Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 45
I Timothy 2:3-7 – Part 2
I always like to let it be known that we are just an informal Bible Study. I am not a preacher, I just feel the Lord has given me the ability to teach the Word in a way that even young people can understand. That reminds me that at today’s taping we have a young family that has come all the way from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to be with us and I think they are going to come down and spend the night with us at the ranch. They have three small children and when they walked in today, they knew “Les” because they watch him on television!
As we begin this lesson we’ll still be back in I Timothy chapter 2 for a little bit. I am always running out of time, it seems, so we are going to go right back to verse 7, because I didn’t get quite finished with that verse in the last lesson.
I Timothy 2:7
“Whereunto (Paul says) I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.”
In other words, there was no mincing words with the Apostle Paul and he was not a imposter. He was not a purveyor of half truth or untruth. He was strictly God’s vessel in order to take the Word of God to the non-Jewish world.
Now I trust you all realize, that all the way up through the Old Testament beginning with the appearance of Israel in Genesis chapter 12 and the Abrahamic Covenant, God dealt only with the nation of Israel, with an occasional exception. It was Jew only all the way through the 2,000 years after Abraham, and even in Christ’s earthly ministry, it was Jew only with only two exceptions.
In fact, I made reference to a couple of Scriptures in the last lesson and I guess it has been a long time since I pointed this out on the program. Let’s go back to Matthew chapter 10, because I am just amazed at how many people who have been in Church all their life don’t know that some of these verses are in their Bible. Some of them will look at it and say, “Well I’ll be!” Others will look at it and say, “But I don’t believe it!” Well, when they look at the Word of God and say they don’t believe it, do you know my answer? “Then you’ve got a problem. If you can’t believe what the Bible says there’s not much anybody can do for you.”
But, now look at Matthew chapter 10 verse 5, at the very onset of Christ’s earthly ministry, in the first four verses He chooses the twelve disciples then in verse 5 He gives them these instructions:
“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded (no ifs, ands or buts about it. He commanded) them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and unto any city of the Samaritans enter ye not. 6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
You can’t make it any plainer than that. The twelve were to have nothing to do with anyone who was not a Jew. Now, it is magnified, I think even more when you come still in Matthew, over to chapter 15. This is a perfect example of how Jesus and the twelve had nothing to do with Gentiles or non-Jews. For three years He ministered only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel with a couple of exceptions. This is going to be one of those exceptions. It’s the story of the Canaanite woman, and we find that He finally condescends to her constant begging.
“Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. (Cities on the Mediterranean Sea coast.) 22. And behold, a woman of Canaan (a non-Jew) came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.” A valid request? Well, I guess! But what’s her problem? She’s not a Jew. She’s a Canaanite. Now look what the twelve said.
“But he answered her not a word. And his disciples (The twelve) came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.”
Why didn’t they say, “Lord grant her her request?” They knew better! Because of what He had told them earlier, “Have nothing to do with anybody who is not a Jew.” So they were valid in their request to send her away. She’s a nuisance. She’s a pest. And don’t worry, this is no reflection on the Lord Himself or shows His lack of compassion or any thing like that, because He knew His role. And His role was to present Himself in fulfillment of the Old Testament covenant promises that He would be their King and Messiah and Redeemer of Israel. Then if Israel would have fallen in line, He could have sent the Jews out into the Gentile world, but not until Israel came in first. So now verse 24, and the Lord himself in response to the twelve:
Matthew 15: 24.
“But he answered and said, I am not sent (that is, based on the Old Testament covenants) but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
You know what people will do? They will just say, “I don’t believe that! That’s not the way it was.” But that’s what the Book says! And that’s what we are going to have to line up with. I don’t care what people say. The Lord said, I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel because of those Covenant promises. Alright, verse 25. Remember I said, this lady kept on insisting! She didn’t give up.
“Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 26. But he answered (again in a negative, and what is His answer?) and said, It is not meet (it is not right) to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.”
Who were the “dogs” in Jesus’ day? Gentiles! Who were the “children”? Israel! So what is He saying in plain English? I can’t take that which belongs to Israel and give it to Gentiles. It would be flying in the face of the eternal God. He could not. Because, all of the things coming out of the Old Testament had promised Israel a Messiah and Redeemer and Gentiles were left out in the dark, until after His death, burial and resurrection and that is where Paul’s ministry comes in.
Now reading on here in Matthew chapter 15. My it has been a long time since we have taught this. I guess maybe we are supposed to do this in today’s taping. I hadn’t planned on it, believe me. This is strictly off the cuff, but I can’t help that. Remember Jesus had just told the Canaanite woman, “But, it’s not right to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs.” Now verse 27.
“And she said, Truth, Lord: ( I agree) yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
What’s she saying? Can’t I have just a little of the overflow from Israel? And then, of course, it got to Him, didn’t it?
“Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”
So He condescended to her. And the only other one he did was the Roman Centurion, who had a like request. His son was sick unto death and He said, “he’s healed as of this moment.”But, other than that, He had nothing to do with Gentiles. I don’t care what people say about Galilee being Gentile, there is not one word in the Scriptural record that Jesus ever ministered to Gentiles other than to these two.
The other one I like to use as a total backup, which shows so clearly that He could not do anything for the Gentiles until He had finished the work of the cross, is in John’s Gospel chapter 12 verse 20. Now don’t lose sight all of this is coming from what we read back to I Timothy chapter 2 verse 6 where Paul says, I am the teacher of the Gentiles. Jesus, in His earthly ministry, and His disciples ministered only to Israel. But, Paul is immediately told to now go to the Gentile world.
Here we are still in Christ’s earthly ministry. It is the last days before the Passover and the crowds of Jews are gathering in the Temple area. In the midst of those crowds of Jews, we find some Gentiles:
“And there were certain Greeks (non-Jews. Gentiles.) among them that came up to worship at the feast:” It doesn’t say they were worshippers. They were just onlookers. They were just aghast at all that was going on. And so, they came “among” them that came up to worship.
“The same (these Greeks) came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, (one of the twelve) and desired (or asked) him , saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.”
Now again, use some common sense. Everybody knew, even when you get to Acts chapter 10 and you have Cornelius the Roman Centurion, who was pulling his duty in the little land of Israel and remember, when Peter got to his doorstep? What did Peter tell him? “Cornelius you know that it is an unlawful thing for a Jew to come unto one of another nation.” Why did Cornelius know this? Well, he had been living amongst the Jews. There was nothing hid in a corner.
And it was the same way with these Greeks. They had probably seen some of His miracles and at least they had heard about them. They wanted to see this man! Somebody probably pointed out Philip and said, Hey, there is someone who has been with Him all the time. Go ask him. So these Greeks go and corner Philip and they said, we would see Jesus.
Now, verse 22. Philip was no dummy. What could he remember? What Jesus told them back in Matthew 10, have nothing to do with Gentiles. And so, Philip knew that it was not his place to take these Gentiles to speak with Jesus. Philip knew that Jesus had nothing to do with Gentiles. But rather than just take the thing in his own hands and say, No I’m not going to do that, or I will take you. No, he shares the responsibility with Andrew, another one of the twelve.
See how logical this is if you just put it together! So Philip goes over and finds Andrew and says, “Andrew there’s Gentiles out here that want to see Jesus. What are we going to do?” Well now, the text is plain. Andrew evidently says to Philip, “Let’s go ask the Lord.” Now verse 22.
“Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.”
What do they tell Him? “There’s Greeks out here that want to see you! Gentiles.” Now read the next verse. And Jesus said, “Bring them to me!” No, it doesn’t say that! Your Bible doesn’t say that He went out to them. But your Bible does tell you what Jesus’ answer was.
“And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come (remember, we are only a few hours before the crucifixion and His resurrection) that the Son of man should be glorified.(speaking of His resurrection. That’s when He assumed His full glorification.) 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground an die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
What’s the lesson? Every time you plant something and you see it come up and see it reproduce, whether it’s grain or garden products or a flower, the picture is the same. That seed until it goes into the ground can do nothing. But once it is put into the ground and everything takes place, and it reproduces and the new blade comes up, then it can produce.
Alright, Jesus is giving them a lesson. Not until He had been, and I will use the word that Paul uses in Romans chapter 6, He had to be planted. Buried. And as a result of that death and burial, like a new blade of wheat coming up out of the ground, now, He was in a position to reproduce the Gentile world with salvation!
That’s the whole picture. And he said I cannot minister to those Gentiles until I have finished the work of the Cross. Because of that finished work of the cross, now then God can take the Apostle Paul and send him out into the Gentile world.
Consequently, now let’s start looking at what Paul says of his own apostleship. Let’s turn to Romans chapter 11 verse 13. I am so thrilled that we are getting people by the hundreds to realize that Paul is the Apostle for us today!
All of Scripture is for us. He says it himself, in Romans chapter 11, that everything that was written aforetime, which meant the Old Testament, the four gospels, they were written for our learning. Absolutely, we study the Old Testament! Absolutely, we teach it, because it is just the background for everything in which we place our faith.
But our marching orders, if you want to call it that, the instructions for us in the Body of Christ have come from this apostle, and we must receive those orders or we’re going to end up out in left field, it’s just that simple. Now looking at verse 13, and this is just plain English!
“For I speak to you (whom?) Gentiles, (why?) inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles,…”
Paul is saying, he’s not one of the twelve, but rather, I am the only one, “I am the apostle of the Gentiles.” The Apostle Paul becomes the only writer of Scripture that pertains to the Church Age. I have stressed it so often. Jesus and the twelve are constantly preaching the “Kingdom of Heaven,” the “Gospel of the Kingdom,” to Israel.
Paul never used the term! But, Paul instead uses the “Body of Christ” and the “Gospel of the Grace of God.” See what a difference that makes? So Paul says, I am the Apostle of the Gentiles.
“…I magnify mine office:” In other words, he was never going to back down from it.
Now, let’s go on over to II Corinthians for a moment. The Corinthian Church was probably a little bit more cantankerous than any other of Paul’s congregations. They would once in a while, let him know that they didn’t think he had the authority that he claimed.
So, when we were teaching Corinthians, I said it over and over, what did Paul have to do? Defend his apostleship. Defend it! Defend it! Defend it! Because, they were always trying to say, Paul you are not it! Some said, we listen to Peter. Some said, we listen to Apollos. Some said, we are going to follow Jesus. And Paul had to come back and say, No, I am your Apostle.
Turn to II Corinthians chapter 2 verse 17, in defense of his apostleship and you can just read between the lines what they were accusing him of.
II Corinthian 2:17
“For we (speaking of himself. He would often do that. I read sometime ago, that this was typical of the writers in antiquity to take away any semblance of egotism. So instead of saying “I” he would use the plural pronoun “we”) are not as many, which corrupt the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.”
The Greek implies, and we taught this when we were back in Corinthians, that he was not like a huckster selling half grade materials. Or he was not someone who was peddling wine that had been watered down with water.
He said, “I am not that way. I do not corrupt what I speak. It’s all true.” Now, I think we can go on back to Galatians again, where we were in our last lesson. And so after chapter 1 where he explains how he was separated from his mother’s womb for this role of being the Apostle of the Gentiles, now we can come into chapter 2 verse 7.
This is at the counsel at Jerusalem, where he has to convince the leadership of the Jewish economy, that God had indeed ordained him to go to the Gentiles with the Gospel of Grace. The twelve, up until now, just couldn’t quite comprehend it.
Like I said before, I don’t think Peter ever did fully comprehend it. But, nevertheless, they agreed here that, indeed Paul is the Apostle of the Gentiles. Now Galatians chapter 2 verse 7.
“But contrariwise, when they (that is the twelve, as well as some of the other elders at Jerusalem) saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision (or lets just put it like it is. The gospel of the Gentiles) was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision (the Jew) was unto Peter;”
Now isn’t that plain? Ah, I have been teaching this for over twenty years. Isn’t it plain! Here we have it laid out so clearly, inspired by the Holy Spirit that the Gospel of the Gentile was committed unto the Apostle Paul. And, the Gospel for the Jew was committed unto Peter.
I have already delineated the two. To Israel it was the “Gospel of the Kingdom.” That Jesus was the Christ and ready to set the Kingdom. But they wouldn’t believe. So God sent Israel into the dispersion that has lasted unto our very day.
And He sent the Apostle Paul out to the Gentile world with the “Gospel of the Grace of God” (I Corinthians 15:1-4) which he calls here the Gospel of the Gentiles. Next verse.
“(For he that wrought effectually in Peter (the same Jesus, who, of course, worked through Peter and the eleven, tremendously) to the apostleship of the circumcision (Jews), the same (Christ) was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)”
See that constant separation? Back in chapter 1 which we looked at earlier, he didn’t go back to Jerusalem to pick up from the twelve everything that they knew. God sent him east instead of west! And as he went east, I think out to Mt. Sinai, there God revealed to this Apostle this whole body of truth, which he calls the revelation of the mysteries. Now verse 9.
“And when James, Cephas, (Peter) and John, who seemed to be pillars,…”
I am always stopping at that word. What does that indicate? They weren’t anymore! Israel was falling through the cracks. Israel was rejecting His Messiahship. Israel was rejecting the Gospel of the Kingdom. And Paul is ascending as Israel goes down, Paul and his Gentile congregations are rising. So going on.
“And when James, Cephas, (Peter) perceived (or understood) the grace that was given unto me, (they come to a full gentlemen’s agreement) they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship;…” Isn’t that plain? They shook hands. They said, no more argument. They agreed:
“… that we (Paul and Barnabas) should go unto the heathen (the Gentile world), and they (Peter and the eleven would go, where?) unto the circumcision. (to Israel)“
That’s where they remained until they all suffered their martyr’s death. If fact, let me take you back to Acts chapter 10, where Peter has to have his eyes opened in order to bring Paul out into a little bit of freedom there in Jerusalem.
In Acts 10, God sends Peter up to that Gentile house or Cornelius. You all know the story. And after Peter has ministered in the house of Cornelius, and he has seen the manifestation that they had become believers, then you drop down into verse 1 of chapter 11. Remember this is eight years after Pentecost.
“And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. (by virtue of Peter) 2. And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem,(after his experience with Cornelius) they that were of the circumcision (that is the Jewish Church at Jerusalem) contended with him,”
They didn’t pat him on the back and say, “Hey, Peter, great!! My, must have been a great thing to go up there to the house of Gentiles!” No, they contended with him:
“Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, (and you didn’t just go in, you ate with them. Peter, how could you? See?) and didst eat with them.”
I have always put it this way. If Peter suddenly understood that God was going to save Gentiles, why bother to go back to Jerusalem? Why didn’t he head out into northern Galilee where there were Gentiles by the thousands? But he doesn’t.. He goes back to Jerusalem and that’s the way it stayed. Paul was the Apostle of the Gentiles, and Peter and the eleven remained as the Apostles of Israel, and I have always said that according to this Book, Peter and the eleven never had a ministry to the Gentiles.