655 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 55 - II Peter 1:1 - 2:8

655: 2 Peter 1:1 – 2:8 – Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 55

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 55

II Peter 1:1 – 2:8

All right, now we finished verse 15 of chapter 1 of II Peter in the last lesson, so we’re ready for verse 16. And here’s a verse that we can just take to heart for ourselves. Just as true for us as it was for these Jews, where Peter says:

II Peter 1:16a

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables,…” Now you know that’s what the scoffer claims the Bible is. Well, how can anybody be so foolish when we know that this Book is so intricately put together. Intricately! It all fits. And then they try to tell us that it was all concocted around the campfires of antiquity and some of these foolish statements. But Peter hits the nail on the head.

II Peter 1:16

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”

Lest you think I’ve been stretching the envelope when I’ve been stressing all the time that these little epistles are looking forward to the coming of Christ again – now remember He’s been crucified, He’s ascended back to Glory – and, during these writings, we’re in those years just after that. And so they know there are seven years of Tribulation that are ahead of them, and then He’s going to return and yet set up the Kingdom, which we would call now the Second Coming. But turn with me to the little book of Jude. Only one chapter, verse 14. And I find it to be an interesting verse. Remember Jude is in the same category as Peter, James and John. And he writes:

Jude 1:14

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,” Well what was that? That’s a reference to His Second Coming and it’s what Peter is referring to that He’s going to be coming with power and glory.

All right, so that’s what Peter is referring to as we read in verse 16. “For we’ve made known to you the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” They know that He’s coming. Even though Peter has now realized that he probably won’t live to see it because he’s going to be martyred. But for these people to whom he’s writing, they can still expect everything to happen in their lifetime. All right, reading on in verse 16:

II Peter 1:16b

“…but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” They got a glimpse of what He’s going to be like when He returns. Just a glimpse. Because, after all, you want to remember that when Christ came at His first coming, He didn’t lay aside His Deity. He didn’t lay aside any of His righteousness or His holiness. But He did lay aside his glory. He did not walk up and down the dusty roads of Israel, shining brighter than the noonday sun. But, Peter, James and John did get a glimpse of it at the transfiguration and, of course, that’s back in Matthew chapter 17.

We looked at it briefly a couple of tapings ago, I think, but this is what Peter is referring to in his letter when he says that “we saw a glimpse of his majesty.” So let’s look at it again. Remember this is in His earthly ministry.

Matthew 16:28

“Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, (and of course He’s referring to the Twelve) which shall not taste of death, till they see (physically) the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” Now that threw a curve at them, didn’t it? That there would be some of them who would not die until they would see the coming of the kingdom. Now drop down into chapter 17 and we get what He was talking about.

Matthew 17:1-2a

“And after six days, Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, (that would be one of the mountains of Israel) 2. And was transfigured before them: (He was just immediately changed from His common physical appearance to His Glorious) and his face did shine as the sun,.…” Now that’s not a stretch on words, that was just a glimpse of His glory. That was just a glimpse of His power.

Matthew 17:2b-3

“…and his raiment was white as the light. 3. And behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.” Well, this is what Peter is making reference to, that he and James and John had the privilege of just getting this glimpse of a preview of the glory that is yet to follow. All right, so back to II Peter chapter 1 and verse 17.

II Peter 1:17

“For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, (And what did the voice say?) This is my beloved Son in whom I am (what?) well pleased.” My goodness what an experience! Does anyone remember where else that happened? At His baptism. The same identical thing, when the voice from Heaven said, word for word, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Now verse 18.

II Peter 1:18

“And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.” Quite an experience! See we live by faith, don’t we? We live by faith, not by sight. But see, over and over throughout Israel’s history, quite a few Jews saw God in one way or another. We know Abraham did. We know Moses did. And Elijah probably did. And so various of the patriarchs saw God in human form back there. And then, of course, at His baptism, when they heard those words. But at the transfiguration, that was something I think that was so mind-boggling that Peter, James and John probably took a long time getting over it.

Now verse 19 is a verse that I’ve always really hung on to. As great as that experience was (and that was exhilarating. That was proof that this Jesus of Nazareth was Who He claimed to be, when He was transfigured right there before them and heard the voice from Heaven on top of all that. But), look at the next verse:

II Peter 1:19a

“We have also a more sure.…” Now what does that tell you? Do we have to have exhilarating experiences like the transfiguration to believe? No. We can take all this by faith, we don’t have to have sight. We don’t have to have experiences. We take it by faith. And that’s why I think in this Age of Grace we have so little of the supernatural, if any, because now God has given us the Word of God and He expects us to believe it. And that’s why it’s going to be so awful for people of unbelief because all He’s expected the human race to do is to believe what He’s said – and when they refused to believe, it’s almost a slap in the face, as it were, and telling Him, “But I don’t believe it.”

All right, now look at this next verse – even as great as that transfiguration experience was, Peter can yet say, again by inspiration, never forget this.

II Peter 1:19

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” Well now Who’s the Day Star? The Lord Jesus Christ. And how does He arise in our hearts? By faith! We take it all by faith and He becomes real to us. He’s with us moment by moment.

Now, once in a while things will happen to families and I can appreciate when they begin to wonder, “Where is God’s grace?” when just one horrible thing after another can happen. And that’s a human reaction. But on the other hand, we have to come right back and claim the promises of God that are sure – that, in spite of whatever may happen, He’s aware of us. He knows. And He’s with us and He’ll never leave us nor forsake us. All right, and so He is already in our walk of faith; He is the Day Star that has already arisen in our hearts. Now verse 20. Here is that which is more sure than even the proof of His transfiguration.

II Peter 1:20

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” Or a better translation I think is, of “human origin.” We can look at this Book and it is more of a manifestation of Who God is and what He has done and what He is to us, than the transfiguration was to Peter, James and John. Now I know that’s a strong statement. But listen, this Book is so refined. It is so intricately put together that we never have to doubt it. And it just proves itself precept upon precept. And even though the scoffers may scream and ridicule it, yet, we who see the intricacy of it, we know it is the Word of God. And we know it’s true. And we know that everything it says is going to happen IS going to happen.

We don’t have to have any doubt whatsoever. And so I like to make that comparison. Yes, Peter, James and John saw Christ transfigured. They saw His Glory with their physical eyes. But we’ve got something that’s even more sure and that is the Word of God itself. Now that’s exhilarating! Isn’t it? All right, let’s go on. Looking at the first part of that verse again.

II Peter 1:20a

“Knowing this first, (and above everything) that no prophecy.…” Now the word ‘prophecy’ here in the New Testament, usually does not mean telling the future, it means speaking forth. That’s why in I Corinthians 14, the greatest gift was prophecy, the giving of the gift to speak forth the Word of God before it was printed. Now, you all remember, I’m always emphasizing, there were about eighteen years from the time that Paul began his ministry among the Gentiles until he writes his first epistle. So, for eighteen years, what did the early believers depend on? Gifted men who could speak forth the Word of God and that’s why it was the primary gift. And then verse 21 is the answer.

II Peter 1:21

“For the prophecy (or again the speaking forth) came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved (or carried along) by the Holy Ghost.” And that’s the inspiration of Scripture. And you can pick it up all the way through the Book. I don’t ridicule very often, but when people will make foolish, stupid, statements like “Luke must have been a tremendous keeper of a diary or he could have never written any of the Four Gospels and the book of Acts.” Now, to me, that is ridiculous. No writer of Scripture went back to notes in a diary. They didn’t write on what they had remembered. They didn’t write on the basis of hearsay. They wrote as the Holy Spirit funneled those thoughts through their minds. And they were moved – that’s the inspiration of the Scripture.

Otherwise, how in the world could Moses write about creation, which took place 2,500 years before? How in the world could Moses write about his own death, which was out in front of him? But he did. That’s the inspiration of the Scriptures. See? And the same way with all of the writings of Scripture. How could these men name King Cyrus 150 years before he was ever born? By inspiration. How could Daniel lay out so perfectly the coming Gentile empires, one after the other, long before they happened? By inspiration. And so it is throughout this whole Book, that which is still future, it is just as reliable as that which is past. So the Holy Spirit moved holy men to write the things that God wanted written and, of course, as Paul puts it in II Timothy:

II Timothy 3:16

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

All right, now then I guess we can go on into chapter 2, and verse 1, and the first word you see is “But.” Now you know in the original there was no chapter break. But, horror of horrors, what has happened to the truth of the inspired Scriptures? Oh, it’s been attacked and underwritten and undermined, by what kind of people? False teachers.

II Peter 2:1

“But (even though the Scripture is true, even though holy men of God were moved by the Spirit to write) there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” Now this is Peter. Who else says the same thing? Paul. Paul is constantly reminding his early converts “beware!” Beware. They’re coming! In fact his greatest warning is in Galatians 1. Let’s go back and look at it. God has had to put up with the Satanic attacks against Himself and His program and against His Word since day one. And it’s inspired by the adversary – Satan.

All right, but now you’ve got Galatians chapter 1 verse 6 – my, we use this over and over. But I don’t have to apologize for it because it is always apropos. Every day of the week, you’ve got this kind of thing going on, even in the Christian community.

Galatians 1:6

“I marvel (he’s amazed) that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ. (that is through Paul’s preaching) unto another gospel:” Now remember he’s writing to Gentiles who had just come out of paganism, idolatry and all that was part of that. And now Paul has established his Gospel of Grace; for them to believe that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. And here comes, immediately, the false teachers trying to undermine the Apostle’s teaching. And they’re falling for it – and he said, “I’m amazed. you’re falling into another gospel.” Now verse 7.

Galatians 1:7

“Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, (it’s not something totally different, but these false teachers have taken what I have brought you ) and would pervert (or pollute) the gospel of Christ.” They’ve added to Paul’s pure Gospel of Salvation, just like many do today. But now look what Paul puts on these false teachers.

Galatians 1:8

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” In other words, in it’s purity. And that’s what he called it in Corinthians. He said, “I didn’t come to you with a false product, I came to you with the pure truth of the Gospel.” And here he’s reminding the Galatians of the same thing – that if you’re going to partake of anything but the truth of Paul’s Gospel of salvation, then you’re going to be in trouble. And the messengers that have perverted Paul’s message are going to be accursed. And in verse 9, Paul repeats that warning. They’re under the anathema of God. False teachers. And oh the world is full of them. Always has been.

I was just talking with somebody on the phone last night and they had such a heartache (which reminded me of Paul and his heartache). So turn with me to II Timothy, chapter 1. What a heartbreaking statement; and again inspired by the Holy Spirit. And this is what Paul writes to Timothy in verse 15.

II Timothy 1:15a

“This thou knowest, that all they…” And I’m a stickler for words. I believe it was every one of them. I think that all of these believers that had become followers of the Apostle Paul had all turned against him and had followed the false teachers. Well, we’re seeing it today – wholesale. The further out in left field these guys get, the bigger the crowds. All right, completing the verse.

II Timothy 1:15-16

“This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia (now remember Asia is Asia Minor, that’s present day Turkey) be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus, and Hermogenes. (of course, were the leaders) 16. The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:”

But nevertheless, coming back to II Peter now, it’s always been this way. Let me remind you. How long was it after Abel had brought the right kind of a sacrifice and was accepted of God (Cain, on the other hand, brought the wrong sacrifice and was not accepted; which immediately put a wall of demarcation between those two young brothers, how long was it) until Satan intervened with the crime of murder? Not long. And Cain rose up and killed Abel. Well, who prompted Cain to kill Abel? Well, the Devil did, of course. And why? Because Satan thought that if he could get rid of that very first prodigy in the promises, that would end it all and he’d have the victory before it ever started.

Well, that’s the way it’s been all the way up through human history. As soon as God revealed something, Satan attacks it with everything he’s got. And that’s why I’m always reminding people everywhere I go, “Why in the world do you suppose Israel has always had so much opposition? The satanic power. Why do you suppose the world in general tonight would like to drive the Israelites into the sea and be rid of the problem? Satanic power. But it’s not going to happen because God is always victorious, He has always overcome.”

All right, back to II Peter, chapter 2, and verse 1 again. Oh, the warning against false teachers. But in spite of the divine revelation of the writers of Scriptures:

II Peter 2:1

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily (or secretly. They’re not going to come out and get into a pulpit and say, hey – I’m going to lead you astray today. No. They come in secretly, underhandedly,) shall bring in damnable (or condemnational) heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” (they’re not going to get by with it)

II Peter 2:2a

“And many (many, not a few – many – Paul said all. Peter says many) shall follow their pernicious ways;….” Goodness sakes, if you know anything about medicine, you should know what the word ‘pernicious’ means. We’ve got a disease called what? Pernicious anemia. Well, what’s the disease pernicious anemia? It’s a disease that eats away the red blood cells; and that’s why, when someone gets anemic, they lose their color, because pernicious anemia is constantly chewing up and destroying the red blood cells. Well the word means the same thing here. These false teachers are perniciously chewing up the truth so that it becomes useless. Now finishing verse 2.

II Peter 2:2b

“…by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” My goodness, if you read anything at all you know this is what we’re up against. I read it on every hand, that this is exactly what they’re doing with the truth. They’re chewing it up and spitting it aside. Now verse 3.

II Peter 2:3a

“And through covetousness.…” Now we talked about coveting the last half-hour didn’t we? It just pops up in Scripture because it’s the number one sin of the human race. It’s the one that Paul said opened him up to his sinful state, that when the Law said, “Thou shalt not covet,” then Paul or Saul at that time suddenly realized that he was guilty, as guilty can be.

654 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 55 - The Believer’s Virtue - Part 2

654: The Believer’s Virtue – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 55

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 55

The Believer’s Virtue – Part 2

II Peter 1:1 – 2:8

We’d like to thank you for joining with us today as we continue on with our study of II Peter. In the last lesson we got all the way through verse 8, so jump in at verse 9.

II Peter 1:9

“But he that lacketh these things (in other words, all these good things that are part and parcel of godly living) is blind, (that is spiritually blind) and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” In other words, Peter is talking to believers who have been less than spiritual and, of course, Paul deals with the same thing. And so Peter is admonishing these believers to shape up and realize that, without actually walking the Christian walk, it’s awfully easy to fall back into those old habits. All right, verse 10.

II Peter 1:10

“Wherefore the rather, (or on the other hand) brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”

Now Peter is not ascribing their salvation to doing these good things. Let’s go back and look at them. It was in the last program. Look at them in verses 5, 6, 7. These are the things he’s talking about. Don’t neglect these things because these are the manifestation of your saving faith. And Paul would say the same thing to us.

II Peter 1:5-7

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” (or love.) See, all these things are part and parcel of the godly walk. Now let’s just, again for sake of comparison, come back to how Paul puts it in Galatians. Galatians chapter 5 and this is when you can see that both of these men are writing by the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit. They’re both writing Scripture. They’re both admonishing believers. But, Paul is writing to us Gentiles in this Age of Grace, whereas Peter is still addressing Jews who are, as yet, unaware of Paul’s Gospel of salvation, and they’re still associated with Gospel of the Kingdom, Christ’s earthly ministry, the believers of Pentecost of Acts chapter 2, and the Jewish economy in general. Here is how Paul addresses us in the Gentile Body of Christ. Let’s jump in at verse 16.

Galatians 5:16

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, (in other words, walk in the control of the Holy Spirit) and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” You see, it’s almost the exact language. Now verse 17.

Galatians 5:17

“For the flesh (the old Adamic Nature) lusteth (or warreth) against the Spirit, (and His admonishing) and the Spirit (on the other hand is going to war) against (the Old Adam) the flesh: and these (these two natures) are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (without having a fight). There’s always that constant battle. Now, Paul lists all the things that Peter is warning his followers to avoid, although Peter doesn’t delineate them quite as clearly as Paul does. Here Paul tells us to avoid the following:

Galatians 5:19-21

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness. (all the sexual immorality sins; and then comes all the things of the mind) 20. Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions heresies. 21. (then you go into the grosser aspect) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” But then in verse 22 you have the flipside of all of that.

Galatians 5:22-23a

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23. Meekness, temperance:.…”

Those are almost the same words that Peter uses. Almost the same language but under two totally different economies. All right, now then, back to II Peter again and pick up how he is admonishing his followers (Jewish believers), I think still in the Kingdom economy. They’re not members of the Body of Christ; they are worshipping in synagogues as we saw back in James. All right, now then, back into II Peter chapter 1 verse 11.

II Peter 1:11

“For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Now remember Peter is not referring to the kingdom in a post-resurrection like we’re looking for it. Peter was looking for this same earthy kingdom to still come down in their lifetime, if they could survive the horrors of the Tribulation that was coming (and then they would go into the Kingdom and they would enjoy all the blessings and the ramifications of it).

Now of course, we in this Age of Grace, are now coming to the end of 1,900-and-some years since Paul began this economy. We’re not looking to go into the Tribulation – we’re looking for the escape from it as Paul promises the Gentile Body of Christ. And then after receiving our new body, we will become part and parcel, to a degree, of that glorious kingdom that is still coming. And always remember it’s an earthly kingdom. It’s going to be heaven on this earth and Christ is going to rule from Jerusalem. But of course, Peter and his followers (as I’ve said over and over these last several months), thought this was all going to happen in their lifetime.

Now verse 12, and Peter is going to begin with “Wherefore.” And never forget, it’s the Holy Spirit moving him to write every word.

II Peter 1:12

“Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.” In other words, what they’ve had revealed to them. Now I imagine I should qualify when I keep talking about “these are Gospel of the Kingdom believers.” Come back with me all the way to Matthew. Been a long time since we’ve done it on the program. We did in some of our seminars in Ohio and Indiana last week, but let’s come back to Matthew chapter 9, so that you’ll see where I pick up my terminology, some of the words that I use over and over. Here in Matthew chapter 9, Christ is just beginning His earthly ministry. And let’s begin with verse 35.

Matthew 9:35a

“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages,…” (that is in the land of Israel.) Always remember He never went outside the borders of Israel. Even Tyre and Sidon, the cities that were Gentile on the coast of the Mediterranean, He didn’t enter into them. He only went as far as the city limits. He never went into Gentile territory. (Matthew 10:5-6)

Matthew 9:35b

“…teaching in their synagogues, (see that? Not their churches, their synagogues) and preaching the gospel of the kingdom,.…”

Not the Gospel of the Grace of God, but rather the Gospel of the Kingdom. Two totally different entities. Two totally different economies. This is still under the Law. This is to Israel and Jew only, and now He’s preaching the Good News of the Kingdom. Well, what’s the Good News of the Kingdom? It’s coming! It’s coming within their lifetime, it’s at hand.

Matthew 9:35c

“…healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”

All right, now then come over to chapter 16 and here’s where we can put feet to that Gospel of the Kingdom by Peter’s confession. Matthew 16. And I can’t repeat it often enough, because over and over someone will come up and say, “Well now, what’s the difference again between the Gospel of the Kingdom and the Gospel of Grace?” Well, the Gospel of the Kingdom is what Jesus and the Twelve preached to the Jews in view of their coming King and Kingdom. And the basis of their Faith was to believe that Jesus was that promised King. Just that simple. They were to believe Who He was.

And that doesn’t change all through Peter’s ministry. Never does Peter say, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ that He died for your sins and that He was buried and was risen from the dead.” Peter never preaches that. That’s Paul’s Gospel of salvation, so Peter’s confession of faith carries all the way through on these Jewish believers. This is what they had believed.

Matthew 16:13a

“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi,…” Remember that’s up in northern Israel, headwaters of the Jordan River. And it’s at the end, now, of His three years – not at the beginning like we just read. This is three years later.

Matthew 16:13b-16

“…he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? (and look what they said. Here was Israel’s unbelief again) 14. And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist:, some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16. And Simon Peter answered and said, (here was his profession of faith) Thou art the Christ, (you’re the Messiah, you’re the Promised One) the Son of the living God.’” Period!

Not a word about the cross, not a word about resurrection. Not a word about shed blood. But rather “Thou art the Christ.” Now I wish people could see that. That was the Good News of the Kingdom. This is what those Jews were to believe – Who He was. Now let me give you a good example. It’s been a long time since we’ve spent any time in Acts. Stop in Acts chapter 3 and this is more good evidence of the same concept. This is where Peter has healed the lame man and the Jewish leaders are all concerned and upset. How did you do this? They couldn’t remember seven weeks earlier – Jesus was doing it all the time? But just because a few weeks had elapsed and now Peter, James and John can raise him, they’re all amazed and wondering, see? Let’s begin with verse 12.

Acts 3:12-15

“And when Peter saw it, (that is to the wondering and amazement of the Jewish people over the healing of the lame man) he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, (see how Jewish this is, there’s no Gentiles in that statement) why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness, we made this man to walk? 13. The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. 14. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murder to be granted unto you; 15. And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.” Now here it comes, that same profession of faith that we just saw in Matthew 16. And this is what Peter is asking of his Jewish listeners.

Acts 3:16a

“And his name (the name of Jesus of Nazareth) through faith in his name….” Not in His death, burial and resurrection, but rather in His Name. They were simply to believe that Jesus was the Christ. That was the Gospel of the Kingdom. Now the Gospel of the Grace of God in Church Age, of course, is I Corinthians 15: 1-4. Maybe we’d better look at that. Jerry never gets tired of telling me, “Hey it’s been a while since you shared that beautiful Gospel of salvation.”

So let’s just stop at it. And I want you to see the difference. What a difference! Same God. Same Holy Spirit is inspiring it, but yet, here we have this difference of what we’re to believe as Gentiles and what the Jews were to believe as the children of Abraham. I Corinthians chapter 15, the first four verses. Now this is the Gospel of the Grace of God. Now there aren’t two Gospels of salvation today – there’s only one, and this is what you must believe in your heart for salvation. Today there’s only one. You can’t use the Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus and Peter used. By inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul tells us we must use his Gospel.

I Corinthians 15:1-4

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2. By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. (now here comes Paul’s Gospel of salvation) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

Now that’s what we’re to believe today. Now for comparison back up once again to Acts chapter 3, I want you to see this! Acts chapter 3 again verse 16, now this is the only way we can learn. Compare Scripture with Scripture. You can’t mix them all up. You can’t just put it in a blender, turn it up on high and ladle it out without people getting sick to their stomach because it’s a whole ‘duke’s mixture’ that doesn’t fit. You’ve got to rightly divide the Word of God. Remember Paul’s letters are to us in the Body of Christ: the rest of Scripture is for our learning, but not doctrine – they were written to the Nation of Israel.

All right, so Paul says that we’re saved by believing in our hearts that Jesus died for our sins, He was buried and He rose from the dead. Peter says this man was made whole because he believed:

Acts 3:16a

“And his name through faith in his name….” Not through what He had done, but Who He was. Well, it’s exactly what Peter professed in Matthew 16, “Thou art the Christ. You’re the Promised Messiah.” Not a word about what He would do for them. But Who He was. All right, now I hope I’ve made my point.

You know, as I was coming up, I couldn’t help but think that, if the Lord has given me this opportunity to teach (and that’s what I feel He has. I’m not an evangelist, I’m not a preacher, but He has given me this opportunity to teach), then it becomes my responsibility to teach in such a way that the simplest of the simple can understand it. And that’s what I try to do and that’s why I repeat and repeat. And as I was driving up, I got to thinking – I hadn’t been on television too many years and a retired English teacher from Tulsa wrote me a nice little note and commended me for not butchering the king’s English. In other words, she commended me for my good English. Well, I wrote right back and I said, “I have to give all the credit for whatever I can do with the English language to my high school English teacher up in Iowa.” Well, she wrote right back, and said, “Have you ever thanked her for it?” No! I hadn’t. It never dawned on me.

So a few months later we were on our way up to one of our Minnesota seminars and we pulled through that little town in northern Iowa and lo and behold, she was still alive, and I was kind of surprised. She said, “Les! I wasn’t that old when you were in high school!” And you know what we all know? When you’re a kid fourteen, fifteen years old, someone who’s thirty is over the hill! Isn’t that right? And so I guess that was about our age difference, if that. So, anyhow, she was very spry and alert and she was in her own apartment and so Iris and I stopped by to visit with her.

And I said, “Now you know the reason I stopped by is to thank you – thank you for teaching me English.” I had her for four years. And then she shared this with me and that is why I’m bringing it in here. I’m remembering it even as I teach Scripture. She said, “You know Les, when I first got to college, I had intended to become a Mathematics teacher because I loved math and it was so easy for me. But she said, “My counselor said, ‘No, you don’t want to teach a subject that’s easy for you; you’ll never be a good teacher.’” And doesn’t that make sense? The counselor said, “Instead, choose a field that you don’t like and that is hard for you.” “Well,” she said, “that would have to be English.” And so she said, “That’s why I went into teaching English.”

Well, I’ll tell you, she was a master teacher of English. And she could make it interesting, and she could teach it in such a way that it just stuck with me. Oh, I make an occasional error, I don’t claim to be perfect – but I think, for the most part, I have to admit that she taught me quite well. All right, now I’m going to bring that same thing into my teaching of the Scripture. I want to make it as interesting as I can. I want to make it so plain that anybody can understand it. And that’s why I will come back and forth and repeat and repeat because that’s what teaching demands. I’m not just here to preach at you for a half-an-hour and then let you go. We want you to be able to understand so that you, as Paul says, can do what?“Teach others also.”

In fact, I think maybe we’re reaching a lot more people though our television audience teaching others than are actually hearing me. And so this is the reason we do these things. All right, back to II Peter if I may, and reading on now verse 12.

II Peter 1:12-13a

“Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. (that is knowing Who Jesus of Nazareth was with regard to Israel) 13. Yea, I think it meet, (I think it’s appropriate) as long as I am in this tabernacle,…” Well now what’s the other word for tabernacle? Tent. And what’s the purpose of a tent? Temporary. So what’s he referring to? This body of flesh. It’s temporary, it’s not permanent. It’s only here for a little while. Paul used the same term in II Corinthians 5, when he said, “and when this earthly tabernacle (this temporary tent) is laid aside.” Now finishing verse 13.

II Peter 1:13b-14

“…to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14. Knowing that shortly (now this is where Peter suddenly realizes that he is not going to live to see the Tribulation and the Kingdom, he’s going to face martyrdom) I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.” Now you know what I have to think? Come back with me to John’s Gospel, chapter 21, and let’s begin down there at verse 18. You know I’ve thought of this over the years. It would almost seem as though Peter forgot all about this for many, many years. It just never entered his mind until he is closing his second epistle. Now I’m guessing, but it would just almost seem that way.

All right, now here, this is just after the three times when Jesus asked him, “Do you love Me? Feed My sheep.” We referred to that a few programs back and Peter was always faithful that he fed the sheep of God’s pasture, which are Israel. That’s why he made the agreement in Galatians chapter 2, when he was glad enough to shake hands with Paul and say, “I will stay with Israel, you go to the Gentiles.”

All right, now look what the Lord Jesus told him after he had just said in verse 17, “Feed my sheep.” Then verse 18 and you would think it would have haunted Peter all his days, but I don’t believe it did. I believe he just almost forgot about it.

John 21:18

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.”

What was Jesus foretelling? Peter’s death by crucifixion. Now church legend has it (we can’t prove it from Scripture) that he refused to be crucified as his Lord was, so they crucified him upside-down, which I think would have been horrible. But nevertheless, this is what he suddenly remembers now in II Peter chapter 1 when he says that he is now ready to leave this earthly tabernacle, remembering what the Lord had said. All right, II Peter 1:15:

II Peter 1:15-16

“Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease (see he knows he’s going to die) to have these things always in remembrance. 16. For we, (he and the other apostles)have not followed cunningly devised fables, (or stories or legends) when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”

In other words, Peter says, we’re not kidding. Christ is coming. He’s still going to set up His Earthly Kingdom, even though Peter’s pretty sure he’s not going to live to see it now. But he says, that doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. Now, let’s come all the way back to Acts chapter 1. This is why I think Peter must have almost forgotten immediately what the Lord said about his demise. I just can’t see him remembering it until you get to II Peter. Acts chapter 1 verse 6. And this is just after the forty days after the resurrection, and He’s ready to ascend back to Glory from the Mount of Olives and He’s meeting there on the mountain with the Eleven. And verse 6, this is Peter speaking.

Acts 1:6

“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Oh now don’t forget, they had remembered that they were going to rule the Twelve Tribes from the twelve thrones in Jerusalem. And whenever I use this verse I always point out – listen, the Lord didn’t ridicule him for talking about an earthly kingdom. The Lord didn’t say, “Peter where did you ever get such an idea?” But oh, the Lord said:

Acts 1:7a

“And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons,….”

653 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 55 - The Believer’s Virtue

653: The Believer’s Virtue – Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 55

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 55

The Believer’s Virtue

II Peter 1:1 – 2:8

Okay, now we’re beginning in II Peter and ready to start with verse 1. And I want again to emphasize that, except for Paul’s epistles, all of Scripture is on a straight timeline – things just unfolding the way the Old Testament said it would – with everything looking forward to the day when Christ would set up His kingdom here on earth (after the 7 years of Tribulation has run it’s course). And so all these writers of the Jewish economy, the Kingdom Gospel, are looking at all this to come in their lifetime.

So go back for a second to James, so that you get what I’m driving at – that all of these writers – James and Peter and John and Jude and even the writer of the Revelation – are still writing on the same basis of the Old Testament prophecies, Christ’s earthly ministry and Peter and the Eleven in the book of Acts. And now they’re looking for the horrors of the Tribulation that they feel are right out in front of them – which, of course, will be fulfilled to a certain degree with the 70 AD invasion of Titus (but that wasn’t the Tribulation that is still future). So to give you an inkling of what I’m talking about, James 1:1, and take note to whom is he writing?

James 1:1b

“…to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.” And remember that, because of Saul of Tarsus’ tremendous persecution, what happened to that Jerusalem congregation? They scattered for fear of their lives, and they took up residence in other parts of that part of the world, the Roman Empire. All right, turn again to I Peter, and the language is almost the same.

I Peter 1:1

“Peter an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.” So Peter was writing to “strangers that had been scattered.” Not to the citizens of Rome and Athens, but to the strangers who were scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia and so on and so forth. Those are Jews who had been scared away from Jerusalem because of the awful persecution of Saul. All right, now then, when you come into II Peter the language doesn’t change all that much.

II Peter 1:1a

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us…” Now, when and where did Peter attain his faith that Jesus was the promised Messiah? Way back there at Galilee when he was at his fishing nets and the Lord walked by and said, ‘Follow me.’ Well, Peter’s faith began with Christ’s earthly ministry.

And the same way here – he’s writing to those people who had been connected with Christ’s earthly ministry (they, as yet, know nothing of Paul’s Gospel of Grace. They are still under what we call the Kingdom economy). And you can just follow this on through into I John. I just thought of this on the way up, “How can I review this and make the point that these little epistles are still connected to the Jews of Christ’s earthly ministry?” All right, so even I John chapter 1 verse 1,

I John 1:1

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;” Now what’s John referring to? Christ’s earthly ministry. When they actually saw Him and they were with Him and they, you might say, handled Him and so forth. All an extension now of Christ’s earthly ministry. Well, you can come right on in to II or III John saying basically the same thing, but now look at Jude just so I make my point. I want you to see how all of this ties straight back to Christ’s earthly ministry and His Gospel of the Kingdom, and that it was directed to the Jew only.

Jude 1:1a

“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James,…” Who was James? He was part and parcel of Israel. See? And so he’s tying himself to the Twelve. Well, we certainly know that Revelation is all Jewish. I was reading a commentary written in 1890 and it just thrilled my heart! That old fellow said the same thing I’ve been saying for the last 20 years. All of these things are Jewish. These are all Jewish epistles. The book of Revelation is all Jewish. There’s nothing of Gentiles except as they come under being associated with Israel. But the books and these little epistles are all written to the Jewish people. And, unknown to them of course, God has set aside the Apostle Paul with the revelation of the mysteries. One of these mysteries was the out-calling of the Gentile Body of Christ, the Church Age, which has been going on now nearly 2,000 years.

All right, now according to the Old Testament promises coming out of the Old Testament, we have in order; Christ’s earthly ministry, His rejection, His resurrection and His ascension back to Glory. Then Peter starts proclaiming in Acts chapter 2 that the One they crucified was the Christ and if they would repent of having rejected their Messiah then in chapter 3 verse 20 what does he say? “God will send Jesus Christ.” Why? “To yet fulfill the promises of the Old Testament.”

And so everything stays on that top timeline in their correct order. And so here we come through the book of Acts, and these believing Jews are looking at these seven years of Tribulation that they know are just out in front of them, but they have no idea that it’s going to be pushed out into the future, now for nearly 2,000 years. Now the Lord knew, but remember, He was God! He’s the author of The Book. He knew that this was all going to be postponed, but Peter didn’t. In Acts chapter 2 Peter quotes Joel and he takes you right on through the Tribulation to the Second Coming and the Kingdom Age, with no interruption. Peter had no idea that this top timeline was going to be interrupted.

And so, always remember, these things that we have now had 1,900-and-some years of this Age of Grace, which came about through the revelations of the mysteries that were revealed to the Apostle Paul. And that of course is why I emphasize Paul’s writings are for us today. Romans 11:13 tells us “he is the apostle to the Gentiles.” So that is where we should be getting all of our doctrine and instructions for salvation, and how to live a fruitful life for our Lord. All the rest of Scripture was written to the Nation of Israel, and they were still under the Law of Moses. Why would anyone miss Heaven by trying to follow instructions that were never intended for the Gentile Body of Christ is beyond me.

And so keep all these things in mind now as we move on into II Peter chapter 1 verse 1. He’s still writing to the same people he wrote to in his first letter (they’re still under the Law of Moses), but he’s writing probably about 10 years later. II Peter is written just shortly before he’ll be martyred. He makes mention of it down here in verse 14, that he will shortly be facing his demise. I have said it over and over that I feel that Peter and Paul were both martyred probably within a matter of days or weeks because both of them speak now at the end of their earthly sojourn. I might as well cover my tracks with Scripture, so we’ll go ahead and look at it.

II Peter 1:14a

“Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle,…” Now the tabernacle is a reference to Peter’s human body, this is his temporary tent. All right, now I said that Paul was, no doubt, martyred at about the same time, so let look at that again, so back up if you will to II Timothy chapter 4. Almost identical language with Peter and I think almost the identical time frame. While Paul is being readied for his martyrdom in Rome, I think Peter is being readied for his martyrdom wherever he was. I think Jerusalem. I may be wrong. But he says, “Babylon;” but I think the Babylon that’s he’s speaking of is Jerusalem as it is referred to in a couple of other places. Here Paul has the end in sight.

II Timothy 4:6

“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is (what?) at hand.” And he’s speaking of his physical death. And so, both of these gentlemen now, Paul and Peter, come to the end of their ministry in the latter part of the 60’s AD and then, shortly after Paul and Peter are gone, in comes the Roman invasion under Titus in 70 AD; and Jerusalem and the Temple are destroyed and the Jews are then scattered into the dispersion that has lasted up until our own time. Now let’s begin II Peter.

II Peter 1:1

“Simon Peter, a servant, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us, through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:”All right, let’s compare Scripture with Scripture. Here Peter is claiming to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, by inspiration. Now let’s back up to Galatians chapter 2 where, from the pen of the Apostle Paul, we see it defined a little finer. Galatians chapter 2 dropping in at verse 7 and 8. And I know when people hear and see me delineate these verses it shakes them up. They really don’t want to believe it and yet they can’t argue with the Scripture because there’s no gobbledy gook language here. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand this; it’s plain English. Here Paul is writing.

Galatians 2:7

“But contrariwise, (or on the other hand) when they (the Twelve, with whom he had come to settle these arguments) saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision, (the Gospel of the Gentile) was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision (the Gospel of the Jew or the Gospel of the Kingdom) was unto Peter;” Now that’s plain language. You have two totally different economies. The Gospel of the uncircumcision (the Gentile world), was committed unto Paul; the Gospel of the Jew was committed unto Peter. All right, but now look at the next verse.

Galatians 2:8

“(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of (whom? The Jews.) the circumcision, (see how plain that is. Peter was an apostle of the circumcision.) the same was mighty in me (by declaring the Apostle Paul, of course, an apostle) toward the Gentiles:)” Now let’s back that up with Scripture. Keep your hand in Galatians; I’m not through here. Come back with me to Romans chapter 11, because unless you see these things in black and white, it may be a little hard to swallow. But here it is, just as plain as language can make it.

Romans 11:13a

“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles,…” See how plain that is? He wasn’t an apostle of Israel. He was an apostle of the Gentiles. Peter and the Eleven were apostles of Israel, two totally different apostleships. Same God! That’s why I was going to make the point here when we get back to II Peter that, even though these things are written primarily to Jewish believers, that doesn’t mean that we ignore it. That doesn’t mean you take it out of your Bible and throw it away. It’s applicable. We can learn because we’re dealing with the same God and God doesn’t differentiate in His righteousness, in His reaction with you and I as Gentiles, and the Jew. In that respect He’s the same. But, on the other hand, by the responsibilities, the directions He gives them for fulfilling their dispensation – yes, it’s different than what he gives us. All right, so now back to Galatians 2 for a moment.

Galatians 2:9

“And when James, Cephas, (Peter) and John, who seemed to be pillars, (that is of that Jerusalem church) perceived (or understood) the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we (Paul and Barnabas) should go unto the heathen, (the Gentiles) and they (James, Peter and John and the rest of the Twelve) unto the circumcision (to Israel.)”

Turn again to II Peter verse 2. So we’ve established that indeed Peter is an apostle of Israel as Paul is the apostle of the Gentile – but it’s the same God. And so we can certainly glean things in here that are for our benefit.

II Peter 1:2-3a

“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. 3. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,.…” Does that sound much different than Paul? No. Turn to Titus, because I want people to see that this Book fits hand in glove even though you may have Peter addressing Jews and Paul addressing Gentiles, but God’s the same. All right, Titus chapter 2. Now this is Paul writing to you and I. Almost the same thing that Peter wrote to his Jewish believers.

Titus 2:11

“For the grace of God (see, just like Peter said about grace and knowledge, Paul says the same thing) that bringeth salvation hath (past tense) appeared to all men. (now here it comes) 12. Teaching us (this is what we’re supposed to know) that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”Does that sound much different than Peter? No. Practically the same language, and so, for the believer of any dispensation, these are the things that God is looking for. Now back to II Peter and let’s read the last part of verse 3.

II Peter 1:3b-4

“…through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (being good) 4. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Now wait a minute. Just stop and think what they’ve uncovered the last few weeks in Iraq (May, 2003). What did that tell you? Corruption upon corruption. Those palaces showed more human corruption and immorality than people could even imagine. But you know what, it isn’t limited to Baghdad. It’s not limited to Iraq – that’s the world in general. Right here in our own beloved nation. My, whenever I read of the political corruption, I have to be amazed that we have survived as a republic as long as we have. The corruption is just beyond human understanding. Not just sexual. It can be financial. It can be in every category of society. Corruption abounds. See? Well, we’re not to be part and parcel of that. We’re to be above the corruption that is in the world through lust.

What did Paul say was the number one commandment? Thou shalt not covet! Well, what’s the difference between coveting and lusting? Almost nothing. And so what prompts all this corruption? What prompts an embezzler? What prompts the person who starts getting crooked? Coveting. Coveting. I don’t care whether it’s Enron or WorldCom or whatever, it’s all the same thing, see? Back to chapter 1 verse 5.

II Peter 1:5

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;” What is always paramount? Faith! “Without faith you cannot please God.” Everything in our relationship with God has to start on that bedrock word – Faith. Without faith you don’t stand a snowball’s chance of making it. But with faith then everything begins to fall in place, see? All right, and so by faith, as we feed on the Word of God, it’s going to bring us to a place of virtue.

II Peter 1:6

“And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;” That’s a small ‘g’ – that doesn’t mean we become gods. It merely means we pertain to a life that is after God’s design.

II Peter 1:7-8a

“And to godliness brotherly kindness; (or love) and to brotherly kindness (indeed) charity. (which is love) 8. For if these things be in you, and abound,…” Now who is Peter writing to? Believers. Believers in the midst of even the Jewish community of unbelief. Even a lot of the fellow Jews who were neighbors and friends of these believers hated them and persecuted them – made life miserable for them. And we’re under the same circumstances. That part isn’t any different, but see, this is who Peter’s writing to. He’s writing to believing Jews who are being persecuted by their own fellow unbelieving Jews as well as the pagan Romans and then between that vice (not sinful vice, the squeezing vice! A shop vice.) In between that vice are these believers being constantly squeezed, see? And so Peter is admonishing them not to give in to these pressures. Verse 8 again.

II Peter 1:8

“For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Now there’s another word that Paul is always using. Let’s back up to that one. Come back with me to Ephesians chapter 3 – and then go on ahead to Colossians chapter 1 where he mentions the same thing again, which means it’s important that we have knowledge! Now this is Paul’s prayer on behalf of Gentile believers. And he says:

Ephesians 3:17-19

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts (how?) by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18. May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (which is four dimensions and we live in a world of three.) 19. And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Which includes knowledge. Now turn to Colossians chapter 1 and he makes it a little plainer probably than in Ephesians. Here is one of the Apostle’s prayers on behalf of you and I as believers.

Colossians 1:10a

“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all (even the unsaved world) pleasing,….” In other words, God doesn’t expect us to be a bunch of kooks that the world can just ridicule because we’re oddballs. No, we are to be so rooted in our Christian faith that, even though the world may not love us, they’ll have to respect us for what we are. They have to look at us and admit that they wish that they could be as we are. So Paul is praying that we might be just good solid testimonies of God’s grace.

Colossians 1:10b

“…being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;” We’re not just saved to sit. We are saved to serve and we’re going to serve by increasing in our knowledge. And how do you increase in knowledge? Prayer and Bible Study. And oh it’s so lacking. But get into the Book and learn and pray and grow.

652 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 1 Part 4 Book 55 - I Peter 4:1 - 5:14 - Part 2

652: I Peter 4:1 – 5:14 – Part 2 – Lesson 1 Part 4 Book 55

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 55

I Peter 4:1 – 5:14 – Part 2

All we want to do as we teach is to just open the Book and let people begin to study on their own. And I think the Lord is doing that in a lot of hearts. He’s is showing them how to read and enjoy and study the Book on their own. It’s so thrilling when people write or call and tell us, “For the first time, I’m studying my Bible and enjoying it.”

Okay, let’s pick right up where we left off in the last lesson, and we are now in I Peter chapter 5. And, again, for review, these little epistles are written to Jewish believers who had been scattered out of the area of Jerusalem and Judea, probably by Saul’s persecution – and they have established little congregations around that part of the eastern Mediterranean. But I think that these little letters that Peter writes are primarily written to Jewish congregations in the western end of Turkey.

Now the book of James, on the other hand, was probably written to one larger congregation of Jewish believers, but not necessarily at Jerusalem – maybe Alexandria or maybe one of the areas up in northern Galilee.

Now, we don’t want to leave the impression that Peter is associating the salvation of these Jews as being accomplished by their martyrdom. I hope that didn’t come across like that in the last lesson because we’re all aware now that the idea behind the Muslim suicide bombers is that, if they can become a martyr, they’re going to immediately go to Paradise. Well, that is not at all what we teach – that when you go through martyrdom you are guaranteed an eternal life.

But for the believer, for the true saved individual that is martyred, yes, he is going to be instantly in the Lord’s presence just like anyone who dies a natural death. So the martyr’s death does not, in itself, guarantee salvation, as that is accomplished when you believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again. We call that Paul’s Gospel of salvation found over in I Corinthians 15:1-4.

Now then, as we come into chapter 5 this is pretty much along the same line that Paul teaches for establishing his Gentile churches. And no doubt a lot of this was patterned after the synagogues of Israel, and it just falls in line that the Jewish believers are under the same God that we Gentile believers are. Never forget that. We’ve got the same God Who is dealing with both sides – the Jew and the Gentile. And then, of course, when we get to Paul, there is a breakdown of the distinction between Jew and Gentile. The middle wall of partition has been broken down. And now in this Age of Grace, there is no difference between black or white, rich or poor, Jew or Gentile – we are all one in the Body of Christ!

Iris and I experience it all the time. We can go into a home that’s as modest as can be, and the spiritual camaraderie is just as good as it is on up the scale. We’ve gone into black families’ homes and we have just thoroughly enjoyed that because we’re all members of the Body of Christ and there are no distinctions. All right, so now then, coming down into chapter 5, dealing with these Jewish congregations, you have the same kind of language, where Peter says in verse 1:

I Peter 5:1a

“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder,…” (speaking of himself). Now I’ve pointed this out in other times (but we certainly know) that, at Pentecost, and even during Christ’s earthly ministry, Peter was the headman. Peter spoke for the Twelve invariably and, at Pentecost, everybody recognized Peter as the head of the Jewish Jerusalem church. But now come back with me to Galatians chapter 2, where some of you have heard me teach this. Galatians chapter 2, and I want to bring you down to verse 9, because you may have never seen this before.

Now the setting is the Jerusalem counsel. After several years of Paul’s ministry, false teachers emanating from the Jerusalem church were coming in behind Paul and telling Paul’s Gentile converts that they had to keep the Law and circumcision in order to be saved. You can read that over in the first 5 verses of Acts chapter 15. And, Paul and Barnabas meet with Peter, James and John up there in Jerusalem to refute that. But, the point I want to make here is that Peter has now lost that place of ‘top man’ authority. It is now James who is in charge.

Galatians 2:9a

“And when James, Cephas, (Peter) and John, who seemed to be pillars,…” In other words, they had lost a lot of their authority because Israel is continuing to reject everything and they are sliding on down to the dispersion of 70 AD. But just like Peter shows in his epistles back here, they’re not aware of that yet. They think everything is still ‘A-OK.’ They still think Israel is going to go into, and through, the Tribulation and have their King and their Kingdom in short order. But, here it’s obvious now that James, who was not even the James of the Twelve (he’s been beheaded); but this James is now the moderator of this meeting.

Galatians 2:9

“And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived (or understood) the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, (Gentiles) and they unto the circumcision. (Jews)

All right now the companion passage is Acts 15, and let’s go back there where it’s more obvious that James is the moderator. Acts 15 verse 13. We were here, I think, in one of the previous programs for a different reason, but now it’s to show that Peter is no longer the head honcho of the Jewish equation. James is.

Acts 15:13

“And after they had held their peace, James (the moderator) answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:” And then you come down to verse 19 and James continues:

Acts 15:19a

“Wherefore my sentence is,.…” So James is the one who is making the authoritative statement, not Peter, and that should be sufficient. Now the same way with the order of how these little Jewish epistles (and I think the Holy Spirit did it purposely), where James is first, not Peter. It’s James’ epistle, and then we go to I Peter and II Peter and then John, and Jude.

Okay, here we are now in I Peter chapter 5, and we’re going to have the organization laid out much as it was in the Jewish Synagogue, but also in Paul’s instructions to the Gentile churches in I Timothy chapter 3. All right, verse 1 again:

I Peter 5:1

“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, (he doesn’t claim to be the head man; he’s just merely one of the elders) and a witness of the sufferings of Christ,(in other words, Peter was there at the crucifixion) and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:” Now what in the world do you suppose he was talking about? Well I think he was talking about the Transfiguration. And you remember what happened at the Transfiguration? Let’s go back and look at it in Matthew 16 verse 28, where Jesus is speaking now to the Twelve. And He says:

Matthew 16:28

“Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here (not all of them, only three) which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” Quite a statement wasn’t it? Now chapter 17 and verse 1.

Matthew 17:1-2

“And after six days (six days later) Jesus taketh Peter, (now there he’s in first place) James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2. And was transfigured before them: (now here was the glory that I think Peter is referring to in his little epistle) and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” Now that’s glorious in my book. It was almost blinding, okay, so that’s the Glory that I think Peter can make reference to, that he and James and John had witnessed it. And, of course, it was just a little preview of the glory that He will reveal when He comes and sets up His Kingdom – when again He will be that Light of the world. All right, back to I Peter chapter 5, and continuing verse 1.

I Peter 5:1b

“…who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:” In other words, when Christ returns, that glory of the Transfiguration will be fulfilled to its completeness.

I Peter 5:2

“Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;” In other words, what’s Peter saying? You don’t enter into the Lord’s service with the idea of monetary return. That’s not a reason for serving. Naturally every servant has to have enough to feed himself and his family and so forth, but it is not the prerequisite for service. All right, so “Feed the flock of God,” be a shepherd, and again I think in the Synagogue there were the upper shepherds and the lower shepherds.

I Peter 5:3-4

“Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. 4. And when the chief Shepherd (capitalized) shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” Now, come back with me to John’s Gospel. When we speak of sheep and the shepherd and the flock, what people are we generally speaking of? Israel! Israel is always referred to as sheep, Christ is always referred to as the Shepherd, and He uses the parables of the Shepherd. And I cannot find anything that pertains to Gentiles being called God’s sheep.

All right, John’s Gospel, chapter 21 (and you all know the account back here in John’s Gospel chapter 21, in His resurrected body and how He appears to the Eleven up there at Galilee). And after the miracle of the net full of fish that did not break, now come down to verse 15 (after they had eaten that delicious bread and fish). You know I referred to it several programs back. That must have been the most delicious meal ever served up to mortal man. That is if you like fish like Iris and I do. My, that’s one thing that we enjoy about our seminars in Florida. We eat fish until it comes out our ears and we love it. But I’ll bet this was super! Don’t you know that the Lord knows how to do everything better than any mortal? But He has fish ready for them to eat and He says:

John 21:15a

“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?…” Now some people think He’s talking about his fellow disciples. I don’t. I think He’s talking about fish because that was his business, he was a fisherman. He loved fish like I love cattle. Now that’s all there is to it – let’s be honest about it. But now he’s put on the spot. Peter do you love me more than your fishing business up on Galilee? Are you ready to turn your back on all that and be my servant?

John 21:15b

“…He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my (what?) lambs.” Now what are lambs? Well they’re sheep. So who are the sheep in Scripture? Israel. So who was Peter to be feeding? Jews. And who does Peter feed? Jews. And always remember that. He’s obedient to what the Lord told him. Well, let’s just keep going while we’re here for a little bit.

John 21:16-17

“He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him Feed my sheep. 17. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time. Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus said unto him, Feed my sheep.” What do you suppose those three commands set opposite? Peter’s denials. Three times when Peter said, “I don’t know that man.” Three times the Lord says, “Feed my sheep.” Okay now, this is exactly what he’s referring to now in his little epistle, then, that it’s his responsibility as well as the rest of the Jewish leadership to “feed God’s sheep,” and that’s Israel, the Jewish element. Verse 3 again.

I Peter 5:3

“Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.” Now what is always the first thing you think of when you think of the word “flock? A flock of sheep. Verse 4.

I Peter 5:4a

“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear,…” See how all the language fits. Now Israel’s chief Shepherd (their Messiah, their King, their Redeemer, their Savior, but also their chief Shepherd and all those promises, the Old Testament), are finally going to be fulfilled and He will be the Shepherd of the sheep in His pasture. Now reading on.

I Peter 5:4-6a

“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, (those believing Jews, faithful to martyrdom even) ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 5. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6. Humble yourselves.…” In other words, humility is something that we have to generate ourselves. Humility is not a gift, it’s something that we have to precipitate.

I Peter 5:6-7

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, (and if we remain humble) that he may exalt you in due time: 7. Casting all your care upon him; (Now he’s drawing from the Old Testament promises) for he careth for you.” In fact let’s go look at it, that would be in Psalms 55. Let’s go back and check that one. The Holy Spirit has caused Peter to draw from this verse and, of course, David knew what it was to rely totally upon his God.

Psalms 55:22

“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved.” Casting all your cares upon him. All right, back to I Peter chapter 5 again. Verse 8. If you’re going to cast your cares upon the Lord Jesus, then it behooves us to live accordingly. And we’re to:

I Peter 5:8

“Be sober, (we’re to) be vigilant; (in other words, we’ve got to be on top of it constantly) because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” But, as I was thinking this over last night, how does Paul depict Satan? II Corinthians, chapter 11, and let’s drop down to verse 14. Now remember what Peter just said, “Beware of Satan who is as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” Paul depicts him:

II Corinthians 11:14-15

“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed (not) into (a lion but a what?) an angel of light. 15. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

Now as I was thinking of this, which form, if you had a choice, would you rather be confronted with, the lion, or the angel of light? I’ll take the lion any day because you know you’re in trouble with him. But with that angel of light, you’ve got to be wise as a serpent to see the difference, because it’s so subtle. And you know, we’re finding it out more and more about all the false teaching that’s coming in off the Internet and off television. My goodness, I just read an article the other night by one of the old Bible scholars of a by-gone day and he used the analogy of “steak laced with arsenic.” How does it taste? Delicious, but the more you eat of it the quicker you’re going to die. Well, you see, that’s exactly what Satan is doing today. He’s lacing gorgeous steaks with arsenic. And people are falling for it left and right.

I think I mentioned in our last taping, I had a fellow call and he was following this kind of stuff. And I said, “Man, you’re being ‘pied-pipered.’” And he didn’t know what I was talking about. But you all know the story of the pied piper. He piped and the rats followed to their doom. Well, that’s what’s happening today – these false teachers are up there, they’re piping the tune, and multitudes are following them. It’s unbelievable. Why? Because up there in verse 13, this is the reason,

II Corinthians 11:13

“For such are false apostles, (that’s what some of them claim to be, you know, that they’re apostles) deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” They’re false teachers, and we’re going to be looking at that more in the next taping when we get to II Peter chapter 3, which is almost word-for-word with the little book of Jude – and it just lays out the descriptive language of these false teachers. A good yardstick for us in the Body of Christ is to line it all up against the Apostle Paul’s teachings of Romans through Philemon and you can’t go wrong. Look at verse 14 one more time, because this is so important.

II Corinthians 11:14

“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” Because that’s what Satan, and his ministers do all the time – he transforms himself into an angel of light. So that’s what we’re up against. Peter’s followers back here in the little epistle are up against a lion “seeking whom he may devour.” Now, of course, we can use both analogies and hopefully I’ve made my point. The lion aspect is relatively easy to recognize. You know you’re in trouble when a lion confronts you, but when an angelic light appears, people fall for it. They just fall for it because, if it’s a light, it must be God. No. It’s a false angel of light. All right, back in I Peter 5.

I Peter 5:9

“Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” In other words, we all are confronted with these same things.

I Peter 5:10-11

“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 11. To him (that is to Christ) be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Now he’s winding down the letter and he says:

I Peter 5:12

“By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.” Now, remember, Grace did not start with Paul. Paul becomes the more eminent Apostle of Grace, but God has always dealt in Grace. When He saved Adam and Eve, it was in Grace. When He helped Noah escape the flood, it was Grace. When He brought Israel out of Egypt, it was Grace. So that’s nothing new. The only thing is that, it is so much more epitomized when we get to Paul, that God can pour out His Grace on ungodly, unregenerate Gentiles. And that was hard to comprehend for the Jews. Now closing with verse 13.

I Peter 5:13-14

“The church that is at Babylon, (I think the Babylon here is Jerusalem and not Iraq). elected together with you. saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son. 14. Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity, (love) Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

651 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 55 - I Peter 4:1 - 5:14

651: I Peter 4:1 – 5:14 – Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 55

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1* PART 3 * BOOK 55

I Peter 4:1 – 5:14

Okay, let’s get back to where we were in our last lesson. And again, I need to remind you, as we have new people joining us every day, that these little Jewish epistles are written to the Jewish believers who have been scattered from Acts 8:1 – I think predominately to the Jewish churches in the area of Asia Minor and Western Turkey. Probably it’s the same Jewish churches that are addressed in Revelation 1 through 3. And the whole idea was to prepare them not only for the suffering of the Tribulation that was ahead of them, but also to cope with the suffering that they were already under because of the Roman oppression and so forth.

And I think you are now aware that these were Jewish believers being prepared by Peter, James and John for the horrors of the Tribulation through which they would have to pass if they were going to enter into the glories of the earthly Kingdom. All right, now we saw that so vividly back up in verse 7, where Peter said:

I Peter 4:7a

“But the end of all things is at hand:…” And then we ended the last lesson at verse 11, and I think we’re ready to start in verse 12 where Peter now goes on to say:

I Peter 4:12a

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try (or test) you,….” Present or future? Future. He’s looking at the seven years of Tribulation up here in the top line. Peter doesn’t know about Paul’s outcalling of the Gentiles with the pure Gospel of Grace. Now, he will by the time we get to II Peter. But you see you’ve got a time element involved. When he writes on this top line in I Peter, he’s probably writing back there about the time that Paul’s letters are just coming out. By the time he writes II Peter (which is about eight years later) then, of course, he is aware of Paul’s epistles and he will make mention of them. But up here in I Peter there is not a word about Paul; not a word about Paul’s Gospel; not a word about Gentiles; it’s just as if he doesn’t even know that Paul is out there. But, he is preparing these Jewish believers for the fiery trials that are out in front of them – the Tribulation. Now continuing verse 12.

I Peter 4:12b

“…as though some strange thing happened unto you:” And, remember, as soon as the Tribulation begins, the supernatural begins. It’s going to be unusual. Whether it would have happened then or whether it’s going to happen in our day, that’s beside the point. It was going to be a supernatural period of time. All right, verse 13.

I Peter 4:13

“But rejoice, (because if they can survive the pressures, they’re going to enter into the glory of the Kingdom) inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” What’s he talking about? The Kingdom. And he says again, “If you can come through these fiery trials.” Remember he’s up here on this top timeline. If you can come through these fiery trials and witness the return of Christ, and go into the glory of His Kingdom…. Now sometimes people will say, “Well, how in the world do you come to a conclusion like that?” Well, I’m going to show you.

Go back with me in Matthew (in Christ’s earthly ministry). Matthew chapter 19, and let’s start with verse 27. Now all of this will make sense if you just keep it in that top timeline. Remember it’s all Jewish. All of this was just going to be coming down the pike. Peter has no idea that it would be interrupted by almost 2,000 years with Paul’s Gospel of Grace. But we can now look back and see how beautifully it was interrupted.

Matthew 19:27

“Then answered Peter and said unto him, (that is unto the Lord) Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we (the Twelve) have therefore?” In other words, what’s he complaining about? Well, he’s not really complaining and yet on the other hand, he’s saying, “Okay now Lord, we left our fishing business. We left the beauty of the Galilee.” And I think I may have mentioned on the program, there isn’t a more beautiful sight on earth than sunrise on the Galilee. Some of you have been there with us, and it’s just gorgeous!

He loved his fishing business. His family. And Peter now says “We left all that to follow you, what are we going to have?” Now he’s not talking about salvation, he’s talking about reward. Now look what the Lord says, and He wasn’t playing games with them.

Matthew 19:28a

“And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, (in other words, the Twelve – we’re going to kick Judas out in a little while, but he’s still included here. Those of you who have followed me) in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory,…” Now you always have to pick that verse apart or you’ll miss the meaning of it. Most of you have heard me do this before, maybe some out in television never have. When “the regeneration” – what does that mean? When the earth is regenerated or reconstituted or remade like it was in the beginning. The earth is going to go back to that which was before the curse fell. And it’s going to be glorious. It’s going to be beautiful once again. And Christ is going to be sitting on the throne of His glory. Not in Heaven, but in Jerusalem, on Mount Zion. All right, so the Lord is referring to all that and He says to Peter and the Eleven:

Matthew 19:28b

“…That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Now that hasn’t happened yet, but they were expecting it to happen in their lifetime. Now do you have to have some seminary degree to understand that? No. That’s plain English. That when He returns at the end of the Tribulation and sets up that Kingdom, He’s going to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords – but the Twelve are going to be ruling the twelve tribes of Israel from smaller thrones there on Mount Zion. That’s as plain as I can make it. And this is what Peter and the others never forgot.

And when we teach Acts, we always point that out. Why was Peter in such a terrible hurry to fill the twelfth slot after Judas was gone? Because they expected all this to come in short order, and you don’t rule twelve tribes with eleven men. They had to have the twelfth one. And so the first thing on Peter’s agenda in Acts 1 was to fill the spot left open by Judas.

On our way back to Peter, let’s just stop at Acts chapter 8, and I can throw a curve at some of these theologians who evidently don’t read some of these things. Acts chapter 8 verse 1. Now Israel has just stoned Stephen – killed him – because Stephen made the last appeal to the Nation of Israel to repent of having crucified their Messiah. All right, now look at Acts 8:1 and how can anybody miss it?

Acts 8:1a

“And Saul was consenting unto his death. (that is Stephen’s) And at that time there was a great persecution (headed up by Saul) against the church (Jewish assembly) which was at Jerusalem;…” That church or that assembly of Jewish believers, who had embraced Jesus as the Messiah. And they were just a small, small percentage of the vast number of Jews who were still practicing Temple worship in Jerusalem. These were those Jewish believers beginning from Christ’s earthly ministry and Pentecost. And now here we are seven or eight years later, and a great persecution has begun.

Acts 8:1b

“…and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.”

Now these are the Jews that Peter and James and John are writing to, remember? They were all scattered except who? “the apostles.” I don’t think anybody ever reads that! Here most teachers and preachers have been trying to tell us (at least that’s the way I was taught for years and years) that Christianity began way back there at Pentecost, and the Twelve were out there ministering to the Gentiles. No they weren’t. This verse says they were still sitting tight in Jerusalem. They weren’t about to leave. Why? Because when the King comes, where is He coming to? Jerusalem.

My goodness, when the King comes, who wants to be out in Babylon? When the King comes, who wants to be in Spain? They were going to be right there when it happened and so they didn’t leave, in spite of intense persecution. They stayed right there at Jerusalem thinking that all this was going to be happening within a matter of a few years. Now back to I Peter chapter 4 again.

I Peter 4:13a

“But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings;…” Now, sure, Peter is referring to Jesus’ crucifixion. They knew that that was a fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy. Psalms 22 is a clear picture and so is Isaiah 53. So it wasn’t that these Jewish believers didn’t know, now, that He had died for the sins of the world. But they did not knowPaul’s Gospel of salvation (which is that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again, and that you and I must believe for salvation) would go to the whole world without a part of Israel and Israel’s religion of Judaism. All right, so he’s referring back to the work of the cross, naturally.

I Peter 4:13

“But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” Well what’s he talking about? When Christ would come and set up His earthly Kingdom! Now let’s go back to the Old Testament. Go back to Zechariah chapter 12, because I want everyone to see how this is all in perfect accord with the Old Testament prophecies. And then we’re going to turn over to chapter 13.

Zechariah 12:10a

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced,(past tense) and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son,…” Now this is not a mourning as we would think of losing a loved one in death, but this is a mourning as the eleven sons of Jacob mourned, or rejoiced, when they were reunited with whom? Joseph. What did they do? My, they hung on his neck and they wept. Well it wasn’t a weeping like we would do when we lose someone in death, but it was a weeping of now being reunited with a loved one. And they just literally hung on his neck and wept tears of joy.

All right, I think you’ve got the same scenario here – when Israel as a nation will suddenly realize that this One in their midst is the One that had been crucified. And again, Peter is still talking in proximity of only a few years, remember. And they were expecting His soon return and all of this certainly fits, that they would see the One Whom they had pierced. They would mourn. They would have tears of rejoicing that the Messiah, the King, the Redeemer is alive and He’s in their midst:

Zechariah 12:10b-11

“…and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. 11. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.” Now turn to Zechariah 13:6. This, again, is part and parcel of when He would return, and Israel would suddenly, as a nation, recognize Who He is.

Zechariah 13:6

“And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends,” Now we’re going to be careful. It wasn’t the Jews who actually carried out the wounding; it was the Romans. But it was in Jerusalem. It was in the house of the House of David. Okay, let’s go back once again to I Peter chapter 4 and we’ll pick up in verse 14.

I Peter 4:14a

“If ye be reproached for the name of Christ,…” That’s not hard to understand is it? That’s always been the case. The true believers were always hated and detested. All the way back into Israel’s history, the unbelieving, pagan worshipping Jews killed and detested those that were believers. My, you remember the parable that Jesus gave of the husbandman who planted a vineyard? Got it ready to go into production, leased it out and went into a far country.

He pretty well knew when that crop would be harvested and when his share of the crop would be due. So he sent his servants and what did the lease holders of that vineyard do to his servants? They killed them. You know the parable. And over and over every year he would send his servants and they would kill them. And then finally, he said, I’ll send my Son. Certainly they will reverence my son. What’d they do with the son? They killed Him also. And then of course, I always feel that Stephen is the epitome of the third person of the Trinity and that is what I always associate with the unpardonable sin of Israel. And when Stephen (full of the Holy Spirit, full of the Holy Ghost), throughout chapters 6 and 7 of Acts, appealed to the nation for the last time to recognize Who Jesus of Nazareth was, what did they do with Stephen? They killed him.

And so the parable was in regard to Israel – that Israel was the vineyard. Christ was the husbandman, and when He went to a far country and He sent His servants (those were the prophets of the Old Testament), they killed them. Then finally He sent the Son and they crucified Him. Then He sent Stephen who represented the Holy Spirit, and they stoned and killed him. And so Israel nationally rejected all three persons of the Trinity. Now verse 14 again.

I Peter 4:14

“If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part (that is the persecutors, whether it was Jews or Romans)he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.” Ring a bell? You know why the world in general hates our President? Because he makes no apology for his faith in Jesus Christ. Now, don’t expect him to preach Jesus Christ from the White House, he cannot. I don’t expect him to. He’s the President of a pluralistic society. But I have talked to several people who have met with him personally and he makes no apology for his faith and his trust. And I just have no reason to not pray for the man, day in and day out. But I don’t expect him to be an evangelist in the White House. I just can’t see that God expects it either. But, here we have that the world detests the name of Jesus Christ. We know they do.

So “…he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.” Now, this is applicable for us just as it was for the Jews of Jesus’ day. The world should see Christ living in us wherever we go. All right now verse 15.

I Peter 4:15

“But let none of you (as believers) suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.” That’s not part of the believer’s lifestyle.

I Peter 4:16-17a

“Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, (now here the word ‘Christian’ is used by someone that you don’t expect to hear it from because Christians were usually associated with Paul’s Gospel, but here Peter uses the term for whatever reason and we can just take it as one who is Christ-like) let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. 17. “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:…” (Israel)

Now of course a lot of preachers and evangelists like to refer to the church as the house of God and, in a symbolic way, maybe that’s all right. But in its text here as it sits, Israel is the house of God. Israel was to be the example to the world. That was the whole purpose of God setting them apart and above – head and shoulders above all the rest of the world. They were to be the living example of the True God in the midst of an unbelieving world.

Now of course, that has been placed on you and I as members of the Body of Christ. But Peter is not addressing the Body of Christ. Peter is addressing only Jews. And so he says again: “The time has come that judgment (or God’s dealing now righteously) must begin at the house of God.” Now if this doesn’t make it clear I don’t know what can. Peter says:

I Peter 4:17b

“…and if it first begin at us….” And who’s the us? I’m trying to think of the old comic strip that says, “We’ve met the enemy and he is us.” But it’s just about the same thing. Who are the ones that are to be God’s example? Israel. They’re the ‘us.’ And so he says:

I Peter 4:17c

… what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” Because if it can’t be shown through Israel, how in the world can the rest of the world measure up? Well, they can’t. And they didn’t and they won’t. See? Now verse 18.

I Peter 4:18

“And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” Well I’ll tell you where they’ll appear. Turn back with me to Revelation chapter 20. This is where the non-believing element of the world is going to be. And that goes all the way back to the first registered unbeliever – Cain, until the last one at the end of the Kingdom. The last one and they’ll all be brought, before the Great White Throne in verse 11.

Revelation 20:11-15

“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, (that is the lost of all the ages) small and great, (whether they were just a slave in the bottom of a Roman ship, or whether they were kings and queens – makes no difference, they’re all going to) stand before God; and the books (plural) were opened: and another book (singular) was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead (the lost) were judged out of those things which were written in the books, (the daily record) 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. 14. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (or the spiritual death that is the eternal separation of lost mankind from their Creator) 15. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” All right, now come back if you will for just a second to chapter 20 and verse 10.

Revelation 20:10

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the last of fire and brimstone, where the beast (anti-Christ) and the false prophet are and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Now that’s what the Book says.