Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 16
CLOSING OF JOHN’S GOSPEL
We love to get calls and letters from people who tell us they are learning and seeing things that they have never seen before. That thrills our hearts, because the only reason I teach is to help people understand this Book while they do their own studying. In this lesson we are going to look at Christ in the forty days of post-Resurrection. From the time He was raised from the dead, until in Acts Chapter 1 He ascends back to glory. The only verse in Scripture I know of where we have the time element is in Acts Chapter l. Let’s just look at that one verse:
“To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs (proofs of His Resurrection), being seen of them forty days,…”
It was ten more days until the Day of Pentecost. Let’s talk about the infallible proofs. If there is one doctrine in Scripture that throws a curve at people (including preachers) it’s the Resurrection. Some may have problems with the virgin birth, but maybe they can swallow that a little easier than the Resurrection and that He arose from the dead bodily. The Book says these things and we must believe them! There have been men who have gone out and almost given a lifetime trying to prove the fallacy of the Resurrection of Christ. But after they dig into it, and the more they see and understand, most come away from that study as believers.
If I had to have proof, and I don’t, I would look at Peter and these other disciples. How did they react when Christ was first arrested? They scattered like a bunch of quail. They were scared to death. What did Peter do? He denied Christ three times. Why? He was fearful for his life, and that was typical. But after the Resurrection you don’t see that kind of an attitude in Peter and the other disciples. They are ready now to go to the very ends of persecution knowing that no matter what happens to them physically, the power of the Resurrection is still in their future.
Always remember that. Peter, especially as we will see in Acts, is a totally different person than he was leading up to the Crucifixion, because he saw the power of the Resurrection. It was real! And to show you how real, and that He arose from the dead bodily look at Luke Chapter 24:
“And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs (that would be 5 or 6 miles). And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.” Remember way back in Christ’s earthly ministry as they were up there in northern Israel at the head waters of the Jordan River:
“Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, `Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.’ And they (the Twelve) understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”
God didn’t let them know He was about to be crucified. The same thing happened when Peter and John ran to the sepulchre; it was only after they saw the empty tomb that they believed. God can do this. For you and I that blindness has been removed, and we can believe it if we just want to. These two men from Emmaus didn’t comprehend who Jesus was as He started to walk with them.
“And he (Jesus) said unto them, `What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?’ And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, `Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?’ And he said unto them, `What things (now He knew, but Jesus always draws things out of people with a question)?’ And they said unto him, `Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre: And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.’ Then he (Jesus) said unto them, `O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?’ And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”
The Old Testament was full of prophecy concerning the coming Messiah. Israel should have known and could have known. But they didn’t study it, and to some degree I think God hid it from them.
“And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, `Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.’ And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat (food) with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.”
We are so programmed to physics and chemistry as we understand it. And that is in our natural areas. But when we get into eternity, God’s physics and chemistry are going to be so totally beyond anything we know about today. I can’t comprehend that everything material is comprised of atoms and these little atoms have space between their particles, just like a solar system. We just simply can’t comprehend that. And when God puts that into the eternal state, we won’t have any problem going through a wall or vanishing.
“And they said one to another, `Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?’ And they rose up that same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them. Saying, `The Lord is risen indeed,…'”
“And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, `Peace be unto you.'” Did He come in through the door? No, here He was bodily, not in a spirit. Now read on down:
“And he said unto them, `Why are ye trouble? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have,'” Notice that blood is left out. In our new resurrected bodies we will have flesh and bone, but without a blood circulatory system.
“And while they yet believed not for joy (they were tickled to death to see Him but that strip of unbelief is still sitting between them, and they just couldn’t comprehend), and wonder, he said unto them, `Have ye here any meat (food)?'”
“And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.”
He ate in that resurrected body. What was He proving? That for eternity we will have a body that can still enjoy food. Those of you who love to eat, take heart. You won’t have to worry about those pounds or health problems. Now hold that in your memory bank for a moment and first go to the Book of Zechariah, because many people think there is a big wall between the Old and New Testament, and nothing could be farther from the truth. You must have a good understanding of the Old Testament to see how beautifully they both fit together. There is so much controversy over Salvation because man has put that wall up. God never intended it to be that way. Anyway, we were talking about Christ’s resurrected body. This passage is about Christ’s Second Coming when He comes back to the earth. And specifically to the Nation of Israel.
“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, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” Now Chapter 13.
“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.'” So here you have a visible, physical, manifestation of His Resurrection even in the Old Testament. Now let’s also look at the New Testament. Let’s see what the Apostle Paul has to say. Turn to II Corinthians, Chapter 4.
II Corinthians 4:3,4
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:”
“In whom (lost people) the god of this world (Satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who (Christ) is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
Have you ever wondered why there is so much idolatry in the world and always has been? Because they want a god they can see. They want a god who sits on the shelf, and they can say, “There is my god.” They touch him, worship him, and even lay food in front of him. But the whole thing is, they’ve got to have a god they can see. And this is the whole idea of Christ being manifested in the flesh. God knew that. So He permitted Himself to become visible, so man could no longer say, “I can’t worship an invisible god, I have to have a god I can see.” We have a God that men have seen! We haven’t, but we’ve been reading about Him this whole lesson. Paul says over 500 at one time saw Him in His Resurrection body.
So we have ample proof that He arose from the dead bodily. And that He is the very same God that created you and I in the first place, that went to the Cross and purchased our redemption. But He didn’t stay dead, He’s not dead tonight, He arose, He ascended, and He’s coming again. So Paul makes it so plain here that Christ is the very image of God. Look at Philippians for a moment. I know in my earlier years I had no concept of spending eternity in a body. I just thought we died and went to Heaven and after that I didn’t know whether we strummed a harp and somehow in soul and spirit heard good music or what. But I know now that when we get into the eternal state we’re going to be there bodily.
“For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven (already, if you are a believer); from whence (from Heaven) also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:”
Not the King, He’s the Saviour to the Church. Someday He’s going to be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Remember we are going to be His co-heirs and that makes a big difference.
“Who shall change our vile body (corrupt, prone to disease, suffering), that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body (we will be made in the same likeness of His resurrected body), according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”
Now I hadn’t planned on using this verse but it just came to mind, and when that happens I must use it. Come back to Romans Chapter 8. It’s a passage that I’m afraid few people understand.
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature (creation)waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God (that’s you and I). For the creature (creation) was made subject to vanity (because of the curse), not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.” When the curse was dropped on the planet, there was also the plan of redemption to bring back to Himself everything that was lost.
“Because the creature (creation) itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit (say), the redemption of our (what?) body.”
Do you see that? Yes we’re saved and redeemed in the area of the soul. But what are we going to be when we get to glory? A complete person. And according to II Thessalonians Chapter 5, what is a complete person? Soul, Body, and Spirit, and we are going to have all three in the eternal state. Now back to Colossians:
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath (past tense) made us meet (prepared us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who (The Father) hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath (past tense) translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son (we are already citizens of that Kingdom): In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”
If you have the newer translations such as the NIV, NASV, the Living, and all the rest, you’ll notice this isn’t in your Bible. Because you see those new translations have gutted the Scriptures whether you know it or not. They have changed or omitted over two thousand verses. In this case, “through his blood” is omitted. The Bible is God-breathed. But I think Satan is finding a way to try and destroy, and change the meaning of The Word. So don’t fall for his trick. I know why now The Lord has kept me in the King James all these years. I have never deviated from it, and don’t have another version in my house and never will have. I don’t have a library except this Bible and that’s all I need. Now verse 15:
“Who (speaking of the Son in verse 13) is the image of the invisible God,…” That’s what Christ is. He is the visible, manifestation, in the flesh, bodily of the invisible God.