Through the Bible with Les Fedick
LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 76
CONNECTING THE DOTS OF SCRIPTURE – PART 34
Genesis – Revelation (The Mysteries Continued)
Okay, good to have you all back from your coffee break. For those of you joining us on television, I always have to remind folks that we are just an informal Bible study. Hopefully we teach the Word in a way that you can study it on your own and enjoy your Bible. Don’t just read it because you think you have to. Let it be a joyful experience.
Okay, we only have one book that we always continue to let people know is available. It’s our Question and Answer book. It covers a lot of things, and it’s had a lot of good response. A lot of people use them. People say it’s the best $11 they ever spent. They make wonderful gifts.
Okay, in our teaching of the mysteries, the studio audience has let me know that I not only skipped number 5, which we did in the last half hour, but I also skipped number 4! Somehow or other that didn’t come out in my bookkeeping. So, we’re going to pick up number 4 now. It doesn’t make any difference in the order they are taught. Turn with me to Colossians chapter 2, and we’ll spend a few moments, probably not as much as I would have had my thoughts been all in order, but Colossians chapter 2 verse 2. We’re going to start with verse 1.
“For (Paul says) I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, (Which, of course, were two little cities, sister cities almost, right out there east of Ephesus in Turkey as we know it.) and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;”
In other words, Paul was not instrumental in starting these two little congregations. Colossi and Laodicea were evidently begun by converts from maybe Ephesus or some of his other churches. He had never been there to see them face-to-face. Now verse 2:
“That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, (We’ve been stressing that.) and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement (or ready to accept the fact of this mystery) of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3. In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Now, I think all the apostle is doing here is reminding us again of the Triune God. In fact, you can just go a little further in this same chapter, go on down to verses 8 and 9. Because you see, these are things, as I said in the last taping, you do not find anywhere else in Scripture. It was left for this apostle to reveal these things that God had providentially kept secret.
And that’s why I just told a gentleman yesterday, a Jehovah’s Witness. The wife was only in it about nine years, so she had a better chance. But the husband had been in it since birth. After watching my program for not all that long, she saw the truth of all this and was genuinely saved and came out of it. But she wanted me to talk to her husband. She said he’s starting to look at it, but he’s been in it all his life. He is having such a hard time. Would you talk to him? Yes, gladly.
And he was a real nice gentleman. You know, a lot of times these people are abrasive, and they’re against you. But he was real open. So we talked a good long while—over half an hour. Finally, I left the conversation with him this way. I said, “Look, if for the next three or four weeks you will just read nothing in your Bible but the Book of Romans. And then for another week or two read the rest of Paul’s epistles on through Philemon. Then call me back, and we’ll just pick it up on the phone.” Well, fortunately, they’re in an area in Wisconsin where I’m going to be in August and September, so they promised that they would be coming to one of my seminars up there.
Now here’s where prayer comes in. You just pray that these people will get this full understanding of who God is.
Those of you who have been approached by Jehovah Witnesses at your door, or wherever, I think you’re all aware that they cannot accept the fact that Jesus Christ is God. He was something less than God. He was through an act of reproduction, somewhere along the line. But they can’t accept that He was part of the Godhead, and that’s what made me think of them. What Paul is talking about here as being the mystery of God is His Triune-ness, if I can put it that way. That He’s One God according to Deuteronomy. Absolutely, He’s One God. But He is still in Three Persons.
Now there’s no way we humans can understand that, because it’s into the realm of the Spirit. So, how do we take it? By faith. God says it. That settles it! Why question it? Like I tell more and more people when they come up with these things that are not definitely answered in Scripture, “Hey, if it doesn’t affect your salvation, your eternal destiny, your Christian walk, your hope for the end here on this planet, wait until we get there! And then we’ll have all understanding.”
And I’m satisfied with that answer. Don’t try to find something that the Scripture doesn’t address. Wait until we get there, and we’re going to have full knowledge. But here is an item that Scripture does address—God is a God of Three Persons. Now down to verse 8, Paul writes to these Gentiles in Colossi and Laodicea.
“Beware (or be careful) lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit,…” Oh, now listen. If the Colossians needed this, we need it today a million times more; because the false stuff is coming in like a tsunami.
Listen, when a tsunami is coming, you’ve only got one way to go. And what is it? High ground! You’ve got to hightail it for high ground or you’re never going to make it. Well, that’s where we are with false teaching today. It’s just coming in like a tsunami, and all we can do is race for a place of safety. And what’s our place of safety? The Word of God. This is it.
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit (false teachings) after the tradition of men,…” Now, in all of this tsunami of false teaching that’s coming up lately, especially in the term the emergent church, I tell everybody to run from it like a tsunami.
Because even though it sounds good, it sounds valid, and reputable men are embracing it, that doesn’t change it. You run from it. Because what they’re trying to do is take us back to the early church fathers. That’s one of their premises. We’ve got to get back to the teachings of Origin and Justin Martyr and Chrysostom and Athanasius and some of the others. Listen, every one of them are heretics. Every one of them. And yet everybody has been resting on the church fathers for ever so long, and now they’re trying to kick us back to them.
I think I mentioned it one day last week. All it’s really amounting to is getting the world ready for the Tribulation One World Church where anything and everything is going to fit together. But Paul says, hey, you stand alone. Run from all this stuff.
“…after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Now again, we have to remember as we saw in our last taping. You go back over here to chapter 1 and I could repeat it every week because it is so earthshaking. Come back with me right now to chapter 1 verse 15.
The pronoun “who” is referring to the “Redeemer” up in verse 14, who is the “Son” of verse 13, who is connected to the “Father” up in verse 12. But now into verse 15, here is “God the Son.” We covered it in detail in our last taping.
“Who is the image (The visible manifestation of what kind of a God?) of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:” Why is He invisible? He’s Spirit. And no man has seen God at any time.
Now that throws a curve at people. Why not? Because until Christ became flesh, God was an invisible Spirit. Again, when the Scripture says, “no man hath seen God at any time and lived,” what were they talking about? That Triune Spirit Godhead. No one has ever seen that and lived. But once God the Son became visible, of course, that’s no longer an instruction, because we do see God in the person of God the Son. All right, that’s what Paul is addressing here.
“Who (the Son) is the image (the visible manifestation) of the invisible God, (or the Spirit God.) the firstborn (Or, He comes before everything else that was ever created.) of every creature: 16. For by him (By God the Son, Jesus of Nazareth, what happened?) were all things created,…”
That’s why He could go to that cross and take the sin of the whole world—from Adam to the end. How else could it happen had He not been the Creator of everything Himself? Nobody else could do that. And that’s what we have to emphasize. When we believe in a work of the cross that took not only my sin but everybody else’s, how could He? He was the Creator. That’s what we have to understand, and that’s what Paul is revealing for the first time.
Now you ask the average Sunday school person. You ask the average church goers. I don’t care whether they are liberals or conservatives. “Who created the universe?” What’s their answer? God. Well, yes, that’s true. But what person of the Godhead? They don’t have a clue, because they’ve never read Paul.
I’m going to say some more about that before the afternoon is over. Well, I don’t know. I’m already in the second program, so I know I won’t get there. But anyway, they ignore this apostle’s letters. I’m always using the expression: they treat him like an unwanted stepchild. He’s there, but we don’t want anything to do with him. I can tell it in the articles I read and in the sermons I listen to. They just avoid this apostle, and he’s the one with all the answers.
I read, I think I referred to it in the last taping. You go back into church history starting with these early church fathers. Did they put any emphasis on Paul’s apostleship? Not a one of them. Where was all their emphasis? Christ’s earthly ministry. The Sermon on the Mount. And that’s as far as they ever get. Oh, it’s sad how the millions upon millions down through history have been totally deceived and mislead.
All right, now back to my text in Colossians chapter 2—the Mystery of God—how that we are not to be deceived by the rudiments of the world and not after Christ. He is the key of everything. And here’s why in verse 9. I love this verse.
“For in him (not the Father, not the Spirit, but the Son) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Well, what’s the Godhead referring to? The Trinity. The Triune-ness.
Now, I am beginning to shy away from the word Trinity, because it’s not in Scripture. Did you know that? The word Trinity is not in our Bible, as such. But the Triune—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—that’s the Godhead. And Jesus Christ is the manifestation of that Triune God bodily. We’re going to see Him someday. He’s in a body, and He will be for all eternity.
I always put it this way. He condescended to limit Himself to that body for the sake of the salvation of the human race. Otherwise, He wouldn’t have had to. He could have just as well stayed an invisible Spirit. He went eons and eons and eons of time that way as far as we know. But for the benefit of saving the human race, He confined Himself to that body in which He will dwell for all the rest of eternity, if I understand Scripture. Now verse 10:
“And ye (as a believer, you and I as believers) are complete in him, (In other words, when we place our faith in that work of the cross plus nothing, do we need anything more? No! That’s all we need. It’s complete.) and he is the head of all principality and power: 11. In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands,…” Not a physical circumcision, a spiritual.
Well, you all know by now, you’ve been studying with me long enough. Circumcision is a cutting off of that which was superfluous. So, in the Spirit realm, what’s superfluous? The Old Adam. We don’t need him. He’s superfluous. He’s worthless. So he’s been cut off by an act of God, not by an act of a human being. That’s the “circumcision made without hands.”
“…in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: (the Old Adam) 12. Buried with him in baptism,…” Not water, but Holy Spirit.
Now we’ve got to chase another verse, don’t we? I Corinthians chapter 12, we’ve got to cover everything with Scripture. I Corinthians chapter 12 verse 13, now this is the baptism that Paul refers to. Romans chapter 6 and here in Colossians chapter 2 and in other Scriptures, whenever he speaks of baptism, this is what he’s talking about.
I Corinthians 12:13a
“For by one Spirit (the Holy Spirit) we are all (Every last believer has experienced this baptism. There’s no denominational connection whatsoever. This is a thing between the believer and God Himself.) we are all baptized (or placed or positioned) into one (What?) body,…” The Body of Christ.
No church can do that. No denomination can do that. Only God can do that. Every believer becomes a member of this Body of Christ by virtue of the Holy Spirit placing us into that Body. Now back to Colossians chapter 2 once again.
“Buried with him in baptism, (that Holy Spirit baptism) wherein also ye are risen with him (It’s the power of the Holy Spirit that brings us out of deadness into life.) through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” See, there are certain elements of Paul’s epistles that just keep popping up and popping up. Three of them are faith, hope, and charity. They just keep popping up all through Scripture. The other one is the death, burial, and resurrection. It just keeps coming to the top over and over. Why? Because they are paramount to our position in Christ. Now verse 13.
“And you, being dead (in our pre-salvation existence) in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, (We hadn’t been cut off from Old Adam, he still controlled us. That’s all in our past.) hath he (God, up in verse 12) quickened (or made you alive) together with him, (That is with Christ, who also now has been raised from the dead. But here’s the best part of all.) having forgiven you (already) all trespasses.”
And that’s not license by any stretch. It’s something that should sober our thinking. That Christ has done that much on our behalf without our lifting a finger. Yes, the moment we believe it, He considers our whole sin problem forgiven and in the past. It’s done and never to be brought before us again. Now then, you come on into the next verse. I wasn’t planning to do this. Can’t help it. You’ve just got to keep going.
“Blotting out…” Why? Because we’ve placed our faith in that finished work of the cross. We’ve been forgiven. We’ve been given the power of the Holy Spirit. Now these are things we have to understand. Don’t be plagued by these things from the past. Don’t let somebody try to teach you something that was taught to Israel in the four Gospels and say, “Well, you’ve got to do this.” Oh, no I don’t, because I’m under a whole new program. And what is it?
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us,…” Now I like to think of the 613 rules and regulations that came out of the Ten Commandments and Judaism. Six hundred and thirteen rules! And it was all nailed to His cross!
“…which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” What does it do when you crucify? You put it do death. So, all these rules and regulations were put to death. Now verse 15:
“And having spoiled (or defeated) principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” When we speak of principalities and powers in Scriptures, whose power are we usually referring to? The satanic. All the satanic principalities and powers are utterly destroyed so far as we are concerned. They are defeated. Now reading on in verse 16.
“Let no man therefore judge you (Or point an accusing finger at you because you aren’t keeping such and such a rule, or because you aren’t keeping such and such a law. Hey, that’s all been crucified to me. I’m set free from it. So don’t let anybody judge you.) in food, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:” Do you see how plain this is? Why? That was all nailed to His cross! We’re free from it.
And look at the millions of people that are still laboring under a Saturday Sabbath. That if they don’t keep it, they’re going to Hell. Well, they are, whether they keep it or not, because they’re not putting their faith in this finished work of the cross. Oh, it’s so sad that they’re under that legalism. They’re afraid to break out from it. And if they don’t, then they are doomed. They’re not going to make it.
So, don’t let anybody judge you as a believer in what you eat or what you drink or in respect of holy days. Going back to Judaism, or the new moon; which, again, was part of Judaism—when the first little sliver of the New Moon showed, that set the next month in motion. And the same way with the Sabbath Day, they’re all a thing of the past. We have no Sabbath Day, per se. Now verse 17, what did it all amount to?
“Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” It was a shadow of things to come. Now, I come back to one of my favorite illustrations. You already know what it is, don’t you? The big, old, beautiful tree.
The tree with the sunlight shining behind it. What lays out on the ground? The shadow. And you remember the old fellow came along and wanted to buy that beautiful tree to make furniture and the guy says, no, I won’t sell you the tree, but I will sell you the shadow. How much furniture can you make with a shadow? Well, none. How much salvation can you get keeping the Law of Moses which was a shadow? None. Get the picture? Oh, it’s all so obvious. That was all part of the “looking forward.” But it has no validity for us today. All these things were a shadow of things to come.
Well, let’s see. I wanted to make one more comment yet before we go away from this mystery. Come back with me to Ephesians chapter 5. Remember our subject for this half hour is the Mystery of God. Who is He? What is He? Well, He’s a Three Person Godhead operating as One. And here we have two of them in Ephesians chapter 5 verse 20. It’s also an instruction for prayer. How do we pray? Well, here it is.
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” There’s the formula for prayer. You approach God the Father however you want to do it. If you want to start out like the Lord’s Prayer, Our Father which is in Heaven, that’s absolutely legitimate. But somehow or other, you address the Father. You’re going to ask and pray everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, in the minute we have left, let’s go back to Romans chapter 8. This is where we pick up so explicitly the Third Person of this Triune God, the Holy Spirit. You remember when we were teaching Romans, we pointed out that in those first seven chapters the Holy Spirit was hardly ever alluded to. That’s why Paul had the problems that he had in chapter 7. But then you get into chapter 8 and the Holy Spirit just breaks out all over the place, just like blossoms in the springtime. Every place you look in Romans chapter 8 you’ve got a reference to the Holy Spirit. All right, start right out in verse 1.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the (What?) Spirit.” The Holy Spirit. All right, now just come on down. We’ll do this quickly—verse 11.
“But if the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) of him that raised up Jesus from the dead (resurrection again—and if that Spirit–) dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (or make alive) your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” And then you come over to verses 14 down through 17. Again, it’s the operation of that Third Person of the Trinity.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, (See that?) they are the children of God.”
“The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are (What?) the children of God.” See the world of the Holy Spirit? It’s everywhere. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.