Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 76
CONNECTING THE DOTS OF SCRIPTURE – PART 29
Genesis – Revelation (The Mysteries)
Okay, it’s good to see everybody in again this afternoon. We’ve got quite a few new folks that have never been here before. So those of you out in television, if you look over the audience, you’re going to see a few new faces this afternoon. For all the rest of you who’ve come in routinely, again we thank you for helping us out and being so supportive.
We always like to let it be known, every once in a while anyway, that we’ve still got the Questions and Answers book for $11. I don’t like to peddle them, but on the other hand we want to make people aware that they are still available and very useful and informative and make wonderful gifts.
Again, I always have to thank my audience, all of you here and those of you out in television, for your prayer support, for your letters, your comments…my, what an encouragement it is to know that the Lord is using us to open the Scriptures to so many. And we thank you for your financial help. After all, television is not free. And we do thank you for all of that.
All right, now for those of you in the audience here in the studio, you can see on the board that we are going to start with the mysteries today. These mysteries are scattered throughout Paul’s epistles. I had the studio audience turn to Ephesians 1 verse 9, but I just happened to think I’d better go back to Deuteronomy 29:29 once again for the sake of new listeners. Most of you regular listeners know this by memory, just from rote repetition. But it’s one of the most descriptive verses for understanding what Paul calls the mysteries that were revealed to him and him alone.
Deuteronomy 29:29—I always have to give credit for finding this verse to a dear gentleman who was in one of my Oklahoma classes. He was not only a retired Army General, but he was a retired College President. He came up one night and he said, “Les, I’ve found a verse that just fits the way you teach.” And I said, “What is it?” Deuteronomy 29:29. And I’d never seen it before. Now, of course, I use it hundreds and hundreds of times, because it just says it all.
“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: (Now stop and think a minute. What does that mean? Well, exactly what it says. God is Sovereign. God is in total control; and He can do whatever He wants, however He wants, whenever He wants. Now that’s what it means. He can keep things secret if He wants to. But, see, the flip side is–) but those things which are revealed (and are no longer secret) belong unto us and to our children forever,…”
Of course Moses is writing, so he’s speaking of the children of Israel. But nevertheless, it’s still appropriate for us in this Age of Grace to understand. Now come back with me to Paul’s epistles in Ephesians chapter 1 verse 9. We’re going to be looking at mysteries all afternoon. And the first thing I have to qualify is that the word mystery is also the same identical word for secret. That’s why I took you to Deuteronomy 29:29.
Now in Ephesians chapter 1 verse 9, we have an instance—it’s not the only one, not even the first as far as that goes—but in Ephesians 1 verse 9 he says:
“Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, (or the secret of His will) according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:” Now see how I’ve already explained that with my opening remark? Why is it according to His good pleasure? Because He’s Sovereign, and He can keep things secret until He’s ready to reveal it.
Now here’s one of the revealed secrets that you will find only in the letters and the epistles of Paul. It’s referred to here as “the mystery of His will.” Now, if you just read that casually, you don’t think anything of it. But hopefully I’m getting people to understand that you’ve got to stop and analyze these things without just running by them. So what in the world is he talking about that God’s will has been kept secret?
Now maybe I’d better qualify that. Oh, I’ll make it easy for you. Just turn over in this same Book of Ephesians. There’s another one in Romans 16, but let’s use the one in Ephesians chapter 3 verse 9. We’ll be coming to it probably later this afternoon. If we don’t get it here today, we’ll get it at our next taping. But here is exactly what we have to understand—that these things that Paul refers to as the mysteries are doctrines and tenets of our faith that were never known anywhere else in Scripture.
This is what makes Paul’s apostleship so set apart from all the rest of our Bible. It is that all these things were kept secret until revealed to this Apostle. That’s what most of Christendom can’t understand. And, of course, the first reason they can’t understand it is because they won’t read Paul.
In fact, I don’t know if I mentioned it in my last taping or not. But one of my listeners, I won’t even name the state. But in one of the far off states, she sent me a clipping from her newspaper. And across the top of the newspaper she wrote, “Les, now I understand what you mean when you say that people hate Paul.” And then she had underlined one of the letters to the editor. It was in response to a letter that a pastor in their community had written being critical of another liberal pastor, and he had evidently used some of the quotes from Paul to make his point.
Well now, this letter that she had outlined for me to read, I’ve got it in my Bible here, but I won’t take time to read it. But you cannot imagine the venom that can spew out of people’s mouths when they start attacking the Apostle Paul. And that’s what she was doing. Just with venom, no Christian love whatsoever. She just ridiculed the man. How he was kicked out of Greece, he was kicked out of Turkey, and he was stupid, and he was this and that. Well, she’s not alone. Now, she might be on the worst end of it, but that’s multitudes of people today. They’ve got no time for this Apostle. At most they’ll just use a verse here and there. But to understand his mysteries—they don’t want any part of it.
All right, have you got Ephesians 3 verse 9, then I’ll get back to the one I intended to start with. In verse 9 he says:
“And (I want) to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery,…” Now when he speaks of the mystery, he’s speaking of this whole body of truth of these things that were revealed to this Apostle, not counting the eighth one, because that’s back in the Book of Revelation chapter 2. But these first seven mysteries are our basic doctrine—that you will not find anywhere else in Scripture. You just can’t find it. No use even wasting your time to look. All right, so back to my verse in Ephesians.
“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, (or this huge compilation of secrets) which from the beginning of the world (Now that takes us at least back to Adam.) hath been hid (Where?) in God, (That’s why He could keep it secret. It was within His makeup. So they have been hid in God, the same God–) who created all things by Jesus Christ:” All right, so that’s the whole concept that I want to have you see this afternoon. It is that all these Pauline doctrines that he calls the mystery had never been revealed before. You can’t find them in the four gospels. You can’t find them in the Old Testament. You can’t find them in the little epistles at the end. They are uniquely within the epistles of this Apostle.
All right, so now let’s come back to our list of the mysteries. The first one we have on the board.
“Having made known unto us the mystery (or the secret) of his will,…” Now I’m going to stop right there. Now goodness sakes, we all know that beginning with the human experience back with Adam and Eve, God’s will was certainly exercised and made known. Wasn’t it? In other words, so far as Adam and Eve were concerned in the Garden, what was God’s will concerning what they could or could not do? Well, everything in the Garden is for you to enjoy except that tree. So the will of God was expressed.
When He dealt with Moses and He dealt with some of the other patriarchs and David and the prophets, we know that God expressed His will. Now what’s the point I’m trying to make? Yet when it comes to you and me as members of the Body of Christ, understanding the will of God is something so totally different and superior than anything that ever went before. And that’s what the average believer does not comprehend. That we are in such a unique position in God’s dealing with the whole human race. That as members of the Body of Christ, we have an understanding of the will of God that even Adam didn’t have. We have an understanding that Moses did not have. We have an understanding that Abraham and the rest of them didn’t have.
All right, now let’s just see what the Scripture says about it. Continue on in Ephesians chapter 1 to see what I’m driving at. Jump across, at least in mine, to the other page. Go over to verse 15 and see if we can get just a little better comprehension of what Paul is talking about. This whole secret of a revealed will of God to you and me as believers today compared to the rest of biblical history. All right, verse 15, now this is a prayer of the Apostle on behalf of the Ephesian believers. He says:
“Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and (your) love unto all the saints, 16. I cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; (Now here is the Apostle’s prayer.) 17.That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:”
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and (Let me repeat…and you may know–) what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19. And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe,…”
Not the rest of the world. They know nothing of these things. But this is imparted only to you and me now as, what we call, Grace Age believers. Now let’s just flip over a few pages to Colossians chapter 1. Here again we have much the same thing, but to a different group of Gentiles over in Colossi. Here again we’re going to look at a prayer of the Apostle on behalf of this congregation. So we can just take the two of them together, and they’re for us. Absolutely they are! Verse 9:
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, (That is, of their professing faith in this preaching of the cross. That we–) do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with (Now here it comes.) the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual (And who’s that for? For you and every individual believer as God has a will for that particular life. What’s the next word?) understanding.”
How many church people have that today? Not many. And I’m not being judgmental. I’m just taking the general attitude of people. I hear it all the time. They invite them to a Bible Study. Not interested. They’re not the least bit interested in finding out a little more about what this Book says. Why not? They’re not in the will of God, because God’s will is that we grow in the knowledge of His Word.
And when you grow in the knowledge of His Word, you’re going to experience—like I had a lady call, I guess I can name the state. She called from Maryland. And she said, “Les, yesterday I had the most exciting day of my whole life.” I said, “Tell me about it.” She said, “I’d been to the mall and I’d finished shopping and I was on my way out to the car. And here as I went by one of these outside cafes, (you know, you see them in every mall) there this young man was sitting by one of those tables reading intently. and I walked over and got close enough and noticed he was reading the Bible.” And so she said, “I stopped and noticed that he was in Proverbs, and he had everything all highlighted and underlined. I was brazen enough and said, ‘Young man are you reading Proverbs?’” And he says, “Yes.” I said, “Why?” “Well,” he says, “It’s the only book in this whole Bible that agrees with Plato.” “I said, Plato! Who’s that?” And he said, “Well, he lived in 300 B.C.” “What’s that got to do with you?” “Well,” he said, “According to Proverbs a lot of the things said….”
I said, “Can I just sit down and share the Scriptures with you?” And he said, “Yes, please do.” Now he was just a young guy, about 30. So she sat down. Then she said, “Now, Les, you talk about the work of the Holy Spirit.” “Of course,” I said. She said, “I’ve been listening to the program every morning in Romans and so all of that was fresh in my mind. I took his Bible and went from verse to verse to verse and it was just the most exciting thing I’ve ever had happen.”
And she said the guy was attentive. He was taking it all in. She said she was hoping that she could share phone numbers with him, but that he wouldn’t do. But she said, “When I got ready to leave he did say this.” “Lady, you are the first person I’ve ever met that can make sense out of this Book.” Well, wouldn’t you go back to your car on cloud nine? Yes, you would. This is what we have to wait for. When you get that opportunity, don’t think, well, I don’t think I….yes, the Spirit will take over.
I had another lady some time ago in one of my classes here in Oklahoma one evening on cloud nine. She had just shared the Scriptures with a couple or three teenagers. She said every verse that came to mind she could find it. And I said that’s the way the Spirit works.
All right, this is what it means to be under the control of the will of God, because that will in its turn brings in wisdom and spiritual understanding. All right, now to qualify you as a believer, to have this kind of an understanding, come back with me to I Corinthians chapter 2. I’m hoping that I can make all these things come together and make you realize that you and I as believers have a relationship with God and an understanding of His Word that Israel never had. Not even the best of them. Not even the prophets, because they didn’t have this special revelation that we do.
I Corinthians chapter 2 starting at verse 10—we’re just going to do a lot of Scripture reading today. After all, it’s the Word of God that’s powerful, not what Les Feldick says. The Word of God is powerful.
I Corinthians 2:10
“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit (That’s the Holy Spirit.) searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” Not just the fluff. That’s where most of Christendom is. They’re up there just scratching the surface. But the Spirit wants us to get down into the deep things. Now verse 11:
I Corinthians 2:11
“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save (or except) the spirit of man which is in him? (In other words, you send your kid to college and what do you expect him to learn? Well, the things of the world and the subject matter and everything that he can probably use in a career or whatever. But they’re still nothing more than the things of men. On the same basis then–) even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”
In other words, if you are going to send a young man to medical school, you don’t expect some accountant to teach him anatomy, do you? What do you expect? Well, you want somebody who is skilled in the discipline of anatomy to teach your kid the part of medical school that that applies to. Well, it’s the same way with Scripture. You don’t go to the outside world to understand Scripture. We go to that blessed Holy Spirit, which, as he says in verse 12, “is freely given.”
I Corinthians 2:12
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, (We’re not concerned about earthly things when we get into the Book.) but the Spirit who is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” It’s not something you have to work and strive for, just ask God to pour it out and He will. And now verse 13:
I Corinthians 2:13
“Which things (These things that come from God Himself by way of the Holy Spirit.) also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
Now does that tell you something? Why do I use Scripture verse after Scripture verse after Scripture verse? Comparing Scripture with Scripture. Line upon line. Precept upon precept. That’s the only way to do it. Now then verse 14; this is really the verse I was heading for.
I Corinthians 2:14
“But the natural man (the unsaved person) receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: (He’s got no time for these things.) neither can he know them, (Why?) because they are spiritually discerned.” Now that’s what it means to know the will of God. It is to understand that only by the working of that indwelling Holy Spirit can we come to a knowledge of these spiritual truths. Come back a little further now to Romans chapter 8.
That’s been on the air not too long ago, so this should almost be like a little quick review. And you remember when I was teaching Romans, I emphasized in the first seven chapters that there was almost no mention of the Holy Spirit. Almost none. But all of a sudden you break into chapter 8 and it just explodes. And I don’t remember how many times, I think it’s something like 19 or 20 times in this one chapter, we have reference to the Holy Spirit. And here it comes—dropping down to verse 5. And this is all because of the revealed will of God in our lives which was kept secret until it was given to this Apostle.
“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but (Here it comes.) they who are after the Spirit do mind the things of the Spirit. 6. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life (that’s eternal life) and peace. (Peace with God—and here’s the reason.) 7. Because the carnal (the unsaved) mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (But here we come) 9. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, (We’re not in the flesh. We’re in the Spirit. We’re a whole new person as a result of our faith in that preaching of Paul’s Gospel—which is that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. So, we’re not in the flesh, we’re in the Spirit.) if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
No matter how many times he’s walked the aisle. No matter how many times he’s been baptized, one way or another. If he doesn’t have the Holy Spirit, he’s still as lost as a goose, is my favorite expression. He doesn’t know where he’s going. But if you have the Spirit of God, then that is God’s mark that you are indeed a child of His, which we’re going to see in the next minute or so. All right, verse 11:
“But if the Spirit of him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, (In other words, the very Spirit of the God of Creation, the God who consummated the work of the Cross.) he that raised up Christ from the dead (if the Spirit of God dwells in you) shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
All right, now I’m going to bring you down to verse 14. When we experience true salvation, and you have truly trusted and believed the Gospel plus nothing and believed that the work of the cross was complete, then the Sprit of God dwells in you. I just emphasized again last night with a caller. I said, “Listen, when Jesus said, ‘It’s finished,’ was He kidding? He was dead serious. And He meant what He said and He said what He meant. The work of Salvation was finished. He did it all.”
Now of course, we’ve got to jump ahead three days and include the resurrection. But nevertheless, what has mankind done with the Gospel ever since the Apostle Paul was given this revelation? Well, they’ve thrown everything at it but the kitchen sink. My, they’re adding baptism to it. They’re adding church membership. They add tongues. They add tithing. They add healing. They add this and that. Then what does that mean? When you add anything to faith in Paul’s Gospel, then you’re telling God that Christ didn’t finish it and you’ve got to add something to it. Isn’t it ridiculous?
Well see, this is what I mean when I say you can place your trust totally in that finished work of the cross, and nothing else is necessary. And then the Christian life follows. Of course it does. I’m not saying anything about that. But I’m talking about the means of salvation. If we have trusted the Gospel of the cross of Christ, and the Holy Spirit comes in, then verse 14 kicks in and this is where we are.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, (the Holy Spirit) they are the sons (Or the children, or the born ones—I think it comes out of the Greek.) of God. 15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear;…” We don’t shake in our boots before a Holy and Awesome God. Do we? I hope not. My goodness, we’re in a relationship with Him. We’re His. He’s ours. So you haven’t received the spirit of bondage to fear.
“…but ye have received the Spirit of adoption,…” which means you have been placed as a full son. Not a babe, but a full son. Now again, I always have to emphasize. We start on two levels as a believer, don’t we? The moment we’re saved, yes, we’re a babe in Christ. But on the other hand, we are placed in the Body of Christ as a full heir. Read the next verse.
“The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” Oh, I love that! Not something that you hope to be. Not something that you’re going to try to be. You know, that’s most of Christendom—well, I’m doing the best I can. I’m trying. I’m working at it. That won’t do you a nickel’s worth of good, because that’s not what God is looking for. He’s looking for faith and trust in what He has done. But, hey, it gets better. We’re not just children, we’re what?
“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him,…“ Now fortunately, we in America so far haven’t had to do it. We may. But we know that down through the years a lot of believers did. They suffered. They died as martyrs for their faith. It’s not a prerequisite, but it certainly is a distinct possibility that when we take a stand for Christ, we may yet have to suffer for Him.