Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 79
PART 3 of the MESSIANIC PROPHECIES – PART 1
Psalms 40 and 41
Okay, good to see everybody in again this afternoon. For those of you out in television, we just checked with our studio audience—and, my goodness, we’ve got people from all over the country here today. Chicago, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, and Washington State and there might be another state or two that I’m missing. We’re just glad to have a representation from almost coast-to-coast. Oh, yea, I forgot about Gloria over there from Florida. Boy, she’s been looking forward to this day for months on end. We do appreciate it when you folks come in from a distance to spend the afternoon with us.
All right, I’m not going to take any more time for announcements, because, you know, everybody reminds me this is the only Bible study they’ve really got. So we have to buy up the time. We’ll get as much in these thirty minutes as we possibly can.
All right, we’re still going to continue on our walk through the Book of Psalms, picking out the Messianic Psalms. In other words, we will look at those Psalms that are definitively pointing to and representing the Messiah in His death, burial, and resurrection.
Now, that doesn’t mean the rest of the Psalms doesn’t mention it, but they are not as graphic. We’re just picking out the Psalms that most graphically describe His first advent and the Glory that will follow.
Okay, now I’m going to do like we did in the last taping, maybe even the one before. I’m going to kick off every program with these verses. Because I want people to almost see these two verses in their sleep and be aware of it when they wake up in the morning.
I Peter chapter 1 and we’ll drop in at verses 10 and 11. Remember now, who wrote it? The Apostle Peter. Who was he writing to? Fellow Jews who were looking forward, of course, to the coming of the Tribulation—just over the horizon—and the Second Coming. They all thought that was going to be in their lifetime. But Peter is reminding them of something. That’s why we’re taking an in-depth look at the Book of Psalms.
I Peter 1:10a
“Of which salvation the prophets (the Old Testament writers) have inquired and searched diligently,…”
Now, I’ve got to stop a minute. I can’t help it. I wish could. Don’t you? Marilyn here is from Chicago. She’s been listening to me for years. She and her friend Mary stopped by yesterday, and they put on a little skit—just for Iris and me. She’s mimicking me—all the way through from the way I start until the way I end.
Well, it just reminded me of it, because this is part of it. We’re going to be stopping every now and then. When it says that they searched diligently—do you know that even today in these Jewish yeshivas (You’re going to want to know how to spell that, aren’t you, Sharon?)—in these Jewish yeshivas—which are places of learning for young Jewish men—they may spend a whole day, maybe a week, just contemplating one verse of Scripture. Or maybe even a part of a verse.
Now, that’s what I think of when I see this word that those old prophets were looking at all these things diligently. Not just haphazardly writing, but they were really searching and trying to get an understanding of all these Old Testament Scriptures that were looking forward to a Messiah, which they understood. But as I mentioned the last time, and I’ll probably mention it several times before we get through with this. They could understand the coming of a Messiah—but two of them? Now that threw them a curve. Here it comes now, and then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
I Peter 1:10b
“…they searched diligently, (those prophets) who prophesied (or foretold) of the grace that should come unto you:” Now remember who Peter is writing to. He’s writing to fellow Jews. And these prophets now in verse 11 were:
I Peter 1:11
“Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ who was in them (As they wrote, remember. That’s why we’re always emphasizing Holy Spirit inspiration. Otherwise, these men could have never done what they did.) who was in them did signify, when it (or I prefer He) testified beforehand (through the writing of these prophets now) the suffering of Christ, and (What?) the glory that should follow.”
Now, if you’ll remember way back when we were going through the Book of Isaiah, pretty much chapter and verse, I laid that out so clearly—that Israel was being foretold that three times they would suffer the discipline of God because of their unbelief, but it would be followed with blessings.
The first one was the Babylonians. The second one—of course that wasn’t followed with blessings so much, but still was an act of God—was the A.D. 70 invasion and destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans and then their dispersion. Then the third one was the seven years of Tribulation to be followed with the glory of the Kingdom to follow. All through Scripture this seems to be the format—first the suffering and then the glory that should follow.
Now then, I had another brainstorm this morning, like I did last time we taped. I learn these when I teach them often enough. I know these verses now by memory. They were searching diligently what manner of time the Spirit had testified beforehand, the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow.
And I couldn’t help but think—turn with me now to Romans chapter 8 and see if it isn’t the same thing. It’s just unbelievable. That even Paul with the regard to the Church Age believer and its sufferings, many times—not always—I’ll make that point in a minute here. But what’s going to follow our earthly suffering? Oh, the glory of eternity that’s ahead of us!
“And if (we’re) children, (And that we are, if we have become a believer for our salvation in the death, burial, and resurrection plus nothing else.) then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; (Now here it comes.) if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also (What’s the next word?) glorified together.” See the order?
Now, I’m going to be careful here. This does not say that unless you suffer you can’t be glorified. It doesn’t say that. But it says it’s a possibility that we as believers may suffer. And the Lord knows that they did for the last 2,000 years. My goodness, even during Paul’s ministry when these people were converted out of paganism, was it a bed of roses? Why, heavens no. They came under intense persecution. They came under complete rejection by their families and maybe by their employers. And all the way up through the last 2,000 years that has been the case for most believers.
You know, we in America have been so blessed that we don’t know what it is to suffer for our faith. But most of Christendom has. All right, so I’m going to qualify that in verse 17. It doesn’t say you won’t have glory unless you suffer. But it’s possible we might suffer. And if it’s possible that we suffer, then we go through the suffering with the same mentality that Christ did when He suffered. And that was what? It was all for an end, and the end would be the glory. All right, that’s just a theme of Scripture, that “first the suffering and then the glory that should follow.”
All right, now maybe that’s as an introduction. Come back with me to Psalms again. And this time we’re going to move up to chapter 40, Psalms chapter 40. Now the casual reader will never get the true impact of these Psalms. The casual reader will never say, oh, this is Christ speaking. It’ll never enter their mind. But it is. The Holy Spirit so inspired David, that as he wrote, he was saying it as if Christ Himself was saying it. Now keep that in mind as we study.
“I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.” If at no other time, this should ring a bell—how about that night in the Garden of Gethsemane? Right? How He cried out to the Father knowing what was coming. Now here’s the amazing thing of the crucifixion. Jesus was on the one hand totally human. He suffered as any human could have suffered. But on the other hand, He had the Deity part of Him so that He would know what was coming. You know that.
Even back there in Luke 18, remember, when He had the Twelve as they were getting ready to go up to the Passover. They didn’t have a clue of what was coming. But He knew to the last detail. And He told them so. But even though He told them, the Spirit kept it from them so that “they did not understand the things that were spoken.”
But it just tells us now as believers today that, number one: Jesus knew exactly what was coming. As I’ve said over and over through the years, He could have named those Roman soldiers who drove the spikes. He could have named every person out there in that Jewish crowd that were hooting and ridiculing Him. But at the same time, He suffered as a human. And the Holy Spirit kept the understanding from the Twelve so that they didn’t know. But anyway, if you keep that in mind, then these verses in Psalms are truly graphic.
“I waited patiently for the LORD; (as He cried out to the Father) and he inclined unto me, and he heard my cry. 2. He brought me up (Now, this is after His death, and He’s been in the grave.) also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock,…” In other words, after His resurrection He is now in a position to bring in salvation for the human world and also to set things in motion for His coming Kingdom.
“…and established my goings. 3. And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear,…”
Now don’t let that word throw a curve at you. What is the meaning of fear, especially in the Old Testament? The fear of God is the beginning of what? Wisdom. So, the fear that is used here is not a shaking in their boots, but it was an understanding of the mind of God Himself.
“…many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. (That is the God of Glory.) 4. Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, (Or the place of his faith, I’ll repeat the blessing again. Blessed is that man who) and respecteth not the proud, (Now don’t lose your negative there. The true believer has no room in his thinking for pride.) nor such as turn aside to lies.”
My goodness, lying, lying, lying—it’s almost gotten to be the sin of the day, isn’t it? They lie through their teeth, and it doesn’t bother them. No…no conviction, no embarrassment—they just go on as though nothing was ever said—in the business world as well as in everyday life. All right, verse 4 again:
“Blessed (happy) is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, (and not the things of the ungodly world) and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.” He doesn’t have any respect for the proud, the puffed up. He has no respect for the liars. That’s just opposite of the mindset of our God.
“Many, O LORD my God, are the wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.”
Now again, that is from the prophetic speaking of the Lord Himself. But I can’t help but think of a verse that Paul writes, and I’m going to have to use it. That’s why I think these things pop into my mind. This isn’t in my preparation whatsoever. Believe me.
But come back with me to Ephesians, because I just had a letter in the mail the other day or a phone call. I don’t remember what it was. But they were asking about this very term. And if this isn’t almost a perfect parallel with Psalm 40 and verse 5. Ephesians 3 verse 8, and again, remember who is writing. It’s the Apostle Paul writing to Gentiles. He’s writing to us. So he speaks of himself here.
“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the (What?) unsearchable riches of Christ;” Now, beloved, do you get an idea of what He’s talking about? He could never put into any language the riches of Christ. It’s beyond human understanding. What little we get we take by faith, and we glory in that. But, oh, beloved, the understanding that we’re going to have someday—but here it is. They are unsearchable.
Well, then I had another question that followed it, and I used this for the answer. The individual wrote and asked what it meant in verse 18. Now just skip across the page, at least in my Bible, in the same chapter. This is Bible study, so I don’t have to stay on a format. That’s why I don’t use outlines. I’d go nuts if I had to go by an outline. But here we go across the page to chapter 3 verse 18. And the same Apostle is still writing to us, and he says:
“May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;…” Now, what makes that so different? There are four dimensions. We live in three. So what’s the fourth dimension? The unsearchable—that’s the only way I can put it—the unsearchable that we will never be able to comprehend until we get there. And then we’re going to have full knowledge.
All right, now you might as well keep your hand here in Ephesians, because I think when I get back to Psalms and the next verse—yea, next verse—then we’ll be going to the Book of Hebrews chapter 10. But first, back to Psalm 40 and you’ll see what I’m driving at. Psalm 40 verse 6, it is still speaking as if it were the Lord Himself. David is writing it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, but it’s just as if he’s taking the words that the Lord Jesus will speak in His first advent.
“Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt-offering and sin-offering thou hast not required.” Now, that was two of the four major offerings in Judaism. Now I’ve got to stop a minute. Another verse comes to mind. Isaiah chapter 1—because I think this is all so apropos to what we’re talking about. Isaiah chapter 1—start at verse 10. I’m using these just to show you what Scripture is talking about. What does Psalm 40 back here mean when it says, Sacrifice and offering you did not desire?
Well, I thought that was all part of the Law, didn’t you? Isn’t that part of Judaism, the sacrifices and so forth? Well, under good, normal circumstances, yes. But what had happened in Israel? Unbelief. Did they still practice them? Sure. But did it have any Spiritual significance? No. Why? Because they weren’t doing it in an attitude of belief and faith. They were just doing it because it was a prescribed religious way to do. Does that ring a bell? That’s exactly what churches are today.
All right, but now look what the real attitude was that God hated. Isaiah 1 verse 10, where the prophet writes:
“Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; (Now this is from the previous verse, a reference to Jerusalem.) Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. (Because up in the previous verse He’d said they were like Sodom and Gomorrah, but it’s Jerusalem. All right, now here it comes, verse 11.) 11. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me?…”
Multitude. Do you have any idea how many animals were killed every year up there at the Temple in fulfillment of these religious rituals? Thousands of them. I think Josephus made the claim of a million. I find that hard to believe, but whatever. I’m going to be a little more easy to accept. But thousands every year were sacrificed. How much of it amounted to anything? Very little, because it wasn’t done in the attitude of faith. It was just simply done as a religious ritual. All right, read on in Isaiah.
“To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifice unto me? saith the LORD: I am full (Now, how would we say it today? You’ve got it, Charlie! I’ve had it with all of your sacrifices, God says.) of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.” You see that? It didn’t mean anything to God anymore, because it wasn’t being brought in the prescribed way.
“When ye come to appear before me, (That is in the Temple.) who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 13. Bring no more (Or, let’s put it as we would say it. Don’t bring me anymore.) vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons (Which were all part of Judaism, remember.) and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with;…” And again, put it in our language. What’s he saying? I’ve had it! End it. It doesn’t do you any good.
“…even the solemn meeting. 14. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: (And don’t forget who’s speaking. God is, through the prophet.) they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. 15. And when ye spread forth your hands,…” Oh, my goodness, what did they think they were doing? They thought they were showing worship.
We were in a meeting one time—Iris, you remember, don’t you? And I said what a fake. It’s all fake. They don’t mean anything. And Israel was doing the same thing. Oh, you know, they would pretend that they were worshiping. They would raise their hands and all, and God hated it. It’s no different today.
“And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.” In other words, guilt—not necessarily of murder, but they had all kinds of moral guilt. Do you see that now?
All right, now from Psalms, then, let’s go to up Hebrew chapter 10. This is a good parallel for Psalms 40 and verse 6. While you’re looking, I’ll reread it.
“Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; (In other words, speaking of God, He’d had it with Israel’s religion.) mine ears hast thou opened: burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not required. 7. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me.”
All right, now Hebrews chapter 10. Let’s see how that was fulfilled. As I feel that the Apostle Paul wrote Hebrews; so after the fact, now, Paul can reflect back on everything that the Psalmist had put in the mouth of the Lord Jesus, and see how it comes out again.
“For the law (the Judaic Law) having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, (themselves–They) can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.” Or spiritually mature. It couldn’t do it. Now verse 2:
“For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshipers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. (But they did.) 3. But in those sacrifices (these sheep and the goats and what have you) there is remembrance again made of sins every year.” Reading on, verse 4:
“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. (Now here comes the quote from Psalms. So we know that the Holy Spirit inspired David to write what the Lord Himself would say later.) 5. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not,…”
Now, doesn’t that give you goose bumps? It should. Here he is saying the same words that David put in Psalm 40. Now what does that tell us? This Book is supernatural! And yet mankind hates it. They scorn it. They ridicule it. They think it’s just a bunch of fables and legends and myths. No, it isn’t! It’s the revealed, Holy Spirit-inspired Word of God, and it’s so perfectly written out. All right, back to Hebrews 10 verse 6 again.
“In burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sins thou hast had no pleasure. 7. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book (That is in the Word of God.) it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt-offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not,…” Now, you see why I read Isaiah 1? Why not? Because it wasn’t amounting to anything; it was done without faith. It was just a ritual that they thought they had to do because their neighbor was doing it. This is the way Mama and Daddy did it. This’s the way Grandpa did it. But it had no redeeming value whatsoever.