Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 49
Before we begin our lesson let me share with you that we get letters from here to Timbuktu and some of them catch our program in the middle of the night, whereas some are early in the morning, and some are in the afternoon. So wherever you are, we appreciate the fact that you welcome us into your home.
Alright, we’re going to go right back into Hebrews chapter 5 and now verse 7. Speaking of this Priest after the order of Melchizedek. I’m not going to spend any more time on His Melchizedek priesthood because when we get to chapter 7, that whole chapter will be dealing with it and so I’m going to save a little for when we get there. But now moving on with regard to Christ being a Priest after the order of Melchizedek, verse 7,
“Who in the days of his flesh, (in other words, his earthly ministry) when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him who was able to save him from death,…”
Boy have you ever read that before – carefully? What is it telling us? That here again, God the Son, in His humanity, there in Jerusalem after His three years of earthly ministry, as He had gone down into the Garden of Gethsemane knowing that in a short period of time the Romans would be coming to make their formal arrest. And He knew exactly what was coming. You know I always like to let people understand that Christ knew the end from the beginning.
Come back with me to Luke chapter 18 for a moment. Now, most of you are aware this is the way I teach. When a verse comes to mind, I feel it’s the unction of the Spirit and we’re going to go back and look at it, because even though He was in the flesh, He suffered in the flesh. Yet, He was God. He knew the end from the beginning. Absolutely nothing took Him by surprise. Now the setting is Northern Israel up there at the headwaters of the Jordan River and it’s just at the end of His three years of earthly ministry. They will soon be making their way up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover and His crucifixion.
“Then he took unto him the twelve, and he said unto them, behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets (the Old Testament) concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. 32. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, (the Romans) and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spit on: 33. They shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.” Did He know what was coming? Absolutely! Absolutely, every detail. He knew every Roman that would be a part of it. He knew every Jewish voice that would be coming up against Him. He knew it all! But how much did the Twelve know? I don’t dare go without reading the next verse.
“And they (the Twelve) understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”
See that’s how God can keep things from people’s understanding. And so when they get to Jerusalem in a few days with all the hubbub of the Passover, did the Twelve have any idea of what was about to happen? No! They had no idea He was going to die. They thought He was still ready to bring in the Kingdom offered to Israel. But, the Lord knew.
Alright, now back to Hebrews chapter 5 and maybe that will help just a little. And so during the days of His flesh, while He’s there in Gethsemane when He had sweat drops of blood, and He asked the Twelve to pray with Him. And instead of praying what’d they do? Hey, they slept. And He woke them up and He told them to pray with Him, and He went a little further distance from them, and again what did He find the Twelve doing? Sleeping!
But oh, He was going through the agony knowing what was coming. Alright, and so He did, He prayed and made supplication to God the Father from His humanity. Now, we always have to stop and realize. By the same token, He wouldn’t have had to ask God to bring ten legions of angels, He could have commanded it Himself. And He said it in so many words. “If I wanted to be saved from this, God the Father would send those legions of angels.” But, He never asked for that, see?
“Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared:”
Now the fear here is the beginning of wisdom. Godly fear is the beginning of wisdom. And so it wasn’t that He was afraid of what was coming, but in His respect for all that was involved in His death and He cries out to God the Father. In fact, you know what some of His prayer was. “If it be possible, Let this cup be taken from me.” What cup was He talking about? The cup of suffering. But it wasn’t possible. It had to happen. And again this is beyond my understanding and I think it is so for any human. How that through all this suffering God was able to save, to the uttermost, those who believe. This is just beyond us. But, nevertheless, this was part and parcel of the suffering that He went through leading up to the Cross.
Alright, let’s go back to Philippians chapter 2 and we’ve used these verses so often. And I don’t think there’s any way I can wear them out. But come back with me to Philippians chapter 2 verse 5 through 8. My, periodically, just in your own devotional time read these verses. Where Paul writes:
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus;”
Now another verse comes to mind. I won’t make you go back and find it but in Romans 12 verse 1, what does he say?
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
Well, this is all the same concept see? You know what, I have to be so careful and I just went through it again on one of my recent phone calls. When I explain salvation by faith and faith alone. By just simply believing that Christ died, was buried and rose again. I have to immediately follow that up with, but this is not license. Now that you’ve made yourself fit for eternity; you don’t have to worry about anything else. Can you go and live any way you want? NO! That is not the way it works. And the first thing I try to impress on people, especially older people that are up in their 40’s and 50’s and 60’s, I say, now look, just because I maintain that you are saved the moment you believe – remember that when you’re saved, God’s going to change you. You’re not going to be the same person that you were.
And the Scripture makes it so plain, that as soon as we believe, God makes us a new person with new appetites, new desires, and we’re going to hate the things we once thought we had to have. And that’s what people have to realize. That when we talk about a salvation by faith and faith alone, it’s not a salvation that permits no change in lifestyle. There has to be a change in lifestyle or there’s not a salvation. It’s one or the other.
So this is what Paul is admonishing here. Back to Philippians chapter 2, that if we have the mind of Christ, it’s not going to be that satanically driven process. It’s going to be the opposite side of the coin. We’re going to be driven now through the very thought processes of the One Who loved us and gave Himself for us. Alright, now verse 6. So the very first word of verse 6 is Christ Jesus of verse 5:
“Who being in the form of God, (the visible manifestation of God) thought it not robbery (and if you have a margin, I think the best way is ‘something that he could grasp at’) to be equal with God. 7. But (instead he) made himself of no reputation, and took upon himself the form of a servant,…”
He was born in a manger, raised in a carpenter’s shop, went through three years of earthly ministry with no place to lay His head. Don’t let these television preachers convince you that He had wealth untold. Not in His earthly ministry He didn’t. He said, “Foxes have holes, birds have nests but the Son of man hath no place to lay his head.” That’s exactly what it was. He had nothing of this world’s goods. And so this is the reason, “He made himself of no reputation and took upon himself the form of a servant.”
Now that’s a kind translation. What’s a better word? Slave, or bond-slave! “He took upon himself the form of a bond slave.” How many rights did a bond slave have in antiquity? None! They were treated like dirt, and cast aside at a moments thought. Alright, and so He took upon himself the form of a bond slave:
“…and was made in the likeness of men:”
Now you know we’re always trying to make that analogy that in order for God to be the Savior of mankind, in order to be the High Priest of the order of Melchizedek, what did He have to do? He had to become one of us. He had to walk as men walked and He had to suffer the same passions of hunger and hurt and fatigue that we do, in order to fully understand what it was to save mankind to the uttermost. See? So, “made in the likeness of men” so that He could become one of us and thereby not only become our great High Priest but also the Savior and the Captain of our salvation. Now then verse 8,
“And being found in fashion as a (what?) a man,…” A man! He didn’t look bazaar or different. He looked very ordinary and He could walk though a crowd and strangers couldn’t pick Him out by His bazaar appearance. He appeared as an ordinary man.
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself,..” How could He? Because He was God! He could do this to Himself. He could take Himself from the realms of Glory from the power of the Creator and He could bring Himself down to be like mortal men. And so He humbled Himself and by becoming that epitome of humility,
“…and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” What does the word obedient imply? There was a requirement laid upon Him. He had to die. There was no way out, because without His death humanity would have been totally destitute of salvation. Even the Old Testament believers would have been simply wiped out of all of it had He not died. Because you want to remember even the Old Testament saints, the greatest of them, Moses, Abraham you name them – without that finished work of the cross, their salvation wasn’t complete either. See?
And that’s why when Christ went down into Paradise and set those Old Testament captives free, why were they kept down there instead of going on to Glory? Because their sins hadn’t been atoned for. Animal blood didn’t take away their sin. But it was when Christ’s blood was shed, that’s when the salvation of the Old Testament saints was complete. Their atonement was now complete and Christ could take them on up to Glory. But not until. Now back to our text, and reading verse 8 again.
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, (and not just an ordinary death of maybe being killed with a sword, or beheaded as Paul was, but something far worse) even the death of the cross.”
Now you see most of us just take that so glibly. And we say, oh yeah, Christ died for me. But listen that’s not the half of it. We can never comprehend the suffering that He had to go through beyond the physical.
A verse is coming to mind, and I think it’s II Corinthians chapter 5 – let’s go back and look at it. Let’s just jump in at verse 17. I may have shared it before on the program, I know I have with my classes in Oklahoma. Some time ago, I think it was probably back in the summertime, I read an account of a pastor in the Chicago area years ago, so I know he’s long gone to glory, but he was a pastor of a large church in the Chicago area of over a thousand people and one Sunday morning (that’s what made me think of it) he read this verse II Corinthians 5:17. And I’m going to take the time to rehearse it because it shook me to my bootstraps and I think it should everybody. He read verse 17 of chapter 5 and he said
II Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: (or creation. Go right back to what I said three, four minutes ago) old things are passed away: behold, all things are become new.”
Our old desires, our old appetites, they have to go. “Behold, all things are become new.” Now that’s what happens when we believe. Alright, this pastor asked his huge congregation including everyone in the balcony, “If you are a Christian this morning please stand.” How many stood? Everybody. Not a one stayed seated, they all stood.
He says, “Alright, please be seated.” He read the verse again, “Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creation” and so forth. Now he said, “If you know that you are in Christ and you are a new creation, please stand.” How many stood? Just one here and there, just precious few. Well, what does that tell you? That’s typical, that’s why I’ve said on this program, others have said it, and the other night I shared it with my class in Oklahoma and lo and behold somebody brought me a clipping out of a newspaper where some famous pastor had said almost the same thing. “Our churches are full of unsaved church members. They’re not in Christ. They haven’t experienced a new life. They’ve still got the old appetites. There’s nothing different.”
And that won’t fit see? Alright, so now then reading on, this isn’t where I intended to come, I just happened to see the verse as I was turning to it. Reading on, he says in verse 18:
II Corinthians 5:18
“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;” In other words, all the things that have set us apart from God have now been bringing us back to Him. Now verse 19:
II Corinthians 5:19
“To wit, God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; (in other words, because when we become a believer our sin debt is paid)and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”
We’re to tell a lost world, we’re to tell lost friends, lost co-workers, “Hey, Christ has already reconciled you if you’ll just believe it.” Now verse 20,
II Corinthians 5:20
“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” By believing it! Now here’s a verse I came back to read. Verse 21:
II Corinthians 5:21a
“For he (God) hath made him (Christ) to be sin for us,…”
Now don’t read that too casually. What does that really mean? God laid all the sin of the world, including mine, including yours, on Him. And here again I can’t comprehend that, and I don’t think that you can. God laid all the sins of the world on Christ as He hung on that Cross, see? That’s what Philippians means “That He died even the death of the Cross”knowing that the sins of the world would be laid on Him. Alright reading on in this verse: He Who became sin for us, He Who knew no sin. He was perfect. He was sinless. And He went through the whole process for you and I.
II Corinthians, 5:21b
“… that we (as lost hell-bound sinners) might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
And this is what we have to believe. We take it by faith. And when we believe for our salvation that He died, was buried and rose from the dead, then God imparts His righteousness unto us and we’re a new creation and we’re a new person. Now back to Hebrews again, and verse 8 still in chapter 5.
“Though he were a Son,…”
Again, you have to remember how we stressed that term Son in the first two chapters of Hebrews. He was not just a carpenter’s son, He was not just Mary’s son, He was the very Person of the Godhead that created everything. He was the One to Whom the rest of the Godhead imparted all the responsibility of creation and of this work of the Cross. And so:
“Though he were the Son, (He was all powerful,) yet he learned (what?) obedience (to respond to the responsibility that had been given to Him by the Godhead as a whole) yet he learned obedience by the things which he suffered;” There in that agony leading up to and going through that death of the cross. Now verse 9,
“And being made perfect, (complete, I think, is a better word. A complete Savior, a complete Reconciler, and One Who forgives and saves us to the uttermost) he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”
Now back up a page or two – we covered almost the same identical word “author” in Hebrews chapter 2 verse 10. I like to use all these Scriptures because they all compliment each other.
“For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain (same word) of their salvation perfect (or complete, but what did it take?) through suffering.”
Christ had to suffer in order to become then the Captain of our salvation, or as it says here, now come back to chapter 5 verse 9, the “author of our salvation.” Without the suffering it could have never happened. Now verse 9 again.
“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”
Well what’s another word for obey? Believing. In fact, I just ran across a verse in Acts and I didn’t remember ever stressing it in my teaching and it just hit me like a thunderbolt as I was teaching the other night in my Tahlequah class. Come back with me to Acts chapter 13. My, this is a verse I’ve missed all these years.
“Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thy Holy One to see corruption. 36. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God fell on sleep, (he died) and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: 37. But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption. 38. Be it known unto you therefore, my and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: (and here it comes in the next verse) 39. And by him all that believe are justified…”