Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 59
Alright, let’s go back where we picked up in our last program, we’re now ready for Revelation chapter 1 verse 4, where John now makes it so plain that he’s writing to:
“John to the seven churches…” The seven churches – Jewish churches, remember. These are the result of scattered Jews as we showed in the last program. Jews have been scattered out of the Jewish Jerusalem Church, which had begun in Christ’s earthly ministry. Peter at Pentecost, and in those succeeding years when Saul brought in the intense persecution, and those Jews scattered and established, not so much churches as we understand, but synagogues.
In fact, again, I’d like to just constantly repeat and repeat and repeat. Back up a few pages to James’s little epistle. Now remember, these are all the same men that were confronting the Apostle Paul in Acts 15 and Galatians chapter 2. These same men – James, Peter, and John, and they’re listed in that order in Galatians chapter 2. But here, in James, I want you to see that it is so plain in chapter verse 2 verse 2, that he doesn’t call it a church.
“For if there come unto your (now the English translations have the word) assembly…” (But in the original, if you’ve got a marginal Bible it will show you – what is the original language?) “…if there should come into (what?) Synagogues…” Do you see that? These were Synagogues, and so never lose sight of the fact that just because the translators have taken the word “Ecclesia” and turned it into the word church, that doesn’t necessarily mean what we call church. It was a called out assembly. In this instance John is writing to seven distinct Jewish synagogue congregations, and they were in Asia.
Now that always takes an explanation, because from geography you and I have always learned, where’s Asia? India, China, and Mongolia, but the Asia of Scripture is Turkey.
The present land of Turkey is the Asia or the Asia Minor in our New Testament. Now we know from ancient history, then, that these seven synagogue congregations were in cities in Western Turkey, including the seaport of Ephesus. All right, so now he’s writing to these seven congregations, and he says:
“…Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; (a reference of Christ from His eternity past, to His earthly ministry, and who will be returning the second time, and we’ll be looking at that sometime in the future in these letters.) and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;” Now, more than once you have that reference to the seven Spirits of God. Now those are attribute Spirits, so I’m going to take you back to Isaiah, chapter 11.
I think I can safely say anytime you see a reference to the seven Spirits of God, or the seven Spirits of Christ, this is the best Biblical explanation. Now, this is prophecy remember. Isaiah is a book almost totally comprised of prophecy
“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, (who was the father of King David, so it’s all Jewish) and a Branch (capitalized. That’s another Old Testament term for the Messiah, the Christ) shall grow out of his roots: 2. “And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, (that’s one) the spirit of wisdom (that’s two) and understanding (that’s three) the spirit of counsel (four) and might, (five) the spirit of knowledge (six) and of the fear of the LORD;”(seven. And according to Proverbs, that is wisdom.)
So those are the seven attributes of the Spirit of Christ that comprise His whole makeup and personality. Now, back to Revelation and verse 5.
“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.….”
Now, I suppose that’s another term that has been totally, totally misunderstood across a good portion of Christendom “The only begotten Son of God.”
Most people have got the idea that refers to Bethlehem when He was born a babe in the manger, the Son of God. But you see, that has nothing to do with it whatsoever.
And so come back with me to Acts chapter 13, and we’ll have to explain it Biblically, not what we think in the natural, but what does the Bible say about this term, “The only begotten Son of God.”
Because when Christ was born at Bethlehem, it wasn’t the result of God the Father being His Sire. God the Son has been just as much pre-eternal as God the Father and God the Spirit. So the term “only begotten” has to mean something other than His being born at Bethlehem.
“God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm (Psalms 2) Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. (now the next verse is the clue) 34. And as concerning that (concerning what? His having been begotten) he (God) raised him (Christ) up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.”
So the term “the only begotten of God” refers to His resurrection.
No one had ever died and been resurrected before Christ. He was the first to have ever been resurrected. Now, don’t be mistaken, others have died and were called back to life, but they weren’t resurrected. They died again. See, the widow’s son was called back to life, but he died. Lazarus died, was called back to life. He wasn’t resurrected – he died again.
But when Christ died and rose from the dead, never again to face death or corruption, he then became the only begotten Son of God because no one else had ever died and been raised from the dead.
Now, let’s follow that up then with Romans chapter 1. I’ll just start with 1 to get the flow.
“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2. (Which he had promised before by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) (now here it comes) 3. Concerning his Son Jesus the Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David (tie that back with Isaiah 11, out of the branch that came from Jesse, who was the father of David) according to the flesh; 4. And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by (what great event?) the resurrection from the dead:”That’s what sets Him head and shoulders above anything else in this world. It’s His resurrection power.
Now of course, everybody has been talking, talking, talking about the movie, “The Passion of Christ.” Well, as I said in my newsletter, film or print or whatever else kind of communication you want to use, can only take us just so far in the realm of the human, which we saw, His physical suffering. But that was only just an infinitesimal part of the suffering that He went through in the realm of the spirit, as the eternal, pre-eternal, Son of God. And that’s what we have to understand. And it was culminated with, not the end of the movie, but with the power of His resurrection.
And I beg of you, just if nothing else, close your eyes and try to think on the basis of however much Scripture you know, what all did that power overcome at resurrection? Well, it overcame everything that was in opposition with the work of God. It opposed death, it opposed the satanic powers, it opposed all the false religions of this world. It opposed and defeated all the chains that keep mankind in bondage. And we’ll never understand it, not till we get to glory; the power that was exerted when He came out of the tomb. The resurrection set everything free.
And most of Christendom tonight almost neglects it. They talk of His death, but they forget about the most really important part was His resurrection. Because without the resurrection His death would have been nothing! But because of resurrection, His death becomes everything. And, oh, never forget that! And so He became the only begotten Son of God because He was the first to have ever been raised from the dead. Never forget that!! Back to Revelation chapter 5, again.
“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten (or called to life) from the dead,…” Never to face death again! And Jesus Christ was the first to have experienced that. And that’s why for us who are believers in that, we also now have been imputed not only with all that was transacted at the cross, not only the forgiveness and the cleansing from sin, but we have now been given eternal life. And we’re a part and parcel of that eternal life – never again to die and miss eternal bliss. Now, finishing the verse. He’s not only the first begotten of the dead, he’s:
“…the prince of the kings of the earth,…” I won’t have you look it up, but what does Revelation 19 say concerning His Second Coming?
And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” See, that’s still future, but that’s what’s coming. But He’s also the One who what?
“…loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” Now, there again that’s more of a Jewish analogy than it is for us as members of the Body of Christ; but it’s still profitable. We, too, have been cleansed from sin, we’ve been forgiven, as Paul says in Roman. Now let’s go back and look at it, so you know what I’m talking about. Go back to Romans chapter 3. But it’s a little different approach to the whole thing than what the Jews understood. They understood a washing concept.
We morally understand that the blood of Christ was applied to our sin debt and because of it we are forgiven, we’re set free.
“Being justified freely (without having to give anything) by his grace through the redemption (or paying the price) that is in Christ Jesus:” Redemption always refers to paying the price to gain back that which was lost.
Now, I always remind my listeners, when did God lose the human race? When Adam fell!! He lost the human race. And how was He going to get it back? By paying the price. And what’s the price of redemption? The blood of Christ. And, so, when His blood was shed He paid the price of redemption, not just for the few, but for every human being who’s ever lived.
“Whom (Jesus Christ in verse 24) God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,…” Now, it doesn’t say that we’re washed in it necessarily, but that it has fulfilled everything that needed to be done when we place our faith in the fact that shed blood of Christ has paid my sin debt without a cause, without my doing anything, except me believing it.
Now, let’s go back and pick up the analogy as it’s used again with Israel. Come back with me to John’s Gospel, chapter 13, and we have a little different analogy. Here we have Jesus about to wash the disciples’ feet. You all know the account. All right now, let’s just go all the way up to verse 2, let’s just take this verse by verse. We haven’t done this in the past, I think we can do it now.
“And supper…” That is the last supper. I may get in trouble saying this, but I don’t think it was the Passover Supper. This is the last supper that the Lord experienced with the Twelve, but it couldn’t have been the Passover Supper because the Passover Lamb wasn’t killed until after He had been crucified, the evening of the next day. But whatever, here we have what we call the last supper, Jesus and the Twelve.
“Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, (that is especially the Eleven – we’re not going to include Judas) he loved them to the end.
2. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him;
3. Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and he was come from God, and went to God; (speaking of Jesus of Nazareth now)
4. He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
5. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, (with water) and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
6. Then cometh to Simon Peter; and Peter said unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?” Now, I know they were reclining, but just to make my point, let’s assume they were sitting on chairs like we are today. What do you suppose Peter did with his feet? Put ‘em back under and he says, “Lord you’re not going to wash my feet!” And what did the Lord say?
“Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. 8. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet….” Now, here’s where I get a kick out of Peter. I’m going to be anxious to meet him some day. Peter was a master at putting his foot in his mouth. Isn’t that right? I think someone said the only time he didn’t have his foot in his mouth was when he took it out and put in the other one. But here he’s got his foot in his mouth. You’re not going to wash my feet!! And what does Jesus say?
“…Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.” Now he puts his other foot in his mouth. And he says:
“Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.” In other words what’s he saying? Give me a bath. Now, look what Jesus answers in verse 10:
“Jesus saith to him, He that is washed (he that’s been to the bath house) needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.”
That’s the purpose of the bath, and so Peter you’ve been bathed. “You’re clean but not all of you are.”. So he’s referring to Judas.
“For he knew who should betray him; therefore he said ye are not all clean.” So the point is, these disciples, the Eleven, were washed. What did that mean? They had their eternal life. They were what today we would call “saved!” Now, what was the purpose of the foot washing? Well, in this old life, in this sin cursed earth, it’s a constant defilement by virtue of contact. There’s not a one of us in this room that can go through a 24-hour day without begin bombarded with temptations. And even if we only do it in the thought processes, it’s still sin and we need to be cleansed of it. But see, we don’t wash with water, we’re washed with the Word of God. We’re cleansed by saturating ourselves with the Word.
But back here he was giving them the example that by washing the feet it not only was showing signs of humility, but more than that the fact that when they walked from the bath house after a complete bath, by the time they got home, their feet were already filthy. So the whole analogy to the eleven, was that they had been washed at their salvation, but they still needed a cleansing because they’re still in this old world. In fact, I think I’ve got time.
Let me show you how Paul applies it. And it’s much the same; in fact, this says it all. We cannot walk through this sin cursed world without being defiled by the proximity of it all.Otherwise you’d have to go into a monastery and lock yourself up and then you’re no good. You’re not having any influence if you’re all locked up and isolated. But nevertheless, here are the warnings
I Corinthians 5:9
“I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: (or immoral people). 10. Yet not altogether with the fornicators (or immoral) of this world, (because if you’re not going to rub elbows with the immoral of even the world,) or with the covetous, or the extortioners, or with idolaters; (the only way you could avoid rubbing elbows with those kind of people would be to what?) for then must ye need go out of the world.” You would have to leave this world. God knows we are constantly rubbing elbows, we are constantly having concourse with the unbelieving world. And we can’t avoid that. And so as a result of that, yes, we need cleansing, but the cleansing is not the foot washing that Jesus practiced.Let’s look at what we’re to do in the book of Ephesians.
“That he (God) might sanctify and cleanse it (that is members of the Body of Christ. You and I as believers are not washed with the blood of Christ here, but with what?) the washing of water by word.” And I remember, I know I gave the illustration in our last taping, if you use a strainer and strain gravy or some thick commodity, and you’re through with the strainer, how are you going to wash it? Well, there’s only one way you can wash it. You have to swish it back and forth until it’s clean. Well, that’s what the Word does. The Word swishing through us as we are just taking it in, it’s going to have a cleansing effect.
And how does David put it? “Where with all shall a young man cleanse his ways?” And what’s the answer?
“By heeding thereto the Word of God.” That’s even way back in Psalms. So the concept is no different today. We are defiled by simply living in this sin cursed world. But how do we remain clean from it? The Word of God. And you wake up in the middle of the night, you should be thinking the Word of God. The first thing you get up in the morning, you should be thinking the Word of God. The last thing when you lay down to sleep at night, you should be thinking the Word of God. That’s why I’m always emphasizing to memorize Scripture, so that even when you don’t have the Book, you can quote to yourself.