|Hebrews 11 |
2 For by it [faith] the elders [of our Jewish roots] obtained the approval [of God].
3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the visible things were not made from anything we can see. [The worlds were created by the Lord Jesus Christ, who created all things in heaven and earth, and whose name is "the word of God." As George Fox said, "To think the Bible framed the worlds is ridiculous." The word is the Spirit, not a scripture. This one of several scriptures that prove the word, the word of God, and the word of the Lord all mean Christ, not the Bible.]
4 By faith Abel offered to God "a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God having regard for his gifts;" and though he is dead, his act of faith still speaks.
5 By faith "Enoch was translated so that he should not see death;" and was not found, because God had translated him; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him. He who comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.2 [The Lord told us to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness as the highest priority of our life. Mat 6:33. Then he told us us how, the one thing that is needed; to sit at His feet and listen to His words that he speaks to us, Luke 10:39-42; we sit at his feet by waiting in humble silence, listening, and watching while thinking of the name of Jesus. When we obey what we hear Him tell us to do, we are following Jesus. From the Word of the Lord within: "In humble silence we sit and wait. Think on His name. Sit with me, and I will make you clean. Sit with me, and I will reveal all. Follow me as fast as you can; you start by sitting. If those who hear will obey, their progress will be swift."]
7 By faith Noah, being warned by God of things not as yet seen, moved with fear, prepared an ark to save his household; by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place that he would later receive for an inheritance, obeyed;3 and he went out, not knowing where he was going.
9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;
10 For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
11 Through faith also Sara herself received power to conceive a child when she was past the age of childbearing, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, came as many descendants as the stars of the sky, and as innumerable as the sand of the seashore.
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them by faith from a long way off, and were convinced of them, and embraced them, confessing that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14 For those who say such things, declare plainly that they seek a better land.
15 And truly, if they had been mindful of the land from where they originated, they would have had opportunity to have returned.
16 But they desired a better land, that is, a heavenly home. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God because he has prepared a city for them.
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, prepared to sacrifice Isaac; thus he who had received the promises, offered up his only son,
18 Of whom it was said, that "through Isaac your seed will be reckoned,"
19 Believing that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, and figuratively speaking, he received him back from the dead.
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph, and worshipped as he leaned upon the top of his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel [from Egypt], and gave orders concerning his bones.
23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a proper child, and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.
24 By faith Moses, when he had matured to manhood, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter,
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season,
26 Esteeming the reproach for the Christ [to come] greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked forward to the reward.
27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; but he endured, while focused on Him who is invisible.
28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, so that He who destroyed the firstborn [of all Egypt] should not touch them [who observed the passover requirements].
29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as though it were dry land, which when the Egyptians attempted the same, were drowned.
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were encircled for seven days.
31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, because she had received the spies with peace.
32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, of Barak, of Samson, of Jephthah, of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets,
33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained the promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong and became valiant in battle, and turned the armies of the aliens to flight.
35 Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, refusing to be released so they might obtain a better resurrection.
36 And others had trials of cruel mockings and scourgings, yes, including chains and imprisonment.
37 They were stoned, were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, and tormented,
38 (Of whom the world was not worthy). They wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And all these, having obtained God's approval through faith, did not receive the promise,
40 God having planned something better for us, so that without us they would not be made perfect.4
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1 faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced by what we do not [physically] see. For we are saved by hope; but hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he has already seen? Rom 8:24. So we are sure of what we hope for, our faith resulting from direct revelation by God to us; yet we don't yet see what we hope for. We are convinced by revelation. From the Word of the Lord within: "Faith is a series of revelations."
The faith that the Apostles preached was not an outward faith, but an inward faith. The object of both faiths are the same, but the differences are crucial to realize the promises of God. The two faiths are:
George Fox wrote of this inward faith and focus necessary:
"The Father is in you all, Christ is in you, and the Kingdom of Heaven is in you; there, in your hearts, is where you will find them all. Know him there searching your hearts, and find him there trying your minds and hearts; incline your ears, and give ear to him there, who will render to everyone of you according to your words and works whether they are good or evil."
Faith is authored by Jesus, who gives us a taste of the goodness of God through revelation. Though we do not yet see God, we are certain of His existence. Then we begin searching for how to obtain more of that taste of goodness. When we discover the necessity of turning inward to find God and what the true hope really is, our revelations increase. Each revelation increases our faith; each revelation increases our hope; each revelation convinces us even more, despite the fact that we still are yet to see God.
If you are dedicated to seeking the promises of the gospel, your dedication is evidenced by your waiting, listening, hearing, and obeying. If you do your best in that, you can't fail. It is your hope that saves you; and your hope is kept alive by:
- reading the promises in the scriptures along with the records of those early Quakers who endured to the end and entered the Kingdom of God;
- by hearing the Lord speak to you — every word, every revelation increases your faith, providing you stay obedient to His commands;
- to see your sins and your desires eliminated, one by one — ample proof of your hope being true;
- to experience supernatural affliction, (tribulation), for to the hungry, seeking soul, even tribulation can be encouraging: (The full soul loathes a honeycomb; but to the hungry [seeking] soul every bitter thing [tribulation and chastening] is sweet. Pro 27:7. Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.);
- to hear God tell you that you are going to succeed: be freed of sin, become a part of Him, and enter the kingdom.
(When tribulation begins, it is often a shock and easy to doubt the encouragements you have heard from the Lord; however remember, the devil does not encourage you unless you are practicing some sin that the Lord has commanded you to turn from.)
Those five assurances are what builds your faith, builds your hope, builds your confidence, and builds your trust in Him to complete His work in you. Realize, He wants you to be completed even more than you do. The earth exists for one reason only — to make saints; and saints are few, so anyone that continues to seek Him as their first priority in life, and do the one thing needed, cannot fail. Only by turning away, only by being distracted into the pursuit of other things, only by taking offence when suffering is experienced, only by your choice, would you not experience salvation, union, and translation into the kingdom. From the Word of the Lord within: "those young in the faith will succeed;" even those new to the faith, providing they stay on course, will succeed. (Being new to the faith is when you believe in the true hope and you are waiting on God, eager to hear and obey his commands, with faith that your hopes will be realized.)
Salvation through the cross, (the only way), is not easy. From the Word of the Lord within: "This is the hardest thing — this is the Only thing." It is hard to die. It is hard to suffer when tribulation comes. However, He knows when your faith is sufficient to survive and maintain your hope. He is perfect, pure, truthful, holy, wise, good, and virtuous; remember that, however tough it gets, and you will be able to maintain your trust and faith in Him that He will never fail you.
We start with the hope of being freed from sin; we start convinced (believing) that if we wait, watch, and listen, we will hear the Spirit of Grace teach us what to deny and how to live; we start with the hope of entering the Kingdom of God while on earth; we start with the hope of union with Christ and God. As you listen to him and obey him, you will experience being freed from some of your problems. Now your hope grows exponentially. Now you see results! Now you have the beginning of faith that is sure of what you hope for: to be totally freed from sin, to enter the union with God through Christ, (junior but up to God), and to be translated into God's kingdom while still on the earth. And though you do not yet see the Lord, you have unseen evidence of him and his promises of the gospel being real.
So, what is your hope? To be able to sin without penalty and go to heaven when you die? Or to become free from sin, enter the Kingdom of Heaven while still on earth, and then be there forever? Two different hopes, two different faiths. One hope is true, one hope is a lie. One faith is true, one faith is a lie. One hope purifies, the other leaves you in the sorrow of sin. One faith purifies, the other leaves you defiled. One faith leads to Heaven, the other to Hell. The true gospel unleashes the power of God to a purified, experienced salvation; the other is a form of godliness without the power with only a presumed salvation. If any man preaches any other gospel to you than that you have received, [from Paul] let him be accursed, Gal 1:8-9. Paul said he was sent by Jesus to preach this gospel: "I [Jesus] ow send you to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins, release from sin's slavery, and an inheritance among those who are purified by faith in Me." Acts 26:17-18.
Jesus never said you could be saved if you say the sinners' prayer, or be baptized with water, or eat bread and drink grape juice; this is just heathenish ritual, the wide and broad way of that leads to destruction. Today's deficit sects, still captive to sin and the power of Satan, believe in a God whose favor is presumed to be granted due to their heathenish ritual and form of godliness. They deny a God of power, who can and is eager to free us from the oppression and captivity of sin, so that we can secure his promises, which require our holiness and purity. These deficit sects have defined a false gospel that promises heaven to those still sinning, and a false Jesus, who supposedly accepts sin, disobedience, and disregard of his own commands. Jesus said, He who doesn't love me will not obey my teaching. As Paul said, "cursed is anyone who brings you a different gospel," a different gospel and different Jesus from what Paul preached. The deficit sects falsely preach a different gospel than Paul, while completely ignoring, totally dismissing, and failing to believe the Good News that Jesus announced he had been sent by God to proclaim.
2 He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Diligence — continually attending to and striving to achieve a goal; laborious; persevering. Seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deu 4:29. To seek God, find him, and be united with him is the single and sole purpose of life. He [God] has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in you all.
3 Abraham is the father of all the faithful. Was his faith just that he believed in God? No, his faith was evidenced by belief that resulted in obedience to God's commands! Abraham obeyed to be physically circumcised; and so we must have our hearts circumcised to be pleasing to God. Abraham exercised his faith to leave his home for a new land — so we must lose our fleshly life and forsake the world to enter God's Kingdom. Abraham exercised his faith by obeying God's voice, willing to sacrifice Isaac, so we too must be obedient to the voice of the Lord within, willing to sacrifice anything he commands: so likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:33. James testifies that faith without obedient works is dead. James 2:14-24. Even the demons called Jesus 'Son of the Most High God,' falling down at his feet, begging him to have mercy. Luke 8:28, 4:41, Mark 5:7, 3:11, Mat 8:29. Oh Christendom, it is impossible to please God without fear and without obedience! You have been deceived by the false prophet, the beast, the great whore; just as was prophesied — the whole world follows this beast with horns like a lamb, with many names, and power given him to extend his authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation.
4 And all these, (Old Testament giants of faith), having obtained God's approval through faith, did not receive the promise, God having planned something better for us, so that without us they would not be made perfect. Use your common sense. Do you think that any so-called Christian could possibly be of help to make any of these ancient heroes of faith perfect, unless they themselves first became perfect? And if God planned for others to made perfect, thus to bridge these ancient mighty men and women into the Kingdom, union, permanent perfection, and the rest, do you for a second doubt that perfection is not only possible, but highly probable to those Christians with persistent obedient faith and true hope in the true gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation?
Jesus died so that all men would be saved, and He is the savior of all men, especially those who believe. 1 Tim 4:10. Certainly that applies to those who lived in the Old Testament times as well as those who lived in the New Testament times. What happened to those Old Testament people as they were waiting for the salvation of the saints to pull them through? We don't know much about after-life, but we have references to time being irrelevant there and a holding place interim to judgment, for which 4 Esdras has the most thorough explanation available, bearing in mind that a day there could be a thousand years here and vice versa.
And just in case there is someone out there wondering why Jesus is necessary, when considering the recorded salvation of the Old Testament prophets; Jesus made at least four things possible that the prophets could not attain: 1) a permanent perfection, a higher perfection, beyond Adam, the forever perfection of Christ himself as you enter 2) the union with Christ and the Father, to sit down in Christ in the 3) rest, to cease from your own thoughts, words, and deeds, to rest from battling with one's enemies of sin, and 4) to live in the Kingdom of Heaven, as a king and priest forever.
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