Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 34
Now we’ll go right back to Galatians Chapter 5 in our study. We were studying the works of the flesh when we closed in the last lesson. The works that old Adam promotes, the playground of old Satan himself, or old Adamic nature, which is the only nature that a lost person has, and that’s why the world is so saturated with immorality and wickedness of every sort. I know some of the lost are inhibited to a certain degree by their background and training, but they still can’t be victorious over that old Adam because that takes the power of God. So whether it’s in the life of the believer, who in a moment of weakness let’s old Adam take over, or in this case, I think, Paul is dealing mostly with the unbeliever and his lifestyle here.
The works of old Adam are made manifest. They’re obvious, and we covered the first ones in our last lesson in adultery, and fornication. In other words sexual immorality. We closed with a picture of old Esau who was a fornicator, he was destitute of faith. And the one before Esau was Ishmael who also did not have that will to be obedient to the will of God. So even Ishmael went and married an Egyptian which was contrary to what God wanted for the offspring of Abraham when he had instructed that they not marry the Canaanite. And remember Esau married two Hittite women who were already steeped in immorality and wickedness.
“And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: 35. Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.”
So this sexual immorality is one of the first things that Paul mentions, and it isn’t just here, in some of his other classification of human sins, the sexual things are almost always number one. Now let’s go into the next area because verse 19 for the most part is dealing with sexual sins of adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, but now look at verse 20.
“Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,”
Now all of those can be lumped together when you get into the area of idolatry or pagan worship. Now let’s go back to the Book of Jeremiah Chapter 44 as this is one example that I can turn to quite quickly, and I think you’ll appreciate what I’m trying to show you. This too has been plaguing the human race ever since the Tower of Babel at least, and that is that bent to worship a false god. It’s just about automatic in the human nature to want to follow that drawing power to worship a false god, idols of one sort or another. Even the Nation of Israel, who had the proof of the living God all the way back from their beginning, and they should have known better, but here they would follow after these pagans and you remember that was the controversy that Elijah had with King Ahab upon Mount Caramel with all the prophets of Baal, because Israel had also been following Baal. But here in Jeremiah it lays it out so plain. and distinctly as what the results are going to be if a people or a nation are going to go into the worship of false idol gods. Here in Jeremiah the Israelites are speaking back and say –
“But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, (that was one of the pagan goddesses) and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.”
The Israelites weren’t reckoning that God was trying to deal with them, but what were they trying to say? The reason we’re having all our problems is we have quit worshipping the queen of heaven. Imagine, the Jews were saying that. Now verse 19.
“And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men?” (In other words the women were the primary culprits here.) 20. Then Jeremiah saith unto all the people, to the men, and to the women, and to all the people which had given him that answer, saying, 21. The incense that ye burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, ye, and your fathers, your kings, and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the LORD remember them, and came it not into his mind?”
Now do you see from verse 21 how far pagan worship had penetrated the Jewish community? It wasn’t just a few of them, but rather the whole. Men and women, places of authority, kings, and government people, they were all worshipping false idols and pagan gods. Now verse 22.
“So that the LORD could no longer bear,…”
The Lord couldn’t take it any more. That scares you doesn’t it? Most people can realize that America can be identified with ancient Israel over and over. I’m not the first one to say that. I mean we see so much that God has to look down on America, who at one time as a nation, was steeped in the Word of God, our founding fathers based everything on the Word of God. The Constitution was almost, you might say, Biblically oriented, and now what are we seeing? A constant tearing down of all these principles. And Israel went through these same things. Now reading verse 22.
“So that the LORD could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, and because of the abominations which ye have committed; therefore is your land a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day. 23. Because ye have burned incense, and because ye have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, nor walked in his law, nor in his statutes, nor in his testimonies; therefore this evil is happened unto you, as at this day.”
It wasn’t because they had quit worshipping the female goddesses. It was because they turned against the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then in verse 24 Jeremiah the prophet says –
“Moreover Jeremiah said unto all the people, and to all the women, Hear the word of the LORD, all Judah that are in the land of Egypt: 25. Thus saith the LORD of host, the God of Israel, saying; Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her; ye will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows.
Jeremiah goes on to warn them that God is not going to continue to deal with them except in gross judgment and punishment. God won’t stand for that kind of behavior. Now let’s come back to Galatians. Fortunately we’re still in the age of Grace, and God is not pouring out His wrath on wicked men, but their day is coming, and we’re getting closer and closer. I think the world is getting more and more aware of the trials and tribulations that are going to come upon the planet. I think all of our weird weather is just a little bit of a fore warning of what the world has ahead of them. I think there’s no doubt about it the whole world is having a complete upset of normal weather patterns and of course the tremendous increase in earthquakes which are multiplying every year. There are many, many earthquakes that take place everyday that the press doesn’t even bother to report it. The only ones we hear about are the ones that cause damage, the real strong ones. In fact I believe that we are in the closing seconds, not minutes, not hours, of this age of Grace. I don’t believe we have a lot of time left. Well anyway back to Galatians Chapter 5, and remember all of these in verse 20 can all be lumped into false worship.
“Idolatry, witchcraft, (that’s associated again with the powers of Satan, and it’s a form of worship, a form of religion) hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies.”
Israel, who we just saw back in Jeremiah Chapter 44, was trying to elevate the worship of this female goddess. What was it? That was heresy. That was absolutely false, and yet they were falling for it. They were so blinded that they thought that it was because they weren’t doing enough to please this female goddess was the reason they were having problems. It never entered their mind that it was God who was displeased with them, because they were so steeped in idolatry.
And of course we in America are getting to that place so fast. I thank God for a few men in high places that still call upon God, but for the most part when dilemmas come upon our nation, for most of the general population it never enters their mind that maybe God’s got something to do with that particular dilemma, and maybe God’s trying to get our attention, but that doesn’t even enter their minds. God is so far removed from the thinking of the majority anymore that it doesn’t bother them. Now let’s move on into verse 21.
See this is all tied together. Just as soon as you have sexual immorality, what does it trigger? Jealousy, envying, murders and so forth. My land how many triangles have ended up in a murder or one or more. It all comes together.
Now I don’t like to quote statistics because I never know how accurate other people are. I have read already that we would probably be shocked at the percentage of our prison inmates because of alcoholism. It’s alcohol that got them in trouble in the first place. Of course now we have the drug culture that feeds in as well. I remember a long time ago I was visiting with a group of young medical interns, and at that time interns just barely had enough money to buy their toothpaste, and they were getting along on something like $25.00 a month. I’ll never forget one of those interns made this statement. “Fellows let’s face it, there’s really only one place to make a lot of money, and that would be anything that would degrade society.” And I’ve never forgotten that statement. Now you think how true that is. Anything that degrades society will create wealth for those people, it’s just one of the facts of life. And that is what Paul is bringing out here. These people thrive on these wicked activities.
“Envying, murders, drunkenness, revellings,…”“
Now what does revelings imply? What do they think they’re having? A good time. Oh they think they’re having a good time and for the moment maybe they are. But oh listen what does it invariably lead to? Just the opposite. It leads to misery, broken homes, broken health, and just about anything else bad you can think of, and yet they continue on in this life style of the old Adam which remember, I’ve said over and over, it’s the playground of old Satan himself. Now Paul says-
“…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.”
Now let’s go back again to the Book of Romans. Chapter 1, because Galatians and Romans fit hand and glove anyway so it’s only natural that we keep going back to Romans. Here Paul, for the first time in the Biblical order of his letters, begins to lay out the picture of this Adamic nature.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, (they have no concept of the things of God. They have no concept of eternity. They’re just living for the here and now So) God gave them over to a reprobate mind, (God says `If that’s the way you want to live, then have at it.”) to do those things which are not convenient; (not normal, or natural. Now look at the picture and it fits right with Galatians Chapter 5.) 29. Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whispers,”
This isn’t pretty is it? We’d rather skip verses like this, but listen, this exposes that true sin nature of man. Now granted the vast majority of people are able to keep these things under control, but when they lose control what happens? Any of these can happen, and our newspapers and televisions are full of it. Now verse 30.
“Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things,…”
Now that reminds me of something. Keep your place here but come all the way back to Genesis Chapter 6, and as you read this for goodness sake remember what the Lord Jesus Himself said about the days of Noah. “For as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of man.” And again all you have to do is look around you, read your paper, listen to your news, and it’s obvious. Now Genesis 6:5 Now the setting here is just before the flood.
“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Now does that tell you something? Evil and unrighteous things were all they could think about, and we’re not too far from that in today’s world. Now verse 6.
“And it repented the LORD (or made Him sorry) that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” Now drop on down to verse 11 and 12 of this same Chapter.
“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. 13. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”
Well that’s what led up to Noah’s flood, but we’re also approaching the same kind of a judgment when God will pour out His wrath and vexation on Christ-rejecting men, in what we call the final seven years of Tribulation. Now another place where Paul lists all these deeds of the ungodly is in Romans chapter 3. Now I hate to deal with negatives, and it’s almost depressing I know, but on the other hand we have to realize what we are seeing in the world around us. And listen, it’s not limited to just America. I’ve always given America credit, we’re still better than most places in the world. But this whole idea of wickedness and unrighteousness is not limited to the western hemisphere whatsoever.
“They are all (the whole human race outside of salvation) gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; (that is to God) there is none that doeth good, no, not one.“
Now look at the picture, and remember before salvation this is where we were in God’s eyes. I had a call this morning and the fellow said the thing that opened his eyes was that I pointed out that we must recognize that we’re sinners before we can be saved. Now this doesn’t mean we have all done these things but potentially we could have all been guilty of them.
“Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14. Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15. Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16. Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17. And the way of peace have they not known: (now look at verse 18, and doesn’t that say it all?) 18. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Now that’s the world in general. They don’t even give God five minutes of their time. Now let’s come back to our text for a moment and time will be gone. And let’s look at verse 21 again.
“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.”
Such wickedness we have today, and we’re so busy. If we have time there’s one more verse I want us to look at in Matthew Chapter 24.37-39. And here Jesus is speaking, and He was God, He was the Creator, He knows the end from the beginning. He knew exactly what was coming on the earth. So He says explicitly –
“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,”
Now stop for a moment. There’s nothing wrong with that is there? No, there`s nothing wrong with your daily supply of food and drink. There’s nothing wrong with marrying, and weddings and starting families. So that wasn’t the problem, it doesn’t show it as that’s what brought God’s wrath upon them, but they were so occupied with all of these human mundane events that they didn’t have time to listen until the day that Noah entered into the ark. Now verse 39.
“And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
Now you have to compare the Lord’s statements in that they were so busy with their daily, materialistic activity they did not have time for the things of God. In Luke Chapter 21 I think it says they were also building, and doesn’t that fit so perfectly with today. I think for those of us who are looking for the Rapture, we will find at that time such a world-wide economic activity as we’re seeing it even today. People are so caught up in this today and that is the reason you can’t get them interested in Spiritual things. Hey they’ve got it too good! They’re making big bucks, the stock market is roaring, who’s got time for eternity?
So that’s why I have to feel that the world economy is not going to collapse January 1, 2000 with this Y2k thing. Now I’m not going to knock the idea, and ridicule that it’s of no count, but it just doesn’t seem to fit that the world can be in the situation that Jesus described so far as their materialistic bent, and their wicked activity, which of course they couldn’t do if they couldn’t travel, they wouldn’t have all this opportunity for the sinfulness that we saw in the Scriptures. So I have to feel most of this activity will keep going up until at least the mid-point of the Tribulation. And at that time is when the sky is going to fall. Everything at that time is going to go into a chaotic condition, there’s no doubt about it. But I can foresee nothing to indicate the world is going to fall apart, or stop all their materialistic activity before the Lord comes. So keep these things in mind. Always remember that Genesis tells us that the world was filled with violence. All they could conceive of were things that were wicked. But at the same time they were doing all the things that are part and parcel of everyday living as today, and so I believe that the time is short, the Lord’s coming is seconds away in the view of the whole time period. Everything is getting ready for the Lord’s soon return. First for the Church when we meet Him in the air at the Rapture, and then 7 years later when we come back with Him at His second coming.