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Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 40
Now to continue right on where we just left off in our last lesson and that would be in verse 10. It’s so thrilling to have our visitors from out of state in our class today, and we just trust that you can find your way back down here to Tulsa. In fact Paul has already said that he was coming back again next month, and he lives in Minnesota. We just have a good time in Christian love and fellowship as we open the Word of God, and hopefully we do it in such a way that you can understand it more clearly. Now in the last lesson we ran out of time before I finished my thoughts of verse 10. so we’ll pick back up with that verse.
“That I may know him,…”
That’s the joy, hope and security of every believer that we can know Him. He’s not just some strange God way out there some place, but rather we know Him. When I read this verse I think of a little antidote that I read years and years ago and I’m sure most of you have also heard it or read it of the young lady who was attending a university, and while there someone gave her a book to read, and she tried several times to get interested in it and never could. She would read the first chapter or two and put it back on the shelf, and finally forgot about the book. But by the time she was a senior at the university she had fallen in love with one of her professors, and it turned out he was the author of this book she could never get interested in. Then all of a sudden she couldn’t devour the book fast enough and her roommate who had been with her all through school said, “Well what in the world? I thought that was the book you could never get interested in?” She said, “it is.” Her room mate said, “well why are you interested in it now?” “Because” the young lady said “I’ve fallen in love with the author!.“
Well you see that’s the secret, when you in fall in love with Christ you cannot exhaust this Book. You’ll just keep seeing new things pop up all the time, and you think, now why didn’t I see this before? Well it’s just like God told Israel when they could have gone into the land of milk and honey. He said, “I won’t drive them all out at once, I’ll drive the Canaanites out just fast enough that you can absorb and you can take over the land. Well that’s the way He does us with the Scriptures. See, He doesn’t unload it all on us at once. Even right now I could go for another 1/2 hour showing you verses that I never saw until maybe the last year or so, and I know there’s going to be more verses coming. So anyway we get to the place where we know Him, He’s personal, He’s close to us, He knows all about us. And of course when we come into that relationship with Christ, we’re also going to suffer with Him.
Now again as I’ve said so often, we in America know very little of suffering for our faith. Now it could happen yet, we hope it won’t, but it could. Remember though that through about 90% of Christendom’s history, believers suffered for their faith. They were persecuted, they were driven out from valley to valley. Their homes and villages were just utterly uprooted and destroyed simply because they were Christians. Another verse comes to mind on this subject, come back if you will to Romans chapter 8. We were just talking about it at break time. “What’s going to be our lot for eternity?” Well the Bible doesn’t tell us an awful lot about that. About the only super verse that we have on the subject is found in I Corinthians 2:9.
I Corinthians 2:9
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” And that’s about as much as we’ve got. We know there’s a glorious situation that’s coming, but just how we’re going to function, and what we’re going to do is pretty much hidden from us, but this verse gives us a little hint that He’s got good things prepared for us. Now in Romans chapter 8 let’s begin with verse 14
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons (or the children) of God. 15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; (we don’t live under constant fear that we’re breaking God’s laws) but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (that relationship again, do you see that? We’re in Christ, He’s dear to us and we’re dear to Him.) 16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (now here it comes) 17. And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;…”
Now that’s as far as we can go with it, but it’s going to be something! Everything that God has prepared or is preparing for eternity that’s His is also going to be ours. That’s what joint-heirship is all about, and in this case beyond human understanding. That’s part again of the unsearchable riches of Christ. Now continuing on in the verse.
“…if so be that we suffer with him, (a lot of people want to take the good stuff, but don’t want the bad. Well you see it all goes in the same program. We may have some suffering to do. But if we suffer with Him) that we may be also glorified together.”
This is our prospect, and the world may think we’re crazy, they may think we’re a bunch of kooks, but I’ve got news for them. It’s just like when the philosophers of Athens thought that Paul was nothing but a babbler. They thought they had all the real stuff, and he was just a babbler, but you see history has proven differently, and when you go to Mars Hill there a huge bronze plaque in memory of the apostle Paul, and not a single philosophers is mentioned. So in reality who were the babblers? And who had the truth? Now back to Philippians chapter 3.
“and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”
Now we don’t like the word death do we? I don’t for sure, we all hate it. A loved one or a pet can die and it just literally tears us up. We just literally despise death, but the bright side of the coin is that out of death, for us as believers, comes life, and that’s the process. There has to be death in order for life to appear. It’s shown in every seed that’s planted, as that seed has to die in order for a new blade of grass to appear. Well it’s the same way here, we have to be made conformable to His death before we can partake of His life. Now again, let’s go back to Romans chapter 6 to follow up on that thought. Let’s just compare Scripture with Scripture when ever possible like you’re supposed to do when you study. See all of these basic doctrines that flow from the pen of this apostle will always dove tail together, as his writing all fit together perfectly.
“For if we have been planted…”
And where do you plant things? In the ground. Now I’m going to be right up front with you. I get letter after letter asking me about cremation. Well I can’t quote a Scripture that absolutely forbids it, but I think in language it flies in the face of Scripture. The whole idea for the believer of placing our loved ones in the earth is that that they’re only there waiting for the resurrection day. And here again the concept is a seed planted in the earth, not burned, not reduced to ashes, but rather it’s planted, and as soon as it’s planted the seeds of resurrection begins. So Paul uses that same analogy that if we have been planted, literally put to death.
… together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:”
Now in Philippians Paul used the word conformable, and here in this verse the word is likeness, but I can’t see a nickel’s worth of difference between the two because it’s still identifying us with His death. And there can be no life until there is death. Now reading on in Romans chapter 6.
“Knowing this, that our old man (our old Adamic nature. That part of us that came by way of physical birth) is crucified (remember crucifixion kills. We have been put to death by our faith being identified) with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, (or put out of commission) that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7. For he that is dead is freed from sin.”
Now we have another analogy right across the page in Romans chapter 7. And this is a Pauline doctrine that death brings new life, but we can’t have new life until we’ve died to the old nature. Here in this portion I guess we’ll just take time to read them all so let’s begin with verse 1.
“Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law;) how that the law (the civil law) hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? (when he dies that law ends it’s authority) 2. For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law (the civil law) to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. (if a spouse dies, then there is no law to forbid the living partner to remarry. Scripture doesn’t forbid it, because death ends that relationship) 3. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: (because it was not ended by death) but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. (why does Paul put this in here? To show us a doctrinal statement and here it is.) 4. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law (that is the Mosaic system) by the body of Christ; (remember the body of Christ died. Death is what broke that strangle hold of legalism on the human being)that ye should be married to another, (not to another man or woman which ever the case may be, but to whom?) even to him (Christ) who is raised from the dead, (and why are we united to Christ in resurrection power?) that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”
Now in a marriage relationship, what is fruit? Children. In this Spiritual relationship what is to be our fruit? Soul winning. We’re to win the lost, that’s why God left us here, we’re to be a testimony to His Grace. Now not everybody can be one like someone else, we’re not robots, we’re not all identical alike. But there should be that desire on the part of every believer to see lost people saved. Because the mind of God has been imparted to us, and the mind of God is that He’s not willing that any should perish. So this should be our driving desire that we might see lost people saved. I’ll never forget when we were in Charlotte, North Carolina this summer a whole black family came to know the Lord, and I just shared this with some black folks the other night. I know we have a tremendous black audience across America. Well in Charlotte this black family comprised of a husband, wife, and two grown sons and their wives, and their kids shared with us that their whole family had been saved through our program. Well I tell you what, that just makes your day, because that’s why we’re here. And when we left from out here, Steve came to the car with tears running down his cheek and said, “Now Les don’t you forget, you have changed this whole world for my whole family.” Well we’re here so that “we should bring forth fruit unto God.” Now back to Philippians chapter 3.
“being made conformable unto his death;”
In other words we have died with Him, we’ve been crucified with Him, and resurrected with Him in resurrection power. Now remember resurrection power is what gave Him victory over everything thing that could ever oppose Him. Resurrection power gave Christ victory over all the satanic forces, and over all the power of hell and death. Everything that was ever created now comes under His authority by virtue of His resurrection power. Now that’s where we walk, that were we live and breathe, and move is in that resurrection power. Oh I could go on and on about His wonderful and mighty resurrection power, but for sake of time let’s go on into verse 11. Now this next verse is not a verse that makes you think you can work for salvation, but what Paul is driving home is that his whole hearts desire is to attain unto that resurrection body. Let’s read the verse.
“If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”
Let’s go ahead and drop down to verse 20 and 21 of this same chapter. We may get to it later in the afternoon, but if not we’ll pick it up next month.
“For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; (Even though we’re walking here on the earth our citizenship is already settled in heaven) from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21. Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body,…” (not his body of humiliation)
I was reading again just the other night, that a lot of people don’t realize that in His earthly ministry the name of Jesus used alone was the name of His humiliation. It was not the name that attached itself to His power and His glory, but the name of humiliation. And as He went in that name of Jesus as a man and suffered the horrors of the cross and the death of it. Then in resurrection power now we know Him more as “The Christ or The Lord Jesus Christ.” So it is not totally appropriate to simply refer to Him now in resurrection terms as simply “Jesus.”
I had made the statement some time ago that never that I knew of did the disciples ever refer to the Lord as Jesus. They called Him Master, they called Him Lord, but never called Him Jesus. Well this gentlemen called and said, “I’ve got you.” I asked him to show me the verse and he read a verse or two, but it was using the term Jesus in the third person each time. So always remember that the Lord, or the Lord Jesus Christ is His appropriate term as a result of that resurrection power. He is no longer the man of Nazareth or the man of Galilee, but rather now He is the Lord Jesus Christ. Now back to our text in verse 21.
“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body,…
His resurrected body which could go right through the wall or ceiling. It could go from here to Pluto in a second or less. And you know what? That’s the kind of body we’re going to have someday. It’s coming and I don’t think it’s that far off. Now finishing the verse.
“…according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”
Now let’s see how Paul puts that back in I Corinthians chapter 15. This is almost the same language and just confirms that this is what the apostle was talking about by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
I Corinthians 15:51-52
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; (a secret, something that’s never been revealed before in Scripture.) We shall not sleep, (or die physically, but since we can’t go to glory in this old body,) but we shall all be changed. (this vile body will be made like unto His glorious body) 52. In a moment in the twinkling (or the blink of an eye) of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we (living believers) shall be changed.” We simply can’t and don’t want to go to glory in this old body of corruptible flesh. But when the Lord changes it we can, and He will. Now verse 53.
I Corinthians 15:53-54
“For this corruptible (this body that is prone to corruption)must put on incorruption, (it has to become an eternal body that will never die and never corrupt) and this mortal must put on immortality. (in other words we’re going to live, rule, and reign with Him forever. And then verse 54.) So when this corruptible (body) shall have put on incorruption, (by a sudden change for the living believers) and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”
What kind of victory? Resurrection power victory. And we will no longer deal with this old body of flesh, but rather we will be transformed and translated in that split second of time we just read about. Now back to Philippians once more and let’s look at verse 11 again.
“If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection (out from among the dead is a better translation then) of the dead.”
And what do you suppose he’s talking about? Well when the believer experiences what I teach as the Rapture. And the living one are the ones we just talked about in I Corinthians chapter 15. And there’s a sister chapter in I Thessalonians chapter 4 that tells us so clearly that the dead in Christ will rise first, and then the next split second we follow them in that resurrection. And here this is what Paul is alluding to. That I might attain unto the resurrection out from among the dead.” I checked several Greek dictionaries and so forth last night and that’s exactly what it says. Not just the resurrection of the dead, but a resurrection from among the dead. In other words, not everyone is going to be resurrected at the same time. Now let’s go back to John chapter 5 so that you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say not everybody will be resurrected at the same time. Here in this passage the Lord Jesus in His earthly ministry is speaking.
“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice. 29. And shall come forth; (now here we have a separation. They’re not all going to come forth at once, but) they that have done good, (these are those who have become believers, they will be people of faith, and will come forth) unto the resurrection of(eternal) life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
These will be those who have done evil or were destitute of faith. This resurrection will take place a thousand and some years later according to Revelation chapter 20. And then if you remember how I taught I Corinthians chapter 15 back when we had that study, I think even the New Testament saints will also be divided into three groups. The first fruits that has happened in Matthew chapter 27 when Christ came out of the tomb. Then the major resurrection will be the Church Age (that’s us believers) in the Rapture of I Corinthians chapter 15:51-55 and I Thessalonians chapter 4:13-18, and then we have a third group which will be the Tribulation saints in Revelations chapter 20.
So you have those three categories of New Testament believers that will come forth on that last resurrection day. Then after that the lost will be resurrected to go to that Great White Throne Judgment to have their day before Christ before being cast into the Lake of Fire. This judgment will take place at the end of the thousand year reign of Christ, and before we go into eternity.