Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 78
Christ as the Rock of Scripture – Part 2
We’re beginning the next twelve programs going into the next book, Book 78. We’re taking sort of a subject matter today. We’re looking at Christ as the Rock and the Stone of Scripture. For this half hour, we’re going to look at the stumbling aspect of the Stone. How Israel was prophesied to do it and they did it. And they still are stumbling over that Rock of offence. We’re going to start our Scripture in this half hour in Psalms 118 verse 22.
While you’re looking that up, and for those of you out in television, again, we just want to invite you to a Bible study. That’s all we hope it to be. I don’t feel like I’m an evangelist. Although if you’d read our mail and how many people are getting saved, you’d kind of think so. But, you know, only once or twice in all the thirty years that I’ve been teaching has somebody come up and said, “Les, you should have given an invitation.”
One of them was at one of our times in Jerusalem last fall. We had a little over 200 people on that tour. For one reason or another, I was kind of wound up that night, even though it was long day. I think I had a nap a little while before. And, boy, when we went to that, I was wound up. And several people said, “Lands, Les, you should have given an invitation.” But I’ve never considered myself an evangelist or preacher. I prefer to just be the teaching end of it, and let the Scripture speak for Itself. All right, now in Psalms 118 verse 22, we have that exact language.
“The stone which the builders refused is become the headstone of the corner.” Now you have two opposites there, don’t you? I’ve referred to it before on the program. I think it is more legend than anything, but yet Scripture certainly supports that something like that might have happened.
While they were building the Temple—whether it was Solomon’s or Herod the Second’s temple is irregardless—all the stones were cut exactly out at the quarry, wherever that was, so there was no hammering and chiseling at the building site. And, probably through a mistake of the quarry workers, they sent one of the key-stones that was waiting for the latter end of the building. They sent it too early. And the builders on the building sight couldn’t figure out where it was to go. So, naturally, as men would do, they rolled it off to the side. The weeds grew around it, and it became a stone of stumbling.
Well, I like that analogy, because that’s exactly what happened. You see, when Christ came the first time, Israel, like those builders, didn’t know what to do with Him. Think about that for a minute. They should have. They should have been able to search the Scriptures, but they didn’t. So they rejected the “stone of stumbling” by crucifying Him and literally screaming, “…we’ll not have this man ruling over us.”
But the last half of this verse is prophecy. And it’s still prophecy. But it’s coming. We’re getting closer and closer every day for the return of Christ, and then it will be in total fulfillment of all these prophecies. For He will indeed, yet, become the “Headstone of the Corner” of all these promises that have been given to the Nation of Israel.
Now, we’re not talking about a building, per se, of stone and mortar. We’re talking about a spiritual concept—how that when Christ will finally come and set up this glorious earthly kingdom and be King of Kings and Lord of Lords, then that building will become complete. And, of course, He is the Cornerstone, the Headstone, or anything else that you’d want to put on that which is the most important. But here again, verse 22:
“The stone which the builders refused…” Now just get the picture. The stone came in from the quarry. It came to the building sight. The builders didn’t know what to do with it, so they rolled it aside. It became a stone of stumbling. But the end result is that He’s still going to be everything that He claimed to be.
All right, now let’s jump ahead a little bit to Isaiah chapter 8 verse 13. Again we have the same concept. Now I’m going to keep repeating all afternoon that this is a concept between God and Israel. Paul is going to refer to the stone of stumbling, but he’s going to refer to it with regard to Israel. We’ll see that maybe in this half hour, otherwise in one of the later ones. But the Rock and the Stone concept is between God and Israel.
“Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14. And he shall be for a sanctuary, but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel,…” See how clear the language puts it? Now this is prophecy. This is looking forward to Israel’s future. Now remember, we’re having it in two events. In His first coming, He was the Rock of Offence—and the vast majority of Israel ended up hating Him and detesting Him. Even Saul of Tarsus put people death for following this imposter.
But this whole concept, it’s done a lot for me in the last few weeks as I’ve been mulling these things over. Last night Iris looked at me with a blank look. It was just after supper and I said, “You’re wondering what I’m thinking?” And she says, “Yeah.” I said, “Tomorrow afternoon.”
Well, these things just keep rolling and rolling, and the more you think about it, the clearer the picture becomes. That all through Israel’s history, God has these promises. But before the promises come, what had to come first? Chastisement. Discipline. And the same way here. First, he’s going to be the Stone of Stumbling at His first coming. Can anything good come out of Nazareth? That was their attitude. And they finally ended up crucifying Him. “We’ll not have this man to rule over us.”
But see, here we’ve now come 2,000 years. I said in the last taping, remember, that God is timeless. How long in God’s thinking is 2,000 years? Nothing! So almost like a snap of the finger He’s ready to come back and fulfill the other half of these. Instead of being the Rock of Offence and Stone of Stumbling, He’s going to be the Headstone of the Corner. He’s going to be the King of the glorious Kingdom.
“And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel,…”
Now remember, the Old Testament is always dealing with the Northern Kingdom of the Ten Tribes and the Southern Kingdom of Judah and Benjamin. That’s why we so often see it split like it is here. But He’s going to be the same for all of them. Don’t think for a minute those Ten Tribes were ever lost. They are just as complete a part of Israel today as they were way back at the beginning. You know that was a false, false concept that was promoted primarily by Ted Armstrong. And, of course, others have followed along. They still try to promote the fact that the Ten Northern Tribes were lost.
No, they weren’t. They were never lost. Some of them went into captivity. But whenever somebody calls on it, I just tell them, “Well, now listen. You just get out your Bible, and you start reading Israel’s history back there in Chronicles and Kings and keep track of the civil wars. Keep track of the civil wars between Judah in the south and the Ten tribes or Israel in the north.” And they did. They had civil war. Well, in the very first civil war, the two tribes of Benjamin and Judah could only put out a few hundred thousand. But the Ten tribes of the North could put out a million three-hundred thousand. Well, that was to be expected. They had five times as many more people, and it showed in their numbers of armed forces.
All right, then about five or six years after the first one, they had another one. And already the numbers had almost evened out. Judah was now able to put almost as many troops in the field as Israel. Then thirty years later, the Scripture says that Israel’s army was like a bunch of kid goats. They were worthless. There was nothing. And Judah had millions.
Well, now common sense ought to tell people—what started happening just as soon as the Nation divided? The people from the North start migrating down South. Why? The Temple was down there. And that was the heart of Israel’s life. So over the years they migrated and they migrated and they migrated. So that by the time Sennacherib came in and took Syria captive, there weren’t that many Jews left up there. They were all down in Judah.
All right, if you follow it a little further, and I didn’t intend to do this. I’m rambling. Now, you follow it a little further. Who comes and takes Judah captive? Well, Nebuchadnezzar. He takes them all out to Babylon, which is present-day Baghdad. And what does the Scripture say? Two Tribes? No. “The whole house of Israel” was taken captive. Then when they came back, even though it was only a small percentage of the whole, forty-four thousand or whatever it was, but what were they? Representatives of all the Tribes, all Israel came back.
And just to show how it held together up through history—when Peter is preaching on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:36, and they’re asking what shall we do, what does Peter say? “Therefore let the whole house of Israel know assuredly.” Well, who’s the whole House of Israel? Judah and Benjamin? Why, heavens, no, all Twelve Tribes. So, if you’ve ever been dangled with that idea that some of the Jews were lost or the Tribes lost. You forget it.
And I’m even forgetting the most important one of all. Revelation chapter 7 when they sealed twelve thousand from each tribe, how many did they end up with? Twenty-four thousand? No. How many, Luther? A hundred and forty four, which, when I was in fourth grade was 12 X 12. I think it still is. Right? So, all Twelve Tribes are evenly represented at the beginning of the Tribulation. What’s the matter with these people? So, if you ever get dangled with that in front of you, that some of the Jewish Tribes are lost, you just forget it. Not a one was lost. All right, let’s get back to “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence.”
All right, now I think I can jump all the way up to the New Testament. Let’s go up to Acts chapter 4. Now remember, it’s all still Jewish. Oh, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts chapter 4. Now again, verse 11 is the verse we want to look at, but let’s feed into it. Let’s get the flow. Let’s go to verse 8. Peter is addressing the Sanhedrin, not the religious leaders, but the political leaders.
“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, 9. If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;” That’s back there in chapter 3, when they healed the lame man, you remember, and he was leaping for joy?
“Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him (The resurrected, ascended Lord, His power is still evident.) doth this man stand here before you whole.” Healed completely.
“This (This Jesus of Nazareth whom you rejected. Who was crucified, was buried, and rose from the dead. He ascended back to the Father’s right hand and is waiting to yet fulfill the other half of the promise that’s He’s going to be the Headstone of the Corner.) is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.” Now, are you getting the picture? It’s that same concept. That when the Headstone of the corner came in ahead of time and the builders couldn’t figure out where it put it, they rolled it off into a vacant lot. Now, I’m just using that as an illustration.
But, even though it became a stone—in fact I was thinking of it driving up. I know it happened to me one time when Iris and I were still able to go to Colorado every summer. We’d go trout fishing up in the mountains, just the two of us. And one night I went out after dark and got off the path a little bit, and I stumbled on a stone about that big. Hit me right in the shins. You know what that feels like – to get kicked in the shins by a stone of stumbling.
Well, you see, that’s what happened to Israel when Christ came the first time. He just literally kicked them in the shins, and they couldn’t get over it. All right, now Peter says the same thing.
“This is the stone (Speaking of the Christ that healed the lame man. Not of Christ in His earthly ministry, now. He’s already ascended back to Glory. But the ascended Lord from Glory was still the power that healed the lame man. And so Peter says,) which was set at naught of you builders,…”
See what he’s driving at? They were the leaders of Israel. The Sanhedrin along with the priests, and they rejected Him out-of-hand. But Peter also gives rise to that which is still future. And that is that He’s still going to be the Headstone of the Corner. Only in symbolic language now, we’re talking of when He sets up this glorious Kingdom over which He will rule and reign as the God of Creation.
But now come back to verse 12. I’m mindful of this, because you know of the poll that was taken about a month ago, how that the vast percentage of Americans from all various denominational backgrounds are now claiming that there’s not just one way to heaven. You can pick and choose. You’re seeing it. I read an article again last night referring to that same poll, where people no longer have the concept that there is only one way of salvation.
Now, the reason I thought of that is this next verse. This is the verse that we have to rest on. This is the verse that 80% of American church people are rejecting out-of-hand. It’s scary. How long am I going to be able to teach the way I teach? I sometimes think it won’t be long.
In fact, I think if my ministry is getting the world, or getting America, ready for anything, it’ll be like China did when the Communists took over in the 40’s. What happened to the church? It went underground. And it survived all those horrible years with house churches. I think we’re getting ready for the same thing if the Lord tarries, because Christendom today does not like the truth. It’s evident. All right, Peter goes on in verse 12. This is where we stand.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: (Can’t be. So whenever you have groups holding hands who are Hindus and Buddhists and Muslims and Catholics and Lutherans and Baptists and Pentecostals, hey, it won’t fly, because they don’t agree on this. They will never agree that there is only one name given among men whereby we must be saved.) for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
And that’s where we get separated. That’s where we get pushed off to the side. All right, so read it again. This Headstone of the corner, this Stone rejected of the builders, is the One in whom there is salvation alone.
“…for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” And, beloved, don’t ever forget that. Don’t ever compromise that. There is not a second or an alternative way to Glory.
All right, now I think I’ve got one more—Romans chapter 9 starting at verse 30. But now remember, just because Paul is writing it does not take away the Jewish concept of the stone and the rock, because chapter 9 is part of the three chapters where Paul deals with the Nation of Israel. Again, the language is evident.
“What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, (to whom he’s ministering) who followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. 31. But Israel, who followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32. Wherefore? (Or why? What was their problem?) Because they sought it not by faith,…”
It was a works religion. And it’s no different today. My goodness, most of Christendom is hung up on what we do. And it’s not what we do. It’s what God has done! But they can’t swallow that. All right, so that was Israel’s problem from day one.
“Wherefore? (Why?) Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. (That was Israel’s standard.) For they stumbled at this stumbling stone; (What stumbling stone?) 33. As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion (That’s Jerusalem.) a stumbling stone and rock of offence:…” That’s what He was to most of Israel.
But there was that small remnant that believed who He was, that followed Him as their Messiah. That was the group that Saul of Tarsus tried to obliterate with his persecution. What was the end result for them?
“…and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” In other words, disappointed is another word that I like there better. Why? Because they put their faith in that Rock of Offence—who to them was not a stumbling stone. He was the cornerstone. See that? And it is all through God’s dealing with Israel.
All right, let’s go to one more, yet. I Corinthians chapter 1 and, again, it’s the same thing. Paul is speaking, but he’s referring to Israel and their relationship with this Stone of Stumbling. I Corinthians chapter 1, oh, my goodness, these are too good to pass up. We’re going to start at verse 18.
I Corinthians 1:18-19
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish (to the lost world) foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is (What?) the power of God. (And that’s where the world misses it.) 19. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
Now those of you who were with us in the last several tapings, when’s all that going to happen? During the Tribulation when the wrath of God will finally be poured out. Grace will be brought to an end, and unbelieving humanity is going to come under the wrath of God. It’s going to be unbelievable. Unbelievable!
I’ve been reading a book which is really interesting. It is showing the comparison of the eschatology of Islam, or the Mohammedan religion, compared to the eschatology of our Bible. And, you know, it’s shocking. It is. I don’t want to be – what’s the word I’m looking for? I don’t want to be sensational, but it was shocking. Because you all know that this guy down in Tehran is talking about the coming of the Muslim Mahdi (the M. A. H. D. I.). The Muslim Mahdi is what we would call the biblical anti-Christ.
But here is the shocking thing. He quotes, quotes, quotes how that the Muslim Mahdi is identical with the biblical anti-Christ. See how close we’re getting? So, if the anti-Christ is Muslim, then it all fits in place. I just couldn’t believe the constant comparisons at how identical they are. Except that from the Muslim point of view, it’s their Mahdi and it’s our bible’s anti-Christ. They’re going to do the same thing. Only instead of the anti-Christ as we see it from the Bible who is going to have the false prophet funnel people to a worship for the anti-Christ.
The Muslim Mahdi is also going to also be helped by their concept of the biblical Jesus, only He’s not going to be the biblical Jesus. He’s going to be a corrupt. But nevertheless, he’s going to work hand-in-glove with their Mahdi like our false prophet of Revelation will work with the anti-Christ. Oh, it’s just unbelievable! And all I could think of as I read the book is how close are we really getting? We’re just getting so close; we can almost hold our breath! Now, back to I Corinthians chapter 1.
I Corinthians 1:19-21a
“For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21. For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom…” With all of our technology, with all of our computer smarts—and I still have to sit and ask, how did that guy figure it out? I mean the computer. How does he figure it out? I mean, it’s just beyond this simple mind of mine. But see, this is what the Scripture is talking about. That kind of wisdom is going to be brought to nothing. Well, now I’ve got to hurry. I’m running out of time.
I Corinthians 1:21-23a
“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that (What?) believe.” (Now here we’re coming.) 22. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greek’s seek after wisdom: 23. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a (What?) stumbling block,…” See that? The Jews consider this Gospel of Grace a stumbling block, because it’s that Stone of Stumbling that’s at the heart of it all.
I Corinthians 1:23b
“…unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks (It’s just so much–) foolishness;” But I made my point. All the way through Israel’s experience, who’s the Stone of Stumbling? Jesus of Nazareth.