Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 51
Hebrews 9:15 – 10:1a – Part 2
“So Christ was once (there it is again, see?) offered to bear the sins of many.” And as we studied in our last half-hour, that “many” was the whole human race.
“…and unto them that look for him, he shall appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
Now of course, what Paul is referring to is that, when Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation, those that have embraced Him throughout the Gospel of the Kingdom in that seven years of Tribulation and have survived – they’re going to see Him coming, and He will come “without sin unto salvation.” I feel what Paul is addressing here is that, at His first advent, He came for what purpose? To die for the sins of the world. And then II Corinthians 5 says so plainly that He was ‘made sin for us.’ He Who knew no sin.
He’s not going to come to pay any sin debt when He comes the next time. When He comes the second time it will be in wrath and judgment – and then establishing His Heaven-on-earth Kingdom. And I think that’s what’s referred to here, that He’ll come the “second time without sin unto salvation.” Now let’s move on into chapter 10, coming right back again to the Mosaic System.
“For the law having a shadow of good things to come,…”
Remember I gave you an illustration of shadows (about a big beautiful tall tree. And it casts a shadow but you can’t get all that much from the shadow. It can give you an idea but that’s about all). Well that’s what the Law was. The Law really didn’t have anything of intrinsic value for us except that it was a foreshadowing of that which was to come.
“For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of things,…”
You know I probably upset people once in a while and I don’t do it purposely. But you know when it comes to the Old Testament believers, some like to tell me that these believers understood or foresaw the resurrection. How could they? How about Abraham for one? Abraham believed God. And his believing was accounted unto him for righteousness. And then they tried to tell me that Abraham understood this Christ would die on a Cross? No. I don’t buy that, because he had no concept of that. How could he? The Cross was a Roman invention and didn’t come for hundreds and hundreds of years later. But what little God revealed to Abraham, he believed! And God accounted it to him for righteousness.
And so here again, the Law was just a shadow of good things to come. Oh, even the Rabbis and the Priests understood that there were things here that they weren’t comprehending. A verse just comes to mind that we need to look at. We’ve looked at it before, but it’s been a while. Come all the way to I Peter. And Peter again is addressing the Jews who had gone into dispersion. He’s writing to the ‘strangers scattered abroad,’ which are Jews. But you come into chapter 1, and this is what we mean by ‘it was just a shadow.’ Oh, there were things back in that Old Testament that the religious leaders of Israel just knew there was something that they weren’t comprehending.
I Peter chapter 1? Let’s begin at verse 7 and lead up to the main verse. Someday, if the Lord tarries, we’ll be finishing Hebrews and then we’ll go on into the little epistles of James. Some of you have already been asking. “Where are we going next?” Well, now you’ve got your answer. We’ll probably go on into James and I and II Peter; I, II and III John and Jude. And then of course, I’m open for suggestions as to what will follow. We’ll go back to the Minor Prophets and Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel – oh my goodness we’ve got a long ways to go. I could live to be 500 and we’d never finish it!
I Peter 1:7-9
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. 2. Whom (speaking of Jesus Christ) having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory; 9. Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” See, there again, even Peter is emphasizing the faith aspect. Verse 10:
I Peter 1:10
“Of which salvation the prophets have (what?) inquired (what does that mean? They asked a ton of questions.) and (they) searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you.” It hadn’t come yet, but they understood that there was something coming and they searched and they tried their level best to put the whole thing together, but they could not.
Now, you know, many times throughout the years we’ve been on television, I’ve gone back to Rachel’s death at the birth of little Benjamin. And I think most of you are aware, as she was dying, what did she say the little fellow’s name would be? “Benoni.” Which meant what? ‘The son of my suffering’ because she was dying. But old Jacob overruled it and he said,“No. We’re not going to call him ‘Benoni,’ we’re going to call him Benjamin.” Which meant ‘the son of strength.’ Well now, what do you suppose the Rabbis did with that? Well, there’s something here. This didn’t just happen by accident. Surely there’s going to be two Messiahs. One who will suffer and they understood Isaiah 53 that said, ‘He would be led as a lamb to the slaughter.’ They could put that much together.
So evidently the Benoni was a ‘suffering’ Messiah. But then along comes Jacob and renames the little lad Benjamin, the ‘son of strength,’ and the Old Testament is full of the King and His Kingdom. So that Messiah must be the King. So they thought maybe there would be two. Well, that was logical up to a point. But what did they never put together? One and the same, but in two different times! Separated now at least by 2,000 years, but we hope it won’t be much more. But they could never comprehend that the Benoni was Christ’s first advent, the suffering Messiah. Now, nearly 2,000 years later, we trust that soon, the Benjamin aspect is coming and what is He going to be? The King! See how beautiful it all is? But these Old Testament people never figured it out. They never figured it out, and most Jews today still haven’t.
I had a nice phone call the other day from a Jew. She said, “Oh I’m with you all the way.” I don’t like to express the good comments that we get, but I do get good comments from Jewish people and even from a Rabbi once in a while, and we appreciate that. But see, these Rabbis just didn’t have an understanding. They saw the shadow, but like I showed in my analogy, you don’t build a piece of furniture with a shadow. You’ve got to have the tree. And all they could pick up was the shadow. They knew there was something they couldn’t put their finger on. All right, verse 11:
I Peter 1:11a
“Searching…” Now if you understand Yeshivas in Israel’s educational system, all those young men do from morning till night is they just sit there and they do nothing but analyze the Old Testament; searching to see if they can come up with some little tidbit of revelation that nobody else has ever seen. Well, these old fellows were doing the same thing, searching the Old Testament.
I Peter 1:11-12
“Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, (the Benoni) and the (what?) glory which should follow. (the Benjamin. The King, the Kingdom.) 12. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us (Peter, speaking now after the fact) they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them who have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.” Peter is so clear and adamant here that these Old Testament Rabbis saw the shadow, but they could not construct the whole picture because God was keeping it secret.
Now let’s take you back to a verse in Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy 29:29. I had a dear, dear friend of mine who was in my class for a long time and his health has now deteriorated. And dear old Dr. Baker came up one night and said, “Les, I’ve found a verse that fits your teaching to a ‘T.’ And here it is. Oh, I’ve thanked the Lord for it over the years. It was a long time coming. But see, this just opens it all up.
“The secret things…” What things? Secret. Now listen, a secret is a secret! And when it’s a secret, how many people know about it? Nobody but one.
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God: (and nobody else) but (flipside) those things which are revealed (that are no longer secret, see?) belong unto us (Moses is writing)and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
What’s the verse telling us? That God keeps things secret until He reveals it. And He’s not going to reveal it all at once. He’s going to reveal it little by little. And so all the way up through Scripture God is revealing things that He has kept secret. And that’s why a lot of the prophecies back in the Old Testament were hard even for Bible scholars to comprehend. God didn’t expect them to. There was no need for it. What good would it have done to have started preaching prophecy back there in 1000 AD. There was no need for it. Even at 1500 AD there was still no need for it. But as we approached the 1900’s, all of a sudden Bible scholars began to see the picture of the end-time coming together. Well, that’s the way God works. You see, the Apostle Paul, over and over, is making mention of that.
Now let me take you back to what Paul says. Let’s go to Romans, chapter 16. Now don’t forget what we just read in Deuteronomy. God keeps things secret. And until He reveals it, that’s what they are. But once He reveals it, He expects mankind to believe it. Here in Romans 16 verse 25, this is one of my favorite verses. You know, I usually ask my seminar crowds, how many of you have ever heard a sermon preached on Romans 16:25? Well, until last Fall up in Minnesota, I never got a hand. Last Fall, I finally got two or three. But see, people don’t hear this. They don’t want to touch it with a ten-foot pole. Look what it says,
“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, (of I Corinthians 15:1-4) and the preaching of Jesus Christ. according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept (what?) secret since the world began.”
See how plain that is? Well what was secret about it? In Christ’s earthly ministry, Peter, James and John and the rest had no idea that God would turn to the Gentile world with this Gospel of Grace. They had no concept of such a thing. The only mindset they had was that once Israel was converted, yes, then Israel could move out and bring the Gentiles in. But you see I’m always emphasizing back there in that earthly ministry, what did Jesus tell the Twelve when they began their ministry?
“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Well what was that? That was something that was still kept secret from the Gentile world. They weren’t to go and reveal anything to the Gentiles, because it wasn’t time for it. Paul’s Gospel of believing in the death, burial, and resurrection for salvation hadn’t happened yet. And so Peter, James and John and the rest, they know nothing of going to Gentiles. You know, I always like to come back to Peter and the house of Cornelius in Acts chapter 10. Now you see, that was probably seven, eight, nine years after Pentecost and they’d been situated only in Jerusalem all those years. If you don’t believe me, read Acts 8 verse 1. ‘They were all scattered abroad everywhere, except the apostles.’They weren’t about to leave.
But finally, after Saul’s conversion in chapter 9 – and then in chapter 10, God providentially forced Peter to go to this Gentile house of Cornelius and you’ve heard me say it more than once – “heel prints in the sand!” Peter didn’t want to go to those pagan Gentiles any more than Jonah did. But he got there and God did something that those Jews could not comprehend. What’d He do? Saved that house full of Romans. Now we don’t know how many there were. Couldn’t have been hundreds as they were all living in a house. But anyway, the point I always make is, wouldn’t you think that after seeing the miraculous salvation of a bunch of Roman military men, that Peter would have just sent a messenger back to Jerusalem and said, “Fellows, I’m out of here. God is going to take the Gospel to the Gentiles, I’ll see you later!”
Is that what happened? No. He trekked right back to Jerusalem as though nothing had ever happened and when he got there they chewed him out royally. “What business did you have going to the Gentiles?” Isn’t that funny that those people couldn’t understand that? Why? Because this whole concept of going to the Gentiles with the Gospel of Grace was still kept secret. Now along comes the Apostle Paul and what’s the first thing God tells him? “I’m going to send you far hence to the Gentiles.” Unheard of! Those pagan Gentiles? All right, now look what Paul writes in Galatians chapter 1 verse 11, and this is such simple language. Look what the Apostle writes, by inspiration of the Spirit.
“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which is preached of me (or what he called in Romans ‘my gospel’) is not after man. 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, (that is by other men) but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Now when you let go of a secret what are you doing? Well, you reveal it. And so this secret that’s been in the mind of God was not revealed until the Apostle Paul. Not all at once – little by little.
All right, so he said, “I got it by revelation of Jesus Christ.” I just pointed out to someone who called on the phone (as to where I stand concerning Christ’s earthly ministry), “Look, Christ’s earthly ministry was under the Law. It was directed to the children of Israel,” and I quoted him to Romans 15 verse 8. ‘Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God to fulfill the promises made to the fathers.’’ Plain English, isn’t it? All right, so He came to the Nation of Israel under the Law leading up to the crucifixion.
But this man Paul, now, has things revealed from the ascended Lord. What does that mean? Well, a whole new ball game. Now we’re ready to reveal some secrets – read on.
“For ye have heard of my conversation (or my manner of living) in times past in the Jews religion, (as you know he was a religious zealot) how that beyond measure I persecuted the church (called out assembly of God) and wasted it.” Now that wasn’t the Body of Christ as is taught in Paul’s letters. Here he’s talking about the believers, which were Jews in Jerusalem that he was after.
“And profited in the Jews religion above many of my equals in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers,” He was religious, but God pulled him out of that. Now verse 15.
“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 16. To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among (who? The Gentiles)the heathen;…” That was the first time this has ever been mentioned. A revelation of the Lord. Something held secret. Read on:
“Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me;…”
Now some of you have heard me teach this a hundred times. What would have been the logical thing for the Apostle Paul to do (recently Saul of Tarsus, the great persecutor, but now struck down by the Lord from Heaven outside the Damascus gate and told you’re going to go to the Gentile world with the Good News of the Gospel)? What was the logical thing to do? Traipse back to Jerusalem, find the Twelve and just say, “Fellows, sit down with me. Let’s get out a pencil and pad and I want you to tell me everything you know about this Jesus of Nazareth.” But what does the Scripture say? Exactly the opposite – sent him the other direction so that he couldn’t sit down with the Twelve.
He didn’t want the Twelve muddying this fresh new mind recently brought from religious tradition. So He sends him out into the desert, the opposite direction. So he said:
“Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia,…” Well, what was the whole purpose? To unload on this man things that had been kept secret. And he, over and over, refers to them now as the revelation of these mysteries or things that had been kept secret.
Now there’s another one in Ephesians chapter 3. It’s the same type of concept – and don’t ever accuse the Apostle Paul of being an egotist or of being puffed up. He was the most humble of servants. He was the most used of God of any man other than Christ himself. Of course, we don’t compare him to that. But I think the Apostle Paul stands head and shoulders even above Moses as God’s man for taking the Good News to the human race.
“For this cause I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you (what people?) Gentiles. (remember Gentile was a hated word in Israel) 2. If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:”
Now I know there are some who would agree with a certain part of this. They’ll say, not all of this was kept secret. Just maybe the ‘Body of Christ.’ Now wait a minute. When we get a new administration in Washington, does half of the old group go out or all of them? All of them. That’s the whole idea of a transition. The old goes out and the new comes in. When we have a new administration, half the cabinet doesn’t stay with the old, they all move out. So the administration is the whole, not just part.
All right, now look what the Apostle says here in the second verse. “The administration of the grace of God was given to me to you-ward.” Not half of it. Not just parts of it. Now, you remember in my programs in days gone by, what have I told you? That whole body of truth that is involved in the Gospel of the Grace of God – that that was revealed in this dispensation or administration of the Grace of God. All of it. “The beginning of the Body of Christ, to the end of the Body of Christ.”
That’s why I adamantly say that the Church cannot go into the Tribulation because that dispensation does not fit with it. It won’t. It can’t because the whole body of truth was revealed to this man. So the secrets are now revealed. And oh, God expects us (like he told Moses), when He reveals it, to believe it. All right, if you think he’s stretching the point, look what the Holy Spirit inspired him to write. Go all the way down to verse 9.
“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been (what?) hid in God,…”