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Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 37
The Seven Unities of the Church – Part 2
Now getting back to these seven unities of the Church, let’s look at the second one as we begin our study. Let me point out again that this is another one of those times that the apostle Paul ends up with seven distinct items. Remember back in Romans we had one of those, and again in the Corinthian letters, if I recall correctly. I made the point when we were teaching back then, “Do you think the apostle Paul sat there and put all his notes together, trying to figure out how he could make a letter that would make sense? And some how or other he had to make it sound supernatural so he had to get groups of seven ever so often? Do you think he did that?” No way. I don’t think he ever put a note down, I don’t think Paul ever made an outline in his life.
Remember he always used a secretary except when he wrote the Book of Galatians, so he always dictated, and I can just see the little apostle as he paced up and down the floor, and can you imagine how hard it was to keep these thoughts flowing, and yet slow enough so someone could write it. Well, of course that was the work of the Holy Spirit, that every word that came from the man’s mind was Holy Spirit directed. So here is another one of those unique situations where he comes up with seven distinct qualities of the Church. Now let’s look at the second one of these seven.
“…and one Spirit,…”
So there is one true Body, and now we find that there is one true Holy Spirit. Now let’s compare Scripture with Scripture by going back to I John chapter 4 and we might as well start with verse 1. And remember why we came here. Ephesians says, “There is one Spirit.”
I John 4:1-3
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (now here is where believers must know which Spirit is of God, and which spirit is of Satan) 2. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3. And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of anti-christ, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
Of course that spirit of anti-christ is in the world and has been ever since Satan beguiled Eve back in the Garden of Eden. Now one of the classic examples of the power of satanic spirits is found in the Book of Exodus chapter 7. Here we have Moses and Aaron approaching Pharaoh, the King of Egypt at that time before any of the plagues had come about, and they’re merely trying to convince Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go. To release them out of their slavery, and to be completely separated from Egypt, and of course you know what followed. But as they approached Pharaoh for the first time, and they’re doing exactly what God told them to do, let’s read and see what happened.
“And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: (the Lord is in full control) and Aaron (with the Lord’s instructions) cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. 11. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: (these are Satan emissaries) now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. 12. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: (where are they getting their power? From Satan, and his evil spirits. Now here is the comforting part of this whole passage) but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.”
Which of course shows us that God was still supreme. But never fail to understand that the spirits of the Satanic powers are real, and numerous, and it’s up to us to determine which spirit are we dealing with. Now I’m comfortable with the fact that as believers, the satanic spirits cannot have any kind of control over us, because our Spirit power is sufficient to withstand all the powers of the evil one. But we have to understand that they are there, and we have to deal with them. In fact jumping ahead a little bit in Ephesians let’s look for a moment at chapter 6, and maybe this will make my point. This tells us that the satanic powers are out there.
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Now the Scripture could just as well have said it the other way around.
“Put on the whole armour of God, so that you can stand for God.” But the Scriptures don’t say that. Instead it tells us to prepare for our adversary. Then go into verse 12, and here’s the reason we’re to put on that armour.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Do you see how plain that is? Now these are all spirit powers that you and I have to discern, “The only one we should be directed by is the One and only Spirit that has anything to do with us, which of course is the Holy Spirit.” Now for a moment I’d like to bring you back to the Book of Romans, because all the way up through the Old Testament there is rare reference to the Holy Spirit. It is back there, but not enough that you can say it was a real doctrine for those people.
Jesus of course in His earthly ministry, before He ascended, breathed on the disciples, and said, “receive the Holy Ghost.” Then He also promised the coming of the Holy Spirit in John chapter 14, so we know it was a promised phenomena, but we don’t have a lot of information concerning the Holy Spirit except in Acts chapter 2, when He came down on the day of Pentecost. But when you really begin to understand the Holy Spirit’s working in the lives of you and I, as Body of Christ believers of the Gospel, you find that in Romans chapter 8. In the first 7 chapters of Romans you have almost no reference to the Holy Spirit, but now you break into chapter 8, and He’s all through the chapter:
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2. For the law (the operating fact of our life, the law)of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
In other words, what is the power that gives us the assurance of our salvation? The One Holy Spirit. And you don’t get any of this until we get to this chapter. Now come on down to verse 4.
“That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, (as believers) who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Do you see what a difference it makes? Now verse 5, and oh how Paul just explains the working of the Holy Spirit now for us as believers.
“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but (the flip side is) they that are after the Spirit (they mind) the things of the Spirit.” Then you come on down to verse 9, speaking to us as believers.
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
A person that does not have the Spirit of Christ is not in the Body of Christ. And oh we could go all the way through this whole chapter, and see this constant reference to the Spirit. In fact just glance at this chapter, and the word Spirit just jumps up at you off the page. For example in verse 15.
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” Then come all the way down to verse 23.
“And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit,…”
Oh goodness, and now come back over to the Book of Ephesians chapter 1, and this is the One Spirit that Paul is dealing with now in Ephesians chapter 4. And it’s up to us to discernare we dealing with the true Holy Spirit, or are we dabbling in another spirit? It so evident today that a lot of people are dabbling in the evil spirits. Oh the spirit of anti-christ is every where. Remember many of them claim to be the right one, but what did the Lord tell the people in His own day and time?
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23. And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
The whole purpose of this is that we discern, are we on true solid ground, or are we being hood-winked into something which is totally false. Now Ephesians chapter 1, verse 13, and 14.
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also (that is the center part of the Gospel, that Christ, died, was buried and rose again for you) after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, 14. Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
Well on and on we could go, that as members of the Body of Christ, we are now under the control of the Holy Spirit. It’s the Holy Spirit that placed us into the Body, it’s the Holy Spirit Who directs us in our daily life, it’s the Holy Spirit Who gives us comfort. It’s the Holy Spirit Who reveals the truth of Scripture, but we have to make sure that we’re listening to the right spirit. That’s why John makes it so plain that we’re to test them, we’re to try them, lest we be led astray. Now I won’t have time to do justice to the next one in Ephesians 4, verse 4. The next one of the seven unities is hope.
“…even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;”
Now there are so many verses dealing with hope, I hardly know where to start. I guess we’ll just trust the Spirit’s leading again to take us where we need to go. Let’s go first to I Corinthians chapter 13, the love chapter, and we’re going to drop down to the very last verse. Now in this chapter Paul has been dealing primarily with love, hasn’t he? The King James word for love here is charity, but coming to verse 13, and it’s an amazing statement.
I Corinthians 13:13
“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, (love) these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
But what was the second one? Hope. Now the casual reader I’m sure would never notice it, but as you read Paul’s epistles from this day forward, I want you to be aware how often these three words will just pop up. They will just jump off the page at you, and they are, “Faith, Hope, and Charity. They may not do it all at once, maybe only one or two at a time, but throughout his letters you’re going see a constant reference to Faith, Hope, and Charity. And the reason for this is that chapter 13 says, these are the only three that will remain. Everything else that is further up in the chapter is going to fade off the scene, but those three are going to remain.
Now Scriptural hope is not something that we say, “Well I hope it doesn’t do such and such, or I hope I don’t get sick,” or anything like that. Scriptural hope is manifest truth that we can rest upon. Now I’m going to take you back to Romans again to chapter 8 where we just were, but I want to look at another part of it. We’ll almost have to read these whole series of verses, because they’re all connected and even when we were here a little earlier, I hated to jump in on verse 23 by itself. So let’s begin with verse 18.
“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, (remember the word we’re honing in on is hope) 19. For the earnest expectation of the creature (creation) waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God,”
That’s when we come into that place that everything even today is pointing to. When we’re going to rule and reign with Christ in that earthly Kingdom with the curse lifted. And I don’t think it’s that far off. Now verse 20.
“For the creature (creation) was made subject to vanity, (the curse) not willingly, (in other words creation didn’t do anything to bring in the curse, but rather Adam did. So creation fell not willingly, ) but by reason of him who hath subjected the same (all of creation) in hope, 21. Because the creature (creation) itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption (which is the curse) into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (during the Kingdom age) 22. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23. And not only they, (the objects of creation) but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, (that is to say) the redemption of our body. 24. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25. But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”
Now let’s go all the way back to Genesis chapter 3, and see what Paul was talking about when he said, “all of creation was submerged under the curse.” As soon as the curse fell, God also gave creation, what? Hope! Now look at it.
“And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: (there’s God dealing with the creature that Satan used, as well as Satan himself.) 15. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
Now this was the reference to the work of the Cross. So just as soon as the curse fell, as a result of Adam’s sin, God subjected that same creation in hope. And what was the hope? The work of the Cross, the coming of the Seed of the woman. Then the curse is passed on in verse 16 and 17 so far as Adam was concerned that he would now live under the curse, and so forth. But what I wanted you see, was that when Romans 8 says, “That all of creation is looking for the day, when the hope will be realized that they’ve been lifted out from under the curse.”
Oh goodness, a verse just comes to mind, and I didn’t intend to do, but stop in Isaiah chapter 11, as we make our way back to Ephesians. To me this is such a beautiful illustration of the curse being lifted, and this is something that all of creation including you and I as believers are looking for. Now we have a hard time comprehending this, but the Scripture says it and I believe it. Even the wild animals that are subjected to the curse, and they’re under constant fear from their predators, whatever it may be, yet one day that fear will be no more. Now this is what all of creation is looking for. The curse will be lifted, and creation can revert back to the way God first created it. And look how beautiful this is.
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,…”
If it wasn’t for his carnivorous character, a wolf would be a beautiful animal. I just love that big massive head, and those upright ears, I mean they’re beautiful. But we have a feeling of detestation, because they’re such enemies of so many other creatures. But oh the day is coming when they’re going to lay down with the lamb!
“…and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; (or baby goat) and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; (in the same pasture. The same pasture that Psalm chapter 23 talks about. Oh the still waters, no turmoil, no death, and then in the midst of all this) and a little child shall lead them. 7. And the cow and the bear shall feed; (together) their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.”
Now what is this? This is the curse removed, and this is the hope that lieth in everything of God’s creation.