Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 49
Hebrews 5:1-14 – Part 2
Hebrews chapter 5 verse 10. We’re still dealing with the high priest after the order of Melchizedek and how Christ suffered and died and rose from the dead and then as we saw back in chapter 1 verse 3:
“…when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” Which indicated when He sat down that the work was finished. And never forget that. That twice in God’s dealings throughout the human history, He finished a work that was so perfect that He could sit down. The first one of course, was the work of Creation. Then the last verse of chapter 1 said, “and He saw that it was (what?) very good.” It was perfect and then you get into chapter 2, it doesn’t say He sat down but it says “He rested.” And I make the point that if you’re tired and you’ve had a long day what do you do to rest? Well, you sit down, and take a load off, as we say. And so God rested.
The work of the Cross is the same way. It was so perfect, there was not a flaw in that work. There was nothing that needed yet to be done. And so when He had purged our sins, He sat down. It was finished. And you know, ever since, what has mankind been trying to do? Add to it! One thing or another, adding to it. And, I think God is almost beside Himself that mankind cannot accept the fact that it was a finished work. Now let’s begin with verse 10.
“Called of God an high priest (not after the order of Aaron but) after the order of Melchizedek.” Who, remember, was the high priest of the Most High God, which was the definition of God concerning the non-Jewish world. Now we’ll move down into verse 11 and we’re going to again depart from the priesthood of Melchizedek for a little bit and we’re going to come down into the life of the ordinary believer. The ordinary Hebrew in this case, but we’re no different.
“Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing you are dull of hearing.” What is Paul referring to? It was hard for him to talk to them about the priesthood of Christ and after His finished work. Why? Because they were so thick-headed. They just couldn’t get it through their heads. And so he says, “You are dull of hearing.” Now verse 12, why were they dull of hearing? Well it was a malaise, I think – it was just no real interest. In fact, I think, I can safely say, anyone of you, I don’t care what church you go to, it’s no different denomination by denomination. Large churches or small. How many of your fellow-church people have a hunger for the Word of God? How many of them can honestly say, I just can’t wait until I can get into another Bible study.
Oh, I had an interesting call from a lady out in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She’s going to be tickled to death when she hears this. But she called the other morning, she’s started a prison ministry amongst women prisoners there in Bethlehem and she had kind of a hassle getting started from the powers that be, but anyhow, they finally gave her a place where she can meet. Well, a few weeks ago she had her first lesson and she uses a half-hour of our tape and then has some singing and so forth. Well, the first time they met there were three ladies, and she was excited to have three. But the next week she had, I think, nine if I remember right, and yesterday morning she called, she was so excited she could hardly talk, she had 19 ladies attending that class. And she said, “Les, the best part is we’re meeting on Monday and now they want a second one during the week!”
Well that is exciting. Because once people get an appetite once a week isn’t enough. And so I said, “Well, Daisy, one of these days, maybe you can go almost five nights a week like I’ve been doing, and you’ll just get filled up!” But you see this is the whole idea that Paul is expressing here. Most professing believers have no hunger for the Word of God. They’re dull of hearing. As long as they fulfill their obligation and they’re there for an hour or two a week, they think that’s all that’s necessary. But see, Paul is dealing with that when he says in verse 12:
“For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, (what does that mean? You should be sharing it with people but instead, Paul says,) you have need that one teach you again which are the first principles of the oracles of God.” So right there between the lines what is the process that God hopes to see happen? That after you’ve been taught, you share it with others. Now that doesn’t mean you have to collar them and preach at them or anything like that, but be ready to open the Scriptures.
Another phone call I had just the other morning – a gentleman was so excited he could hardly talk. He said, “Les, I’ve always hoped I could have an opportunity to share all this with somebody. And the other day a fellow came into my office and asked just the right question. I did like you have said so often, I grabbed a sheet of paper and I drew the timeline. I went through the whole timeline with that fellow and he left on cloud nine, as he had never seen the Scriptures opened like this before.”
Well, it wasn’t but another day later had another one almost exactly the same, but his inquirer was a Russian who was over here visiting in America on business. And he had asked the same thing. This was a different individual, but he did the same thing. Took out a sheet of paper and just laid out the timeline to that young Russian. He had never seen anything like it before in his life.
You see this is the whole idea. If you learn these things then it is so easy to share it with others. You don’t have to get out on the street corner and preach at people or collar them. But when they ask a question, and you’ve heard me say it before even on the program, you have both barrels cocked. Now, I’m going back to the old double-barreled 12-gauge shotgun that I grew up with. And when we were pheasant hunting, I know it was probably not the safest thing to do, but when we knew that there were birds not too far away, we walked with the barrels cocked and ready. Well, you see, this is what people should do, when someone asks you a question and it opens up, be ready! Be ready! Don’t hem and haw and say “Well I’m afraid to say something for fear I’m wrong.”
Hey, if you’ve studied, and if you’ve done your homework, the Lord will give you what it takes to share. And it will be the most exciting thing you’ve ever experienced. Well, that’s what Paul is dealing with. But these people weren’t ready. And he said, “You need to be taught again the principles.”
Now what are principles? The foundation. See? I’ve got kids, grandkids, unbelievable; they’re all three in algebra this year. My granddaughter is in college algebra and my older grandson is in an advanced algebra and my youngest grandson is in a second year algebra, but all three of them are struggling with algebra. Well, I wish I had the time and the where-with-all to just sit down and teach all three of them. But you see, there’s no use trying to teach algebra unless they’ve got what? Plain old basic math. There’s no use trying to learn algebra unless you know the principles of mathematics.
Well, it’s the same way with Scripture. People have to know the basics. That’s why when people call and they want to start a home Bible study and they ask what I recommend, I tell them to start in Genesis. Get people an understanding of Who God is, and how it all came about. How did it all start? What happened? How did sin enter? How did the need of salvation come about? And so you start with the principles and Paul says, “you people haven’t even got that. You cannot pass on the principles of the Word of God.” Now, look what he says next.
“…and are become such as have need of (what?) milk,…”
Goodness sakes, who starts out on milk? Babies! We all know that babies start on milk, because they can’t handle beefsteak. They can’t handle the stronger foods, so they must start on milk. Well, it’s the same parallel spiritually. You don’t take a new believer and take him into prophecy, because he’s not ready for that. But you take a new believer and you build him on the oracles, the basics of the Word of God, and that’s why I like to teach the way I do starting in Genesis and just come on up through the Scriptures. And have people mature progressively in a knowledge of the Scriptures.
Alright now, Paul, the tremendous apostle that he was, had problems teaching people, too. Go back with me to I Corinthians chapter 3. The Corinthian Church was the congregation with the most problems. They were the most unspiritual, because they were believers that were so fleshly minded. They had not, as Hebrews says, gone on into the deeper things. They too, were guilty of not even understanding the principles of the Word of God. So, if Paul has the problem, don’t feel bad if you and I do. It’s not easy to overcome some of these obstacles but you just keep repeating and repeating and repeating and finally it starts soaking in.
I Corinthians 3:1
“And I brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, (or fleshly) even as unto (what?) babes (or babies) in Christ.” Now they were believers and they had been believers for quite some time but they were still in their infancy so far as spiritual things were concerned. What were their problems? They were too hung up on tongues, prophecies, healings, going to law of pagan courts against each other. They were too busy arguing between themselves who was the greatest, Jesus or Peter or Apollos or Paul. See? And what was that? Carnality. That’s carnal thinking and so he says, “even after all these years I have to treat you as babes in Christ.” Now verse 2:
I Corinthians 3:2a
“I have fed you with milk,…” He understood when they were new believers fresh out of paganism that they needed the milk of the Word and so that’s what he gave them. And so he says:
I Corinthians 3:2
“I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: (or the deeper things) for hitherto you were not able to bear it, (that was understandable. But, what does the rest of the verse say?)neither yet now are ye able.”
He says “and you still can’t!” Isn’t that something? He says, “I understood that at the beginning when you were new believers that you had to be treated like babes in Christ, but, you haven’t grown a bit and I’m still having to treat you like babes in Christ.” Alright, now verse 3, what was their problem?
I Corinthians 3:3a
“For ye are yet carnal:…” You are more hung up on material things than you are on spiritual. Does that ring a bell? Here it comes now; I’ve already repeated it.
I Corinthians 3:3b
“…for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal and walk as men?” In other words, you walk like the unsaved world, and I’ve already referred to this. Some in the Corinthians Church would argue who they would follow. Some would say, “Well, we follow Apollos, or we think Paul’s the greatest.” Others thought it was Peter, and then we had all their other problems. In fact I remind people constantly, that this Corinthian letter was written to confront problems.
The Book of I Corinthians does not admonish spirituality and position like Ephesians and Philippians do. So Paul had to deal with problems in that Church because they weren’t growing. Oh, they were saved – he refers to that. They were believers but they were more concerned with fleshly and material things than they were the spiritual. But, Paul was absolutely right in starting them out on the milk of the Word and I’m going to take you all the way back to Peter’s little epistle and see what he says about this.
As you are turning to I Peter chapter 2 verse 2, I’ll never forget a pastor – Iris and I enjoyed his ministry when we were first married and he too, I’m pretty sure, is listening to our program now in his retirement, and hopefully, this will put a feather in his hat, it will make his day. Because this is one of the verses that we first memorized under his pastorate. He’d have us try to memorize a verse a week. And I still remember memorizing this verse.
I Peter 2:2a
“As new born babes, (see the illustration? Just like a newly born infant, a human infant.) desire the sincere milk of the word,…”
Now goodness sakes, I imagine every last one of you have been around newborn babes. Usually when they cry, what do they want? They want milk. They’re hungry! And that little body is just crying out for nourishment. Well that’s the way a believer should be – so hungry.
And that’s what thrills Iris and I as we read our mail – we’re seeing it. People are hungry for the Word. They’ve been in these dead churches for so long and when all of sudden they taste of the Word of God they can’t get enough of it. I had a young man call just last night, and he watches the program in the morning, tapes it, watches it again when he gets home at night. Well, he gets 60 minutes a day of the Word.
You’d be amazed at what that young man knew. I was just telling Jerry Pool about this guy at break time. The guy just blew me away with his knowledge and he had never had any of this before in his life. Boy, I mean he just laid it out, one item after another. And I said, “You’ve learned all this just in the last few months?” He said, “I’d never heard it before!” So it’s possible to learn a lot in a short time if you’re hungry.
We as believers, we start out as newborn babes desiring the sincere milk of the Word. The principles, as Paul said in Hebrews, of the Word of God, the very foundations, the basics. And what’s the purpose to be? That you grow. Now babies don’t stay on milk. There comes a point in time when they can handle more solid food, because it’s a growth process. Well, the Bible is the same way. You start out with the basics and you grow in your desire and your knowledge. Alright verse 3.
“If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is (what?) gracious.”
My, when you begin to taste of the goodness of God, it just whets your appetite. See? Well anyway, now we’ve got to come back to Hebrews, our time is going fast and we only have a few moments left. So back to chapter 5. Remember, the whole connotation is again, that instead of being ready to teach the Word to others, most believers are still on the milk bottle, and not ready for strong meat. As soon as you start talking some of the deep things of Scripture what do they do? They say, “I can’t understand that anyway, it’s over my head.” Well, whose fault is that? It’s their own.
The reason these deep things go over their heads is that they haven’t taken the time to study the simpler things and to progress. Just like in our secular education, it’s a direct parallel. Would you take a kid and put him in a calculus or a physics class if he never had fourth and fifth grade arithmetic? Of course not! That would be impossible. And so our whole secular education is a progressive thing to bringing up our young people to the place where they can comprehend the deeper concepts of whatever discipline. Now then, let’s move on to verse 13 of Hebrews chapter 5.
“For every one that useth milk…”
They’re still on maybe Christ’s earthly ministry, at least let’s hope maybe they’ve gotten that far. They understand that Jesus of Nazareth had a ministry, and his miracles and so forth, but that’s as far as they can go. All they know is just simply His earthly ministry, and consequently, they are unskillful in the Word of righteousness.
Most of the deeper concepts come from the pen of the Apostle Paul, and I imagine that the vast majority of church members know nothing of those concepts. For example, the first one that comes to my mind is that the old Adamic nature is bent to sin. “We’re not sinners because we sin, but rather we sin because we’re sinners.” Most people don’t even know what I’m talking about, and Paul enlightens us on that subject.
You see, the old Adamic nature that we’re born with, is hell-bent. And the only way you can overcome that is by the regeneration brought about by the power of God. And once we’re regenerated, then we can begin to understand spiritual things, but until that happens we can’t.
And most Church members can only rehearse Christ’s earthly ministry. I mean, they’ve heard that in Sunday School for years and they know that pretty much, but beyond that, they just don’t know. When it comes to end-time events as we see them rolling up around us, most people don’t have a clue as to what all this is about. They’ve never gotten off the milk bottle. They’ve never gotten any further than Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Then Paul goes on to say here in Hebrews:
“For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.” They’re babes!” And even in believers, they may have been saved for years and years but they’ve never gotten beyond the baby stage spiritually and so Paul is admonishing them. Get off the baby bottle! Now verse 14 and I guess hopefully this will take us to the end.
“But strong meat (this adult food, see?) belongs to them who are of full age, (that is spiritually mature) even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
What does all that mean? Well, after the rudiments of salvation and we’re babes in Christ, we begin to study the Word, and we begin to understand some of the basics. I think one of the first things we have to realize in this Age of Grace is that the moment we’re saved the Holy Spirit comes in, and indwells us. He then becomes our teacher. The Holy Spirit is the One Who opens up an understanding of the Scriptures. I guess I’d better use Scripture to define that. Come back to I Corinthians 2 and verse 10. This is where we start as a new believer with an understanding that we’re not just left out there to our own devices but we have that indwelling Holy Spirit Who is ready to reveal these things if we will ask Him to. Now I think we have to simply pray and ask God, “Give me understanding. Teach me. Give me wisdom.” And the Lord will do it.
I Corinthians 2:10
“But God hath revealed them (that is, the things that are only for believers to understand) unto us by his (what?) Spirit: for the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” Alright then come all the way down to verse 13,
I Corinthians 2:13
“Which things also we speak, (Paul says) not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, (see? You don’t go by what men say) but which the Holy Spirit teacheth. (And here’s how you study.) comparing spiritual with spiritual.”
This is why I use as many Scriptures as I possibly can because we have to understand that the Word of God dovetails. Everything fits and we compare Scripture with Scripture. And then verse 14. My if this doesn’t just tell us everything,
I Corinthians 2:14
“But the natural (the unregenerated, the unsaved) man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: (why?) for they are foolishness unto him:”
And why are they foolishness? Because he has no hunger, he has no desire to learn. And so we have to understand that it is a spiritual life that we have to feed the Word of God.