Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 35
EPHESIANS 1:6-10 – PART 2
Now it’s time to get back into the Book where we left off in the last lesson. We’re still in Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 10, so let’s go back there for a moment. After that we’ll pick up where we left off in the last lesson with the continued concept of the earthly and heavenly in Scripture. But before we read verse 10 let’s back up to verse 8 and 9 to pick up the flow.
“Wherein (Grace in verse 7) he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9. Having made known unto us the mystery (or secret) of his will (which we saw that God has a right to keep everything secret, and He can reveal it when He’s ready, and not until) according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:”
In other words as I’ve said several times this afternoon, “Everything begins and ends with and in God!” He created everything, He set everything in motion and He’s going to bring it to His own end! I have taught for 25 years that the world is not going to be blown up with nuclear bombs during this age of Grace. All of that will take place when God is ready to do it Himself. Now I don’t deny that there will be nuclear warfare during the seven years of Tribulation, but God is in control, and it won’t happen until He’s ready for it to happen. Now we come down to verse 10.
“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times (which I feel is the 1000 year millennial rule and reign of Christ on the earth) he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:”
Now we took the concept in the last lesson that the spheres that God has been dealing with through history is Heaven and earth. We went back to Genesis 1:1 where in the beginning God created Heaven and earth, and you can keep those two things separated all through Scripture. You can’t mix them because the heavenly things are those which were revealed only to the apostle Paul in the mysteries, the Body of Christ, we are the heavenly connection. All the rest of God’s history is earthly. The Nation of Israel, and all that was around them were earthly, and when Israel rejected everything then God turned to the Gentiles, and began to work in the heavenlies.
Now we really didn’t finish the earthly concept of it in the last lesson. I guess I should put it on the board now that beginning with the call of Abraham at 2000 BC the Nation of Israel began. God pulls that little nation out of the rest of humanity, and sets them apart. Then when Christ starts His earthly ministry to the Nation of Israel, the Jew, there were only two exceptions where he ministered to Gentiles, and don’t let anyone ever try to tell you that He went to Jews and Gentiles. I guess I’d better back that statement up, so turn with me to Matthew chapter 10. There are so many people that get confused with the false teaching that Jesus ministered to the Gentiles. The Scriptures make it so clear that He did not. He couldn’t because He came to the Nation of Israel to fulfill the earthly Covenant that He made with Abraham. Also the later covenants, which were also under the Abrahamic Covenant, the Davidic, the Mosaic, and the Palestinian as we call it because it was referring to the land of Palestine.
Someone asked me why I used the word `Palestine.’ Well it’s in the Scriptures, and refers to Israel as the land of Palestine. So I use the term only because of its geographical clarity. We know where Palestine is. Now Matthew chapter 10. In this chapter Jesus has just called out the 12 disciples. Now verse 5.
“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, `Go not unto the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans (who were half breeds) enter ye not: (but here was His command) 6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.'” (God’s earthly people)
So Christ’s earthly ministry was confined to His earthly people Israel, and there were only two exceptions, and I’ll show you one of them right now as it’s right in chapter 15. People wonder how I remember a portion of Scripture like this. Well I just know that’s it’s an odd number chapter. So here it is. You all know the account, and I think everybody out in television does also, but you probably don’t understand the ramifications of it.
“Then Jesus went thence and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. (these two cities were up there on the Mediterranean Sea coast, and the area as we know it today as Lebanon, and it was two Gentiles cities. But He doesn’t go into the cities so much, as He comes to the border area.) 22. And behold, a woman of Canaan (a Gentile) came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, `Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.'” (or demon) 23. But he (Jesus) answered her not a word.(now what does that imply? He ignored her, because she’s a Gentile. Remember He has a ministry only to the Nation of Israel.) And his disciples came and besought him, saying, `Send her away: for she crieth after us.'”
Now this had no doubt been going on for a few days. Everywhere they went here was this Canaanite woman probably making a nuisance of herself, and so the disciples were getting out of sorts, and saying, “Lord she’s a Gentile and we don’t have anything to with her so get rid of her, send her away.” Well, the Lord has something else on His mind, and so now verse 24, so He answers to the Twelve.
“But he answered and said, `I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel,'”
Do you see how plain that is? Now in plain English what the Lord is saying is, “I do not have a ministry except to the Jew.” That’s what He said in Matthew chapter 10, and now He’s saying it again.. Now in a while here she is again.
” Then came she and worshipped him, (I think she literally fell down on her knees in front of him) saying, `Lord, help me.'”
Now notice how she drops the term, `thou Son of David’ because that was strictly a Jewish address, and as a Gentile she couldn’t use that legitimately so she learned something anyway, so now she just says, `Lord help me’ And again in verse 26 look at Jesus’ answer.
“But he answered and said, `It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.'”
Well who were the children? Israel, the Jews. Who were the dogs? Gentiles. The Lord says, `I can’t take that which is on the table of Israel, and give it to Gentiles. Why? Because of the Covenant promises. He was there to fulfill the covenants made back here to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The prophets prophesied the coming of the Messiah to Israel, and there’s not a word in there that the Gentiles were to receive any of the blessing of Israel. They couldn’t, because it was Covenant ground, and that was only for the offspring of Abraham. So again Jesus says –
“…It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.”
You go back into Psalms chapter 23, and when the psalmist says –
“Thou preparest a table before me…”
Now what was this table before me? This place of privilege that only Israel could enjoy so they literally feasted at the Lord’s table. How? They had the Word of God.. You’re looking at me kind of blank so turn with me for a moment to Romans chapter 3, and this is exactly what it meant. They were feasting at the Lord’s table because of their Covenant position. You can also pick this up in other various places of Scripture. We Gentiles were never feasting at the Lord’s table when God was dealing with Israel. Today of course, yes, we’re in that place of privilege, but back here it’s only the Jew. Now verse 1, and here Paul says-
“What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? (in other words, what benefit is it to be a member of the Nation of Israel?) 2. Much every way: chiefly,(They had everything going for them, from the Ten Commandants, the Temple, the priesthood, they had the sacrifices, they had the prescribed approach to Jehovah, they had the land and the people, they had everything going for them, and the miracles God was constantly working in the Nation of Israel with miracles. So they had a lot of things going for them, but chiefly what was their number one blessing?) because that unto them were committed the oracles (Word) of God.”
See that is what has blessed America the most the past 200 years, above all the nations of the world. America up until the last 50 years rested on this Book. All of our forefathers were believers of this Book. Now they might not have been what we would call born again Christians, but at least they were men enough to admit that America operated on the principles of this Book. All right now that was Israel’s blessing, they had the Word of God. Do you see that? Now flip back again to Matthew and let’s finish that portion. So this was the table at which the Jews were literally feasting, the Word of God. And they were a privileged people. Now reading verse 26.
“But he answered and said, `It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.’ (but she comes back and says ) 27. And she said, `Truth, Lord; (in other words she recognized that, but) yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.’ 28. Then Jesus answered and said, unto her, `O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt,’ And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”
In other words, He could heal a Gentile if He wanted to, but you see He was under the Sovereign agreement with Israel, and Abraham, and the Covenant promises that He could not pour out Grace to Gentiles until Israel had every opportunity to hear the offer of the King and the Kingdom, and when they rejected it, yes, then God turns to the Gentile world through the apostle Paul. Now I’m not quite ready to leave off with the earthly aspect of Ephesians 1:10, and I know we won’t get much further than the earthly aspect in this lesson and we’ll have to pick the heavenly aspect up in our next lesson. Now continuing on with the earthly kingdom aspect in Scripture, let’s go back to Matthew 1:1. Now this will substantiate what I just said, that God could not break His Covenant promises with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”
Now that’s as far as it goes. It doesn’t go on back to Adam, but rather from Christ’s birth back to Abraham. Why is that? The reason is Matthew is going to present Christ as the King of the nation Israel, Israel’s Messiah. Matthew is going to present Him as the fulfillment of these Covenant promises made to Abraham, and so there is no need to go any further back, because this is where everything begins so far as Israel is concerned. Now come on up to chapter 3, and now we find that Jesus’ birth has been recorded, and John the Baptist is beginning to announce the coming of the King, and now verse 2. And this is John the Baptist’s message.
“And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Now that doesn’t sound earthly does it? It sounds heavenly, but where was this heavenly Kingdom going to be? On the earth. All of the things that we see in the Old Testament were that this glorious Kingdom is going to be on the earth, but it’s going to be Heaven on earth, because Christ is going to be King. So the whole concept now is that the King is in the midst of Israel, they are being offered the opportunity to enter into all these earthly promises which are going to come to fruition. But of course according to Ephesians 1:10 that couldn’t happen until the Gentiles complement had also been completed, which was the Church. When we enter into the Kingdom economy like it says in that verse, “everything is going to come under Christ’s headship.” The earthly people of Israel, and their earthly kingdom, and all the ramifications of the heavenly people, the Body of Christ. All right we’re going to leave the Body of Christ at least for now for a later time, and continue on with the earthly concept.
So if you will come with me a little further in Matthew, and go to chapter 19. In this chapter again we’re in His earthly ministry, and He’s been proclaiming to the Nation of Israel that He is the Messiah, the Christ, and He’s been proving it with miracles, and signs, and wonders. Now verse 27.
“Then answered Peter and said unto him, `Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?'” In other words, what shall we have for following Christ? Well Peter’s not talking about his salvation, he’s already got that. That was established back in chapter 16, and verse 16. When Peter said,
“…Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
So what Peter is saying here is much like what Abraham said back in Genesis chapter 15. Remember God promised Abraham the land, and promised him all these other things, and then the great man of faith still said what?
“And he said, `Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?'” Then the Lord gave him a title deed. Well here in Matthew chapter 19 Peter is the same way. The Lord just got through telling him a few weeks before –
“…Blessed art thou Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”
But Peter comes back and says, “Well what else are we going to have for following you?” Do you see that? Oh they’re so human. Does Jesus dress him down for saying that? No. Jesus answers and says-
“And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you. That ye which have followed me, (the Twelve minus Judas) in the regeneration (when the earth is brought back, and made like it was in the Garden of Eden, which will be this 1000 year reign with Christ on the earth) when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory (Christ laid aside His glory while down here, and went to the Cross. But in this 1000 year reign He will once again be in His glory. This is when He’s going to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords), ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
When you put all this together, Scripture is so logical. Do you see why Peter was up tight when the spot Judas had vacated was empty? Peter thought the King would be coming back at any moment in Acts chapter 1, and wondered, “We have 12 thrones to fill for the Nation of Israel, and we’ve only got 11 disciples.” So what did they do? Hey, they filled it real quick with the 12th man. That was the first item on the agenda after the Lord ascended. They had to get a replacement for Judas. So they chose Matthias.
“And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”
Well all of this is just to show that God was promising to the Nation of Israel this earthly kingdom. Then finishing up the earthly kingdom concept come into the Book of Acts chapter 1. Come on down to verse 3. Now the Lord has been crucified, He’s been resurrected, and has been walking among the disciples for 40 days.
“To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion (His death, burial, and resurrection) by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:”
Now we’ve always got to separate the two terms. Matthew over and over says the Kingdom of Heaven, and here in Acts chapter 1, and 28 we have the Kingdom of God. Well the best way I can differentiate is the Kingdom of God is that whole sphere of God’s influence, of His Sovereignty. Whether it’s Heaven or the outer fringes of space, whether it’s hell, or earth, anything that’s under God’s domain is included in that “Kingdom of God.” Now that’s a big subject. I mean anybody could talk about the Kingdom of God for days on end, so the Lord didn’t have any trouble doing that for 40 days. But within the Kingdom of God is going to be that glorious Kingdom on this planet called “The kingdom of Heaven” that everything is waiting for. It’s just like those of us sitting here in Oklahoma, we’re in the United States of America, but we’re in Oklahoma. Well that’s the way I like to liken it to. Now verse 6.
“When they therefore were come together, they (the eleven) asked of him, saying, `Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?'”
Do you see how plain that is? What kingdom were they talking about? The earthly kingdom over which their Messiah would one day rule and reign.