Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 82
THE RESURRECTION OF THE JUST – 2
Okay, it’s good to see everybody in again. You’ve had your coffee break. For those of you joining us in television, we are, again, just a simple Bible study. I’ve announced it over and over, but I realize every day we have new listeners, and we’ve got to keep it qualified that I’m not associated with any group. I do not hold to any one denomination. We’re just going to keep searching the Scriptures to see what it says.
And again, for those of you who are so supportive with your prayers and your letters, I just have to say thank you. And we know the Lord is using it. We’re getting such a tremendous response from so many who are coming out of the darkness of lostness and into the glorious life that is fit for eternity.
All right, we’re on the whole concept of the resurrections in this taping. We started our study of the resurrections in our last taping in the Book of Daniel. In our last program, we were talking about the resurrection of the firstfruits. Now we’re going to go to the next part of the order of the resurrection—to the main harvest of the field. Now, I’ve got the square up here. If Israel was dealing with a little square field of barley, they went in first in the spring and took out those early ripening stems of grain. Then they would come and take the whole crop, but they had to leave the corners and the gleanings.
We’re going to look at the main harvest in this half hour. Then, hopefully, before the afternoon is over, we’ll come to Daniel once again and pick up the corners and the gleanings. This is the way I look at the resurrections: three of them, and yet they all comprise what Revelation will call the first resurrection.
All right, I Corinthians chapter 15 is the great resurrection chapter. We’re going to, for sake of time, come in at verse 20.
I Corinthians 15:20
“But now (on this side of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection) is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them who have died.” That’s what we covered in our last program. Then in order to make more than just the one stem, in order to have enough for the bundle according to Leviticus, there were those Jewish believers who came out of the graves after His resurrection there at Jerusalem.
I Corinthians 15:21
“For since by man (Adam) came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” All right, now we’d better qualify that with Scripture, hadn’t we? Back up, if you will, to Romans chapter 5 where we get the correlation. Adam was the first man that plunged the human race into sin and under the curse, but the second man is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who opened up salvation to the whole human race.
“Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; (So, sin and death almost become like Siamese twins. They are both horror to the human race, sin and death.) and so death (because of sin) passed upon all men, (none excepted) for that all have sinned.”
All right, now if you’ll keep that in mind as we jump back up to I Corinthians 15, once more, back to verse 22 now.
I Corinthians 15:22
“For as in Adam all die, (spiritually) even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Now, I have to stop there a minute, because we have a—what should I call it—a teaching. I don’t like to call it a doctrine, per se. But beginning with one of the early church fathers, he dreamed up what today we call Universalism.
Now, I imagine the rank and file of church people don’t even know what universalism is. But I think I’m qualified from time-to-time. Universalism is the concept that when Christ died and paid the sin debt for the whole human race; which, of course, we agree with. But they go on to say that after these last people have spent a certain amount of time in the Lake of Fire, they’ve paid their dues, then they’ll come out and still get to Glory. That’s the teaching of Universalists. Even Satan will one day be in Heaven. It’s amazing, you know, how people can corrupt the Scriptures.
But this all goes back to those early church fathers that are held in such high esteem. Well, I used to, but I don’t anymore. But, that is not what this verse means. See, they take a verse like this and twist it to mean that sooner or later everybody will get into God’s Heaven, see, because – now read it again, so that you see where they’re coming from.
I Corinthians 15:22
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” But the key there is the prepositional phrase “in Christ.” Lost people aren’t “in Christ!”
Now let’s use another verse of Scripture. Just go ahead a few pages to II Corinthians chapter 5, and we’ll see why that little term is—what’s the word I’m looking for? It’s confining. It just doesn’t open the door to the whole human race. The work of the cross is only profitable for those who believe. And those who believe are those who are “in Christ.”
All right, II Corinthians chapter 5 and, again, I always have to start with verse 14 in order to pick up the flow.
II Corinthians 5:14
“For the love of Christ (In other words, that love that drove Him to the cross.) For the love of Christ constraineth us;…” Now, the Apostle Paul invariably uses that plural pronoun instead of I or me. So he’s still speaking of his own apostleship, because that’s what drove him in spite of all of the suffering and the hardship. He never lost his desire to win lost people.
II Corinthians 5:14-15
“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, (or come to this conclusion) that if one died for all, then were all dead: (Just like he said in Romans 5, that Adam plunged the whole human race into sin and death.) 15. And that he died for all, that they who live (That is spiritually, now, as a result of the new birth—as a result of saving faith.) that they who live should not henceforth (That is from the time of their salvation.) they should not henceforth live unto themselves, but (were to live) unto him who died for them, and rose again.” There’s Paul’s gospel. I mean, it’s always popping up that our salvation is our faith in His death, His burial, and His resurrection.
II Corinthians 5:16a
“Wherefore (Because now Christ has finished the work of redemption with His death, burial, and resurrection.) henceforth know we no man after the flesh: (And who’s he talking about? The next part of the verse–) yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh,…” Paul, or Saul, knew all about Christ’s earthly ministry. He was out there on the outskirts in his fury against Him. He was probably more aware of Christ’s preaching than the average Jew, because he was so antagonistic to it. So, he says:
II Corinthians 5:16b
“…yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, (But now here’s the part that most of Christendom does not want to read.) yet now henceforth (from this time on) we know him no more.” What’s the Apostle saying? We’re not resting on His miracles. We’re not resting on His Sermon on the Mount. We’re not resting on the Lord’s Prayer. We’re not resting in the Four Gospels. We’re on this side of the cross, and Christendom can’t get it.
I know I’m not spitting into the wind, because I hear it from every denomination you can think of. All they hear are the Four Gospels. We’ve got to follow Jesus. They’re missing it. They’re missing it! There is no salvation in those Four Gospels for us. It has to be on this side of the cross, because His earthly ministry was for a different economy. And, oh, it is so hard for people to see that, but it’s exactly what Paul is talking about – “I knew Christ in His earthly ministry, but henceforth we know him no more.” Because there is no validity to it for us.
What did it take? The cross! And people don’t want to talk about the shed blood. They don’t want to talk about the sufferings of the cross. They don’t want to talk about this power of His resurrection! Because resurrection power changes lives, and that they don’t want that. No, they don’t want that. Here’s where we have to be careful. How does the Scripture apply it? That we are on this side of the death, burial, and resurrection.
II Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore (because of that finished work of the cross) if any man be in Christ, (See that prepositional phrase? If we’re in Christ.) we’re a new creation: old things are passed away: behold, all things are become new.”
See, we’re going to become a different person. We’re not going to be the same old person after professing salvation. But see, that’s the trouble with most church members. They aren’t any different tomorrow than they were yesterday. And there’s something wrong. We’ve got to be a changed person. All right, so, “old things are passed away: behold, all things are become new.” And that’s as it should be.
All right, now then, back up to where we were in I Corinthians again, chapter 15, now verse 22.
I Corinthians 15:22
“For as in Adam all die, (In other words, he was the federal head of the whole human race.) even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” But those who are in Christ are the only ones who capitalize on it. For the rest, the finished work of the cross is done for them, but if they don’t appropriate it by faith, it won’t do them any good. All right, now here comes what we came to look at in verse 23.
I Corinthians 15:23a
“But every man (Whether lost or saved, but Paul is talking primarily about the saved who are the members of the Body of Christ—those who are in Christ.) every man in his own (What?) order:…”
Daniel used the word lot. Paul uses the word order, which means the same thing. Every resurrection is going to be according to that particular phase of the resurrection. Are you in the firstfruits? No, we can’t be, because that was for the few Jews in Matthew 27. But, we are in the main harvest. We are in that greatest number of believers.
Now, I was mulling this over when I woke up last night, and then all of sudden it struck me—and I have to…I have to pass this on. When I say that the Body of Christ will comprise by far the greatest number of believers—and, again, I’m going to go to the board. The firstfruits were just a sampling. The Old Testament Saints and the Tribulation Saints are going to be the corners and the gleanings. The Body of Christ—this Age of Grace, the Church Age for the last 1,900 years—will be the main harvest.
Well, now if you know anything about grain harvest, you don’t even have to be a farmer to know that if you’ve got 39 or 40 acres of grain and you leave maybe a fourth of an acre on every corner, that’s one acre. And maybe all the gleanings together will put up another half acre. Well, now you’ve got 38 ½ acres of full crop. How much is that compared to the corners? All the difference in the world.
All right, now why am I putting the Old Testament Saints and the Tribulation Saints in just that small percentage of the corners and gleanings? All right, from Adam to the flood, 1,600 years, how many believers do you think God ended up with? Well, he had eight on the ark. And there probably weren’t very many more than that in the rest of the civilization. So, it was almost nothing between Adam and the post-flood. All right, now then, by the time you get away from the sons of Noah there in Genesis chapter 9, what’s the next event in Scripture? Well, the Tower of Babel. Well, goodness sakes, how many believers were at the Tower of Babel? None. Not a one.
All right, so now there isn’t really anything for God’s harvest until we get to Abraham. Now then, Abraham begins the Nation of Israel. Now, from 2,000 BC until we get to the Apostle Paul in Acts chapter 9, what percent of the total population was the little Nation of Israel? Now, I’m not asking for an exact number, but what percent? Well, what are they today? One tenth of one percent. So, even if they were five percent of the whole for those 2,000 and some years between Abraham and the Gospel going to the Gentiles, how many did God get out of that? Well, not many.
Let me show you. Turn back with me to Isaiah. Keep your finger in I Corinthians, I’m coming back. Isaiah chapter 1—now this may seem shocking to you, but this is reality. And in my teaching, I always try to be logical, commonsensical. Here’s the Nation of Israel, just a small percentage of the whole—and out of that small percentage of the whole, how many percent of them were believers? Not much different. Probably one or two percent.
Look at it, Isaiah chapter 1 verse 9. Now again, you have to know a little bit about history. What time in history did Isaiah function? Well, about 700 B.C. Well, that was 300 years after King David and King Solomon. All right, now look what he says.
“Except (or unless) the LORD of hosts had left unto us (That is the Nation of Israel) a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom,…” So, how many believers in Israel? Just a little small remnant. And it’s never increased.
My goodness, that’s evident at Christ’s first coming. He comes to the Nation of Israel. How many believers did He have surrounding Him? Almost none. His own family didn’t become believers until almost the end of His three years of ministry. And what was the vast majority of Israel’s reaction to it? We’ll not have this man rule over us.
All right, now then, you come into the Book of Acts. What kind of luck, if I may use that word, what kind of luck did Peter, James, and John have with the Nation of Israel? Not much, except on the Day of Pentecost. But beyond that, it was all downhill. All right, have I made my point? So, how many believers did you have in the corners and the gleanings? Not that much. So, where’s the main harvest? The Body of Christ—that will be God’s main harvest.
All right, now let’s come back to I Corinthians 15, again, verse 23.
I Corinthians 15:23a
“But every man…” Every believer, whether it’s Jew in the firstfruits of Matthew 27, or whether it’s the Old Testament believers like Daniel and those that will be saved during the Tribulation, who I think are all going to be part of this Old Testament consortium of people. They’re not going to come into the Body of Christ. I know that.
I Corinthians 15:23
“But every man in his own order: (his particular area of the first resurrection) Christ the firstfruits; (then the main harvest and the gleanings) afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”
All right, now then, in order to pick up this resurrection of the Body of Christ—we’ve done it many, many times before. But I’ve learned that I just can’t repeat some of these things too often. In this same chapter 15, now, we have one of the basic portions of Scripture dealing with this resurrection of those who are in the Body of Christ. It will come at the end of the Church Age, which we think we’re looking at head on; and just shortly before the Tribulation begins. Because I’ve always maintained, and still do, that the Body of Christ cannot function in that which is Jewish. And the Tribulation period is Jewish.
All right, I Corinthians chapter 15 and verse 51, for the umpteenth time we’re going to look at them again.
I Corinthians 15:51a
“Behold, I show you a mystery;…” Now, that’s the keyword that most of Christendom ignores. They cannot accept the fact that this knowledge of a secret out-calling of the Body of Christ was kept secret.
That’s why they try to take Scriptures out of the Four Gospels and use it for the Rapture. My, for the longest time all I ever heard was that the two women grinding at the mill, one is taken and the other left, was what? That was the Rapture—no, that’s not the Rapture. That’s God dealing with Israel.
Two people sleeping in the bed, one taken and the other left. That’s not the Rapture. That’s Israel at the end of the Tribulation and getting ready for the Kingdom. So, it’s just the reverse. In those instances, it’s the unbeliever who is taken away, and the believer is left to go into the Kingdom as flesh and blood.
Well, another one that everybody likes to use is John’s Gospel chapter 14. Let’s go back and look at it. I think I’ve got time. Come back to John’s Gospel chapter 14. And the best of theologians will try to turn this all upside down and make it refer to the Rapture. Well, it can’t, because what’s the word in I Corinthians 15? Secret. How could the Holy Spirit cause the Apostle Paul to call it a secret if Jesus had let it out of the bag? But He didn’t. He didn’t let any secret out of the bag. He was dealing with that which was commonplace.
John 14 verse 1, who’s He talking to? Well, the Twelve. Come on down to chapter 13 verse 37:
“Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. 38. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.” Now you know that was all part of Jesus dealing with the Twelve just before He’s arrested and being crucified.
All right, here they are in the Upper Room, if I’m not mistaken, and Jesus is dealing only with the Twelve Apostles. And to the Twelve Apostles He says:
“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.” Now you’ve heard me say it more than once. That’s not us…that’s not us. That’s for the Jewish element. God always keeps Israel and the Body of Christ separate. Oh, if mankind could only do that also!
I had one lady tell me one time. She said, “Les, you took away my mansion!” No!! You know why? We’re going to have something a million times better! This is earthly! Our abodes are going to be heavenly. And they are so tremendous the Bible doesn’t even try to explain it. That’s the only way I can put it. That’s how fabulous our abodes are going to be in Glory. God knows better than to try to explain it. So, don’t take these earthly mansions to heart. Don’t think that you’re losing something. Not at all. But here it is. Then He says in verse 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.” Well, so what’s He talking about? His ascension and His coming again at the Second Coming!
And if you don’t think the Twelve are going to be involved, or at least eleven of them, come back with me now to Matthew chapter 19. Because I want you to see how all this fits. When Jesus is talking to the Twelve, He’s talking to the Twelve—and you and I are not part of the Twelve Apostles. We’re Gentiles.
“Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?” And you’ve heard me say it before. He’s not talking about his salvation. He knew he had that. So, what’s he talking about? Rewards! What am I going to get for reward, Lord? All right, and the Lord didn’t scorn that. He gave him the answer.
“And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye who have followed me, (These Eleven men, now we’re not going to include Judas.) That ye who have followed me, in the regeneration (That’s the Kingdom, when the earth will be reverted back as it was in the Garden of Eden.) That ye who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, (in Jerusalem on Mount Zion) ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the Twelve Tribes of Israel.” See how God is connected with the Twelve? Well, those are the same Twelve He’s talking to in John chapter 14.
All right, now then, let’s come quickly back to I Corinthians again, chapter 15, and continue on with this harvest of the main part of the field. It’s what we call the Rapture. But, you see, it isn’t just those of us who are alive. It’s going to take first the resurrection of the believers who have lived and died previously. All right, verse 51 again, of I Corinthians 15—I’ve got to move fast. Now all of sudden that clock is getting ahead of me.
I Corinthians 15:51-52a
“Behold, I show you a secret; (Something that’s never been revealed before.) We shall not all die, (physically) but we shall all be changed, (In other words, God’s not going to make every believer die so He can be resurrected, but He’s going to change him instantly.) 52. In a moment, in the twinkling (blink) of an eye,…” That’s how long it’s going to take God to transform every living believer from this body of flesh to the new body fit for eternity.
I Corinthians 15:52b
“…at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,…” What dead? Well, the Body of Christ believers who have died. No Jews. No Old Testament saints in this. This is the Order, or the Company, or the Battalion that is separated from the other two groups which are Jewish.
I Corinthians 15:52c-53
“…the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we (Paul writing as if he would live to see the day.) we shall be changed. 53. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
Well, now I’m going to have to take you real quickly over to I Thessalonians chapter 4. We’re still dealing with this same great event: the resurrection of the Body of Christ—whose members have died—so that they will have a body fit for eternity. We will be instantly, at the blink of an eye, changed. And why do I keep us separate from the Twelve and the rest of it? Verse 14, here’s the key to get to go in this resurrection.
I Thessalonians 4:14
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also who have died in Jesus will God bring with him.” And be reunited with the body that’s been laid to rest.
All right, did the Twelve get saved by believing in the death, burial, and the resurrection? No. They were saved before the cross ever happened. The Old Testament saints were saved before the cross ever happened. So, they don’t qualify. They don’t believe for salvation that Jesus died and rose again. And I can even go so far as the Tribulation, because Jesus Himself gave us the Gospel that will be preached in the Tribulation, and it’s not the Gospel of Grace. What is it? The Kingdom Gospel!
“And this gospel of the kingdom (which was preached before the Gospel of Grace was given to Paul) This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world…” The 144,000 will do that during the Tribulation.