Lesson 51 Interruption of The Old Testament – Bride of Christ

Bride of Christ; Body of Christ

Hey y’all, we will pick up where we left off last week in Galatians. We haven’t forgotten about Genesis for we will be going back. This is just an extension of Genesis 24 that if you remember where Abraham sends the servant up into a far country to get a bride for his son, Isaac. We made the correlation that is a beautiful picture of God sending the Holy Spirit out amongst the Gentiles to gather a bride for His son, which of course is the church.

So what I’ve been doing now the last couple of weeks is showing how that this Old Testament program that we found in Psalm 2 and various other places in the Old Testament would be interrupted and it would be actually brought about through the conversion of Saul, later the apostle Paul. Paul presents revelations of these great doctrines of grace that you will find nowhere else in scripture. This of course is why there is so much confusion when many mix the Bible all up as if putting in a blender and dishing it out only to cause indigestion. It is so important to keep the Bible in its progressive revelation as all these things unfolded in God’s own time and under His sovereign grace. I think the Bible just becomes so exciting and is so much easier to study and understand. I don’t think anyone would disagree with me on that. When you begin to keep all these things in their rightful place and not mixing them then there isn’t any confusion.

So before we get back to Genesis, we need to get to where the bride of Christ is actually brought on the scene. In other words delineate a little more the end time events as I see them. So since we are back in the New Testament where we are dealing with the church we will probably take a lesson or two and go into the Tribulation and the Rapture, and the actual return of Christ.

Now we won’t do in-depth or in detail but we will lay it out enough that hopefully you will be able to understand it.

Now turn back to Galatians 1, where Paul has defended his apostleship. We explained last week what Paul’s gospel is which is all centered on the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, the Son of God; Israel’s Messiah.

Galatians 1:12

12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

 Remember we pointed out he didn’t go back to Jerusalem and meet with the twelve. Again, everything that Paul teaches and writes came directly from the ascended Lord in glory. Now I have people kindly say, if you say we go by what Paul said, I’ve always thought we had to go by what Jesus said. That of course would be in the Gospels. But wait a minute; everything that Paul said is what Jesus said. But it is what Jesus said AFTER His death, burial, and resurrection and ascension. It’s just like if you made a will five years ago and you made a new will today and you tomorrow die, and they bring both wills to be read before the court which will is valid? The last one of course because that is what you spoke last. That is the way we have to look at Paul. His revelations are from the ascended Lord, whereas the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are talking about Jesus Christ and His earthly ministry. I always remind people please remember His earthly ministry He, Jesus, was living under the Law and He was ministering to a people under the Law. So everything He taught was under that flavor. Yes, we can go back and study the Gospels and get many moral applications. It’s certainly nice to know all the things Christ did; His compassion. I have no argument there. But you won’t find the gospel there because He hadn’t died yet. He hadn’t shed His blood or risen from the dead.

Verse 13

13 For ye have heard of my conversation (my manner of living) in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: “

Now I have made it evident that I detest the word, religion. I hope nobody ever calls me religious because Christianity is not a religion. Paul uses the word in a bad light. What does Paul think of the Jews’ religion? Well, just like he implies it made him what he was. It made him a hater of the Messiah, of the Christ. His manner of living was profiting off the Jewish religion. What do you mean he profited? He was a top man; in fact I think Paul was a member of the Sanhedrin. The reason I think that it says back in the book of Acts (26:10) that they brought the followers of Christ before the Jewish authorities he said I voted to put them to death. He couldn’t have voted if he wasn’t a Sanhedrin. I also think Paul was married at one time and probably had children. Now we don’t know what happened to them but I certainly don’t think Paul (Saul) was celibate in no stretch of the imagination. Again if I know Jewish law at all in order to be a member of the Sanhedrin they had to have been a husband and a father.  The reason was how you can identify with family problems if you haven’t experienced what it is to be a parent. I think that makes good sense. Here again church is the called out assembly.

Verse 14

14 and profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. “

He profited politically, financially, he was probably quiet well to-do. Traditions are one of the most dangerous words in the Christian community. Tradition is sending millions to a lost eternity. Let us be on guard that we don’t just subscribe to something because that’s what Daddy believed, or that’s what Great Granddaddy believed. How do we know what they believed was right? We’ve got to come back to the book. I always tell people don’t ever go off of what I say, or what Les Feldick says. But I always say, look at such-n-such a verse. I don’t mind that. But don’t ever go off what any other human being says. What does the Bible say? We have to rest on the word of God.

Verse 15

15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, “

Remember I emphasized last week when Saul was on the road to Damascus, a total enemy of Christ, instead of zapping him and taking him off the scene, Christ saved him. Now that is grace and Paul recognized it as such all through his writings.

 Verse 16

16 to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen (the Gentile); immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: “

Remember when we were in Acts, chapter 9, there had to have been about a three year gap between those two verses; when they lead him down the wall and then where he went to Jerusalem? Galatians fills that gap in. He did not go to Jerusalem from Damascus but he says here immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood. There is a colon (:) there so don’t stop the thought.

Verse 17

17 neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. “

The reason I put Sinai along with that because back in chapter 4, verse 25 (you might want to turn there with me for a minute) he uses the term mount Sinai in Arabia. That is why I have to put the two and two together and come up with the fact that here when God in His sovereignty drove him out of Damascus, sent him down to the desert of Arabia to mount Sinai I like to make the analogy that just as sure as God gave the law to Moses and he took it down the mountain and gave it to the children of Israel, so God gave to the apostle Paul at Sinai the doctrines of grace. Paul says in Ephesians 3, that we Gentiles have what we have because he, Paul, gave it to us.

Verse 18

18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.”

That is where I get that Paul must have spent three years down in mount Sinai where God revealed all these tremendous truths of this age of grace.

Verse 19

19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.”

Now remember this James was not one of the twelve. He came on the scene later as the moderator in Acts, chapter 15. But James the Lord’s brother was not one of the twelve that was another James. So the only one of the twelve he saw was Peter. And he only stayed with him two weeks. And of course Paul and Peter didn’t hit it off to good we will see later in Galatians.

Verse 20-21

20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. 21 Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; ”

Afterwards, three years in Arabia, after the two weeks with Peter in Jerusalem, then he came to the regions of Syria and Cilicia. Remember Cilicia is up by the River Valley near the city of Tarsus where Saul came from. So he makes his way up from Sinai up through Jerusalem for a couple of weeks with Peter and then he comes on up here to Cilicia. His old home stomping ground of Cilicia and Tarsus.

Now don’t lose sight of that Antioch is below Tarsus is an important term when we go back to the book of Acts in just a moment. Chapter 2, we are going to touch on that one and will be appropriate when we go back to the book of Acts.

Galatians 2:1

“2 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. “

See how time keeps rolling? So let’s get an idea, from Pentecost to the sermon of Stephen was about seven years. Then within a year or two of that you have Saul’s conversion. Then after that maybe about a year, Peter goes up to the house of Cornelius. Now we are about ten to twelve years after Pentecost. Then Paul goes down for three years to Sinai and then he comes back up into the area of Cilicia. Then fourteen years after this has taken place he comes back to Jerusalem and we will pick that up in Acts, chapter 15 and we call it the consult in Jerusalem. This is where they call Paul on the carpet for preaching salvation to the Gentiles.

Now come back with me if you please to Acts 11, where you want to remember Jews now have been under intense persecution that was brought about by old Saul of Tarsus. They were forced to flee (Acts 8:1-), Saul was consenting to Stephen’s death and a great persecution against the assembly of Jerusalem. They were ALL, every Jewish believer was scattered. I am a stickler for words in scripture I don’t think the Holy Spirit would permit a word to come in and is used loosely. I think when it says they were ALL, it meant all. But it says except the twelve. Now they’re the guys we all think should have been out around the world. But here it is eight years after Pentecost here in chapter 8 and they’re still in Jerusalem.

Now come on over to chapter 11 where we were. This is the verse that literally blew my mind some years ago. I mentioned more than once, I wasn’t raised in the teaching that I now teach. This is one of the verses that opened my eyes. I was of the same mindset that Christianity began back there, I guess, with John the Baptist. I had it all mixed up too. This verse tells me something. Read on.

Verse 19

19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen (back in chapter 7 and 8) travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.”

Now how much word did they have? They had the Old Testament that is all. So they preached that Christ was the Messiah from the Old Testament. And they preached the word to NONE BUT Jew ONLY! Isn’t that plain?

How many people get the idea that as soon as Christ left the scene the twelve went all over the world preaching the gospel? No they didn’t. They stayed in Jerusalem and even the believing Jews that were scattered because of the persecution preached to nobody but to Jews. They had no idea that God was going to go to the Gentile. That was anathema to them. Now read on.

Verse 20

20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians (KJV says this but newer translations say Greeks which is correct), preaching the Lord Jesus. “

Look at the map above. It’s not usual for them to be speaking to Grecians or Greeks, for the Greeks were Jews who were living in Greece or at least speaking the Grecian language or Greek language. But the word Greeks speak of Gentiles. That is what I want you to see. Now do you see what God is sovereignly doing? Even these Jews who had been forced out of Jerusalem have now come up as far as Antioch and without them even realizing what’s going on God is beginning to cause Gentiles Greeks to be interested enough to listen to what these Jews have got to say about preaching the Lord Jesus – But still no reference to the death, burial and resurrection for that they didn’t understand either yet.

Verse 21-22

21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. 22 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church (assembly) which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. ”

Now what do you think those Jewish people in Jerusalem thought? Hey what in the world is going on here? They can’t be talking to Greeks? This is our business. So they sent Barnabas to check this whole thing out.

Verse 23

23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. “

Now most Jews wouldn’t have been glad as Barnabas was for he was special as you will see in the next verse.

Verse 24

24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.”

Much people was added unto the Lord including Greeks. Now here is where the Holy Spirit moves in a special detail. Now the Gentiles are being approached and showing interest and many even believe the Jewish message; that Jesus was indeed the Messiah to Israel. But what does Barnabas have to understand needs to be done? There is only one man for the hour and who is it? Paul. The next verse is crucial.

Verse 25-26

25 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: 26 and when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church (assembly now of Jews and Gentiles), and taught much people. And the disciples (believers) were called Christians first in Antioch. “

See how all of this fits. He went up to the area of Tarsus and Cilicia from Antioch, which is not that far, and I can see Barnabas going up and down the streets of these cities along that river valley have any of you seen a little Jew, have any of you heard him preach, and Barnabas finally finds him. Note, Christians we call first in Antioch not Jerusalem. I am so amazed that every writer that I read and great men all over refer to those Jewish believers in Jerusalem as Christians. The Bible never does. Just think about that. The Bible never calls those Jewish believers from the time of John the Baptist all the way on up until Paul, never calls them Christians. Yet all the theologians do. It wasn’t until Paul came on the scene and began to expound on the age of grace, based on the death, burial, and resurrection that the Bible says those people were Christians.

Now I’m trying to lay the ground works so we can introduce the out calling of the Body of Christ, the Bide of Christ; the church and the age of grace. First look at Acts 14:27. Paul and Barnabas had just come back from their first missionary journey and have established churches. Gentiles had been saved and now they are coming back to Antioch.  “27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he (God) had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles

Before we go to Acts 15, let’s jump over to Romans, chapter 11. These three little chapters in Romans is dealing with the Nation of Israel. Look at what Paul says in verse 11. “I say then, Have they (Nation of Israel)  stumbled that they should fall? God forbid (banish the thought): but rather through their fall salvation is come until the Gentiles, for to provoke them to Jealousy.”

But rather through Israel rejecting their Messiah and crucifying Him salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now do you see it? Israel rejected Him and crucified Him and in so doing they brought about God’s plan of salvation by grace.

Acts 15:2 Now the Jerusalem believers are all shook up that Gentiles are supposedly being saved up in Antioch. So they send men up to check it out. This is what Paul is referring to in Galatians 2, fourteen years later when he went back to Jerusalem.

When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. “

In other words a big argument that these Jews from Jerusalem and that Gentiles could not be saved unless, up in verse one, they be circumcised after the manner of Moses.

Drop down to verse 5

But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them (Gentile believers up in Antioch), and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”

Most people don’t know this chapter is in their Bible. But this was still the setting of the Jerusalem church, based on the law and circumcision and everything else. The Gentile was based on the grace of God. So they had to reconcile it. So they called Paul down on the carpet and I can just about imagine how they almost subjected him until finally Peter wakes up and realizes that from a previous experience God had shown him, that yes, He would save Gentiles. And so had it not been that God providentially took Peter up there in chapter 10 to the house of Cornelius he would have never come to Paul’s defense here. But it is the only thing that kept it going.

I will pick this up again next week as we move toward the Bride of Christ and who we are.

So in the meantime, keep looking up.

Maranatha.

Permission given by Les Feldick Ministries.

Lesson 50: Continued Interruption of the Old Testament Program

Change in the program

So good to have you back, so let’s go right into the book of Acts where we left off in chapter 9 for a second or two of review. Remember now Saul of Tarsus, that religious zealot, as I always like to refer to him as a raging bull; just trying to stamp out everybody and anybody who had anything to do with Jesus of Nazareth.

Now I know this may sound preposterous but I do it only to make people think. If you and I would have been in God’s position what would we have done with Saul of Tarsus? We probably would have zapped him. After all he was nothing but a renegade, he was doing nothing but upset everything; get rid of him. Or at least punish him severely. But instead what does God do? He saved him. Now what do you call that? That is grace, my friend. This is why he is not only the apostle of grace but he is the epitome of grace. If anybody would be deserving of anything but, it was Saul of Tarsus.

But now wait a minute, are we any different? Isn’t that exactly what we were before we were saved? We were rebels, we were lost, we were condemned already but God saves us by His grace. We will see that as we open up the timeline and make room for the age of grace.

So as we left off last week, Saul of Tarsus went straight to the Synagogue and preached only that Jesus was the Christ. There was no mention of His power of resurrection or having fulfilled the law of death on the cross. And then we noticed that God would eventually get him out of Damascus, he did not go up to Jerusalem.

I know people may ask well what about in verse 26 when it says, Saul was come to Jerusalem after verse 25 said, the disciples lowered him down the wall. Now you have to know your scripture – you need to learn how to study for Paul says so clearly in Galatians that he did not go to Jerusalem until a long time later. So what you have to understand that between verse 25 and verse 26 is probably a three year gap in time.

Let’s go back to Galatians and pick that up. This is probably one of Paul’s earlier (not earliest) epistles. Galatians, I like to compare with Romans. It’s fundamental; it’s the very rudiment of our grace age doctrine. And yet it doesn’t get into those higher levels of church standing as Paul brings about in Ephesians and Colossians, and so forth.

But here in Galatians he is going to start at the very rudiment of our Christian period of grace. So let’s start at verse 1. Now look at the change of language from what Peter and the disciples had been saying to what Paul now writes.

Galatians 1:1

Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) “

What is Paul already emphasizing? Of course, the resurrection.

Verse 2-6

“2 and all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,(always watch your punctuation marks) who (speaking of Christ) gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: ”

Not the law of Christ, but the grace of Christ. Called unto another gospel-a different gospel.

Verse 7

which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.”

In other words, they are taking the gospel and twisting, perverting, or adding to it. In our day and time they do both, they add to it and they take it away. It’s sad to say, but oh listen; this is strong language now in the next verse.

Verse 8

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

Paul is using we instead of the first person. Now this is strong language.

Verse 9 Paul repeats the strong language.

As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

Remember, every word that Paul writes in his epistles is just as inspired by the Holy Spirit as any other portion of scripture. Most people don’t like to admit that, but it is. This is God speaking through this man to us.

Now man is italicized, which means it was added by the translators though it is not in the original and I like it better left out.  If any preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Now before we go any farther let’s go back to 1 Corinthians 15 once again and pick up what Paul calls his gospel. Or as I pointed out several weeks ago in Romans 16:25, Paul calls it the preaching of Jesus Christ according to revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began. What is that mystery gospel that was never revealed until it came to the apostle Paul?

I Corinthians 15:1-4 Simple, absolutely that a five year old could understand it and yet so complex that some could live to be 100 and never comprehend it.

“15 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye standby which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vainFor I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: “

Now the article THE instead of the article A designates one. There is only one gospel. Where we stand is positional. We stand in our assurance of Christ presence in our life, in this earthly life, and we also stand in the assurance that we are His in the life to come. It’s positional. By which you are saved is the preaching of the cross. All throughout Paul’s epistles he uses the word saved. It is a word of the root word, salvation. We even use it in our day to day life. If someone is falling into financial ruin and a rich uncle dies and leaves his estate to him, what do we say, His uncle was his salvation. He was saved from financial ruin. It is used the same way here that we are saved from that eternal doom that is waiting for us if we do not believe.  We must know what we believe as verse 2 states. You can’t just hope that you think you know. You are supposed to know! And here it is…where did Paul receive this? He received it from the ascended glorified Christ. (We will see in Galatians) Here comes the definition of the gospel that Christ died, was buried, and rose again according to the scriptures. What scriptures is Paul referring to but the Old Testament. All this was promised in the prophetic program that Christ would die, Palms depicts His burial, Psalm 110:1 speaks of his ascension, come sit at My right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool. It’s all back there. So Paul can rightly say it was all according to the old scriptures. It was all foretold these things would happen.

I’ve heard people in my own denomination, some look at religion like cow ponds out in their pastures. They come from every direction down to that pond where they can get their water. Some think that’s the way it is with all these churches and religions. They are all coming from different directions but they’ve all come to get that same drink of water. Imagine someone making a statement like that especially when they’ve been in church all of their lives. I can’t believe it. Listen; there aren’t fifteen paths to get to heaven. There are not so many different ways to approach God. The Bible says there is only one. A Muslin better admit there is only one way. A Hindu better admit there is only one way, and everybody else better admit there is only one way because it is the only way. And yet we are so glib and so ready to say, oh well if that’s the way you want to believe, that’s alright. Listen; there is an eternal lake of fire waiting for those people. Most Christians today could care less about their neighbor. I suppose I am as guilty as anybody. But the gospel is the only gospel and it’s up to us to let the world know what it is.

Now this gospel was unknown to Peter and the eleven. Remember back in Luke 18, I’m sure there are new people that hadn’t read it when we read it before. But in Luke 18 this is what I want people to see, it was not always known for it was kept secret as long as the Old Testament program was still on the scene.

Luke 18:31 This is Jesus in his earthly ministry and a few days from his crucifixion.

31 Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. 32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: 33 and they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. 34 And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”

It was hid for it wasn’t time for God to reveal because He was still approaching Israel on the Old Testament timeline ground. And they had no idea He was going to die, and be buried, and rise again on the third day, and then ascend, and then turn to the Gentiles with grace. That was totally beyond them. Peter didn’t have the foggiest notion of what the gospel of grace was all about.

And I’m not using just one verse. On your way back to Galatians, stop at John’s gospel in chapter 20. You know the account of Peter and John running to the sepulcher after Mary told them about Jesus. They couldn’t even believe her. How they finally went into the tomb and found all the evidence that indeed He had supernaturally been raised out of that tomb.

John 20:8-9

Then went in also that other disciple (John), which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw (the evidence), and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.”

They had been with Christ for three years. They should have known the Old Testament, even his disciples. But it says they knew not the scripture. How can you get any plainer than that? They had no idea of this coming about of what Paul calls his gospel.

Now let’s go to Galatians and see if we can chase down the scriptures that show how God is all of a sudden through this one man going to reveal a change in the program. He’s going to interrupt it. He is going to interrupt it right after the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the Tribulation does NOT come in. And instead we are going to have the introduction of the age of grace. Remember I had you put (parentheses —and dashes) in between some scriptures in our past lesson? Now we call it the Age of Grace or the calling out of the Body of Christ or the Church Age. I am getting more definitive on that word church. Few people understand that the church is the Body of Christ. Now grant it, the local church is certainly a God given entity, but not everybody that is a member of the local church is in the Body of Christ. There are believers and unbelievers, baptized or not. But there are no unbelievers in the Body of Christ. That is something that God is in control of. You can’t get into the Body of Christ unless you have experienced salvation and the Holy Spirit then places you into the Body of Christ. We will see that in coming moments.

(Parenthesis and Dashes in the God’s program – Age of Grace)

Let’s go back to Galatians then. Paul is defending his discipleship in chapter 1, verse 10.

Galatians 1:10

10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”

In other words, you cannot do both. You cannot be a servant of Christ and yet please men. I found it out and I think most believers also found that out. Les Feldick, has used a cliché that he has never seen in print of heard, “when it comes to the things of the Spirit the majority is always wrong.” Remember that. Why does he say that? Well when you came down to Noah’s ark what went inside, the minority or majority? It was a mighty small minority. All the way through the Old Testament when God had dealings with Israel what was the percentage of even the Jew that were genuine believers? It was precious few. Even Elijah had it so bad he thought he was the only one; even though he wasn’t that far off. God said he had seven thousand but how much was that out of six or seven million? One percent or so. It’s a drop in the bucket. All the way through even during Christ earthly ministry how many believers do you think there was after His three years? I tend to believer according to Acts, chapter 1; the believers in the immediate area of Jerusalem were only one hundred and twenty. (120 believers) We have nothing to indicate there was more than that that came together in the upper room. Now I am only talking about the area of Jerusalem. I am not talking about the rest of Israel. But even after Christ earthly ministry the majority of Israel still said He was an imposter. They were wrong. You come all the way up these two thousand years later, for the most part the majority of mankind has rejected the gospel and that means they are wrong. So always rest on the fact that if you are going to be a true student of scripture, a child of God, you are going to be in a mighty small minority. And it’s getting smaller every day.

Verse 11

11 But I certify (or guarantee) you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.”

What do you suppose he is defending right here? I mentioned if not in this lesson it was in the last lesson, what would have been the normal thing for Saul of Tarsus to do after he was converted on the road to Damascus knowing those men had been with Jesus for three years? He would have gone back to Jerusalem to the disciples and said, hey fellows fill me in; tell me everything He taught you. But he wouldn’t have been able to say the above statement. He would have said everything I’ve got the twelve taught me. But he says he didn’t get from man.

Verse 12

12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. “

The ascended Lord, the resurrected Lord. Now that makes all the difference in the world.

Let’s go back to another verse. I always have to go to them when I think of them. Go back to 2 Corinthians 5. Here is a verse I dare say that 90% of even good Bible student Christians do not know it’s here or understand it if they read it. And yet is says what I just got through saying. Remember Paul writes by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 5:14

14 For the love of Christ constraineth us (or push us on); because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:”

That means if that is the case then we are all dead spiritually.

Verse 15

15 and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. “

What is Paul feeding in here? He is feeding in the gospel. That is what made these people what they were. They had recognized the gospel and believed it; that Christ died for them and rose again.

Verse 16 The verse I came here for.

16 Wherefore (because of the gospel) henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.”

Who do you think Paul is referring too? He is talking about Christ and His earthly ministry. Just look at it, because Christ died and rose from the dead now His earthly ministry in now not that important for us. Oh it is all good to know. Don’t misunderstand me. It’s good to know about Bethlehem, it’s good to know about His miracles, it’s good to know about His suffering, it’s good to know about all that took place. But listen that is not what is required for salvation. What is required is that we understand that this Christ, this Son of God, the Creator God went to that cross and died for our sin and that He rose from the dead. See the difference?

The next part of that verse gives the answer to what I just said. Now reconstruct. Saul was no doubt about the same age as Christ, near as I can discern the scripture. He was probably contemporary with Christ in age; 30 or 35 when Christ was crucified, which means that during Christ’s earthly ministry Saul of Tarsus was in his prime of life. He was filled with that youthful exuberance between 25 and 30. Do you think that even though he never indicates that he met Jesus face to face, do you think for a minute that this religious Jew didn’t know everything that was going on in Israel? Of course he did. He knew all about Jesus. He knew all that He was doing. That is what gave him such an attitude of rebellion. He wanted to stamp it out.

Now look on. Paul says as we have known Christ after the flesh. I’ve known about Him in his earthy ministry, yet now henceforth know we him no more. In other words from His resurrection on we know Him as such.

Back in the early seventies when the Jesus movement (hippies) was strong, they taught Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, but they knew nothing about Jesus; they knew nothing of the gospel. You know why, just as Paul says here, we are not saved by knowing His earthly ministry. We are saved by His death, burial, and resurrection. And again let me repeat what Paul says, we preach Christ crucified. Here is what we have to understand that our gospel is not based on His earthly ministry or miracles or on His signs and healings. Our gospel is based on the fact that He died, He paid the sin debt, and He defeated death, hell, and Satan, and rose victoriously from the dead and now He can proclaim His life can be our life. Because He rose from the dead we have already rose from the dead spiritually.

 I honestly think many of us won’t go by way of the grave to be resurrected to a new life for I think He is close enough we don’t have to worry about the cemetery.  I think we are just going to go up one of these days. I honestly think it is getting that close.

Well we have to come to an end until next week.

Keep looking up.

Marantha!

Permission given by Les Feldick Ministries.

Lesson 49 Interruption of the Old Testament Program

Interruption of the Old Testament Program

Once again, it is good to have you return to our weekly Bible Study. We will go right back where we left off last week.

Remember as we looked again last week with the Old Testament Prophetic Program, how that over and over the Old Testament laid it out that at a particular prescribed time Christ would come, He’d be rejected, He would ascend, the Holy Spirit would come down, then would come the 7 years Tribulation, then Christ would return and set up His kingdom. (See the Old Testament Time-line in previous lessons.) But as we shown through all of those verses, historically now, that all didn’t happen. There was nothing that was part-n-parcel to the Tribulation. That after the Holy Spirit came down the Old Testament program just came to a halt; God’s time clock stopped. Now I’m going to try and show you coming through the book of Acts, this is not an in-depth of Acts, but rather show the last part of the Tribulation will be shoved out into the future. It is still future and in that interim God has by way of the working of the Holy Spirit been calling out a people for His name.

Now in order to pick that up just a little bit, let’s jump in to Acts, chapter 7. This is about seven or eight years after Pentecost. Peter and the eleven have been preaching their hearts out to the Nation of Israel knowing that they could never go out into the ends of the earth and preach the gospel until Israel has first been converted. But Israel is not converting but going farther and farther in the opposite direction.

But now in chapter 7 of Acts, Stephen, who is not even one of the twelve, but rather one of the seven deacons appointed by the twelve to take care of the mundane things; remember the widows who were not getting their fair share? But Stephen is pointed out in this chapter as a man full of the Holy Spirit in which he bring Israel to the point of realizing all of their history  and how God has been preparing them for the coming Messiah and they missed it. So he comes down hard on Israel.

Acts 7:51-60

“51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. 52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: 53 who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. 54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.  55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56 and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. 57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, 58 and cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

I’ve heard the question about the unpardonable sin, in my opinion don’t worry about the unpardonable sin that has nothing to do with us in the Gentile age. That was God’s dealing with Israel because you see when God sent Israel prophets what did they do with them? They killed them. Then the parable that Jesus gave about the husbandman who let out his vineyard after all those he sent were killed, he said I’ll send my Son and surely they will listen to him, but what did they do? They killed him as well. That was the rejecting of the Father (husbandman), the Son (Christ) and the Holy Spirit (servants). (Matthew 21:33-46)  

Now in chapter 7, Israel has already rejected God the Father, rejected God the Son, and now they will and opportunity to listen to and come under the third person, the Holy Spirit through Stephen. And what do they do but stone Stephen. Now we always think of Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father. The Jews knew that if the Messiah was standing that implied he was ready to return because the Old Testament spoke of it; that He would sit at His Father’s right hand until His enemy was His footstool, then one of the Psalm’s says to the Nation of Israel that He would arise, would stand and then be ready to and deal with His people. The Jew caught it when they heard Stephen describe what he saw and they were furious. They dragged him out and laid their coats at the feet of Saul. Now we will see the change of operation. Here Saul is introduced as the persecutor of the Jewish believers and he’s been heading up terrible persecution, so vicious.

Come down to the next chapter, 8.

Acts 8:1

“8 And Saul was consenting unto his (Stephen) death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judæa and Samaria, except the apostles.”

Now we have to be careful how we use the word church. The Greek word is Ecclesia, and all it means is a called out assembly. So what you have to learn to do is use the word according to its setting in the text. It is talking about, for example, at Ephesus when they went into the amphitheater and they had a mob rule and they said, Great is Artemis of the Ephesians the same word was used, they were an Ecclesia; an assembly of people. (Acts 19) They were not a religious group, or a godly group but an ungodly in the form of a riot. There is was just an assembly.

Stephen speaks of (in chapter 7) Israel as being a church in the wilderness. Now you know the church wasn’t on the scene when Israel came out of Egypt. But they were a called out assembly. So always be careful.

Now when we do get into the church age, and what we call the church, Paul almost always identifies it as the Body of Christ; which is the church or the church which is His body. But here this of course is the Jewish believers in Jerusalem which is rightfully called out an assembly.

Verse 2-3

 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havock of the church (called out Jewish believers), entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. “

In other words, Saul was so intense on stamping out anyone who was following this Jesus of Nazareth. Why? Saul was a tremendously religious man. He had been taught at the feet of Gamaliel, the greatest Rabi of the day, and he, Saul honestly thought that Jesus was an imposter; He was a blasphemer. The best thing that could happen to Israel was to have everything stamped out and put out of memory. We would call him today, Saul, a religious zealot; a fanatic to the extreme. But he thought he was doing his God a favor.

Now, the reason why I am painting that type of picture of Saul of Tarsus is because we are going to see in chapter 9, I guess we can turn to it now, cause all I wanted to show you in chapter 7 and 8 was the introduction of this man who is going to literally turn the world inside out.

Many years ago there was an article that named men who had been the most influential, had changed the direction of human history by one way or another. Believe it or not one of the men they listed was the apostle Paul. They gave Paul the credit for being instigator or beginning of Christianity as we know it today. Now most will say Jesus was the one who started Christianity. Jesus was the foundation of it, no doubt, but Paul built upon that foundation. So I was encouraged that a few people recognize that Christianity would not be where it is today if it weren’t for the apostle Paul.

So, now this religious fanatic trying to stamp out any that had anything to do with Jesus of Nazareth. We meet him now in chapter 9 on his way to Damascus.

Acts 9:1-2

And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. “

This is all Jewish. Gentiles didn’t go to the synagogues. Maybe an occasional proselytes (someone converted to Judaism), but there wasn’t very many. So it’s still all Jewish. So he wants to go to Damascus so he can bring those Jewish followers of Christ and His earthly ministry and in His Messiahship, and bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Verse 3-4

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” 

Remember, God in his sovereignty is working to interrupt his Old Testament program in order to make room to call out a bride, a Gentile bride, for the Son. Now that is why we are taking all of these references and taking the time to digress from the book of Genesis for a few weeks. We will be going back to it.

Verse 5

And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”

Now I hope I am not doing violence to scripture and I certainly don’t think I am to say, that there was only one Lord so far as a religious Jew of Christ day, and who would that have been in the Old Testament? Well, Jehovah. I like to think that Saul of Tarsus, religious fanatic that he was, when he saw that intense light come from heaven and heard the voice from heaven, who did he immediately naturally think that it was? Of course, Jehovah; the God that he knew intricately, that was the God he thought he was serving – The God of Abraham, Jehovah. So I like to think Saul saw all of this happening he cried out, who art thou, Jehovah? Now look at Jehovah’s answer. I AM JESUS. Can you imagine how Saul must have felt when he heard the very person that he thought was a blasphemer and an imposter, tell him that he was Jesus? We know he melted; he was converted on the spot.

Verse 6

And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. “

No arguing, no debate, for Saul suddenly realized he was dealing with the Jesus he hated and recognized for who He really was, the Jehovah of the Old Testament. That is why I teach back there that never lose sight that Jehovah, God the Son of the Old Testament is Christ in the New. There is no deference in their personality; the only difference is He has become flesh, as Paul says in Colossians, the image of the invisible God. And Saul sees this and says, what will you have me to do. You know the rest of the story. So now come down to verse 10.

Verse 10-

10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. 11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12 and hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. 13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 14 and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 for I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. “

Now if you had any idea how the Jew felt about the Gentile, turn with me to chapter 22. Remember the Jews were steeped in all of this; the covenant God gave to Abraham, in the Law that God had given to Moses, even though they didn’t understand much of it, they realized they were a chosen people and that the Gentile had no part in that relationship.

Acts 22:17 Paul is addressing a large Jewish crowd how God showed him who Jesus was.

17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; 18 and saw him (Jesus) saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they (the Jew) will not receive thy testimony concerning me. 19 And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee: 20 and when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him. 21 And he (Jesus)  said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles. 22 And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live. ”

They listened to Paul until he mentioned the word, Gentile. Anyone that breathed the word of a Gentile was not fit to live. That was the mentality of the Jews of that day. They weren’t that far wrong in their thinking.  In the next lesson we will look at a verse in Ephesians regarding that issue.

Let’s go back to Acts, chapter 9:17

 “17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. 19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. 20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. ”

Where did Saul preach? The synagogues. He didn’t go out and preach to the Gentiles he went to the synagogue, he is still Jew only. He, Paul preached in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God… now watch that carefully, who died for me and rose from the dead. It’s not what it says is it. A lot of people think that is what it should say. Does Saul know anything of a gospel based on death and resurrection? No.

Now just to show you, how this was in perfect alignment with that which had been on scene ever since Christ’s first appearance, or even John the Baptist. Turn to Matthew, chapter 16.

Matthew 16:13-17

13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Cæsarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. “

What does it say? Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. It doesn’t continue to say, who died for me and rose from the dead. So what does he know? That Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God – period. That’s all they know. Was Jesus satisfied with that answer? Of course He was. That is all that they could know up to that time. Read on, Blesses art thou. He doesn’t put him down for not knowing. He fully agrees with his answer.

Now come on over to Acts once again and stop at chapter 8. This is of course before Saul’s conversion in chapter 9. (That is an important fact to remember).

Philip has been up to Samaria preaching that Christ is the Messiah and then the Holy Spirit directs him down to the south in Gaza and runs across the Ethiopian eunuch who has been to Jerusalem to worship up there in verse 27.

Verse 29-30

29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?”

Now you all know the account, how Philip explained to this Ethiopian eunuch who Isaiah was talking about. But come all the way down to verse 35.

Verse 35

35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. “

Does it say, preached unto him Christ crucified? No that is what I want people to see for we assume so much; He doesn’t preach Christ crucified. Now when you get into Paul’s writings what does Paul say, but we preach Christ crucified.

Here they can’t do that yet. It hasn’t been revealed as gospel. So Philip was in perfect accord with even what Peter understood that Jesus was the Christ.

Verse 36-37

36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he (the eunuch) answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. ”

Who died for me and rose again? No, that He is the Son of God – period. That was their profession of faith. They understood who Jesus was.

Now come across to chapter 9. Here Saul has received his sight. He has baptized right in accord with all the rest of them. Then it says in verse 20…

Acts 9:20-22

20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God21 But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? (all still Jewish language) 22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving (from the Old Testament) that this is very Christ. “

Period! What was Saul leaving out? He left out anything concerning the crucifixion and resurrection. He is simply proving that this is the promised Messiah. Now could God let Saul of Tarsus, or later we know him as Paul, go preach that message? Why of course not. That wasn’t going to be the gospel for the Gentile.

Now look how God sovereignty enters in for He can’t leave Saul there under those circumstances.

Verse 23-25

23 And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him: 24 but their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him. 25 Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.”

And he has to flee. WHERE DOES SAUL GO? You would normally think that since the twelve was with Christ for three years and knew Jesus and His ministry intimately; wouldn’t that be the logical place to go? Wouldn’t it be logical for Saul to go back to Jerusalem and say, hey fellows fill me in. Tell me everything you know about the Christ so I can go out and preach. But does he? No, the scripture makes it so plain that is the last place that he would have gone. He goes down to Mount Sinai in Arabia. We don’t want to get started on that for we will pick this up again next week. But we are going to see that Saul of Tarsus is providentially removed from Damascus, he’s not permitted to go with the twelve, but he goes to the desert to Mount Sinai as we will see in Galatians.

As they say on TV, stay tune.

Keep looking up, Marantha.

Permission given by Les Feldick Ministries.

Lesson 48 Parenthesis and Dashes – Interruption of Old Testament Program

Still to come

Thank you for joining us once again. I hope you are taking your Bible and digging into the scriptures with pen (or pencil) and paper in hand. I am hearing from several individuals of this very thing.

Now if you remember the last time we were together we went from Genesis 24, the calling out of a bride for Isaac; wherein Abraham the Father sent his servant if you remember up into a far country to his original kin-folk to find a bride for his son, Isaac.

We likened the servant to the work of the Holy Spirit in calling out the bride of Christ and I told you we would be jumping then from Genesis 24 into the New Testament to follow up this illustration of how God has now sent the Holy Spirit amongst primarily the Gentile, not exclusively, some Jew of course are being saved. But primarily it’s the age of the Gentile, for a Gentile bride for God the Son.

In order to really explain how that all came about I went back to Psalm, chapter 2 where we put up our Old Testament timeline.

From the call of Abram there in Genesis, chapter 12, we are under the Abrahamic Covenant. Then about 490 years we had Moses and the Law in which Israel goes under the Law. Then in Daniel, chapter 9, verse 24, it says 490 years (70 weeks) are determined upon thy people, Israel. That is something I emphasized a few weeks ago that all through the Old Testament program of prophecy God would tell everything long before it would happen. That is what prophecy really is. He would say to Abraham that so many generations they would go down in Egypt but He would bring them back. That was prophecy. Then He foretold of their Babylonian captivity would be seventy years in Babylon. He foretold that Cyrus the King of the Medes and Persians would end the decree to put them back in Jerusalem and to rebuild the temple. Everything was laid out ahead of time. That is why we call it the prophetic program. And in that prophetic program there is not one hint of the church age. It’s just not in there because God had a reason.

Then you remember several lessons ago we used the term Jehovah Olam. The word Olam is translated in some places as everlasting or everlasting to everlasting God. It’s also translated as the God of Time. But in another place it is translated as hid and hidden. I emphasized that even though God lays everything out to the Nation of Israel openly and prophetically yet God has seen fit by virtue of Him being Jehovah Olam to hide and keep hidden the church age.

So I went back to Psalm, chapter 2 the last few lessons we have been together (in looking at the above diagram) this is how Psalm 2 unfolds.

You come out of the Old Testament, the Messiah appears, He has been rejected by Jew and Gentile alike, they crucified Him, and then Psalm, chapter 2 says that after He would ascend and sit at the Father’s right hand he would (now that we know the Spirit came down which isn’t in Psalm 2 but in other references in a minute), then Psalm 2 says what would happen would be the wrath and vexation; the Tribulation, (we get the 7 years from Daniel). Then after the wrath and vexation, yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion; The King and the Kingdom. Now that is the Old Testament program just laid out so beautifully. But not a word of the church age.

So now what we want to do is follow these Old Testament references and pick up one where the Lord Jesus gave one little hint. He didn’t tell us what he was doing but we now see He was giving a hint in Luke 4.

But before we go to Luke, let’s turn to Isaiah 61.

Isaiah 61:1-2

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;”

Now there again, if you look at that carefully it’s the same unfolding line of prophecy.

Look at that again, he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives. Now that all took place as His first Advent.

Then Isaiah comes down to verse 2, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, when did He do that? During his earthly ministry; He tried to tell Israel who He was. He preformed all of His miracles as proof for who He was. And yet, what did Israel do but rejected Him.

Now let’s go on in verse 2, (after the Lord there is a comma) and the day of vengeance of our God;now what is he referring to? The Tribulation, just like Psalm 2 called wrath and vexation Isaiah calls it vengeance of our God. Then you have a semi-colon; to comfort all that mourn. Now what is he referring to but the Kingdom.

When you read the beatitudes in Matthew always remember that beatitudes are primarily the description of the atmosphere and the climate in the Kingdom. It’s when the Kingdom comes in that the poor will be blessed. The meek will inherit the earth. He said, blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted. Here it is. These that He has come to comfort are those that are mourning in the verse of the beatitudes.

Now keep your hand here in Isaiah 61 cause we are going to come right back for a comparison.  Now if you will turn to Luke 4.  Where Jesus during His earthly ministry (rather early at this point in time) you will find that He is up in the area of Galilee and just a few miles west of the shores of Galilee is a town known as Nazareth where Jesus grew up.

Luke 4:16

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.”

Now what does that tell you? He lived under the Law and He kept the Law. It was customary when a visitor came into the synagogue one of the ministers would bring to him a scroll and he would have the honor then of reading scripture. Remember, all they had was the Old Testament. It wasn’t in book form but scroll.

Verse 17

17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book (or scroll), he found the place where it was written,”

Whenever you see that would found what does that tell you? He looked for it. He just didn’t open the book and start reading but he looked for it and when he found it…

Verse 18-21

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. “

He’s reading the verse we just read back in Isaiah 61.

This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears, now flip back to Isaiah 61. Remember He is God. He knows the end form the beginning. So Jesus knew exactly where to stop in this verse in Isaiah. Come down to verse 2.

Isaiah 61:2a

“to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,” He stopped and sat down. But what is the punctuation point in your Bible? It’s a comma – it is not the end of the sentence. Now read on.

Verse 2b

“and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort (or to bring in the Kingdom) all that mourn;”

Now why did He stop where He stopped? Because Jesus knew that this Old Testament program was going to be interrupted at some point in time shortly after his ascension. And the day of vengeance would not come in; the Kingdom would not come in, until some later day.

Now we’re going to show that from other portions of scripture that this prophetic program stops. I like to point out or use the analogy of God’s time clock. Everything has been on schedule. Look back at the timeline from Abraham to Moses, there was to be 490 years dealing with Israel before the King and the Kingdom could come in; 483 years collimated with the crucifixion then it just STOPS SHORT after His ascension. It won’t pick up again until it’s time for the church to be completed and the bride is complete, then He can bring in those final 7 years.

So, maybe now would be a good time to come back with me to Psalm, chapter 2. We’re going to show how that over and over, I’ve just picked out a few and not all of them, where we can see definitely that this Old testament program interrupted. Interrupted for the purpose of calling out bride of Christ to complete the body of Christ, take it out of the way and then continue on with this prophetic program.

Psalm 2:3 Where the leaders of the Gentiles and the Jews have rejected Christ offer to be their King and to set up the Kingdom. Instead what do they say…

Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”

They tell Jesus, we’ll not have this man to rule over us in Luke 19:14.

Verse 4-6

He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”

Now, right in between verses 3 and 5, you can put a (  parentheses  ) in your Bible with a – dash –            ( — ) between it, because here is where the Old Testament program is going to be interrupted. The wrath and vengeance and vexation did not happen at Christ’s first coming. It all was stopped short.

Now if you don’t mind marking your Bible. I usually have people put a few of these references in their margins so they can share it with others. So in the Margin here in Psalm, chapter 2 add Psalm 118:22.

Psalm 118:22

22 The stone which the builders refused (-) is become the head stone of the corner.”

Now who was refused? That is Christ. He is always referred to as the rock or the stone in scripture. And when did they refuse/reject Him? When they crucified Him, they said, away with him, send us Barabbas. Then the next half of the verse says He becomes the head stone of the corner. He is not to head stone of the church; He is the head which is the body of the church. But His head stone ship refers to His Kingdom which is still future. Then you can put a little (Parenthesis) between Refused and the word Is. All of a sudden there is a break. The last half of that verse has never yet been fulfilled.

Now the next one we go to is a very familiar one in Isaiah 9:6, especially at Christmas time. If you have ever listened to Handel’s Messiah here is where that great hallelujah chorus gets its theme from Isaiah.

Isaiah 9:6 Now again, watch carefully and by the time we get a few more of these you will be able to see before I even mention it.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

What government? The Kingdom. Now where are you going to put your parenthesis? Right after the word GIVEN, for that happened at His first advent. The promised Son came to the Nation of Israel. He came unto His own and His own received Him not. So the last half of that verse is interrupted, it hasn’t happened yet.

But O listen, if everything that was spoken of in prophecy was fulfilled up until his ascension; it’s still going to happen because God said it will. So, He had the prerogative to interrupt it and we will see how if not in this lesson, in the next lesson.

Now the next reference will be in Daniel, chapter 9. We will look at Daniel 9 in more detail in the next few lessons. Here in Daniel 9 is that great prophecy that Jesus referred to in Matthew 24, when He says, when you see that which was spoken of by Daniel, the prophet. Well here it is.

Daniel 9:26-27 Now I’m not going to try to explain the language here this time.

26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off (crucified), but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; (–) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.  27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. “

We know now that people of the prince was the Roman Empire that destroyed the Temple. Also here the Antichrist or prince (small p) will come out of that same Roman Empire. So where are we going to make the split. We know that after Christ was crucified the Temple was destroyed relatively in a short amount of time of Christ first advent, 70AD is when the Roman’s destroyed the Temple. So this is still associated with His first coming. THEN, the end thereof shall be…the remaining verse is speaking during the Tribulation. That didn’t take place during Christ’s first coming. So it was postponed.

Now the next one is Joel 2. Here we have the coming down of the Holy Spirit in that Old Testament program. Even though it wasn’t listed in Psalm, here it is in Joel.

Joel 2:28-29

28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”

Now remember these old prophets were writing primarily to the Jews. Now when did the Spirit come down upon the Nation of Israel? Day at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came down, this is the prophecy of it. This all took place at the Day of Pentecost.

Verse 30-32

“And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. 32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.”

Did the above happen? No. That’s the Tribulation. So you see, you put your (–) parenthesis now between verses 29 and 30. Everything between 28, 29 took place at his first advent, and in the remaining it didn’t. It’s still ahead. So you place a parenthesis in there.

Now if you come with me up through your Old Testament to Zechariah. It is the next to the last in your Old Testament. Come down with me to chapter 9.

Zechariah 9:9-10

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen (Gentile): and his dominion ( His Kingdom) shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.”

When did verse 9 happen? It happened at His first advent. The triumphant Sunday, He came riding in on that little young donkey. Now look at verse 10. It starts talking about the Tribulation and Armageddon: and then about bringing in His Kingdom with peace from one end of the earth to the other. So you will put your parenthesis between 9 and 10 since verse 10 hasn’t happened yet. It’s future.

Now let’s go into the New Testament, it doesn’t stop with the Old. Turn to Luke’s gospel, chapter 1. Here is the announcement of the birth of Christ.

Luke 1:31-33

31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

The parenthesis here will be between verses 31 and 32. Of course He was born, of course they named Him JESUS. But in His first advent did He assume the throne of David? No. So, the scripture isn’t lying, it just hasn’t taken place yet.

While you are looking for our next scripture in Acts, I should have told you to keep you hand in Joel. If you can still find Joel, find it real quickly because Peter, in Acts, is going to quote Joel like Jesus quotes in Luke from Isaiah. What I want you to see is Peter didn’t have the omnipotent insight that Christ had. And so he couldn’t stop at the right place. Peter didn’t know that this program would be interrupted. Peter preaches it as if it is still all coming. He has no idea of a church age. Turn to Acts 2 where you know the account where Pentecost has come and they are speaking languages and the people were saying they were drunk.

Acts 2:15-21

15 for these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third (9:00) hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 and I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

When Peter says this is that, what he is saying is what you are seeing taking place in our life time what you just experienced in His ministry, crucifixion, His resurrection, and now the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, this is what Joel was talking about. It’s all coming according to prophecy. He knew the next thing on the agenda would have to be the Tribulation and then the return of Israel’s King and the Kingdom. And as I pointed out in our last lesson, then Israel could go out and bring in the Gentiles to a knowledge of their God. But Israel rejected it. But as Jesus knew in Luke 4, where to stop and for that last half of the verse would not be completed until much later – Peter goes right on through it and doesn’t know the difference.

Let’s read on. Why didn’t Peter stop in the middle (between verses 18 and 19) like Jesus did? Because Peter didn’t know, as far as he was concerned the above diagram was all he knew.

I hope this lesson brought some new understanding to the Word of God. For me, it just opened my heart and mind with a new desire to hunger and thirst for more. It made the Bible just come to life. I hope it has done the same for you. So until next time…

Keep looking up, Maranatha.

Permission given by Les Feldick Ministries.

Lesson 47: Genesis 25, Leads to Acts

Here we go once again as we review where we left off last week where the twelve and Christ gave no indication of anything other than this Old Testament  layout as I shown in the diagram in lesson 46. Remember in last week’s lesson and we looked at Luke 18, where Christ told them that they would go to Jerusalem, He would be put to death, and rise again. And they comprehended none of that. They had no idea that he was going to die for if they did why did they not show up Sunday morning? The only one that showed up was Mary Magdalene. She wasn’t there to see Him come out of the tomb, but to carry out the custom of anointing the body with spices and so forth. They had no indication even after three years of His earthly ministry of His death, burial, and resurrection, which is the very heart of our gospel today. So we have to realize they did not preach Christ crucified, and risen from the dead.

So now come into the book of Acts, chapter 1, and we will continue that theme for just a little bit. It is the eleven since Judas, of course is now gone. His slot hasn’t been filled by Matthias. But here is Act, chapter 1; they are all meeting on the Mount of Olives. Jesus is about to ascend as Psalm 110:1 in which the Father said He would. The Father said, look, they’ve rejected you, they won’t listen to you, so come sit at my right hand, UNTILof course that was indicating when He would send Him back to be the King of kings.

Acts 1:6

When they therefore were come together, they (the eleven) asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” 

What do you think the eleven men meant when they said AGAIN? What did they have in their memory? They understood David’s and Solomon’s glory and they were wondering will Israel now have a Kingdom like unto Solomon’s and all of his glory?So their question was appropriate, “Lord, wilt thous at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”

So why do you think these men have the kingdom so upper-most in their mind? Because that is all they can think about.

Go back with me to Matthew. Now I didn’t intend to make this a study of the gospels, by no means, that is going to come down the road if the Lord tarries; but once in a while we will come back and look at it.

Matthew 19, here the twelve are still part-and-parcel of that earthly ministry. I often think of these times in scripture, remember back in Genesis when Abraham had received all the promises. Then he got to the place and said, Lord, but how do I know. Now Peter is about to ask the same thing in verse 27.

Matthew 19:27

27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? “

Logical question from Peter; he wasn’t talking about their salvation. They had that. They left their fishing business, their families but what more is in it for us, what does the future have for us? Now look at Jesus’ answer.

Verse 28

28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. “

Jesus is talking about the eleven, since he knew who Judas was. When it says regeneration, what does that mean? To make it like it was before. So, what He is saying is, when the regeneration, the curse is lifted and it goes back to when the Kingdom is set up. It will be as it was in the Garden of Eden when the earth has been regenerated. And the Son of man will sit here ruling His Kingdom in glory. Then He says, ye also.  Now He is talking about the eleven, and of course they will add Matthias since he took Judas’ place. They will sit on twelve thrones ruling over the twelve tribes of Israel.  Do you think Peter and the other’s forgot that? Not for a moment. This was in the front of their minds.

Now come with me to Acts, chapter 1 and look at that verse in light of that.

Acts 1:6

When they therefore were come together, they (the eleven) asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” 

So that we can rule the twelve tribes! And what is Jesus’ answer. Peter, you should know better…is that what Jesus said? No. Does He berate them for not realizing that He is talking about something way out of this world? No. He answers them with again a perfectly legitimate question, you are still going to rule the twelve tribes but it’s not for you to know when. But the time is coming.

Verse 7

And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. “

Verse 8 But, in the mean time…

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

This is the whole idea of the Holy Spirit is to give these Jewish believers the power to continue the ministry that Christ had been accomplishing for the last three years. And what was it? Signs, wonders, and miracles beyond human understanding. These men were to have that kind of power.

They will witness in Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria and then the uttermost parts of the earth. Now that sound like to us and what we would normally call the great commissionback in Matthew, we seem to have the idea that as soon as Christ ascended in Acts, chapter 1, and the Holy Spirit came down in chapter 2, these Jews were to start and go around the world preaching the gospel. But did they? I guess not.

Now follow with me to Acts, chapter 8. Now this is just a little overview. This is by no means an in-depth study and I don’t intend it to be. But I’m trying to set the stage for coming back to our analogy of Isaac’s bride and Christ’s bride; the out-calling of that Gentile body of Christ. I’m building up to it.

Acts 8:1 (chapter 7 is the stoning of Stephen who had been martyred. Who was standing there egging them on, but Saul of Tarsus.) This is about 7 or 8 years after Pentecost.

“8 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judæa and Samaria, except the apostles. “

In other words, this called out Jewish believers who had believed who Jesus really was and was still within the confines of Judaism. They were still practicing the law, and still practicing temple worshiping, but they were also a set aside group who had recognized their Messiah and put their faith in him. It continues to say they were all scattered abroad except the apostles.

Think about that for a moment. If those men who had been with Christ for three years, if they didn’t understand the word of God and their “commission”, then who in the world could? They did. That is why they stayed in Jerusalem. Now remember, seven years or so has elapsed and they are not out there amongst the Gentiles. They are still sitting tight in Jerusalem. I know that shocks a lot of people, but that is what the Book says. All the other Jews have been scattered because of the pressure. But those twelve men stayed in Jerusalem.

Now why? Les Feldick gives an analogy that is perfect. “I was picking up my little wife at a bus depot and it was running a late. Right across the street was a coffee shop. Oh my, could I have used a cup of coffee. But you know what I knew? Just as soon as I go into that restaurant and have a cup of coffee, the bus will drive up and I won’t be at the door to meet her.”

This is exactly the frame of mind of these twelve men. They weren’t about to go down to Cairo. They weren’t about to go to Rome. They weren’t about to go anywhere else because just assured as they leave what would happen? The Messiah would come again and they’d be gone.

In spite of all the pressure of the horrible persecution these twelve men stayed in Jerusalem.

Was this contrary to the word of God? No, not at all. Because Peter understood that he had no ministry to the Gentiles until Israel’s King was in place.

I know this may be hard to swallow. It took me a long time, but once you see that the Bible just opens up and just as clear as a bell you can see that Peter and the eleven perfectly well understood that they could not go out and evangelize the Gentile world until this Kingdom had come to fruition. Now this is chapter 8 of Acts.

Now if you will go on over just for a moment to chapter 11, of Acts. It will back it up a little more what I just said.

Acts 11:19

19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. “

In other words, the people referred to in Acts 8:1. They preached the word that is the Old Testament, to Jews only. Now isn’t that plain. Here we are seven years after Pentecost and the word is so plain that nobody was going to Gentiles. It was Jew only. Why? Because this was the program they knew.

No one has told them anything different than the timeline above.

Now after chapter 8, what takes place in chapter 9? The Conversion of Saul of Tarsus on the way to Damascus. For what purpose but to fulfill his tremendous zeal to stamp out the followers of this imposter from Nazareth who Saul thought was nothing but a blasphemer; and he in his religious zeal was going to stamp it out at any cost. But before he gets to Damascus you know what happens. He has that confrontation from the ascended glorified Lord of glory. The part I want to point out here is down at verse 11, where the Lord speaks to Ananias that believing Jew up there in Damascus. But lock in on verse 15.

Acts 9:11-16

11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12 and hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. 13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem (that is the Jewish believers): 14 and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 for I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.”

Now Saul has already had that experience out there on the road. The Lord tells Ananias to go to him even though Ananias knew of Saul’s reputation to the believing Jew. But here it comes, God hasn’t forgotten about the Gentiles. What does God know? That Israel is not going to fulfill this Old Testament program because she is constantly rejecting God’s plan. (She rejected Christ their Messiah.)

So now God says we’re going to do something totally different. He is going to save this religious zealot by grace.  Now we have to remember the Age of Grace is predominantly Gentile just like back in the Old Testament was predominantly Jew. But, there can be some Jews saved. They are not locked out of grace if they accept Christ as their Messiah.

Now drop down in that same chapter to verse 20. This Saul of Tarsus is now recognizing who this Jesus really is and was. He was the very God that he thought he was serving.

Acts 9:20

20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. “

Where did Saul (Paul) preach at? In the Synagogues which means he was still Jew only. He had no idea that God was going to go to the Gentiles with a different program. All they knew was this Old Testament program. Now you have to remember it is almost a hundred years after Christ before the New Testament really comes together. And it doesn’t come together as the canon of scripture, all of it, until between 300 and 400th year. But at this point in time there is no New Testament written. So the only word of God they had was the Old Testament. But these people knew that Old Testament and they knew this program. They knew the promise of the King and the Kingdom. That is when Israel could evangelize the rest of the world.

In looking at verse 20, what did Saul preach? That Christ is the Son of God, who died for me and rose from the dead. No, that is not what it says! Saul of Tarsus doesn’t know any more about the death, burial and resurrection as God’s plan of salvation as Peter did back there before Jesus was ever crucified. This is what we have to understand.

I have said this many times, that faith is taking God at his word. But you can’t take God at his word until he speaks it. You can’t assume what God is going to say. We have to wait until God gives explicit instructions and then, we take it and believe it.  

So here is Saul of Tarsus now, Oh he’s just filled with wonder that the one that he thought was a blasphemer, an imposter was in deed Jehovah. He had died and He was raised from the dead. So all he could proclaim then was this Jesus was the Christ. If you read on, God takes supernatural means immediately to get Saul out of Damascus by bringing in a threat to his life. That threat is so real his friends have to lower him down in a basket at night so he can escape the city.

Then we picked up in Galatians a few weeks ago, where did Saul go? Down to Mt. Sinai we think in the Sinai Peninsula because he said I went down to Arabia. And in another place he refers to it as Sinai in Arabia. What happened there? For three years Saul of Tarsus is alone with his ascended Lord. God just pours out on that man all these doctrines that are going to go out to the Gentiles; totally new, totally different. This is why he uses the language he uses back in his letters.

Look at Ephesians 3. Sometimes we need to look at a verse several times before it sinks in.

Ephesians 3:1-2

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentilesif ye have heard of the dispensation (or administration) of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: “

How did we get it? From Paul to us.

Verse 3

how that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, “

What is the difference between instruction and revelation? When you’re instructed you are being taught by another human being. Paul never claimed to be taught by anybody but it was all by revelation.

Keep your hand here in Ephesians for I think this is such a beautiful illustration of that very fact. But go back to Acts, chapter 18.

Acts 18:1-3

18 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; and found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.”

Now not only were they tentmakers but I like to picture a group of ladies around a quilting frame. All the while they are quilting they are talking, visiting, and discussing. This is the same thing here. Paul, and Aquila, and Priscilla while they are sewing that tough canvas Paul is teaching them. He is just laying it out on them for a purpose.

Now come over to verse 24.

Verse 24-25

24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.” 

Remember there was a tremendous seminary in Alexandra at this time. Apollo’s was mighty in the Old Testament scriptures. This man was instructed or taught probably in the seminary; he too knew nothing more than the Old Testament program. He hadn’t heard of the gospel of grace. And now then look what happens.

Verse 26

26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

Here Aquila and Priscilla took this great eloquent, famous, seminary taught Apollo’s and expounded in a more complete perfect way. How could they do it? They were with Paul. Apollo’s was gentleman enough to listen. He learned from those two little lay people.

Verse 27

27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:”

How could Apollo’s help these grace believers without having been taught the things of Paul.

Now quickly for comparison sake let’s go back to Galatians 1. This was Paul’s account of where he got his information.

Galatians 1:11

11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. “

In other words, he didn’t go back up to Jerusalem and say hey fellows teach me everything you know about this Jesus. You were with him for three years. No, he said that didn’t happen. He received it by revelation by Jesus Christ. Now there is the difference between revelation and instruction.

Saul, knowing nothing of this gospel of grace until God separated him and took him down to the mountain of Sinai and revealed by revelation this great new doctrine of grace. That now will go to the Gentile.

In our next lesson I’ll show you the timeline and how this was all pushed out into the future. This was to make room in here for this parenthetical point of time that we like to call the Age of Grace.

Until next week, keep looking up.

Maranatha

Permission given by Les Feldick Ministries

Lesson 46 Genesis 24 Timeline of the Old Testament Program

It’s a new week and so good to have you all back once again. I continue to encourage you to study and rightly divide God’s word. Yes, it is important to look at the entire Word but it is also important to study (as 2 Timothy 2:15) to whom the writer is speaking too. Is it specific to a person, a group be Jew or Gentile? These are so important to know the Word of God. 

C.R. Strom, author of Things that Differ says, “Is it any wonder that the Christian masses use the Bible merely for devotional reading and often neglect even that? How can they be expected to have an interest in the study of the Scriptures when their leaders themselves fail to set the example? As a result, the vast majority of believers really understand very little of God’s Word. “

If you follow along with me you will learn to study to find the precious truths that many miss out on. Additionally in doing so, you will be a workman whom God could approve.

Turn with me now and we will continue on from last week’s lesson in Psalm, chapter 2 for just a bit of review. We’ve been talking about Abraham sending his servant up in Syria country to get a bride for his son, Isaac. We brought out the point that it’s a beautiful illustration of Holy Spirit’s work in this present day drawing out or calling out a bride from amongst the Gentiles for the Son, the Christ, and the Body of Christ.

The reason why I like to use the illustration is when Isaac you remember had left the home tent and was out in the field in some distance from home, when he met his bride coming from the far country. Which I think is a beautiful picture of how Christ will leave heaven and will call the bride up and will meet him in the clouds of the air. But before we actually get to teach those events I’ve had a few requests to take the time to lay these things out on a time-line so we’re kind of heading toward that point.

But before we do that I like to make clear the understanding of the Old Testament program in which there is NO hint of this church age. The Old Testament program, all it had in mind was God’s program for Israel. This is best laid out in outline form in Psalm 2. That is the reason we’re going to point this out and how this program was interrupted and God then went to the Gentile to call out a people for His name and how He will one day come back and finish this Old Testament program.

Again, Psalm 2:1-4

Why do the heathen rage, and the people (Israel) imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers (Israel) take counsel together (Jew and Gentile), against the Lord, and against his anointed (The Christ), saying, Let us break (future) their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.(That took place at the rejection of Christ and crucifixion) He (the response of God) that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them (the nations of the world) in derision.”

Jesus said in the Gospels there would be days of perplexity. (Luke 21:25) We are certainly seeing that in our own time. But nevertheless, this was all looking forward to coming of Christ, His rejection, and then verse 5, that very first word; a time word. In other words, after the nations had come to a place of derision, then;

Verse 5

Then shall he (God) speak unto them (the nations) in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.”

What is the Psalmist talking about? The Tribulation. That terrible period of time that is going to come onto the world. But it’s going to be especially directed to the Nation of Israel. Then immediately following this period of wrath and vexation, as all of the scripture designates for seven years then in verse 6;

Verse 6

Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”

The Mystery Program, or Age of Grace was not on their radar.

Looking at this timeline, starting with the call of Abraham, the Messiah comes on the scene and what does Israel do? They rejected Him as we read in Psalm, chapter 2. Then after the rejection Christ ascends. Look at Psalm 110. Normally, people don’t think of the book of Psalm as being prophetic, but they are. There is a lot of prophecy is the book of Psalm. The crucifixion and His ascension are also depicted in the book of Psalm. In chapter 110, we have Christ ascension to the Father’s right hand.

Psalm 110:1-3

“The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.”

Until, that time word or point in time in which He is not going to stay there forever. But He is seated at the Father’s right hand. All these verses tell us is that after the rejection of the Messiah, He would ascend to the Father’s right hand. Then there will come an indeterminate period, even in Psalm chapter 2, until the Nations would reach a point of derision, and then Psalm says will come that period of wrath and vexation that we know from Daniel and others, that it is a period of seven years of Tribulation. Then He says, yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. That is the King and the Kingdom.

Now there is the Old Testament program.

After you come out of the Old Testament chronological of Israel’s history, the Christ comes on the scene and is presented as Israel’s King. Israel rejects Him and crucifies Him and He ascends into Heaven and the next thing in the order is the Tribulation.

Now come back to Psalm 2 where you can follow me. It’s so clearly laid out I think in this little short chapter.

Psalm 2:6-7 again…

“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

Son is capitalized, so that is referring to Christ. Also that word begotten does not refer to Christ birth at Bethlehem. If refers to His resurrection which speaks clearly of this in Acts 13:33 and Romans 1:3-4.

Verse 8 of Psalm 2.

“Ask of me (the Father), and I shall give thee (the Son) the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.”

In other words, all the people of the world and then the verse finishes it and the uttermost parts of the earth. When Christ returns and sets up this Kingdom it’s not just going to be the Middle-East, but it’s going to be a worldwide Kingdom; it covers the whole earth.

Verse 9

Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

This will happen at His second coming, at the Battle of Armageddon and the nations of the world will be removed from the scene.

Verse 10-11

10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”

This is reference to God the Son, Jesus Christ.

In order to understand what this little chapter is saying and what it is not saying turn with me to Acts 1 for a moment, if you will. As Christ was ascending Peter and the eleven realized this Old Testament program. They knew the next thing on the agenda was the coming in of this seven year of wrath and vexation. Then they expected the return of Christ back to Jerusalem in order to set up his Kingdom.

(  Ϯ  __  ↑)  __   ↓    __ ↓

( Christ Crucified    His Ascension)     seven years     His Kingdom   Israel is the Light to the World

This is where I dare say 90% of church going believers do not get the comprehension that according to the Old Testament program, this is the way it would unfold, the King would set up his Kingdom, and as soon as this was established and the King was ruling in Jerusalem, then the Jew could go into all of the corners of the world and evangelize the Gentile. That was to be Israel’s role.

Turn with me to Isaiah 42, beginning with verse 1.

If I can get people to see these things in a clear cut way it would remove so much confusion that I think reigns supreme. I’m continuing to make reference again of the Old Testament program where God expected Israel to receive her King, the Kingdom set up, and then the Jew would go out into the nations of the world and evangelize the non-Jew. Here it is.

Isaiah 42:1

“42 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment (rule) to the Gentiles.”

Mine elect is the Jew and plain as day will bring rule to the Gentiles.

Isaiah 49:6

And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

I’m not exhausting these verses by any means, I’m just picking out a few that are more clearly stated. Always examine a verse. Who is the thee? Israel is to be the light to the Gentiles. That thou, Israel may be my salvation, God’s salvation, until the end of the earth.

Verse 7

Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth,
to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.”

This was to be Israel’s role.

So when I speak in days to come God dealing with the Jew only. He has been every since the call of Abraham and get well into the New Testament, it is Jew only, with exceptions.

Now let’s pick it up in chapter 59:20-21.

And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. 21. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy  seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.”

Remember Zion is a mountain in Jerusalem. Henceforth and for ever, we are already looking to eternity.

Now come into chapter 60.

Isaiah 60:1

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.”

Who are we talking about when we read thy and thee? The Nation of Israel. When there Messiah appeared to them he told them, I am the light of the world. And had Israel believe it, they could have gone out and told the world. (I’ll show you that in just a moment.)

Verse 2

“2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.”

We’re talking about spiritual darkness. Even Israel was in gross darkness, but His glory shall be seen upon the Nation of Israel.

Verse 3

 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”

Those are all promises to Israel according to the Old Testament program. Look at our above outline once again. After they crucified their Messiah, their King, He would ascend until He made their enemies their footstool, that’s that time of derision, which wouldn’t have been long. In would come the wrath and vexation (7 years Tribulation), Christ would return and set up His Kingdom. Israel would be the apple of His eye, and she would be the very center of all activity with regard to bringing people to a knowledge of God.

Verse 4-5

Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.”

Now let’s go up through your Old Testament and come to Jeremiah, chapter 23. These are all verses that point out the fact that Israel was not only promised the King and the Kingdom, but that they would be the vehicle to bring the pagan Gentiles to knowledge of her  God.

Jeremiah 23:5

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.”

Branch is capitalized which is in reference to Christ. The King will execute judgment and justice in Heaven? No, in the earth. Isn’t that plan? And that would be when He returned and set up His Kingdom to rule and reign the whole earth.

Now to fulfill what I said a moment ago, that Israel would be the evangelist, turn all the way up to Zechariah. Now don’t lose sight of everything that is in the Old Testament; the wrath and vexation, the destruction of the Nations as we saw in Daniel, chapter 2, 7, & 9. That would all take place when Christ returned to Jerusalem destroyed the Nations that are still surviving after the terrible seven years. Then the earth will maintain its gloriousness as the Garden of Eden, as the Old Testament says it will be as the Garden of Eden in the beginning. And then…Zechariah 8:20.

Ϯ  ___ ↑  ___   ↓     __ ↓

Christ Crucified      His Ascension     seven years    His Kingdom     Israel is the Light to the World

Zechariah 8:20-22

20 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: 21 and the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also. 22 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord ”

Zechariah was writing about 500BC. Nations from around the world will worship the Jehovah in Jerusalem. Not in heaven, but in Jerusalem.

Verse 23 (lock this verse into your mental computer)

23 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”

Remember we are talking in light of the Old Testament program. That as soon as the King and Kingdom was in place the Nations of the world would be funneled to Jerusalem, which would be the very abode of the God of Israel, and all the Gentiles could be blessed by coming to a faith in Him. Not just all nations, but all languages, all the dialects and various tribes and so forth. And what will they say to the Jew? We will go with YOU.

Isn’t that plain? Now this is what Jesus had drummed into the disciples and contrary to what most of us, and I include myself, hadn’t been taught that the great commission in Matthew was with this Old Testament program in mind.  There yet had been one word spoken, even by Jesus to the twelve, of a period in the timeline that God would set Israel aside, take away their Temple, and He would go to the Gentiles with the Gospel of Grace. There hadn’t been one word spoken. So, as you go through the four Gospels, you always want to remember that the Old Testament program is what is on everybody’s mind. This is what Jesus is talking about. He is talking about everything that had been promised to the Nation of Israel with regard to Him being their King.

Gospel of Grace  

Now of course, the disciples had no idea He was going to be crucified, did they? Some may look at that with a blank expression on their face. So, I’ll show you. Turn with me to Luke 18. You mean Peter didn’t preach Christ crucified, how could he? Jesus hadn’t been crucified yet! And on top of that, they didn’t know He was going to be. I again can safely say that 90% of the average church member doesn’t even know these verses are in here.

Luke 18:31-34

31 Then he (Jesus) took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: 33 and they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. 34 And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”

What is Jesus saying? Everything that had been prophesied back here in the Psalm and Prophets, that Christ must suffer, that He must be buried and rise from the dead and ascend (Psalm 110) and would come back after these years of the Tribulation and set up His Kingdom.  They should have known all of that  He would be delivered unto the Gentiles or Rome. Then look at verse 33, and they, the twelve understood NONE OF THESE THINGS. Remember a few weeks ago I told you the word Jehovah Olam. And within that word is the definition of something being hidden with regard to the Church Age or Age of Grace hidden within the timeline. And they couldn’t understand it. Well here, they had no understanding that He was going to die and go to the cross.

John 20:1-7 It’s plain as day that even after He was put to death that they didn’t even know He would rise from the dead. Peter and John have just been told Christ isn’t in the tomb. John outruns Peter in a foot race to the tomb. But John is timid and stops short of the entrance. But, Peter burst right in.

Verse 8-9

“8 Then went in also that other disciple (Peter), which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw (the evidence), and believedFor as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.”

Not just John and Peter, but all of them still didn’t know the scripture. Isn’t that plain?

This is what studying God word and rightly dividing means. To see the truth, illustrations and follow the trail to more truths to solidify your knowledge in His word.

Until next week, keep looking up.

Maranatha.

Permission given by Les Feldick Ministries.

Lesson 45 – Genesis 24 Rebekah meets Isaac

Welcome back.

We’re going to pick right up where we left off in Genesis, chapter 24. In our last lesson we were drawing that comparison between the sending out of the servant for a bride for the son, Isaac as a parallel of the work of the Holy Spirit today calling out the body of Christ.

Now we are just going to finish the chapter in these next few moments and then we are going to go into Psalm, chapter 2. I’ve got a reason for that. But you are probably going to think right off the top of your head, what does Psalm 2 have to do with all of this? I think when we get there I will be able to explain it.

So come back with me to Genesis, chapter 24 you will find the servant makes this oath with Abraham and then in verse 10.

Genesis 24:10

10 And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor”

Remember, Abraham is a wealthy man. He’s got tons of silver and gold, flocks and servants, and no doubt this servant, I’m assuming it is Eliezer, he took a pretty good sampling of all of it and makes his way up to Mesopotamia. This was the area Abraham was from and where his father, Terah had died. Now the servant is already there.

Verse 11

11 And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water. “

Here during this time, as even in places still today, the women drew the water, took care of the flocks. Here the servant settles his camels and makes a prayer.

Verse 12-14

12 And he said, O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham. 13 Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water:  14 and let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master. “

This is the fleece the servant is putting out. He says when the right girl answers in that way, he will know she is the one.

I always have to think in the book of Ruth. Remember when Naomi had lost her sons and she ended up with the two daughters-in-law? The one stayed in Moab, but Naomi came back with Ruth up to Palestine and into Israel. And the word is used happened to end up in the right field and it happened to be the next of kin to labor in the harvest field. But you know that word hap or happened is more than that. There is no such thing as luck in the life of a believer. God is in such complete control that we can honestly say that everything that happens, as Romans 8 makes it so plan, that all things works together for good.Why? Because God is in control!

So it just happened (wink ,wink) that Rebekah is the girl who makes the first approach.

Verse 15-20

“15 And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. 16 And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. 17 And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. 18 And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. 19 And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. 20 And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.”

Remember I showed you the genealogy of Abram’s brothers so here she is, and he knows she is the one.

Then come all the way down to verse 26-31.

26 And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the Lord. 27 And he said, blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren. 28 And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother’s house these things. 29 And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well. 30 And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well. 31 And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the Lord; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels.”

We will see Laban again with Jacob when he works for Laban to obtain his two wives, Rachel and Leah.

But I like verse 30 as we see these Bible characters are so human. When Laban saw the earring and bracelets, what does he see? The wealth that this man represents. I bet his eyes just bugged out.

Then in verse 31, he said, come in, thou blessed of the LORD (or Jehovah). I need to remind you that these pagans when they speak of the LORD and they speak of God and so forth, it isn’t that they themselves are actual believers and knew Jehovah. But everybody in this Middle-Eastern environment is saturated with paganism.  And even these relatives of Abraham, these children of Terah, were idolaters. We will come to it in a few weeks, but even when Jacob was coming back from Laban years after this and he had made his way back to Canaan with his wives  Leah and with Rachel, and all of their children, who came pursuing them but the wives father. He was looking for the family idols that Rachel had hidden. So always remember these people are all idolaters. So take it with a grain of salt when they use the name Jehovah or the LORD. It isn’t that they are believers but as far as they are concerned it’s just another god.

Now for sake of time, we won’t read all of these verses. But if you read it in your leisure you will find that even though the servant does all that he can to woo and win this beautiful girl yet she had to make the final decision.

Verse 58

58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go. “

It’s the same way with salvation today. The Holy Spirit can woo. The Holy Spirit can convict. But God will never take someone by the nap of the neck and force the issue. I have often said, I am not against evangelism per-say, but I am against arm twisting. That falls down into the energy of the flesh. When it comes to salvation it has to be totally the work of the Holy Spirit. Many people are almost forced to make a false decision and then people wonder why that Christian is bankrupt spiritually. I’m afraid they never had a true experience since it was approached in the wrong way.

But here Rebekah is left with the choice and she says, I will go.

Verse 59

59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant, and his men.”

So they take off way up in the area of Syria and head back down to the land of Canaan. Now we will pick up the husband to be. And of course who is representative of Christ himself.

Verse 62

62 And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahai-roi; for he dwelt in the south country. “

That is south of Jerusalem down in the Negev in the area of Belsheba which is still a hustling city of about three hundred thousand. So it’s the same area of Israel.

Verse 63

63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.”

He was meditating, maybe contemplating life, maybe even missing the loss of his mother, when he lifted up his eyes and all of a sudden his grief turned to joy and expectation. His bride is coming. So as Isaac left the tent of his father and mother and ventured out he meets up with his bride. So, what is the lesson? So it will be when Christ calls His bride home. It’s not going to just immediately call her home to heaven, but He’s going to leave heaven and meet her part way. We will be looking at that soon in one of our lessons. But get the picture now that Isaac has left home and is part way and here comes his bride Rebekah.  

 Verse 64-65

64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. 65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself. “

 What does Jesus do so many times when he knows someone knows the answer? He still asks a question. Just like what God did when Adam and Eve were in the garden for He knew the answer, but still asked, Adam, what have you done? I think the Bible does that many times just to get us to think. Here Rebekah asks, who is this? She knew he was her husband to be.

Verse 66

66 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. “

The servant explains to Isaac how miraculously this whole thing came together. There is no doubt Isaac, this is God’s choice for your wife.

Verse 67

67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.”

Take note, the Bible never tells the wife to love the husband. But husbands love your wives, and here it is. It doesn’t say Rebekah loved him but we know she did. But it began with Isaac loving her. And here is why I think he was meditating over his mother’s death as verse 67 states; he was comforted after his mother’s death. Comforted by this whole new love and that vacuum was somewhat filled now with this new bride.

Now let’s go to Psalm 2 as we wide this lesson down as we prepare for the next part of our study and that is how the present day age of grace is is pictured as the calling out of a Gentile bride for the Son, for the Christ. The only way we can understand the language of Paul with regards to the calling out of the bride is to get an even better understand of the Old Testament program. I’m afraid here is where we have had so much confusion over the years and throughout all of Christendom. Is that there is so much mixing of the Old Testament program with the age of grace and vice versa, that no one really knows what to believe and why and how.  So we are going to take these few moments to outline the Old Testament program.

The reason why I’m emphasizing this is because nowhere in the Old Testament or well into the New is there a single hint of that there will be a Gentile bride of Christ. Everything is Israel. Israel is to be the wife of Jehovah.

If you ever studied the book of Hosea, Hosea is told to go out and actually marry a woman of the street; take her home to be his wife. But it isn’t very long that she is back out on the street with all of her multitude of lovers; then when you get to the end of the book of Hosea she has been restored and back in fellowship with her husband. That is the beautiful picture of Israel always so adulterous in chasing other gods all the way through the Old Testament ; God would bless them for a period of time and they would go right back after pagan gods. But we know the day is coming with Israel will be restored and all of her adulterous past will be put behind her and forgotten.

Now the other analogy is the bride of Christ. Keep your hand in Psalm but let’s go to 2 Corinthians. Now there may be some that don’t agree with me that the church is the bride. You don’t have to agree with me, that doesn’t upset me. I teach it the way I see it and the way I’ve been made most comfortable.

2 Corinthians 11:1

“11 Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.”

This is just about how I feel so many times when the average believer has never heard and I say, bear with me, sooner or later I will show you what the scripture really says.

Verse 2, where Paul writes…

“2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you (the body of Christ) as a chaste virgin to Christ. “

Paul is writing to the Corinthian church, a Gentile church. All through Paul’s letters he is making a reference that Christ is the head or more or less the husband and the body of Christ is His bride. That is why Paul is always admonishing the believer to live a life of purity; a life of separation because we are not to be the adulterous wife of Jehovah as Israel was.

So let’s go back to Psalm, chapter two and get a little bit of a start of the outline of the Old Testament program. In Psalm 2, there is no hint, as there is no more anywhere else in your Old Testament or even in the gospels as far as that is concerned of this mystery, secret kept in the mind of God of what we call the Gentile bride or body of Christ. Everything has been promises made to Israel.

Psalm 2:1

Why do the heathen (non Jew/Gentiles) rage, and the people (Israel) imagine a vain thing?

That word vain is probably best defined as Solomon uses it, vanity, vanity, all is vanity. What he is saying is just an activity of uselessness. This is what the scripture is asking, why do the people of this world, Jew and Gentile alike constantly exercise for nothing.

Verse 2-3

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed (Christ), saying,Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”

When it says their bands asunder, they are talking about the control of the God-head, which is why we have a plural pronoun, and reject God in their affairs.  

Now if you remember when Israel is presented with Christ by Pilot, what was their response? Away with Him; we will not have this man to rule over us. And so, Pilot carried it out, the Jews demanded it, and so the whole human race falls under guilt then of the crucifixion. The rulers of the Jews and Gentiles, rejected Him when they said crucify Him.

So they cast off every opportunity of God being able to rule over them. After all that is why Christ came didn’t He? He came to be their King; He was presented as their King but they continued to reject and finally put Him to death.

Verse 4

He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.”

They can never out-do God. He will have the last word. God will have the people of this earth in derision or total confusion.

We will pick this up in our next lesson as we come back to Psalm, chapter 2. But get this setting of this Old Testament program and the reason why I am doing this is to show where the church fits in the whole scheme of things.

Until next time, keep looking up.

Maranatha!

Permission given by Les Feldick Ministries.

Lesson 44 – Genesis 24 The picking of Isaac’s bride.

The Servant and Rebekah

Good to have everybody back. I’d like to welcome those that are finding this Bible study for the first time. I’ve appreciated those who have been following these past few lessons, your comments and questions. So find your Bible and a note book and become part of the class with us.

We will jump right into the Book today. So if you will turn with me for starters to Romans 15, then we will go back to Genesis, chapter 24 where we left off last week.

Romans 15:4 The Apostle Paul, writes to us Gentiles in particular regarding things written in the Old Testament.

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

That is why we study in the Old Testament to pick up the back ground for all the doctrines that are going to come especially from the pen of the Apostle, Paul.

I think you realize I like to bring out the intrinsicness of scripture; how miraculously it all fits. So that we have no doubt that we can trust this as the eternal, supernatural, miraculously, word of God.

Now come back with me to Genesis, chapter 24. You will remember in our last few weeks of lessons we were dealing of course, with Isaac and Ishmael; how Isaac is in-type a picture of grace. He was the Son of promise. Whereas Ishmael was the Son of the flesh and he was depicted by Paul in the book of Galatians, as a picture of Law.

Now we will go back to chapter 24, and here is another chapter where I’m a little reluctant to call it a type simple because there’s one part of the account that kind of breaks down with regard to a perfect type.

Now I think most of you know what a type is out of the Old Testament. It is a perfect illustration of a New Testament truth. For example, we know that Abraham is so typical of the man of faith. And we can call him a man of type. Another example is Joseph, in so many ways, experiencing the same things that were experiences of the life of Christ.  We can almost picture Joseph as a type of Christ in that Old Testament setting. Same way here, chapter 24 comes close to being a type but because of one little detail I’m going to shrink back from calling it a type to just a good illustration.

Abraham is going to send out his servant to get a bride for his son, Isaac. It is a perfect parallel at least of what the Holy Spirit is doing today to call out the bride for Christ. This is the lesson I’d like to pull out of this chapter, but the only small point that breaks down is that the Gentiles as such, has not really been isolated yet in scripture because Abraham is only the Father of the Hebrew race. He is going to send his servant back to his own kin-folk for a bride for Isaac. So it isn’t like he is going to the Gentile as we know the Lord is doing today with regard to the bride of Christ, or the body of Christ, which is for the most part, Gentile.

But nevertheless, we are going to look at this chapter with that parallel in mind. And the parallel is of course, God the Father is Abraham himself. The parallel of the Son is Isaac. Then the parallel of the third person of the trinity, the Holy Spirit, will be Abraham’s servant.

The role of the servant here is going to be so in line with the role of the Holy Spirit working today. I want you to be aware of these things as we come through the chapter. Now we are not going to take the whole chapter, verse by verse for so much of it is repetition. But we will try to hit the high-lights.

Chapter 24:1-2

“And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: ”

The servant is not named but no doubt it is the same one named earlier, Eliezer. Now this language throws a curve at us about placing the servants hand on Abraham’s thigh. All they are doing is practicing old ancient customs that were really written out by old Hammurabi. Hammurabi, I have referred to several times that was more or less philosopher and law giver of ancient Babylon. And until God calls the nation of Israel out and really begins dealing with them and give his intrinsic instructions, much of the then known world operated according to the laws of Hammurabi. They were good moral laws for the most part and they certainly were not God inspired as we now find here in the scriptures. So, even when we think something is odd, it was simply the custom of ancient days.

Verse 3-4

and I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: but thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. “

I suppose this is a good time to stop and take time so you totally understand what Abraham is really talking about when he says, go back to my kindred.

Remember, way back in Genesis when God first talked to Abram and his father, Terah. Terah and his three sons, made their way from Ur up to Syria and ends up at Haran after Terah dies. Then Abraham comes down into the land of Canaan where the Canaanites dwelt.

Now I think to get a good picture of this whole setting we almost have to go back to the three sons of Noah. I wouldn’t do it if it weren’t for the whole Middle-East front page news almost every day. If more people could understand Middle-East setting according to even Biblical history, I think we’d have a lot less confusion than we’ve gotten even amongst our men in high places.

Remember when Noah came out of the Ark and his three sons;  Shem, Ham, and Jepheth.

Jepheth was predominantly the Caucasians people; the Indo-Europeans as they are often referred to. When they refer especially when you read articles on Columbus’ they either chastise his history or elevate it. But they refer so often now as the Indo-Europeans. Well they were the Jephethites. But as you come down into the Bible, a Gentile is anybody that is a non-Jew. But early on, this was the Gentile.

Now over here with Ham you remember he was the one that Noah had placed the curse and he was the progenitor of the Canaanites and the Egyptians. Now according to scripture we picture them living on the shores of the Mediterranean, in the present day land of Palestine or Israel; the Canaanites of course in the land when Abraham came.

But here is the one we are predominantly interested in, Shem, in which Terah comes into the picture. Terah, came from Ur of Chaldeans and he also had three sons. Haran, Nahor, and of course, Abraham. Now in our own present day with all of the problems in the Middle-East, it all goes back to these families.

Haran had Lot who had two sons by his daughters. The offspring from his daughters were the Moabites and the Ammonites. What is the present day Capital of Trans-Jordon? Ammon. It all comes back to these same roots. They are still part and parcel of this line of families.

Now over here we look at Nahor, (I’ll come back to Abram in a minute) he has a son named Bethuel. Bethuel has a daughter named Rebekah that is the one we will come to now in chapter 24. He also has a son by the name of Laban. Laban has two daughters, Leah and Rachel. Now is it starting to fall into place?

Now here comes Abraham’s family. First he has Ishmael with Hagar. Then he has Isaac with his legal wife, Sarah. Then after Sarah dies, Abraham takes a wife names Keturah. Keturah has a son, among others in whom the Midianites comes from. The Midianites were the people to the east when Moses fled to the desert and he married a daughter to the Priest of Midian.

I’m pointing this out to show how all these families are intertwined. With the exception of course, we are going to keep the Canaanites out since God had distinctly said they were not to marry a Canaanite.

Ishmael, whose mother was an Egyptian, marry’s and Egyptian woman, which brings the line back to Ham and the Canaanites which the Egyptians also come from. So we have a connection between this line of the offspring of Ishmael to the Canaanites and the Egyptians. And then they marry back. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, even though the Egyptians are not true Arabs, yet the Egyptians and the Arabs are always acting intertwined or next of kin.

Isaac, we know he has two sons, Jacob and Esau. Esau in turn goes back and marries two Canaanites. (Remember the scriptures say they were a grief of mind to both Isaac and Rebekah.) Jacob goes out and he is going to marry Leah and Rachel. And from that union we get the twelve sons. Which become the twelve tribes of Israel.

Then we come down to Judah, which is one of the twelve tribes, which then comes to the line of David. David has Solomon and Nathan. Here the genealogy splits, one side of the genealogy we have the line that leads to Joseph. Joseph of course, was not the blood father but the legal father of Jesus. The other side goes to the blood line of Mary which goes back to Adam and Eve.

Everything fits perfectly all the way down through it as God is in such complete sovereign control.

Now let’s move on in Genesis 24 remembering that all these families in the Middle-East, except for Japheth, are intertwined. Their hatred for one another is because they are blood relatives.

Genesis 24: 4-5

but thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred (up to Syria), and take a wife unto my son Isaac.  And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest? ”

Now I said this was going to be, I think, a picture, illustration or parallel, God calling out body of Christ from amongst the Gentiles. God the Father has sent the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is moving amongst the human race; wooing them, presenting them with a plan of salvation.

Even though God is sovereign and we have gone over this so often in our lessons, is God’s absolute in who He chooses, does everyone else not have a chance? How does it work? I think what you have to do is put the two thoughts into an awareness that it is not either one or the other. Of course what I am talking about is it totally the sovereign choosing of God, over against that we have free-will? (the word chosen is used, or the word elect is used, predestinated is used.)

Way back at the time of the reformers, Calvin was of the persuasion that we are chosen. Then those who abuse Calvin’s teachings went as far as to go overboard and say, if you’re chosen then there is nothing you can do about it. You’re chosen so no one has to do anything to win you, you’re in. If you’re not chosen, you’re out! I maintain that approach is rather ridiculous. But you see at the time of Luther and Calvin, up came a guy by the name of Jacobus Arminius, or the Arminian view. Arminius was of the opposite persuasion and that was God had nothing to do with it for it was up to the free will of the individual. That is the other extreme.

What you have to see in verse 5, is there has to be a willingness. But on the other hand when you go through this chapter, you can see that God definitely had his hand on the whole situation. Everything just kept falling into place. The servant here was amazed. Why he no more gets up to Syria and asks God, the girl that is to be the one, let her when I ask for water that she says, not only can you drink but I’ll water your camels also. So, what happens? The very thing happened in verses 17-19.

So how are we going to reconcile it? Keep your hand in Genesis and let’s go all the way back to one of Peter’s little epistles. This thing of the sovereignty of God and the free will of man is going to be with us from Genesis through Revelation. So we might as well reconcile it early on.

1 Peter 1:1-2

“1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”

Here is the secret to understanding this whole doctrine. Why can God choose some and not others? Because of His foreknowledge! Because He knows what an individual will do with his particular offer of salvation.

Way back here, why did Rebekah come and water the livestock and meet Abraham’s servant at just the appropriate time. Naturally it was the sovereign working of God. There is no doubt about it. But, what was she? She was willing. Why was she chosen? Because God knew that she would be willing.

Why are some of us saved and our friends aren’t? Not because we were special. Not because we were better. But because God in his foreknowledge could see what we would do when offered salvation.

As Paul says back in Ephesians and you will know what I’m talking about.

I know this next verse has thrown and curve to a lot of people. But hopefully this will satisfy some of your questions. It isn’t that someone is left without a chance; and God has put His finger on certain ones. Rather that God in his foreknowledge knew what each individual would do in his exercise of his own free will. Then Paul can say in Ephesians 1, verse 4.

Ephesians 1: 4

“ according as he hath (past tense) chosen us (when?) in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (set apart) and without blame before him in love: “

Why God could choose us? Because He knew what we would do.

Let’s go back to Genesis, chapter 24. Back in verse 5.

And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?”

I think the key word in this verse to understand what the servant was talking about since this is a picture of the calling of the body of Christ.

Verse 6

And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.” 

The key word here is AGAIN. Now all through the book of Hebrews we find the word ONCE. This Christ did Once; this He did ONCE, over and over again. So, what is being implied here? Christ is not going to come back a second time to go to the cross. That was accomplished at one time. So the emphasis here is beware that you bring not my son thither again. We are not going to repeat something that has been done once before.

Verse 7-8

The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land (Canaan); he shall send his angel (Angel of the Lord, Christ) before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence. And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath:”

As the Holy Spirit moves through this Age of Grace, calling out (I’ll explain in more detail next week) particularly amongst the Gentiles a people for His name. No one is ever forced as it is all based upon the free will of the individual. But never forget God in His foreknowledge knew what we would do.

I am so glad he knew I would accept His calling. I hope you have as well.

Until next week, keep looking UP!

#Maranatha

Permission given by Les Feldick Ministries

Lesson 43 Genesis 22-23 Abraham and Isaac

With what is happening in our world today, it is so important to know your Bible; to continue to trust in God as He sets the stage for Christ’s return to claim his bride.

As we return this week I think we’ve spent enough time on Law and Grace for the time being. It will be coming up as we move down the pike. So in the mean time, get your Bible, notebook and pen and let’s move on into Genesis, chapter 22.

Of course years have gone by and Isaac is now probably a late teenager, or maybe even twenty. And God is going to put poor old Abraham through another tremendous test.

Now as a rule when I deal with new believers the first thing I warn them is that God is going to test their faith. It’s typical all through scripture. And Abraham is no exception.

You want to remember after waiting all those years when Ishmael came on the scene, how do you think he felt when God said, send him away. Abraham loved Ishmael. It was an excruciating experience for the man. I know it was.

Now he’s gotten attached to the other young man, Isaac. And now what does God tell him to do? Kill him. Imagine what the man, Abraham, must have gone through.

Genesis 22:1-2

“22 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt (test) Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.“

The reason why I emphasize only son, is because as far as God is concerned Ishmael doesn’t even count as a son. God is only concerned with Isaac because through Isaac the Nation of Israel and the Messiah will come. So I want you to take special note of that where he says, take now thy son, thine only son Isaac.

Now God new the heart of Abraham and knew who much he loved Isaac and told him to go to Mt. Moriah. If you go to Israel and go to Mt. Moriah, and when you get inside that Shrine, coming up out of what we would call the basement is this huge rock. A Mosque has been built around it. It is supposedly the rock where Abraham was to offer Isaac. But the point I’m making is Mt. Moriah is the very same place in scripture where Solomon’s Temple rested. So all of this when you are dealing with Israel is specific in time, in prophecy, in everything.

Verse 3-4

And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave (carried) the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.”

The third day should immediately tell us something. What is this going to be a picture of? Of course, Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

Verse 5

And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.”

What did Abraham know? That even if Isaac’s life had to be taken all Abraham had to do is believe. This is the total picture of what Christ would accomplish o the cross. Typically I think we are perfectly correct in saying that Isaac is a type here of Christ. Abraham is a type of God the Father; you have that same love relationship and sacrifice situation in both instances.

Verse 6-7

And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”

Remember Isaac is about 18 or 20, and I’m sure he has been witness to more than one sacrifice in order for worship in the ancient. So Isaac had a question, where is the lamb? Now the amazing thing is Abraham doesn’t say at this point, well Isaac it’s going to be you. But what does Abraham say? God will provide.

Verse 8-9

And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.”

So when you have a strapping 18 or 20 year old, what could you expect about now? This is one really good instance in which the Son could have really whipped his father. But does he? No. Complete obedience.

Now again, take this two thousand years into the future when it came time for those Romans to begin whipping Jesus and scourging Him, and pulling out His beard, slapping that crown of thorns on His head; what could Christ had done? He could have done the same thing. He could have rebelled and throne it all aside. The scripture says he could have called down ten legions of angels. But in complete obedience he suffered at the hands of all the infidels and of the raging religionist of His day. And he went to the cross.  

So did Isaac obediently let Abraham bind him, and lay him upon the altar.

Verse 10-12

10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

Here is that term again, and the angel of the LORD. Who is it? It’s Jehovah, God the Son. He is not Jesus in the Old Testament because the Bible doesn’t. But He is God the Son.  

Now let’s bring this into the life of a believer. Do believers suffer? Some of them have gone through tremendous suffering. But you know if you are a true believer, no matter what may come your way, will have the best attitude, the happiest disposition.  The reason God brings times of testing and tribulation is to test our metal. Because what will a lot of people do? They get bitter, angry, and rebellious. But the true heart when hard times come God becomes all the more precious. This is what we all have to learn.

We have been through some trying times. And God brought us through it.

Just as most of you have been through some trying times. So you know what I’m talking about. God is not going to let us escape our problems, but He will be our host as we go through them.

How do we know God loves us is because He put Christ on the cross. The only thing that would put Him there was the love of God and the sin of mankind.

Verse 13

13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.”

You almost have to wonder if he wasn’t expecting something like this way up there in verse 8, when he said, God will provide. I think he must have known. But there caught in the thicket was this ram. God has never changed.

Go back with me if you will to Genesis, chapter 4. Remember our time-line how I should you, over and over the situation changed from Man’s point of view; his responsibilities changed, but God never changed.  In fact, I’ll make no apology for I believe in the dispensational approach to Bible Study, and only from that approach for it is the easiest way to understand scripture.

The best illustration I’ve run across is our own presidential administrations. I like to use Carter and Reagan for they are the best two for comparison I can think of. Here you had four years of President Carter; his administration is of Carter’s ideologies. Then comes Reagan, almost totally opposite in his approach to politics and his administration. But they were both laboring under the same constitution. The constitution didn’t change but the administrations did. And every time we get a new president we have a new administration for all practical purposes; things are going to change, but the constitution, never.

Same thing here in scripture; things may change and are drastically different coming out of the garden than when they were in the garden. It was drastically different with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob coming under the law. It was far different coming out of law and under grace. But God never changes.

Genesis 4: God is dealing with Cain. Remember God had told them if they sin (remember they didn’t have Law but conscious) and their conscious convicted them of having committed a wrong to bring a blood sacrifice God would accept them. Abel did, but Cain did not. Cain rationalized and said, why should I go someplace and barter for a lamb if I can just make a sacrifice of things I have grown. If I make it beautiful and take the trouble to go and approach God with it, Cain said, surely I’ll be accepted. But he wasn’t. Because he didn’t do what God said to do so Cain was destitute to faith.

We pick up the context in verse 5 of Genesis, 4.

Verse 5

But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth (angry), and his countenance fell.”

Have you ever seen someone get angry and you can just see it all over them? Well, that was Cain and God saw it.

Verse 6

And the Lord (Jehovah) said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?”

Cain can’t you comprehend how much I want you to get right with me? You see God is always anxious for the sinner to make reconciliation.

Verse 7

If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

In other words, if you bring me a blood sacrifice like Able did, shall you not be accepted? Of course he would. But like I told you, Cain was evidently a farmer and had no access to sacrificial animals unless he barters with his brother. And you see pride comes into the picture as he wasn’t about to do that.

So God goes one step farther…God knowing that Cain doesn’t want to have to go to his brother he says, all right Cain, I’ll tell you want I have done. I have provided a sacrifice for you at your door – Just like God did for Abraham in Genesis where He provided the ram – So look what God says, if you don’t have a sin offering I will provide one for you. The Hebrew word for sin is the same as sin-offering is ASHAM, the offering I provide will be a lamb that will not fight with you. That lamb will be perfecting willing to let you pick him up and bring him to me as a sacrifice.

God has never changed.

Come back to Genesis, in chapter 22:13

13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.”

I know Abraham had no problem taking that Ram from the thicket to the altar.

Verse 14, of chapter 22.

14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.”

Jehovah Jireh, The LORD will provide or the LORD the provider.

Verse 15-18

15 And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”

Here is a repetition of the Abrahamic Covenant back in chapter 12. Here is covenant ground. I keep hammering away at the covenants because if you don’t understand them back in the Old Testament, it’s awfully hard to comprehend what we talk about even in the New.

Verse 19-20

19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba. 20 And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor;”

Now remember where Nahor is, he is up in Syria, north of present day Damascus.

Verse 21-24 is merely to let us know that Bethuel begat Rebekah. She will be coming on the scene as Isaac’s wife before long.

21 Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram, 22 And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel. 23 And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. 24 And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she bare also Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah.

Now as we go into chapter 23 with the few moments we have left, there is an interesting little tidbit here in verse 1.

Genesis 23:1

23 And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old (127 years old): these were the years of the life of Sarah.”

You may read over that casualty and think so what? But you know what is interesting about that? Sarah is the only woman in the book from cover to cover whose age is given. We have ages of many men, but she is the only woman to give an age of death.

Well Sarah dies and here Abraham has had the whole Middle-East already deeded to him back in chapter 15. But in spite of that he still needs to buy and negotiate an attractive land to bury his wife, Sarah.

So you will come through the chapter and again I’m not going to take time to go verse by verse, but I want you to look at verse 11 with me.

Verse 11-12, chapter 23

11 Nay, my lord, hear me: the field give I thee, and the cave that is therein, I give it thee; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it thee: bury thy dead. 12 And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land.

This is the field from Ephron the Hittite.

Verse 13-14

13 And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, But if thou wilt give it, I pray thee, hear me: I will give thee money for the field; take it of me, and I will bury my dead there. 14 And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him,”

I think it is interesting here that Abraham is not satisfied with accepting a certain amount of acres free for nothing; although he could have. He insisted on paying for it. You can even pick this up within our present day Jew. When it comes to the burial of their dead they are very particular about where they bury their loved ones. So much of the Old Testament still rings true today. 

Verse 15-16

15 My lord, hearken unto me: the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead. 16 And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant.”

When you look at scripture you really can find humor. Here Abraham wanted to pay. Ephron wanted to give as a gift so Abraham could bury his dead and then Ephron said the land was worth four hundred shekels of silver. End of story. Abraham ended up paying the value of the land and it was then settled.

Verse 17

17 And the field of Ephron which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, and the cave which was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all the borders round about, were made sure”

In other words, they surveyed it and Abraham bought it and it became the burial place. Now it isn’t going to be just Sarah’s burial place, but Abraham will also be buried there, Isaac will be buried there and I think Rebecca will be buried there as well.

Verse 18-20

18 Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city.19 And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan.20 And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a buryingplace by the sons of Heth.

As we move forward into chapter 24, we will be going for a bride for Isaac. As we conclude this lesson I want you to remember that Abraham came down from Haran to Canaan, where we are now. But as we go into chapter 24, he will send a servant to go back up to the land of his relatives. Which now we know as Syrians in order to get a bride for Isaac. Now, why go back into a far country when you know they are all kinds of women in Canaan?  What was the reason? Thou shalt not take a Canaanite for a wife for Isaac. Then you will find as we go on a little farther that when Esau comes on the scene, (Twin Brothers, Jacob and Esau) Esau married two Canaanite women. And what does the scripture say, They were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebecca; because Esau had married Canaanite women. So keep all these things in your perspective of scripture for now God is preparing everything for the covenant people of Israel. He just has them under his thumb. But the Nation of Israel today is still in unbelief, and contrary to everything that we think they should be. But they are still under the sovereign thumb of their God. Because God is watching for Israel for they are still the covenant people. Even back here God had to make sure who they married.

Until next week.

Marantha -The Lord is Coming Soon.

Permission given by Les Feldick.

Lesson 42 Genesis 21-23 Legalism vs Grace

Welcome back!

Let’s get right back into our study and turn back with me for a moment to Exodus 19. We are going to pursue possibly over the next couple of lessons the difference between Law and Grace. I found if ever there is an area of confusion amongst all people, it’s here. When people see it, they are so excited about it that they remind me to go and teach the difference between Law and Grace.

So I am going to take the time before we go any farther in Genesis. In Exodus we pick up the Nation of Israel as they’ve came out of the Land of Egypt; they’ve now been under bondage remember. By virtue of the miraculous power of God they’ve come out of Egypt and crossed the Red Sea and they are gathered now around Mt. Sinai. In the very next chapter of course, Moses is going to go up into the Mountain and receive the Ten Commandments and the rest of the Law.

Now when I say the rest of the Law, that may raise a few questions.

The Law is in three parts:

  1. Moral Law – Ten Commandments
  2. Worship – Ecclesiastic with Priest etc.
  3. Civil – Neighbor to neighbor, socially, transferring deeds and intrinsic problems of a society.

Now what you have to be careful if you’re going to be a good student of scripture, whenever you see the word law (whether Paul uses it in Romans, or whatever) always try to determine is the writer talking about the whole system of Law including the Ten Commandments, Worship, and Civil? Or is it simply talking about the Ten? The text will usually reveal it where you can pick it out right away.

Now in chapter 19, Israel has not received the Law as yet. But they have come out of Egypt.

Exodus 19:7-8

And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.”

When they answered and said we will do, that is legalism. You cannot have legalism without the flesh doing something. So Israel says, Lord tell us what you want us to do and we will do it.

Another one I’d like you to turn to is in Deuteronomy, chapter 5 and head to verse 27. Deuteronomy is an analysis of what has gone on before. Now we find in verse 27, Israel says to Moses…

Deuteronomy 5:27

27 Go thou near, and hear all that the Lord our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it.”

We will act on it.

I think the first thing we need to understand, again I need to use the scripture, I don’t want any to go by what I say, go back to Hebrews. For some of these things are so basic that we dare not skip over it. So let’s take the Bible’s definition of Faith as it is laid out in the chapter.

Hebrews 11:1

“11 Now faith is the substance (the meat or core) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

In other words, when we are dealing with the area of Faith, we are dealing with areas that you cannot put your hands on something. You cannot take it into a laboratory; put it in a test tube. Faith is that area of the invisible; the spirit world.

Verse 2-3

For by it (Faith) the elders (those in the O.T.) obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

There is no way we can prove how the world was made other than if God said it, then we have to believe it. God expects us to believe it.

Now come down to Verse 6

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

I hope I am never accused of simply promoting an easy believism. In other words, believe in the Lord Jesus and you’re alright. I never teach that.

When I talk about believing or faith plus nothing, I’m talking about belief and a faith that is so rock-solid that you can honestly say that with all my heart and being I know that Christ died for me; I know that my sins have been forgiven because His blood has taken care of it; I know without a shadow of a doubt that He was risen from the dead; I have no doubt about it. And I know He did it for ME!

Now listen, when someone believes like that and it has become a power of God experience it’s going to change their life. Many of you know what I’m talking about. It will have an effect, and such an effect that you don’t have to have a list of rules and regulations to guide your behavior for it will come from that power that God put within.

But where does it have to start? FAITH! We have to believe it.

Now under the Law, that is why I wanted to take a few moments to talk about it. The Law, God gave the Ten Commandments in which they were set in stone. God didn’t see fit to place the commandments on a Teddy-Bear that someone could come along and cuddle up too. They were written on cold, old tables of stone. They were un-moveable. As I pointed out in our last study, what could the Law do but condemn. The Law had no power whatsoever to help a man keep from stealing. The Law had no power to keep somebody from committing adultery. All it could do is say, don’t do this, or you better do it.

Now even love, the very first commandment. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God. Now stop and thing for a minute; can you force anybody to love someone? Impossible. Where does love have to spring from but within? So it is with the whole gamete of the Ten Commandments they did nothing but stand there in stark reality and convict and condemn.

Now you see how foolish it is when someone says I’m doing the best I can by keeping the Ten Commandments? It’s impossible.

Now for the Jew under the Law as soon as he realized that knowing what God had said under the Law, that he had broken one of them, what did God give them as an alternative? They now had too dip down into the second part of the Law, Worship, and practice what God had set up for them to approach Him. This was all according to the letter of the law.

For example: Here is the Tabernacle (tent) and all around it was the 12 Tribes. You want to remember when they were encamped, at least at Sinai, when they recently came out of Egypt there were anywhere between 3-6 million people. That tells you that some of those that encamped beyond the 12 Tribes on the outer parameter were a long way from this alter within the Tabernacle. Now just put yourself in their shoes. Here someone way out in the outer parameter and has broken the law. He knows he has broken it. Maybe he stole from his neighbor. But he remembers what the Law said, thou shalt not steal. So he says, I’ve got to make things right, but man, it’s a long from where I am clear up to the priest in the Tabernacle. I’m simply going to admit to God that I’ve sinned and I don’t think I need to make that sacrifice. So that is what he tries to do. He says, God I’ve broke the command, I stole from my neighbor, but I don’t want to go clear up there with a lamb. Was that man accepted? No. Why? He did not do what God said to do. And that was they had to bring something to the priest. That was Works.

Now let’s turn it around. Let’s say this same fellow commits this same sin; he recognizes it and says, boy, my neighbor did the same thing and went to the priest. I guess I will do the same thing.  Will he be accepted? No. Why? Because he didn’t do it by faith in how God instructed it to be done.  See the difference? It can be either way. You can go through the motions and if he doesn’t do it explicitly according to God’s instructions, he won’t be accepted. He didn’t do it according to faith. On the other hand, he has faith but he does not carry out the work and go to the priest as God instructed. He’s not accepted. That was legalism! That was the Law.

You can see the number of people assigned to each tribe.

Now let’s go back to our timeline last week, I said when God began to deal with the Nation of Israel through the man Abraham, and all the prophetic promises; their Messiah came and they crucified Him. Now, into the book of Act here again where a lot of people end up in confusion. I was even raised in that system of teaching. We thought somehow the Age of Grace began somewhere in Christ’s earthly ministry. I’m not sure where they thought it began. They certainly didn’t tell me this time was still under the Law, but certainly it was.

Always remember that everything that takes place within the Gospels, which was predominantly during Christ’s earthly ministry, is still under the Law. The Temple is still going full speed; they’re bringing their sacrifices by the thousands, and anytime someone approached Jesus, where would He tell them to go? To the Temple or to the Priest.

Remember the ten lepers that were healed? Where did Jesus tell the ten to go? Back and report to the Priests; show yourself to the Priests.

The young rich ruler, he came to the Lord and said, what must I do to inherit eternal life? What did Jesus tell him to do? Keep the Commandments which meant the whole Law, all three sections. If you break a commandment, then go by way of the Temple and Priest to gain acceptance, and of course, keeping the Civil Law as well. That was all Law. This is exactly what Jesus labored under for those whole three years.

But, now let’s go on into the book of Acts for a moment to chapter 10. According to the chronologist study, the men who have put the time element on all of these events, Peter goes into the house of Cornelius about 8 to 10 years after Pentecost. That is quite a long time. So, here Peter goes to the house of a Gentile but God knowing the heart and mind of Peter, which of course was absolutely correct, Peter wasn’t wrong, God knew it would take something special for Peter to go.

So the story goes the men are coming down from Caesarea to get Peter, but God gives Peter a vision to prepare him to go back. Otherwise he would have never gone. I’m sure there were heel prints from Joppa all the way to Caesarea for Peter would have never gone up to that Gentile home unless God had taken drastic measures. Peter didn’t want to go.

So come down to the vision of the sheep. He sees all manners of living things.

Acts 10:13-14

13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. 14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.”

Remember the time element; we are about 8-10 after Pentecost into the book of Acts. Why does Peter say what he says? Because he is a law-keeping Jew; he was not going to eat anything that was not legally acceptable under the Law.

Now if that isn’t enough to convince you let’s go to verse 25. Peter has gone back with them up to Caesarea. They are now approaching the house of Cornelius.

Verse 25-27

25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. 26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.”

I like to always put myself in other people’s shoes. Put yourself in Peter’s shoes. Here he is a law-keeping Jew, coming into a strange area and a house filled with Gentiles. Peter is certainly uncomfortable. Even though God has made sure this is what Peter is to do. Now look what he says as he walks across the threshold, I’m sure.

Verse 28

28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.”

Peter says, I’m not supposed to be here. What I’m trying to show is that even at this late date this Jewish believers such as Peter, and the eleven, and all those that had come to believe during Christ’s earthly ministry, and even early in the book of Acts, they are all Jews as far as we can tell. But what kind of Jews? Law-keeping Jews.

This is hard for people to comprehend.

Everything is still within the prophetic program. Christ has been crucified, buried, and risen, he’s ascended. Act’s chapter 3, Peter is claiming Christ will still come and set up his Kingdom if Israel will only believe him. But they don’t.

Now then, here we are coming to a place of change. God is going to usher in now something totally different that has ever been on the human race before. It’s the Age of Grace.

Now let’s look at some of the basic doctrine for the Age of Grace.

To start let’s turn to 1 Corinthians 15. Remember in our last week lesson we look at verses in Romans and Ephesians, where Paul refers to that mystery, that secret that had been hid in the mind of God. Well not it is revealed and here it is.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

15 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, (here it is) how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

It is saying the gospel, not a gospel. It’s by this gospel that you are saved. Then in verse 3 it is revealed that Paul delivered it first to you; that which Paul also received. If you study Paul’s letters you will see that he constantly refers to the revelations that he got from the ascended Lord. How the Lord revealed these new truths to him. Truths that were never revealed anywhere else in scripture. Paul says according to the scriptures (Old Testament). Oh it was prophesied in the Old Testament, that Christ would come, that he would be sacrificed, but it was never revealed that it would be a salvation for Jew and Gentile alike.

Now let’s see what Paul says about this very premise of Christ concerning his death, burial, and resurrection. Turn back to chapter 1, of 1 Corinthians, drop down to verse 18.

1 Corinthians 1:18

18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

Now we see foolishness all around us don’t we. How many people just can’t comprehend that what someone did two thousand years has any affect on us today. But to us that are saved, the preaching becomes the power of God. That is what I want you to understand. It’s the power of God.

Now, another way to show the difference between Law and Grace, is an example of a newly married couple. The husband places on the wall a whole list of do’s and don’ts. It’s what that wife is supposed to do or be in trouble. Now if she is human she will turn right around and put up her own list of do’s and don’ts for him to follow. Ok husband, if you expect me to do your list, then I expect you to do my list. This would be a marriage based on Law or Legalism. Thou shalts and thou shalt nots.

What is lacking? Love!

Now let’s take the same two people who love each other. What are they actually going to fulfill? The very same things that they would have written down, but it’s not going to be by commandment but out of a heart of love. This is exactly the difference between Law and Grace.

Everything that God said, thou shalt, does not now become permissive, it now becomes that which comes from within. In other words, the believer he is automatically going to adhere to the things given in the law. The believer is not going to steal. The believer is not going to commit adultery and on and on in the commandment. With the exception of one, there is only one that Paul doesn’t reiterate.

In Ephesians 5 he tells children to obey their parents. In Romans, Paul does not say, you’re free the break the commandments. Paul doesn’t say that the Ten Commandments are no earthly good. It’s just that we are not under their demand in worship and condemnation. Once we understand that we have broken the law but now in Christ we become everything that the law demands but from an inward working power.

Romans 13:8-14

Owe no man any thing (don’t defraud anyone), but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”

Now all you have to do is read those following verses.

Until next week, Maranatha.

Permission given by Les Feldick Ministries.

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