Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 69
KINSMAN REDEEMER – PART 4
Revelation 5; Ruth; I Corinthians 15: 1-4
Okay, once again we want to let our television audience know how much we appreciate especially your prayers on our behalf as well as on our daughter’s. My, she stays in such a good mood. When strangers come in, they can’t figure out how she could be so upbeat. Her answer constantly is – I’ve got a million people praying for me. We appreciate so much that you keep praying for her as well for us. And for your financial help as well. We thank you for every dollar that comes in. I don’t care if it’s a single dollar bill. We thank the Lord for it.
Okay, we’re going to take this half hour, which sort of came up with not enough time to go into a whole new field of study. We’re still in book 69. We’ve got to be aware of that and try to keep our subject matter as much as we can within a certain book. So, we’re going to look at the plan of salvation that I feel is so often totally misunderstood. It’s so misrepresented. There are precious few people anymore that are actually proclaiming the Gospel by which we are saved.
Now what made me think of it? I had a gentleman call not too long ago, who came out of one of the big denominations. He came to know the Lord through our program and got a love for the Word. He called one day and he said, “Les, I went back to my old denominational church and I asked my people that I’d grown up with, “Tell me. What is the Gospel?” He said, “They looked at me with a blank stare and then finally somebody said, well, the Bible.” The Bible? Well, yes, the Bible contains the Gospel, but that’s not the Gospel.
Then others said, “Well, you’ve got to be baptized and join the church.” No, that’s not the Gospel. We hear it from various areas of the world and the country that people just do not really know what the Gospel is. Unbelievable! As I’ve said over and over, here in I Corinthians 15 where we’re going to look now for a moment is the most clearly defined statement of the Gospel in the Bible, and nobody uses it. I shouldn’t say nobody, but few. They’ll use everything and anything but. That’s why I thought, well, maybe this half-hour came up the way it did for a Divine purpose, like we saw in the Book of Ruth. Everything is by Divine purpose.
All right, let’s start in I Corinthians 15 verse 1. It turns out to be the great resurrection chapter. Here’s the way it starts in verse 1.
I Corinthians 15:1a
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel….” Now what does that mean? How many are there? One! That’s what I want you to see. It’s not “a” (one of many), but rather there is only one.
Now, just because I teach two Gospels for a little while back in the Book of Acts, when God was still dealing with Israel, people have got the crazy, misconstrued notion that I proclaim two Gospels today. No! Never! Yes, there were two Gospels for a little while when God was transitioning from Israel to the Gospel of Grace. Peter preached to Israel a Gospel of the Kingdom based on who Jesus was. Then when Paul was chosen by God to go to the Gentiles and has the revelations that we’re going to see in these next few moments, we have the Gospel of the Grace of God. The Kingdom Gospel dropped away because Israel rejected it.
By the time we get to the end of Acts, it is Paul’s Gospel or nothing! And as I’m going to hopefully show in a minute or two, what did Peter write at the end of his life as the Kingdom Gospel, the Jewish program, has fallen through the cracks. It has ended. What does Peter say? You go to Paul’s epistles! That’s what he says to Israel. That’s the only Gospel.
Absolutely, it’s the only Gospel. So, I’ve been totally maligned. I’ve been maligned because I proclaim two–in fact somebody sent me a tape of their preacher. My! He said, “Don’t you ever listen to Les Feldick. He preaches two gospels.” Well, I guess when you’re in my shoes; you’ve got to expect those kinds of things. But I’m going to make it clear here today. No, there is only one Gospel, and here it is!
I Corinthians 15:1
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, (that is from the Apostle Paul, in person as well as in print) and wherein ye stand;” (That is positionally. Unmovable. Now verse two. Oh, I love this statement, Beloved. Don’t ever shrink from showing people.)
I Corinthians 15:2a
By which (THIS Gospel) also ye are saved,…” Now you can’t get it any plainer than that. It’s by this Gospel that you are saved. But there’s some requirement. You have to understand what you believe. It can’t just be head knowledge. It has to be a heart thing, that with all our heart we have believed this Gospel. All right, verse 3 and here it is.
I Corinthians 15:3
“For I delivered unto you first of all…” Who? Peter? No, not Peter. Jesus? No, not Jesus. Rather it was the Apostle Paul who delivered the Gospel of Grace first. Once in a while somebody will get on my case and say, you make too much of Paul. How can I? The Lord Himself designated him as the Apostle of the Gentiles. (Romans 11:13) The Lord Himself revealed these things to this apostle.
That’s why, like I repeated, Peter sends everybody back to Paul. That’s where people have to be. And, oh, most people don’t like that. Don’t think I don’t know it. They don’t like Paul’s Gospel. They don’t like Paul’s epistles. We hear it over and over. Someone will say, “Well, it shouldn’t even be in our Bible.” Well, that’s not what Peter said. Peter said that Paul’s epistles are what? Scripture! And if it’s Scripture, it is the divinely inspired Word of God, Beloved. All right, now look what he says.
I Corinthians 15:3-4
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” Now, there are some things in there that we have as what I call a given. Things you should know before you even read. What is it? That Christ was the Eternal Creator, Son of God. He was totally God. It was only as God that He could forgive and take on Himself the sins of the world.
All right, that’s a given. Paul didn’t put it in here, but it’s in all the rest of his Scriptures. The second one is that He shed His blood. That’s not in here. I know it isn’t. But it’s in all the rest of his verses on salvation. How we’ve been redeemed, we’ll look at it in a minute, by His blood.
All right, you put all that together: that we have God the Son who died, shed His blood, was buried for three days and three nights to prove that He was really dead, and then He arose from the dead. Now listen, you’ve got to take the whole package or you’re still destitute of salvation.
I had a letter the other day, “Les, you make too much of the resurrection. It’s not that important. The only thing that’s important is that we believe that Christ died for us.” Well, do you know what I wrote to the gentleman? I said please read I Corinthians 15 twice a day for the next three weeks and then write or call me if you’re still disagreeing. Because what does Paul say a little later in this chapter? “If Christ be not risen from the dead, then you are yet in your sin.” Absolutely, that resurrection is paramount!
I had a gentleman years ago; he shared this with Iris and me across a breakfast table. He said, “Les, for years I believed that Christ died the death of the cross. I had no problem with that. But with my intellect and with my scientific background (he said) I couldn’t believe He rose from the dead.” He said, “I was nothing but a dead church member. And then all of a sudden the Lord opened my eyes to the power of the resurrection and it changed my life.” Of course it does!
All right, we have to take the whole three points of the Gospel – that Christ died, He was buried, and He rose from the dead.
All right, I’ve been making reference to Peter. I guess maybe before I run out of time I better go back and use it. Come back with me to II Peter. We use it over and over and over, but some of these I don’t think I can run into the ground. They are paramount to answering my accusers, if I may call them that. But look what Peter says here in plain English. Now, he didn’t say it in English, but our Book is telling us in English! Look at this carefully.
II Peter 3:15a
“And account (or understand) that the longsuffering (the patience) of our Lord is salvation;…” Oh, He’s not willing that any should perish. That’s why His Grace is without end. That where sin abounds, Grace does much more abound, because God wants them saved.
II Peter 3:15b
“…even as our beloved brother Paul…” Now stop a minute. All the way through the Book of Acts as Peter is preaching to Israel, does he ever make any reference to the Apostle Paul? Never. All through I Peter and these first chapters of II Peter, does he make any reference to the Apostle Paul? Not a one. But here he is at the end of what he will now be writing in finality. He’s soon going to be martyred. He says, “Even as our beloved brother Paul.”
II Peter 3:15b-16a
“…even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him has written unto you; (Here comes a reference to the written Word.) 16. As also in all his epistles,…” I think the top verse is referring to Hebrews. That’s my personal opinion. I don’t know of anything else that Paul ever wrote to the Jewish people, but I think he wrote the Book of Hebrews based on this verse. But it isn’t just Hebrews, it’s all his epistles!
II Peter 3:16b
“…speaking in them of these things; (pertaining to salvation) in which (In Paul’s epistles – in the mind of Peter, a good legalistic Jew) are some things hard to be understood, which they who are unlearned and unstable twist, as they do also the other scriptures,…” What does that tell you? Paul’s epistles are Scripture just as much as the first five books of Moses, just as much as the prophets or the Psalms or the four Gospels. Paul’s epistles are the Word of God. They’re Scripture, and we’d better believe it. That’s why Peter was inspired to write this. But look what many of them do.
II Peter 3:16c
“…they twist the Scriptures, unto their own destruction.” All right, let’s come back a minute to Romans. I think this is a direct reference of what Peter is talking about when he speaks of the wisdom that was given to the Apostle Paul that even he did not comprehend.
This is what we have to understand. Paul was given revelations from the ascended Lord, probably in those three years out in the desert, that you will find no where else in your Bible. It’s not in there. It’s not back in the Old Testament. It’s not in the Four Gospels. These are things that were only pertinent after the death, burial, and resurrection.
“Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel,…” What’s Paul’s Gospel? The one we just read in I Corinthians 15:1-4. You see that? That’s Paul’s Gospel. All right, reading on.
“Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, (Not according to His earthly ministry, not according to the Old Testament prophecies but) according to the revelation (or the revealing) of the mystery, which was (past tense) kept (What?) secret since the world began,”
That’s why I tell people, don’t try and find anything back there in the Old Testament pertaining to this. Don’t look in the Gospels for anything pertaining. It’s not back there. They were kept secret in the mind of God until God revealed it to this apostle. That’s what Peter was making reference to. Peter was saying that this man has things that he knew nothing of, because it was a special revelation. That’s what most of Christendom is missing.
I wrote to one guy who wrote and said, “Les, I just can’t agree with you on this.” He gave me a whole bunch of verses. I knew every one of them. Not one of them was from Paul. Not one. You know what I wrote back? One statement. I said – there’s only one reason you can’t see what I’m talking about – you don’t want to. That’s my stock answer. If they want to they can see it. But they don’t want to. Why? Because like one guy told me the other day, they have such fragile egos.
They cannot, in the strength of their own ego, admit that they’ve been wrong. But we’ve got a lot of them that do. I’ve got one dear brother; he’ll hear me when I come on the air in Florida. With a church full of people, as he introduced me he said, “You know, for years I couldn’t agree with Les on tithing.” He said, “I just couldn’t. I had to preach the tithe.” And I didn’t know that until the fourth year in a row that I was in his church and had every service. He never restricted me. He never told me he had any disagreement with me.
But we were having dinner after church that Sunday morning and he said, “You know Les, there is one place I can’t agree with you.” And I said, “Well, what is it?” He said, “I have to preach the tithe. I have to use Malachi 3.” And I said, “Well, go ahead, but I can’t!”
Well, the next year I got down there, he announced to the whole church, out of one of the major denominations now, and to the whole church he said, “Now folks, you know that for years I couldn’t agree with Les on tithing, but I’m standing here to tell you today that I was wrong.” Now, that takes a good man. He said, “I was wrong. Because when I would read II Corinthians 9 verse 7, one word just jumped off the page. Let every man give as God hath laid it on their heart, not grudgingly, not of necessity.”
He said, “I would wake up at night and that word necessity would come to mind.” He said, “I knew the Lord was speaking to me. So last October I announced to my church, from now on we’re going to give according to Paul’s instructions in II Corinthians. I’m no longer going to teach the tithe.”
He said, “You know what has happened? In six months our giving tripled.” Tripled! He’s going to hear this. I know he is. He listens to every program. But that’s the way it is. If they want to see it, they will. If they don’t want to see it, they won’t.
Now, I tell people that call with a problem of drugs, alcohol, homosexual, hey, I get them all. I tell them the same thing. If you want to get out from under your problem, you have to first want to. Because if you don’t want to, the Lord nor anybody else can do anything for you. But if a person wants to, then God will step in and He will do what it takes to be done.
It’s the same way with understanding Paul’s principles, Paul’s theology. If they want to, and I’ve heard this over and over, Les, I just simply made it a matter of prayer. I just said, God, I want to understand this Bible. I want to be able to enjoy it. Bingo, it happened. That’s what it takes. There has to be a desire to understand these things that are not according to tradition. They’re not according to the norm. Don’t think I don’t know that. All right, now read verse 25, the last part of the verse once more.
“…and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation (or the revealing, the unveiling) of the mystery, (And the word mystery in plain English is secret. Now God’s unveiling a secret–) which was kept secret since the ages began.”
Let’s flip over to Galatians chapter 1. This is all by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This isn’t the man Paul reading his own mind. This is Spirit inspired. Look what he writes in Galatians 1 verse 11. Christendom, in general, absolutely refuses to look at these things. And I’ll repeat it. It’s because they don’t want to see it.
They want to be comfortable. They want to be left alone and say, well, this is the way I’ve always heard it. This is the way I’ve always learned it, and I’m not going to change. Well, I can’t help that. But here it is in Galatians 1 verse 11, where Paul is writing to these Gentile groups up in Central Turkey who were being pummeled with legalism. They were being conned to come back under circumcision and keeping the Mosaic Law. So, he’s defending his Gospel.
“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me (Paul’s Gospel) is not after man. (It’s not a human thing.) 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it (by other men), but (here comes that same word) by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” A revealing from heaven – after the death, burial, and resurrection has happened.
Then he goes on and explains the horrors of his persecuting those Jews who had embraced Jesus of Nazareth, and how he wrecked and wasted that Jewish Church. All right, now then, come on down to verse 15.
“But when it pleased God,…” Now there again, just like we saw in the Book of Ruth, everything is according to what? God’s divine purpose and old Saul of Tarsus had a Divine appointment that day on the road to Damascus. God moved in unannounced and took him completely by surprise. So, he says:
“But when it pleased God, (with that Divine appointment) who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,” Now you’ve got to remember, Saul of Tarsus was wicked. He killed people. He tortured. He persecuted. All in the name of religion. Well, that’s nothing new is it? You’re seeing it every day. That’s why they do it, for their religion. Well, Saul did too. This is what he’s referring to.
“To reveal his Son (the crucified, resurrected Son of God) in (Whom?) me,…” Not us – me. That’s singular. That’s his apostleship. That’s his purpose,
To reveal his Son in me, so that I might preach him among the heathen; (or the non-Jewish world) immediately (right after that road experience out there at Damascus) I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17. Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them who were apostles before me;…” The Twelve. Now I’ve got to stop there. This is the way I’ve put it over and over for thirty years.
He’s up in Syria in Damascus. The Twelve have spent three years with Jesus, and they’re down there at Jerusalem. What would have been the logical thing for the man to do? Go back to Jerusalem and check in with Peter and the rest – come on, fellows – tell me. I’ve now met the Messiah. He saved me. I want to work with you not against you. Tell me everything you know.
But what does God say? No, Paul. I don’t want you going to the Twelve. All they’re going to do is muddy the water. I want you to come out. You’re going to get something completely new. It’s going to be purely different, and I don’t want anybody messing with it. So, as I always put it, Jerusalem was southwest, Arabia was southeast. Which way did Paul go? Southeast. He went to Arabia. I think he went to Mount Sinai in Arabia. The same place where Moses received the Law, this Apostle received these great doctrines of Grace which people today would just as soon turn their back on. They refuse to look at the man’s apostleship.
“…immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17. Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them who were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. 18 Then after three years…” We know that he was three years, in verse 18, in Arabia. Then he stopped at Jerusalem, and then he went on up into his hometown of Tarsus, up there just north of Antioch.
Now, in the two minutes we have left, I’d like to show you a portion of Scripture that nobody ever uses. I’ve never seen it in print, yet. That’s what I like to use Acts 11 verse 19. Now, this is just after Peter has been up to the house of Cornelius. God has miraculously proven to Peter that He’s going to save Gentiles by faith and faith alone, without baptism, without repentance. All of a sudden Peter says – hey, wait a minute, what’s going on? These men are saved! So he has to stop preaching and naturally, you know, he had to baptize them, he thought. And that was all well and good according to the program. But now in Acts 11, after the Cornelius experience, we pick it up in verse 19. This is several years after Pentecost.
“Now they (These Jewish believers from the Jerusalem church) which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen (And who was the leader of Stephen’s persecution? Saul of Tarsus! These people have been spread far and yon by the persecution.) traveled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, (Which is up there north of present day Beirut on the western end of Syria.) preaching the word (that is the Old Testament for the Jews benefit.) to (Who?) none but Jews only.”
God hadn’t been dealing with the Gentiles. That’s why He called the Apostle Paul. That was going to be his ministry. All right, now I’ve only got thirty seconds left. All right, now when you get home this evening, you just read. All of a sudden we’ve got Gentiles showing an interest! Well, whose work is that? Well, that’s God’s work. Now the Gentiles are showing an interest. So, by the time that Barnabas has been sent from the Jerusalem church to check them out, Barnabas knows there’s only one man for Gentiles. And who was that? The Apostle Paul. So, Barnabas goes up and finds him and brings him back to Antioch.