Through the Bible with Les Feldick

Apr - May - Jun 2006

How to Study the Bible - "It shall greatly help you to understand Scripture if you mark not only what is spoken or written, but ask of whom and to whom, with what words, at what time, where, to what intent, with what circumstances, considering what goes before and what comes after." ~ Miles Coverdale

Note from Les:

Dear Friends,

As I write I am euphoric because, for the first time in over five months, last night brought thunderstorms and rain.  Our ponds, which are filled with run-off rain water, were getting extremely low due to the drought conditions.  Although we are still several inches behind in rainfall, we have now had a much needed reprieve.  Many of you have inquired about our status with regard to the fires raging across Oklahoma and your prayers and concern are deeply appreciated.  Thankfully, we can report that we were spared completely with no serious fires within 15 miles.

We continue to praise the Lord for the great number of you telling us that for the first time you are assured of your eternal Salvation.  Secondly, we praise the Lord for the home Bible studies that are functioning from coast to coast around our books and videos.  What a reunion when we all get to heaven. 

Our article for "What in the World" is the first of a two part reprint of a position paper written by our dear friend, Fred Moore, of Colorado Springs.  Fred can be reached at (719) 391-8366. 

What in the World

"Confident Hope as a Lifestyle"

By Fred Moore

“You know you're getting old when you begin to get gray around the fringes, often ache when arising with the sun, and when your knees buckle but your belt doesn't.  Such oldsters are likely to remember Roy and Dale Evans' wonderful shows on TV.  One of their popular programs ending ditties included this line, "Faith, Hope and Charity, that's the way to live successfully.  How do I know?  The Bible tells me so".  As you know, charity is the old English word meaning love in today's world.  That triad, Faith, Hope and Love, is found often in Paul's letters to the churches he planted.  He recommends that believers look for those three character distinctives as a measure of true spirituality.  When God awards believers at the Bema judgment for their God-dependent lifestyle, His standards will be seen to be greatly divergent from the doist brag-a-monies' heard at testimony time in today's contemporary churches.  They do reproduce after their kind.

Too many evaluate the assemblies of our day for the size of their facilities, the number of pew-warmers attending services, the size of the budget, the programs offered.  They look at such evidences and say, "Wow.  That's a really cool church!"  But God still looks for something much more foundational than nickels, numbers, and noise.  Budgets, people, buildings and programs are necessary, it seems, but there is a priority that is far more vital, the biblical triad of Faith, Hope, and Love.  When those identifiers are present in the heart of a church, they will work themselves out to be exactly what God wants it to be.  And He will control how large its budget should be, how many programs are to be offered, and the size of the auditorium.  When Faith, Hope, and Love are foundational in the individual believer and the local church, God is being honored, and He will bless both entities for their dependence on Him. “

The Letter to the Thessalonians, Paul's first epistle, begins with that triad.

“We Give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of God and our Father-1:2-3.”

“The characteristic we addressed last month was faith.  It is defined not merely as belief, but trust that coexists with faith.  It is an on-going life-changing commitment of believing trust that grows as His redeemed internalize His Word, and the Spirit applies the Word in their lives.  The spiritual fruit of that trust is confidence that diminishes the possibility of failure in serving Him.  Congregations that have that sort of faith will make Godly decisions, and discover His hand of guidance in achieving great things.  When believers come to the end of insight they possess, and step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith will be seen to be belief that one of two things is certain to come forth.  Either there will be solid ground ahead, or God will teach them how to fly.

The second characteristic is hope, confident hope, the hope of the Thessalonians, and today's redeemed.

“For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus, the One delivering us from the coming wrath-1:9-10”

Verse 10 identifies the confident hope of today's Church, the Body of Christ.  It is waiting and watching expectantly, because redeemed believers know that Jesus will soon return from heaven to rescue them.  Paul had taught that great truth to the Thessalonians early on during his short stay with them.  But after his departure, some of them died, and the congregation was wondering what would happen to their dear departed when He returned.  So he explains further about that concern in chapter 4.

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren concerning those which are asleep, that you sorrow not even as others who have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so those who sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not precede those who are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Therefore comfort one another with these words-vs. 13-8.”

That, friend reader, is the blessed confident hope of the Church.  Those believers who are alive when He comes again will be caught up to meet Him in the air, above the clouds and higher than man has ever flown.  Those who die before He comes will experience "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord".  That is the Church's blessed hope, the return of Jesus Christ and the gathering together of His Body.  But that's not all.  Believers will be changed, both physically and spiritually, to be like Jesus, their Head.  For those who see Him and stand in His presence, sin will be a thing of the past.  All of their sinning, failures and faults have been left behind, and their vulnerable earthly bodies shall be transformed.

Nine years later the Ephesians' letter will declare that "Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, in order that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish".  That is the cleansing process that is on going today in the lives of every member of the

Church, the Body of Christ, as they internalize the Word of God.  Aging minds may be deteriorating and sieve-like, but running Scripture through them will certainly at least keep the sieve clean.  Such spiritual dry-cleaning is to be recommended, and is a great blessing to the young and old who experience it.

Paul's letter to the redeemed in Philippi declares that the redeemed of this dispensation will also experience a physical makeover.  "The Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, shall change their vile bodies, in order that they may be fashioned like his glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things to himself."  So the believers' confident hope is also the expectancy that soon those who have embraced Paul's Gospel will be just like their Redeemer.

And that's not all there is to this glorious anticipation.  Confident hope also claims the promise that those who have yielded their members as instruments of righteousness to the indwelling Holy Spirit (Romans 6:13 & 19), and presented their bodies as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1-2), shall be rewarded at the Bema Judgment.  There the quality of believers' service shall be tested by fire.  Nothing that can be identified as energy of the flesh, under the omniscient eyes of God the Father, will ever be productive here on earth, or qualified to enter the throne room of heaven - I Corinthians 3:9-23.  The problem is that few pew-warmers today are learning to give up and win in this unfruitful competition. The filling/control of the Holy Spirit is available to every member of the Body of Christ, and when they are available to Him, those activities that He energizes will bear fruit to the glory of God.  They are described as worthy of awards, gold, silver, and precious stones.  The best any descendant of Adam can produce, redeemed or headed for the Lake of Fire, is human good.  Only the Godhead can produce divine good.  It has been often said that too many churchgoers typify the busy, barren life of the religious.  To receive rewards at the Bema is potential only to the redeemed of this dispensation.  To hear the Savior say, "Well done, good and faithful servant" and to receive His reward will be a capstone blessing for some, not all.  Having something of value to place at the Savior's feet in that day will surely be the number one desire of every blood-bought child of God.”

Note from Laura:

Dear Friends,

I have been asked to continue with my little notes, so here goes.  It has been 18 months since I broke my neck and it has been quite an adjustment for my entire family, but God is good and He has a purpose for everything.  I know that hardships and heartaches are difficult to accept, but for me the verses that have helped me are found in Isaiah 55:8-9.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

As always, my family and I want to sincerely thank you for your prayers.

Note from the office:

We will just sing the usual song and thank you again for remembering to use the memo line of your check to let us know what you would like us to use it for (invoice #, order, or donation).  We are continually amazed by your faithful support that is allowing the ministry to grow even during tough economic times.  Many of our new viewers may not realize that although Les can been seen teaching nation wide and our internet lessons can be picked up literally world wide, we are still a comparatively small operation. 

We mentioned in the last newsletter the two new employees that the Lord sent to us when Jennifer had a job opportunity she simply could not pass up last year. Melissa Reese and Ruby Starr have been such blessings in so many ways since they started helping late last summer.  It is always nice to be able to put a face with a name and voice to give you an idea of the person on the other end of the phone line, so we are including a picture of Melissa and Ruby as well as a picture of the Office and the home of Les and Iris which together make the "physical" ministry.  Of course the heart of the ministry is the Holy Spirit inspired teachings and the fellowship we all have in sharing the Word.  You are all part of this ministry and we praise the Lord for you.

Have questions about the Bible?  We highly recommend the Question and Answer book.  Over 180 common pertinent questions all answered from the Through the Bible transcribed books. A great value at $11.00. "The Footsteps of Paul" Cruise of October/November 2005 is available on one 8 hour VHS or 4 DVD's.  This special product features 1 hour of highlights, 1 ½ hour travelogue, and over 5 ½ hours of Les teaching on the subject of "Why Paul" for $30.00.

To those who attend the local classes or tapings, we have added an extra taping on April 12th. Also, the Good Friday class will be canceled in Tulsa because the Church will be having services.  Finally, May taping has been changed from May 10th to May 17th.

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