not understanding all the ramifications, said, “Lord what does all this mean?” And what was God’s answer? “Daniel, close the book, it’s not for you to know.”

Daniel 12:9

“And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”

I’ve pointed this out, that from around 400 AD until about the middle 1800’s there was almost no grasp in the community of Christendom about end-time prophecy. It was never talked about – never discussed. No one had an understanding of the Rapture and Tribulation and the Second Coming. It was never talked about. And I don’t think God expected them to because it wasn’t the time. But, beginning in about the middle 1800’s, in so many areas of the human experience in secular technology, in prophetic understanding, in the Nation of Israel, and in the physical Nation of Israel, the return of rain, the ending of the earthquakes and the defeat of malaria; all these things started getting us ready for where we are today, the end-time.

But prior to that time, from about 400 AD until about 1860 AD or so – nothing. Everything just sort of went on an even keel. The Nation of Israel stayed empty. Earthquakes kept anybody from building. Malaria kept the population out. Israel remained dispersed because God kept the land, for the most part, empty. The Jews never thought about going home until, all of a sudden, since about the middle 1800’s everything starts happening! Technology. All of a sudden one invention after another comes along and now, since the turn of the century, it’s just been a downhill slide in the increase in technology. Well, why didn’t it happen all those intervening years? Because there was no need for it. But as soon as God was preparing for the end-time, here it all comes, as it says in Daniel 12:4.

It’s just amazing, and it should be enough to turn the darkest infidel into a believer – that all these things according to God’s divine purposes have begun to fall into place. All right, so Daniel’s the same way. He said, “Close the book, Daniel. There’s no need for everybody understanding end-time events, they’re not ready for it.” And so they didn’t. All right, and so the prophets all through the Old Testament could not comprehend this whole idea of a suffering Savior and yet a ruling King.

Speaking of the prophets not knowing completely about a suffering Saviour and yet a ruling king. All through the Old Testament you have parallel lines of thought just like two railroad tracks and I know I’ve said it years and years ago, especially in my classes. And the one line is the teaching of a suffering Messiah, and on the other line was this constant prophecy of a glorious Kingdom which, of course, would imply a King. All the way through the Old Testament; first they would be talking about a suffering Messiah and on the other hand here were these promises of a glorious King and His Kingdom. But, just like Peter says, they couldn’t put it together and God didn’t really expect them to.

Now, come back with me to Genesis. The birth of Benjamin is found over in Genesis 35, and this goes clear back, not too long after the call of Abraham, so that would have to be 1700-1800 BC., because Abraham’s call was about 2000 BC. Here Jacob and his family are back in the land of Palestine, Israel.

Genesis 35:16-18

“And they journeyed from Bethel; (which is up north of Jerusalem) and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: (which, I think, is in the area of present day Bethlehem, a few miles south of Jerusalem) and Rachel (the beloved of Jacob) travailed, and she had hard labour. 17. And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also. 18. And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: (which in the Hebrew meant, the son of my suffering) but his father (Jacob overruled and) called him Benjamin.” (which meant the son of my strength.)

Now you see you have two totally different ideas in those two names. Benoni was the son of suffering, but Benjamin meant the son of my strength. So you see, the rabbis way back in antiquity were looking at that and analyzing it and searching diligently what this could mean; and so some of them, not all of them, but some of them came to the conclusion that there had to be a Messiah who would suffer. But there would also have to be a Messiah who would be a ruling King and bring in the Kingdom. Now, then, what did they miss? That it would be one and the same.

But that He would come with an interval of time in between the suffering and the ruling and reigning. And that’s what they missed. And I think this is exactly what Peter is talking about; how the old prophets knew that there had to be a suffering Messiah and I suppose they looked at some of the passages in Isaiah, “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as wool.” And they must have had some inkling that in Isaiah 53, when it says “that He is chastised for our sins” and all these things, they knew that there had to be a suffering Messiah and yet they could look at verses like Zechariah 14 that said, “and He shall be King over all the earth.”

So they were torn betwixt and between. And they could not put the whole thing together. And all you have to do is just go back some night with a concordance, and go into your Old Testament and look up these concepts of how there would be this suffering on the one hand and the ruling and the reigning of a glorious, powerful King on the other. And even today, if a Jew has any concept of spiritual things, what does he tell you they’re looking for? The Messiah!

Now they’re not looking for a suffering Messiah, they’re looking for a ruling Messiah, One Who like one real Orthodox young Jew told me years ago, he said, “We’re looking for a Messiah Who will not only be able to bring peace to the Middle East but He will bring peace to the whole world. He’ll be a tremendous individual.” Well, indeed He will be; but you see, he wasn’t looking for a Messiah as we understand the Messiah. He was just simply looking for a super-individual who would fulfill that role of being the King and bring in this Kingdom promised to Israel.

641 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 54 - Peter Continues the Kingdom Message

641: Peter Continues the Kingdom Message – Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 54

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 54

Peter Continues the Kingdom Message

I Peter 1:1 – 2:14

It’s been almost 13 years now that we’ve been coming to Tulsa to do these tapings, and today we’re going to begin a study in I Peter, as we finished James in the last taping.

Now, as we discussed way back in our introduction to these little Jewish epistles of James, Peter, Jude, and the little epistle that John wrote back here, including Revelations, were all written primarily, but not exclusively, to Jewish believers who had been scattered away from Jerusalem because of the persecution, as we have seen in Acts chapter 8:1.

But always remember that Jews had already been out there in the Gentile world since about 606 BC – when Nebuchadnezzar took them all captive to Babylon. And then they began to migrate throughout the Mede and Persian, and the Babylonian and the Greek Empires; so that, by the time we get to the time of Christ and the Roman Empire, there are Jews living everywhere. And I always tell people that if you doubt that, just go to the book of Acts and you’ll notice that in every place Paul went on those missionary journeys, where did he start his ministry? In the synagogue. These Jews were everywhere, see?

All right, so, also in the midst of these regular ordinary Jews that came from the Babylonian captivity, there are now these Jews, beginning with Christ’s earthly ministry, that carried on after Pentecost – who had become believers by believing that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah, the Christ. And so they had, more or less, separated into separate little congregations, even though they were still practicing Temple worship and everything. And that’s the other point I always like to make. Remember, the Temple is still operating. All of this takes place before 68 AD, when we feel Paul and Peter were martyred; and then the Temple was destroyed two years later.

So, these little Jewish epistles are primarily written to these Jewish believers, who, for one reason or another, are gathered in little congregations, especially up in Asia Minor and Galatia, which we now call the land of Turkey. Of course there were others, but I think most of these Jews (that these little epistles addressed) were in that area of the world.

Now, as we showed in the very first introduction to these epistles, all of this is in line with the Old Testament prophetic program. There is not a word of church language in these little epistles. In other words, like I said when I taught Hebrews, you can’t take someone into I Peter, for example, and take them through a “Roman Road” of salvation. It’s not in here.There is nothing in here pertaining to the Body of Christ. But all of these things were written to Jews who were now facing, according to Old Testament prophecies, the coming seven years of wrath and vexation known as the Tribulation. There is no indication that God is going to interrupt that Old Testament timeline when these are written. They’re still looking for all this to happen.

In fact, if you’ll remember, when we were introducing all this several months ago, how all the Scripture spoke of these being the ‘last days.’ And how all these writers, James and Peter and John and Jude and even the book of Revelation, were all written with the idea that this was coming down the pike in a matter of a few years. And I even went back and covered Paul’s Scriptures concerning the Rapture for the Grace Age believers; and he included himself, as he thought all of this was going to happen in his lifetime. He thought that until, when he finally writes II Timothy, he realizes that the old world is going to keep going and his life is going to be taken.

But all of these little epistles, and we’ll be pointing it out when we hit those verses, are expecting the Tribulation to be coming in just a short period of time, and they are preparing these Jewish believers for the suffering and the persecution that’s coming. Now, of course, these epistles are still appropriate – we’ve now come full circle and we’re right back almost where the world was at the time that these things were taking place. Once again, the Tribulation is right out in front of us, we feel. And the revived Roman Empire, as we taught in Daniel, is falling into place in Western Europe faster than you can imagine. And the whole scenario of the world is now getting ready for, again, those final seven years.

Why, all of a sudden, is the world stressing weapons of mass destruction? Because they’re going to be evident in those final seven years. That’s how close I think we are. When, indeed, the whole world’s population, but the few, will be destroyed by whatever weapons that man has devised. And I’ve always said that the end events will be nuclear. I think Zechariah makes that so clear and now, of course, we realize that it will probably be weapons of bacteria and chemicals and everything else; but it’s all getting the world ready for those final seven years.

So, even though these letters were addressed to Jews living back there in 50, 60, 65 AD – these letters are still appropriate for the Jewish believers that will be on the scene in the early days of the Tribulation; and they, again, will take comfort from these very same Scriptures, as that same Gospel of the Kingdom that Christ and the disciples preached will be on the scene again, being proclaimed by the 144,000. I mean it’s just almost beyond human comprehension. And so these epistles will still fit, and be just as appropriate the day that takes place as they were then. So watch for it in that light – that these Jewish believers are now being prepared for the suffering and the persecution that is coming.

Now, lest you wonder what I’m talking about, come back with me to Matthew 24, where the Lord Himself is bringing the disciples up to par on end-time events. And also remember that Matthew 24 is describing the seven years of Tribulation in a nutshell. Here, the Lord Himself knew that the Tribulation wasn’t going to happen right away, and wouldn’t happen for another 2,000 years, but nobody else did. The Twelve had no idea. The Jewish believers had no idea. And, as I’ve already said, even the Apostle Paul had no idea that there was going to be a 1,900 and some year hiatus. So here in Matthew 24, look at the words of the Lord Jesus Himself.

Matthew 24:15a

“When ye (speaking to the Twelve, which represented the Nation of Israel) therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, (now the scoffers like to tell us that Daniel is a forgery and it was written by someone long afterward, but the Lord doesn’t. The Author of The Book Himself gives credit to Daniel’s prophecy) stand in the holy place,…” (which of course is the Anti-christ)

Matthew 24:16

“Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:” Now, drop on down to verse 21.

Matthew 24:21a

“For then…” That’s the mid-point of the Tribulation of course. 3 1/2 years have passed, and they’ve already had one fourth of the world’s population lose their lives. So don’t ever let anybody tell you that the true Tribulation doesn’t begin until the mid-point. The first half, of course, is mild by comparison to the last half; but Revelation tells us that by the end of the first half, one fourth of the world’s population is already gone. I don’t call that a Sunday School picnic by any means.

Matthew 24:21

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world. (that goes all the way back to Adam, which includes even the Flood) to this time (that is, where He was speaking there at His first advent) no, nor ever shall be.” Which means that even the Holocaust, horrible beyond human description; how those six-million Jews lost their lives at the hand of the Nazis – but even that is going to pale by comparison to these last three and a half years.

Now that’s hard to understand, isn’t it, that even something worse than the Holocaust is coming upon this world. I think the reason is that the Holocaust was limited to Nazi Germany and the death camps, and World War II, which took a tremendous death toll all around the world. But yet, when this comes, it’s going to be the devastation of the whole human race. In fact, I think I left the program on our last taping with those verses in Jeremiah where it says that death is going to be so rampant that they won’t even be able to bury the dead. There’ll be no funerals. There’ll be no graveyard digging and the bodies will be as dung upon the ground. Now that’s what the world is coming to whether they want to admit it or not. And, of course, every time I read about weapons of mass destruction, I have to think of these verses. The world is facing God’s wrath.

Now, it isn’t because God is unfair or unloving. He has been extending His Grace now for 6,000 years in one way or another. But mankind continues to walk it underfoot until, finally, His wrath will fall and this is what it will be. All right, so remember, that the days of the Tribulation were postponed back there at 68-70 AD (even though Jerusalem did come under portions of tribulation times when many Jews and the Temple were destroyed), and the Tribulation is still waiting to happen. But, the scenario is pretty much the same. Now, never confuse any of this with the Church Age believers. We in the Church Age will be gone before the Tribulation even starts; we are removed from the earth when the Rapture takes place. Okay, I Peter verse 1 says it exactly like it is.

I Peter 1:1

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia.” Peter is addressing his apostleship to the Jews that are scattered. Now, I’ve been doing this throughout the little book of James and I’m going to do it with Peter. Let’s go back and compare how Paul puts it. Come back with me to Ephesians chapter 3. And here’s the difference. This is what we have to understand; you can’t just throw it all in the blender and turn it up on high, like most like to do. But, rather, you have to keep them all separated and just compare one with the other and then note the differences. What a difference! Paul tells us to “Separate the Scriptures,” and I always say, Paul’s writings are for us, from the rest of Scripture. That way you can get your Church doctrine, and your salvation verses, and know what belongs to you. Then you can truly separate Law and Grace.

Remember, Peter says, “An apostle of Jesus Christ to those Jewish strangers.” Now look what Paul says in Ephesians 3:1:

Ephesians 3:1

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner (and an apostle) of Jesus Christ for (whom?) you Gentiles.” See how clearly he puts that? So everything Paul writes from Romans 1:1 until the last verse of Philemon is addressed primarily, not exclusively, but primarily to Gentiles; like these little letters are written primarily, not exclusively, to Jews. See the difference? Now, come back to I Peter. So, now then, he’s an apostle of Jesus Christ writing to Jews scattered throughout that part of the Middle East.

I Peter 1:2

“Elect (or chosen) according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” All right now, again, let’s come back to the Book of Ephesians chapter 1 verse 3, and see how Paul puts the same kind of a scenario, writing to us Gentiles.

Ephesians 1:3

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in (the heavenlies, or) heavenly places in Christ:” Now the verse we came here for:

Ephesians 1:4a

“According as he hath chosen us in him from before the foundation of the world,…” See? What does that tell us? That our Almighty, Omniscient God knew everything before the world was ever created. He knew exactly who would become believers, whether it was in Israel or whether it was in the Church Age. Nothing was unknown to Him. So when Paul says that, we, who are in Christ, were already reckoned as such, according to that foreknowledge of God. And when we speak of the foreknowledge of God, it isn’t that God picked and chose and said, well you’re going to hell and you’re going to Heaven. Don’t ever buy that kind of stuff. God has not done that. He has made it possible for every human being to spend eternity with Him someday.

Let me show you a verse back in John’s Gospel chapter 1. We’ve used it before, but it’s been a long time ago now. Here John is speaking, of course, of Christ in His first advent.

John 1:9

“That (speaking of Jesus of Nazareth) was the true Light, (capitalized) which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” How many? Every last one. No one has ever escaped that Light that has been revealed. I don’t care if they’re the Aborigines of Australia or the darkest part of China or Africa or Timbuktu; every human has had a Light. Consequently, when I’m on that subject, I’ve always got to carry it on to the Book of Romans. In Romans, Paul can write under inspiration, in perfect accord with what John said. Romans 1 verse 19, in light of the fact that Christ the Light of the world has lighted every man – now that’s a generic term that also includes the women – that cometh into the world.

Romans 1:19

“Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; (that is the unbelieving world) for God hath (past tense) shewed it unto them.” Now don’t ask me how, I can’t tell you; but the Scripture says it has already happened.

Romans 1:20

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; (that’s been revealed to the whole human race beginning with Adam and Eve) so that they (the whole human race) are (what?) without excuse:”

In other words, they’re going to come before the Great White Throne for the lost of all the ages bodily; and they’re going to come before Him and they’re going to have to admit that they spurned the opportunity that was given them. And they won’t beg an excuse. They won’t have one; because they had enough Light to become believers. I can’ t comprehend it. I can’t understand it. But, I believe what The Word says. Now, back to I Peter chapter 1 verse 2. So, they were the elect, or they became the chosen; they became believers and God knew it in His foreknowledge. Not that He’d picked some to be lost and some to be save – that was everybody’s opportunity, Jew as well as Gentile. But those who became believers, then, enter into that position of being the elect and, according to the foreknowledge of God, now back in verse 2:

I Peter 1:2b

“… through sanctification (or the setting apart work) of the Spirit, unto obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” Like I said at the beginning, there is no Gospel of Grace in these little Jewish epistles, but that doesn’t mean Peter will make no reference, now, to Christ’s death, burial and His resurrection; and, as he does here, speaking of His shed Blood – certainly he will, because it’s a done deal, it’s past. But he does not present that as a means of salvation like Paul does. Now, I’d better go back so you can see what I’m talking about. Come back again to Romans, because I want to show you how, clearly, these things are not in these little Jewish epistles. You just can’t find them. Even though there’s a reference to the blood or so forth, it does not define it like Paul does and that’s where the difference comes in.

Now, Romans chapter 3. I like to start with verse 23 as this is an all-encompassing verse on the lot of mankind ever since Adam.

Romans 3:23-25a

“For all have sinned, (every one of us) and come short of the glory of God; (now here it comes) 24. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption (or the process of buying us back) that is in Christ Jesus: 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,…” Through faith in His blood! Now you see, Peter just makes reference to it as an accomplished fact. But he doesn’t tell us what Christ’s shed blood is really doing with us in our faith relationship. But here Paul tells us that we placed our faith in His shed blood.

Romans 3:25b-26a

“…to declare his (God’s) righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. 26. (this is where you and I are) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, (totally fair) and the justifier of him which believeth….” Peter doesn’t lay that out that clearly. And then you go on through Paul’s epistles, and over and over he makes it plain that faith in the finished work of the Cross then becomes our means of going to Heaven. Now back to I Peter. So Peter is certainly going to make mention of these things that are past, that Christ has died; His Blood has been shed. Absolutely.

I Peter 1:3

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope (or a living hope. Why? Because Christ is not longer in the tomb) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” Christ has been raised from the dead! But Peter doesn’t lay that out as part and parcel of the Gospel of Salvation like Paul does. He’s just laying it out as a fact to be rested upon that, even Israel has to understand, their Messiah is not dead – He’s alive! Peter does the same thing in Acts 2 and 3. He doesn’t associate it with Gospel per se, but he lets it be known that the Christ they crucified was not dead; he was alive, and was still fully capable of fulfilling those covenant promises of bringing in that glorious Kingdom.

I Peter 1:4-5a

“To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, (see?) and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (so they’re also looking for an eternal existence in God’s program because of their faith) 5. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.…”

Now the question comes up so often, “How were the Old Testament people saved?” By faith – it’s always been by faith. In fact we showed in our teaching up in South Dakota last week, that Adam and Eve were restored back to fellowship. Why? Because they had taken God at His Word. God had told them that they would be the progenitors of the whole human race and, because of that, Adam named the woman, “the mother of all living.” Well what was that? It was a manifestation of his faith. And so, all the way up through the Old Testament whether it was sacrifices, Temple worship or whatever, it was still always precipitated by their faith.

And when you come into Christ’s earthly ministry, what was the basis for the Twelve knowing that Jesus was the Promised Messiah? Faith – they believed it because the Word of God had promised such a Person would come. And when they saw His signs and wonders and miracles, they believed it. It’s always been by faith. And the same way with us in the Age of Grace; but so, also now, with these Jews to whom Peter, James and John are writing these little epistles – it’s always by faith.

I Peter 1:5

“Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Well what’s the last time? These final seven years of human history, which would lead up to the coming of their Messiah to set up His Kingdom. So watch for this; every once in a while you have this reference, that this is bringing us to the end of the human experience, that the 1,000-year earthly Kingdom would be coming in and from there, of course, we’d be ushered into eternity.

There is no inkling that all this is going to be interrupted and filled with what we now call the 1900+ years of the Church Age. So, he said, “All these things will be revealed in the last time.”

640 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 1 Part 4 Book 54 - James 3:7 - 5:20 - Part 2

640: James 3:7 – 5:20 – Part 2 – Lesson 1 Part 4 Book 54

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 54

James 3:7 – 5:20 – Part 2

Hopefully we’ll finish the Book of James with this lesson, and that’ll be just perfect as we can start our next series in I Peter. All right, so back to James chapter 5 and remember, again, I’ve just got to keep repeating for the sake of those who missed a program or new ones coming in, that we’re dealing with Jewish believers of really, the “Gospel of the Kingdom” era. For salvation they had believed that Jesus was the Christ, and that’s all. There’s no reference to His death, burial and resurrection for salvation. Whereas Paul’s Gospel of salvation for us in this Age of Grace, tells us to believe in our heart that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again!”

In fact, Luther was just telling me that his Bible said there are only two mentions of Jesus Christ in the Book of James? Only two. And so don’t accuse me of going off the deep end when I say that this is all part and parcel of the Jewish believers who had had their roots in those followers of Christ in His earthly ministry and that’s all they knew – that He was the Christ.

All right, like I said in the last program, they were out there in the Roman Empire and some of these had been out there since 606 BC, of course, and so they had gathered wealth and there was this element of the rich in these churches. So now let’s just start at verse one of chapter 5, he says.

James 5:1

“Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.” we talked about that in the last lesson – that he’s talking about the Tribulation. We’ll see that in just a little bit.

James 5:2

“Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.” Now you may wonder what’s meant by that? Well, I read in a book a while back that, in the ancient East, that was one way they collected wealth was beautiful fancy clothes and they’d put them in trunks. That was just like we’d put money in the bank. And it was a collecting of wealth. But, unless they were careful, just like now, moths could get in and destroy them.

James 5:3

“Your gold and silver (see, the accumulated wealth) is cankered; (in other words, it was materialism and it had nothing to do with their spiritual lives) and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. (in other words, their judgment is coming. Now see, he’s not talking just to believers; he’s talking to Jews who are really on both sides of the coin) Ye have heaped treasure together for (what?) the last days.” Here we go again. The last days. Now verse 4.

James 5:4a

“Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by (what?) fraud,…” Enron back then already. It’s nothing new. Oh, on a bigger scale now; greater technology. But the mentality hasn’t changed one bit.

James 5:4b

“…crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped (in other words, are the victims of your fraud. All you retirees that suddenly have had everything wiped away – hey, it’s nothing new.) are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.” Now that’s another term for Christ that comes out of the Old Testament.

James 5:5a

“Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton;…” In other words, they just, as we would say, lived high on the hog. Nothing but the best.

James 5:5b-6

“…ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. 6. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.” Now, that goes both ways. God has not stopped, or, you could take the other way, the just people that they’d been misusing have not fought back. But this element of wealthy, Synagogue attending Jews (no doubt that James could write to and yet their lifestyle) was anything but righteous people.

James 5:7a

“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto (now he’s talking to the believing element. Those that are the downtrodden. Those who haven’t got all this wealth) the (what?) coming of the Lord.” See? It’s just over the horizon. Now remember when I taught the book of Acts? Why were they so willing to cash in all of their savings and sell their houses and their lands? Because the 1,000-year Kingdom Age was just over the horizon. Who needs houses and lands when you’re going to have Heaven on earth? And so they glibly sold everything – remember even good old Barnabas back there had land on the island of Cyprus and what did he do? Sold it. Brought the proceeds to Peter and James and John and the rest and put it in the common kitty. Because, after all, all these things are right out in front of them. They had no idea that it would be interrupted by 2,000 years.

James 5:7

“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, (in other words, the farmer who plants his seed and waits for the harvest) and hath long patience for it , until he receive the early and latter rain.” In other words, the early rain to sprout the grain and then the latter rain to bring it to fruition. Verse 8 – and this is what I told you I’d be coming to.

James 5:8

“Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord (what?) draweth nigh.” It’s at hand, see? All right now I’m going to show you a few others and then we’ll come back and see where we have the wherewithal to stop God’s time clock. Turn with me to I Peter chapter 1 and I want you to see, as we showed several weeks ago, how all of these writers; Peter, James and John and Jude are all expecting the Tribulation and the Second Coming to be coming in short order.

I Peter 1:7

“That the trial of your faith, (he, too, is writing to Jewish believers) being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, (what’s he talking about? The coming Tribulation) might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” Now that’s not the Rapture of the Church, but rather that’s the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the Tribulation. They’re looking for the Tribulation and the Second Coming. Then look at verse 9.

I Peter 1:9

“Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

All right, now turn to chapter 4 verse 7. Now we looked at all of these several programs back, but this is just review again to show how that all of these little letters were preparing the Jewish believer for the coming horrors of the Tribulation that we closed our last program with. And somebody reminded me that I shouldn’t have left everybody hanging on a string – believers won’t be there! So we’re not going to be confronted with all that death and destruction. The Body of Christ, the true Church is going to be gone before the Tribulation even starts.

I Peter 4:7

“But, (Peter writes) the end of all things is (what?) at hand: (it’s not 2,000 years ahead so far as Peter is concerned) be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.”

All right, now let’s just move on to II Peter chapter 3 and, of course, Peter writes as if all this is just going to be coming right down the pike. Now we have to teach this, realizing that we’re in a 2,000-year later scenario but, like I said a couple of programs ago, even though everything has changed, it’s still pretty much the same.

II Peter 3:1-3

“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2. That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: 3. Knowing this first, that there shall come in the (what?) last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts.” And so Peter, too, is telling them, “This is nothing new.” They’ve always said that nothing has changed. Well, here we are 2,000 years later and we can still say that it’s nothing different.

All right, I John chapter 2 verse 18. Again, I’m sure that all of these Jewish writings were accomplished before Paul even finished his letters. I think all of these Jewish epistles were out there among those Jewish congregations. I know tradition says John wrote about 90-some AD, but I just can’t reconcile it in light of what we’re now studying – and also because of what Paul said in Colossians 1:25, which we covered earlier in James. You don’t have to take my word for it, but this is the way I have to approach it – that this was all written probably before 60 AD. And now look what John says.

I John 2:18

“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that anti-christ shall come, even now there are many anti-christs; whereby we know that it is the last time.” We could read that today, but he was writing in 50-some AD. They were waiting for the Tribulation to begin at any time and usher in the Second Coming.

All right, now, as I said, I’m going to give us the wherewithal to interrupt that timeline – so come back with me quickly to Luke chapter 4. And this is the only indication in Scripture and, of course, they didn’t catch what Jesus meant, nor did they understand it. But Jesus Himself gives us the wherewithal to open up our timeline and stop it before the Tribulation comes in and, by doing so, here we’ve come 2,000 years, and now we feel it’s again right out in front of us. Luke chapter 4 – you’ll all recognize it. Verse 16, and here Jesus is in His earthly ministry.

Luke 4:16-20

“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, (remember He lived under the Law) and stood up for to read. 17. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. (Isaiah) And when he had opened the book, he found the place (in other words, he knew what he wanted) where it was written, 18. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, (in other words to those that were waiting down in Hades for His crucifixion, and resurrection ) and recovering of sight to the blind, (part and parcel of His miracles) to set at liberty them that are bruised. 19. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the Synagogue were fastened on him.” And He knew that. And so He comes back and answers their consternation. And I’ll show you in a minute why they were so concerned.

Luke 4:21

“And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” Now he’s quoting from Isaiah 61. Come back to Isaiah 61 and we’ll see how the Lord knew that the Tribulation was not coming at that time. He knew it was not the last time, but He never betrayed that. And, of course, being God, He knew exactly what the timetable would be. Now, when Jesus said, “no one but the Father knoweth the day or the hour.” Well, He was speaking from His human side.

You always have to look at the things Jesus said and did in His two personalities. On the one hand, He was total man. He got hungry. He got tired. He got angry. He was totally human.On the other side, He was totally God. He could raise the dead. He could still the wind, because He was God. Now, whenever He prayed to the Father, “your will be done not mine,”he’s praying from His humanity, just like you and I would. But on the other hand, He could forgive the sins of the woman taken in adultery because He was God, and only God can forgive sin.

Now it’s the same way with that question about when would the Lord come. From His humanity, He could honestly say, “I can’t tell you. Only the Father knoweth.” But you come over to the other side, what did He tell Philip in John 14? “Philip have I been so long time with you and yet hast thou not known when you have seen me you have seen (who?) the Father.” Isaiah 9 says as plain as day that, “unto us a child is born, a son is given, and his name shall be called what? The wonderful counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting(what?) Father.” So, from His deity, He could have told the exact day and minute of every event. But, from His humanity, He could honestly say that’s only in the hands of the Father.

All right, so here we are now in His earthly ministry. He has read from Isaiah 61, and He’s come through the whole first verse word for word, but now you go up to verse 2 when He says:

Isaiah 61:2a

“To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,…” He stops in the middle of the verse! And that’s why the Jews raised their eyebrows and just literally stared Him down, saying to themselves, “What’s He doing?” And so then He stood up the second time and said, “this day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.” All right, now look what He’s saying. Everything that had been accomplished in His earthly ministry is in verse 1. Now, as you come into verse 2, He had finished up until His crucifixion, now, preaching the acceptable year of the Lord. What did He mean by that? Israel had every opportunity to accept Him as their Messiah. But they were going to reject Him. Now look at the verse carefully. Where does He stop? Just before it says, “the day of vengeance” or the Tribulation. See? He knew that the Tribulation wasn’t coming in at that time, and so He could stop reading and say, “This has been fulfilled.” And the rest we’re going to leave for a future day. All right, and read on:

Isaiah 612b

“…and the day of vengeance of our God; (which is the coming years of wrath and vexation, then the rest of the verse is) to comfort all that mourn;” What’s that? The Kingdom. And that’s still future. Now to re-cap. Everything that was written in verse 1 was accomplished and He had brought them up to the place where they were ready to reject Him. And so that had all been fulfilled, but the Tribulation hasn’t come in. The Kingdom hasn’t come in. He doesn’t say that it won’t, but it’s going to be postponed for at least 2,000 years, and is still being postponed.

All right, now let’s get back to James and hopefully you got the idea that, even though the Lord Himself knew it (He didn’t reveal it but), He did let us know that there was coming, a gap in the timeline and that the Tribulation and the Kingdom were going to be postponed to a future day, but these Jews didn’t understood that.

Even the Apostle Paul, as I showed in an earlier program, always spoke of the Rapture of the Church in his lifetime. And you want to remember he was probably about the same age as Christ. So, by the time that Paul is writing that famous Scripture, “we shall not all die, but we’ll all be changed, and will ever be with the Lord,” he was probably in his 40’s maybe 50. And you know people didn’t live to be a hundred in those days. Sixty was an old man in those days. So, even Paul was expecting all of this to be culminated certainly before 70 AD. And that’s why, of course, a lot of people today say that when Jesus spoke of all those things concerning the end-times He was speaking of 70 AD. No. That was all just another preview of what’s coming later. All right, let’s get back to James chapter 5.

James 5:7

“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” In other words, like a farmer is waiting for his crop to ripen, they were to be waiting for the ushering in of the Tribulation.

James 5:8-10

“Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. 9. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. 10. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.” So what’s he getting them ready for? The Tribulation. And he’s telling those Jewish believers, this isn’t the first time they have suffered. Go back in your Old Testament and see how they suffered. The Book of Hebrews gives you a pretty good description of them. Some were sawn asunder. Some were burned. Some suffered from the sword. That’s nothing new in Israel’s life. And so James is reminding them, “This may be in your future.”

I think it’s appropriate to say the same thing for us. We have no guarantee that we’re going to live this life of liberty forever. There may come a day, and it could come fast, that all of a sudden, we’re going to find ourselves under abject persecution. We hope not. And if the Lord comes, then those that are remaining are certainly going to go through these kinds of trials and suffering. All right, so he’s preparing them for these coming years of Tribulation.

James 5:11a

“Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job,…” Here he’s going back to an Old Testament book that every Jew was acquainted with. And they knew the losses and the trials and the suffering of Job – so James is using that as an example. He said:

James 5:11b

“…Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” God hasn’t changed. Just as surely as He dealt in Job’s life with mercy and restored everything, He also is going to be with us, James says.

James 5:12

“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” Now there again, that had more appropriateness for Israel under their system of Law than it would for us. But it’s still a good lesson. Be careful what you take an oath on. I think a lot of people carelessly, even with their giving, may just say, “Lord I’m going to give you so many thousand dollars a year.” And I say, you be careful, because God’s going to hold you to it and you may end up going to the bank to borrow. So, even be careful about what you agree with God to do.

James 5:13a

“Is any among you afflicted?…” Well, there’s never been a point in human history where there aren’t sick people.

James 5:13b

“…let him pray, (absolutely) Is any merry? let him sing psalms.” Now let’s go back and compare Paul in Ephesians 5 verse 18.

Ephesians 5:18-19

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” That’s the life of a believer. And that’s exactly what James is even referring to himself – that, for believers, we are to be singing songs and psalms, which were hymns of rejoicing in ancient Israel. Now back to James.

James 5:14

“Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:” When Paul was winding up his ministry, he could no longer perform miracles, but he writes that his friend was sick on the island of Miletus – and Paul couldn’t do anything much more than pray for him. But to Timothy, he said, for your stomach’s sake take a little what? Wine.

Here James advises the use of oil, but what did the Good Samaritan administer to the guy that was wounded on the roadside? Well, he dressed his wounds with wine and oil, which were the typical medicinal things in the ancient time. So it’s kind of interesting that we get both of them, one from Paul “Take a little wine for your stomach’s sake.” And James says – “Anoint with a little oil for healing.” But, for us, I think, Philippians 4 just says it all:

Philippines 4:6-7

“Be careful for nothing; (or don’t worry) but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

And that means exactly what it says. So prayer still avails much.

639 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 54 - James 3:7 - 5:20

639: James 3:7 – 5:20 – Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 54

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 54

James 3:7 – 5:20

All right, we’re going to continue right where we left off in the letter by James to the Hebrew believers – to the Twelve tribes scattered abroad. So we know that those had to be Jews of the dispersion. Now, we’ve got to remember, where did these Jews come from, and who are these people that these little epistles are addressed to.

James and Peter and John and Jude and, to a degree even, John’s Book of Revelation were written to the Jews that had been scattered. Like I said in the last part of the last program, we are now 2,000 years later since those books were written, and we have now come full circle back as it was when these epistles were written. As it was back then, so shall it be in the future with these Jewish believers getting ready to go into the Tribulation and looking for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, their Messiah. But for now, come back with me to Acts chapter 11 because this is probably the best way to understand why James, as well as the other three, addresses only the Jews? Why aren’t they including Gentiles?

Well, Acts 11:19 I think says it. Now you want to remember that Israel has been out there as a people scattered throughout the then known world ever since the Babylonian invasion in 606 BC. But then when Saul came on the scene and just persecuted unmercifully the Jewish church in Jerusalem, they had to scatter for their life.

Acts 8:1

“And Saul was consenting unto his (Stephen’s) death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.” Now the Twelve didn’t leave because they were sure that the Messiah would be coming and they didn’t want to be out of town when it happened. Remember they had been promised they would reign and rule over the Twelve tribes of Israel during the Kingdom Age. So they didn’t scatter, but the rest of those Jewish believers scattered. Acts 11:19 makes it so clear that Gentiles were not involved in any of this. This is so simple. You don’t have to be a seminary graduate to understand this.

Acts 11:19

“Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen.(which took place in Jerusalem) traveled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch. (in other words, that whole eastern end of the Mediterranean) preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.”

We’re talking about 10 years after the cross. That’s what the Book says – that these Jewish believers who were now scattered away from the home church in Jerusalem (which was headed up, of course, by Peter and the Twelve) are now being scattered throughout that end of the Roman Empire and they still have no consort with anybody but Jews.

Now come back to James and let’s stop with James chapter 1 verse 1, and this just says it all. Plain English.

James 1:1

“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to (and I don’t think we do any harm by putting ‘writing’ rather than ‘to’) the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.” Now isn’t that plain? Now these Jews, of course, gathered in little congregations of Synagogues and they knew nothing of Paul’s work of Grace. They’re still in Judaism. All they’ve understood is that Jesus Christ of Nazareth was the Messiah and to a degree that He had risen from the dead and that He was still able to fulfill the covenant promises of the Kingdom. And so this is what they’re looking for.

So now back to James chapter 4 where we left off in our last lesson. Verse 12, and always watch the language like I’ve said before – how it’s so much like the language of the Four Gospel’s concerning Jesus and the Law and all the rest.

James 4:12a

“There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy:…” In other words, God is going to fulfill two purposes. Now come back with me a few pages to Hebrews chapter 7 verse 25. This is just one example. And that’s all we’re going to use how that God is able to work both sides. Hebrews 7 verse 25, here’s the saving side:

Hebrews 7:25

“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost (who? Those) that come unto God by him. (that is by Jesus Christ) seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”(that is those that have come to Christ)

All right, now let’s look at the other side of the coin. Not very pretty. Very seldom do you hear it anymore, and that’s Revelation 20. Here we have the Great White Throne Judgment for the lost. And these are the two concepts that James is putting in front of his people. They’re dealing with a God who is able to save but He’s also able to condemn them to their doom. Now how many times have you heard it? “How can a God of love send anybody to such an awful place?” Well, we know what the answer is. He did everything that needed to be done when He suffered the horrible death of the Cross. And that was for all mankind with no strings attached. All they have to do is believe it! And when they spurn that, then He has every right to say, “depart from me I never knew you” because He’s done all He can do. All right, so now then, in Revelation 20, you do have the ability and the wherewithal of God to destroy those who are lost. This is the end of everything. This is the final act of God on the human race that is lost.

Revelation 20:11-12a

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12. And I saw the dead, (now remember there are no believers involved in here. This is all the unbelieving from Cain to the end) small and great, stand before God; (the Righteous Judge) and the books (plural)were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life:…” When their name was not in the book of life, He then opens up the books, which included their works. That’s what Paul calls fruit unto death. They lived a life of sin and rebellion, which was a life of fruit unto death and here it comes.

Revelation 20:12b-13

“…and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” In other words, all the lost of the ages from wherever they are will come forth – and remember Jesus said in John chapter 5 that everybody that ever lived will be resurrected. Those who have been of faith – to a resurrection of life and the rest to a resurrection of condemnation. Well, this in Revelation 20 is the condemnation.

All right, and so they were judged every man individually. The billions of them. Now you know, this throws a curve at us doesn’t it? I mean, after all, we’re human. How in the world will God have time to bring every individual lost person before the bar of justice? Now we can’t comprehend it. But you’ve got to remember we’re not in ‘time’ here, we’re in ‘eternity.’ And when you get out of time and into eternity it’s a whole different ballgame. I read years and years ago (maybe science has changed it now, but I remember) one hypothesis that if a human being could go through a black-hole and down through a white-hole he could usurp a million years of time in ten minutes. Well, that’s beyond us, but it’s the same way here. God will judge the billions of the human race in what we would call a matter of minutes, and yet everyone is going to have a time before Him. Don’t ever doubt it because we’re not in time as we know it – but here, we’re in eternity. All right, now verse 14, and see what James means when he says that God is able to save and to destroy?

Revelation 20:14

“And death and hell (that is the compilation of all the lost of the ages) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Now people don’t want to hear about the Lake of Fire anymore. I can’t help it. It’s in the Book. Remember physical death was their first death and now spiritual death is their second death. Then verse 15 puts the cap on it.

Revelation 20:15

“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” And don’t think for a minute that that’s an instant annihilation because, while you’re here in chapter 20, come back to verse 10. And it shows that it’s an ongoing thing, because the Lord Himself said, “it’ll be there for ever and ever for all eternity.” It’s not going to end. It’s going to be forever, just like our life is going to go on forever.

Revelation 20:10a

“And the devil that deceived them (that is at the end of the Kingdom economy now, when we’re ready to go into eternity) was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast(or the anti-Christ) and the false prophet are,…” These are the two evil men of the seven-year Tribulation period, and they were cast into the Lake of Fire at the beginning of the 1,000-year Kingdom Age. How long have they already been there? A thousand years. And they’re still there. They haven’t been annihilated. They haven’t been burned up. They’re still there.

Revelation 20:10b

“…and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Now this just epitomizes again the Grace of God – how that Christ and the work of the cross made it possible for every one of these people to miss that kind of an eternity. And that’s why a God of love can do it; they’ve spurned His love and they have rejected His offer of salvation. And so, yes, James says it again, verse 12 of chapter 4 of the Book of James.

James 4:12

“There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?”

There is one eternal God. And He alone is able to save and to destroy, so James says, “Who are you that you should judge another?” Now, like I told you in the last program, that doesn’t mean you don’t make discernment between the lifestyle of the lost person and a believer. We have that right. We have that ability according to Scripture. But we cannot judge who’s going to be in eternal doom, or who’s going to be in Heaven. You can’t look on the heart. None of us can – only God can do that. Okay, now, in verse 13, he shifts gears again and he goes into something totally different.

James 4:13

“Go to now ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:”

Now what does that tell you? First and foremost – before we get any further, come back with me to Matthew chapter 24 verse 37. Now remember the Lord Himself is not betraying the secret that time is going to be interrupted and that these people to whom He’s speaking will not see the Tribulation and the Second Coming. He doesn’t betray that. He could have. As God, He knew the day and the hour and all that. But, the scenario was just the same as I’ve been repeating now for the last several programs. The scenario was exactly the same for these Jewish people approaching the Tribulation and the Second Coming and the Kingdom as it will be for Jews in this present time, which we think is getting close – when they, too, will be facing the same thing. But the scenario is going to be the same. As it was then, so is it now.

Matthew 24:37-38

“But as the days of Noe (Noah) were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (in other words, when the Tribulation has run its course) 38. For as in the days that were before the flood (just like these days that these Jews that James is writing to are facing the Tribulation,) they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,” See? Life was going on. And then he comes down a little further to verse 40.

Matthew 24:40

“Then shall two be in the field;…” They were laboring, working and harvesting. All right, that’s sufficient, I think. Now come back to James again. This is the same scenario that, as the Tribulation is approaching and these Jewish believers are going to be coming under pressure, yet you have that element of either unbelievers or carnal believers (whatever the case James is dealing with), and all they’ve got on their minds is what? Material gain. Hey, they’re in business and they’re not too concerned about the spiritual. Well, it’s going to be the same way now as we’re approaching the end-time; the whole world is all wrapped up in materialism. They don’t think of the Spirit. All they’re thinking is how they can make money in the stock market or how they can do this and that and every other thing. Well, it’s the same way here – and so James says to be careful, you that say, “Today or tomorrow we’ll go and do such and such a thing and we’ll buy and sell and get gain.” See? That was the typical activity.

James 4:14

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” Like your breath on a 20 below zero day. You don’t know what that is down here in Oklahoma, but I do. Oh, my goodness, that breath will just disappear. Well, that’s life. Peter uses the example of a blade of grass that comes up in the morning, you clip it off in the afternoon. That’s the way life is, it’s temporary.

You know I read a book years and years ago that made it even more graphic. “Snow Flakes on the River.” And I love that. Can you just see big, huge snowflakes coming down on a large river? How long does it last? Puff! It’s gone. That’s life. Just like a snowflake on the river. Just like a blade of grass that’s sprung up and clipped off. Oh, even though some may live to 90-95-100 years old. I’ve had a few people in my classes that were 100 – 102. But you know what they tell me? It went just as fast as you and I think it has up to as old as we are. That extra 30-40 years goes just as fast as the rest of it. Bingo! It’s all gone! And compared to eternity, it’s nothing.

All right, so James is reminding his flock, don’t get so concerned about the material world because it’s just here today and gone tomorrow.

James 4:15

“For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” Now I think that’s appropriate. That’s what we can do today. Well, “If the Lord is willing” that’s what we’re going to do. So, that’s very appropriate. Remember I told you when we first started there were going to be tidbits here that you can apply today, just like you can go into the Four Gospel accounts and you can make application. But you’re not going to find the plan of salvation in the Book of James. It’s not in here.

James 4:16a

“But now ye rejoice in your boastings:…” Now I’m going to give the Jewish people credit – I’m not doing this critically. I think they are to be admired. They have a knack for being successful, don’t they? Absolutely! I think it’s part of their covenant relationship. They have a knack for being successful whether it’s in literature or art or music or medicine or in business – you name it, and Jewish people are successful. Well, evidently it was the same way here. Some of these Jews, in spite of the pressures from the Roman Empire and so forth, were materially successful. But it’s also a well-known fact that there is not a group of people on earth that are so philanthropically minded. I hope I got that word out right. They’re great philanthropists. They give, give, give. And so this is part and parcel I think of their makeup. And so verse 16 just hits it right on the head:

James 4:16

“But now ye rejoice in your boastings: (over their what? Their success. They are naturally successful people. But he says) all such rejoicing is evil.” Don’t rejoice in the things of the flesh; in the material. Now verse 17, and maybe this is why they are so prone to being philanthropic.

James 4:17

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is (what?) sin.”

And they were aware of that. And so they overcame some of their materialism with giving and hoping (I guess by that) to merit favor with God, or whatever.

All right, now, lest you think I’ve been pushing the envelop on this, look at the first verse of chapter 5. Now remember we’re back in about, probably, the 50’s AD. About fifteen or twenty years from now in, 70 AD, their Temple is going to be destroyed and Jerusalem and Israel are going to be scattered. But it hasn’t happened yet. And here they are. He says:

James 5:1

“Go to now, ye (what kind of men?) rich men, (See? These Jews, a lot of them, had wealth.) weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.” When? When the Tribulation would hit. When the Tribulation would hit and all of their wealth and materialism would be wiped out.

Now you know it’s coming. Not only just for Israel and the Jews but for the whole human race – the wrath of God is coming! Just like James could see it coming in their day, and that all their wealth and materialism would amount to nothing because it’s all going to be wiped away. Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve done this, but let’s go back to Jeremiah just for an example. And I do this to sober people because even we, as believers, are so prone to get wrapped up in all of the trappings of this world and our economy and everything that pertains to it, and we forget God’s wrath is coming. I’m not saying it’s going to be next year or the following, but we’re getting closer and closer. You know I’ve always referred to the cartoon of the old boy sitting in his cave door and over the door was ‘The End Is Near.’ But then he added ‘er.’ Which meant that everyday the end is nearer.

And that’s where we are. The end is getting nearer every day. All right, Jeremiah chapter 25 verse 30. Now this isn’t pleasant reading. This is horrifying but it’s coming; and James could see it coming in their day. They thought it was just over the horizon. And then God, as I’m going to show you in the next program, interrupted that time-span and gave us the Age of Grace for the past 2,000 years.

Jeremiah 25:30

“Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD (That’s Christ in the Old Testament) shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; (that is this old world.) he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.” Not just Israel. Every human being is going to come under this. Verse 31.

Jeremiah 25:31-32a

“A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, (not just Israel. All of them.) he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, (death) saith the LORD. 32. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation,…” Does that ring a bell? Yeah, we’re hearing about evil today like not since a long time ago.

Jeremiah 25:32b

“…and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts (or borders) of the earth.”

Now, we’re hearing more and more, the next most used acronym will be what? ‘WMD.’ You’re going to see it in every article that you read. WMD. What is it? Weapons of Mass Destruction. And the whole world is interested in them. Not just Iraq. Everybody wants weapons of mass destruction. All the nations of the world are clamoring for more military hardware. Well, what weapon of mass destruction causes tremendous wind? A nuclear explosion. Tremendous wind. And so I can just see all the nuclear forces of the world will come to bear in these final days of the Tribulation. So, “A great whirlwind shall be raised up from the borders of the earth.” Now, as a result of all of these ‘nukes’ being unloaded, first one after the other, look at verse 33.

Jeremiah 25:33

“And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; (there will be so many that nobody can bury them fast enough. There’ll be no funeral parlors capitalizing on all of this. But) they shall be dung upon the ground.”

That’s what’s coming. That’s why all the world is interested now in weapons of mass destruction. It’s going to come. The earth is going to be utterly annihilated through the wrath of God, but He’ll use a lot of these weapons of mass destruction.

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