Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 39
Now as we’ve been coming up through with our study of “Through the Bible” we’ve pretty much been going verse by verse in Paul writings, because you want to remember that Paul is the apostle of the Gentiles. Paul is the one who has everything that is apropo for us today in this age of Grace, and that’s why we spend so much time in Paul’s writings. Let’s begin with Phillipians 2:9.
“Wherefore (because of what we just explained in our last lesson how that Christ was the Eternal, all sufficient Omnipotent God of everything. And as such He could indeed take the sins of the world on Himself. No one else could have ever come close to doing that, but He did. Consequently wherefore) God (the Triune God) also hath highly exalted him, (God the Son) and given him a name which is above every name:”
Now I had a gentlemen call me the other day, and was all upset that his daughter had gotten into some kind of a cult where they worshipped angels. He tried to tell her that was not Biblically correct, because Christ died for you, and rose again. And do you know what her answer was? She said, “Daddy that’s all old fashioned.” Now isn’t that sad? Well let’s hope and pray that maybe someday she’ll have her understanding opened also. But listen, there is no other name, He is the only One. And because God has given Him a name that is above every name look at what has to take place in verse 10.
“That at the name of Jesus every knee (from Adam to the last human being ever born) should bow, of things in heaven,…”
Even the angelic. Yes the angels bow to Him because they’re beneath Him. In fact let’s look at a Scripture in Hebrews. While in Minnesota the other day I taught a study in the Book of Hebrews, and a lot of those things are still on my mind. Let’s look at Hebrews chapter 1 for a moment. And if one has been swayed to worship angels, then I’m sure there many, many others, and maybe someone can hear this, and be brought to their senses.
“And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. 8. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, (declaring Christ as God again) is forever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.”
Now drop on down to verse 10, as there is so much in here and we can’t take time to read it all.
“And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; (He’s the Creator) and the heavens are the works of thine hands: 11. They shall perish; but thou remainest: (because He’s from everlasting to everlasting) and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 12. And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, (the Creator will, and recreate)and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. (now verse 13) But to which of the angels said he (God) at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?”
But who did He say it to? God the Son. He said it to Christ. And go on over into chapter 2, and verse 5.
“For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, (angels don’t have that kind of power) whereof we speak. 6. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visited him? 7. Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownest him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8. Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet….”
Why? Because He’s the God of glory, He’s the creator of everything, and when He humbled Himself and made Himself subjected to the death of the cross, that then set Him up to become even more the God of glory, and the God in whom we can place our trust. Now coming back to Philippians chapter 2 for a minute and then we’re going flip over to a couple of other portions of Scripture. Iris, you can be turning to Acts chapter 4, verse 12, but for those of you here in the studio, let’s look at verse 10 and 11.
“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, (even the angelic host) and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Now coming back to Acts chapter 4, verse 12. In fact let’s go up to verse 10 to begin. That one is too good to miss. This of course is Peter up in verse 8, filled with the Holy Spirit.
“Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him (Christ)doth this man stand here before you whole. 11. This is the stone (speaking of Christ) which was set at nought (aside) of you builders, (Israel) which is the head of the corner.”.(which Israel rejected)
Now verse 12 which fits so beautifully with Philippians.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: (what is that? Exclusive! There is no other name, there is no other way. I don’t care how intellectual or politically correct they may get,) for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Now that’s what the Book says. And then some come back as scoffers and say, “Yeah but that’s only what the Bible says.” Also always remember there is no other Book except this Bible that can tell the prophecies this Book can. There isn’t another Book that could foretell things that happened 3,000-4,000 thousands of years in the future, but this Book can. There isn’t another Book that foretold the fact that Israel would be dispersed into every nation under heaven, and yet one day toward the end would be pulled back to her homeland and revive her Hebrew language, but this Book foretold that! So we can just rest on this Book that by virtue of the fulfilled prophetic statements that when this Book says there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved, this is truth. This is what we have to rely on, and all mankind is going to be held accountable to, “Have they believed what the Word of God said.”
Another good one is found in I Corinthians chapter 3. Coming about again to Paul writing to the Church at Corinth, and we can start with verse 9. Remember Paul always writes to believers. He doesn’t write to the unsaved world at all. And as he writes to the believer, the message will go to the unbeliever.
I Corinthians 3:9-11
“For we are labourers together with God: ye (believers) are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. 10. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, (the head architect, the head contractor, that’s Paul) I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. (including you and I as believers) But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, (it’s already done, and that foundation) which is Jesus Christ.”
There is no other! And there can be no other! So you put all these things that we’ve been talking about today, and base it on the fact that Christ was the Eternal, Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer, Saviour, God of the universe. And it’s on that finished work of the cross, that death where all the sins of the world was laid on Him, and consequently when He was victorious over that in His resurrection from the dead, in that victorious power, God can now declare that it’s at THAT NAME, that every knee shall bow.
Now I know there are some evangelists who like to put it this way, “You’ll either bow in this life and become a believer, or you’ll bow in the next life, and admit that you deserve what’s coming.” Well that may very well be the fact, but I’m going to have you come back with me now to Revelation chapter 20. And this is indeed where every knee will bow, that has never recognized Him before. Now for you and I as believers we have no problem bowing before the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, whether it’s on our knees in prayer or whether it’s in our mental attitude, we have no problem whatsoever kneeling before the Lord Jesus Christ.
But the world out there tonight will have nothing to do with Him. The great empire builders, they’ll never bow their knee to the carpenter’s Son, but they will someday. I don’t care how powerful they’ve been, or how many armies they’ve marched, the day is coming when Alexander the Great, and the other great world leaders are going to stand right here in verse 12. And here they are.
“And I saw the dead, (of all the ages) small and great, (from the lowliest unbelieving slave to the highest unbelieving king) stand before God;…”
Now we know from other Scriptures that the person of God will again be Jesus Christ. He’s been the saviour of mankind, but here He’s going to be the judge. Here all the unbelievers are going to come before Him one at a time. He’s not going to deal with the unbelievers in mass, but rather they’ll come up before Him one at a time. And as the Lord spoke in His earthly ministry, what are they going to say? “But Lord didn’t I do this, and that in your name? And what’s the Lord going to say? “Depart from me I never knew you.” Now beginning again with verse 12 again.
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened…”
The record of their life, and they’ll see that every bit of their record is true, and when He condemns them to their eternal doom, there will be no more argument. And every knee will bow before Him, and recognize that He is indeed who He said He was. Now back to Philippians 2:10. I mean this bears repeating. Oh I wish you could wake up and see this verse in your sleep.
“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12. Wherefore,…”
Because of all these things we’ve just seen in these preceding verses. Because all the sin of the world has been placed on Him, and consequently through the power of resurrection God has raised Him from the dead, and has declared Him to be the greatest name that anyone could ever hope to worship.
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence,…”
Now let’s stop a moment. I’ve made this point before. You want to remember that wherever Paul went in his evangelistic endeavors, in his missionary journeys, he was the first one into town with the Gospel of Grace. He did not have any forerunners, or any advance men setting up the stage as evangelists do today. But rather he had to go in unannounced totally at the power of the Holy Spirit. And then when he would bring these pagans out of their pagan darkness, and establish these little groups of believers, he could not hand them all a Bible, and say, “Just keep studying the Word, and God will be with you.” Remember there was no printed New Testament. His own letter that we have today did not come about until 15 or 20 years after he began his ministry. So they had to be left to pretty much shift for themselves, and waited for gifted men to come up in their group that again would have the gift of speaking the truth of God’s Word.
You know when I look back on these things and see all the pressure from Rome, from the Judaisers, from the mythology people, how did these little groups of believers survive? But for the Grace of God they wouldn’t have, they couldn’t have. But here they are under all this pressure and persecution with no Bible to take comfort from, and yet evidently most of them did not succumb. So this is why Paul says in verse 12.
“Wherefore my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence,…”
They remained true to what they had learned from this apostle. Now just let that soak in for a little bit. Now of course there were congregations where Timothy finally comes in a little later on, and Titus and Barnabas, but for the most part these early little groups of believers were almost left to themselves, because Paul would have to move on to establish new ones and revisit the congregations that he had started. Now reading on in verse 12.
“…but now much more in my absence (he’s in prison in Rome) work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
Now that does not mean that they’re going to work for their salvation. They’ve got that already. So what does Paul mean when he says, “Work out your own salvation?” That their salvation become a part and parcel of their everyday experience. And evidently they did, because you know that Christianity turned the Roman empire inside out. How else could it have happened had not these little cells of believers been active in winning others, and that’s the way it went. They didn’t have the big evangelistic campaigns we see today, or the Word of God. So it had to be the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit that these little groups of ex-pagans were now permeating the Roman empire in spite of all of it’s opposition. Now verse 13, and here is the clue.
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
And God can do the same thing today, but you know what’s wrong today? We’ve got too many other things that side track us, and occupy our time, and if we do have a little extra time we’d rather sit down and see what’s on that stupid television. But in those days they didn’t have all that diversions. They didn’t have all these CD’s and tapes, and what have you, so they could go out into the community.
And they did meet in market places day in and day out buying their vegetables and their fruits and so forth, and I can just envision those people that every place they were in contact with other people they were sharing the Gospel that Jesus died for their sins, was buried and rose again. And today even in our enlightened era, and in our so called Bible belt, my goodness we’re scared to death at the thought of mentioning the name of Christ. But they didn’t have that fear, even though they could have been arrested and put to death, they still propagated the Gospel of salvation. Now verse 14.
“Do all things without murmuring and disputing:”
Now just as soon as you hear the word murmuring, what should that make you think of? Israel coming out of Egypt, and what did they do? They murmured and murmured and they murmured. And in spite of the presence of God on every hand, in spite of His miraculous opening the Red Sea, just as soon as they get on the other side and go a day or two without water, what do they say? “Oh would to God that you’d have left us in Egypt.” And when God come down on Mount Sinai with the thunder and fire and smoke and the first thing you know, they’re making a golden calf. I mean it’s unbelievable, and when you read the account of their travels back there in Exodus and Numbers, just about every other word was, “they murmured.”
Well are we much better than they? A lot of times we’re not because we complain, “Why doesn’t God do this or that? Well maybe it’s why don’t we do something about it? But Paul’s admonition is, “Whatever you do, don’t murmur, don’t be in dispute. Now verse 15.
“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons (children) of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, (now that hits home doesn’t?) among whom ye shine as lights in the world;”
Look where we are today even our beloved America. I can remember as a kid very seldom men would draw up a written contract every time they made a deal. What was the contract? A shake of the hand. And people would never break that for anything. Now today you’ve got to have a contract signed and witness by attorneys, and it’s still suspect, because you still don’t know if you’ve got a deal. Why? Because we’ve become such a crooked and perverse nation. We are! Let’s face it, we’re no longer the Christian nation that Europe looks up to.
You know a great European writer once wrote a book after he went all over America and went back to Europe and said that America has been blessed material and every which way because America is good. Well he couldn’t write that today could he? We have become more and more like these people in Paul’s day a crooked and perverse nation.
But in the midst of the perverseness, in the midst of all the crookedness, in the midst of all the shenanigans of politicians, and anything else you can think of what are we to be? Like lights in a darkened world. And certainly if there was a time when it was appropriate as the Lord spoke to the disciples, “You are the light of the world.” You and I have the Light. We too can be the salt, we can be the one that preserves, and we can be the one that enhances, but always remember these things that Paul wrote to Philippians are just as appropriate for us today as they were when Paul wrote them.