(One of many Bible teaching books on the "Through the Bible with Les Feldick" web site at www.lesfeldick.org)
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Questions and Answers from the Bible (Part A)
by Les Feldick

Part A - Beginning Faith

(1a) How do we know the Bible is really the inspired word of God ?
(2a) What are the attributes of God ?
(3a) Why did God create us ?
(4a) Is an unbeliever an enemy of God ?
(5a) What is faith ?
(6a) Who is the Lord Jesus Christ ?
(7a) Why did Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit ?
(8a) Why did the Lord Jesus Christ give Himself to die for us ?
(9a) What is the only way to be saved during this present age of grace ?
(10a) How were people saved in Old Testament times ?
(11a) What are the attributes of Satan ?
(12a) What are the three temptations ?
(13a) What are the two kinds of death mentioned in the Bible ?
(14a) Where do we go when we die ?
(15a) Will people that are not saved be judged according to their works ?
(16a) Will people that are saved be judged according to their works ?
(17a) When did God lose the human race ?
(18a) What is the one reason God sends someone to Hell ?
(19a) How can God Who is a God of love and mercy possibly consign people someday to that awful Lake of Fire ?
(20a) What else does the Bible say about atheists and non-believers ?
(21a) How does the Bible describe the eternal heaven and earth ?
(22a) How should we pray ?
(23a) How can I know that Iím really saved ?
(24a) What is the key to understanding the Bible ?

(1a) How do we know the Bible is really the inspired word of God ?

Editor's Note: Together, the two excerpts from Book 6 below, illustrate two key points. (1) The Bible contains prophecies of future events written hundreds (and sometimes even thousands) of years in advance which have been fulfilled and/or are still being fulfilled today. (2) God has a long-term prophetic plan for the nation of Israel which will be fulfilled. God has kept them alive as a nation, despite the efforts of many powerful nations to destroy them.


Letís go back to Daniel Chapter 9. Weíll see if we can finish down to verse 27 in this lesson, in order to validate this seven- year period of time as definitely in our future (not our future, because weíre going to be gone, but in the future of the planet).

Daniel 9:24

"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."

That "seventy weeks are determined upon thy people,..." and that word Ďweeksí here is used as we would use, Ďdozen.í If I would say so many dozen, what would you automatically do? You would multiply it by 12. A week is always seven, and so seventy weeks of years is (a lot of the new translations have already calculated it for you and what have they got?) 490 years. "Four hundred and ninety years are determined upon thy people..." Danielís people. And who are Danielís people? The Jew - Israel. "...and upon thy holy city, (Jerusalem) to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity,..." That all took place when? When Christ died on the Cross. And you remember several lessons ago this was one of the verses that we split with a parenthesis and a dash, because the next part of this verse is still future. It didnít happen at Christís first coming. "...that is to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy." That hasnít happened yet. It will when He returns and sets up His kingdom, but it didnít happen at His first coming.

Come down through these next verses, but what you really figure out here that even though 490 years were in Godís time table back here for the Nation of Israel, leading up to the rejection of The Messiah, would only total 483 years. Which means that there are seven years left that were not fulfilled at Christís first coming.

Chronologists and archaeologists have teamed up and they have actually found the decree that Daniel mentions here, that gave the Jew permission to go back after their Temple had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar; it was dated, and from that date, it was March 14, 445 BC, up until Palm Sunday, was exactly 483 years. That was fulfilled. But, the prophecy said 490 years. And so thatís why Bible scholars have sometime referred to the Tribulation as Danielís 70th week. Sixty-nine of them were fulfilled at the Cross, but the 70th week, or that final seven years is still unfulfilled. Itís been pushed out into the future. Letís drop down to verse 27, it says, "...And he (the Anti-christ) shall confirm the covenant with many for seven years." Now, there is the triggering mechanism for the Tribulation!


Turn to Matthew 24, for a quick review of our last lesson, where we left off with Jesus telling the Twelve the events of the Tribulation: Matthew 24:15

"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand)."

He makes a tremendous statement that gives veracity to the Book of Daniel -- a book that has probably been under more attack by the scoffers and the liberals than any other book in The Bible, except maybe Genesis. But, here in Matthew 24, Jesus puts his stamp of approval upon the prophet Daniel. "When ye therefore,..." and remember Heís talking to the Twelve; and so He is naturally talking primarily to the Jew. Never forget that this great Tribulation period, the seven years that is spoken of throughout all the Old Testament, is referred to here by Christ. And then, of course, the road map of it is in the Book of Revelation; that seven-year period is primarily, according to Jeremiah Chapter 30, Jacobís trouble. Which means it is primarily God dealing with the Nation of Israel after all these years of seemingly ignoring them, and yet not really. Because always remember, one of the greatest miracles of the whole human race is the Nation of Israel. They should have been long gone, but here they are after over 4,000 years of history; and more than one government, more than one empire, more than one king has tried to obliterate them. And yet, here they are.

Iím reminded of an anecdote I read years ago that during the time of Bismarck, I think it was, and the Prussian empire, he was an unbeliever and almost an agnostic, had one of his top generals who was a very devout believer. And so, one day as he was conducting his inspection, he came to this general and sneeringly said, "General, tell me why do you still believe The Bible? Tell me in one or two words." And the general, without a pause, said, "Sir, the Jew." And you see that is. The proof of this Book is the Nation of Israel. God is not through with them. He is still bringing them back to the land and thatís why weíre seeing this mass emigration into that little postage stamp piece of real estate, because Godís getting ready to again pick up where He left off with His favored nation.

Now, here in Matthew 24, verse 15, He says to the Twelve, "when ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (that would be in the Temple) whoso readeth, let him understand." Letís go back to Daniel and pick up again those verses that Jesus was referring to, so we can tie it all together. Now, as I was driving up here for our lesson today, I was trying to sort things out in my own mind, because this is not just a short lesson, and we can go on to another subject some other time. Weíre trying to teach the whole scope of Scripture from Genesis through Revelation, and not in just bits and pieces; not as a shotgun approach, but weíre trying to tie everything together. And Iíve known in my classes when people have gone through Genesis to Revelation four, five, six times with me; every time they will pick up things that theyíve never caught before. I used to apologize for reviewing, but I donít anymore, because every time I review, I know that somebody picks up a little bit that theyíve either forgotten, or theyíve never actually tied together. So, letís look at Daniel 9:24:

Daniel 9:24

"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."

Weíre again dealing with the Nation of Israel; itís Old Testament, and some may say, "Wait a minute, you mean that the Old Testament isnít for us?" Of course it is! All Scripture is by inspiration and is profitable. So, we donít put lines through any of it. But, I maintain that you have to be aware to whom the particular passage was directed. And so, here again, Daniel makes it so plain that "seventy weeks," or seventy weeks of years, or 490 years, "are determined upon thy people." God is speaking, of course, through the prophets. So, who are Danielís people? Well, the Jew Ė Israel Ė the nation. "and upon thy holy city," (Jerusalem), "to finish the transgression and to make and end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity." Of course, that all took place at the Cross.

Thatís where sin was paid for, and all these things came to their culmination. But, on the other hand, thereís still some time to go on after the Cross and the verse continues on, "...to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy." This is not an in depth study on prophecy; weíre still going to go back to Genesis soon. But as I mentioned the last lesson, weíve had so many requests to go back and spend a little time on end-time things, because we are getting so close to it all. And I agreed heartily, because, when I look at how long itís taken to go through the first 24 verses of Genesis, Iím honestly convinced that we wonít be here long enough to finish the whole book. Weíll be gone before itís all gone. So, we are just taking a brief overview.

Daniel 9:25,26

"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times: And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, 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."

So then, here in verse 25 & 26, we see that these 490 years are broken down into a period that would be 483 years. Remember, that Abraham, the beginning of the Jewish nation, began about 2,000 BC. The Cross would be in the middle. Now, in this passage of Daniel, he is speaking of 483 years that would transpire from the decree from the king, which we find in Nehemiah 2. That decree was found to be dated in 445 BC. If I remember right, the date was March 14. All you have do is remember a scriptural year is 360 days, not 365. Itís twelve months of 30 days, or 360 days. But you still have to compensate for those 5 days and leap years, so you just punch it out in your calculator, even with our present day calendar, from 445 BC, archaeologists have found this. Itís not just pulled out of a hat. From 445 BC until the year of the Crucifixion, as I calculate it, comes to within about one year. And there can easily be that much difference in calendarization and so forth. So always remember that the Scripture is so accurate. Nothing is guesswork. And if there is a discrepancy, it is ours, not God's.

So, anyway, Daniel has determined that there would be 483 years from that decree of Nehemiah 2 until the Crucifixion. But, the total years that God was going to deal with Israel was 490. So, if 483 took place up to the Cross, that means there is seven years left. And consequently, most Bible scholars, and those who do a lot of writing, will refer to the seven-year period as Danielís seventieth week. Sixty-nine were fulfilled at the Cross. Godís clock stopped, and the last seven years are still ahead of us. They still have to be fulfilled. Now, then, as you go into verse 26, it speaks of a coming prince. "After the threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off (at the Crucifixion),but not for himself," He didnít die because of anything He had done. He died for us, "and the people," (now hereís where you have watch carefully as you read), "...the people of the prince that shall come,..." Now, the prince that shall come is a small letter "p," and is the reference to what we call the Anti-christ. Christ is the Prince and He would be capitalized.

But, this prince is a small letter, and itís a reference to the counterfeit christ, the Anti-christ, and itís the people out of which he will one day come that will destroy the Temple. And we know that was done by the Roman general, Titus, in 70 AD. So, that verse tells us at the time of the Anti-christís appearance, he will have to come out of the geographical area that comprises the ancient Roman empire. And itís coming to pass right before our eyes. Itís basically the European Community, which by the end of this year, they hope to be able to call a Federation of Europe, or a United States of Europe. And so, the geographical part of it is already in place; that somewhere out of that revived Roman empire this prince will make his appearance.


Editor's Note: These next two sections explain how the various books of prophecy written hundreds of years apart fit perfectly together, and play a critical part in the interpretation of each other. This is even more amazing when one considers that the writers of Scripture often did not understand the meaning of these things when they wrote them.


We trust that as you study with us that you will find it to be as thrilling and understanding to you as it is in our classes. We have no ax to grind; we're an informal Bible study and we don't try to twist peoples arms into thinking one way or another. We just like to open the Scriptures and help people see what The Book really says. So many of us have been bound by tradition, and if there is any word in the Scripture that is condemned, it is tradition. We must be careful that we don't find ourselves locked into a tradition that is not necessarily in line with The Book. So this is our only goal; and that is to help folks see what the Bible really says.

This Book is so gloriously supernaturally put together so that there is no possible way that human hands could have done it. For example, there are three books of Prophecy written by Jews of course. But all written outside the land of Israel. Daniel, which we will be looking at, is one of them. Daniel is writing from Babylon, while he is captive there under King Nebuchadnezzar. The second one is the Book of Ezekiel which was also written from captivity in the next empire, as Ezekiel writes from Persia. And the third one is the last Book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation, written by John from the Isle of Patmos, which is in the Aegean Sea, between Turkey and Greece. Now those three Books of Prophecy also are unique in that all three write in symbolism.

Just stop and think about it. Ezekiel uses for example, The Dry Bones, The Stick, and the Fiery Wheel. All those are symbolism, but they have a literal truth. Now we come into the Book of Daniel and we will see this Great Image, with a head of gold, and a chest of silver, a belly of brass and on down its body. It's a symbolism of all the great empires that would be coming down through history. And then when you get to the Book of Revelation written by John, most people are afraid to even study the Book of Revelation. They can't understand it. And therefore won't even read it, simply because it is in symbolic language. But you see all those symbolisms are all interpreted by Scripture itself, in one place or another. And all you have to do is search the Scriptures and these things begin to fall into place.

Editor's Note: The prophecy in Daniel chapter 2 of the Great Image with the head of gold, mentioned above, foretold the fall of the great kingdom of Babylon and the future rise of the great kingdoms of Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. This teaching is not included in detail here due to its length, but a related prophecy from Daniel chapter 8 is explained below. Readers are encouraged to see Book 10 where the prophecy of the Great Image is explained in detail.


Daniel 12:1,2

"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."

The previous 11 chapters have been an out-laying of prophecy. In fact, Daniel and Revelation just fit together hand in glove. You can't study Revelation without studying Daniel and vise versa. So, now, as you come into the last chapter of this great book of prophecy, Daniel writes this: "..and at that time shall Michael stand up, that great prince which standeth for the children (Israel), and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time thy people (Israel, the Jews) shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book." Now, this is what Paul refers to in Romans as that remnant. "...And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth,..." In other words, they have died and they've reverted back to the dust. "...many of then shall awake,..." and here we have a parallel with John's Gospel, Chapter 5, "...some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt...." Again, you've got the believer and the unbeliever listed here. Now let's skip over to verse 8:

Daniel 12:8,9

"And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, 'O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?' And he said, 'Go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.'"

Daniel is saying that he heard but he understood not. Now, I've always maintained, as I've taught the Old Testament, that all Scripture is inspired of God. Peter says so clearly that prophecy came not in the old time by will of man; and, you remember, I ridiculed the concept several months ago, of these things having originated around the camp fire and then just having been handed down as legend. That's not what our Bible is at all. Our Bible is the very inspiration of the Spirit of God and as Peter says, that these holy men of God wrote as they were moved along by the Spirit. Now under those circumstances, do you think they understood everything they wrote? Why, no way! And here it's so plainly.

Look what Daniel says, after writing this great book of end-time prophecy (and he's writing it 2500 years before it happens). And look what he says in verse 8. "And I heard,..." He realized what he had been writing, but look at what he says next. "...I understood not (!)," He didn't understand what he was writing. "And I said, 'O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?'" Now, that much he could comprehend. There were some terrible times coming upon this planet. But he couldn't understand it. And so he said, "'what shall be the end of these things.'" And The Lord said, "'...go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end."

I always like to look back and read about men from years ago. You will find that it wasn't until near the turn of the century that men began to get a comprehension of prophecy. Before that, there was not a clear cut teaching of how these things were going to unfold. And that's exactly what God told Daniel. It wasn't for men to understand until we get close to the end times. And now, every week, it is so much easier to understand. I know, 20 years ago, when I'd teach the Book of Revelation, it was hard to get people to understand what it was saying. Now, I can teach the Book of Revelation and people are almost running ahead of me with current events and news.


Editor's Note: This next section shows that Daniel wrote about the rise and fall of various empires hundreds of years before they came into existence, and history shows these prophecies were fulfilled.

2 Peter 1:21

"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man (but here is how it came about. The word "holy" means set apart. Holy men of God spake, not as they dreamed it up, not as they had remembered what they heard around a camp fire, or what had been handed down from generation to generation): but these holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

What is this saying? Everyone of us will meet someone once in a while who will say, "I don't see how you can believe all that stuff. After all, why do you think the Bible is more right in what it teaches than the Koran or the book of Mormon?" or anything else that they may say is their guideline for doctrine. I'll tell you why. There is not another book written that makes prophetic statements like our Bible does. Hundreds, even thousands of years before they happen and they all come true. What hasn't come true, will!

This is our reason for teaching prophecy. It is to show beyond a shadow of a doubt that this Book is the Word of God. And it's prophecy that has been spoken, and fulfilled to the last jot and tittle as much of the Old Testament already has been. We have no reason to doubt that the rest of it will be. Because the same God that fulfilled the first ninety percent of prophecy, is the God that's going to finish the last ten percent. All of that is just to show why we like to spend as much time in prophecy as we do.

The main reason we are studying prophecy now, is, as we come through the Old Testament, we reach to Daniel. Let's go back to the Book of Daniel now to Chapter 8, which we skipped when we came through. But, you remember on our sojourn up through the Scriptures, starting with Genesis, we have just come right on up, unfolding our timeline, and, consequently, since Daniel is in captivity under the Babylonian empire we stopped there in our progressive revelations. But, of course, Daniel is a book of prophecy. And so, he is dealing almost entirely in his whole book with events that would happen to the Gentile world. Now, back here in Chapter 8, let me show you how accurate prophecy has been. It's already been fulfilled as you will notice starting with verse 1:

Daniel 8:1

"In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first."

And he goes on to say that he saw a vision way out there in Shushan, which was the capital of the Medes and Persian empire on the Tigris River. In this vision he's going to see the unfolding of the rather immediate history (not the long term).

Daniel 8:3

"Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last."

Everyone envisions some horrible looking creature with a horrible looking pair of horns. Let's go back to a statement I made several weeks ago. Three books of our Bible were written outside of the land of Israel. All three of them are mostly prophetic, and all three of them deal primarily with Gentile prophecy. Daniel is one of them. He writes from Shushan on the Tigris river; Ezekiel is another, he also writes from captivity; and the third Book is Revelation, when John, the Revelator, wrote from the Isle of Patmos in exile. None of those three books were written in Israel. However, they were all written by Jews, and all three wrote in symbolism. The symbolism here is that the ram was indicative of the Medes and Persian empire. In fact, their coins had the ram's head on them. The crown of the Medes and Persians had the likeness of a ram. And so, there's no doubt from history and archaeology, that Daniel is seeing the vision concerning the empire of which he was a part, and that was the Medes and Persians represented by the two horns.

The horns in Scripture always refer to kings or the top guy in control. Try to remember that, because when you get to the Book of Revelation, you are going to see this leader with ten horns. And that simply means a government with ten distinctive heads or presidents, or kings. The Medes and Persians are the two kings. One of them is the father of Cyrus. He was the one horn, but his son Cyrus became so much greater, and pushed the empire out further, that Daniel sees it as the greater of the two horns. And that's all they are, two kings, the father and son. Now, as the Medes and Persians began to expand out their empire, they enveloped the land of Israel, and they took the city of Jerusalem. Then they went down into Egypt. And then they went around the Mediterranean Sea, and started overrunning what is present day Turkey - and they were headed toward Europe. But Daniel sees something that's going to stop this Medes and Persian Empire. Verse 4:

Daniel 8:4

"I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great." They were the greatest empire on the earth at that time.

Daniel 8:5

"And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth (they're in the Middle East. The Medes and Persians are coming from the east, in the area of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. They are moving around the north side of the Mediterranean Sea, and here comes a power from the west to meet them head on. It's a he-goat, and we know from archaeology that the Grecian Empire emblem was the goat. It was on their coins and other emblems. They recognized them as the he-goat. So this he-goat came from the west), and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn (One. What was Alexander the Great? - a conqueror of one (not a consortium like the Medes and Persians). He alone arose from the Grecian Empire.) between his eyes."

Daniel 8:6

"And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power."

Let's break that verse down. "And he came to the ram" (now what do you have? Do you have a fight between two animals? No, you have a fight between two empires. So, the Grecian Empire is going to run head-on into the Medes' and Persians' Empire. And of course we know from history who won? The Greeks did. Alexander overran the Medes' and Persians' Empire, and ruled the greatest empire on earth by the time he was 33 years old. And he was also known in history as a general who conquered swiftly. He would move his armies with speed such that the then-known world knew nothing of. He would take chances, and was almost reckless in the chances that he would take. But he always seemed to come out on top. He never really lost an army.

So it was unique to Alexander the Great's military campaign. I think the word that shows that in verse 6 that many of us might miss is "ran:" but as this he-goat came he "ran;" see the indication of his swiftness and speed? "...and ran unto him in the fury of his power." Now, people read this and all they picture is a couple of animals in a wild animal fight of some kind - all it is, is two empires. Now you say, "Where do you get it?" Well, just move across the page to verse 20. And as I have said so often, Scripture always does it's own interpreting.

Daniel 8:20,21

"The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia (it's plain isn't it?): and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king (Alexander the Great)."

Daniel 8:22

"Now that being broken (you know what happened to him - he died; probably of alcoholism. He was only 33 years old. The great empire that Alexander the Great set up so swiftly, was immediately divided between four of his Generals. And so the empire became a quadrangle. It was no longer "one."), whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power." In other words, no longer an Alexander.

Daniel 8:23

"And in the latter time of their kingdom (these four generals), when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up."

This is an interesting little quirk of Scripture and prophecy. The little king, spoken of here as being so fierce and powerful, on the pages of secular history wasn't enough to amount to a paragraph. But he was a king who went down to Jerusalem and utterly persecuted, and put under tremendous pressure, the people of Israel. So, in God's plan of things, he becomes a prime player. But other than that, he is only a little blip on the radar of history. Let's look at this man because he is a picture, or a type of the last man of fierce countenance. He is a picture of the Anti-christ. So this is the only way we can look at the description of this Antiochus The Great. The very same descriptive words connected to him are also descriptive of this Man of Sin. I'm going to wind up with the biblical description of this world ruler that is coming on the scene (we think before much longer). Let's look at verse 24, still speaking of Antiochus The Great, in history shortly following Daniel's vision:

Daniel 8:24

"And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully (in other words, beyond human comprehension the things that he would do.), and he shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people." See, he came down and persecuted the Nation of Israel.

Daniel 8:25

"And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand (in other words he's going to be successful in his little era of history); and he shall magnify himself in his heart (this is all indicative of what the Anti-christ is going to be like thousands of years later), and by peace shall destroy many (in other words he's going to be a political manipulator, and we are going to see that in a little bit. How the man Anti-christ is going to have such charisma, he's going to have the world just really licking out of his hands, because of his charismatic personality. And this fellow was able to do the same thing): he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes (now that's capitalized, so he's actually going to stand up in the face of God, and try to fight against Him); but he shall be broken without hand."


Editor's Note: This section illustrates that the writings of the Old Testament fit perfectly with the writings of the New Testament. And as we saw above, the writers of Scripture often did not understand the meaning of these things when they wrote them. Added to this is that fact that the Bible was written down by many different men living at different times who could not have collaborated to write this incredibly intricate Book.

Go, if you will, to Matthew 28. In our last chapter we showed that Jesus definitely referred to Himself as the `I AM,' or the Jehovah of the Old Testament account. In Matthew 28 He alludes to this title, The Most High, by virtue of what He says in verse 18:

Matthew 28:18

"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, `All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.'" He is the possessor of Heaven and earth. He is not only the Jehovah, but He is the El Elyon.

Before we go back to Genesis 14, I want to explain my ridiculous illustration. Repeatedly I will read or hear `so-called' theologians (I use the term loosely - not all of them, but too many of them) who will refer to the Bible as nothing but a compilation of Jewish myth and legends. I remember reading one who said that all this `stuff' (as he put it) in the Old Testament began as the ancient Jews sat around their campfire and exchanged stories; that after several generations someone got the idea they should be writing this stuff down. Result? The Old Testament. That's just as absurd as the illustration I gave you. When seminaries and educated men with degrees who have written their dissertations, make a statement like that, it is just as absurd as the jeweler saying there is no difference between a multi-thousand dollar Swiss watch and a $5.00 alarm clock. It is just as ridiculous.

I remember a few years ago reading that the president of one of our more well-known seminaries made the statement that the account of Moses and the burning bush was just a figment of some good Jew's imagination. I don't know that he has ever retracted his statement. That's absurd! Hopefully, I have shown you how the Bible is so meticulously put together that the theme is never lost. It comes all the way through from start to finish. Everything is in its rightful place. How in the world could 44 men, living over a period of 2000 years, do that without the supernatural? They couldn't.

What I try to emphasize is that you and I can rest on this Book. It is letter perfect (in the original). I realize that all we have are translations and there have been some slight errors in translation. But God has so brooded over His Word that He hasn't allowed any gross error to come in, not even in our translations, so that we can rest on this as the inspired God-breathed, Word of God. When we can just believe it without doubting, whether it is the account of the creation, the Flood, the call of Abraham, the Covenant with the Nation of Israel, the Gospel of the Cross, the writings of Paul or the Book of Revelation, what do we say? - It is the Word of God! It is miraculous from start to finish and we have no room for doubt.

Here is another good example of what I am talking about. Clear back in 2000 BC when no one in Scripture had any idea of God the Son going to a Roman Cross to purchase mankind's redemption. Oh, it was there in latent terms as in Genesis 3:15 where the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent. Now we know what He was talking about, but they didn't. Even the writers of Scripture didn't understand these things. But God so put all these things into His Word, that it fully assures us that He knew everything from start to finish before it ever happened.

In the middle of Genesis 14:18 we find that Melchizedek brought to Abram bread and wine. They certainly used bread in the worship in the tabernacle - the table of shewbread. The wave offering was the sheaf of grain. Another time they would have drink offerings of wine and they would pour that out, but never was bread and wine associated in combination throughout the Old Testament economy. In the Age of Grace, what does the bread and wine speak of? The Lord's Supper; the Communion Table. . The only way we can really identify that is to go back to Matthew's Gospel where we have The Lord's Supper. Jesus instituted The Lord's Supper at the Last Supper, at the Passover.

Matthew 26:20

"Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve."

Matthew 26:26,27

"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, `Take, eat; this is my body.' And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, `Drink ye all of it;'"

I'd like to ask a question. Did the disciples understand what all of this stood for? They didn't have the foggiest notion. They followed His directions, but there is no explanation by The Lord Jesus, or even by the writer of this Gospel account, that they had any idea what He was doing. So, we have to wait until we come to the writings of the Apostle Paul. Now we understand what it was all for. Turn with me to I Corinthians, Chapter 11. Here, again, is progressive revelation. The eleven there at the night of the Passover didn't understand it. Jesus didn't explain it; it wasn't time yet. The Lord's Table of the bread and the cup is a memorial of His death, and on the night of the Last Supper His death hadn't taken place yet.

I Corinthians 11:23-26

"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, `Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.' After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, `This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.'" Verse 26 gives us the explanation. "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lords death till he come.'"

This is the purpose of The Lord's Supper. It is remembering what Christ accomplished on the Cross; that just as in ignominy and shame His Body was broken, the bread is broken. The pouring out of His Blood is, of course, in the cup. Back in Genesis we have the picture of His death, burial and Resurrection, but that's all. All of this is to reassure us that the Word of God is so true. It is so supernatural.


When educated men, theologians, (that's what they claim to be) take the Bible and say it is nothing more than a bunch of Jewish legend and myth; or, as others have said, there may be some of the Word of God in it, but not all of it is; as soon as you take out part of it you would lose the fabric of this beautiful thread-work that goes all through Scripture. The main reason for my teaching throughout the last few lessons, is to show that this Book is so supernaturally woven together, we never have to doubt that it is the Word of God. I'll admit that all we have today are translations. The King James (I still like it) is a translation. When I say the Word of God is letter perfect and word perfect, I am referring to the original manuscripts before anyone ever touched them. Portions of every book of the Old Testament were found in the Dead Sea Scrolls; the Book of Isaiah being almost totally intact. Those are the oldest copies of the Word of God that man has come up with so far.

When they translated the Book of Isaiah out of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the King James Version was almost letter perfect. This is when I was assured that I would stay with the King James Version. Even after all the translations and copying, we have a Bible that is nearly error free. Sometimes I'll say I think the King James translators could have used this word or that word, but for the most part it is so accurate that we can just rest upon it.

(2a) What are the attributes of God ?


"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."

"In the beginning ..." We really don't know just when that was. Evolutionists say the earth is millions of years old while Creationists believe it to be only a few thousand years old, but nobody really knows for sure. Whenever it was, however, we know that "in the beginning" it was God at work. There is no use trying to put a time frame on it because the Bible doesn't tell us.

Even in the New Testament in John 1:1 it only says "In the beginning ..." When the beginning was, time-wise, is not really vital for us to know. But the next word - "God" - Oh, how important that one is!

Mankind's, and especially the church's concept of God, it's attitude toward God is very superficial. You've all heard such terms as "The Man upstairs," or said something like "Somebody up there is watching over me." But God is so immense, so powerful, so wonderful, that we have nothing with which to compare Him.

The only way to get a true picture of Him is from His Word. From there we can draw attributes ... concepts, ideas, pictures of Him that are true.

Attributes of God

1. God is Sovereign. He is absolute. Psalm 8:4 says "What is man, that Thou are mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?" See also Romans 9:19-21. Everything that comes into being is a result of the sovereign choice and creation of God. Consequently, we should never question God, "Why did you make me as I am?" You are God's unique creation. We live and move under a Sovereign God.

2. God is Grace and Love. God's attitude toward even the worst of sinners is that He wants to save him. See Romans 5:8-11, 20-21.

3. God is Infinite. He is without end - without limit. Scientists tell us that the universe is expanding outward at a tremendous speed, but God is always beyond it. The universe will never go beyond our infinite God.

4. God is Omnipresent. God is everywhere, always present. The Psalmist said,"... if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there." See Psalm 139:7-17.

5. God is Omniscient. He is all-knowing. There is not, or was not, or will never be a time when God had to seek advice or to consult someone or some source outside Himself, or study something out. Certainly within the Godhead there was counsel, but it was immediate, there was no debate among the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

6. God is self-existent. He has no beginning, He has no end.

In Genesis 1:1, "God" refers to the Trinity - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This Triune God is Spirit, invisible, intangible - He is unable to be comprehended with the senses of man. But in Col. 1:15, speaking of Jesus, it says, "Who is the image of the invisible God, ..." God became visible in the flesh; He became touchable.

(3a) Why did God create us?


Ephesians 3:10,11

"To the intent that now (after the finished work of the Cross and the revelation of this great Gospel of Grace) unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church (the true believers) the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:"

Why did God do it all? You know I've had questions come in over the phone such as, "Well if God knew that the world was going to end up in such a mess, and that men would rebel so, then why did He ever make them in the first place?" Well it all boils down to that question we've had since we were kids. Who am I, where did I come from, and why am I here. Why are we here? We're objects of God love. Now to be an object of love, what does the giver expect in return? Love, and that's why He made the human race. Angels couldn't respond, and so He made the human race with that indwelling attribute of will to either respond to His love or to reject it. And so that's why He had to bring Satan on the scene so we could exercise that choice, otherwise there would be no will exercised. So the whole program of the human race was that God could have prepared people to fellowship with. And to return or extend His love to them that had responded of their own free will to His love. And that's why we are here, and that's why the vast majority of mankind are given the free option to reject it if they want to. Remember, God doesn't want someone in His Heaven if they can't respond to His love. But to those who respond to His love, He's prepared things like what Paul says:

I Corinthians 2:9

"But as it is written, `Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.'"

Oh listen, the world out there I know thinks that we're a bunch of kooks, and fanatic nuts, and I know they do. And I just tell them, "Hey, live it for 70 or 80 years." So what. But I've got an eternity of the things that will make the best this earth can offer seem like an old pig pen by comparison. But you see they can't understand that we have simply responded to an extended love, and that's why He went to the Cross; it was love. Now what was the final eternal purpose? Paul doesn't really tell us here in Ephesians Chapter 3, but if you will come on over to II Timothy Chapter 1 we will find out.

II Timothy 1:7,8

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (the world may think we're nuts, but God knows better). Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;"

Now listen what kind of power are we talking about? We're talking about the kind of power that can fling the stars, planets, sun and the moon into orbit without the benefit of a rocket or computers, and they never bump into one another, they're all out there in perfect synchronization. That's the kind of power we're talking about. I mean it's mind boggling. Now reading on.

II Timothy 1:9

"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works (see how The Bible put down works for Salvation?), but according to his own purpose..."

You know back in the Book of Acts, Peter makes it so evident that before anything was ever created the Triune God had a meeting in eternity past, not that they had to sit around the table and banter it back and forth, but nevertheless the Trinity got together and agreed on creation, on mankind, knowing that he would sin, and they set up the plan of Salvation out of which the Son would come down and die, and be raised from the dead. That's all part of this eternal purpose that God implemented before anything was ever created. Now finishing that verse.

II Timothy 1:9

"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,"

Isn't that glorious? I mean this is past human understanding, you and I are here today as recipients of His grace, but God knew about us way, way back before anything was created. We're not an accident in time, we are according to His divine and eternal purpose. Now let's return to Romans Chapter 5 again for a few moments. Remember verse 1 says, we have this peace that passeth all understanding. Peace with God. How many people have to lay their head on the pillow at night and toss and turn until their guilt complex runs rough shod over them. They know they're not at peace with maybe fellow men or maybe with government and certainly not with God. But the believer can put his head on the pillow and be at perfect peace with his Maker. Know that the work of the Cross has settled everything. Know that all these promises are true if we believe them. We rest on them. Now verse 2:

Romans 5:2

"By whom also we have access (how?) by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.."

In other words God's unmerited favor has just opened the windows of Heaven, and made it accessible to every human being anywhere and everywhere. But there has to be a door of access, and what is it? "FAITH!" Remember when we first started our series of lessons on Romans. I gave many of the things that God did the moment we believed. He sanctified us, He forgave us, He justified us, He glorified us, He baptized us into the Body, and on and on we went. And I said about everyone of them - "did you feel it when it happened? Could you see it when it happened? Could your neighbors see it when it happened?" So how do we know these things happened? The Book says so! And that's faith! Everything becomes a reality then by faith.

(4a) Is an unbeliever an enemy of God ?


But we have to be aware, for the most part, the world today is totally unconcerned about things of the Spirit. They're more concerned with how much salary they can make, how big their home is, and how many cars they can drive. There is nothing wrong with those things in their rightful place, but when they become first priority, blinding them to spiritual truths, they're going to be awfully sorry someday. They are going to wish they would have had their priorities straight.

Romans 8:6

"For to be carnally minded is death (spiritual death, and eternal doom without end); but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."

And what kind of life? The eternal life of God Himself has now become part and parcel of every one of us who believes, and it's going to carry throughout all eternity. We can't comprehend that, at least I can't, anymore than I can comprehend the outer edges of space; it is beyond us. When I read some of these things it just boggles my mind. I was reading an article that someone gave me the other night. To show the eternalness and the infiniteness of God, our sun in the solar system is so huge that it would take a million and three hundred thousand of our planet earth just to equal the size of it. Now, that's beyond my understanding, and then the star Centaurus out there is so much bigger again than our sun that it would take several hundred thousand of our sun to equal the size of it. That's the infinite God! That's eternity! And that's where we're headed. So we're dealing with eternal things that are without dimensions, that are beyond human comprehension. And what little we do comprehend, we appropriate how? By faith!

I've stressed over the years this is not some far out kooky stuff that some Jew sat by his camp fire and dreamed up. No, No. Because there is so much of prophecy in this Book that foretold events hundreds, and thousands of years in advance, and it's all come true. Everything that hasn't come true yet - we can already see the handwriting on the wall, that it's about to. If that much is true, then why can't it all be true? Well, it is. So when we contemplate these things, we just rest on The Word of God as absolute, it's true, and as sure as anything can be, and we can rest on it.

This next verse throws a curve at most people. And this is another thing that would be hard to comprehend if The Book didn't say it.

Romans 8:7

"Because the carnal mind (anyone who is still under the control of old Adam. Someone who has never had the power of the Gospel operate in their life, he is still the carnal mind, and that mind) is enmity against God;..."

You talk to good people here in Oklahoma or anywhere else you can think of, and they'll say, "Well, no, I don't hate God. I love God, I believe in Him, I'm not His enemy." Oh, no, The Book says they are, and The Book doesn't lie. Now, how can The Book say that when people say the opposite. Because you see their old Adamic nature is still a rebel, and that's what people have to be convinced of. Their old Adamic nature is a natural born rebel against the things of God. And if you're a rebel, then you're an enemy! There are many of us that use the expression, "With friends like that, who needs enemies?" Well, it's the same way with God. A lot of these people who claim to be His friend, hey, He can't call them His friends. They're His enemy. Why? Because they're in that state of mind that is rebellious. They're not going to do what God says to do. They're not going to admit that they're a sinner. They're not going to admit that they have a spiritual lacking. Well, what is that? That's rebellion. And when you're a rebel, then you're an enemy, and it's that simple. Now, reading on:

Romans 8:7

"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God (now the next part of that verse is shocking): for it (the Adamic mind) is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."

That's scary isn't it? Do you know what I always think of when I read that? I think it's amazing that man is as civilized as he is. I really do. Because the unsaved person is not subject to the law of God. God doesn't expect the unbeliever to keep His law. God doesn't expect the unbeliever to be a good person, because God sees down in his nature that he's anything but good. Let's go back to where we were several months ago in Romans Chapter 3, and let's start at verse 10.

Romans 3:10-12

"As it is written, `There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth (that is in that old Adamic nature), there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.'"

And you see people won't agree to that, and will say, "Now wait a minute that's not me. I do a lot of good. I'm a good citizen, I contribute to a lot of charity." But you see that's not what God is looking at. He's looking at the heart. He's looking at their old Adamic carnal mind.

Romans 3:13-18

"Their throat is an open sepulchre (that's an open grave, there's nothing pretty about that); with their tongues they have used deceit (we see this in our government and everything else); the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood (I don't even listen to the news much anymore, because of all the murders, and why? Because that's the Adamic nature see? And he's being turned loose more and more); Destruction and misery are in their ways (you don't believe that? You haven't see the news in Bosnia lately): And the way of peace have they not know: There is no fear of God before their eyes."

Why not? Because they have no comprehension of Who God is. They have no real comprehension of the power that He can employ, they ignore Him, and push Him out of their thinking. That's exactly what Paul is talking about in Romans 8:7. Let's look at it again.

Romans 8:7

"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."

Now, that's hard to swallow isn't it? That mankind is not subject to the law of God, and can't be? That's what it says, and it means exactly what it says. And here's the problem with the Christian community even in our present time now. We would like to think that maybe we could legislate some decent morality, and cause people to stop all of these murders, and stop the teenage pregnancy, to stop drug additions, but you can't. We've seen that in the drug war, they can't stop the drugs, and they'll never stop the drugs until people stop wanting to use them. See? When people stop using drugs then the whole business will fall apart. Even back in the days of prohibition we had the same thing. They could pass a law prohibiting the sale of whisky, but did it stop? No. Because people still wanted it, and as long as someone wants it someone will produce it. That's human nature. And even though the laws of God are clear, and precise, mankind totally rejects them. Verse 8, and here's a conclusive thought: if this is the state of mankind which is lost; if this is the way people are when they are outside of the Gospel, outside of being positionally "in Christ," then:

Romans 8:8

"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

One of the absolutes of Scripture is in Hebrews Chapter 11, the great faith chapter:

Hebrews 11:6

"But without faith it is impossible to please him;..." (God)

And so the unbeliever who is an enemy of God is an enemy simply because he has does not have faith.


Romans 8:8

"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

But do they like to pray? Oh you bet they do. My when theyíve got a need, they pray. Well do you think God is interested in their prayers? No, because theyíre enemies. Heís not going to answer the prayer request of an enemy, as theyíre not His children. Iíve always made the statement - yes, when a lost person cries out for salvation, God hears him. Absolutely He does! Before he even calls the Book of Isaiah says. But in everyday, mundane things when the lost person prays, God doesnít hear him, heís an enemy.

You know Iíve used the illustration that if your neighbor's kid comes to you and says, "I want a new bike, will you get me one?" I think it would be a rare individual that would say, "well come on son, Iíll buy you one." No, rather weíll usually say, "Well thatís your dadís job, thatís not my responsibility to buy you a bicycle." And the reason we wonít buy one is heís not our kid. Well you see thatís just normal. Thatís not being mean spirited or anything like that, but just simple good economics. You canít buy bikes for all the kids up and down the block. Now God doesnít treat the human race much differently. If there is no love for Him and theyíre His enemies, Heís not going hear their prayers, until of course they call for salvation, and then He becomes the God of EVERYTHING! Looking at verse 8 again.

Romans 8:8

"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

Then for sake of time come on down to verse 13, and this will wind up this little dissertation of people who are still in the flesh, who have never been saved.

Romans 8:13a

"For if ye live after the flesh, (the things of this world is your concern, and you have no concept of eternity) ye shall die:Ö"

You know Iris and I travel and see the highways packed with people and we canít help but wonder, "How many of these people that weíre meeting on these freeways and highways ever for a moment consider eternity?" How many ever stop to think of something of the Spiritual? For the most part I donít believe it ever enters their mind. Now I hope Iím wrong, but I donít believe it does. Theyíre so wrapped up in the things of this world. So this is their future, that if all their living for is the flesh, these homes, cars, and credit card bills that are beyond their budget, and all the pressures of the world, theyíve got no time for God, and the Spiritual things and Paul says if thatís you lifestyle, "ye shall die spiritually. You have no hope for eternal life." But verse 13 continuing is the flip side.

Romans 8:13b

"Ö but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."

So it becomes then an option. Are you going to live for the flesh and die for eternity, or are you going to live Spiritually here and maybe miss out on a few of the things that the world thinks they have to have, and live eternally? Thatís quite an option, but itís mankindís choice.

(5a) What is faith ?


II Peter 3:15a

"And account (or understand) that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation;..."

That's the whole theme of this Book from the time man is created, and falls in Genesis Chapter 3, all the way to the end of this Book. It is a Book that is trying to bring about the salvation of a fallen human race. The whole theme of this Book! And in that regard you can find Christ in one form or another on almost every page from cover to cover. Because this is God's main concern that the human race can find salvation, that's why He has done so much. Verse 15 again:

II Peter 3:15,16

"And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things (what things? Salvation, and all that attends it); in which are some things hard to be understood,..."

Get back into Peter's shoes. Peter was steeped in Judaism, steeped in legalism, steeped in Temple worship, steeped in all the Covenant promises coming out of the Old Testament for the Nation of Israel. Then for him to all of a sudden have to admit that God was not dealing anymore with the Nation of Israel on the Covenant promises, but instead, He is out to bring Salvation to the whole human race. That was unthinkable for him (reference Galatians 2:7-9). So Peter has a hard time with Paul's Gospel, and I know he did. And even here at the close of his life, he's still hedging just a little bit.

II Peter 3:16b

"...which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest (or twist), as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction."

You know I pointed out to the class last night, how many times can you take a rank liberal, or someone from a different religion all together, and they can speak of the Lord, and the Holy Spirit, and make you think that they know what they are talking about, and they know nothing. But they use all the right words, and that's what Peter means here, that they twist the Scripture to their own destruction. Let's go back to Romans Chapter 1, verse 16 again:

Romans 1:16a

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;..."

Most people think it says to everyone that repents, is baptized and joins the church, but it doesn't. Or to everyone that does good. Or to everyone that keeps the commandments. You see, it doesn't say any of those things, but only to everyone that believeth the Gospel. Now why do I stress that from program to program? Let's go for a moment to the Book of Hebrews Chapter 11:6 We haven't looked at this verse in a long time. If only humanity could understand this. But the majority completely ignore it. They walk it underfoot:

Hebrews 11:6

"But without faith it is impossible to please him (God);..."

So what does God look for first and foremost? Faith! And when God doesn't see faith there is nothing that He can do. You can go all the way back to Cain and Abel, and I imagine that Cain was probably a better guy than Abel was. He probably had a more noble personality, and a harder worker, but what was his problem? No Faith! He didn't believe what God said. Abel did! Esau and Jacob are another perfect example. Esau was probably a better man than Jacob, so far as worldly views were concerned, but why couldn't God use Esau? No Faith! He didn't believe a thing concerning what God had said. The Nation of Israel, what was God's constant controversy with that nation? They wouldn't believe Him. After all that He had done on their behalf, and the visible manifestation of His power, yet they just couldn't believe. He said, "Why didn't they enter into their rest? Because of unbelief!" What's the problem with the world tonight? It certainly isn't the lack of technology, or education and intelligence, and the ability to read. What's the problem then? They can't believe it when they read it, or hear it. No Faith! And when there is no faith, you cannot even get close to pleasing God! It's impossible. Back to Romans once again.

Romans 1:16b

"...to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

Now naturally, when Paul began his ministry back in the Book of Acts, we found that everywhere he went, he went to the Jew first in the synagogues. It was a logical place to start. Because after all, Israel had been the Covenant people of God, they had been steeped in the Word of God. They were the very writers of this Book, and so it was very logical that was the place to start. But after about thirty-some years, and they continued to reject it, Paul comes to that final statement, and says, "From henceforth we go to the Gentiles." And so for the past 1900 + years, this precious Gospel has been going primarily to the Gentiles, but it's still open to a Jew. However, he now is going to have to come the same way we do because Paul says over and over in the Book of Romans that there is no difference.

I've told my classes over and over that we know that from the very beginning of His dealing with the Nation of Israel, God called out Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the first thing He let them know was that He was going to set the Nation apart. They were to be a sanctified, set apart nation of people. You get into the Exodus with the Nation preparing to come out of Egypt, and the first three plagues also came upon Israel along with the Egyptians. But after that, He put a division between Israel and Egypt where none of the plagues could touch Israel. And He did that to prove His power. And so He put that division between them. And that was the beginning then of this great separation that God put between the Jew and the Gentile. And this continued all the way up through the Old Testament. He was dealing primarily with those Covenant people, the Nation of Israel. But they were `stiff-necked' (as the Scriptures called them), they were steeped in unbelief, and finally God had to let the Temple be destroyed in 70 AD Then the Nation was dispersed, the land was emptied of them.

And that brings a thought today. Why can't our politicians seem to understand that Palestine has always been the home of the Jew? They sure don't act like they understand. They act as if the Jew is the impostor, the carpetbagger, the squatter. That's the way they treat the Jew today. That's his home land, and you can't take that away from him. But God providentially uprooted them, because of their unbelief; but at the same time that He uprooted them, what did He promise them? That He would bring them back again. All the Old Testament screams of that. And we should be aware it, that indeed God is still going deal with His national people of Israel.

Romans 1:17

"For therein (that refers to the word `salvation' in verse 16) is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written (And then quoting from Hab. 2:4, we find), `The just shall live by faith.'"

Martin Luther finally came to this conclusion. He was cloistered in a Catholic monastery, and then all of a sudden the light shone in, and what did Martin Luther conclude? "The just shall live by faith." Not by works, not by religion, or ritual, but by faith. So that became his great theme of the Reformation. I think Christianity has come close to losing it again. We are all wrapped up in works, and materialism, and do this and do that. We have a program for everything. We are losing the whole idea that the just shall live by faith. And if you have heard me teach for a period of time, you know that I have a clear cut definition of the word faith. And what is it? "Taking God at His Word." That is all faith is! Let's go back to the Book of Hebrews and look at the Scripture's own definition of The Word. Turn to Chapter 11, the great faith chapter.

Hebrews 11:1-3

"NOW faith is the substance (it's the very core, it's the epitome) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (things you can't touch and see). For by it the elders (Old Testament saints) obtained a good report. Through faith (by taking God at His word) we understand (and know) that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. " We are dealing with the invisible, and the only way we can comprehend the invisible is how? By faith!


Romans 3:23

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Every human being, going all the way back to what man? Adam. We have all sinned - Jew and Gentile.

Romans 3:24

"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Now verse 25, here is the verse I want:

Romans 3:25

"Whom God hath set forth (watch your grammar here. Who is the Whom referring to? Christ Jesus in verse 24. So it's Christ Jesus that God hath set forth) to be a propitiation (propitiation is a great big word that people just stumble over and hope they don't have to deal with it again. But it is not that kind of a word. It is, in my line of thinking, the most inclusive one word in the whole New Testament. Christ is our propitiation. And how does he become your propitiation? By Faith! He becomes our propitiation) through faith in his blood (not His life. Not His three years of exemplar miracle working and so forth. He can only become the propitiation through faith in His blood, whereby he can), declare his righteousness (not yours or mine) for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God:" And then I love verse 26:

Romans 3:26

"To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: (Who's righteousness? Christ the propitiator) that he (Christ) might be just (what does just mean in plain English? Fair) and the justifier of him (that repents and is baptized? No, that is not what is says. It says) which believeth in Jesus." And what is believing? Faith. And what is faith? It is believing. You see, you can't escape it.


I Corinthians 13:5

"(Love) Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, (Now that doesn't mean it can never be provoked, but it's not easily provoked) thinketh no evil; (True love can think no evil. That's quite a statement isn't it? Now verse 6.

I Corinthians 13:6-8a

"(Love) Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; (Love) Beareth all things, believeth all things, (Remember faith is the other word for believeth, so our faith is based on love. The whole crux of the work of the Cross was the love of God, that He showered on mankind when He sent the best that heaven had to the Cross of Calvary. So far as Christ is concerned, God's wrath was poured upon Him while He hung there, but as God's wrath was poured on Christ the love of God was shed abroad on the human race.) hopeth all things, endureth all things." Then verse 8a: "Love never faileth:...."

Love will never let us down.

(6a) Who is the Lord Jesus Christ ?


Now there is another point. You have no idea how many people are asking the question, "Well, Who is Christ?" A lot of people are confused. Some have the idea that Christ never really amounted to anything until He was born at Bethlehem. They do not have the understanding that Jesus of Nazareth was the manifestation in the flesh of the Creator God of Genesis 1:1. I show that when we teach the Book of Genesis that Christ, as we know Him in the New Testament, was the Creator of the Old Testament.

John 1:1-3

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."

John 1:14a

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,..."

As I explained to a person yesterday morning on the phone, and this very concept that we talked about in our last lesson. that when Christ died He paid the sin debt of every human being from Adam until the end of time. He could have never done that if He had not been the God of glory. So Jesus is the fleshly manifestation and is the image of that invisible eternal God. Turn with me for a moment to the Book of Colossians in Chapter 1. And let's see how this fits so beautifully with what the Holy Spirit inspires the apostle to write back in the letter to the Corinthians.

Colossians 1:15

"Who (speaking of the Son in verse 13, and who has redeemed us in verse 14 through His Blood.) is the image (or visible manifestation) of the invisible God, the first born of every creature:"

So you see this is what we have to take by faith. I know I can't prove this in a laboratory experiment, but the Scriptures says it. And by faith we believe it, that God the Triune, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit were invisible. But God the Son stepped out of that invisible Godhead and became the visible manifestation of the whole. And that's Christ, that's The Lord Jesus of Nazareth. Do you see that? Now verse 16, and here we find that Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, attributes The Lord Jesus with the Creation.

Colossians 1:16

"For by him (Son in verse 13) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; (that even goes into realm of Satan and his powers) all things were created by him, and for him."

So that's why I say He is the same God in Colossians as He is in Genesis. The only difference is He has now taken on human flesh, human appearance. He is the image of the invisible God. I had a whole living room full of people about 25 years ago the first time I taught this. And when I just laid this out so clearly that Jesus of the Cross was the same God Who created everything in Genesis 1:1 it just blew their minds. And these people had been in church all their life, but they had never seen that before. And that's what we have to understand that Jesus of Nazareth was same God of Genesis 1:1, the only difference being He had now been manifested in the flesh. And that's why when we put our faith and trust in what He has accomplished, then we're not just talking about some Jew who grew up in a carpenter shop. But rather we're talking about the Creator Himself Who has taken it upon Himself the very work of redemption.


Let's pick up right where we left off in Genesis 2:4:

"These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD GOD made the earth and the heavens."

As we noted last time, all through Genesis 1 the term "God" is used to refer to the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Beginning in Chapter 2, however, we have a new name of Deity - "LORD GOD" - or Jehovah God. You are all probably familiar with the term "JEHOVAH" because it is used often in the Old Testament. This term is very important, for it brings the Name of God from the Old Testament through the New Testament where Jesus personally comes to earth in the flesh. The word "JEHOVAH" is made up of two Hebrew words, "Jahweh" and "Havah." "Jahweh" is the word for "I AM." Remember Moses' experience in the wilderness with the burning bush? (See Exodus 3:6,13-14.)

"I AM THAT I AM ... thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, `I AM has sent me to you.'" "Jahweh," then is the eternal, pre-existent, "I AM." The word "Havah" means "to be revealed," and is a continuing action verb, or means "to continually be being revealed." Jehovah, therefore, means "the Eternal, Pre-existent I AM Who is to be more and more (continually) revealed to mankind."

As we go further in the Scriptures, we will find that various extensions are added to the word "Jehovah" to give more definition and understanding to our concept of God. For instance, "Jehovah-Joshua" would mean "the eternal, pre-existent I AM who is to be more and more revealed to mankind as the "Savior." ("Joshua" means "Savior"). In the New Testament, then, we find the name "Jesus." This is the Greek equivalent to the Hebrew "Jehovah-Joshua" or "God the Savior." (See Matthew 1:21). So, the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation, gives us a continuing revelation of the eternal "I AM."

Think about it. First the LORD GOD walked with Adam in the garden in the cool of the day; then He revealed Himself to Abraham (see Genesis 18) and when Abraham prepared the meal, the Jehovah of the Old Testament actually sat down and partook of it.

Now, in order to show that with Adam on the scene, the Eternal, Pre-Existent "I AM" is God the Son, and is going to be the One Who is to be more and more revealed as we come up through the human experience, turn to Exodus 3. Here God revealing Himself to Moses in the burning bush - not in physical form as before, but by means of a human voice. The Lord speaks to Moses, telling him that he's standing on holy ground and instructing him to remove his shoes. Then in verse 13: "Moses said unto God, 'Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, `The God of your fathers has sent me unto you;' and they shall say to me, `What is His name?' What shall I say unto them?"

Notice right at the beginning, that even though Jehovah, God the Son, has been separated out of the Godhead as a unique Person, yet He is still one with the Godhead, He is still God!

Remember that Moses had lived in Egypt for the first 40 years of his life. He knew and understood the thinking or mentality of both the Egyptians and the Israeli who had been in bondage there for nearly 400 years. Egypt had many "gods," and each one of them had a special name; and Moses knew that when he told them that God had sent him, they would ask him, "What is His name?" - which one sent you to us? Therefore, he asked God for His Name. In verse 14 God gives the answer: "And God said unto Moses, `I AM THAT I AM:' and he said, `Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."

It is this same "I AM" that we discussed before and the Old Testament will continue to refer to Him as JEHOVAH. In fact, in Exodus 6:2,3 God says, "And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD;" Remember that `LORD' can be inter-changed with JEHOVAH;

"And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them."

When theologians say that Jesus didn't claim to be God and that they don't believe in His Deity, see what they have to do to Scripture? They have to throw it out! Look at John 8:52-58. The Pharisees are testing Jesus in these verses, trying to drive Him into a corner. Whenever He said or implied that He was God, or the Son of God, to them it was pure blasphemy, and that's why they were trying to get Him to say in no uncertain terms that He was the God of Abraham. Then, they thought they would have just cause to put Him to death! As far as they were concerned, that was as blasphemous as one could get!

"Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?" Talk about a caustic reply. Look at Jesus' answer to them:

"Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad."

Remember as we discussed earlier that it is recorded in Genesis 18 that Abraham prepared a meal and God sat and ate with him and pledged His covenant with Abraham. So Abraham knew all about the Messiah's coming some day to the sons of Israel. Jesus rightly said, "Abraham rejoiced to see My day." But look at the Jews' reply in verse 57: "Then said the Jews unto him, 'Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?" In the "timeline" illustration at the beginning of this book, we indicated that Abraham had lived about 2000 BC, so the Jews here are aghast that Jesus, who was only about 30 years old, would say that he had seen Abraham! But Jesus' answer is beautiful and straight to the point; verse 58:

"Jesus said unto them, `Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.'"

Jesus claims His Old Testament identity, I AM. He is stating that He is the eternal, pre-existent I AM who would be more and more revealed to humankind. We've seen how He was revealed in various ways to various Old Testament people, and here we see Him revealed in the New Testament as the Son of God, born of Mary in the flesh, presenting himself to the nation of Israel. He goes to the cross and rises from the dead and again reveals Himself unto His followers for 40 days - but in His post-resurrection form He is again different than He was before the Cross, because now He is in His resurrected, glorified body - the body fashioned as ours one day will be. It was a further revelation!

As we look deeper into the New Testament, we find the Apostles, Peter and Paul beginning to reveal Jesus as the "God of all grace" (I Pet. 5:10), and as the Lord Jesus Who loved us and died for us, and gave Himself for us (Gal. 1:4, I Tim. 2:6; Titus 2:14); all further revelations of the very person of Christ Who so loved us and had such compassion for us that He would even go to the Cross for us to purchase our redemption (Heb. 12:2).

And then, what is the name of the final book of the Bible? The Book of Revelation! It's a misnomer to call it "The Revelation of St. John the Divine," for it is actually "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" Himself, and within its pages we see Jesus coming in the clouds of glory to be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Do you see the constant revealing of Jesus through the Scriptures? As we study through the Word of God, we see more and more of Who Jesus is!

(7a) Why did Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit ?


Soon in our studies we'll be coming to Genesis 3:1-6. We'll see Eve in the garden. She has everything she could possibly want: a perfect home, a perfect husband, a perfect environment. And what does Satan tempt her with? "If you'll eat the forbidden fruit, you'll be `like God.'" And she falls for it!

Book 1 LESSON Three * PART III

We've seen in earlier lessons that God extended His love to the human race and expected or wanted our love in return. Knowing that we (his future bride) were in bondage to a cruel master (Satan), Jesus was willing (like the Hebrew slave-husband in verses 5 and 6 of Exodus 21) to come in the form of a man in order to win our freedom through His death on the Cross. And there has never been a more cruel or vicious form of death ever devised by man than death by crucifixion! Jesus was willing to suffer and go through that for us. He didn't have to - it was His choice because of His great love for us. Go back to Genesis 3:6. Adam loved his Creator; but he loved his beautiful helpmeet more, and he thought he was about to lose her. So he had to choose, and he decided he'd rather eat the forbidden fruit and violate the Word of God than lose her and remain obedient.

..... And that's what he did - he ate the fruit that she offered him. Immediately upon his taking that first bite of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the process of death began not only in him, but in the entire creation. Immediately, he lost communion and fellowship with his Creator. Immediately, his soul, (his mind, will and emotions) took on the sin nature - a rebellious attitude toward God. We're not sinners because we've sinned, we're sinners because we're children of Adam.



Let's begin again at Genesis 3:6. As we closed last week, we saw that Adam had just eaten of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Paul, writing to Timothy, said that Adam was not deceived as Eve had been, but he knew exactly what he was doing and what the consequences would be.

I Timothy 2:13,14:

"For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression."

Adam had to make a choice between obeying his Creator and losing his beautiful helpmeet, or disobeying his Creator and remaining with the woman. After contemplation, the last few words of Genesis 3:6 tell the whole story, "He did eat."

The moment he ate, a lot of things began to happen. It's necessary for us to clarify this point, because some preachers, teachers and theologians teach that there wasn't an original sin or fall, and our only problem is with the sins we commit personally.

However, Paul writing in this "Age of Grace" or Church age to the brethren in Rome who were primarily Gentiles, declares with certainty that there was an original sin. Turn to

Romans 5:12:

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"

Before Adam ate, nothing died - there was neither sin nor death on this lovely earth home God had created for His man. But both sin and death entered this world with Adam's fall. Death came upon all by his sin.

(8a) Why did the Lord Jesus Christ give Himself to die us?


ROMANS 8:31-39

Now, we only covered two verses in our last lesson, and we're still in verse 32, and I can't emphasize enough that everything that God now has done, and is doing on our behalf, is based on that finished work of the Cross, where God did not even spare His Son. Why? So that He could purchase mankind back to Himself. Now, the first thing we may wonder if we're not taught in these things is, Well, why does God have to do this? He's Sovereign, and He could do any way He wanted, but you see God never goes against His own principals. God is Holy, God is righteous, God is Omnipotent, He is full of all knowledge. And so He knows what has to be done to reconcile fallen man back to Himself. And so in His knowledge, and understanding He is the One Who determined that it had to be the sacrificial death of Himself on our behalf.


Romans 5:15,16

"But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many (in other words all that will believe)."

"And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift (in other words, as Adam plunged the human race into condemnation with his act of sin, so Christ has lifted the human race, by virtue of death on the Cross): for the judgment was by one to condemnation (every one is under that condemnation), but the free gift is of many offences unto justification."

And like Iíve said in the last three lessons, Paul is just hammering this theme of justification home. I donít want anyone who has heard me teach these first few chapters of Romans ever forget this word "Justification." This is what we are, weíre justified by a judicial decree of the Almighty God Himself, that since we have believed the Gospel for our Salvation, then He can restore us back as Adam was before he fell. Of course weíre still going to sin, and He has made compensation for all of that by virtue of His Advocacy at the Fatherís right hand. Now letís move on into verse 17.

Romans 5:17a

"For if by one manís offence (Adamís) death reigned (as a king) by one (because of Adam); much more..."

Do you see how Paul is constantly driving home the Grace of God, which is going to compensate for the fall of Adam, is greater than anything Adam did? And this is what we have to understand, that, yes, it seems like God is severe in condemning everyone who was born out of Adamís race, but yet Heís not severe because Heís made the way back for every human being without lifting a finger. If God would makes us do something almost impossible for our Salvation then that would be different, but He doesnít. He just lays it right out in front of every human being. You know when I teach John Chapter 10 the good shepherd chapter, I always ask where is the door to that sheep fold? Is it up on some cliff? Is it across the ocean? No itís on ground level, itís where anybody can walk through it. Itís accessible for anyone to go into the door of the sheep fold. So Salvation is not something that people have to obtain or work for or grasp at, but rather itís right in front of every human being. Now reading on.

Romans 5:17

"For if by one manís offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign (not like old death does, but now weíre going to reign forever) in life by one, Jesus Christ."

Not because of what I do, but because of what He accomplished. So as Adam was the federal head of the human race, and he plunged everyone into a place of condemnation, the second Adam, Jesus Christ has accomplished everything that is necessary to bring fallen man back to Himself. The only difference is now there has to be an exercise of will. Now I know there is a lot of controversy of how much will is exercised in Salvation, and how much of it is in election. But nevertheless, I sort of bring the two extremes to the middle, and granted, God has to open our eyes, and hearts. But on the other hand man has the prerogative to reject it. And I think that is what will be so hard on lost people when they go through all eternity regretting their rejection of Godís opportunity.

Now verse 18. Notice that verse starts out with "Therefore." When Paul uses Ďthereforeí and Ďwherefore,í just go back and see what he has said. This is so heavy and important that itís just repeated over and over for about two or three chapters. That means God wants us to get it straight. Yet Salvation can be by nothing that man can do, but itís all been accomplished by the work of the Cross, and He is just in being the Justifier of those who believe. Heís not cutting corners. God isnít winking at manís sins. He has paid the total price for it so now He can be just in justifying the unbeliever.

Romans 5:18

"Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one (this constantly brings the two into play) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."


Now letís get down to the subject at hand, and that would be in Romans Chapter 6, and this whole idea of overcoming the old sin nature, old Adam, and to enter into this new life which, of course, is what Christianity is all about. Christianity is not a religion, itís not just something that we work for, it is something that is all accomplished by the Grace of God and by His power, and that alone. Now letís review verse 6 and come right on into verse 7.

Romans 6:6a

"Knowing this, that our old man (the old nature) is crucified (put to death)...:

Letís stop and qualify. When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, and God had made only one stipulation, one responsibility, and that was not to eat of that one tree, God said:

Genesis 2:16,17

"And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ĎOf every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.í"

Now I call that the very first fundamental law in Scripture. Then itís repeated in Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 18:4

"Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die." Then Paul in that classic third Chapter of Romans tells us:

Romans 3:23

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"

And so God has mandated that as soon as Adam sinned, and as soon as every son of Adam has sinned, what has to be the result? Death! And there is no getting around it. The soul that sinneth has to die. Itís a command of God, but God gave mankind what we call a loophole. Yes we have to die, but we do not have to die in ourselves, we can take Christís death as our substitution. And so this is the whole concept then of Salvation, and that is, yes, we have to die because weíre sinners, but if we will just simply believe the Gospel, then Christís death takes our place. Thatís what we call the substitutionary death of Christ. He took my place, and He took yours. So thatís why Paul has to teach that the old Adam has to be crucified, he has to be put to death because heís a sinner. Now letís read on.

Romans 6:7

"For he that is dead is freed from sin (or old Adam)."

I used to have two judges in my classes years ago, and one of them has since passed away, and when we would come to something like this, then naturally it always helped to get the feedback from somebody who has firsthand knowledge on these things. And when we would come to this idea that old Adam had to die in order to be broken from any relationship in the future, then I would use the analogy, especially with one of these judges in the class, by saying, "Now look, you have someone up for murder, and youíve gone all the way through the trial process, and itís evident that he was guilty. In fact, you can almost bet that the jury is going to vote to put him to death, but what if about a week before itís all over the guy dies? Heís dead, then what?" Well, you all know how those judges answered. The trialís over. Itís all done, because you donít try a dead man. Even though he was as guilty as can be there is nothing you can do once he dies. Well, itís the same way with regard to old Adam, the only way we can separate ourselves from that old Adamic nature is to put old Adam to death. And the moment that he dies, he loses that control over us. Have you got the picture? And thatís exactly what verse 7 is saying.

Romans 6:7

"For he that is dead (been crucified) is now freed from sin (old Adam)."

And until old Adam is put to death, he reigns as a king. Now verse 8, so Paul is building all of this for our own information to increase our faith of where we are as believers.

Romans 6:8

"Now if we be dead with Christ (if we have identified with that death then thatís when we died, and that all comes by faith when we believe the Gospel), we believe that we shall also live with him:"


I Corinthians 13:6-8a

"(Love) Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; (Love) Beareth all things, believeth all things, (Remember faith is the other word for believeth, so our faith is based on love. The whole crux of the work of the Cross was the love of God, that He showered on mankind when He sent the best that heaven had to the Cross of Calvary. So far as Christ is concerned, God's wrath was poured upon Him while He hung there, but as God's wrath was poured on Christ the love of God was shed abroad on the human race.) hopeth all things, endureth all things." Then verse 8a: "Love never faileth:...."

Love will never let us down.

Editor's Note: For further insight into this question, see the answer to the question, "Why did God require a blood sacrifice?", which is explained later in this book.

(9a) What is the only way to be saved during this present age of grace ?


Now letís look at the Gospel as outlined in I Corinthians Chapter 15, and beginning with verse 1. I never tire of repeating it, and I hope you never get tired of hearing it.

I Corinthians 15:1

"MOREOVER, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;"

"...wherein ye stand" is a positional term. Thatís why he writes in another place that we are not to be blown about with every wind of doctrine. Some people are so shallow in their understanding of Scriptures, that they see someone on television or someone can come to their door and they have a good line, and a nice approach, and they fall for it. We are supposed to be so well versed in the Scriptures that something like that wonít happen. We are to be like an anchor, steadfast, immovable. Now verse 2.

I Corinthians 15:2,3

"By which also ye are saved (itís only by this Gospel that you are saved. Itís not by something else), if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain." And now here comes Paulís Gospel in verse 3:

"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received (here heís talking about what we saw in Galatians in our last lesson, how that by revelation, "He made known unto me," Paul says. This is what the Lord revealed to him. We will find that Paulís Gospel is not based on the Judaistic Law, or just on the fact that Christ was the Messiah of Israel, but itís that The Messiah of Israel, The Son of God, died on that Roman Cross, shed His Blood, was buried and rose again, and here it is), how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;" This was in the Old Testament. It was all in the pre-eternal mind of God, that all of this would fall into place.

I Corinthians 15:4-6a

"And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures." Thatís the Gospel! And to prove that Christ rose from the dead we see in verse 5 and 6 the following.

"And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once;..."

Paul tells us that he also saw Him in person. Paul knew that He was alive. Now back to Romans 1:16. Thatís The Gospel Ė that Christ died for the sins of the world. And thatís what Paul expressly desires to get across to people. Itís so hard for people to comprehend that this is all they have to do. Just believe the Gospel for Salvation. If you really believe He will save you. Now you know that Iím not an easy believer. You know that. Iím not just talking about making a mental acknowledgment and youíre all right. No, what Iím talking about is a Holy Spirit driven belief, that my eternal destiny is based on what He did for me on that Cross. And we will be seeing more and more of that, especially when we get into Romans Chapter 6, where Paul just begins to draw that simple analogy of a little seed thatís planted in the ground, but before that plant can come forth, and bring forth fruit it must die first. So the whole analogy is that, "When Christ died, we died. When He was buried, we were buried. When He arose from the dead, we also arose out of deadness in the old Adamic sin nature to a new life." Verse 16 again:

Romans 1:16

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it (The Gospel, not our works, or denomination, not anything that we can do, but rather The Gospel) is the power of God unto salvation..."

One of the newer translations waters this down by using the word Ďsalvationí as a better way to heaven. Salvation is much more than a better way to heaven. Salvation is that all inclusive work of God on our behalf, whereby we are forgiven: He justifies us, He sanctifies us, He glorifies us, He baptizes us into the Body, He seals us with the Holy Spirit, He fills us with the Holy Spirit, and on and on you can go in all that was accomplished on your behalf by an act of God instantly the moment you believe. And youíre not going to necessarily feel any of those things, but they have happened to you if you were genuine in your belief. But how do I know that these things have happened to me? The Book says so. And thatís where faith comes in. Thatís what The Book means when it says we are saved by faith and are to live and walk by faith. Taking God at His Word. So, you just simply have to know what The Book says. When you come to Salvation, and say, "I donít understand this or feel any different," remember The Book says that it has happened. And that is what God is pleased by. Remember Hebrews 11:6:

Hebrews 11:6a

"But without faith it is impossible to please him:..."

You should be able to say, "Yes, I know that Iím forgiven," not because Iím so perfect, or any better than anybody else, but simply because I believe what this Book says! I canít make it any plainer than that. So when an individual realizes that heís in the cesspool of sin, in that old slave market, and there is no hope of getting out, unless the power of God takes him out; God pulls him out of that deadness in sin, and gives him new life, sets his feet as the Scriptures say, "On a Rock," and does all these things for him. Thatís what believing does! After that, you become a totally new person in your outlook on life, in your desires, and you donít work for that. Remember, you wonít become a mature Christian overnight. Itís going to take time. The Christian life is like coming into physical life. We come into the Christian life as a babe in Christ, just an infant that needs tender loving care. An infant that needs nourishment, and protection. Thatís what a new believer is.

But God doesnít expect a new believer to stay a babe in Christ. He expects them to begin to grow in Grace, and knowledge and wisdom. To grow in a new lifestyle. Over the years Iíve told my classes the basic fundamental aspect of a Christian life, the part that will immediately become visible to our friends and relatives, and yes, the whole community; a true born again child of God is going to be a good citizen. Have you ever thought of that? When we are a practicing believer, we will be a good citizen. In other words, you wonít find a true child of God giving the police department fits. Now there may be isolated instances, thatís always a possibility. But the basic believer will be a good citizen, and a good parent. He will be a good grandparent. He will be a good child. He will be a good teenager. Now that doesnít mean we are perfect. Nevertheless, we will be the kind of person that will enhance society. If you could have a community of 100% born again believers, then you would have a pretty decent place to live.

Iím not saying that it would be perfect. Itís just like the local church, no church is perfect. I said on this program once, if it was perfect Iíd like to find it, but I wouldnít dare join it because it would be no longer perfect. But, for the most part, Godís power unto salvation has imparted all these things on our behalf and they will make us different. That doesnít give us the right to walk around like we are perfect, or better than everybody else. But what we have is an imputed position that God has accomplished on our behalf. We will look at that more in depth later in Chapter 3.

Romans 1:16b

"...for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first and also to the Greek."

I said at the close of the last lesson that there were many things in there that normally people would think should be. Over the years, I have taught to be aware of what is not in Scripture that many of us think should be. Well, here is a good one. Let me read this verse the way a lot of people think it should have been written. This is just an example: "For it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that repents, and is baptized, joins the church, gives ten percent of his income, does good works, and believes." But it doesnít say that does it? There are a lot of these things that people just automatically think are requirements for Salvation, and theyíre not! They are all right in their rightful place after Salvation. But so far as our salvation is concerned itís based totally upon our faith in the Gospel, and what God has said concerning the finished work of the Cross.

(10a) How were people saved in Old Testament times ?

Book 33 LESSON 2 * PART II

Now in our last lesson we were looking at the fact that Abraham was justified by faith + nothing! I canít emphasize that enough, although I should be known for that by now. Our salvation rests on nothing that we can do in the flesh, but it is all resting on the finished work of the Cross through His death, burial, and resurrection, and now we appropriate it by faith. Then after we have received salvation, then yes we move into an area of service and what ever you put on it. But not for salvation. Now in verse 7 Paul continues on with Abraham as his theme.

Galatians 3:7

"Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, (in other words those of us who have entered into a salvation experience by faith only) the same are the children (or the sons) of Abraham."

Now Iíve got to stop there for a while. How many people have come up to me and said, "Well weíve always been told that when we became a Christian we became a Jew." And I always tell them, I donít know who told you that but they are way out in left field, because a Jew is a Jew by virtue of, first and foremost, his birth, his genetics, his blood line, and the keeping of the Law. But a Gentile is a Gentile of the Gentiles, and if youíve had salvation then you are simply a Gentile sinner saved by Grace, and not a Jew. Then they point to this verse we have just read. "But the Bible says, we are children of Abraham." Well youíve got to realize what the Bible is saying, and not take it out of context. What the Bible is really saying here in verse 7

Galatians 3:7b

"...they which are of faith, (way) the same are the children of Abraham."

We have entered in the faith way + nothing the same way that Abraham did, and so consequently we are spiritually now connected to this man Abraham. Now to follow that up weíve again got to go all the way back to Genesis. Iím sorry. I hadnít planned on doing this but we must. So letís turn to chapter 13, and there are some interesting words in this passage. Now of course this is the chapter after the Abrahamic Covenant was given so heís already on covenant ground, he already has all these promises. Now look what God says to Abraham.

Genesis 13:16a

"And I will make thy seed..."

Or your off spring. Also here is another little quirk of Hebrew. You have to discern from the context whether the word seed is singular and speaking of Christ or whether itís plural and speaking of the whole Nation of Israel. Now that takes some doing I know, and I know when we taught Genesis I gave the example even in our English language. You can have 12 sheep over there, and 1 over here, but what do you call them? Sheep. Itís the same way with the Hebrew word that pertains to the word seed. It can be plural, but the same identical word can be singular, so you must use your where with all to determine from the text is it speaking singular, and the Messiah, or it is speaking plural the children of Israel. Well this one is plural.

Genesis 13:16

"And I will make thy seed (the off spring) as the dust of the earth:..."

Now whatís dust? Is it earthly or heavenly? Well itís earthly. So his earthly progeny would be as the numbers of the sand of the sea. In other words the Nation of Israel would be in terminology of course that is comparative. Compared to the rest of the nations of the ancient world were by far more in number. Now turn the page to Genesis chapter 15, and verse 5. And now look what God promises.

Genesis 15:5

"And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and (count or) tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be."

Now what was God doing? Playing games? No. God in His infinite Sovereign Grace was promising Abraham 2 different groups of people that would be connected to him. Now naturally the dust of the earth was his earthly offspring who came by the sons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Now when God brings him out and tells him to look toward the heavens, now God is talking about a heavenly connection. Most of you have been hearing me teach long enough to know that we have two concepts in Scripture, "The earthly people Israel and The heavenly people who are the Church." All right. Abraham is being promised a connection to both of them. He will have an earthly progeny which was the children of Israel, but heís also going to have a heavenly progeny which are those who have entered in like he did by faith, and faith alone.

So now you have this two fold promise the Nation of Israel which would be earthly, but also a group out there some place who would be connected to him only in the realm of the spiritual. Now I think that Iíve already made my point as you come back to the Book of Galatians. Let me put something on the board, and maybe it will help a little bit. On the time line we have Abraham back here 2000 years before Christ. Also on this time line we have the finished work of the Cross at Calvary, and then here you and I stand in this interval from the time of the early Acts, and I think especially with Paulís ministry, and the Body of Christ is being called out.

All right I think Iíve already made my point. How do we become members of the Body of Christ that is being called out? By faith + nothing! Abraham became the Friend of God and his righteousness because of his faith + nothing also! And this was done just by believing what God said. Now if you were in an algebra class what would I be able to say? Thereís an equality. Right? This is equal to this. Why? Because Abraham received eternal life the same way the Church age believer does, we all came in the same way. Now to make my point, how did people back here from Adam, Abel, Seth, Noah, and all the way up to Abraham, how did they come into a right relationship with God, faith + nothing? No way, but rather it was faith + sacrifice. They couldnít approach God without the sacrifice. Coming up to the Cross even in Christís earthly ministry, did Jesus ever teach the concept of a salvation by faith and faith alone. No. What were they to do? They were still to be adherence to the Law of Moses, they also had the added responsibility of repentance and water baptism, + their faith. But faith alone wouldnít cut it. Even in the early chapters of Acts, it wasnít just faith and faith alone. They had to repent and be baptized, and that was a requirement. It wasnít just empty words, but a requirement.

But then along comes the apostle Paul with faith + nothing, and this is why he had so much opposition. And thatís why I imagine out there at least silently Iíve also got that opposition. I donít hear it personally, but I know itís out there. "Les you make it too simple! Youíve got to repent and be baptized." And Iíve even had people call and say, "Well weíve always been told that you have to repent, be baptized, and speak in tongues before weíre saved." Well thatís not faith + nothing, thatís faith + something. OK now whatís my point?

That just as surely as Abraham was saved by faith + nothing when he believed God when He told him to go to a land that He would show him. We, in the Body of Christ, are saved by faith + nothing when we believe God when he tells us to believe the Gospel for salvation in I Corinthians 15:1-4. So by the basis of faith + nothing Abraham had imputed righteousness, you and I as members of the Body of Christ have also imputed righteousness, and that makes us just like Abraham. Does that make sense? No one else in all of Godís economy had that privilege. Let me show you in the Book of Hebrews. Maybe that will make my point. Chapter 11 - the great faith chapter. It goes clear back to Genesis chapter 4.

Hebrews 11:4

"By faith Abel (believed God? No. He offered. He did something) offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh." By faith, primarily, but it was faith plus. Now you come all the way down to verse 7.

Hebrews 11:7

"By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear (and what did he do?) prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith."

He did something. Now, let me ask you. If Noah would have stood out there in the Middle East and said, "All right God, I believe you that a flood is coming," and never built an ark, what would have happened? He would have gotten washed away along with the rest of them. But along with his faith that a flood was coming, what did he do? He built an ark. And all the rest of the way up through Scripture, all those great men of God, Jacob, Isaac, David and all the rest. They were men of faith, but faith alone? No! Faith plus Temple worship, plus Law keeping, plus this, plus that. Am I making my point? But Abraham never made a sacrifice until years later. He did not do anything he just simply believed God. God saw that manís faith and He imputed righteousness to him. And so it is with us. Without out doing a thing, we just simply say, "Yes Lord, I believe it, that you died for me, that you were raised in resurrection power, with all my heart." And thatís all God is looking for.

(11a) What are the attributes of Satan ?

Editor's Note: The following teachings show that Satan is "an angelic personality with tremendous power", "god of this world", the "Master Counterfeiter" that can appear as the "angel of light". He is "a liar, and the father of it". He controls "demons and evil spirits", and "his (Satan's) ministers are also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness". (That is, Satan's ministers can appear as ministers of God). "We know he has the power of the universe at his disposal with only the sovereign power of God to control him!"


Satan, Paul tells us, can transform himself into an angel of light (II Cor. 11:14).

Don't just delegate Satan to some little monkey in a funny red suit with a tail and horns and a pitchfork! That is not the Biblical picture of Satan. He is an angelic personality with tremendous power. The Apostle Paul tells us that Satan can transform himself into an "Angel of Light." We know he has the power of the universe at his disposal with only the sovereign power of God to control him! So this Cainitic civilization is going to be driven by the powers of Satan and not by the powers of God.


Genesis 1:28

"And God blessed them, and said unto them (that is Adam and Eve, although Eve hasn't been created, she is still in Adam. So He is addressing them both.), `Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have (what?) dominion...'"

In other words Adam was to have rule over the whole creation under God. He had total dominion. He was going to be literally God's second in command. When Adam sinned, what happened to that role as having dominion? He lost it. He dropped the ball. Who picked it up? Satan did. From that time on Scripture makes it so abundantly clear, who is the god of this world tonight? Satan is. Another Scripture says, "The world lieth in the lap of the wicked one." Satan is the god of this world. Everything that mankind accomplishes, whether it's good, beautiful, ugly, or bad, who has prompted it? Satan has. God is not in the business of a material world. And so the world is truly in the lap of that wicked one. Satan has total dominion. Let me show you another good example. Go to Matthew Chapter 4 if you doubt me. Here we have the temptation. And Satan is trying every ploy, trying to get Jesus to bow down to him.

Book 1 LESSON Three * PART III

Matthew 4:8-9

"Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, 'All these things will give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.' Then saith Jesus unto him, 'Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.'"

This was the time of the Roman Empire, an empire that governed everything from the British Isles on the north and west to the Ganges River in India on the East. In essence, Satan says "Everything you can see or think of as far as material possessions are concerned can be yours, Jesus, if you'll just fall down and worship me. I'll give them all to you." Remember, Scripture teaches that Satan is the God of this World, and this passage really confirms it. If these kingdoms had not been his to give, this would not have been a temptation to Jesus for He would have known that. But at that time they did belong to Satan - he just didn't know that Jesus would possess all of them, not by bowing down to him then, but later, by right of conquest, after completing His work on the Cross and defeating him totally at the resurrection. Satan didn't know that one day Jesus will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!


Even though Cain had turned his back on God and was out of the presence of God, he did have a motivating power. When Cain pushed God out of his life, the power of Satan entered in. You can't create a vacuum. There is no such thing as having absolutely no spiritual influence in one's life. If God is pushed out, Satan is going to come in! Just because we speak of Satan as being evil, and representative of wickedness, he doesn't always do awful things. He is very well qualified to promote good, even beautiful things in order to accomplish his purpose. When Paul said that Satan could transform himself into an angel of light, Paul was explaining that Satan is the "Master Counterfeiter!" He is a counterfeit of God at every opportunity. If he can make something look like an original, he'll do it.

When the U.S. government hires people to work in the Treasury Department, particularly in the area of counterfeit, they don't show them lots of counterfeit bills. Instead, for six months those people study nothing but legitimate American currency. The idea is that if they know meticulously how the original looks, when they see something that is counterfeit, they'll recognize it immediately. That's what we as believers must do with the Scriptures - be so profound in our knowledge of the Scriptures that when the cults come along, or when people come to our doors with something less than the truth, we'll recognize it immediately as a counterfeit. Because Satan, the "master counterfeiter" is so capable of making his fake look like the original, we must know the genuine article so we can recognize the difference.


Romans 3:20b

"...for by the law is the knowledge of sin."

All the Law can show mankind is their sinfulness, not their salvation. Isn't it amazing how Satan can totally counterfeit the issue? Now today, Satan has convinced millions, probably billions, that if they do the best they can, if they keep the Law, at least as much as possible, somehow they'll make it. They've got that idea and it's just stuck in their craw and they refuse to see what the Book says. The Book says they're never going to make it. Because by the keeping of the Law, is no flesh justified. But we have to experience that price of redemption, which is by having our faith in that shed Blood of Calvary.


John 8:44b

"...for he (Satan) is a liar, and the father of it." Now let's see what Satan says to the woman. Turn with me to Genesis 3 and verse 4 and following.

Genesis 3:4-5

"And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5. For God doth know (doesn't that sound like the false teachers of today using the Scriptures? Oh they give credit to the Holy Spirit, and make it sounds so official, but it's just as much the power of Satan as this was. So Satan can say) that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, (small "g" of course) knowing good and evil." Now is that what God had said? Come back to chapter 2 again for a moment, we've got to compare Scripture with Scripture. God is speaking.

Genesis 2:17a

"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:..."

See that's exactly what God called that tree. Do you see how meticulous Satan can be when he gets ready to deceive somebody? Oh he didn't goof it up, but rather Satan said it to Eve just exactly the way God said it. Now coming back to chapter 3 and verse 5


Galatians 5:8

"This persuasion (to come away from Paul's Gospel of Grace) cometh not of him that calleth you."

Who called them? The Holy Sprit of God. Well if the Holy Spirit did not lead them away then what spirit did? The evil spirit. Remember we've only got two spirits in the world. It's either of the Holy Spirit or of the satanic evil spirit. Let's go back to John's little epistles. I don't like to say anything unless I can show it from the Book. Go back to I John Chapter 4, and this is what the world is up against tonight just as much as when Paul wrote to the Galatians. The human race hasn't changed one iota, not one bit.

I John 4:1

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." And then you come on down to verse 3.

I John 4:3

"And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of anti-christ, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."

So what are we up against? The two spirits. It's either of the Holy Spirit or of the evil spirit. Now of course Satan has his demons, but nevertheless it's going to originate in the satanic powers, and this is what the world is up against. I mean it's up against everything that Satan can throw at them. You know I always remind people, don't get the idea that all Satan can promote is what we call skid row behavior. Satan will promote the most beautiful things, Satan will promote that which we think is culture and enlightening as long as he can keep people from the truth. He doesn't care what he uses as long as people fall for it. With Satan the end always justifies the means. Satan will use good things but it will be of the evil spirit rather than the Holy Spirit that is speaking.

Book 37 Lesson Three ē Part II

Exodus 7:10-12

"And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: (the Lord is in full control) and Aaron (with the Lordís instructions) cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. 11. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: (these are Satan emissaries) now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. 12. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: (where are they getting their power? From Satan, and his evil spirits. Now here is the comforting part of this whole passage) but Aaronís rod swallowed up their rods."

Which of course shows us that God was still supreme. But never fail to understand that the spirits of the Satanic powers are real, and numerous, and itís up to us to determine which spirit are we dealing with. Now Iím comfortable with the fact that as believers, the satanic spirits cannot have any kind of control over us, because our Spirit power is sufficient to withstand all the powers of the evil one. But we have to understand that they are there, and we have to deal with them. In fact jumping ahead a little bit in Ephesians letís look for a moment at chapter 6, and maybe this will make my point. This tells us that the satanic powers are out there.

Ephesians 6:11

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." Now the Scripture could just as well have said it the other way around.

"Put on the whole armour of God, so that you can stand for God." But the Scriptures donít say that. Instead it tells us to prepare for our adversary. Then go into verse 12, and hereís the reason weíre to put on that armour.

Ephesians 6:12

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

Do you see how plain that is? Now these are all spirit powers that you and I have to discern, "The only one we should be directed by is the One and only Spirit that has anything to do with us, which of course is the Holy Spirit."

Book 38 Lesson Two ē Part I

Ephesians 4:27

"Neither give place to the devil."

In general terms how much print does Paul give to Satan? Very little. Heíll just make a statement about Satan here and there, and weíre going to look at a couple of them here in a bit. Turn with me to II Corinthians chapter 4, verse 3. Now these arenít the only two instances, but this is the way it usually pops up. The reason I want to take time to do this is because we see so much lately of where the so called Christian community is being admonished to war against Satan. We have to fight against Satan, we have to do things against Satan, but Paul doesnít teach that. Paul recognizes his power, but he doesnít spend long verses at a time telling us how to fight a war against Satan.

Now weíll see this a little bit in Ephesians chapter 6, but all he does is letís us know that heís there. Paulís emphasis is not Satan, but rather is the Christ of glory. And when Christ rules our life, and when Heís in control, Satan canít touch us, and we donít have to worry all that much about fighting against Satan if we center on Christ and His work of the cross. And I think for this reason Paul doesnít give a lot of ink to Satan.

II Corinthians 4:3-4

"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4. In whom (the lost of this world) the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

Now for goodness sakes whoís the god of this world? Well Satan is. See how subtle Paul puts this in here? He could have just came right out and said, "Satan had done it." But he doesnít, but rather he gives him another term, "the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not." Now still in II Corinthians, turn over to chapter 11.

II Corinthians 11:13-14

"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14. And no marvel; (donít let this surprise you) for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."

Do you see that? Oh heís the god of this world back here in the earlier verses, and keeps people blind from the truth, but many times he blinds people with his light. And itís a counterfeit light, and people are so gullible and will say, "Oh that must be the work of the Spirit." But you see it isnít. but rather itís the work of the evil spirit, itís the work of Satan the counterfeit, the impostor, the deceitful individual. So keep these things in mind, "for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." Now look at verse 15.

II Corinthians 11:15a

"Therefore (since Satan can do this, and we know he does) it is no great thing if his ministers also (human being that heís using) be transformed as the ministers of righteousness;..."

Thatís what they try to tell people that theyíre the ministers of righteousness, but Paul tells us theyíre emissaries of Satan. So what do we have to know? The truth from the false! And the only way we can do that is just keep our nose in the Book, and when we do that then the Holy Spirit will certainly do His part to be able to keep us discerning truth from error.

(12a) What are the three temptations ?


I Corinthians 15:45,46

"And so it is written, `The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening (or life giving) spirit.'" "Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual."

I have stressed over the years that all through Scripture this is the process - first the natural, and then the spiritual. For example, Adam the natural and then the second Adam which is Christ. Cain the natural and then Abel the spiritual. Esau the natural and then Jacob the spiritual. Another one is King Saul the natural, and King David the spiritual. This goes all the way through Scripture. You can even take it into the end-time in the final seven years. First we have the Anti-christ then we have Christ. In our own experience we come on life's scene as natural, and then when we experience salvation we become spiritual. It is just a fact of Scripture. And so Paul makes that point in verse 46. Let's read it again:

I Corinthians 15:46,47

"Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual." "The first man is of the earth, earthy (God made him from the elements of the dust): the second man is the Lord from heaven."

So as Adam is the federal head of the human race in Genesis, now Christ is the response to that Federal head, because Adam fell. That is the whole understanding that when Adam fell, there had to be some way of restoring that headship. And the second Adam, Who is Christ, was the One Who would restore. I can't prove this from Scripture, but I like to think that Adam, before he sinned, had a body identical to Christ's in His earthly appearance. Maybe you have never thought of that before. But you see Adam, before he sinned, was incorruptible. He could have lived forever if he had not fallen. Christ of course as we saw from the temptations did not fall. And as they laid His body in the tomb, did it begin to decay? No, because it was incorruptible. And it never started the decaying process. So always hold those two in contrast.

Adam, the Federal head of the human race, was given dominion over everything that God had created. It was his to rule and reign over. That is what the word `dominion' meant. And yet Satan came on the scene, with one little temptation, and Adam with all of that power at his disposal; beautiful circumstances; nothing to be desired; it was all there for him; yet he fell.

Now in contrast, here comes Christ in His earthly ministry, not as the royal King as yet (although He is presenting Himself as the King), but He is coming more as a lowly servant, riding upon a foal of an ass. This is what confounded the Jews. They were looking for Someone to come riding on a white steed like a Roman General or Emperor. Jesus epitomized the servant when He washed the disciples' feet. And that is why they couldn't understand how this One, Who was the very Creator of the universe; The One Who had come to be the King of Kings not only of Israel, but of the whole planet could get down on His knees and wash the disciples' feet. And now at His temptations He comes under wilderness circumstances. Whereas Adam had it all, Christ, as the Spiritual, comes under those adverse conditions but did not succumb as Adam did. All the areas of temptations are covered that you and I as believers face even in the twentieth century. In those three temptations Christ suffered the attacks of Satan that cover everything that Satan can throw at us. And let's look at them here in this passage in I John Chapter 2:

I John 2:15

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

The Greek word for this word "world" here is Kosmos, from which we now get the word `Cosmos.' Add a few letters on to it and you get Cosmopolitan. And what is a Cosmopolitan? The dictionary gives a very simple definition. A Cosmopolitan is a citizen of the world. Think about that. So what is the world as this text uses it? This whole world system: economic, politics, entertainment, pleasures, the good as well as the bad things. That is all wrapped up in this word, "world." That doesn't mean that you can't enjoy the good things, and have a nice home, or have a good living. But it's like the Scripture says in I Timothy 6:10, "For the love of money is the root of all evil:..." Remember money isn't, but the love of money is! Loving money is what makes people become corrupt in order to get it. It's the same way with the world. Don't love the world or it will grab you, and you can't let go. This is what the things of the world try to do, and when that happens you will become part of the world and your Christian witness will be destroyed. Verse 16:

I John 2:16

"For all that is in the world (this world system), the lust of the flesh (what was Christ's first temptation? Bread, because He was hungry. So He suffered the lust of the flesh), and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."

Now in applying this verse to the temptation of Christ, the first one we discussed is obvious. That was the lust of the flesh. He was hungry. The second one was the appeal to the eye because of that vast crowd that would witness His miraculous plunge from the pinnacle of the Temple. But the third one is when Satan says, "I'll give you power over all these Kingdoms." What did that appeal to? His pride. That what makes some politicians what they are - people who quest for power. It feeds the ego and pride. Applying this to Eve, what was the first part of Satan's appeal to Eve? Look at the fruit, its good to eat. It was appealing to the eye. But the basis of the whole temptation was, "You can be like God!" And we call that the lie.

Now to be like God, what would that give her? Power and Pride. And it is the same way for you and I tonight. Let's look at another Scripture, Hebrews Chapter 4. I've had people ask me after a class, "How in the world can the Scriptures say that Jesus tasted of every temptation that I'm faced with. He couldn't have." Remember, not each individual one, but in the categories He did. Because you can place every temptation that befalls you and I into these three same categories. It will always be the "lust of the flesh," "lust of the eye," or "pride of life."

Hebrew 4:14,15

"Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (because He's there!). For we have not an high priest (Christ) which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities (but rather we do have a High Priest Who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities); but was in all points tempted like as we are, ye without sin." Let's look at one more verse in I Corinthians Chapter 10. I hope you are seeing how all of this fits together.

I Corinthians 10:13

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man (you can't say, `I'm in a unique position, no one has ever been faced with this before - Christ was!): but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation (Satan is going to hit us) also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." Now that's a promise. If we look for the situation to get out of temptation you can, because God has made all the provisions to escape. It's based on the fact of Christ own experience.

(13a) What are the two kinds of death mentioned in the Bible ?

Book 1 LESSON Three * PART IV

Let's look at and define what we mean by death. There are two kinds of death mentioned in the Bible:

1. Physical Death - separation of the soul and spirit from the physical body. In teaching the Scriptures, most preaching emphasis is placed upon "saving the soul." But God is just as interested in the body as He is in the spirit and soul of man. God deals with us as whole people, not just with our spiritual side. If you search the Word from Genesis to Revelation, you'll not find any reference to a man accomplishing anything separated from his body. Even in the life to come, God has promised us a new "glorified" body.

God has also instilled within us a desire to live. Even when we are ready for death and looking forward to it, we fight against it.

2. Spiritual Death - Separation from God for eternity, also known as, "the second death." A thinking individual will have the same apprehension of a spiritual separation from God as he has of the physical separation of the spirit and soul from the body. (At least he should have)! Romans 5:14 says,

"Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come."

Adam as the Federal Head of the Human Race, sinned and caused death to come to the entire human race. In the same way the "Second Adam" or Christ, by virtue of His death and resurrection was able to impart life to all. This was a Sovereign act of the Sovereign God to restore the human race to fellowship with Himself, but it's not automatic - each man must make the individual choice to receive it.

In Ephesians 2:1-7, Paul is writing to encourage the believers at Ephesus as well as all future generations of believers. Look especially at verse 5: "Even when we were dead in sins, (God) hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved);"

We, who were dead in sin by virtue of being children of disobedience (Adam), God chose to make alive in Christ Jesus! Let's go back to Genesis and compare Genesis 3:7 with Genesis 2:25. Immediately after Adam ate:

"And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."

They immediately recognized their nakedness. But, in 2:25:

"And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed."

What a difference! With one act of disobedience, they changed from childlike innocence to sinful self-consciousness and shame. Where once they could walk even in God's presence, now they attempted to cover themselves, and even ran and hid from His presence.

Notice that God did not instruct them to make the aprons of fig leaves to cover themselves. Something else prompted them to do that. This is what we call the energy of the flesh ... man doing what he can do.

Look at Proverbs 14:12. This is an excellent passage to memorize, because it is so appropriate under so many different circumstances.

"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

Since Adam's sin, mankind has been trying to rationalize his actions; trying to see "just how can I get around this?"

Adam and Eve knew that God would soon be down to walk with them in the garden, and they rationalized that maybe they could cover themselves with fig leaves and God wouldn't notice their nakedness. People are still trying to do the same thing today.

If you ask people this question, "If you were to die today, on what basis do you think God should let you into heaven?" You'll get as many different answers as you have people to ask.

Look at other world religions. The people who followed them work hard to do "What seems right to them," but to Holy God, it's futility.

The term "religion" is used usually in a bad sense in the Bible. It refers to mankind's attempt to reach and merit favor with God. True Christianity, on the other hand, is God reaching down to unworthy, sinful man, offering His mercy, grace and love.

Man, on his own, can never merit favor with God; rather he must be seen in light of what God has done for him in Christ Jesus. In Genesis 3:7, we've seen that Adam and Eve dealt with the physical aspects of their problem when they made the fig leaf aprons. They couldn't, however, deal with the spiritual aspects of their dilemma. In verse 8, they hide. The leaf aprons just won't cut it. They are ashamed and afraid, and they hide from the face of God. Mankind has not changed one bit over the years; they still try to hide from God. John 3:19 says,

"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."

Confrontation with Holy God brings fear to the hearts of sinful men, and they run and hide. Verse 20 reads:

"For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."

No sinner ever goes looking for God - God always looks for the sinner!! Praise God!

(14a) Where do we go when we die ?


Revelation 20:13

"And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them (now watch that language. Hell is going to give up those that are in it): and they were judged every man according to their works." And then those who had been occupying hell...

Revelation 20:14

"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire (do you see the difference between those two places? Death and hell is the place of the unbeliever who has died and is waiting for this Great White Throne judgment. He waiting for the resurrection out of hell, only to go to something far worse, which is of course the lake of fire. And the Bible calls this); This is the second death." They died physically and now they die spiritually. The definition of death is: for the physical, it's the separation of the spirit from the body. For the spirit realm, death is the separation from God. It's an eternal separation. Now look at the difference between hell and the lake of fire.

First, we have to go back to some the scriptural descriptions of these things. Where is hell? And what is it comprised of? Let's go back to Matthew Chapter 12. This is from the Lord's own lips. The scribes and Pharisees are dealing with Jesus, and Jesus says:

Matthew 12:39

"But he answered and said unto them, `An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:'"

There is a lot more in this verse than I have time to comment on. But I will say it refutes those who say that Jonah was an imagination, or a myth. Jesus gives perfect credit to him. Now verse 40:

Matthew 12:40

"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights (where?) in the heart of the earth."

We know that when the thief on the Cross turned to Jesus and said, "Remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom." Jesus' answered, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." But here Jesus says that in those three days and three nights, He's going to be in the center of the earth." He went down into what? The Apostle's creed says that, "Jesus died, was buried and descended into hell." I've had so many people say to me, "You mean Jesus actually went to hell?" Well, yes and no. And here's the reason. We have three words in Scripture that all speak of the same place. Down in the `center of the earth' is what Jesus' own words were. And down there is what we call in Hebrew Sheol, In the Greek it's called Hades. And in English it's called hell. All three pertain to this center-most part of the earth. Go to Luke Chapter 16. The only way you can put these things together is to compare Scripture with Scripture. They are all in here, but you've got to look for it.

Now here in Luke 16, we have the account of the rich man and Lazarus. And we won't take it verse by verse for sake of time. Most of you have heard sermons on this or at least you can remember when you did. How that Abraham and Lazarus were there in Paradise, but the rich man was in torment. Let's come down to verse 22 and 23:

Luke 16:22,23

"And it came to pass, that the beggar (Lazarus) died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom."

This is just one instance where this took place. It didn't happen routinely, but the Lord presents this one instance for our benefit.

Luke 16:24

"And he (the rich man) cried and said, `Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.'"

We know that he's not there bodily, He will have that reserved body in the lake of fire, but here in hell he's there only in the realm of the soul and spirit. But soul and spirit are so intrinsically involved with the body. And I always like to give this illustration: my wife is a nurse and she has told me (and I have read and you have heard) where an amputee comes into the hospital and experiences pain in the leg that is no longer there. They call it "phantom pain." They have been so used to that leg, that even though it's gone they still feel the pain that would be in it. And I bring that into this setting. The soul and spirit are so intertwined with the body of our make up, that even though the rich man's body was in the grave upon the surface, yet the soul and spirit were suffering as if it were bodily suffering. So he was tormented and was in thirst. Abraham responds and says:

Luke 16:25

"But Abraham said, `Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.'"

Luke 16:26

"And beside all of this (even if I would want to come), between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence."

So what do we have? We've got hell, or hades, or however you want to define it, but Abraham defines it as a great gulf fixed. Now on one side was torment, no doubt about it. But on the other side was Paradise. We know that before the Cross, all the way from Adam, that men lived and died. Even the believers died with the two exceptions (and I'm always pointing out that God is God and He can make His exceptions). But there were only two that did not die and go down into Paradise, rather, they went up. They were Enoch and Elijah. Now those were God's exceptions. Other than those two, the rest of the believers of the Old Testament could not go to Heaven. They had to go down to Paradise, because the atoning blood of Christ is the only thing that removes the stain of sin. Animals' blood couldn't. So these Old Testament believers were saved for eternity, but they were not ready for God's presence, because their sins had not been atoned for by the blood of Christ. So they went down to Paradise.

On the other hand, the lost from Cain till even today are going down into hell as we understand it, but into the torment side. When the thief was told by Jesus, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise," Christ was speaking of what He said in Matthew about the center part of the earth. Remember Christ said that, I didn't. That He would be three days and three nights in the center part of the earth. Now the Apostle Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, puts his stamp of approval on all of this in the Book of Ephesians, and that is why I find it so comfortable and easy to teach. And here it comes out in such plain language. This isn't gobbledy-gook, or something that takes a theologian's degree to understand. Just take it for what it says;

Ephesians 4:7

"But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ."

Ephesians 4:8

" Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high (as he did in John Chapter 20:17. That's when I think Christ took all of these that were in Paradise with Him), he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men." Watch the term `captivity and captive.' Now verse 9:

Ephesians 4:9,10

"(Now that he ascended (in other words He went up), what is it but that he also (what?) descended first into (where?) the lower parts of the earth? He went down into the Paradise side of hell or Hades, where Abraham and the Old Testament saints were.

He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)"

Now putting it in just plain visual perspective, the following happens. From the Cross, He and the thief went down into the Paradise side of Sheol, Hades, or hell. But on the Resurrection morning, when He told Mary in John 20:17 "...Touch me not.; for I am not yet ascended to my Father:..." I think right here is where Christ emptied the Paradise side and took those Old Testament believers with Him. And where is Paradise today? It's up in Heaven! Paul teaches in II Corinthians 5:8 "...rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." We don't go down into the heart of the earth! We go immediately up into the presence of the Lord, because that is where Paradise is now located. The Old Testament tells us that hell, the place of torment, is enlarged. In other words, after Paradise was removed that whole area has now become then, totally the place of torment. So when an unbeliever dies today, that unbeliever still goes down to this place of torment.

Now here we are at the end of the thousand years reign and rule of Christ and we are at the Great White Throne. It's up in space somewhere. It's not on the earth, because the earth has fled away. So now in the resurrection of the unjust, they are brought back bodily because that's what resurrection denotes. Now, back to Revelation 20. Here the lost stand before the Lord, Who in their case is the Judge, and not the Savior. As Judge, He shows them their record, and there will be degrees of punishment. Jesus made that so plain, when He said to the people of Capernaum in Matthew 11, the following:

Matthew 11:23,24

"And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, `That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.'" So He makes it very plain that the people of Capernaum would suffer more in their eternal doom, than the horrible people of Sodom.

In verse 14 of Revelation Chapter 20 we find:

Revelation 20:14,15

"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

I don't care if people don't like to preach this subject any more, the Book stills says it. And there are groups who try to make believe that a God of love couldn't do this. But I've shown you that God's love was so great at the Cross that there is no room for removing the eternal doom of the lost person. Now then the lake of fire, where is it? Well, who knows? We know it must be in space and not on the earth. And with the reading I do, it could even be a black hole in space, A black hole is a place where time is nothing. I also read at one time they thought that because of its tremendous specific gravity it is tremendously dense. And there is intense heat, even though it's intense darkness, with a feeling of constantly falling. Anyway, that's the thoughts of our people who study space. I'm just throwing that out as a possibility. I'm not saying it is, but we do know the lake of fire is eternal, without end and the lost will spend forever there. And the sad part is, they didn't have to go there. That's going to be awful. To think they missed glory because they didn't believe the Gospel, as simple as it is. It's sobering, as much as we would love to see the Lord come today, the only thing that tempers my enthusiasm is the fact that maybe today and tomorrow a few will still be saved and escape all of this. But it behooves us to be mindful that the eternal doom of the lost is something beyond our comprehension.

(15a) Will people that are not saved be judged according to their works?


Revelation 19:11,12

" And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself."

"His eyes were as..." what? "...a flame of fire,..." Now, it doesn't say they were a flame of fire, but they are just like flames of fire. In other words, they will be so penetrating, there will be nothing that can escape them. Nothing can be hidden from them; it will all be revealed. Now, let's come back to 1 Corinthians. This is the language that Paul is using. We will come before the Bema Seat (now here is where I have to make a qualification, the lost people from Cain until the very end of time as we know it, they of course will appear before the Great White Throne. And it's only for the lost, there will be no believers at the Great White Throne. Here Christ will be the judge and will judge the lost of all ages).

In John's Gospel, Chapter 5, Jesus taught so plainly, that there will be two resurrections. The resurrection of the just, and the resurrection of the unjust. In other words, the unbeliever is also going to be resurrected out of Hell before the Great White Throne, and he will appear there bodily in a newly resurrected body, but it will be a body fit not for glory and not for Heaven; but a body fit for the eternal lake of fire. It will be a body that will have many of the same appetites of this one, but without any hope of ever satisfying it. And so, that's why the Scriptures said to let the drunkard be drunken still, and let the whoremonger continue on with those appetites, for they will never be satisfied. They will also have an eternity of regret. Remember, nobody goes before the Great White Throne except those who choose to go there. Salvation has been offered to all people (everyone; red, yellow, black, and white; rich, poor; it doesn't make any difference). But, if they reject it, they are going to end up at the Great White Throne.


But now coming back to the Great White Throne in Revelation 20:12

Revelation 20:12

"And I saw the dead (of all ages), small and great, stand before God (in their resurrected bodies);..."

Their bodies won't be glorious like ours. But theirs will be fit for the lake of fire. Remember, their bodies will not be consumed or burned up, but their bodies will be tormented forever and ever. They will have all of their senses and feelings. As awful as it is, and it is awful, that's why most people have quit talking about it. But that still doesn't take it out of Scripture. Don't forget, the finished work of the Cross has made it possible for every human being to escape this lake of fire judgment. They will realize when they stand before God they made their choice for this punishment. We look at certain aspects of human history, and say they never had a chance, they never heard. Well, they must have had some kind of chance; otherwise God would not tells us in the Book of Romans 1:18:20 "...so that they are without excuse." And they are without excuse! I think that will be part of their torment of that final doom - that constant regret that they are there, and they didn't have to be.

As I teach John's Gospel, Chapter 10, about the Shepherd and the sheep fold, I always point out where the door is into the sheepfold. It's not somewhere that is inaccessible, or unreachable, but right at ground level. Right smack in front of every human being as they sojourn through this life. And so God is absolutely just and fair, that when people have trampled under foot what He suffered and died for, then He doesn't have to show mercy, and He won't. This is going to be a place of judgment and it's going to be awful. When people say that you and I as believers will sit and watch this Great White Throne judgment take place they don't know what they are talking about. That would be horror of horrors. We wouldn't want to see the lost stand there and hear their doom prescribed. And I'm glad we won't. Now finishing verse 12:

Revelation 20:12b

"... and the books (plural) were opened, and another book (singular) was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."

Now the Book of Life is going to show them that their name is not there. There are two views on this. Some maintain that every person's name is in the Book of Life, and if they die without salvation then their name is blotted out. The other view is that when people are saved and experience salvation, their name is placed in the Book of Life. And there are Scripture verses for both approaches. But regardless, at the Great White Throne they are going to see their name is not there. They will have no argument. God brings up their record. I know God has no problem keeping a record of every human being that ever walked the face of the earth. I know He will have the record, and it will be completely accurate.

Revelation 20:13

"And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them (now watch that language. Hell is going to give up those that are in it): and they were judged every man according to their works." And then those who had been occupying hell...

Revelation 20:14

"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire (do you see the difference between those two places? Death and hell is the place of the unbeliever who has died and is waiting for this Great White Throne judgment. He waiting for the resurrection out of hell, only to go to something far worse, which is of course the lake of fire. And the Bible calls this); This is the second death." They died physically and now they die spiritually. The definition of death is: for the physical, it's the separation of the spirit from the body. For the spirit realm, death is the separation from God. It's an eternal separation.

(16a) Will people that are saved be judged according to their works ?




We were talking about believers coming up before the judgment seat of Christ, the Bema seat. Bema is simply the Greek word for judgment seat. It came from the Olympics - the seat of the judges. I stressed in our last lesson it's a seat of judging not for Heaven or hell, but rather for what rewards we will receive. This will only be for believers and the Body of Christ who one day will come before the Bema Seat for rewards. We will definitely get rewards based on our Christian walk in this life here on earth. Of course, the rewards are going to come to their fruition primarily in the Kingdom economy. When the Kingdom finally comes on the earth and becomes active, Christ will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the world wide Ruler, and we will be ruling and reigning with Him.

Now here is where the reward aspect comes in, as we reign and rule with Him, our level of responsibility is going to be based on our faithfulness here. And that is why it behooves us as believers to labor, to work, and serve for the rewards we will use in the Kingdom Age. I think most people would rather be active as opposed to being inactive and sitting on the sideline. I know I would. I couldn't stand sitting on the sidelines.


II Corinthians 5:10a

"For we (believers) must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ;..."

I think that word `judgment' is an unfortunate translation in our King James, because the word here in the Greek is Bema. It was the Bema seat. Paul took that from the Olympics. Paul made many references to the Olympic games. So the Bema seat at an Olympic game was the place of the judges. As you watch a tennis match on television they have judges who sit on the line of the tennis court, and it's up to the them to determine if a shot has gone in or is out of bounds. Now in so many cases you could say the judge is sitting on the Bema seat. They are sitting on the seat of a judge.

Now as Paul uses this analogy then, the Bema Seat, on which Christ will be sitting as the Judge, is not to determine heaven or hell. It's not to judge us for our sins, because the believers sins have already been judged totally and completely at the Cross. We will never again have to face our sins. Now this doesn't give license, not by any stretch of the imagination. We won't come before the Bema Seat shaking in our boots wondering if we are going to make it or not. I had a gentleman in one of my classes share with me not too long ago that his father-in-law, I believe, was getting rather elderly, and had come to spend the remainder of his life with his daughter. The gentleman relating the story said, "Les would you believe that this fellow was a highly thought of well-known evangelist in his denomination. And yet I can still hear the old fellow as he walked across our living room bemoaning to himself, `Will I go to heaven when I die.'" Here he had been preaching to thousands of people throughout his lifetime, yet he didn't have an assurance of where he would spend eternity. Isn't that sad? There are multitudes like that. They profess salvation, and say, "Oh, yes, I believe in Christ," But then they turn right around and think they have to work, work, work, hoping that somehow they can still make it. This is not the Gospel of Grace that the Apostle Paul preached. The Gospel of Grace says that Christ releases the power of salvation at our believing (and when I say believing I'm not just talking a mental accent. I'm talking about a genuine Holy Spirit opening of the heart, and we can without any reservation say, "I know that Christ died my death. I know that He rose from the dead, and that He had power to overcome sin and Satan."). That's the kind of faith God is looking for. When He sees it, our sins are judged, and we are cleansed of them. Then He seals us, and sets us on our way working, and serving Him. As a believer, the whole concept here is that we live a life well-pleasing now as a child, with the idea of gaining a reward for meritorious service. Finishing verse 10, we must all appear before the Bema Seat:

II Corinthians 5:10b

"... that every one (believers) may receive the things done in his body (while we as believers in this life), according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."

So we will stand before Him to see if we are going to receive a reward. Let's follow that back to I Corinthians Chapter 3. Here again the Apostle is writing to the Gentiles of Corinth, so basically he is writing to you and I. Again he uses the pronoun `we.'

I Corinthians 3:9

"For we are laborers together with God (now he points the finger at the believer and says): ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." You are something that God is working on.

I Corinthians 3:10

"According to the grace of God which is given unto me (Paul is speaking in reference to his own ministry), as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation (Paul is speaking about a building situation), and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon."

In other words the foundation is there. And that is the basis for any kind of a building. But now comes all the various workers that are going to put their little bit into this building. Now verse 11. Notice Paul doesn't claim to be the foundation:

I Corinthians 3:11

"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

He is the basic foundation of all our works. And you can't begin to build on that foundation until you have experienced His salvation. There is no such thing as working for that. But after God has imparted salvation and the power of God has been released into our very existence, then He expects us to serve him. That doesn't mean we have to be a Billy Graham, or go to the foreign mission field, or have to be teachers or something like that, but in Romans 12, we've got all these areas of service that believers can fill. I've told my classes, over the years, every single believer has at least one gift that can be used in God's service. Many times people are exercising their gift and seeing all the fruits of it and they come to me and say, "Well, Les, I wish I had a gift." You've got a gift and you're using it! Just keep on doing what you are doing, whatever it may be. People who are elderly and can't get out and do much anymore, they can serve the Lord in just prayer alone! Prayer changes things. Older people could literally turn a nation around if they would pray. Others may have accumulated enough wealth that they can judiciously give and further God's work.

Now, I don't buy this thing of, "I'll just put it out there and God's knows my heart." No, God has given every individual intelligence and discernment. You give where God directs you and give where it will be honoring to Him. Don't just throw it out there someplace and think, "Well, this is good enough. I've given in the right attitude." No, you are to be judicious even in your giving. There's all kinds of places and ways to serve God. Ministering to the poor and sick are two ways. These are gifts of serving. Now, as we serve, come to verse 12:

I Corinthians 3:12

"Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood hay, stubble;"

As we enter into this life of the Christian walk or service, God provides opportunity for six building materials. Wood, hay and stubble; gold, silver and precious stones. Those are the ones that are available. Now, of course, a lot of believers never get anything more than wood, hay and stubble. That's as far as they ever get. But you see, others will get out and put forth some effort and energy and they're going to drum up some gold, silver and precious stones. Here's the way you have to look at these six materials; which ones can withstand the flames of the judgment fire? I'm not talking about Hellfire, I'm talking about the Judge's eyes. He's going to have eyes of fire that are going to penetrate our works at the Bema Seat. Which ones are going to survive those flaming eyes. Well, not the wood, hay and stubble because that's going to go up in a puff of smoke. It's the gold, silver and precious stones, whatever that may be. In other words, the things that have lasting value. The things that have really made a difference, maybe in your home, in the community, in your church, or whatever. That's the gold, silver and precious stones. Now let's read on again in verse 13:

I Corinthians 3:13

"Every man's work (it's the masculine gender, but includes everyone as a believer. Not for salvation) shall be made manifest (like being put under a spotlight. As we come before the Bema Seat to see what our rewards are going to be, we are put in the spotlight. Then the penetrating eyes of Christ will burn off the draught showing if you have gold, silver or precious stones left): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is."

I Corinthians 3:14

"If any man's work abide (survives His scrutiny) which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive (not salvation, but) a reward."

I know a lot of people are turned off by the concept of rewards, but it's very scriptural. The Scripture maintains that you and I are literally to work for rewards. Verse 15, but:

I Corinthians 3:15

"If any man's work shall be burned (that has no reference to hell. That just simply says that if all we have is hay, wood, or stubble ... we didn't do things for the right reason for example. And the Lord looks at it, and our works shall be burned up and disappear), he shall suffer loss (not his salvation, but of his reward): but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

This person will be there, but he will not have earned the reward. Now let's go over to Chapter 9. Here Paul is again going to use one of his many allusions to the Olympics. Paul must have truly loved the Olympics. Here he's writing to you and I, the believers:

I Corinthians 9:24,25

"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all (they all take off at the starting gun. But how many receive the prize?), but one receiveth the prize? (now who determines the winners? Judges who sit on the Bema Seat) so run, that ye may obtain."

"And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things (what's he talking about? Their training period, while they were getting ready for the race. They maintained good diet, exercise, and they didn't overdo anything. The Scripture says, "that in all things be temperate." We wouldn't have so many of these health problems if people were just temperate). Now they (these athletes) do it to obtain a corruptible crown (you know what corruptible means, it doesn't last); but we an incorruptible."

Paul says, "We don't run and work for something that is going to pass off the scene in short order. But ours is what? Incorruptible!" And even though Christianity has been on the scene almost 2000 years, the rewards that those early believers earned are still there. They are still waiting, and when we get there our rewards will be there also. Have you stopped to think about God's rewarding for the believer at the Bema Seat, at the end. We don't receive rewards as we come along. And do you know why? Because the next generation will benefit from everything that you and I do in the Lord's service (if this world keeps going). The same is true for the wicked person. His activity is going to effect people of the next generation, and generations to come.

Sometimes I think of that dear old Pastor that first asked me to teach in Sunday School. Do you know that someday, whatever I've been able to accomplish is also going to go to his credit. And someday down the road, people whose lives I have touched, whatever they do, is one day, going to come to my credit. And so it is with every believer. And that's why it will all come at the end. And now, I'd like to give this illustration. If you throw a pretty good sized rock into the middle of a fairly large pond of water, how far do the effects go? To every inch of shore line! And so it is with the believer. Everything we do will ripple out and have an effect on more and more people. Now verse 26: The Apostle

Paul then says:

I Corinthians 9:26

"I therefore so run (that I may win the prize.),..."

(17a) When did God lose the human race?


"Being justified...." Justification is that judicial act of God. Now, when I use the word `judicial,' I mean like a judge on the bench hands down a decree. Justification is when God, The Judge, judicially declares the sinner (that person who recognizes that they are undone and are under the control of old Adam) to be just as if he had never sinned. That's beyond our comprehension. Even after we've been justified, we still are prone to fall and sin, yet what does God tell us? He says we are justified! He sees us as if we had never sinned! We'll never have to come before the judgment seat of Christ, as believers, and have to answer for our sins. Never! Our sins are forgiven. They are under the Blood. Christ took care of it and we will never have to stand before Him with sin on our back. Our sins are buried in the deepest sea and God has put up a sign which says, "No Fishing!" He has completely removed them. They are not going to come back and plague us. That's being justified.

Let's continue in verse 24: "...freely (without a cause...and how did God do it?) by his grace (unmerited favor) through the redemption...." I think you all know what the word `redemption' refers to: losing something and buying it back. And it's a Scriptural term. When did God lose the human race? When Adam sinned. We're all in Adam, remember? It was there God lost us. So now, what does He have to do? Buy us back with a price. Satan is a hard task master; he won't let go of us easily. And this is the whole idea of redemption -- that God has to buy us back for Himself because He lost us in Adam. The word redemption here, especially in Romans, goes back to the Roman slave market in particular, for a beautiful illustration. The Greek word is Agorazo. We're not going to be concerned with that word so much, but we're talking about a slave market.

Just like in today's stock market, there were certain terms back then that applied only to the slave market. And these were the three that were usually exercised by wealthy Romans who would go down to the slave market and just spend the day. It was a good past-time for them to go down and buy a slave and leave it in the market. And, when they left that slave in the market (much like a stock trader today can buy stocks in the morning on the board of trade or stock exchange and, if at one o'clock in the afternoon, the market has jumped a couple of points, he can resell that same stock), if the price went up, they could sell the same slave that same day.

Well, the Romans could actually do that with slaves. But, the one we're most concerned with here in Scripture is the term Exagorazo. Now the term 'ex' always means out. So, in this case, they could buy a slave, take it out of the market and take it home, thereby becoming that slave's owner. Then, they could exercise the third part with regard to slaves -- they could 'Lutroo' him, or set him free. So, with that background, let's look at this verse. Here, the Roman legions have just come down from barbarian Gaul in Northern Europe. And they've got this teenage lad who has probably been beaten and dragged several hundred miles - and here he is in the slave market. But this rich, benevolent Roman sees this young man and sees something in him of worth. So, what does he do? He buys him; and instead of leaving him in the market to trade again, he takes him home, cleans him up and gives him light duty.

This young man has never lived so sumptuously, although he is a slave. And then, one day, this Roman master calls this young man into his office and says, "You've been an ideal slave and I'm going to now give you your freedom. I have paid for your citizenship. You are free to go wherever you want to go. You are a Roman citizen." What do you suppose that young man would say considering the fact that slaves who were not fortunate enough to be bought, were thrown to the lions in the coliseum? He would probably say, "Master, there's no way that I could do that after all that you have done for me. You bought me out of that awful slave market. You've put me in new clothes, you've cleaned me up and you've given me the best of duty. Master, I love you, and I will never leave you. I'm going to serve you all the rest of my life."

Now, doesn't that say it all? That is what God rightfully expects from every child that He has saved. He has taken us out of the slave market of Satan; He has broken the bonds of sin. He has cleaned us up and given us a whole new outlook on life. He has given us the Holy Spirit and all the promises of eternity to come. So, what should be our logical reaction? "Lord, you've done so much for me. The least I can do is serve you and be your faithful bond-slave."

Editor's Note: Later in this book, under the question, "How was Lord Jesus Christ born without sin?", Les explains why the human race did not come under sin by virtue of Eve, even though she had eaten the forbidden fruit first. Sin came upon the whole human race by way of Adam's sin.

(18a) What is the one reason God sends someone to Hell ?


II Corinthians 4:3a

"If our gospel be hid..." (or veiled)

Something is over it so that hearts cannot comprehend it. What has to happen? Well someone has to remove the veil, and in this case who is holding the veil in place? Satan is, as we'll see in the next verse.

II Corinthians 4:4a

"In whom the god of this world..." (Satan)

A lot of people don't like to talk about Satan. They think of him as a cartoon character in a red underwear suit, and a pitchfork with some horns on his head, but listen, that's not the Satan in The Bible. The Satan of The Bible is a powerful being. Paul says in another place that he can transform himself into an angel of light. So this is what Satan is doing so expeditiously today. Satan is constantly confusing the issue with his seeming light, but remember it's Satan who -

II Corinthians 4:4b

"...hath blinded the minds of them which (will not repent and be baptized? Notice it doesn't say that. So what is God's controversy? They won't believe. They) believe not,..."

It's not that we have to repent, it's not that we have run down some aisle in repentance. But rather what does God demand for salvation in this day of Grace? That we believe the Gospel. Now is a mighty good time to look at the Gospel of salvation that saves us and places us into the Body of Christ. Jerry Pool isn't here with us today, but if he was here he'd be winking at me, and I know what he'd be saying. So turn back with me to I Corinthians Chapter 15. And bless his heart, Jerry started coming to my classes about 16 years ago and I guess one of the first Thursday nights he attended I must have struck a cord with these first 4 verses in I Corinthians, "The Gospel!" There is no clearer place in the whole Bible where the Gospel is laid out in full. This beats John 3:16 a hundred miles. Now I have nothing against John 3:16, but John 3:16 can't even come close to what Paul writes here. Remember any time that Paul makes a reference to the Gospel in any of his epistles it's always this one. All right verse 1:

I Corinthians 15:1,2

"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel (absolutely. Today there is only one Gospel of Grace.) which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; (that was all it took. When they believed the Gospel then God literally moved heaven and earth to bring that person to place of enlightenment. And as soon as we believe the Gospel this Book begins to open up to understanding. And it begins to make sense) By which also ye are saved, (it's by this Gospel and this Gospel only that we're saved. I don't care if it was in Corinth or any other area of the world, whether it was back in 50 AD or in the present year it makes no difference because this is the Gospel that saves lost people.) if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain."

Paul is saying, "Don't believe the wrong thing for salvation." Listen God is meticulous. Again this same Jerry had been to a funeral of a dear friend, a good person, and I'll never forget the look on Jerry's face when he said, "Les is there any chance that God might compromise this a little bit and let this person in?" No way! Because God is not a compromiser. God has made the plan of salvation so simple, and plain that He is not going to let someone slip in a side door, and say, "Well I thought..." You see that's what Cain did. I always have to go back to Cain and Abel because they were so typical. Abel did just exactly what God said to do. Abel believed what God said and he acted on it. But old Cain rationalized, and said, "Yeah but I think that if I do this and if I come on with all of this effort then God will accept me." But did He? No! I've often said that Cain was probably a better person than Abel. It wouldn't surprise me a bit. Because Cain tried, but what was his problem? Cain didn't believe what God said.

And it's the same way today. If people are going to somehow or other connive around this simple Gospel, then I don't believe that God is going to accept them. Now I don't know hearts, and I never pretend to, but I have to go by what The Book says, and The Book says that this is the Gospel by which people are saved. Here it is in verse 3 and 4.

I Corinthians 15:3,4

"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, (now here we come back to the revelation that Paul received from the ascended Lord, and not from Christ's earthly ministry. Christ had the finished work of the Cross now behind Him. So this is what was revealed by the ascended Lord for us to believe for salvation) how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (This was in that whole preordained plan of the ages that Christ would go to the Cross) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures;"

Now folks that's the Gospel that you must believe in your heart for salvation. And isn't it so simple. Oh there is no string attached, there is no prescribed ritual, there is no particular way that you have to do this. You can believe it at the kitchen sink, you can believe it driving down the road, you can believe it when you wake up in the middle of the night. You can say, "Yes I see it. For me there is only one remedy, and that is that Christ died for my sins, and He arose from the dead!" Then God does all the rest. God saves us. God sets our feet on a Rock, and He begins to open up the Scriptures, and then we begin to comprehend the truth of The Bible from cover to cover. Now this isn't going to happen all at once, but salvation happens all at once. I told a class many years ago that salvation is not a process, but rather salvation is an event. Salvation is an instantaneous event. Christian growth is a process. Bible understanding is a process, but salvation is a one time event. And what an event to be translated from darkness to light! To know your sins have been forgiven, and to know that you're justified! And all this happens instantaneously.

I noticed in my studies of this past week that in all of Paul's letters that we never have to beg God to forgive us of our sins. Think about that. And yet for most people who are putting out the plan of salvation they say, "You have to ask God to forgive you of your sins, you have to repent." Well I can't find any of this in Paul's letter to the Church Age believers. It's not in here, but rather my Bible tells me that when Christ died the death of the Cross, He took on Himself not just the sins of those who are saved, but rather He took on the sins of every human being that has ever lived or will ever live. And when He took every human being's sin then He could cry to the Father, "Those sins are forgiven," All of those sins are buried in the deepest sea, never, never to be brought before us again. So even when lost people slip out of this life into eternity, their sins are already forgiven. But they had not believed unto Salvation. Now when we get into Chapter 5 of II Corinthians we're going to find the word "Reconciliation" and the same thing applies. Every human being that has ever lived has now been reconciled to God by virtue of the work of the Cross.

But now I have to clarify that don't I? I think this will be a good illustration. Those guys in Congress who hold the money bags, and can hand it out by the billions. For a particular program they can appropriate millions of dollars, but that money stays in that account until somebody out there starts drawing on that account. Am I right? Is that government process? You know it is. All right the money is already appropriated, but it won't do a nickels worth of good until somebody draws on it and puts it to use. Now that is God! At the Cross God paid the payment for every person's sins. He paid their eternal doom, He did everything that needed to be done. So now all that lost people have to do is draw on that account. And how do they do that? By simply believing the Gospel for their salvation. But the reason they will never enjoy all the ramifications of that finished work is that they are never going to draw on it by believing. They will never exercise the faith that God demands. Now isn't that sad? You know I think when people go to the Lake of Fire for all eternity, they won't be going there for all their sins. They're not going there because of the drunkenness, and adultery and whatever you want to call sin. They're going there because of their unbelief! And if I'm not remembered for anything else I want to be remembered for that. That lost humanity is going to their eternal doom for only one reason, and that is they refuse to believe that everything is already done. And isn't that sad. And who is keeping them from seeing all of this? The powers of Satan as we see in II Corinthians 4:4:

II Corinthians 4:4a

"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,..."

And how does Satan do it? I think his favorite choice today is to keep people so busy. Everybody is so busy. Our kids are all involved in sports from the time they get old enough to walk. And so it is a constant bombarding of our time with everything except the things that count. And so I believe this is Satan's biggest instrument. And there is nothing wrong with a lot of those things. There's nothing wrong with kids playing T-Ball, or basketball; but what's it doing? It's keeping their minds so occupied that they never have time to think in terms of the spiritual. Oh, the old Devil loves it when we're preoccupied. The more he can keep people in programs, and the more he can keep people with their eyes on material things the more old Satan can say, "I've got them veiled, I'm keeping them blinded, and I'm the winner.

(19a) How can God Who is a God of love and mercy possibly consign people someday to that awful Lake of Fire?


Isaiah 61:10

"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God (why is Isaiah filled with joy?); for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness,"

You see the whole purpose of God giving us this Book is to bring us to the point of Salvation. Every human being has to reach that point if they're going to escape God's wrath. And God is going to do everything that He can to keep every person from falling under that condemnation. And God has done that, and He's made it so available. You know I've had people ask in my classes more than once, "How can God Who is a God of love and mercy possibly consign people someday to that awful Lake of Fire? Listen it will be easy, and I mean that. It's going to be easy, because He's done everything that could possibly be done to keep them from it. He's given us The Word, He's given us men who are willing to preach and teach it so we can understand that all we have to do is "BELIEVE"! Faith plus nothing! See there is no energy involved in believing, it's just accepting what God has said. No questions asked, but people don't want to do that. They simply don't want to believe what God has said concerning Salvation.

Romans 1:16

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

I Corinthians 15:1-4

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Romans 10:9-10

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

I Thessalonians 4:14

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

There are so many more scriptures that Paul uses to show us Salvation. And when we do believe like Isaiah, then immediately because these two imperatives have now been fulfilled, what happens? He has clothed me with the garments of Salvation, and covered me with a robe of righteousness.


Revelation 20:14,15

"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

I don't care if people don't like to preach this subject any more, the Book stills says it. And there are groups who try to make believe that a God of love couldn't do this. But I've shown you that God's love was so great at the Cross that there is no room for removing the eternal doom of the lost person.

(20a) What else does the Bible say about atheists and non-believers ?


What is the basic difference between believing in God and believing God? It is all the difference in the world. See you can believe in God, and I suppose that 95% of Americans say, "I believe in God." The other 5% say they don't, but way down deep when the deathbed comes they do. I do not believe there is an absolute atheist. To believe in God is one thing. To believe God: that enters into faith; that implies that God has said something. And as soon as God said something and we believe it, then it is faith. For example, He tells us (in I Corinthians 15:1-4) that for our salvation we are to believe that Christ died for us, was buried, and rose from the grave, and that he did that for you and me. Now that is faith.


Titus 2:11

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath (already) appeared to all men."

Now granted, when Paul wrote, the Roman Empire comprised ninety percent of the then-known world. But they had all heard. I think Paul is going all the way back to the flood. When Noah and his three sons and their wives came off the ark, they all had a knowledge of God. But what happened? Within a generation or two they began to do what Romans 1:18 says. They began to hold down the truth. They stood on it, and kept it underfoot. Remember all the revelation that God had given mankind, beginning with Adam. Deep in the heart of every human being, even in that Adamic nature, is the knowledge that there is a God. I've had people tell me they are atheists, but that's just an excuse. They're trying to convince themselves they are, but down deep within each atheist is the knowledge of God. So I maintain there is no such thing as an atheist. They all know there is that nagging desire to fill the vacuum that God placed in mankind when He created them. In history and archaeology you will never find a group or a tribe of people that did not have a worship of some sort. And always associated with a blood sacrifice. They're going to have that need for a blood sacrifice, and it all goes back to the way God created mankind. So man has that knowledge that there is a Creator. Now verse 21: the reason they are without excuse is:

Romans 1:21

"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations (Solomon said, "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity." What was he talking about? Humanism! When they leave God out of their thinking, then it's empty), and their foolish heart was darkened."

Book 38 Lesson Three ē Part II

Ephesians 5:15b

"...not as fools, but as wise." Now we all have our own idea of the definition of a fool, but I always have to use the Scripture for the best definition. So letís go back and look at it in Psalm chapter 14.

Psalms 14:1a

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God..." Now most Bibles will have the "There is" italicized, which means that itís been added to hopefully clarify it, but in this case they didnít do this verse any good at all by adding those two words. I like the way it read just by leaving it the way it was intended.

Psalms 14:1a

"The fool hath said in his heart, no, God...."

Not that there is no God, because I donít think thereís a person alive that can honestly say that. Now there are some who try to claim theyíre atheists, but way down deep inside of them, when the death angel comes knocking on their door, theyíre suddenly going to realize too late, that there is a God, and that there is an eternity. So I donít like to look at this verse in that light, but rather if youíll put a comma after the word no, the fool says no to God. Do you see that? The fool says, No, God, Iím not going to do what you tell me, Iím not going to believe what you say. Now thatís a fool! Now as soon as you get the concept that the fool is the person who says no to God, heís the man who is then destitute of faith.

So the definition of a fool then is actually a person who is destitute of faith, and weíve had examples in the Scriptures of such people. Cain was the first one. The guy was destitute of faith, and consequently he didnít bring the kind of sacrifice that God had told him to bring, because he didnít believe what God had said, he rationalized. The next one we come to early on in Scripture is Ishmael. Ishmael was not a man of faith. He went and did just exactly opposite of what God, through his father Abraham had said, "Not to marry Canaanites," so he went and did it anyway. He showed the fact that he was destitute of faith because he said no to God.

(21a) How does the Bible describe the eternal heaven and earth ?

Editor's Note: Chronologically according to the Bible, the rapture will occur, then the 7 year tribulation. Then Christ will return to defeat Satan and rule for 1000 years. Then the eternal heaven and earth will be created as described below.


Revelation 21:1a

"AND I saw a new heaven and a new earth:..."

I try to get people to ask themselves questions as they study their Bibles. This verse should stir a question. What happened to the old ones? Scripture has the answer. Go to II Peter 3:10. I feel these verses in II Peter give us the reason for Revelation Chapter 21:

II Peter 3:10

"But the day of the Lord (remember this term, "...the day of the Lord" actually begins with the onset of the Tribulation and runs all the way through the thousand-year reign of Christ in the Kingdom) will come as a thief in the night (it will catch the world by surprise. Notice there is a semicolon at the end of night. Many times a punctuation mark in the Scripture will skip hundreds or thousands of years. That's the case here); in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."

I like Peter who, though an uneducated fisherman with no degree in science, uses the very terms that scientists use today. We speak of this earth made up of elements. The various elements and fervent heat in verse 10, spoken of in verse 11 as dissolving, is another science term. These are the exact words that Peter uses with regard to this planet, "the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." I see no room here for leaving even the core of the earth.

II Peter 3:11

"Seeing then that all these things (what things? Everything that makes up the planet. I don't know if this will include the solar system or not. Our solar system is just a pin-point compared to all of outer space. My pastor made an analogy in a sermon which I liked. He said if man could launch a rocket, pointing it to outer space, and even if he could get it going 186,000 miles per second (the speed of light), at any given point in time will it stick into the ceiling of outer space? I'd never thought of that. Naturally the answer is "no." If it did, there would have to be something on the other side. This is completely beyond our imagination - the vastness of space; that something going at the speed of light can keep on going forever. But, as far as space goes, God is always beyond it. The infinity of God and space is mind boggling. But we know that "these things" applies to all that makes up our planet) shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,"

Peter is saying, "Since you dealing with this kind of God, who is man to even attempt to reject Him." But we also know that throughout human history the largest percentage of men have kept God out of their life. I try not to get on a stump and start preaching, but I get so alarmed that our younger generation seems to have no concept of God, of eternity, or things that are spiritual. They're living for the here and now. They're living for the gratification of the flesh, with no concept of the Scriptures. It just scares me. On the other hand we have to understand that all of this is getting ready for these end-time events, when the Anti-Christ will appear. These kids in our so-called "Christian America" have no concept of what's coming. Being ignorant of the Scripture, when they hear this charismatic individual promising peace and prosperity, they will fall for him hook, line, and sinker. Back to Revelation 21. As this planet has been plagued with the curse and sin for so long, we find that it is totally dissolved. Then the following:

As this planet has been plagued with the curse and sin for so long, we find that it is totally dissolved. Then the following:

Revelation 21:1

"AND I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away (gone!); and there was no more sea."

Because the earth here has passed away, that's the reason Hell has to be emptied out. Most people don't think of these things. Hell as we know it is, at this moment, in the very center of this earth. But since this earth is going to blow up and be completely destroyed (as we saw in II Peter Chapter 3), even the inhabitants of Hell must be removed. In order for this to happen, Christ will resurrect the lost bodily out of Hell to stand before the Great White Throne. Then this old planet can be destroyed. Now for the exciting part:

Revelation 21:2

"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem (the one for all eternity), coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Remember in John Chapter 14?

John 14:2

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."

I don't know if Jesus had the new Jerusalem in mind here, but we know that God has this glorious abode that we'll enjoy for all eternity. He'll still have a thousand years to work on it if He needs that much time. It will be beyond our comprehension. Now verse 3:

Revelation 21:3

"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, `Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.'"

When this happens, God is going to be in the very present (not in a distant place where we have to take Him by faith). And eternity being what eternity is, it is in another dimension that you and I can't comprehend. Even though there will be billions in eternity, each one of us will know God as personally as we do our own parent. That is one of the unique qualities of the eternal. Now verse 4:

Revelation 21:4-6

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes (this is what makes Heaven the Heaven as we think of it); and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. I like to tie tears, death, sorrow, and pain to this earth. That is part of the curse and the earth today! And he that sat upon the throne said, `Behold, I make all things new.' And he said unto me, `Write: for these words are true and faithful.' And he said unto me, `It is done, I am the Alpha and Omega (only one Person in the Godhead says that. It's Christ. So the Lord Jesus refers to Himself as), the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.'" That's the eternal part again.

Revelation 21:7,8

"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son." In verse 8 we have a reminder from God of those who will not be in this eternal state with us.

"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." The final separation from God.

Revelation 21:9-11

"And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues (of the Tribulation), and talked with me saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife." These are terms of position, not communal living. This bride is the new Jerusalem descending out of Heaven.

"And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;"

I won't read all the descriptions (which are completely beyond our comprehension). With the gem stones and jewels that will make up this city (it isn't just going to be gold), it's going to be everything that we think of as wealth and beauty.

Revelation 21:12-15

"And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles (Peter and the eleven) of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof." Now in verse 16, he brings it into language we kind of understand.

Revelation 21:16

"And the city lieth foursquare (it won't be so many miles wide and long, as our cities are today, but rather long, wide, and high - actually a cube. Some feel it might be a pyramid, but I doubt that; I think it will be a cube), and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal."

So we have a cube that is 1500 miles in each direction, plus 1500 miles high. That is from New York City to Denver to Mexico City. From Mexico City into the South Atlantic Ocean and back to New York City. That would be a 1500 mile square. And this city goes up 1500 miles. What's another reason we'll need a new earth? Well, that city could never rest on the earth we have now. The curvature of the earth would fall away from it, and most of the city would be setting out there like birds' wings. I think this new earth will be so big, that even a city this size won't go beyond the curvature. Get your calculators out and tell me how large this new earth will have to be for this city to sit on it. And there will be billions in glory. I think most Bible believers agree that infants and little children under the age of accountability are going to be in glory.

Looking back through human history, what percentage of infants got beyond infancy? Take the third world tonight and think of the millions of infants that die before they are even a year old. They will all be in glory as adults. That makes me think this new earth will be so huge and beautiful that no one is going to be crowded. Remember, this 1500-mile city is just our apartments so to speak. And as you come down through the text, we find there is going to be food production. I think there will be all the aspects of the thousand-year Kingdom reign. I feel there will be an animal Kingdom, and birds. There won't be a sea, so there might not be fish. I think it will be an extension of the Kingdom economy, except on a greater and grander scale. God is preparing this that we might have pleasures evermore. Not pleasures as the world thinks of pleasure, but as God thinks of pleasure. I don't know what that will be but I know one thing (knowing God as I do), He can't make a mistake. It's going to be glorious. To think that man will turn his back on all of this for seemingly 10 or 15 years of a so-called "good time."

Put it this way. Show me a person who "lives in the fast lane" (we see this constantly with entertainers, etc.). How long can their body take it? Only a few years. They burn themselves out for just a few years of "pleasure." And they have turned their back on an eternity of real pleasure! Isn't it foolish? But mankind can't get these concepts straight. They think in terms of living their own life and having a good time for three-score years and ten, not worrying about what comes after that. I look at it the other way around. I'm not that concerned about this three score and ten; I'm more concerned about the billions of years ahead of us. Now, let's move on.

Revelation 21:19,20

"And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth sardius; the seventh chrysolite; the eight, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst." Such beautiful gem stones! These foundations are going to be garnished with them. And then verse 21. This would make any bride's mouth water.

Revelation 21:21

"And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, every several gate was of one pearl (the Bible says it. Women have gone to great lengths to possess the biggest pearl in the world, but here we will have gates made of a single pearl): and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass." This is where songwriters have picked up that we will tread the streets of gold. But this is our prospect. Since God is present with us there is not need for a place to worship.

Revelation 21:22,23

"And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun (that doesn't mean there won't be a sun. Because when you get into Chapter 22 the sun is mentioned again. But there won't be a need for the sun), neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof."

Revelation 21:24

"And the (what's the next word? Please underline it) nations (Remember, the Kingdom economy will slip right into eternity, except on a new Heaven and earth. We have nations in the Kingdom and we'll have nations in eternity. The Kingdom will be forever and ever) of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it." It appears there will be nations with sub-governments under the headship of God (which comes back to the promise to you and I as believers). We will reign and rule with Him.

Revelation 21:25-27

"And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."

(22a) How should we pray ?

Book 38 Lesson Two ē Part IV

When people today call or write about prayer this is the first place that I take them. These are absolutely the best verses on prayer.

Philippians 4:6a

"Be careful (or worry) for nothing;..."

Youíve seen these little wall plaques that say, "why worry when you can pray." Well thereís more to that than meets the eye. Weíre not supposed to worry. Now we can be concerned. I think everyone of us have concerns, and we have that right to have those concerns, but weíre not to fret and worry.

Philippians 4:6b

"... but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving..."

It doesnít do you any good to petition God if you forget to thank Him for it in advance as you pray.. Thanking God is the criteria, thatís the modus operandi for prayer. Make it with thanksgiving.

Philippians 4:6b

"...let your requests be made known unto God...."

He isnít limiting your request. It can be anything as long as itís in Godly reason of course, but let your requests be made known unto God. Here we can come, and ask with thanksgiving, but God may say, No! He may say, no not right now, maybe later. He may say, Yes. But regardless how He answers in verse 6, youíve already got the answer in verse 7. Weíve got the answer to our prayers here in verse 7, and what is it?

Philippines 4:7

"And the peace of God, (no matter how God answers our request) which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Do you see why we donít have to worry about anything? Itís because we have that peace of God, and thatís what keeps us. I know thatís beyond human understanding. I know weíre all human and we do worry and fret, and get overly concerned, and yet I think most of us have to admit that through all of our tight spots, we came through it with Godís help. Now thatís where we have it over on the world. God never promises us that weíre going to go through life without problems. Weíre going to have just as many problems as many in the world around us, but whatís the difference? We have God with us in our problems, we have Him to take us through and we can rest assure in that.

Another Scripture comes to mind in Psalms chapter 37. Now this is from David even under the Law, but I can still go back and use it in application, and itís a beautiful couple of verses. This passage fits right along this same line of thinking. The peace that passeth all understanding will keep our heart and minds through Christ Jesus. Now letís look what David writes, and letís start with verse 5. My what a promise.

Psalms 37:5

"Commit thy way unto the LORD trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass"

Maybe not in our timing, but in His. Isnít that a promise? My Iíve gone through trying times myself, and I just about wear that verse out. But do you know what it means to commit something? It means you take it to God and leave it with Him. I think Iíve given this example before. Regardless what you think of the Post Office, I think most of you just go and drop your letter in the mail slot. Do you go home and for the next week fret and worry whether it got to itís destination or not? No. Because as soon as you dropped that letter, what did you do? You committed it to the Postal Service to take care of it. You donít go home and lose sleep over worrying if the letter got there. Because youíre assuming that it will. You committed it, and you let it go at that. Now this is what verse 5 means.

Psalms 37:5

"Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."

When you have a need, a problem, or concern, you simply commit it to the Lord. You take it to Him, and you leave it there, you donít hang on to it. If you hang onto that letter, it never will get down into the mail, because youíve still got it. But if you let it go then itís committed. The other verse I like here in this chapter is verse 7.

Psalms 37:7a

"Rest in the LORD,..."

Do you know what it means to rest? It means to relax. Turn those concerns over to Him, donít hang on to your problems. But rather "Rest in the Lord."

Psalms 37:7b

"...and wait patiently for him:

See, weíre in a society of instant gratification. Give it to me now Lord, Iím in a hurry! No we have to learn to "wait patiently for him."

Psalms 37:7b

"...fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass."

Boy we see that every day donít we? We look at the young ungodly world around us, and all their prosperity, and wealth, and wonder, "Why?" Donít worry about that, because those are things that are in Godís hand. But our responsibility is to commit our way unto the Lord, trust in Him and let Him bring it to pass in His own time. Some times it takes a lot longer than we think. It may take years, but God will do it in His own time.

Book 40 Lesson Three ē Part III

Colossians 1:12

"Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (or prepared us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:"

Now letís look at giving thanks to the Father. Iíve had several questions lately, itís funny how they sort of come in groups, and the question is, "Is it appropriate to pray to the Father in this age of Grace? Well I taught it on television, and had forgotten when I taught it but I found it the other day, so Iím going to have you turn back to Ephesians chapter 5, because maybe some of you or some of the listening audience wonder about praying to the Father, as the Lordís prayer instructs us to do. Yes that has not changed. This is as clear cut an answer as you can get.

Ephesians 5:20

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ:"

Isnít that exactly how we do it? So itís still appropriate today, yes we do pray to the Father, and we do all in the name then of the Lord Jesus Christ, and weíre going to see that relationship in the Trinity in little later verses, but for now come back again to Colossians chapter 1. So Paul as he prays to the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ he has thanked God, the Father that He took these Colossians out of paganism, out of darkness, out of the chains of the satanic powers and translated them into the heavenly kingdom. Now whatís happened to the Colossians has happened to us. We too have been translated from a position in darkness, and we are now citizens of the heavenly kingdom. Now Paul does not make a big a do about our kingdom relationship, because after all thatís primarily associated with the nation of Israel.


Colossians 3:17

"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."

Now thereís the process again, as Paul also gave it in Ephesians on how weíre to pray. I still have people ask, "Are we still supposed to pray in the name of Jesus?" Absolutely! Come back with me to Ephesians chapter 5. Youíll see this is plain English, this is the process.

Ephesians 5:20

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father (how?) in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;"

Now thatís the Scriptural instructions, and Paul says the same thing here in Colossians. Now looking at Colossians again.

Colossians 3:17

"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."

By the Lord Jesus, because after all Heís the One thatís at the right hand of the Father, Heís the One thatís the advocate, Heís the One that is the intercessor, and it only makes common sense. In fact another verse comes to mind in I Timothy chapter 2. Again itís a good admonition for all of us.

I Timothy 2:1-5

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2. For kings, (our government) and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honestly. 3. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour. 4. Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of truth. 5. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;"

Oh arenít you glad you donít have to go through a priest, or a religion, but you have clear access into the throne room.


II Corinthians 1:11

"Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf." In other words Paul then, and like we do today, realized what really sustained him in his ministry. The prayers of the saints! Never fail to pray for one another. Pray for us, and others in the ministry that God is using to reach hearts. Remember prayer changes things.


Colossians 2:13

"And you, being dead in your sins (absolutely, we were as under the control of the old nature, our spirit was completely of fellowship with God and so thatís what Paul says we were in the world. We were dead in sin) and the uncircumcision of your flesh (by virtue of being Gentiles) but hath he (God) quickened (has regenerated our spirit. He has crucified old Adams and has given us a new nature. A new divine nature) together with him, having (already) forgiven you all trespasses."

Before I go back and look at another word, letís look at Colossians chapter 3, since weíre already in that. And letís look at verse 13. And again, Paul repeats this twice in two chapters to drive it home. And oh, most of Christendom has a hard time swallowing this, I know they do. But here it is again.

Colossians 3:13

"Forbearing one another, (remember, heís writing to believers congregated in an assembly) and forgiving one another, if any may have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye."

Now look at that verse very carefully. Is there any demand in that verse that you forgive your enemy before you can be saved? NO! Thatís already done by the Grace of God. Youíre forgiven. But now since you and I are forgiven, what should we be ready to do? Forgive whoever we have ought against, whether itís in the Church or neighborhood or whatever. There is nothing stipulated in Paulís Gospel, nor his writings that first we have to forgive everybody before we can be forgiven like the Lord Jesus said during His earthly ministry under Law. I had a question come the other day. Someone had heard it and they had missed it. The Lordís Prayer. The Lordís Prayer isnít appropriate for us today. The Lordís Prayer was under Law. It was to Israel. And it says "forgive us our trespasses (when?) as we forgive those who trespass against us." Now thatís Law. And absolutely a Jew could not be forgiven until he went and forgave his neighbor. But that doesnít hold true today. Weíre forgiven by the Grace of God. And if weíre forgiven, then why in the world canít we forgive our neighbor? Thatís the teaching.


Romans 8:26

"Likewise the Spirit (the Holy Spirit who is now indwelling us, according to Paul's teaching) also helpeth our infirmities (our weaknesses. There's not much we can do about it because we're dealing with the invisible, in the realm of the Spirit. But let God do it. God can strengthen us in our places of infirmity): for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

That verse is kind of hard to comprehend, except to say I think that there will come places in our lives when we just don't know how to pray. We have an idea of what we want, but we can't put it into words. I've told my classes over the years, when you get to that situation, just be quiet, shut up and let the Holy Spirit commune for you. This is not necessarily a tongues experience. That's not what Paul is talking about. But we get to this place where the Holy Spirit actually intercedes on our behalf.

(23a) How can I know that Iím really saved ?


Romans 8:14

"For as many (or all of you) as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

Listen, that's very exclusive to us. I get a kick out of the Biblical Archeological Review letters of the editor. Because some of these people write in and condemn people for being exclusionists. Of course we are, because the Bible is! And what's it excluding here? Lost people are not led by the Holy Spirit. They're out there on their own under the power of the god of this world. But believers are led by the Spirit of God. That's one of the indications that we have true salvation.

I had a letter the other day and it was a good question. "How can I know that I'm truly saved?" It's a good question. I wrote back and said, "There are several ways: 1. Do you have a hunger for the Word of God? If not I doubt if there's any true salvation because it just follows like daylight following dark, that when we become a child of God we hunger after His word. 2. Do you enjoy being with God's people? If you don't, then there's something wrong and I would re-examine my so-called salvation experience. 3. Do you enjoy prayer time, and taking your needs to the Lord? If not, I doubt if there's any relationship there."

But whatever, it's a thing of the heart and I can't look on the heart nor can anyone else, but you can self-examine. And I think it's Peter who wrote, "make your call and election sure." Well, what did he mean by that? Don't work a little harder, but just simply on the light of Scripture, examine yourself. Are you just depending on something that you have done, or are you depending on a solid faith in the Gospel wherein the power of God has been exercised? And when that happens, here it comes, as we saw in Galatians and now here in Romans, the Holy Spirit comes into our life and He begins to lead and guide and direct to the place where we don't have to have rules and regulations. The Spirit does that. Now here again, if we're led by the Spirit of God then we are the sons, or the born ones of God. That's one of the proofs of footing. Now let's go to verse 15 and again he's talking to believers here.

Romans 8:15

"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to (what?) fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father."

Believers don't have to walk around in constant fear. We have respect for God and we revere Him, but we don't have to fear Him. Because we know He loves us. In fact, I'll never forget, and I think I mentioned this on a program a long time ago, somebody sent me a tape of their pastor's Sunday morning sermon. I learned a bunch from it. And that was that in John Chapter 13, where Jesus was dealing with Martha and Mary and Lazarus, all through that chapter, it wasn't how much Lazarus and Mary loved Jesus, but what was it? How much He loved them! And it was an eye-opener! And this is what people have to realize. It isn't dependent upon how much I love Him, although we're certainly going to love Him. But you see, the thing that's important is that we realize how much He loves us! Enough to die and suffer for us. Now then, when we have that kind of a salvation, the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.

Now do you see how that flies in the face of these people who say you can never really know? They say you can hope so or you can try and do the best you can, but you'll never really know? That's not what my Bible says. My Bible makes it so plain and mine is no different than anybody else's. But it makes it so plain that we can know that we have passed from death unto life. And here is another one. It's the witness of the Holy Spirit that we have that salvation, we have that we are children of God.



"But since weíve heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love which you have to all the saints,"

Have you ever had someone ask you, "How can I know that Iím really saved?" Itís a good question. I donít mind a bit if someone calls me and says, "Now Les, youíre always talking about someone being a true believer. How can I know that I am a true believer? And not like multitude of others who are simply church members and sitting in their pew for an hour on Sunday morning and hope that theyíre okay. How can I know that Iím a true believer?" You know what my first answer is? "Do you love the Word of God?" And then I follow that right up with the second one. "Do you love being with Godís people?"

In fact I just had a gentleman call last night and ask the same question and I said, "Okay. Do you have a love for the Word of God?" He said, "Yeah, I do for the last couple of years. I just canít get enough of it." I said, "Okay, then my next question is, do you enjoy being with Godís people or would you rather be in some night club instead of a Bible study?" He said, "I hear you. I hear you." Well, thatís just exactly what Paul is saying here. What was the proof of their faith? Their love for fellow believers! See, the world doesnít love us. The world would much rather have us be out there in some night club or some other place of amusement than to be in a Bible study. You know that. But weíre to be the other way around. Weíd much rather be with fellow believers studying the Word than being out there being entertained in some ungodly way. Thatís always the mark. And so here again he says that the proof of their faith was the love that they had for the saints or their fellow believers.

Now that doesnít mean that every believer is perfect. I donít think we even have to like every believer. Thereís a difference between love and like. Isnít that right? I hope I donít get my foot in my mouth. But I maintain there is a difference between liking someone and loving them and you donít necessarily have to do both. Youíve got to love them, but you donít necessarily have to like someone who rubs you wrong and doesnít have the same interests that you do. And you just certainly wouldnít say, "Well I just wish I could spend every day of the week with that individual." No, you donít have to like people all that much but we have to love them. And thereís a big difference. Love is that which seeks the other personís highest good. These people had a love for the fellow saints.


I Corinthians 15:1-4

"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, 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 that's Paul's Gospel, and our Gospel and we must believe that for our salvation. So this is the primary thing, it supersedes anything else in all of Christendom. Then of course other things follow in their rightful place. Naturally we are to grow in grace. We are to grow in knowledge of the Word. We are to grow in our works and our activities for the Lord's business. Absolutely we're to be givers, and to be witnesses, and this is why we're left here. Because otherwise, would to God, that the moment that we're saved, He'd take us out of here. It would be far better. When Paul said that after seeing the things in glory that eyes have not seen, nor ears heard, the things that were prepared for those that love Him, I have to think we've got some glorious things awaiting us. It's going to be so glorious. Joy unspeakable, righteousness, music (I think), like mortal ear has never heard and it's all awaiting us once we enter into His presence.

(24a) What is the key to understanding the Bible ?


I CORINTHIANS 4:3 - 6:11

Now let's come right back to our study, and begin I Corinthians Chapter 5. We love to hear when you write and say that you study right along with us. That just thrills our hearts. As you know we never try to promote any particular group or ourselves, but we just want to help people to understand The Bible, because it's the greatest Book on earth. But you know there are so many that won't even attempt to read it because they say, "Well I can't understand it." But, oh yes you can, and the whole secret to understanding The Bible and having it come to life for you is this; pay attention to whom a particular Scripture is written to, and don't confuse Israel with the Church. God was careful in separating the two, and we should be also. And for the most part when God is speaking to the Church Age believer (that's you and I) He does this through the Apostle Paul's writings. A lot of the things that were applicable to Israel are not to the Church today.

But I always have to remind you that the things that God hated in the land of Israel He still hates today. God does not change. The God of Israel in Genesis is the still the same God that we deal with today, but He deals with us, the Church, under far different circumstances. We are now on resurrection ground, we are now being dealt with as people who are to believe for their Salvation that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again, as recorded in I Corinthians 15:1-4, and not merely a Shekinah glory back there in the Temple in Jerusalem. We're not under a mandate to keep the Law and so forth. But nevertheless always remember that God has not changed in His attitude toward sin, and righteousness.


You have to realize if you've been with me these past three and a half years (and many of you have been with me the better part of twenty years), that as we've come up through human history, God has changed His dealing with the human race. Now God didn't change. But He changed in His dealings.

In other words, when Adam and Eve were in the garden, God dealt with them under those circumstances. The garden was theirs to enjoy. God communed with them everyday. And everything was pretty simple. Then all of a sudden sin entered. And then what happened? A whole new ball game. Adam and Eve are expelled from the garden. All of a sudden they have to work with the sweat of their brow. Sin, and the curse is now on the scene. And that's certainly far different than it was in the garden. And that went on until it got so bad that God destroyed the whole human race with the exception of Noah and his family. Then they come out of the ark and what happened? Another whole different set of circumstances. Totally different than it was before the flood. And so that goes on. And then the next great event in history is the Tower of Babel. All those new generations of people coming out of the sons of Noah have gathered in rebellion. That's what the tower of Babel really is. It's a place of rebellion. And again, God intervenes and confuses all their languages and what happens? God scatters them.

Then He calls Abraham, and again it's something totally different. He now is going to deal with one special little race of people. That's why they are called "The chosen race." They're Covenant people. Again, that's totally different than what He's ever done before. Then along comes Moses about 1500 BC. At God's direction, Moses gives Israel the Law. You and I have no idea what it was to live under the Mosaic Law. That put such pressure on the Jew, and you need to remember it was far different than the law practiced by Judaism today. To live under the pure Law of Moses, was to live under the constant threat of what? Death! If they picked up sticks to build a fire on the Sabbath Day they knew that death was waiting for them. One act of adultery would result in the same thing. There was no mercy. That was Law. Then along comes the Apostle Paul and to the amazement of the Jew in his day, as well as the Jew to this day, Paul proclaims that you are not under Law, but under Grace. That's a whole different set of circumstances.


You know I would like to get every person from whatever station in society or whatever age group interested in the Word of God. The Bible is still the greatest Book on earth, and it's not as difficult as most people have been led to believe. The secret to understanding the Bible is to separate some of these things that you cannot mix. And so this where we come in, especially with the apostle Paul and his writings. All of his writings are of Grace and Grace alone. So if there seems to be a contradiction in Scripture, see if it's under Grace or Law as the two won't mix.

Editor's Note: Paulís writings to the Gentiles (the Church) are the thirteen books of Romans through Philemon. This is the part of the Bible that a new believer should read first. Although Paul also wrote the book of Hebrews, he wrote it to the Jewish believers who had been saved under the gospel of the kingdom, the teaching of the twelve apostles of the circumcision (Jews). Hebrews was not written to the Gentiles.

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