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Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 40
Philippians 3:17 – 4:23
Now let’s go back to the Book of Philippians for just a little bit. We’re going to be jumping around again in this lesson, but we’ll start with verse 21 of chapter 3. Did I spend the whole half hour in verse 20? I didn’t intend to do that, as I thought sure I’d finish the whole Book of Philippians today, and we may yet be able to do that. Now verse 21 is another loaded verse that has so much in it that you have to use so much to enhance what the apostle is talking about. At the end of verse 20 we’re looking for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ to come for us.
“Who shall change our vile body, (this old body of corruption) that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”
In other words, He’s going to be able to take this body and make something of it. Now that’s a real hope isn’t it? Now let’s just look at a few verses that enhance that concept, so come back to I Corinthians chapter 15. When I teach the Rapture of the Church I always try to use I Corinthians 15:51-58 along with I Thessalonians 4:13-18, but here we just want you to see what Paul was talking about in Philippians when he says, “That when the Lord comes he will change our vile body, this body of sin and disease into a new body.”
I Corinthians 15:51a
“Behold I shew you a mystery; (a secret that had never been revealed before. This secret had been kept in the mind of God until He reveals it to this apostle.) We shall not all sleep…”
We’re not all going to die. There’s going to be a group of believers living who will not go through death. I think Enoch in the Book of Genesis chapter 5 is probably a pretty good illustration of that in the Old Testament. Enoch walked with God just before the judgment of the flood, but we find that he was translated, and escaped that judgment. So I tie that in with the Rapture of the Church. We’ll be here one moment and be gone in a split second and shortly after that the horrors of the Tribulation will fall. So Paul here is showing us a secret. Something that has never been revealed before. The Lord Jesus never mentions this during His earthly ministry. Peter knew nothing of it, but this is a revelation that was given only to this apostle in this Age of Grace. So we remember we shall not die.
I Corinthians 15:51b
“…but we shall all be changed.”
Regardless whether the believer has died or is alive at the Rapture we’re all going to be changed. We’re going to have a body fashioned after Christ’s resurrected body, and we’ll look at a few of those verses in a moment. Now verse 52. For those of us who are alive and remain this body change won’t take long to accomplish.
I Corinthians 15:52a
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:”
Now trump here is singular and I’ve started to emphasize that because I’ve had several that have tried to drum the trumpets of Revelation down my throat as being the call of the Church. Well there’s no correlation or anything that even comes close to fitting this trumpet of God that Paul speaks of and the trumpets in Revelation. Number one, this is the trumpet of God, it’s singular. Revelation has seven trumpets that are given to seven angels, not to announce His coming and the resurrection, but rather they’re to announce plagues, and the wrath of God. So I can’t see any correlation whatsoever. This is the trumpet of God and it shall sound. Now finishing verse 52.
I Corinthians 15:52b
“…for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead (the dead in Christ. Only for the Church Age. Not the Old Testament believer, as they’ll have their own resurrection, but the Church Age believers) shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
So we’re all going to be raised incorruptible, and have the same kind of body that Christ has. Every Church Age believer, whether we’re weak, carnal, or spiritual, whether we’ve accomplished a lot, little or nothing. We’re all going to be changed. And now verse 53, and here’s the reason.
I Corinthians 15:53-54a
“For this corruptible (this body of flesh) must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54. So when this corruptible, (this body that is prone to go back to the dust of the earth) shall have put on incorruption,…”
Do you know what that means? That body is going to last for eternity! Now I was reading again the other night that astronomers are finding more and more with the explosion of technology, and even though I don’t agree with their timing yet it certainly sets my mind spinning. If, as they say, this universe is billions and billions of years old, then that’s still nothing compared to eternity. We can’t put eternity in billions and billions and billions of years, because that would put an end on eternity. Eternity will never end. That’s enough to almost scare you isn’t it? How are we going to stay interested in staying alive that long? But whatever, it’s just mind boggling, that this new body that we’re going to receive is going to be our abode for eternity. When you think of these things you wonder how lost people can be so careless, because they too are going to an eternity. But it’s going to be an eternity of misery and sorrow and hopelessness. Now let’s get back to the positive.
I Corinthians 15:54
“So when this corruptible (this body of flesh that has been programmed for 70 or 80 years or so) shall have put on incorruption, 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.” Now for sake of time let’s jump down to verse 57.
I Corinthians 15:57
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now let’s go back to the Book of Luke chapter 24, and get a picture of this new glorious, resurrected body that we’re going to have as believers. This passage is just one instance, there were several others. I’m sure the one you remember the most is when our Lord fell in step with the people on the road to Emmaus. He walked and talked with them, they invited Him in, no doubt, for an evening meal. He went in with them, supped with them, I’m sure, and all of a sudden He’s gone. Then in a split second He’s in the upper room in Jerusalem with the disciples.
Now here in Luke we get a graphic description of that that new resurrected body, and it’s going to be a literal physical, spiritual, and yes spiritual body. Let’s begin with verse 34. See this is what we have to do, we just can’t gloss over a verse and say, “Well I don’t really understand it.” Just search the Scriptures, and if we’re going to have a body that’s fashioned after His glorious body, then it behooves us to go into the Book and see what that body was like. Well here it is. This was His resurrected body that we’re going to read about. In verse 33 we find the disciples had returned to Jerusalem.
“Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. (remember these disciples knew nothing of resurrection before it happened. Peter and John never believed it until they saw the evidence in John 19.) 35. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.”
Now that’s where I think that on the road to Emmaus when they asked Him into the home, He must have had supper with them, before He left, because they’re now sharing that news. “He sat down and ate with us, He walked with us.” Now verse 36.
“And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, (He didn’t knock on the door or come through the window, but rather came right through the walls. That’s beautiful isn’t it? I tell you what, that’s going to be fabulous) and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37. But they were terrified (now this is the eleven, they had been with Him for three years.) and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. (we would say a ghost) 38. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39. Behold my hands and my feet that it is I myself: handle me, and see: for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”
So that’s the make up of our eternal body. It’s going to be a body fashioned after His glorious body. It’s not going to be a body of flesh and blood, it’s going to be a body of flesh and bones. Now the first thing we have to asks is, “If the blood is the life flow of the human body, what is going to maintain life then of our new resurrected body?” Well, the Spirit will. The Spirit of God becomes what the blood is for us today. So we’ll be comprised of flesh and bone, but it was visible, physical, touchable, tangible, see that? This isn’t some either real invisible mist, but rather this is reality. Now verse 40.
“And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.”
Now I pointed out I think in our last taping how that Mary didn’t recognize Jesus when He appeared in that pre-dawn light. Remember the last vision she had of Jesus was the horror of His crucifixion. That’s when He had been so total disfigured, as all the sins of the world were placed on Him. Isaiah chapter 52:14 says, “He was more marred than any other man”.And then all of a sudden see a man standing there perfectly whole with all of His fleshly attributes. No wonder she didn’t recognize Him. When we see Him the only thing that will depict His crucifixion will be the nail and footprints and the wound in His side. But the Scripture gives no evidence of Him being disfigured and so forth now. Now verse 41.
“And while they yet believed not…”
Isn’t that amazing? Now we think the world is in dire straits today because they simply can’t believe the Word of God. I bring that out when I ask the question, “What’s the basic problem with America?” We’ve become a nation destitute of faith. We just can’t believe the Word of God anymore as a nation of people. But listen, that’s not all that unusual. Here were these eleven men, who were with Him for 3 years and had seen the evidence. Peter and John had seen it earlier, and had heard how He had walked with the men on the road to Emmaus, and yet their hearts are so stirred, that they really can’t believe that it’s Him. Now finishing the verse.
“And while they yet believed not for joy, (in other words they were so ecstatic) and wondered, (the Lord was so patient with them wasn’t He? He could have said, ‘Why can’t you believe when you have seen the evidence,’ so in so many words, He says, ‘well let’s prove something’) he said unto them. Have ye here any meat?” (food)
Now it wasn’t that Jesus was hungry and had to eat, but He’s going to prove something to them, and I love this, because I love to eat. I think we all do, and we’re going to have the opportunity to enjoy food in eternity, I know we are, and here’s one of the evidences of it.
“And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43. And he took it, and did eat before them.”
He didn’t pretend to eat it, but rather He ate it in that resurrected body. Now verse 44.
“And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, (back in that 3 years of ministry) that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the Law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”
You know I’ve always said that the Old Testament was full of everything concerning His first coming. So why didn’t they know? Because it was hidden from them, God didn’t intend for them to know. Remember that’s God prerogative. He keeps things hidden until it’s time to reveal it. In fact, my favorite verse to point that out is right here in Luke. Just back up a few pages to chapter 18, and let’s look at these verses again. In this passage this is back when His earthly ministry is coming to an end. They’re up there in northern Israel, at the headwaters of the Jordan River, and they’ll soon be heading up to Jerusalem. And notice just how plain this is. My there’s not gobbledygook, there’s no deep theology here, it’s just plain English.
“Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. (What’s He telling them? All the things written in the Old Testament are coming to a head, they’re about to be fulfilled. And He tells them in the following verses how it’s going to be.) 32. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, (the Romans) and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, (they did just about everything to Him) and spitted on: 33. And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. (He’s got it all right there in one package, but look at the next verse.) 34. And they (the twelve who had been with Him for 3 years) understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”
Now this is not the only time He tells them straight out, but God had hidden all of this from them. God didn’t want them to know and they didn’t know until the right time. See this is why Paul can honestly say that, “To him were revealed mysteries that had never been revealed to mankind before.” Oh they may be back there in some kind of Latin language, but boy you’d have to be a better scholar than I am to dig it out, because God kept it secret. It’s the same way here. These twelve men had no idea of what He was talking about. In that same light keep your hand here in Luke, and come on over to John’s gospel chapter 20. A dear old Sunday school teachers years ago told me that when he was teaching these verses out of his quarterly one Easter Sunday morning, that they skipped right over these verses, because the author of that Sunday school quarterly didn’t want the people to see this verse. It’s that amazing? But we try not to skip anything. Now look at what it says.
“Then went in also that other disciple, (John) which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. (They saw the evidence) 9. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.”
When Peter and John saw the evidence of the empty sepulchre they believed. This is Peter and John we’re talking about. So why didn’t they know? God hid it from them. You know I’m always using Deuteronomy 29:29.
“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed, belong unto us…”
But they don’t belong to us until it’s revealed, and that always brings me right back to the apostle Paul’s use then of the word mystery. No body was supposed to understand it until the Lord revealed it to that apostle here in the Church Age. Now coming back to Luke chapter 24 again. So here we have these men who have been with Him for three years whose minds had been providentially closed so that they did not understand, but now they’ve got the proof standing right there in front of them in His resurrected body. Now back to verse 42.
“And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43. And he took it, and did eat before them.”
To show them His physical make up. Well you have the same thing in Acts chapter 1, when He ascended and the eleven stood there and watched Him go. Did they see some kind of an enigma? They saw the risen resurrected Lord as He is now showing them that He can eat. Now verse 44 again.
“And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning me. (Now verse 45. What did it take for those eleven men to finally put it all together?) 45. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,”
Isn’t that mind-boggling? But you see it’s no different today, as I can teach until I’m blue in the face. I teach five nights a week now, but I could teach every night, and it wouldn’t make any difference unless the Lord opens the heart. It has to be that way, but on the other hand we have to fulfill our requirement of getting the message out there, so when the Lord does open their heart, it’s ready to take root. So always understand that these things were kept hidden from these men until God was ready to reveal it. Now for a moment let’s go on to verse 46.
“And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it beloved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day.”
That was what the whole scope of Scripture was leaning on, His coming to suffer, to die and to be raised from the dead, and then to show Himself openly that He was alive and showing us the kind of a body that we will one day enjoy. We’ve got one minute left so let’s go quickly to Matthew chapter 17, and here we have another glimpse of that glorious body that we’re going to have ourselves one day.
“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2. And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light,”
One day that’s the way we as believers are going to be like that.