Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 57
1 John 5:1-7
As you know, I always like to make Bible study plain and simple. I don’t claim to be a deep theologian. But if the Lord has given me anything, it’s the ability to make things simple and easily understood. We don’t want to try to show our knowledge of Greek, etc. We’re just going to simply teach the Book and once in awhile I’ll go look at a Greek dictionary. But I really don’t spend a lot of time trying to drum up new ideas by just simply studying the Greek, which I think a lot of them are trying to do today.
All right, now let’s go back to I John chapter 5. And I’m thinking I’m going to stick my neck way out because I looked at several commentaries and not one of them are going to approach this the way I’m going to. So maybe I’m way out in left field. If there’s some Bible scholar out there listening, don’t tear your hair out. I’m not going to say that this the only way to look at it but, hopefully we can get something out of it.
I John 5:6
“This is he (Jesus of Nazareth) that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.”
Now, in these next two programs, over these next several verses, I’m going to try and answer the question that comes in so often to the ministry – “Was Jesus Christ God?” That’s one. And the other one is, “Can you show me Scriptures about a Triune God?” Or they’ll usually use the word, Trinity. Can you show me the proof of the Trinity.
Well, the first thing I have to say is – the Trinity is, as a word, not used in our Bible. You can’t find Trinity in your Bible. So it’s a coined term. But, we usually refer to the Godhead as a Trinity because it is a “three-Person-in-one” Godhead. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. A Triune Godhead, which theologians have coined the term the ‘Trinity.’ Which is all well and good. Nothing wrong with that. So, we’re going to try over these next two programs (I may just sort of run the two together) to show, Scripturally, how that they are three distinct Persons, personalities, and yet they operate as One God.
But first we’re going to look at what this means, “the blood and water.” Now the first time that you see those two used in that vein would be back in John’s Gospel, chapter 3, where Jesus is dealing with Nicodemus. You all know the story of Nicodemus, ever since you were a little kid in Sunday School. All right, let’s go right back and look at it in verse 1. And of course this is during His earthly ministry, and Christ is ministering to the Nation of Israel, fulfilling all those promises made to them (Romans 15:8). Gentiles are not being ministered to yet, as some would have you believe.
“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: (see how Jewish this is?) 2. The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. (well he had that right didn’t he?) 3. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” Now that’s plain isn’t it? In other words, Jesus has already determined that there would be no unbelievers going into the millennial reign, which is still ahead of us.
Now back in the Old Testament that concept wasn’t known. Let’s go back to Zechariah, the next to the last book in the Old Testament, because I think that the prospect of Israel in the Old Testament was still that they could go into the Kingdom as God’s Covenant People and,, in turn, then be the evangelists to bring the salvation to the Gentiles, which would mean that they’re in the Kingdom as lost people. Have to be. But Israel is going to bring them salvation, and that was their prospect.
Now that all ended, of course, when Israel rejected the Messiah the first time and Jesus foresaw that – and so now He could make the claim that only believers would go into the Kingdom, whether they’re Jews or whether they are the remaining remnant of Gentiles. There will be no lost people going into the Kingdom Age.
But back here in the Old Testament that’s not the case. Zechariah chapter 8, verse 20. And again the language is so plain. You don’t have to have four seminary degrees to understand this. You just read it for what it says. All right, this is prophecy. This is Zechariah and he’s speaking of things to come.
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; (what does that mean? This is the Word of God, speaking through the prophet) It shall yet come to pass, (hasn’t happened yet, but it will) that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: 21. And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, (city) saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. 22. Yea, many people and strong nations (of the Gentile world) shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. 23. Thus saith, the LORD of hosts; In those days (when the Kingdom is set up and He’s ruling from Jerusalem) it shall come pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”
Now to me that doesn’t sound like believing Gentiles. They’re seeking. But they know that these Jews have the answer. And so they’re going to respond to Israel’s presenting them to their Messiah. But Israel lost it. Israel dropped the ball when they rejected the Messiah and the King and the Kingdom and they will never have this opportunity. Now I do think the 144,000 will pick the ball up during the Tribulation and yet fulfill a lot of this as many, many will be saved through their preaching, but the nation as a whole, they’ve missed it.
And so coming back to John 3, now you see, Jesus can speak here in John 3 that “there will be no unbelievers going into the Kingdom.” He knew that. And so He lays it on Nicodemus that unless a person experience salvation that would bring him into a born-again relationship with God, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.
Now you see, even though this is the first time this kind of language is brought to pass in Scripture, these Old Testament saints had a salvation experience. Not like we do, but they still had to come out of darkness and into the light. They still had to experience a salvation by faith. But of course, there’s still a lot of questions in the Old Testament salvation makeup.
Years ago, a Jewish teacher’s widow was in one of my classes here in Oklahoma. And one night we were talking about the salvation of the Jew in the Old Testament. And I always maintain you can’t put your thumb on their salvation. And I’ve never found anybody that can. Maybe somebody out there thinks they can but I’ll refuse to believe it. It is just so hard to nail all these things down. It’s not cut and dried like it is for us today. But, they had to have some kind of a salvation experience, and it had to involve faith. (Hebrews 11:6)
So anyway, as the dear lady was leaving that night, I asked her, “What did your husband say about this?” And she said, “Les you’re not going to believe this – almost word for word what you said tonight, that you cannot put your thumb on it.” You just can’t identify how they came into a salvation and how they, whether they kept it or whether they lost it, we don’t know. But let me give you an example, that the Old Testament believers experienced a salvation, much as we do.
Go back to Isaiah, chapter 61. This is the prophet writing in his own experience. This is his testimony. Now don’t forget why I’m leaving John to come back here. I want you to see that the Old Testament Jew had a knowledge of a salvation. See, I may be wrong, but I think a lot of the Jewish people think that by virtue of the fact that they’re a member of the Jewish race, they are under the Jewish Covenants, that every Jew is automatically saved. Well, I just can’t quite see that from the Old Testament account, but be that as it may, here is Isaiah’s testimony.
“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for (this is why) he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation,.…” Isaiah knew that he had salvation; he was a saved man. And salvation and saved are synonymous.
“…for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he (God) hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels.” That’s Isaiah’s testimony. He too had experienced a salvation. He had literally been born-again. But you don’t see the term in the Old Testament.
All right, so now if you’ll come back to John’s Gospel chapter 3, this was not a whole new concept for Jews’ necessity to be saved, but it’s a new terminology. You don’t see born-again, at least that I’m aware of, anywhere in the Old Testament. And as I spoke here a few weeks ago, you don’t see Paul use the word. You know that? Paul never uses the term born-again. Now he certainly refers to a new experience. He certainly teaches us to experience a change of lifestyle from darkness to light, and he speaks of being born from above, in Romans 8. But he never uses the term born-again. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know. But there must be a little bit of a difference in the modus operandi that God is using.
But back here in John chapter 3 now, Jesus does use the term with Nicodemus “that unless you’re born-again you cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven.” In other words, there’s no eternal life. Now verse 4, this is a tough statement for old Nicodemus. Now even a well-educated Jew like Nicodemus showed his ignorance, but you know what? He wasn’t any worse than most church people today. You talk about these things that I’m talking about this afternoon to the average church congregation, it goes right over their heads. Am I right? Sure, you’ve all experienced it. They don’t know what we’re talking about. Well, it’s not because they’re lacking brain cells. They’re just as smart as I am but, they’ve never taken the time to search the Scriptures. All right, Nicodemus is no different. Now look at his response.
“Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” Stupid question, wasn’t it? For an educated man? You mean I’ve got to go back into the mother’s womb and be born a second time? Ridiculous. But he was serious. Now look at Jesus’ answer.
“…Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born (now here come the same words that John used, that’s why I came up here now. Don’t lose me. I John says of the water and of the spirit. All right,) of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
Now what’s Jesus saying? Well now a lot of people, I suppose 90-some percent of Christendom say, “Well, that’s baptism.” No. That’s not baptism. All you mothers know that the birth of your child was what kind of a birth? Water! As a cow-man, I can tell you that preceding the birth of every calf there comes the bursted water. All right, so you take from this verse then, that you have to become a member of the human race (you have to be born into the human race) in order to be eligible for all this.
God’s not dealing with angels on this basis; He’s dealing with humans. Are you with me? All right, so unless you are born into the human race; unless you have experienced a physical water birth from a human mother and then be born of the Spirit (salvation birth), you can’t enter Heaven.
Now think about that for a minute. Logic. First and foremost you’ve got to become a what? A human being. As soon as you become a human being you are in line for an opportunity for eternal life in the presence of God. But you’ll never get there until the Holy Spirit does a work of convicting and opening your understanding, and bringing you to the place to believe it and then you become a child of God. That’s pretty simple isn’t it? Born into the human race in a water birth, a physical birth, and then born into the family of God by the work of the Holy Spirit. Now when you’ve got both of those together, hey, you’ve got it made for all eternity. Pretty good deal isn’t it? For all eternity! And that we can’t comprehend. I just can’t comprehend it.
So, how does this deal with I John? Let’s come back here again. Now, here’s where I’m sticking my neck out and I may have theologians just pulling their hair because I could not find a commentary that addressed it. And I suppose this is why. They’re afraid to commit themselves.
I John 5:6
“This is he (Jesus of Nazareth) that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.” Okay, what are we talking about? Well the same scenario. Before Jesus of Nazareth could become the “God – Man.” Or maybe we should put it the other way around. Before he could become the “Man – God” what did he have to become? Man. He became flesh. That’s what the Scripture says. He became flesh but He never stopped being God. Not even in the womb. He never lost His Deity. Now He laid aside the glory of it. And the three disciples got a glimpse of that on the Mount of Transfiguration. But He never stopped being Deity.
So when He was born of Mary, a water birth, he became what? Flesh. But on the other hand, when He was born of the Spirit, or of the blood (which you remember originated with the Father), now He became Deity. And what have we got? The “God – Man.” That’s the way I look at it and all of Scripture is pointing this out that the God of Glory, the God of Creation would one day take on human flesh – be born of the virgin.
And why is the virgin birth so fundamental to our faith? Because a human father could never have given rise to the divine, sinless blood of Christ. That blood had to originate with God the Father. And we know it did. And that’s why I blow people out of the saddle when I tell them that the mother’s blood never co-mingles with the baby’s. Never. That would have taken away His Divine purity. But Christ’s blood originated with the inception from the Father by way of the Holy Spirit. And so He’s totally God by virtue of His blood, which is from the Father – but He’s man by virtue of His birth from a human woman. Beautiful. And it all fits.
And so again, I have to answer the question that comes quite often, “Why, when Jesus was on earth, when He would pray, would He pray to the Father, if He was the Father?” Well you see, my answer was and is, “You’ve got to remember that when Jesus prayed from His humanity, He would pray to the Father.” Now when He was Deity, He didn’t have to pray to the Father. He didn’t ask God to give Him power to still the Sea of Galilee? Did He? No. He just simply stepped up on deck and spoke to the wind and in His Deity, everything happened. But on the other hand, when He was in His humanity and He was sweating drops of blood, from His humanity standpoint who does He cry out to? “The Father.” Now is that so hard to understand?
I know it takes a lot of faith. These things have to be taken by faith. That’s what the Word of God says. So here we have this “God-Man,” born of the human woman. Now I’d better go back and use Galatians chapter 4 verse 4 – and, oh, what a beautiful verse.
“But when the fullness of the time was come, God (not Joseph and Mary) sent forth his Son, (but what?) made of a woman, (so that He could become human) made under the law.”He came to the Nation of Israel and He lived under the Law. He ministered under the Law. But now, not just as the human man born of Mary, He’s also the God-Person who would be in a role of the King of Israel.
Now come back to Matthew chapter 1. Here we have a genealogy – and of such a pertinent makeup that this is where the scoffers of Scripture show their ignorance. They don’t catch this, evidently – how miraculously the genealogies of Christ are put together. The first one here, in Matthew, of course is the genealogy on Joseph’s side of the family tree. If time permits then we’ll look briefly at Luke chapter 3, which is genealogy on Mary’s side of the tree, because there are two family lines that come down from David.
“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” And that’s as far back as it goes. Or that’s where it begins, however you want to put it. At 2000 BC, halfway between Adam and Christ, comes Abraham. And this is where the genealogy now of Christ the King, Christ the Son of God, begins. Doesn’t start with Adam, but rather with Abraham. Okay, now as you’ll see when you come through here, this is the side of the family tree that includes Solomon in verse 6.
“And Jesse begat David the king;.…” Now those of you who have been with me ever so long, back in II Samuel 7, what does God promise David? That through David would come a “royal house” like you’ve got in Europe tonight. The House of Hapsburg, the House of Orange, the House of Windsor and so forth. All right, David would be the beginning, then, of the royal family bloodline, the House of David. That’s the blood side. Because that’s the side that determines His royal kingship.
Now I told you I’d run these two programs together and it looks like I’m going to have to. Now in Mary’s genealogy, which we’re going to pick up right away in the next program, you’ve got to turn to Luke chapter 3. We haven’t got time now in this program, it’s down to seconds, but we’ll open our next program with the other genealogy of Mary and it will go all the way back to Adam! What a difference.
(Transcriber note) Les got side-tracked and forgot to begin the next program with Luke chapter 3 (Mary’s genealogy) but does cover it before the last lesson is over.