Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 48
We’ll will be going right back to where we were in the last lesson, and that would be Hebrews chapter 3 and we’ll start in verse 14 in this lesson. And again for those of you joining us, we are just an informal, independent Bible Study. We hope not to build a big organization or anything like that. We just want to open the Scriptures for whoever you are, wherever you are. And again we always like to thank you for your letters, your prayers and, of course, your financial help. We just trust that the Lord will use us to open the Scriptures to your understanding. My, it thrills our heart to see so many lost people coming to a knowledge of salvation but many, many more believers who have never had an understanding of the Scriptures are finally getting their eyes opened.
Alright, let’s go right back to Hebrews chapter 3. And I’m going to read verse 13 again as we get ready for 14. Here, Paul writes to these Hebrews, and don’t forget that he is addressing primarily a Hebrew congregation, wherever they are. And the people are in a battle to make a clean break with Judaism and come over in to this doctrine of grace which is faith + nothing in the finished work of the cross for salvation. (I Corinthians 15:1-4) It’s faith + nothing, and without any attachment to the Law and temple worship and so forth.So always remember, that’s first and foremost the people we are dealing with here. But, as I said earlier today, we can also glean so much that applies to us even as Church Age believers. Alright, so now verse 13, the verse we looked at in our last half-hour.
“But exhort one another daily, (not just once a week on Sunday) while it is called To day; (your day of opportunity) lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
Remember, he is talking to people that are involved in a religious system. Now if you doubt when I call Judaism a religious system, back up with me to the Book of Galatians chapter 1, where the Apostle Paul is reviewing his own past. Let’s just start at verse 11. Because I never say any of these things to put any one group down or to make any snide remarks or anything like that. But it is just based on Scripture that the Judaism of which these people were still a part, was indeed a religion. And of course, we maintain that Christianity is not a religion. A religion is comprised of works and things that you have to do, whereas, our Salvation is by faith and faith alone in that finished work of the cross! And Paul is rehearsing his going into the ministry, so he says:
“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preach of me is not after man. 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but, by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (now here it comes.) 13. For ye have heard of my conversation (or manner of living) in times past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the Church (or the assembly) of God, and wasted it:”
And now verse 14 he says it again. And I “profited in the Jews’ religion.” Okay? So now when I come back to Hebrews and I use the word, hopefully, I am on the right track that these people were still half in the religion of Judaism but they were also contemplating and some of them had completely embraced Paul’s Gospel of what we call the Age of Grace. So they are on the fence. Now consequently when I come down to verse 14, I am going to use the little word, “if.” And it doesn’t make any reflection on our losing the salvation that we once had, but it is dealing with these people who are battling the complete break with their religion and stepping into this whole economy of grace. It’s not a matter of their being saved and then lost. It’s a matter of making a break with that which withholds their whole salvation. Alright, I’ll come back to that again later. So he says again:
“But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Or as we said in the last half-hour “lawlessness.” Just a complete rejection of the things that God had laid out for mankind. Now verse 14.
“For we are made partakers of Christ,…” In other words, when we come in to the Body of Christ, we are not like a subject of a king. We are a member of the Head Who is in Heaven and of which we are the Body. Now, I guess I should stop right there. We are not going to get very far today, are we? I thought I was going to get way into chapter 4! Goodness! Come back with me to I Corinthians, chapter 12, because this ties in so perfectly with what he says here. We are partakers of Christ, by the power of the Gospel, of course. But now, look what that means.
I Corinthians 12:12
“For as the body (or human body) is one, and hath many members. (now, what does that speak of? Our hands, fingers, toes, ears, eyes, all of these things make up our body.) and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” Or the body of Christ.
I Corinthians 12:13a
“For by one Spirit (by the work of the Holy Spirit) are we all. (not just some of the elite. Not just some who have had a particular experience, but every believer is) baptized (or placed into) one body, (which Ephesians calls the body of Christ.)
That composition of believers from wherever they are, whatever their station in life, at salvation they are brought in and become part and parcel of the body of Christ. Now some of us may be a little toe. Some of us may be nothing more than an ear or an eye or something like that, but we are members of the body, and we all have a function. That’s why it behooves every believer to be used of God in whatever particular purpose He has. Alright, so here we are placed into the body by the work of the Holy Spirit:
I Corinthians 12:13b
“…whether we be Jew or Gentile, whether we be bond or free; and we have been all made to drink (or partake) into one Spirit.”
The human body as well as the body of Christ is not one member but many. And so, the whole analogy of the rest of this chapter is that God is building the body of Christ, individual by individual, placing them where He wants them. Just like, and I have used this analogy over and over through the years on the program and in my classes, like the little baby in the mother’s womb. My, that doesn’t just form all at once, but over nine months those cells are going to their rightful place. The cells that compose the fingernails go to the fingernail. The cells that compose the eye go to the eye. And all through that nine-month period, that little body is finally brought to a completion. Every cell had gone to where it has to be to make that little creature function. Alright, so is the body of Christ.
Now for 1,900 and some years God has been bringing them into the body one at a time. Now you know I am a farmer and I have used the example before. You go into a grain bin. I don’t care whether it is wheat or corn or whatever. I was a corn farmer and I, more than once, would stand at the top of that huge 10,000 bushel bin and I would just be amazed. That whole bin was full of individual – what? Kernels! Individual kernels and you follow that kernel all the way back to when it was being formed in the ear, what were they? They were individual kernels, formed on the ear. Finally taken off and mixed in with the total and yet every kernel is an individual.
Alright, so is the body of Christ. We’ve never lost our individuality. And God knows every one of us as an individual and yet the composite is the body of Christ will one day be complete. And, that is why I am a proponent of the Rapture. We have to be taken out. We will not fit in the tribulation economy. That’s the best word I can find. Because the tribulation is for Israel, and for the unbelieving world. The tribulation isn’t for the believers! The body of Christ has to be taken out, and it will be. I am adamant on that!
And every book and article that people send me, and I have said it before and I will say it again. All I have to do is leaf through and the first thing I will see is that there is not one reference to Paul’s Epistles. Not one! They will quote everything from the Old Testament. They will quote the Four Gospels. They will quote early Acts. They will quote the Revelationbut they avoid Paul like a plague.
Well, no wonder they come up with their crazy ideas. Because Paul alone, tells us about the forming of the body of Christ. Paul alone tells us how the body is to function in this world. Paul alone is going to give us the end of the body on earth and it’s deliverance. See that? So, here we have then, as we find coming out of Hebrews, let’s go back there again. That the body of Christ is being formed because as we became believers of the Gospel, we became partakers or companions of Christ by virtue of the fact that the Holy Spirit has placed us into the body. What a unique position, to be a member of Christ Himself! We are not just subjects of a King. Oh, He is going to be King of Kings don’t think for a minute He won’t be, but we are not the subjects of a King. We are members of the body of Christ. Alright, back to Hebrews:
“For we are made partakers of Christ, (and there is that big word I made mention of earlier.) if”…”
Oh, that scares so many people. I get so many letters that ask, “Well what about this in Hebrews and what about that in Hebrews? Doesn’t that mean that if I do something particularly wrong that I will lose my Salvation?” Well, you know, the first thing I have to ask people is this: “Does the Bible tell you what sin will take you out? Have you ever thought about that?” My, I had a gentleman come up to me when I first started teaching outside of my own particular church. And if he hears the program, he will be able to tell his wife, “Hey, that was me!” Because he came up one night and he said, “Well now, I’m in a denomination that has always taught that you can be saved and then lost.” But now, he says, “I KNOW I’m saved!” He went on to say, “The thing I realized now is, how were we supposed to know what sin took us out?!”
Have you ever thought of that? What sin will take me out so that I have to get saved again. Well, nobody knows. So it almost becomes ridiculous. And so, the word “if” here is not a matter of these Hebrews having been saved and losing it, because they have not totally entered in. They’re on the fence. They are considering it. When we get to chapter 6, I will probably spend four whole half-hours on that one. But in chapter 6 again, it is impossible, if you have been enlightened. It doesn’t say it is impossible if they have been saved. But, they’ve only been enlightened. They have tasted, they have stepped in one foot. And, then what did they do? They turned around and went back into Judaism.
Now, I have had the same problem, especially with people in cults, as we call them. I’m not going to name them, but there are more than one. And, they have the same problem. Oh, it is so hard to break with that cultic brainwashing that they have been under for maybe 50, 60 or 70 years. And it isn’t that they are going to be saved and lost. It’s because they can’t truly come in and experience a real rebirth salvation. So, that is what we are dealing with here in Hebrews. Don’t ever get the idea that we are talking about Hebrews who were saved and lost. Or that IF they can hang on they will still be saved. No, the IF is, have you really been saved? And this is where I am probably shaking a few people up. And I don’t want to make people miserable and doubt their salvation if they have truly been saved. Not at all. But, listen we’ve got millions of people out there that think they are saved, and they have never had a salvation experience. And those are the people that we have to warn. Yes, this if is a big IF for you if you have never been saved.
“For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.”
In other words, if salvation is real, if salvation had been totally completed by that act of God, then it can never end. It can never be taken away, because that is an act of God.I have said it over and over, through the years, stop and think of all that God does. Not what we do, but think of all that God does the moment He saves us and sees our faith. He forgives us, and as we have already seen in I Corinthians, chapter 12, He places us into the body, He redeems us, He pays the purchase price, He justifies us, He sanctifies us, He glorifies us, He puts the Holy Spirit within us, Should I keep going?! Can God undo all of that? No way. God WILL not! Or He wouldn’t be the God of His Word.
And so, the whole IF problem is, have they been genuinely saved, or have they merely tasted. Have they considered it but in their heart they are still saying, I can’t quite buy this? Alright, so let’s go on to verse 15.
“While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts,…”
And that goes back again into the previous verse. What hardens hearts? Sin! And who is at the head of the sin business? Satan. Let me show you in II Corinthians, chapter 4, and let’s just look at verses 3 and 4:
II Corinthians 4:3-4a
” But if our gospel be hid (in other words, of no use) it is hid to them that are lost: (they are still in their lawlessness. They are still in their sin, and in these people that are still in their lawlessness, in these people) 4. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which (oh, what is the word?) believe not,…”
Isn’t that simple? It doesn’t say a word about all the sins of the flesh that we mentioned in the last program. No, that’s not their problem. That’s just the result of their unbelief. But, the opposite of unbelief is belief! Faith! See? Now reading verse 4 again.
II Corinthians 4:4
“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the visible image of the invisible God, should shine unto them.”
So who keeps people in their darkness. Well, Satan does. And, how does Satan do it? By keeping them involved in their sin. Now, can you see why we’ve got a problem today? My, our kids are hooked on the videos and the TV programs that are nothing but rot and smut, and it simply destroys their character, their thinking. No wonder it is so hard to get through to them. And the only way, evidently, churches think they can get them is to use the world’s approach. I still can’t agree with it, but more and more are going that way. The problem is they have been blinded by the deceitfulness of sin.
Alright, back to Hebrews chapter 3, and verse 15 again, and then I want to come back to Romans again.
“While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice,…”
Alright, how do we hear the voice of God? How do we hear it? Well, Romans, chapter 10 tells us. I’m sure you know and you will recognize them as soon as we start. Starting at verse 13.
“For whosoever (none excepted, this is an invitation to the whole human race.) shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (that’s a promise. Now then, the question is,) 14. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?…” In other words, how can they become believers of someone they know nothing of?
“…and how shall they believe in Him of who they have not heard? How shall they hear without a preacher?” I know the Greek has a better definition, I think, proclaimer. Someone that proclaims the Truth. How can they hear without a proclaimer? Now verse 15.
“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? (now Who is involved? Well, God. The Holy Spirit, see?) as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach (or proclaim) the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things. 16. But they have not all obeyed the gospel….”
Regardless of what good news it was. Now, remember, when Abraham believed God, He didn’t believe the Gospel as we understand it. He didn’t believe that Christ would die and be buried and rose from the dead. How could he? It hadn’t happened. But, he believed what God said. And what did God tell him? “Leave Ur and I will make of you a great nation.” And, Abraham, Romans 4 says, believed God! That’s all! He believed God! And what did God do? Called him a righteous man. Just on the basis of his faith. That’s where I get my little cliche “Faith + Nothing!” It all began with Abraham. It dropped out of sight for centuries, but now in the Age of Grace, it comes back again. And we, like Abraham, are saved by faith + nothing! So, how do we hear it? Well, you have to have someone proclaim it. We have to have the Holy Spirit behind it. Alright, now then, verse 17. Here is the answer to our dilemma.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
So by faith, or just, taking God at His Word comes by hearing. You’ve got to hear it to understand it. That’s why we’ve got this Book. That’s why God gave it to us. That’s why you don’t have to put your Bible on the shelf and say well, “I’ll just wait for the preacher to tell me.” No! You may have to have someone explain some of these things to you which is pertinent but you’ve got the Word of God in your hand. Search the Scriptures, and see if these things are true. Alright, so verse 17 again.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
And it’s only the Word of God that can bring salvation to the human race. And again, I guess I should use that verse that I have referred to many times on this program over in Acts. Some of you already know where I am going to go. Acts chapter 16, and Paul is up there in the area of Northern Greece – today’s Macedonia, which is in the news again every day. He’s up in Northern Macedonia, in the city of Philippi. Now verse 14, and I think it is apropos for every believer to pray the same thing that I do, on the basis of this verse. Lord, give us Lydias. Alright, here it is.
“And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, (see, she had a certain amount of religion, but she didn’t have salvation) heard us; whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.”
Now analyze that verse. Had not the Lord opened her heart, even a man like the Apostle Paul – would he have gotten through to her? No way. Great preacher, evangelist, missionary that he was, had the Lord not opened her heart, she would have been just as lost the next day as she was the day before. But, God intervened and opened her heart. Now, if we have time, let’s go back to Matthew 16, and we will have to do this quickly. Alright and here we have Jesus dealing with the Twelve. And, we have Peter’s confession of his faith. Matthew 16 verse 16.
“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou are the Christ, the Son of the Living God. (now look what Jesus said in verse 17.) And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”
So how did Peter understand that Jesus was the Christ? God opened his understanding! See? God did! And so never forget that faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God!