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Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 38
The Light of Christ in Your Life
Now as we begin this lesson we’ll start with Ephesians chapter 5 and verse 7, and once again let me say, that we covet the prayers of each of you. As you know, we’re in a spiritual warfare, and it’s only as we lean upon the power of His Spirit that we can continue to hold forth the Word of God, which we trust we’re doing it in truth and verity. As we’ve come up through Paul’s epistles we’ve pretty much taken the Scripture verse by verse, as Paul is writing to you and I, Gentile believers, in this Age of Grace. And so since he’s writing directly to you and I, we cannot glibly pass over anything in his epistles. As we begin today rather than just jump in at verse 7, I’m going to go back again to verse 6 for an introduction to what we’re going to say next.
“Let no man deceive you with vain words:…”
Now you all know what the word vain means. It means that which is superfluous, it doesn’t make sense, it’s confusing, and Lord knows there’s so much of that out there today. So this is so appropriate, that we take this verse to heart. We’re not to be deceived with words that are not appropriate, and not based on the Scriptures. I’ve told you before that Monday morning is when our phone rings the most, and invariably it’s because they have questions of what they have heard on Sunday morning. Well when they come up with some of this goofy stuff the first thing I say is, did you look for it in your Bible? And if it’s not in there, then forget it. If you can’t back it up with Scripture then it’s a deception, it’s a false teaching, and always remember Satan is the angel of light, and he can transform himself into that. So we have to be so careful that we’re not taken in by vain, deceptive words. Now reading on.
“Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things (this mass of deception) cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”
I think I mentioned in our last lesson that most of the unbelieving world scoffs at the idea that God will one day yet pour out His wrath and judgment upon Christ-rejecting-mankind. They think that’s just some figment of our imagination, but I’ve got news for them, “It is coming!” It may not be in my lifetime, although I think it will be, but this I do know- it’s coming! There will be a day when God will finally say, “ENOUGH!” When that day comes then His wrath will be poured out and a big portion of that wrath will be on these who have been deceiving the multitudes. Now then we can go into our next verse.
“Be not ye therefore partakers with them.”
In other words, God has given every believer enough knowledge of the Word that with just a little effort, and it doesn’t take a lot, but with just a little effort we can line these things up with the Word and see immediately that it’s false. And if it’s false we run from it, and this is what Paul is admonishing us to do. Let just use the example, “If someone teaches you that you must do works for salvation, then that’s contrary to what Paul teaches the believer. So run from that kind of teaching. Paul teaches that salvation is a free gift we receive when we just simply believe the Gospel as outlined in I Corinthians 15:1-4.” Now verse 8.
“For ye were sometimes (or at one time in) darkness but now are ye light in the Lord: (consequently since we have come out of darkness,) walk as children of light:”
Again you can just take that into any kind of an every day experience. It’s no fun to walk in the pitch dark, is it? Well it’s the same way spiritually, when people are walking in a spiritual darkness, they are in utter confusion, they just don’t know up from down. And this is where most of the world is walking tonight, but you and I as believers don’t have that problem, we’re not walking in darkness. We can walk with surety that we’re in the light and the light, as we’ll see in John 3 in a few minutes, is Jesus Christ.
“(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all (things) goodness and righteousness and truth;)”
Now who in the world can find fault with those three words? Who can find fault with goodness? I don’t know who could. Who can find fault with righteousness? Who in the world could find fault with truth? The world is always looking for truth, but the only problem is they’re looking in the wrong places. See these are three words that are the epitome of the Christian experience, and so consequently, “if we walk in the light, as John puts it in his little epistle, as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with Him, and in us there is no darkness at all.” So as a result of our walking in the light we should be able to put forth goodness and righteousness, and truth, which no one should be able to find fault with. Now verse 10. Remember as we walk in the light, and as we are the epitome of goodness, righteousness, and truth, at the same time what are we doing?
“Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.”
We’re not proving what is acceptable unto society, or friends and relatives, but unto God. Now that’s what counts. Are we doing what is pleasing in His sight, or are we simply pleasing the world around us? Now verse 11. This is what people don’t like to hear.
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
Now we’re living in a day when even some of our politicians, and some of our more belligerent elements of Christianity thinks that we can literally turn the world around. They think we can just stop this slide down into more and more wickedness, down into more and more satanic power, and they try to give us the idea that we can reverse this trend. But we can’t. Nor does the Scriptures say we will. But what are we to do? We are to be in constant opposition to these forces. We are to stand like a dam in the river, and try to hold it back, but we’re not going to reverse the direction of that river. I just simply can’t find anything in Scripture that indicates that we are admonished to reverse the trend, it just won’t happen. But we can stand in opposition, and reprove these works of darkness, and that’s all God expects from the believer. Now to back me up on that let’s go to II Thessalonians chapter 2. We’ve used these Scriptures when we teach the coming of the anti-Christ, and so forth. Now this is the responsibility of every believer, in whatever time he has lived. Whether it was in Paul’s day, or whether it was a thousand years ago, or whether it’s today. This has been the proclivity of the truth believer.
II Thessalonians 2:6
“And now ye know what withholdeth (or holdeth back) that he (the anti-Christ up there in verse 4. There is this power that is holding back, that the anti-Christ) might be revealed in his time.”
In other words, not ahead of time, and not behind time. So we become then a force under the power of the Holy Spirit to hold back these forces of iniquity that would literally prepare the world for the anti-Christ before his time. God isn’t going to let that happen so He uses the believers to reprove these works of darkness that are coming in as a flood. Now verse 7.
II Thessalonians 2:7a
“For the mystery of iniquity doeth already work:…”
I mean, this isn’t something that started in the 1900’s, or in the last thousand years, but rather this has been going on, I think, especially since the Tower of Babel when Nimrod caused people to fall into the trap of false gods, and satanically inspired mythology, and all these things. So this is where I think Paul is referring back to, although there was plenty of iniquity between Adam and the Tower of Babel. Always remember that all of the false religions that we’re up against today, and I don’t care what it is, whether it’s a huge religion, or a cult, or some little off shoot of something else, they all have their roots right back to the Tower of Babel, everyone of them, and have been working against God now for the last 4000 years, so it’s nothing new. Now back to the text.
II Thessalonians 2:7
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth (or hinders) will let, (or hinder) until he be taken out of the way.”
I’ve always felt that God here is referring to the work of the Holy Spirit, working through the believer. We are the ones that are to stand up and reprove, and hold back these forces of iniquity that would cover the world and make the anti-Christ’s appearance premature. We must slow the river of iniquity down, and that’s all we can do.
II Thessalonians 2:8a
“And then shall that Wicked (one) be revealed,…”
After we’re taken out of the way in the Rapture then the anti-Christ will be revealed, and when that happens it will be just like a dam being taken out of a river. Down stream there will be a flood like you can’t imagine, and it will be a flood of iniquity, and even though the first 3 1/2 years of that 7 are not going to be like the last 3 1/2 years, yet rest assured it’s going to be bad enough. Now verse 8 and then we’ll go back to the Book of Ephesians.
II Thessalonians 2:8
“And then (when that dam in the river, the Body of Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, when it is taken out of the way) shall that Wicked (one) be revealed, whom the Lord shallconsume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.”
Now coming back to chapter 5 of Ephesians, and verse 11.
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
A dam in the river, we’re to hold it back, and that’s the best way I can explain it. Now that doesn’t mean that we have to go out and demonstrate, and do all these things that cause all kinds of problems in society, but we are to be that constant power of the Holy Spirit to admonish people to refrain from these things, and to be a reproving of these unfruitful works of darkness. Now verse 12.
“For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.”
Now up until a few years ago most of this abject wickedness was kept secret, and we called it in the closet. But anymore it’s coming out in the open, there is no shame, there is no holding back and they have absolutely no conscience of what’s right and wrong. And so with that we have to move on to verse 13.
“But all things that are reproved (all of these things that the Bible declares are anti- God) are made manifest (are shown to be what it really is) by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.”
Now when I come to that word “manifest” I always make the comparison of the little light under your microscope. I know every body hasn’t had a chance to look through a microscope, but any more I imagine that most have. And you know that when you put that slide under the lens you still don’t see anything until you turn of that power little light, and then you see things that you would never see otherwise. That’s what the Scripture I think means over and over when it uses the word “manifest.” Now for a moment let’s come back to John’s gospel and see how Paul is in perfect accord with even the gospel accounts of some of these things. Here in John chapter 3 we have Jesus speaking in His earthly ministry to Nicodemus. And, I always have to make people understand that He was just more than the carpenter of Nazareth. He was the Creator God who knew the end from the beginning. He was the God of all power, He was the same most High God that Nebuchadnezzar came to recognize, but now as He has come in the form of the flesh, this same God speaks with that same authority that only God can have. Now look what Jesus said in verse 19.
“And this is the condemnation, (this is why the human race is already condemned) that light is come into the world, (and even with the Light on the planet, walking there on the dusty roads of Israel) and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
Is it stupid really? Like I’ve already said, there’s nothing more miserable than trying walk in pitch darkness. You stumble around, you don’t know where you’re going, and you don’t know what’s ahead of you, it’s just not a very happy experience to walk in total darkness. And yet mankind is stupid enough to rather walk in spiritual darkness, as to step into the Light.
Way back in one our earlier lessons, I used the example that I’m a rancher, and I’m down here in the mountains of Southeastern Oklahoma, and I have an abundance of rocks. Every once in a while on a hot summer day, I’ll just flip over one of those rocks to see what’s under it. It might be a snake, or spider, you never know what to expect. But you know what I’ve always noticed? When you turn that rock over on a real bright sunny Oklahoma day, those little creatures scurry for their little tunnels to get away from that light. They are accustomed to their darkness, and that’s what they prefer. Well that is a good example that mankind also is. Just as soon as the Light of the Word of God hits them, they scatter like a covey of quail, because they don’t want the Light, they love their darkness.
“Leave me alone” they say, “I’m happy in my miserable state,” and that’s what they are, they’re miserable. My goodness, all you have to do is read the newspaper. Now I know it’s not the vast majority, but it’s too large a percentage that is in total misery. Most of the time they don’t even know it.
I don’t know whether I want to tell this or not because I love this state, and don’t want to bring a bad reflection on this state. But the other day in my “Daily Oklahoman” I happened to be going through the legal section, and there was a list of names in small print at least a foot long, of the divorces that had been filed that week in just one city. I look at that and think, “Look at all those couples that are going through the trauma of divorce.” I’ve visited with enough people from coast to coast that I’ve never yet talked to anybody that said divorce was a pleasant experience. But rather it’s a traumatic experience, and yet these multitudes are going through all of this because most are walking in darkness, and know not what it is to walk in the Light, and consequently they don’t even realize the source of so much of their unhappiness, and misery. Now coming back to the text in John chapter 3 let’s complete the thought.
“…and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
That’s why they hate the Light. If they step into that Light then they suddenly see themselves as God sees them, and they don’t like that. So immediately they slip back into the darkness, just like my bugs under the rock. Now verse 21.
“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest,…”
The ones that do come to the light are willing to let their deeds be seen, because the Light is now dealing with them. And remember that the Light of Scripture, the Lord Jesus Himself, does not deal with a person who wants salvation in His wrath and judgment, but instead He deals with the sinner in Grace and mercy, and compassion, and love. And he says, “You’re the one I’m looking for. I’ve loved you, I do love you, and I want you for myself,” and all we have to do is step into the Light and we understand all that..
“But he that doeth the truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, (that they can be seen for what they really are) that they are wrought in God.”
Now of course the deeds that promoted from God Himself would be the good deeds as a result of our stepping into the Light! And a little further in John the Lord tells us, “I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!” Now back to Ephesians for a quick wrap up of what we’ve been saying for last several minutes is in verse 13.
“But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.”
So the whole secret for our Christian experience is that we rest on the knowledge that comes for the Light. And the Light of the world is Christ!