Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 82
THE RESURRECTION OF THE JUST – 3
Okay, good to have you back again from a coffee break. We’ll start half hour number three this afternoon. And again, for those of you joining us, we just appreciate so much your financial help and your prayers—everything. Your mail—my mail time is the best time of the day.
Okay, we’re going to continue on with this series of the Resurrections of the Just, as Jesus called it in John 5. We’ve covered the firstfruits, and we’re now in the main harvest—which, I feel, is the resurrection and the Rapture of the Body of Christ. Because the Body of Christ is going to have the numbers for the main harvest, so far as I’m concerned.
Okay, I’m supposed to again remind our TV audience and those of you out there, we have one book. Only one and it’s been so well received. It has touched so many hearts. We’ve still got plenty of them on hand, if you’re interested. Why, you just call or write and we’ll get a copy out to you. We’ve always charged $11, and that includes the postage.
Okay, let’s just jump back in at the second portion of Scripture that deals with this main harvest, or the Rapture and the resurrection of the Body of Christ, which would be I Thessalonians 4. We touched on it in the last part of the last program, but let’s look at it again. I Thessalonians chapter 4 and we’ll start at verse 13. Because as the world’s situation is turning, I think everyone in this room (and I think most true believers) are anxiously awaiting this event. Because things are not going to get better. I can tell you that much. It’s nothing but a slippery slope, and we’re on a downward slide. We’d better hope that the Lord comes sooner rather than later, or we’re going to get our feet burned. We may anyway, but let’s just hope and pray that the Lord will come sooner rather than later. So, here is our blessed hope, as Titus chapter 2 calls it.
I Thessalonians 4:13a
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, (Now see, he’s talking to believers and not to the world in general.) concerning them who are asleep,…” Or who have died.
Now there again, I think I made the point in the last taping. There are certain false groups that refer to soul-sleep. The soul never sleeps. The soul never loses consciousness. The minute physical death happens, the soul of a believer and the spirit go immediately into the presence of the Lord, conscious. It doesn’t go up there to sleep. It doesn’t go up there to hibernate. It stays conscious and waiting for this great event when they’ll receive the body.
Now the lost, of course, will do immediately the same. They go to their doom to the place of torment waiting for their resurrection. Hopefully, we’ll see that in the next half hour, if not this one. Yes, even the lost are going to be resurrected to be brought before the Great White Throne bodily. And from thence, then, to their eternal doom in the Lake of Fire.
But right now we’re dealing with the believers who are in the Body of Christ. And all of our loved ones and our ancestors who before us became members of the Body of Christ are all involved in this company that Paul referred to in I Corinthians 15. We will be in that “lot,” or in that company. All right, then verse 14, we looked at it in the last half hour, but we’ll repeat it.
I Thessalonians 4:14a
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,…” Now here is what I call the credentials for being in the Body of Christ, or to be involved in this great event. We have to have our faith in that finished work of the cross—or His death, burial, and resurrection. That is the criteria.
And…come back with me. I can’t help it. Keep your finger in I Thessalonians. Come back with me to Matthew 16, again. Because it is so hard for even good church people to see the difference between the Gospel that the Twelve were saved by and the other Jews of that day, and for us today. As different as daylight and dark. But they refuse to see it. They just don’t want to see it. And I’ll keep hammering away at it. There is this stark difference.
All right, in Matthew 16 we see the profession of faith of Peter. And, of course, it was equal to those Jews of his day as well as those who were saved on the Day of Pentecost and following. I’ll show you that on our way back to Thessalonians. But for now, so that you’ll see what I’m talking, go to about Matthew 16. We always start at verse 13. Now some of you have seen this a hundred times in the last ten years, but now once more.
“When Jesus came into the borders of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, (The Twelve who have now been with Him almost three years.) saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? (Who am I? Who do the people on the street think I am?) 14. And they said, some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” Anything but the right One. Now verse 15:
“He saith unto them, (to the Twelve) But whom say ye that I am? 16. And Simon Peter answered and said,…” Now here was – here was the statement of faith that Jesus wanted from every believing Jew of that day.
This was his statement of faith. Now of course, all the Jews were still keeping the Law. They were doing the Temple worship. But this was an extra requirement with the appearance of their Messiah. They were to believe who He was. It’s that simple. And Peter puts it, verse 16.
“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, (You’re the Messiah, the Anointed One.) the Son of the living God.” Period. Not a hint about the cross. Not a hint about any shed blood. No idea of resurrection. But this is what the Lord is looking for, because this was the Gospel of the Kingdom—to believe that Jesus was the Christ.
Now what’s the word I’m always using? It’s so simple. But, oh, they can’t take something simple. They’ve got to have—somebody sent me a while back what he wanted to put in a tract. My goodness, it was two pages of Bible verses. I just wrote back, “What is my creed? Keep it simple!” But, oh, they all have to complicate it. All right, so that was the Kingdom Gospel that saved the Jews of Christ’s earthly ministry—by believing, along with their Law-keeping, of course. They didn’t kick that out the backdoor. But they were to believe who this Jesus was.
All right, now let’s jump up to the Book of Acts. We’ve got Peter, now, even after the cross—chapter 3—this is even some time after Pentecost. They’ve healed the lame man. Who, I’m sure, the Lord purposely ignored, so that this could happen. Because you know, everything was by God’s design. This lame man lay at the Temple gate for forty years. So he had to be there during Christ’s earthly ministry, but the Lord didn’t heal him. But Peter and John come along, and they do. All right, chapter 3 verse 6:
“Then Peter said, (to this lame man,) Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” Does he say anything about the cross? Not a word. Does he say anything about the shed blood? Resurrection? Not a word. What’s he emphasizing? Who He is. He’s the Messiah. He’s the One that’s been promised ever since, especially, King David.
All right, then you come on down after the people see the miracle. They’re all shook up and wondering how in the world this thing happened. Then you come down, for the sake of time, to verse 16. This was Peter’s explanation to the Jews in consternation. How did you perform such a miracle? And here it is.
“And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness…” Any word about the cross? Nothing. What did they believe? Who Jesus was! Now, is that so hard?
Is that too complicated that that was the Kingdom message—that this is your promised Messiah? Place your faith in Him and God will give you eternal life. You’ll become part of the Kingdom. That was it. But, oh, they’ve got to confuse it and confound it and do anything else you can think about it, and then try to say it’s the same thing that Paul preached? Hardly. Paul enlarges on it.
Come back to I Thessalonians 4, again. Of course Paul enlarges on the fact that this Jesus of Nazareth was the One who went to the cross. Of course it was. And we believe that He was not only the Messiah of Israel, but He was the Creator of the universe. Paul makes it so plain in Colossians chapter 1 that it was this Person of the Godhead that created everything. And yet He is the One who condescended and took on human flesh so that He could purchase our salvation. Is that so hard to comprehend?
All right, back to I Thessalonians 4 verse 14 again.
I Thessalonians 4:14
“For if we believe that Jesus (this Jesus of Nazareth, Israel’s Messiah) died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” See, that’s beyond what Jesus expected of the Twelve. Now we’re under the Gospel of Grace—that Christ has done everything that needed to be done. Now verse 15:
I Thessalonians 4:15-16
“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we (as living believers) that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not precede (or go ahead of) them who have died. (And here’s why.) 16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump (singular) of God: (Not of angels—totally different from Revelation. This is a single trumpet blown by God Himself.) and the dead in Christ shall rise first:” Now you remember, I’m always qualifying—what segment of believers in human history are “in Christ”? The Gentile Body, which was a term that is strictly Pauline.
Now granted, from Adam to the end, when they become believers, they are God’s. But they are not in that prepositional term.
Now maybe I’d better qualify it. Now these are things I don’t intend to do ahead of time, believe me. Come back with me to Ephesians. Now Ephesians, of course, is one of the prison epistles—toward the end of the Apostle’s life. So we get teachings and doctrines from these prison epistles that he doesn’t even cover in Romans and Corinthians and Galatians. But nevertheless, they’re all part of the Pauline revelations, and here’s where we get to it. Ephesians chapter 1 and come all the way to the last two verses. Well, let’s look at verse 20, and we have the power of verse 19.
“Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.” That is at the Father’s right hand as the Old Testament prophesied, and as Hebrews puts it—that when He had finished the work of redemption, He ascended back to Glory; and, positionally, He’s at the right hand of the Father. Now verse 21:
“Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: (Now here it comes.) 22. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head (And I always follow that with, not the King. He’s not the King of the Body, He is the Head.) the head over all things to the church, 23. Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”
All right, now as you come through these little chapters of the Book of Ephesians, I think it’s 93 times where you have the prepositional phrases “in Him,” “in whom,” and “in Christ.” It’s throughout these whole six chapters to show us where we are positionally the moment we become a believer.
Now in fact, while you’re in Ephesians, go back to chapter 1. We’ll clarify a word that’s twisted all out of shape by the theologians. And that’s predestination. We’re not predestined to Hell. You’re not predestined to Heaven. You’re predestined to a position in the Body. And see, that ought to make sense. That’s what the Book says. It doesn’t say a word about your eternal destiny.
“Having predestinated us (Now remember, Paul always is talking to the believer.) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.”
Now in the New Testament Greek, what is the adoption? When the father hires a tutor to take his little five-year old son, he almost gives him over completely to teach him day-by-day throughout his early years until he’s about 15 or 16 years of age. Now when the tutor is through with that little fellow, what is he ready for? To come in beside the father in the business. That’s what it meant to have the adoption—to be placed alongside the father in his business. All right, that’s what we are predestinated to. We are predestinated to a position in the Body. Whether it’s the toe, or whether it’s the head, we’re all placed in a particular place.
Now, I think in the last taping I gave the illustration of the baby in the womb. For nine months that mother is putting billions of cells into that little body. Does a cell that belongs in an eyeball go down to a toenail? Heavens, no. You wouldn’t have a normal child. Everything goes to its rightful place. And at the end of nine months, what? The body is complete, and it’s delivered. Well, it’s the same way with the Body of Christ. Every one of us has been directed exactly to where God wants us. Now, it takes a little longer to get some of us where He wants us than it does others, but we’re going to get there. Sooner or later you’re going to get exactly where God wants you, because that’s what you’re predestinated to. There’s not a word in here about Heaven or Hell! Isn’t it amazing!
Now, you can come on down a little further, I think, verse 11.
“In whom (In Christ, the moment you become a believer, you’re placed into the Body.) also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (Now here’s what we’re predestinated to.) 12. That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.”
Does that mean it’s a fire escape? Does that mean you weren’t predestined to Hell, but you were lucky enough to be predestined to Heaven? No. Predestination is always into a position in the Body of Christ. Oh, it’s just irritating how they can twist the Scriptures. But anyway, all through this little Book of Ephesians we have this constant reference to being “in Christ,” “in Him,” and “in the Body,” and so forth.
All right, now back to I Thessalonians, if you will. Chapter 4 and we’ll go on, verse 17. I didn’t finish the last part of verse 16. I’m sorry. Verse 16:
I Thessalonians 4:16
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ…” See that? Those who are in the Body and have died physically—their soul and spirit went immediately into the presence of the Lord consciously. They don’t go to sleep. They’re conscious.
Now then, at this great event, Christ will bring all the souls and spirits of everybody in Christ, which I feel began with the Apostle Paul’s conversion. I know a lot of people won’t agree, but that’s all right. And all those believers since then are waiting for this great event. Because you see, they’re not up there bodily. They’re only up there in the invisible realm of soul and spirit.
So what do you suppose every one of them is just waiting for? Well, their new body! Because to have a body in eternity like Christ’s resurrected body—you and I cannot image what we’re going to be able to do. We’re not going to be limited by anything. And we’re going to especially, I think, we’re going to have our abode in Heaven. We will be sent by commuter to go into the Kingdom and carry out the Lord’s work and come back to our abode in Heaven. Instantly. The Lord went back and forth. So we will, too. Well, anyway, that’s stretching the imagination, isn’t it?
But see, this is the glory of having that resurrected body. It’s going to be limitless. And I always tell people, you want to get just a taste of it? Go into the Gospels and read those forty days between His resurrection and His ascension. And you’ll get just a little taste of what we’re going to be able to do. In other words, did a wall stop Him? Right through it. Did distance stop Him? No. He could go from Jerusalem to Galilee in less than the blink of an eye. Could He eat? Yeah, you people who love to eat. You’re going to eat in eternity. Yeah, you are. I can prove it. The Lord did. He ate fish. And in Revelation—I thought I’d get there this afternoon—chapter 21, the new heaven and the new earth. The Tree of Life is going to be producing fruit on both sides of the river, and what are we going to do? We’re going to feast on it. So, we’re going to eat.
Well, anyway, back to I Thessalonians. He brings the soul and spirit of the departed believers so that they can have that resurrected body immediately. They will be a complete soul, spirit, and body again for all eternity. Then, after the dead have been resurrected, the great harvest. The dead of the Body of Christ are resurrected, then verse 17.
I Thessalonians 4:17a
“Then we who are alive and remain (We’re living on planet Earth.) shall be caught up…” Now those are the two words that have been coined raptured.
I just told somebody on the phone the other day. When they ridicule that that word isn’t in Scripture, you tell them, “You just don’t know anything.” Because the Latin Vulgate says “raptura,” where you’ve got the two words “caught up.” The Latin word is raptura, R-A-P-T-U-R-A. Check me out. And what does it mean? To be suddenly translated.
I Thessalonians 4:17-18
“Then we who are alive and remain shall be “raptura-ed” together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever (for all eternity) be with the Lord. (in that resurrected body) 18. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
All right, now drop down into chapter 5. Here’s why I know we are in a pre-Trib rapture, because of these words in chapter 5 verses 1 and 2.
I Thessalonians 5:1-2
“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2. For yourselves know perfectly (or completely) that the day of the Lord…” The Tribulation is right out in front.
Now you’ve got to remember, as I’ve been stressing in all those little letters lately on the daily program in James, Peter, and John. They all thought that the Tribulation was right in front of them. They really thought that that was right out in front of them. They had no idea that God was going to open up the timeline for 2,000 years. But here we are again. We’re right up next to the appearance of the anti-Christ. I’m sure it’s going to be in all our lifetimes. I don’t care how old you are. We’re that close.
I Thessalonians 5:2-3a
“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3. For when they…” Now, you see the difference in pronouns? What’s the pronoun up in chapter 4? We. Us. Now it’s they and them. Now, that’s as clear as language can make it, isn’t it? That’s two totally different groups of people. The we and the us are out of here. The they and the them are the left behind.
I Thessalonians 5:3a
“For when they (the left behinds) shall say, Peace and safety;…” Now we covered that a taping or two ago when we were back in Daniel. Isn’t that exactly what the anti-Christ is going to promise: peace and prosperity? And the world’s going to fall for it.
Israel especially is just going to turn euphoric that this guy has finally brought them the peace they’re looking for. He’s going to guarantee their safety. I think they’ll dismantle their military almost overnight. The whole world is just going to go into a euphoria over this man. And that’s what all the world’s getting ready for. This whole financial disaster is just building up to a system that that man is going to present to the world. That’s how close I think we are. All right, but now read on quickly. I’ve only got two minutes left.
I Thessalonians 5:3
“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them,…“ Well, I’ve got a time-frame on it. It’s of my own making. I say, eleven month’s later.
Eleven months later, what’s going to happen? I think the big Russian invasion—that invasion from the North on the mountains of Israel. Now, why eleven months? Well, you see, in chapter 39 of Ezekiel, it tells us that Israel is going to be seven years burying and cleaning up the residue of that great battle. Well, I cannot see Jews in the Kingdom burying dead corpses and burning up and collecting material. So it’s going to have to be done during the seven years of the Tribulation.
Now then, Israel’s way of chronological keeping of time was, any part of a year is a whole year. All right, so if I give eleven months of peace and prosperity and then—let’s say from January to December 1st—in comes the Russian invasion. Well, see, that’s still a part of the whole seven years that they’ve got to clean up. So, that’s my conjecture that there will be eleven months of relative peace and prosperity. Then the sudden destruction, of course, is the Russian invasion of Ezekiel 38. All right, then reading on:
I Thessalonians 5:3b
“…then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a women with child; and they (the left-behinds, the Christ-rejecters) shall not escape.” So, we have to look at all these things in the projection of Old Testament prophecy, as well as what Paul says here.
Now, I’m not going to go back to Old Testament anymore. Let’s just turn over to II Thessalonians in the seconds that we have left. And in chapter 2, go down to verse 8.
II Thessalonians 2:8-9
“And then (after we are gone) shall that Wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume (at the end of the seven years) with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9. Even him, (This man anti-Christ, who all the world is looking for today.) whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying (What?) wonders.”
What’s he going to be? He’s going to be a miracle-worker. And the world will fall for him hook, line, and sinker. And we’re getting closer and closer every day.