Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 63
Various Pertinent Scripture References
My, we got some testimonies in the mail yesterday from prison inmates and we’re going to share them in our next newsletter. It’s just thrilling how the Lord is using our simple teaching of the Word to bring hearts and lives to a true saving knowledge. We just want to let you know that we appreciate so much your letters, your financial help, your prayers, everything that makes the ministry possible.
Okay, we’re going to be taking a little different approach today, as we’ve gone through the Scriptures from Genesis through Revelation and have just finished the Book of Isaiah, pretty much chapter and verse. Today I’m doing something pretty much from requests from our listeners. We’re going to do a series of studies on the Covenants.
I’ll never forget the first time I ever heard about them. I was still teaching in small Bible classes up in Iowa, and I’d been teaching the dispensations. A lady came up and she said, “Les, do you ever teach the Covenants?” Well, I hadn’t even really heard of them. She said, “Our pastor has just finished a whole series, and we’ve enjoyed it so much. I’ll just bring you his notes sometime.” So, she did.
Now, that was many years ago and in the meantime I would refer to the Covenants, but I’d never really made an in depth study of them. So, today we’re going to start way back in Genesis chapter 1. Now, for those of you that may feel that a lot of people spend too much time in the Old Testament, remember that whenever I teach the Old Testament, I jump up into the New constantly. So, we’re not bogged down back in Genesis, but we’re going to start today with the first of the Covenant promises in Genesis chapter 1. I’ve had them put on the board for us, and I hope the cameras can pick them up where those of you out in television can read them. There are seven distinct Covenants that God makes – first, of course, with the whole human race. Then with Abraham and then the rest of the Covenants deal primarily with the Nation of Israel and the eighth one afterwards.
Now, this is much the same as the Gospel of John. Those of you who remember, when we studied John, there were eight sign miracles through the Gospel of John. Seven before the crucifixion and then the eighth one afterwards. Well, you’ve got the same thing here. We’ve got seven Covenants coming all the way up until we finish time as we know it, and the Kingdom is brought in, and for it we have the eighth Covenant.
The sign miracle in the last chapter of John was the eighth miracle, which always depicts – most of you now know my numbers – seven is Completion and eight is New Beginning. It’s the same way in this numbering of the Covenants.
You know, not too long ago someone shared with me that a teacher had said, “Well, this is just a book of stories. This is just Jewish myths. This isn’t really the Word of God.” Well, things like this make us beg to differ. Human intellect could never think of these things, of putting things in terms of “seven.” Even the Apostle Paul, in his writings to the churches, will many times group things in lumps of seven. Now, I stress a lot of these things just to prove how meticulously the Holy Spirit has put this Book together.
Now, I’m sure that none of the writers of Scripture sat down and beat their brains out trying to figure out how they could put “sevens” together in Scripture. But the Holy Spirit does it, miraculously. So, here again we have seven Covenants dealing with time as we know it, then the eighth one in the Kingdom, which is “New Beginning.” Look at all these things that pertain to “seven.” The first four Covenants have seven parts, then the Mosaic Covenant drops down to three, which, of course, is another prominent number throughout Scripture. Then we come back to the Palestinian, and it has seven parts.
Now, just as soon as I use the word Palestine, people get all shook up. They think it’s not a Biblical term. So, in order to prove my point, here are three references in Scripture where you have the word Palestine – Exodus 15:14, Isaiah 14:29, and 31. Again, in Joel chapter 3 verse 4 you have the term Palestine. Again, that probably deserves a little explanation.
It is really from the original word “Philistine.” So, Palestine originated in the area of the ancient Philistines. As I’ve stressed many times in my classes here in Oklahoma and in seminars around the country, Palestine was never a nationalized entity. Palestine is simply a geographical area there on the eastern end of the Mediterranean in which we have the Nation of Israel. So, when I speak of Palestine once in a while, I’m not talking about the Promised Land per se, I’m talking about that part of the world that includes the Nation of Israel or the Promised Land. Now, just remember, that Palestine, as such, was never a national entity. It never had a flag. It never had a constitution. It didn’t have a language of its own. It’s simply a geographical area.
We use them constantly. We speak of the Midwest, here in America. Now, you all know the Midwest doesn’t have borders or a constitution or anything like that, yet most people know what you’re talking about when you speak of the Midwest. The Sahara is the same way. Sahara has never been a nation. It has never had a constitution or a flag or a language, but everybody knows where the Sahara is. Well, you can do that with various aspects around the globe. So, always remember that when we speak of Palestine, it is not a taking away from the Nation of Israel or anything like that. It’s just a reference to the geographical area in which we find the Promised Land, the Nation of Israel.
Now, it’s interesting, too, that down through the centuries, you see, the true Palestinians were the Jews after the Canaanites were driven out. They were there before, and then God by decree drove the Canaanites out and gave the land to Abraham by Covenant promise, as we’ll see down the road. It wasn’t until 1947 that the Arabs took over the term Palestinian. Until then, you never heard of them referred to as Palestinians. True Palestinians were always Jews. They were the ones whose homeland involved the area of Palestine. So, remember that.
Well, anyway, to continue on, after the seven parts of the Palestinian Covenant, we come to the Davidic Covenant; the covenant made starting with King David. Instead of seven, there are five parts. Of course, those of you who know anything of numerology in Scripture – five stands for grace. So, it’s just by grace that this whole Davidic Covenant is brought about.
All right, now we’re going to start with the first of the Covenants; the covenant made concerning the Garden of Eden. We just put an ‘ic’ on the end of it to indicate that it’s an Edenic Covenant. We’ll start in Genesis chapter 1 verse 28. Now, you want to remember, in verses 26 and 27 God has just created Adam, with Eve within him. Of course, she won’t appear physically until sometime later.
In chapter 1 verse 26 we have the creation of Adam and Eve – a male and female. In verse 27 He created them, but you see, they are both in Adam, so they are both called Adam. (Gen 5:2) A lot of people get shook up at that, but it’s the only thing that fits Scripture. Because you see, the woman had to be in the headship part of the man in order to be a recipient of God’s saving grace. Otherwise, we’d have had to have two Saviors. We would have had to have a Savior for the women and a Savior for the men. But since Eve was in Adam, there is only a necessity of one Savior.
All right, here begins the beginning of the Covenant concerning the operations in the Garden of Eden in verse 28.
“And God blessed them, (That is Adam and Eve.) and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish (or fill up) the earth,…” Now, that’s the first part of the seven parts in this covenant.
“…and subdue it: and have dominion…” Now, that’s the word that I always like to emphasize that most people miss. Adam was given dominion, not just over the Garden of Eden; that was just simply the area in which they functioned primarily. But see, Adam was given dominion over the whole planet and everything in it.
“…over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” See, that’s not limited to Eden. It’s part of the Edenic Covenant, but, on the other hand, Adam is now given dominion over the whole planet.
Now, remember that because when we come to the next covenant we’re going to be making some comments about that very fact. All right, as you read on, you see that God now gives them everything that is necessary for life to function. In verse 29, He gives them all the things necessary for food. In verse 30:
“And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.” Then you come across to chapter 2, and we’ll find that we’ve got the fifth part in verse 8, where God now plants the Garden, a specialized place within the dominion of the whole planet.
“And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9. And out of the ground…” We have a repetition of what took place in chapter 1. He formed all these things concerning the creation of the planet, and then you jump over to verses 16 and 17. We have the sixth and seventh part of this covenant; it delegates what God was now forbidding.
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: (That was the sixth part of the covenant.) 17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely (What?) die.” Now, that’s all part of God’s agreement with setting Adam and Eve in the Garden.
Now, I guess I should back up a minute and define the Biblical definition of Covenant. In our normal functioning of life we think of a covenant as an agreement, like a lease agreement or a contract or something, but a covenant, Scripturally speaking, is totally different. It should not even be compared to what we would call a human contract, because a covenant in Scripture originates and ends with God. See the difference?
We think of a contract between two parties. One has to be in agreement with the other. If one breaks it, then he’s going to have to make restitution to the one he’s wronged. But you see, these covenants, all eight of them, begin and end with God Himself. Man has nothing to do with the operation of these covenants. God can break it when He wants to. He can reestablish it if He wants to, as He’s going to do, we’ll see, with the Covenant of Law. But on the other hand, always remember that a covenant begins and ends with God.
So, God stipulated that man would now fill the earth, he would have a prodigy of human beings, he would have dominion over the whole planet, and they would eat of everything that grew naturally. They would kill nothing for food. Nor would any of the created life kill for food; everything would eat things that grew naturally. But along with all the other aspects of the covenant, they are now given the responsibility to not eat of one tree in the Garden. The day they would eat of it, death would be the result – spiritual death first, physical death later. Of course, that sets the stage, then, for the whole 6000 years of human history. God said it. God put it in motion. God will end it when He sees fit.
All right, now I think we can go on into the second covenant where we can spend a lot more time. That is what we call the Adamic Covenant. It, too, has seven parts to it. All right, now we’re going to jump over to chapter 3, and we’re going to start at verse 14. Now, you’ve got to remember that Adam has now eaten of the forbidden tree. How much time elapsed from Creation to the Fall? I’ve never found anybody that has a concrete answer. Some Jewish rabbis feel twenty-eight days. Others feel a little longer. But who knows? After all, Adam lived to be nine hundred and thirty years, so there was a lot of time to deal with it. But whatever, as soon as Adam ate of that forbidden tree, spiritual death entered. Of course, the culprit that precipitated it all was the one whom we know as Satan, or the devil.
“And the LORD God said unto the serpent,…” Now, right there I think this calls for some digging deeper into the Scriptures. Go back to verse 1 in this chapter, and we’ll see that the serpent is described as one of the most subtle. That word subtle, I looked it up one time, has got about fourteen definitions, and they’re all good. It all speaks of his intelligence and of his ability to connive and make deals, and what have you. Evidently, the serpent was not only beautiful to look at, but it must have been an upright creature. I go so far as to say that it even had the ability to speak, because Eve was not the least bit shook up when the serpent spoke. So, we’ve got to realize that Satan has simply picked the best of all creation as his vehicle for approaching Adam and Eve.
That’s the only way I can look at it, because you see, in verse 14 we find that as part of the curse on Satan and the snake that he used, it would now crawl on its belly. Well, that would be unnecessary if that had been the way it had always functioned. So, I think from that we can see that the serpent was an upright, walking, beautiful creation, and that’s what Satan chose to use.
All right, we can pretty much follow up this concept of Satan being the serpent, and the power that he has as a result of picking up Adam’s dominion. Let’s jump all the way up to the New Testament, and we’ll start picking up this fallen creature, this fallen angel with power and subtleness, and see how Scripture constantly refers to him as the serpent and Satan and the devil and so forth.
All right, in Matthew chapter verse 3, the Lord is just beginning His earthly ministry. Here we’ll see the various names associated with this fallen angel. The Lord has just finished His forty days of fasting:
“And when the tempter….” That’s what he is. He’s the tempter, and that’s what he’s called here in verse 3. All right, you can just turn the page, at least in my Bible, and you can come down to verse 5, and now he’s called the what?
“Then the devil, (the tempter) taketh him up into the holy city,…” Then, again in verse 8, he’s referred to again as the devil.
“Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain,…” Now, when you come all the way down to verse 10, this is from the lips of the Lord Jesus Himself, so this is authoritative, we don’t have to quibble over it one iota.
“Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, (Now what’s he called?) Satan:…” So now, in just this little short period of Scripture, you’ve got him called the tempter, the devil, and Satan. They all refer to that same personality. All right, let’s jump ahead a little further and see how Paul deals with this creature, this powerful entity that has been plaguing the human race since the dawn of human history.
Come up with me to I Corinthians chapter 5. I want II Corinthians 4, that’ll be the next one, but I Corinthians chapter 5 verse 5 is where Paul is dealing with gross sin in the Corinthian church, but look who’s behind it.
I Corinthians 5:5
“To deliver such an one (the one who is guilty of this gross sin) unto (Whom?) Satan for the destruction of the flesh, (In other words, to take his physical life.) that the spirit (the soul of the individual) may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” So, here we have Satan as the culprit behind this individual’s gross immorality.
All right, if you’ll come to II Corinthians chapter 4 verse 3, you can just follow how the Scriptures, from Genesis all the way to Revelation, attribute to this fallen angel the various names that apply to the one and the same personality, or the powerful entity that he is.
II Corinthians 4:3
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4. In whom the god (small ‘g’) of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Well goodness sakes, who’s the god of this world? Well, the same one – Satan, the devil, the tempter, the fallen angel. He is the one that is constantly keeping people from the truth.
Now, you know I’ve made the analogy over and over on this program, I did it on the phone again yesterday with someone. If you know anything about target shooting, whether it’s with a rifle or with a bow and arrow, you know that the center of the target is that small dot we call the bull’s eye. In order to get a full credit for your ability, the name of the game is “hit the bull’s eye.” If you don’t, you only get part of the points. Well, you see, it’s the same way with salvation. God is absolute. God is not One who will compromise His person and just let people get away with this and that. So, the name of the game for salvation is to hit the bull’s eye. We have to hit the truth, and we cannot let our ideas and our thinking be shunted aside by any of the deceptions of the evil one. We’re seeing it running rampant today.
Oh, they use the Bible. They use the name of Jesus. They use one thing after another, but they are not putting the target, the bull’s eye, in front of the people. So, I’m afraid that multitudes are going to miss the mark, and Satan is gleefully realizing that he’s accomplished his purpose. Because that’s all he wants to do, keep people from salvation. For a reminder to you, salvation can only be obtained by believing in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) Faith in the finished work of the cross is what saves you and nothing more or less will do the job!
All right, now let’s go back in the little time we have left, all the way to the Book of Revelation. Once again, in chapter 12, we pick up the terminology that makes it so plain who we have been dealing with throughout Scripture. We deal with him yet today, this adversary, this tempter, this devil, this Satan, this one who is out to deceive the masses. All right, let’s start in chapter 12 verse 3. Now, this is symbolic prophecy, and it leaps over quite a period of time here, but in verse 3:
“And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red (Now what is he?) dragon, (Same person, only instead of a serpent, now he’s referred to as the great dragon.) having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4. And his tail drew the third part of the stars (or the angels) of heaven, and did cast them to the earth:…” That’s all depicting Satan’s fall and the angels that fell with him way back in Isaiah 14. But now, symbolically, Satan stands before the woman, who, in this chapter, is the Nation of Israel.
“…and the dragon stood before the woman (Israel) which was ready to be delivered, (That is of the Christ child, and what was his purpose?) for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” Well, that’s symbolic language. How did Satan attempt to do it? With the decree from Herod that decreed that every boy baby under the age of two was to be put to death. Well, that was Satan’s way of devouring the man-child as soon as it was born, so he could interrupt God’s plan of salvation for the human race.
All right, so here we find he’s referred to as the great dragon. All right, now come on down to verse 9, and we’ve got to see how all these Scriptures fit together from Genesis through the Gospels through Paul and now even to the last book of your Bible.
“And the great dragon (that you saw up there in verse 3) was cast out, that old serpent, (Now, that’s the language of Genesis 3.) called the Devil, and Satan,…” See how Scripture is putting it all together for us? These are all terms describing this great adversary of God.
“…which deceives the whole world:…” Now, he didn’t just stay in Eden. He immediately usurped the power of even, I think, the universe. I may be stretching it a little bit. Some may not agree with me, but turn with me now, just to make my point, all the way up to Revelation chapter 21. Just to make my point when I say that I think he was given the power and the wherewithal to deceive and to pollute, not just the planet earth, but the whole universe. He has defiled everything. Consequently, what’s God going to do? Well, here it comes, Revelation 21 verse 1, and now John sees, out in the future:
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away;…” Why? Because it was all defiled. Satan had touched every bit of it one way or another. After he’s finally taken off the scene, God only has one thing left to do, and that is to destroy everything that was defiled and start over for eternity with everything brand new. No more of the curse. No more of the sin and the heartache and what have you. It’s going to be all brand new. Never forget that all the world’s problems, all the heartache, and all the suffering is brought about by this single entity. This, I don’t like to call him a person, but a personality, called the tempter, the Devil, Satan, the dragon, the serpent, whatever the case may be, it all refers to the very same personality.