Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 24
ROMANS 9:25-10:21 – PART 2
Now let’s get back to where we left off in Romans Chapter 10, and we just might even get into Chapter 11 in this lesson. Remember in the last lesson we closed with verse 17, and I commented that God doesn’t expect someone to respond until He speaks it. I always give the example, When did Noah start building His ark? Did he jump the gun? No, he didn’t start until God says, “Build an ark.” And then Hebrews Chapter 11 says:
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” We also see that Abraham by faith left Ur:
“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.”
So Abraham left Ur of the Chaldees. When? When God said for him to, and so it is all the way up through Scripture that when God speaks it and men respond to it, then God sees it as faith. He reckons that faith. So it is now with the Gospel. We’ve had it revealed to us. Paul has brought it out to the Gentile world and now God lays that responsibility upon Gentiles to believe the Gospel which Paul calls “My Gospel:”
“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” He also calls it “The Gospel of the Grace of God.” In addition he calls it “that Gospel which I preach among the Gentiles.”
“And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles,…” He also calls it “The Gospel of the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation.”
“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.”
So that’s what we’re to believe today, that which God has revealed to us. Now then, Paul is going to come back once again, to Israel’s situation in verse 18.
“Have they not heard? (Be careful – who is the `they?’ Israel – the Jews) Yes, verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. But I say, did not Israel know?…”
How many times have I told our classes here in Oklahoma, when Jesus came to the nation of Israel, they could have known Who He was. They should have known Who He was. But did they? Israel did not know. Now why do I say that? The Old Testament was full of prophecy. Three hundred and sixty something, if I’m not mistaken, distinct prophecies concerning His first coming in the Old Testament. The Jews of that day knew their Old Testament, at least they thought they did. They should have known Who He was the minute He came on the scene. But they didn’t. Why didn’t they? Because they could read the Old Testament and not see a word it said.
You know, people are no different today with Paul’s letters. If they read it at all, they read it and yet they don’t read it. I had a friend of mine who I had read something that Paul wrote several times before he finally caught what Paul was talking about, and so many are the same way. Well, Israel was no different. They would read those Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah and they didn’t know what it was talking about. So here He came, presenting Himself, performed the miracles, performed the signs, and they still couldn’t believe Who He was.
But, let’s not castigate the Jew. We’re no different. America’s no different. No nation on earth has been so saturated with this Word of God, the Bible, as Americans. Bibles in every home. Every home that I ever knew of has more than one copy. It may collect dust, but it’s there. It’s preached over and over and over. That’s what I said a couple of programs ago. Churches on every corner and yet America has no concept whatsoever tonight, on the whole, that we are approaching the end times. They have no idea that all these things taking place are just a constant stage setting, day by day, for the appearance of the Anti-christ. That world ruler. Why do you think everybody’s talking about global government? Why do our business men talk about nothing tonight but global business, a global market? And now we’re getting closer and closer to a global religion. This Book has prophesied it. It’s all in here, but they don’t know that. They’re totally ignorant. It’s not because they haven’t the brain power, it’s simply because they’ve refused to see what The Book says. So Israel was the same way.
“Have they not heard? Yes, verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses said I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, (Now I’m sure he was making reference to the time when God turned to the Gentiles.) and by a foolish nation I will anger you.”
Isn’t that exactly what the Gentiles, in the early days of Christendom did to the Jew? Why did they hate Paul so? Why did the Jews try to kill him everywhere he went? Because he was going to the Gentiles. How many times have I taken my classes back to Acts Chapter 22, and this isn’t any kind of put down on our Jewish people, that here they had had it pounded into them ever since they’d become a nation in Egypt that they were a set-apart people. Yes they were God’s Covenant people, God told them in Egypt that He would put a division between them and the Egyptians. And in Deuteronomy He says it as plain as day, “You are a separated people unto me.”
“For thou art a holy people unto the LORD thy God; the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.”
“…I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people.”
In Exodus 19 he tells Israel they will be a kingdom of priests.
“And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation, These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.:”
So absolutely they were a set apart people, but you see it carried all the way over into Paul’s day, and now when Paul starts going to the Gentiles they hated him for it. Now let’s look atActs Chapter 22, and here Paul is speaking to this great Jewish crowd in Jerusalem. He is now under protective custody of the Romans, or the Jews would have pulled him limb from limb. But under that protective custody of the Roman troops he stands on the stairway and addresses this great crowd of Jews. Here Paul is rehearsing his salvation experience, and it’s emphasized three times in this Book of Acts. His conversion is totally detailed in Chapter 9, 22, and 26, here we’re looking at the one in Chapter 22. And he’s gone through the whole procedure of his salvation on the road to Damascus, and then you come to verse 17:
“And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; And saw him (The ascended Lord Jesus) saying unto me, `Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem; for they (the Jews) will not receive thy testimony concerning me.’ And I said, `Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee: And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.’ And he said unto me, `Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles. And they gave him audience unto this word, (What word? Gentiles) and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth; for it is not fit that he should live.'” (Why? Because he dared to use the word Gentile.)
Now do you see that? When this same Paul starts going to the Gentile world with salvation based upon that Jew (Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew, and don’t you ever forget it), the Nation of Israel detested Him, and now Paul comes back and says, “Even Moses foretold that this is what you’d do. Moses prophesied that another nation would come into fellowship with your God, and you would hate them for it.” And isn’t that exactly what Israel did? The more the Gentiles should come to the Gospel, the more the Jewish people fought it, except for the few, of course. And it’s no different today. In Israel’s law of return, who do they try to keep out? Christians or Jewish people who are professed believers in Christ. Why don’t they want these people in Israel? Because religiously they still maintain that there’s no room for a Gentile in their so-called religion. Now verse 20:
“But Esaias is very bold, and saith, `I was found of them that sought me not;…'”
We’ll come right back to Romans, but first go to the Book of Ephesians, and let’s never lose sight of some of these basic fundamental truths. And this again goes back to my timeline when I said in the Old Testament that it was Jew only with a few exceptions, and here Paul confirms that. Remember Paul is writing to Gentiles at Ephesus, he’s writing to us.
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past (Old Testament) Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; (In other words the Jews referred to the Gentiles as uncircumcised.) That at that time (Old Testament economy.) ye (Your Gentile forefathers) were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world;”
Now that was the lot of our Gentile forefathers plain as day, and then what about the next verse? Oh it’s that flip-side verse again. We’re no longer in that horrible situation:
“But now in Christ Jesus (And in that finished work of the Cross.) ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”
So we’re made nigh by not coming into a Covenant relationship, nor by coming under Judaism, “But by the blood of Christ.” Do you see what a difference that makes? And now you can see how this whole thing has been totally inverted, whereas in the Old Testament it was Jew only with a few Gentile exceptions, and now it’s practically Gentile only, with a few Jewish exceptions. Now coming back to Romans Chapter 10, and reading verse 20 again.
“But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; (speaking of Gentiles) I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.”
Who was that? The Gentiles. They weren’t concerned about Israel’s God, they weren’t the ones that were worried about their eternal doom, they were saturated in their paganism. But to whom did God send the Apostle Paul? Those very same people. Now this fulfills again a basic rule of Scripture. Beginning with Adam and Eve, no one of the human race ever seeks God. I know that shocks a lot of people but it’s true. No human being ever seeks God. God is always the Seeker, God always makes that first move, and He is the One that prompts the human being to respond. Remember that, also let me show you from Scripture so that you don’t take my word for it. Let’s go back to John’s Gospel, Chapter 3, and let’s begin with verse 17.
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world: but that the world through him might be saved. (God’s not willing that any should perish) He that believeth is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already,…”
Just by virtue of being a child of Adam, they’re condemned when they come into the world. Remember we’re not sinners because we sin, but rather we sin because we’re sinners. And how do we become sinners? By being born of Adam. So every child of Adam detests the light, they don’t want the light, and they’re condemned already Jesus says. This is in red in my Bible, so it means He said it. Now reading on verse 18:
“He that believeth is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten son of God. And this the the condemnation, that light is come into the world, (Remember the verse in John Chapter 1, and verse 9 that the light is in the world, and it lighteth every man that comes into the world? All right, we’re talking about that same light.) and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
Now that’s proof positive, that man in his own desire will never seek God, but rather God is the Seeker, and never lose sight of that. If you’re a believer here today don’t give yourself credit for having found salvation No you did not. God came looking for you, and found you, and brought you to the place where you believed. Just like Lydia that we read about in the last lesson, it was God Who opened her heart. It wasn’t Paul who opened her heart, but rather God. Remember Peter back in Matthew Chapter 16, Jesus and the Twelve were up in northern Israel, and He ask the question:
“…Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, `Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.’ He saith unto them, `But whom say ye that I am?’ And Simon Peter answered and said, `Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered and said unto him, `Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.'”
So you see this is the whole concept of Scripture, even Peter and those other ten that were believers, it wasn’t that they had the smarts to realize, “Oh, hey that’s the Messiah.” But rather as the Messiah came and put the finger on them, the Spirit of God opened their understanding. They then recognized that this is the One that we have to follow. Now let’s come back to Romans Chapter 10, and verse 21.
“But to Israel he saith, `All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.'”
Now I’ll admit this is one of the toughest things for me to comprehend in Scripture. Here God brought about supernaturally the Nation of Israel, didn’t He? Called Abram out of Ur of the Chaldees, and told him right up front that He was going to make of him a nation of people. And finally He fulfills the promise with the birth of Isaac, supernaturally a promised son. Isaac fathers Jacob, and Jacob fathers the twelve sons, and they end up down in Egypt. Immediately God begins to deal with those Israelites as now His chosen set-apart nation. He brings them out of Egypt supernaturally, miracle, after miracle, and that multitude of Israelites follow their leader Moses. Every step of the way God moves in the miraculous, He brings them down to Mount Sinai, the fire and thunder on the mountain.
In fact, they have discovered that some of the rocks up there on Mt Sinai, over in Jordan, have been burned with a fire unlike any other rock formation on earth, they’ve pretty well established that. So this isn’t just a legend from Scripture. Then Israel was given the tabernacle, He has jelled them as a nation of people. God has substantiated every thing, and they’re ready to go into the Promise Land. But what do the people do? They said, “Send in the spies, because we can’t believe God.” And so God condescends, and says, “All right I’ll let you send in spies.” You know what happened. Those twelve spies were gone forty days, and brought back a report that they could never take the land. God had told Moses and Israel that He would drive out the Canaanites with hornets. And all they would have to do is just move in and take whatever was there.
But Israel wouldn’t believe God, they wept and wailed, because they couldn’t take the Promise Land, and as a result they had their first Tishah B’ab. You know what that was don’t you? I hope you do. It is that 9th day of August where dramatic things have happened to the Nation of Israel, that made them weep, and weep, and weep. Why? Because they didn’t believe. Now let’s go back to the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 3 for a moment. We’ve used these things before, but these things bear repeating. Let’s begin in verse 7:
“Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation [or testing] in the wilderness:” [You see it’s taking us back to Israel when they were ready to go into the Promise Land.] When your fathers tempted [tested] me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, `They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So [God said] I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest). (Now I think Paul wrote Hebrews so now he’s coming back and making the analogy. So he says) Take heed, brethren, (learn from that horrible experience) lest there be in any of you an evil heart of(not drunkenness, not adultery, not any other gross sin that we normally think of, but the evil heart of what?) unbelief…'”
God hates nothing more than unbelief, and when He says it, He thinks we should believe it. Now let’s go on down to verse 15, and finish the lesson.
“While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. (There was again a remnant, Joshua, Caleb and a few of the others) But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, (in unbelief) whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? (because they didn’t believe that they could take Canaan) And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”