Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 72
THE BIG PICTURE SALVATION & GOOD WORKS – 4
Okay, it’s good to see you all back. Now let’s do the last lesson for this book 72. In fact, this whole book will be more or less on this dispensational bit. In this whole series of twelve programs, we’ve been dealing with why we can look at a pre-tribulation Rapture.
So, those of you joining us on television, we would like to welcome you to an informal Bible study. Again, as I’ve said so often, we’re not underwritten by anyone. We are just totally dependent on the Lord supplying and, my, how you do it. We want to thank you from the depths of our heart for the response from our listening audience financially, prayer-wise, as well as your letters of encouragement.
Now, we’re going to hopefully bring this series to the point that I wanted to bring it. To show you without a doubt that we can believe and trust in a pre-tribulation out-calling, or what we call the Rapture, of the church. I want to make a few comments on the last half hour program that I didn’t really end up the way I think I should have. We’re going to go back and start with Romans chapter 7 verses 5 and 6, because you see, you cannot do anything in the Lord’s service except the Holy Spirit leads you and empowers you.
And we have to show the Scripture to do that. So, if you’ll bear with me and come back to Romans chapter 7, then we’ll go back into I Corinthians. Then hopefully, the rest of the hour we’re going to show how we can be expectantly looking for that out-calling, the trumpet call, the Rapture, whatever you want to call it.
All right, let’s turn to Romans chapter 7 and drop in at verse 4.
“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; (the work of the cross) that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. (In other words, it’s to be a works element that brings forth more believers.) 5. For when we were in the flesh, (As we saw earlier this afternoon, every one of us were at one time in the lost estate.) the motions (or acts) of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” That’s the Great White Throne Judgment.
“But now (for you and me as believers) we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, (That’s the Holy Spirit.) and not in the oldness of the letter.” That is the law.
All right, now the other verse that I’ve got to look at a minute before we go any further is I Corinthians chapter 12 verse 13. This is all tied to this same premise that the moment we believed the Holy Spirit came within us to indwell us, and He also baptized us into the Body of Christ. As I said, I think in the first program this afternoon, that’s the only baptism that counts for eternity. Are you a member of the Body of Christ? I don’t care what other churches you’re a member of. That doesn’t really count. Are you a member of this Body of Christ? Only the Holy Spirit can determine who goes into the Body.
I Corinthians 12:13
“For by one Spirit (There it is again, the Holy Spirit.) are we (as believers now) all (every last one of us) baptized (or placed) into (Not a denomination, but what?) one body, (We are placed into the–) one body, whether we be Jew or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into (or partake of that) one Spirit.” Then that indwelling Holy Spirit prompts us to produce fruit for eternity and to be laborers in this building that God has commissioned us to build. Never forget that we cannot perform any work for God except the Holy Spirit leads us and directs us and empowers us.
All right, now we’ve been pointing to the fact that all of these things that I’ve been talking about, everything is all tied up in this period of time that we call the dispensation of the Grace of God. That’s why I looked at Ephesians 3. I also had Sharon put up all these references and you can take them down. Hopefully you can see them. They all refer to that word mystery as Paul uses the term, which means a secret. Romans 11:25 we used earlier. No, I didn’t either. I used 16:25, “the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret.” We looked at Ephesians 1:9 and all these. Take them down in your notes if I don’t have time to address them this afternoon. These are all words and verses that have no bearing on anything of this upper timeline. This is all associated with the Dispensation of Grace.
Now remember, the Old Testament timeline came through, and they all thought it would just keep right on going past the ascension, and they’d go into the Tribulation. That would end with the Second Coming and the establishment of the Kingdom. But, unknown to all of this, was this break in the timeline right after His ascension, when God called out the Apostle Paul and sent him to the Gentiles and opened up this Dispensation of Grace. Everything that I’ve been trying to teach for the last twelve programs is to show that that will never mix with the Jewish economy of the Tribulation. It’d be like putting gasoline and water together. They just won’t mix. And if people could just ask God to open their eyes and help them to see this—that all the things that Paul teaches between Romans and Philemon are never addressed anywhere else in Scripture. You can’t find it. You’ve heard me say it over and over.
Well, if that be the case, then how can you take something that is so totally insulated from all of this up here and then in the last minute go ahead and push it into the Tribulation? I can’t see how it can work. It would be, again like I said, like fish out of water, like mixing gas and water. It won’t work. So we have to realize that this whole out-calling of what we call the Body of Christ is a Pauline revelation of things kept secret. I emphasized that, I think, in several programs back. That God is a God who keeps secrets, like He tells us in Deuteronomy 29:29, “the secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us.”
Well, how can something belong if it’s never been revealed? Well, it can’t. And these things were never revealed until we come to Paul who was sent to the Gentile world.
So, you just keep it insulated; it is the word I use over and over. You can’t push any of the Jewish economy into it except as Paul uses some of the Old Testament characters as examples. Abraham was an example of faith plus nothing and various others. But to make anything doctrinal out of it, it just will not fly. So, I adamantly maintain that since this Dispensation of the Grace of God is our own set of directions, you can’t put it up with Israel in the Tribulation. It just won’t fly.
Okay, now let’s look at our key verses of the Rapture, where Paul teaches and Paul alone. You won’t find it anywhere else. Let’s start in I Corinthians chapter 15 verse 51. Right off the bat what’s the first word that is going to jump off the page at you? What word? Mystery! It’s one of these verses that we’ve got on the board, I Corinthians 15:51. What does it say?
I Corinthians 15:51a
“Behold, I show you a mystery;…” A secret that’s never been revealed before. I’ll give you a good example, and I was just as guilty as everybody else. Keep your hand in I Corinthians. Go back to John chapter 14 and verse 1. And I dare say that ninety percent of even people who believe in the Rapture will put this as Rapture ground. But it cannot be! Why? Because, the Rapture was a secret. It had never been revealed until God gave it to Paul.
Well, what’s the time factor of John 14? Years earlier. This is Jesus in His earthly ministry. He’s not talking about the Rapture. Now look at the language that I used to teach it, so I know what I’m talking about, verse 1.
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” That’s not the Rapture. That’s God dealing with the Twelve. That’ll happen at His Second Coming.
And there are various other scriptures. “Two women grinding at the mill. One taken, the other left.” How many people think that’s the Rapture? No. That’s not the Rapture. That’s God dealing with a couple of Jews. And if you really study the Scripture, the one that’s taken is not the believer. It’s the un-believer, and the believer is left to go into the Kingdom. “Two shall be sleeping in the bed. One taken and the other left.” Well, which one is taken? The un-believer, because they cannot go into the Kingdom, only the believer can. But see how we can twist the Scriptures? But you just separate them like I started out in the first program and rightly divide the Word of God and everything gets just as plain as the noon-day sun.
All right, but now back to I Corinthians 15, and watch the language! That’s all you have to do. God has made sure that these things are plainly understood.
I Corinthians 15:51
“Behold, I show you a mystery; (A secret, something that’s never been revealed before.) We shall not all die, but we shall all be changed,” Now just stop and think a minute. That’s what I’ve got to get people to do. Stop and think. There’s coming a point in time, whether you want to believe in a pre-trib. Rapture or not, there’s coming a point in time when God is going to intervene in human history, which means that there’s going to be some believers who are still what? Living!
I don’t care when it is. There’s going to be a time where when Christ comes there will be believers who are living. They haven’t died. So, what does this verse say? They’re not going to die so they can be resurrected. God’s going to do what? He’s going to change them. Metamorphosis. Now, I know that’s not a good illustration, because it’s so slow. But you all know what metamorphosis is, don’t you? When that cocoon finally opens up and out comes that gorgeous butterfly. What a transformation! Well, that’s the way I like to liken our being changed if the Lord should come today. We’re alive! He’s not going to kill us so He can resurrect us. He’s going to change us immediately before we hit the ceiling.
I think I shared this with one of my classes someplace lately. I had just read an article which was way over my head, but I got enough out of it to be able to correlate it. He was talking about how we live in three dimensions, but science is now aware that there are probably as many as eleven or twelve. And when you get into that eleventh or twelfth dimension, nothing can prohibit anything else from going through it. Bingo! That’s what we’re going to do, if that’s what it takes. We’re going to slip from three dimensional to twelve dimensional before we hit the ceiling, and we’re out of here. No problem.
But all right, the point I’m making is that there has to be a point in time when the trumpet sounds and Christ calls up the believers of the Church Age. Old Testament believers are going to have to wait. Daniel says they are going to have to wait until after the Second Coming. But for the Church Age believer, there is coming a day when the trumpet’s going to sound. Christ is going to leave Heaven, and we who are alive will be changed. Okay, now let’s read on, verse 52.
I Corinthians 15:52-53
“In a moment, (in a split second) in the twinkling (or the blink) of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we (He’s repeating it now—who are alive and remain–) shall be changed. (We’re going to go from the ugly cocoon to the beautiful butterfly instantly!) 53. For this corruptible, (which is prone to death) must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
All right, now you have to understand that the Christian who was a believer when he died is going to have to be resurrected into a new body. That’s resurrection power. We can all understand that. All right, so the soul and spirit that went to glory the minute that believer died, that’s II Corinthian 5 again, that soul and spirit went into the presence of the Lord waiting for this great resurrection day. When Christ returns to the air with a trumpet (a singular trumpet, not the seven trumpets of Revelation, a singular trumpet, God’s trumpet) the dead in Christ will be resurrected from wherever they are. Whether they’re in the deepest cavern in the ocean, whether they were burned at the stake, no matter where, there’s going to be enough of that corpse left that God can resurrect it.
I don’t care if it’s only an atom, that’s all God needs. But He does have to have that, because you can’t resurrect from nothing. That’s the whole idea of resurrection: that you’ve lived and died and been resurrected. And that has to be by an act of God, but He knows. Don’t you worry. There is not a cell of any believer that God doesn’t know where it is. All right, let’s read another verse or two. I think we have time, verse 54.
I Corinthians 15:54a
“So when this corruptible,…” This body that is fit for death and corruption even though we’re saved in the soul and the spirit. Now that’s another half hour, isn’t it? We know that the body will not receive the incorruption until resurrection. Let me show you the verse. I think I’ve got time. Come back with me to Romans.
Romans chapter 8, and here we have the appearance of the Kingdom, the Second Coming, the curse lifted, and everything goes back to the perfection of the Garden of Eden. I haven’t got time to read them all, but let’s go down to verse 22. Romans 8 verse 22. If you want to read this after you get home, go all the way up to verse 18. But I haven’t got time to do that, so let’s start at verse 22.
“For we know that the whole creation (Everything in it, whether it’s alive or whether it’s inanimate, everything is under the curse and–) groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23. And not only they, (not only the other parts of creation) but ourselves also, (We as believers are part of the curse. We suffer pain. We suffer sickness and disease and what have you.) who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, (or that great transition) to wit, the redemption of our body.”
The soul and spirit were redeemed at salvation, but our old body is still part of the old curse. It’s still prone to sickness and disease and injury and what have you. But the day is coming when we’re going to get a new body, and it’ll be reunited with the soul and the spirit.
All right, I think in the seven minutes we have left, I’m going to take you all the way over to I Thessalonians chapter 4. This is the companion passage as I call it. Again, you’ll never find language like this anywhere except Paul. Nowhere. It is insulated from all the rest of Scripture. In I Thessalonians chapter 4 starting at verse 13, Paul says:
I Thessalonians 4:13
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, (And there’s no need. It’s not in gobbledy gook. It’s not in some language that you can’t understand. It’s plain English.) brethren, concerning them who have died, (Or if you got a King James, the word is asleep. It just simply means physical death.) that ye sorrow not, even as others who have no hope.”
In other words, he’s telling his believers, if you’ve lost a loved one who was a believer, don’t sorrow like those pagans. You’re going to see your loved one again. We are! We’re going to see our loved ones if they were believers. We’re going to know them. Now verse 14 and look how simply put this is.
I Thessalonians 4:14
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, (We’re qualified if we believe that for salvation. What is that? Well, that’s the Gospel.) even so them also who sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”
They, too, we trust have believed the Gospel. So, here we have the whole complement of the believers of the Body of Christ. Whether they were alive or whether they have died and had gone on to be with the Lord, we’re all going to come in under this great resurrection day. All right, now verse 15:
I Thessalonians 4:15a
“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord,…” Now hold it, where’s he getting all this? From the Ascended Lord! I can just about hear Him. Paul – this is what I want you to write.
When we had our Aegean Cruise, we had a guy who was, I don’t know what you’d call him, an actor. He was a dramatist. And he acted out in various stages of our cruise the Apostle Paul. And he was good. My, I just sat back and enjoyed it. Bill, you remember that? And on one of his presentations, he went through I and II Timothy, wasn’t it? The whole books of Timothy, as if Paul was dictating to his secretary. And, oh, it was tremendous! All right, now that’s how Paul received all this. The ascended Lord from Glory gave him every word.
I Thessalonians 4:15-16
“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain (Now remember, I’ve stressed over the years that Paul thought he was going to live to see this great day. He didn’t think it was going to be 1,900 years away. So he says–) until the coming of the Lord shall not precede (or go ahead of them) who have died (or asleep. Why?) 16. For the Lord himself (Jesus the Christ) shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:”
Believers who have died, beginning, I think, with Saul’s conversion. That’s where I feel the Body began. You don’t have to agree with me, but that’s where I feel it began. That when God saved Saul and opened up to him the ministry to the Gentile world, that also was the beginning of this Body of Christ who are saved, remember, by verse 14, “by believing that Jesus died and rose again.” Anybody before Paul had never heard of such a thing. All right, now verse 17.
I Thessalonians 4:17a
“Then we (After the dead had been resurrected; reunited body, soul, and spirit) who are alive (Believers, as if this should happen today.) and remain shall be caught up…” We’ll be gathered, as he says in II Thessalonians, or as we use the word coined, we’ll be raptured. Which simply means the same thing, that we’ll be snatched off the planet.
I Thessalonians 4:17b-18
“…we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, (Those who have been resurrected from the dead and have their new resurrected body. The whole body of believers now is gathering around Christ who is somewhere in the atmosphere. Remember, He doesn’t come to the planet for this occasion.) to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” And then, if you don’t believe it, go into chapter 5. Here you have those who are left behind, according to the series of the books, the title.
I Thessalonians 5:1-3a
“But of the times and the season, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord (the Tribulation, the coming in of the anti-Christ) cometh as a thief in the night. 3. For when they (Not us, not when we, but when the left behinds–) they shall say, Peace and safety;…”
Now, isn’t that exactly what the anti-Christ is going to promise when he first comes? Oh, he’s going to be a flatterer. He’s going to promise peace and prosperity. Israel will think he’s the Messiah because of what he’s accomplishing. But what happens next?
I Thessalonians 5:3b
“…then sudden destruction cometh upon them,…” Sudden destruction and the horrors of the Tribulation will unfold.
All right, now we’ve got to quickly run another page on to II Thessalonians chapter 2. And here again the language is so plain that the anti-Christ cannot appear until after we’ve experienced this being caught up, II Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 1.
II Thessalonians 2:1
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,” Now at the Second Coming, He comes to the planet. Here He draws the believer off the planet. It’s a simple change in language. So we can rest assured that before the anti-Christ can make his appearance, the Body of Christ has to be taken away, and then everything can go back to the top timeline that we have on the board.
Prophecies will finally be fulfilled. But, we’re out of here. We’re with the Lord in Glory, and the more we look for it, the more excited we can get!