Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 48
A lot of people, as they catch our program, see this class setting and wonder who we are. Well we’re just a layman, and I’m a cattle rancher from Oklahoma, and I make no apology for that. The Lord has just sort of given us an opportunity to teach the Word to anybody from 7 to – oh we get listeners way up in the 90’s, and the answer is almost always the same. “Been in church all my life, 94 years old and I’ve learned more in the last 3 months than I did in 93 years.” Well, I give the Lord the credit for that because we’ve been able to just open the scriptures without attacking anyone. I see no purpose in pointing out other people’s faults and so forth. We’re just going to simply look at what the Scripture says and trust the Holy Spirit will direct it to the hearts where they need it.
So now let’s go right on with our study in Hebrews 4 and we’re going to go right in to verse 13. And remember in our last half hour we were pointing out how that the Word of God is so powerful and is totally capable of separating even the soul and spirit as you could if you were a medical person, separate the joints and marrow. All right, now then we go into the verse.
“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight:
In other words it’s just tied to this same concept that the Word of God is able to just simply penetrate into those areas that nothing else can do and so there is nothing, no creature that is not manifest in his sight. I always like to define that word manifest as a light under a microscope. That, until you turn that little powerful light on to beam up through the object that you are looking at, you don’t see anything. But once that light manifests everything that’s on that little glass slide, it’s made available for you to see. Alright, now that’s the way the Word of God is. It just simply puts God’s powerful spotlight on everything, and so he says:
“…but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”
Now, never forget that Paul is constantly referring in the book of Hebrews to the living God. We aren’t worshiping some idol of wood or stone. We’re not worshiping some man-concocted idea, but we are literally aware of, and worshiping, and are saved by, a living creator God.
Alright, now I think I’m going to let the Scripture speak for itself, and periodically, in my own time, I just love to go back and read Psalm 139. Let’s go back and look at it in this light. How that God sees everything, the unimportant, the mundane, as well as the headline grabbing events of mankind. Nothing escapes His manifestations. Here in Psalms 139, David just puts it so beautifully and like I said, I’m going to let the Word of God speak for itself. In fact, I had a Jehovah’s Witness listener and they qualified themselves as a Jehovah’s Witness and this is what they said. “I so enjoy your reading program.” Well it kind of made us smile for a moment and I thought yes, that’s what I do most of the time. I read and let the Word speak for itself. And I had another letter again just yesterday that asked us to never stop putting the Scripture on the screen. This is the only Bible that a lot of people will ever read. And so this is why we put the Scriptures up as much as we do. As we begin with verse 1 of Psalms 139 we’ll just let the Spirit lead to see how far we want to go.
“O Lord, thou hast searched me, and (what’s the next word?) known me.”
There’s not a part of us that God doesn’t know. Again, as we go into the throne room in prayer, and we’ll be looking at that a little later, maybe not today, but maybe in our taping next month, where he says, “Come boldly before the throne of Grace.” Do you realize, do you believe with all your heart, that when you and I pray and when we come into that throne room, it’s as if we are the only one. God isn’t dealing with millions and millions of people. Oh, he is, but as an individual. And I have that confidence that when I pray, it’s the Lord and I alone in the throne room, and you can have that same feeling. All right, and this is what David is saying. The Lord not only searched him but what? Knew him. Personally, as an individual man.
“Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.”
The what? Our thought! You don’t even have to say it and the Lord knows what you are thinking. Now I think I got ready to say it a little bit ago. That doesn’t mean that God holds us responsible for every rotten thought that scoots through our mind. And if you don’t have rotten thoughts, then you’re not part of the human race. I’ll never forget years ago when it bothered me that once in a while at just the most revered time, my old mind could shoot these filthy thoughts through and then I read an article by a dear old pastor of a large church in Philadelphia years back. And this was his testimony. He said “It amazed me that there I could stand behind the communion table and as my deacons were out there passing the elements of the Lord’s supper, I would have the most awful thoughts.”
And you know what I said? Praise the Lord! Because that tells me he was no different than I am and I’m no different that you are. We do have thoughts like that, but as long as we don’t stop and dwell on them, I don’t think God holds us responsible. Our subconscious can shoot them on through and if we let them go, He’s not going to hold us responsible. But if we’re going to stop it and say now wait a minute, I’m going to think about this a little longer. Then it becomes something that we’re going to have to give an account for, and lose some rewards. But never lose sight of the fact that God is a discerner of the very thoughts of our thinking. Now verse 3.
“Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.”
Now you know what that means? There’s not a moment in your time of living that God isn’t completely around you. Now I’m talking to believers. David was a believer. So this is the assurance that we have, that God is that aware of us as an individual. Not just as one of masses, but we’re an individual in His sight. Lets go on. This is interesting isn’t it? Man, I could just about spend the whole day in this chapter. Now verse 4.
“For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, that thou knowest it altogether.” There is not a word that God isn’t aware of. That’s quite something isn’t it?
“Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.”
Now verse 6, and this is almost a repetition of what I said a program or two back. That I cannot begin to comprehend some of these tremendous truths. Now look what David said.
“Such knowledge (what knowledge? That he is an individual in God’s sight and that God knows everything about him, the individual, such knowledge) is too wonderful for me; (it’s beyond understanding, it is too wonderful for me) it is high, I cannot attain unto it. 7. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? (or whither) shall I flee from thy presence?”
What does that tell a believer? You’d better be careful where you go. Because you see, no matter where we go, God is there with us. We can’t check him at the door, because He’s with us every place we go. Alright now verse 8.
“If (now that’s a conditional word, doesn’t say that he does, but if it were possible) I could ascend up into heaven, thou are there: (well that’s not too hard to comprehend) if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.”
Now you want to remember, David is writing from the Old Testament perspective and Hell was that place of the departed and was separated into two sides, Paradise and Torment, as we see in Luke 16, with the story of the rich man and Lazarus. And I’m quite sure that David isn’t putting himself in Torment. So when he went down into the Paradise of Hell of the Old Testament economy, God was there. Now verse 9.
“If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10. Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”
What does that tell you? There’s not a place on this earth where you could go beyond the hand of God upon you. Not a place. Now verse 11.
“If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.” In other words, darkness doesn’t stop God. The thickest, darkest night doesn’t keep God from seeing. He knows everything, and sees everything. Now verse 12
“Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” So darkness doesn’t make any difference to God. Now verse 13.
“For thou hast possessed my reins; (in other words, the desires of his life) thou hast covered me (where?) in my mother’s womb.”
What does that tell the abortionists? When does God pick up interest in us as an individual? In our mother’s womb! Paul says that God saved me by His Grace, from where? From his mother’s womb. Alright reading on.
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;…”
Well now, in our age of technology and information the average person probably knows more about the physiology of our bodies than MD’s did a century ago. And the more we learn, and the more we understand, the more we realize how complex this body really is. Just beyond human comprehension of how complex it is and yet God is aware of every little detail. Now verse 15.
“My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.” 16. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” In other words, God knew the end from the beginning before the beginning ever started. Now verse 17.
“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!”
Now you want to remember, David, according to Scripture “was a man after God’s own heart.” But David wasn’t in a class all by himself. We’re just as much prone to be in that kind of a mindset.
“If I should count them, (that is all these precious thoughts, if I should count them) they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” 19. Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: (now of course remember this is in the Old Testament economy) depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.” Now verse 20.
“For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.”
And so on, and on it goes, but what a gorgeous, gorgeous explanation of the Omnipotence of the God. Never lose sight of it. Even if you have to go back and read this Psalm once or twice a week and just get encouraged as well as convicted that the God of heaven, with whom we have to do, knows all about us.
Alright, lets come back to Hebrews again for the few minutes that are left. And so everything, not only of the human race, but of all God’s creation are manifested in his sight. Nothing happens that God isn’t aware of it. Now as we go into verse 14, we shift gears. Paul is great on that. Now all of a sudden, we go from the Omnipotent, Almighty, living God and this Book that is powerful, can even divide asunder soul and spirit, now all of a sudden we slip into the high priestly role of Christ.
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is (now watch those next few words, that is what?) passed into the heavens,…”
Now you remember when we first started way back in Genesis 1:1, in the beginning God created heaven and earth, and way back then already I pointed out that through all of Scripture God deals in two realms. The earthly and the heavenly. Israel was God’s earthly people, and we are His heavenly. Alright, now when Christ finished the work of the cross, rose from the dead, and ascended or passed as the Book of Hebrews puts it, He passed into the heavenlies. Do you realize what that means? Up until that time, all worship, all concerns of the Word of God were primarily centered in Jerusalem, weren’t they? In the Temple worship and Israel. But once Christ passed into the heavens, where is now the seat and the core of all spiritual activity? Heaven. And so Paul is constantly reminding you and I now then as Grace Age believers that we’re not an earthly people, we’re a heavenly people, because He has passed into the heavens. He ascended gloriously into the heavens.
Alright now let’s just look at a few verses to go along with that. Come back to Ephesians, the little Book of Ephesians, in chapter 1, verse 3.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings (where?) in heavenly places…”
Or better is the heavenlies, rather than in heavenly places. That’s the seed of everything. The heavenlies. We’re not tied to a temple worship; we’re not tied to a set of rituals here on earth, because we are heavenly. And as we saw in just the previous verses, we are involved with a God that we can come into his presence and he knows us as an individual. And we’re going to see, like I said a moment ago, a little later in one of the verses where he says, “come boldly into the Throne of Grace.” Now let’s look at another one over in Colossians chapter 1,
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (or prepared us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13. Who (speaking of the Father, remember) Hath delivered us from the power of darkness, (where’s that? On the earth. He’s delivered us from that power of darkness,) and hath (past tense) translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” Well, where’s the Son? In heaven. Alright, now let’s back up a page to Philippians chapter 3 verse 20. Here we have concrete evidence of where our seat of worship is now located.
“For our conversation (or citizenship is a better word, for our citizenship is where) is in heaven; from whence we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:”
So our citizenship is already in heaven, and not here on the earth. We’re just strangers passing through. We’re foreigners, and we’re looking for our Saviour. We’re much closer to our Lord’s coming than Paul was. You remember I referred to a cartoon quite a few months ago and this old boy was sitting in front of his cave door, bearded and everything else, and over the cave door he said “The end is near” but he had added “er.” Remember that? And that’s what made me think of it. Paul wrote in about 63 or 64 AD that he was looking for the Savior from Heaven. But here we are 1900 and some years later, the end is what? Nearer. So we should be even more expectant than the Apostle Paul was. So remember “our citizenship is in heaven from whence we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:”
And when he comes, now you see, Paul is speaking as though we’re going to be alive when this happens. “Who shall change our vile body, (this one) that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” That’s why if the Lord decides to come yet before we leave this afternoon, that ceiling isn’t going to stop us. No way, because we’re suddenly going to have a body like he had. Did he have to walk around and find the door? No, he went right through the wall. He could have come in through the ceiling and we’re going to leave the same way. Never lose sight of that. That the scripture’s so plain that we’re going to have instantly a body like his resurrected body. And it’s going to work even as his did. Well anyway, the few moments we have left, let’s get back to Hebrews 4.
And so we have this great high priest, not in Jerusalem, not waiting in the sanctuary of the temple there, that’s long gone, but he has passed into the heavens. Jesus the Son of God. Now you remember when we were back there in the early chapters of Hebrews? We were emphasizing the Son. How that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son in Whom everything had been placed. Alright, we’re reminded again that He is the One Who is the core of our confession or profession. And that is what? That Christ, the Son of God, the creator of the universe, the One Who was born in Bethlehem, Who grew up in Nazareth, Who went the way of the cross, rose from the dead and ascended back to glory, that’s our confession. You know, I told one of my classes the other night, I think it was here in Tulsa, my, if I asked someone how do you know that you’re going to be in heaven, either after the rapture or after you die? How do you know? I only want to hear one answer. And what is it? I believe with all my heart that Christ died for my sins and I know that he arose from the dead. Now when I hear that, then I can say yes I have to agree, you’re going to be in glory. Because that is the only reason. You can work from now till doomsday and you’re never going to work your way into heaven. But our confession is this Jesus the Christ Who has passed into the heavens, Who is the Son of God. Now then in the moment or two that’s left, verse 15.
“For we (now back to Hebrews 4) have not (or do not have) a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities;”
Now I always like to put it into the positive. We have a high priest who can be touched with our infirmities. Doesn’t that make it easier to understand? Yes. We have a high priest who knows all about us. He sees our every thought as we just saw from the Psalms. There’s nothing that we can hide from him. There’s not a heartache that he doesn’t feel. There’s not a joy and an exuberance that he doesn’t know.
Now since we know that we have such a high priest, we can also rest on the fact that not only does He know all about us, but He knows where we are, because He too was touched with temptations. Now I always have to be careful and qualify it. He never was tempted to succumb, He was tempted only so that He could understand from virtual experience what we have to face. He never had the possibility of succumbing. Of course, the best ones, I suppose, that we are aware of, are the temptations in the wilderness when Satan said, turn these stones into bread. Now don’t think even for a split second that the Lord considered it. No way. But He went through those temptations so that the scripture could tell us that nothing, nothing that enters the life of a believer as temptation is something that He hadn’t already experienced. And so that’s what it means. Now we have a high priest who knows exactly what we’re putting up with. He knows what its like to be tempted. The only difference was that He did it apart from sin and we are so prone to sin. But He knows all about us.