Friday, May 9, 2008

Hebrews 11

HEBREWS CHAPTER 11 by Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart:

The composite is:
1. Faith guarantees the substance.

The substance will ultimately materi­alize.

Even though we cannot see it now, ex­cept by Faith, our Faith guarantees the sub­stance that will ultimately come.


The phrase, “Now faith is the substance,” in essence says that Faith is the title deed.
“Substance” in the Greek is “hypostasis,” and refers to “one’s property or effects.” The word was also used in the Roman world to refer to “the whole body of documents bear­ing on the ownership of a person’s property, deposited in the archives, and forming the evidence of ownership.”
Moulton and Milligan in their “Vocabu­lary of the Greek Testament” say of these uses, “These varied uses are at first sight somewhat perplexing, but in all the cases there is the same central idea of something that under­lies visible conditions and guarantees a fu­ture possession.” Thus, they translate “Faith is the title deed of things hoped for.”
The act of exercising true faith as one prays, or as one leans on the resources of God, is itself the title deed or evidence of the sure answer to our prayer or the unfailing source of the Divine supply. It is God’s guarantee in advance that we already possess the things asked for.
They may still be in His Hands, awaiting the proper time for their delivery, but they are ours. In other words, they are “substance.”
If the answers to our prayers are not forth­coming at once, let us rest content with the title deed which God has given us, namely, a Holy Spirit energized act of faith. We may be absolutely certain that our God will honor this title deed at the right time (Wuest).

Even though Paul does not go into much detail here as it regards a definition of faith, still, what he in fact does say, sheds great light on this very important subject. The simple statement, “Now faith is the substance,” tells us volumes, even as we’ve already addressed.
And yet, everything that he has previously said in the preceding ten Chapters has actu­ally been a definition of Faith within itself. He has held up the Cross in every way pos­sible, directing our Faith to that Finished Work. In other words, true Faith, at least that which God will recognize, is always that which is Faith in “Christ and Him Crucified.”
Therefore, the true definition of Faith is that we simply believe. However, we are to have a proper object for our Faith, before God will recognize our “believing.” That proper object is “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.”

And now in the Eleventh Chapter, the Apostle proceeds to explain to the Christian Jews, and all others for that matter, what such faith will bring about. He has told us what faith is, what the object of our Faith must be, and now he tells us the results of our Faith.

The phrase, “Of things hoped for,” pro­claims a declaration of the action of faith. It makes promises present and real and unseen things visible. This means, that these “things hoped for” are not mere figments of the imagi­nation; their basis is “the Word of God.” If we keep this in mind, the words, still remaining general in their form, agree with all that has led up to them and with all that follows; in other words, every hope, at least that’s gener­ated by the Holy Spirit in the heart and life of the Believer, will be realized. If it pertains to this life, it will come in this life. And yet, some things which we now hope for, may not be realized in this life, and because they do not necessarily apply to this life. For instance, Abraham was promised the land of Canaan, but the Patriarch when he died, only owned the small burial plot where he and his family were laid to rest. But to be sure, it was possessed by his descendants, and in the coming King­dom Age, Abraham will personally see the realization of this which God had promised.
We must always understand, that the Promises of God are always much larger than we at first think or realize. And to be sure, God always keeps His Promises.
It has been said that the phrase, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for,” refers to that which is without substance. But this difficulty is only apparent; for in regard to ourselves these objects of our hope do not yet exist, since they still belong to the future (Rom. 8:24-25). Nevertheless, if God has promised them, and whatever they might be, the Promises will come to pass.
The only true hope in the world is that of the Child of God. It is true because it is an­chored in Faith, which is anchored in the Word, which is anchored in the great Sacri­fice of Christ, which makes it all possible.
The hope that the world entertains, is an elusive hope based upon what men may do or may not do, or even on the wisp of chance, which in reality, is no hope at all. It is no more than a gamble, a throw of the dice so to speak! But the hope registered in the heart of the Child of God, is based upon the en­tirety of the Word of God, which gives it sub­stance. Consequently, it is a hope which will definitely be realized, and without fail!
The phrase, “The evidence of things not seen,” refers to the fact, that our evidence is not based upon the senses, which yield un­certainty, but rather on the Word of God. There are realities for which we have no ma­terial evidence though they are not the less real for that. Faith enables us to know that they exist and, while we have no certainty apart from Faith, Faith does give us genuine certainty. To have Faith is to be sure of the things for which we hope. Faith is the basis, the substructure of all that the Christian life means, all for which the Christian hopes.
“Evidence” in the Greek is “elegchos,” which means “a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested.” Thayer in commenting on its use here defines it as follows: “That by which invisible things are proved and we are convinced of their reality.” Actually, “sub­stance” and “evidence” are very similar. But yet, “evidence” although included in “sub­stance,” adds to the simple idea of assurance, a suggestion of influences operating to pro­duce conviction which carry the force of dem­onstration. It goes back to what we have said about “hope.” The hope of the Child of God, is not a mere wisp, as that of the world, but rather hope based on evidence, and that evidence is the Word of God, and our Faith in that Word.
TAINED A GOOD REPORT.” The structure is:
Faith is the foundation of everything which pertains to God.

The “Elders” refer to the Old Testa­ment Patriarchs, Prophets, and Saints.

“A good report” refers to that which God says about them, and not man.

The phrase, “For by it,” would have prob­ably been better translated, “For by Faith,” because that’s actually what it says.

To the Hebrew Christians reading this Epistle, and all others as well, the principles of Faith set forth in this Chapter would have a deep effect. They would be made to see that the great heroes of Faith, much honored by Jewish tradition, in reality had looked for­ward to the Coming of Christ, Whose Redemp­tive Work would make their Faith complete.
These Personalities of Faith had held fast their “confidence, which has great recom­pense of reward”; they fulfilled God’s will, patiently waiting to receive the Promise. In fact, these renowned men and women of Faith were examples of cheerful courage in the face of adversity and examples of endur­ance that were strengthened by fierce trial. We would do well to consider their example.

The phrase, “The elders,” refers to a great list of faith-worthies, but by no means, in­cludes all.
Incidentally, in this list given which we will study, no report is given of Adam and Eve — not a word of any repentance, faith, or holiness of life. Their spiritual and eter­nal fate are completely hidden, which lends much credence to the idea that they died lost.
Considering these great faith-worthies, we should contemplate the following:
Those who are growing faint and cow­ardly, and thinking of shrinking back, of re­turning to Judaism, let them consider all these heroes of Faith named in the Old Tes­tament. If they desert, they do not desert “to” but “from” these men and these women and thereby place their names on that hor­rible list marked “perdition” (Heb. 10:39).
They, who maintain their faith, join this glorious list which the Holy Spirit gives us here in this Eleventh Chapter.
In this Book of Hebrews, the Holy Spirit desires to show us the power and potential there is in dynamic faith, and by that, we speak of Faith in Christ, and His great Sacri­fice. To have Faith in God is to have Faith in Christ and His Finished Work. To have Faith in the Word is to have Faith in the Finished Work of Christ. They are all one and the same!
And yet, as we go through this dynamic Chapter, we will see various needs as it re­spected the individuals involved, and how Faith met each and every need, irrespective as to what it was.

There is a great difference between a life that is empty and one that is full. It was to­ward the end of the law career of the atheist Clarence Darrow that he confessed: “At the close of my life, I am not sure of how much or how little I have really accomplished, if anything, for the fellow beings of my day who live as my neighbors for a time and then are seen no more. I am reminded of what Simon is reported to have said when Jesus came to his boat in the early morning, ‘Master, we have toiled all night, and taken nothing’.”
It is ironical, that Clarence Darrow would quote the Bible at this time in his life; the Bible which he professed not to believe!
One can only read this with a great sad­ness of heart. And yet, when we read the very opposite, and I speak of this Eleventh Chapter of Hebrews, we come away with a far different reaction.

The phrase, “Obtained a good report,” which refers to the only way that such can be obtained — we speak of Faith, and more par­ticularly, Faith in God and His Word, which translates into “Jesus Christ and Him Cruci­fied.” As we go down through this long list, we will see that the Faith mentioned, is Faith in Christ.
If in fact, it is Faith and Faith alone which can guarantee a “good report,” then it also means at the same time, that nothing else before God will bring about these desired re­sults. Good works will not do such, nor any­thing else one might contemplate. It is only Faith! And when we say “Faith,” let the Reader understand, that always and without exception, we are speaking of Faith in Christ and His great Sacrifice.
While works will never produce Faith, Faith will definitely produce works.
In orthodox evangelical circles today, the popular conception of the nature of saving faith is tragically inadequate. “By Grace, through Faith, plus nothing,” has become the

watchword; however, that does not adequately state the case. Saving faith can never be “plus nothing.” For saving faith cannot exist apart from repentance. Paul said:
“Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and Faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).
Repentance is concerned, not only with the past, but even more with the present and the future. It involves not only sorrow for the sins of the past, but the submission of the soul and life to the Lordship of Christ for the present and the future. There is a sense in which we must believe in Christ, not only “with all our heart,” but with all our life as well.
James said, “To be hearers of the Word, but not doers, is to deceive ourselves” (James 1:22). He also said, “Faith without works is as dead and worthless as the body without the spirit” (James 2:14-16).
“Faith in Christ” which leaves the “Be­liever” free of any allegiance and devotion to Him is shear presumption. A “plus nothing” Faith avails nothing. Only obedient faith is saving faith — living, conquering faith that “overcomes the world.”

Some have called this Eleventh Chapter “God’s Honor Roll.” It is indeed a wonder­ful record of the triumphs of faith on the part of imminent servants of God who lived in three different dispensations:
Abel, Enoch, and Noah, lived in the Dispensation of Conscience.

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph lived during the Dispensation of Promise.

Moses and all the others thereabout, lived during the Dispensation of Law.

All these were but preparatory periods leading on to the present glorious dispensa­tion of the Grace of God. But in all these past ages we see that Faith was the controlling power that enabled men to walk with God and triumph over the corrupting influences of their times. It is important to remember that God has never had two ways of saving men. While the Revelation of His Grace has come gradually, and various rites and cer­emonies have been linked with it at different times, these latter have had nothing to do with the regenerating or justifying of the in­dividual. It has always been true that Faith in God’s Word, whatever that Word may have been, which in some way has always pointed to Christ, has alone justified man before Him, and through that Word men have been saved in all ages, thus entering into His spiritual kingdom and recognizing His authority in a world at variance with that Divine Rule (Ironside).
The exegesis is:
We understand from this Verse that God functions from the principle of Faith.

It was through faith that God created the solar system. This is why Science cannot trace the creation back to its origin. There is an unseen force that does not submit itself to experimental science, and this is the ob­ject of faith.

As it regards God, His Faith created His Word; as it regards human beings, His Word creates Faith.

The visible worlds (the universe) were not created out of material in existence, for at the beginning there were no materials. Faith created it all, through the spoken Word of God.

The phrase, “Through faith,” proclaims this great principle as beginning with God. However, where the opposite of unbelief is prevalent in man, such is not possible with God, because unbelief is a product of disobe­dience to God. As best we can understand, God works from the principle of Faith which pronounces His Word, with the logical con­clusion being the announcement of that Word. However, His Faith never produces idle words, but rather that which creates and constructs.
This Faith of which we speak, is so preva­lent in God’s creation, that the entirety of mankind, even fallen man, operates on this principle, whether he understands it or not. In fact, every Scientist has come by his dis­coveries strictly on the basis of faith. Every experiment has been entered into on the

basis of Faith. They may not understand that as such, but that’s actually what it is. In fact, were there no faith, there would be no ex­perimentation. The very nature of such de­mands Faith.
The societies of the world which function best, do so on the basis of faith. I speak of the so-called market economy, or the “law of supply and demand,” as it is called! In fact, there is enough Christianity in the United States, and certain other countries, which has imbued the very system with faith, which has made these countries the envy of the world.
To go to the other end of the spectrum, and we speak of Communism, we find a sys­tem which is completely unworkable, sim­ply because it stifles all faith. And then there are many countries of the world that are con­trolled more or less by witchcraft, which of course nullifies faith.
Now let the Reader understand, that the faith which we here mention is not saving faith, but it is faith nevertheless. The only type of Faith that God will recognize as sav­ing faith is that which is evidenced in Jesus Christ and His great Sacrifice.

The phrase, “We understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God,” refers to creation, along with everything that goes with creation.
“Understand” in the Greek is “noeo,” which means, “to perceive with reflective intelli­gence.” It is distinguished from the mere physi­cal act of seeing. It is the perception of the mind consequent upon seeing. It means that our knowledge of this fact is derived only from Faith, and not from our own reasoning. In the first place, how in the world can we properly reason worlds being brought into existence by the mere decree of God’s Word? To under­stand such we would have to be God; conse­quently, we as creatures can only comprehend up to a certain level as it regards the Creator.
“Worlds” in the Greek is “aion,” and means “the material universe, and the peri­ods of time as administered by God.” In other words, we are speaking here of a well ordered creation.
The words “were framed” in the Greek are “katartizo,” which means “to fit out or
equip, so that person or thing thus equipped or fitted out, might carry out the purpose for which it was made.” It speaks of a wise adaptation of part to part and of the whole to its purpose, in this case, of the created uni­verse and the periods of time, all brought into being by the Word of God (Wuest).
Expositors say: “The Word of God is an invisible force which cannot be perceived merely by sense. The great power, and great it is, which lies at the source of all that is, does not itself come into observation; we perceive it only by faith which is ‘the evi­dence of things not seen’.”

“Word” as is used here in the Greek, is not the translation of “logos” as it usually is, and as is used in John 1:1, which is expressed there as a designation of the Son of God as the Word of God in the sense that He is in Himself all that Deity is — Deity expressing itself not in words as parts of speech, but in the Revela­tion of a Person. This Greek word that Paul here uses is “hrema,” which “speaks of ar­ticulate utterance.” This word is never used as a designation of God the Son. It is the Word of God to which reference is made here, not the Son of God. God spoke the Word, and a universe sprang into existence (Wuest).

The phrase, “So that things which are seen were not made of things which do ap­pear,” takes us beyond comprehension. Once again, we come back to faith.
To which we have already alluded, when God began creation, He did not begin with the materials that we presently see. He be­gan with nothing, thereby speaking into ex­istence the things which do appear.
Men have speculated all through the cen­turies as to the origin of the universe, and have questioned whether matter is eternal, or whether it was directly created by God. By Revelation, we know that matter is not eternal, and in fact, was created by God. This means that faith alone gives apprehension of the Truth. By Faith we understand Gen­esis Chapter 1. It is only unbelief and willful rejection of the testimony of God that makes

men stumble at and pervert so wondrous an unfolding of the beginnings of the created heavens and Earth. Faith bows in subjec­tion to the witness God has given and glori­fies Him for such a marvelous unfolding of the Divine Wisdom.
The late F. W. Grant has aptly pointed out the incongruity of the position of a scientist like Charles Darwin, whose book, The Origin of the Species, was hailed by many as throw­ing a flood of light upon the method of cre­ation; and yet in that very book, Darwin never touches the question of origins! The truth is, in the very nature of things, he could not do so, for no man who is not subject to the Holy Spirit knows anything whatever about the beginnings of the material universe, and crea­tures living in it. But to faith all is plain. The simplest Christian with his Bible before him would say, “By faith we understand” (Ironside).
The gist of all of this is, if this vast uni­verse has been called into existence by the mere Word of God, and it definitely has, then that tells us there is nothing which we may not believe He has ample power to perform. In fact, this is the manner in which God an­swered Job.

When the Patriarch Job questioned God concerning the terrible plight in which he found himself, when God ultimately an­swered, He did so by pointing to His creation (Job, Chpts. 38-41).
In essence, the Lord was telling Job, that if He (God) could create the heavens and the Earth and all that therein is, then Job need not worry about his little problems. The Creator could handle that with ease!
Consequently, the Holy Spirit opens up the great portrayal of Faith, by pointing to the unlimited Power of God, which again tells us, that God Who can do such things as this, will have no difficulty honoring His Word to us. In other words, the Holy Spirit starts out from the highest possible standard. There­after, everything else as it regards His deal­ings with man, seem quite small by compari­son. In fact, that within itself generates Faith, which it is meant to do!
The composite is:
Understanding from the previous Verse that God operates by Faith, we now learn that man is to operate by faith as well.

The very beginning of the illustration of faith as it regards man, centers up on Faith in Christ and Him Crucified.

By this and this alone did Abel obtain witness that he was righteous.

God testified to the fact that He ac­cepted the gift presented by Abel, which was the life of an innocent victim, a Lamb, ex­pressed by the pouring out of its blood, which symbolized Christ Who was to come.

Abel himself testifies, and even though dead, continues to testify, that Salvation is through sacrificial blood, and is only through sacrificial blood.

The phrase, “By Faith,” follows in the same train as the opening of Verse 3. That particular Verse proclaims Faith to be the manner of God, while Verse 4 proclaims faith to be the manner of man as well. In other words, God would deal with man on the prin­ciple of faith, and man would deal with God “by Faith.” And this is where the great prob­lem with humanity begins.
Man attempts to deal with God by works, by merit, by education, by the intellect, with money, and various other things; however, these other things always reach a deaf ear as it regards God. If man wants to deal with God, wants to address God, wants God to hear him, he must deal by and through Faith. However, there is a step two to the process.
Unfortunately, a great part of the Church attempts to deal with God by Faith without the correct object. In other words, people will claim that their Faith is in God, or in Christ, or in the Word of God, etc. While those things are certainly correct, they ac­tually do not say very much within them­selves. And as well, most Christians only have a vague idea of what it all means.
When it comes to the matter of believ­ing, James said, “Thou believest that there is

one God; thou doest well: the Devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:19).
Therefore, such Faith as we have just men­tioned, while correct as far as it goes, really doesn’t go far enough. The Believer must understand and know the object in which he is to express faith. Actually, the next phrase gives us this information.

The phrase, “Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,” immediately proclaims what the object of our Faith must be. It must be “Jesus Christ and Him Cruci­fied” (I Cor. 2:2). In other words, to just say that one believes in God, or in God’s Word, or even in Christ, within itself, as stated, doesn’t say very much. Our Faith must be in Christ and His great Sacrifice. This is the manner in which God deals with man, and this is the manner in which man can approach God — by and through the Sacrifice of Christ, which Paul grandly highlights throughout the en­tirety of this Epistle to the Hebrews.
It is grandly significant that Paul chooses Abel as the first example of what Faith can do for the one who exercises it, and to be sure, Paul was told to use this example by the Holy Spirit. In the case of Abel, it was the matter of his personal Salvation which was in view, as was also the case with the recipients of the Letter to the Hebrews. If Abel’s appropria­tion of Salvation was by means of Faith, and that the object of his faith was to be the Cross of Christ, for that’s exactly what the Sacri­fice represented, that would mean that all who follow must come in the same manner.
It also tells us, that the salvation of the soul, which of course is the spiritual condition of man, is that which is by far the most impor­tant. While all other things may carry a mea­sure of significance, it is sin that has sepa­rated man from God, and it is only the Sacri­fice of Christ which can address this situation.
Abel’s sacrifice was more excellent than that of Cain’s, his brother. And that which made it more excellent was not its quantity but its quality. Its quality inhered in the fact that it was the Offering which God had prescribed, a Blood Offering, which was to be symbolic of the coming Redeemer, Whom the Lord had already promised would come
(Gen. 3:15, 21). Incidentally, Abel “brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof.” Then the Scripture says, “And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his of­fering” (Gen. 4:4).

In Abel we have the basic truth that ap­proach to God is on the ground of Sacrifice; and that the offering up of a living creature whose blood was designed of God to illus­trate the sacrifice and death of His Own Blessed Son. That it was not any mere as­sumption on the part of Abel that led him to select a lamb of the flock for his offering, nor simply an arbitrary act of his will, is evident from the fact that we are told, “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.” Faith is taking God at His Word. Manifestly, therefore, we are to understand that God Himself had revealed the truth that approach to him must be by sacrifice. This revelation was impudently ignored by Cain, as has most of the world ever since.
In looking at the material of other writ­ers as it regards why Abel’s sacrifice was more excellent, most have ventured a num­ber of reasons that really have no bearing on the subject.
The sacrifice which God had told the first family to offer was to be symbolic of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. That and that alone was why it was more excellent, and why God would accept only that, and up to this mo­ment will accept only that.
Whatever else that Cain may have brought as an offering, which the Scripture says was “the fruit of the ground,” had no bearing on anything (Gen. 4:3). No doubt what he brought to God was beautiful, but it could not be accepted by God, and for two reasons:
First of all, this sacrifice was meant to address sin; therefore, a bloodless offering, and for many reasons, would not suffice. Man has been attempting to offer to God all type of of­ferings ever since, other than the correct one, as it pertains to sin. As God could not ac­cept such then, God cannot accept such now!

The Offering which would be presented as it regards sin, had to be symbolic of the coming Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. He

would give His Life on the Cross, pouring out His Life’s Blood, all on our behalf, that all sin may be atoned. Consequently, the animal sac­rifices which preceded Him, must be symbolic of Him, or else it could not be accepted by God. Due to the fact that Jesus has now come, and has died on the Cross on our behalf, no more animal sacrifices are necessary, His One Offering of Himself sufficing for all time. Ir­respective, before the Cross or after the Cross, Faith always had to be in that great Sacrifice.

In fact, the “fruit of the ground” which Cain brought as an offering, would later be accepted in Mosaic Law, but only as an Of­fering of Thanksgiving. In fact, it is perfectly proper to give any type of offering of this na­ture to God, which He will always accept; how­ever, when it comes to an offering for sin, there is only one Sacrifice which God will accept, and that is the Sacrifice of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, of which the blood sacrifices be­fore the Cross were symbolic. This is very important, and the Reader should properly understand what we are here saying:
This is the reason the Cross has always been so very, very important. It is there and there only that sin was addressed, atoned for, and done so by Christ giving Himself liter­ally as an Offering for sin (Isa. 53:10). And why do I stress this so strongly?
Many in the modern Church, are attempt­ing to address the problem of sin by other means. They are trying to do it with human­istic psychology, by particular works of pen­ance, by punishment, etc. For instance:
In most of the Pentecostal Denomina­tions, if one of their Preachers has a prob­lem as it regards sin of some nature, he is required to do penance. The penance is two years without preaching, or some such pe­riod of time. He is required also to undergo several months, or even up to two years of psychological counseling. Plus he is required to move out of the town where he has lived and take up residence somewhere else, plus several other such like things.
To the carnal mind, all of these things would sound very good; in fact, the world would applaud this vigorously; however, all of this is “the fruit of the ground,” i.e., “the efforts of one’s own hands,” which God can­not accept, and because these things do not at all address the problem. There is not a single thing in the Word of God as it regards such foolishness, and simply because such foolishness isn’t Scriptural.
There is only one answer for sin, and that is the Sacrifice of Christ. Doing penance, or anything else that one could think of, will not address the problem, will not solve the problem, and in fact, will only tend to make the matter worse. As stated, God has only one solution for sin, and that is “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified” (I Cor. 2:2).
The question is, do we have Faith in the Sacrifice of Christ? We do know that Abel had faith in that Sacrifice, and we do know that Cain did not have faith in that Sacrifice.
It’s very easy to understand why the world will not express faith in the Sacrifice of Christ, but not so easy to understand why the Church, at least for the most part, follow suit. If the Church recommends anything else other than the Biblical manner of cleans­ing, which is faith in what Jesus did at the Cross, then we must come to the conclusion, that the Church simply lacks Faith in Christ and what He has done for us. I don’t see how we can come to any other conclusion.
It is faith that is demanded, which we are clearly even blatantly told here in this Fourth Verse. However, and to look at the other side of the coin so-to-speak, it must be Faith reg­istered in the Sacrifice of Christ, and that Sacrifice exclusively.
The phrase, “By which he obtained wit­ness that he was righteous,” proclaims the fact that Righteousness comes exclusively from Christ, and that it comes to us as Be­lievers according to our Faith in this Finished Work of which we have been speaking.
Man has no righteousness, and man by his own machinations cannot get any righ­teousness. Righteousness can only come by and through Christ.
God has always had Righteousness, and in fact, God is Righteousness. However, this Righteousness could not be awarded to man,

by decree or fiat. In order for this Righteous­ness to be imparted to man, God would have to become man, would have to live a Perfect Life in obedience to the Law of God in every respect, and do so, not as God, but as a man filled with the Spirit. In so doing, He would then gain the Righteousness of the Law; how­ever, this Righteousness of the Law could be obtained only by one keeping it perfectly, which Christ did! (Gal. 4:4-5).
However, there was another aspect of the Law, referred to as the “curse of the Law” (Gal. 3:13-14). This referred to its penalty which came upon all men who broke the Law, which all did! That curse had to be addressed, sim­ply because it answered to the tremendous crime of man against God.
To answer this curse, in other words to take its penalty, Jesus Christ would have to go to the Cross and die — die for sins He didn’t commit, which we in fact did commit, and which penalty we should have suffered. But on our behalf, He took the penalty which was death, thereby satisfying the curse, meaning that the Law no longer condemned us, at least for those of us who believe and trust Christ (Jn. 3:16; Eph. 2:8-9; Rev. 22:17).
When Christ atoned for all sin, which He did, whether it was past, present, or future, this destroyed the legal right of captivity that Satan held over man. Sin was that legal right, and with sin now atoned for, Satan had no more legal claim on man.
So, when Jesus died, He not only satisfied the claims of Heavenly Justice against man, but He also destroyed Satan’s hold upon hu­manity, again, for those who believe (Jn. 3:16).
Jesus did all of this as our Substitute (Isa., Chpt. 53), and as our Representative Man (I Cor. 15:45-50). In other words, God allowed Him to take our place in order that He may do for us what we could not do for ourselves.
An exhibition on our part of simple Faith in Him and what He has done, imputes to us the Righteousness of Christ. In fact, this Righteousness can be obtained in no other manner. This is the way that Abel received His Righteousness, and every other human being since who has trusted Christ.
Of course, during the time of Abel, Christ had not yet come; however, God had instituted the Sacrificial system which would serve as a substitute until Christ could come, which it did. It was not Faith in that Sacrifice per se that brought righteousness to Abel, or any­one else for that matter, but rather Faith in Who the Sacrifice represented, which was Christ. And to be more particular, it was faith in What the Sacrifice represented, which was what Christ would do on the Cross.
Man’s problem has ever been in trying to obtain righteousness in some other manner. Those other ways include everything from the proverbial “A” to “Z.” But let it ever be known, that there is only one way that Righteousness can be obtained, and that is through Faith in Christ and what He did for us at the Cross. As we’ve stated over and over again, Jesus must never be thought of apart from the Cross.

The phrase, “God testifying of his gifts,” refers to the Sacrifice. If it is to be noticed, it is expressed in the plural, i.e., “gifts.” It refers to the following:
Abel’s Sacrifice was a lamb. Here was a lamb for one man; in Exodus Chapter 12, it was a lamb for a family; in Leviticus Chapter 16, it was a lamb for a nation — Israel; and in John 1:29, it was a lamb (Christ) for the whole world.
“Testifying” in the Greek is “martureo,” and means “to be a witness, to give evidence, to bear record.”
There are some who believe from this statement, “God testifying of his gifts,” that God sent fire from Heaven and consumed the sacrifice, thereby testifying of His acceptance. Even though the Scripture is not clear on this particular subject regarding this in­stance, it is very probable that this is what happened. The Lord did do this on other occasions (Gen. 15:17; Lev. 9:24; Judg. 6:21; I Ki. 18:38; I Chron. 21:26; II Chron. 7:1).

The phrase, “And by it he being dead yet speaketh,” refers to the fact that even though his physical body died, Abel is now with the Lord. Jesus said so!
He said, “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Mat. 22:32).

Jesus was saying that even though the physical bodies of these three Patriarchs had died, their souls and spirits were alive, and in fact alive unto God. If they are, then all who trusted the Lord before the Cross fall into the same category, including Abel.
Though Abel is dead, yet “by it (the Sac­rifice)” he yet speaks, telling to all who live after, that Salvation is through Sacrificial Blood. In 12:24, the statement is made that Jesus’ Blood speaks better things than the blood of the sacrifice offered by Abel. As well, it is not Abel’s own blood which is in view here, but the blood of the offering Abel pre­sented to God.
This is shown by the historical background and analysis of the Epistle, the argument of which is that “The New Testament in Jesus’ Blood is superior to and takes the place of the First Testament in animal blood.”
The blood of Abel’s offering spoke sym­bolically of a Sacrifice for sin that God would one day offer. But Jesus’ Blood is the actual sacrifice, and speaks of the Salvation which He procured for us on the Cross. It was the blood offering that Abel presented to God, which represented Christ, through which he was declared righteous. This is in accord with Pauline doctrine where the great Apostle speaks of “being now justified by His Blood” (Rom. 5:9).

Cain followed his reason, as has most of the world, and ignored Revelation. He argued that his own good works as manifested by the produce which he had grown, would be suffi­cient. In other words, he was denying his need for a Savior. He didn’t deny God, rather bring­ing Him an offering, which God wouldn’t ac­cept, and because the main problem was that he denied his own need. That was the prob­lem, it’s been the problem all the way through the many centuries, and it is the problem now.
Man argues that he doesn’t need a Re­deemer, or if he does need one, he can serve as his own Redeemer, which in effect, is what Cain was doing.

Abel, Enoch, and Noah were three pat­tern men selected by the Holy Spirit from the Dispensation of Conscience which ex­tended from the expulsion of our first par­ents from Eden to the destruction of “the world that then was,” by the flood.
Eliphaz, in the Book of Job, directs at­tention to “the way which wicked men of old have taken, whose foundation was over­thrown with a flood: which said unto God, ‘depart from us’.”
Here, on the other hand, we are asked to contemplate three men who found their de­light in God, and glorified Him by faith in a day when corruption and violence were rap­idly filling the Earth (Ironside).
The composition is:
Enoch was transferred from Earth to Heaven without seeing death.

After he was translated, a thorough search was made for him, but of course, he was not to be found. As well, from the Text, we know that the population who lived near him knew that it was God Who had trans­lated him.

He had a testimony that pleased God, and in the next Verse we are told what that testimony was.

The phrase, “By faith Enoch was trans­lated that he should not see death,” refers to God transferring Enoch to Heaven in his physical body while he was yet alive. He de­parted this earthly scene without dying. In fact, he has lived in Heaven already for some 5,300 years. He will come back and die as one of the two witnesses (Rev. 11:3-11).
There is an indication in Genesis 5:21-24, that Enoch gave his heart to God at 65 years of age. After that he walked with the Lord for 300 years, and then was translated. This means that he was translated when he was 365 years old.
He was the Father of Methuselah who lived longer than any other human being. Methuselah was 969 years old when he died (Gen. 5:27).

In Jewish apocalyptic thought, Enoch was a very popular figure, and several books are ascribed to him. But in the New Testament he figures only in Luke 3:37 and Jude 14, along with this Eleventh Chapter of Hebrews. And yet, in Jude 14, we are told that the Lord spoke extensively through Enoch, with him even then prophesying of the Second Coming.

The phrase, “And was not found, because God had translated him,” refers to his trans­lation being well known. The idea is, his trans­lation was evidently witnessed by others, but when revealed was met by unbelief. After a search was made, and in fact, an exhaustive search, without him of course being found, those in the area where he had lived, now agreed that in fact, he had been translated by God. In fact, before the flood, a period of about 1,600 years from the time of creation, only three men are recorded in the Word of God as in fact, living for God. Those three were Abel, Enoch, and Noah. To be sure, there may very well have been others, perhaps many others, but the indication is that there wasn’t much faith in the Earth at that time. The Scripture plainly says of that period, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the Earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5). This makes the faith of these three par­ticular individuals all the more remarkable!

The phrase, “For before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God,” is akin to Genesis 5:22, where it says that he “walked with God.” And I might quickly add, he did this for 300 years, which means that he kept faith all of this time, despite the wick­edness all around him. It appears that he spent his life in publicly reproving a sinful generation, and in warning them of the ap­proaching judgment (Jude vs. 14-15).
The wickedness that engulfed the Earth of that day and ultimately led to its universal deluge seems to have been ripe at the time of Enoch. Incidentally, he was the great-grandfather of Noah.
Whatever the reasons that God took him that he should not see death, one of those reasons most likely was that those around him would have ultimately murdered him, were it not for his translation. The only other occurrence of a translation was that of Elijah. However, their translations, which simply means to be moved from one place to an­other, in this case from Earth to Heaven, pre­figures the coming Resurrection, when all Saints will be Resurrected, changed, and then translated (I Thess. 4:13-18).
Incidentally, there is no hint in the Text that Enoch knew this would happen, until the actual moment of its occurrence.
The structure is:
The only thing that pleases God is faith.

It must be Faith in Christ and His Sac­rifice.

God is a rewarder of those who have faith, and who diligently seek Him.


The phrase, “But without faith it is im­possible to please Him,” tells us what Enoch’s testimony actually was. It was faith in God, but it was more than just a generalized faith.
We know from Jude Verse 14, that the Lord had given Enoch a Revelation of coming events, all the way to the Second Coming of the Lord. This Revelation would have made no sense at all, if the Lord had not as well informed him of the First Coming of Christ, which of course would have included the Cross. The Lord had shown him the Second Coming “with ten thousands of His Saints.” There could be no Saints without the Cross. So the Faith which Enoch had, had to have centered up on the Cross. Of course, when I use the word “Cross,” it is to be understood that Enoch, or no one for that matter before Christ, would have understood anything con­cerning the wooden beam we refer to as a “Cross”; consequently, when we use such a term as it refers to the time before Christ, we are always using it in a generic sense, re­ferring to the Sacrifice of Christ.


Surely we as Believers should understand that these examples are given for our instruc­tion. We learn from God’s dealings with Enoch, that the only thing that really pleases Him is Faith. We must not forget that. And of course, when we say Faith, as always, we’re speaking of Faith in Christ, and more par­ticularly, the Finished Work of Christ. If we want to please God, and surely as a Believer we do, then our concentration should be on this all important aspect of our relationship.
I’ve been asked several times as to what is the proper definition for “victory”? I have given the answer several times that the defi­nition is “walking after the Spirit” with the understanding of course, that the Spirit of God will always lead us to the Cross; how­ever, to be more specific, I think one could say that victory is simply keeping our Faith in the Cross of Christ, and not allowing it to be moved (Rom. 8:1-2).
Just this morning in prayer meeting I was asked the question as it relates to this, “What status are we in, if during the course of our faith, there is a failure?” I believe my an­swer is correct.
As a Believer, our victory doesn’t move up and down, providing we keep our Faith in the Cross of Christ. The only way that one can lose victory is to shift one’s faith from the Cross to something else. That is the loss of victory, and will lead to all type of problems.
While we’re certainly not condoning fail­ure of any nature, and to be sure, failing the Lord in any capacity hurts; however, we must remember that our victory is totally and com­pletely in Christ, and not at all in ourselves. As long as our Faith remains in Him, and what He has done for us, our lives are con­stant victory.
This and this alone, faith in the sacrifice of Christ, is what pleases God!

The phrase, “For he that cometh to God must believe that He is,” places Faith as the foundation and principle of the manner in which God deals with the human race. The Truth is, “believing” is the definition of Faith. It is what Faith does!
Paul here lays down the gauntlet with the greatest of emphasis that faith is absolutely necessary. He does not say simply that with­out faith it is difficult to please God; he says that without faith it is “impossible” to please Him! There is no substitute for faith.
Though Christ has provided the means of access to God, which He did by the Sacri­ficial Offering of Himself on the Cross, still, the choice to enter is ours. Paul here places responsibility upon the Believer; if we want to please God, we must have faith.
This means that we will take God at His Word and act upon it. If He says we may draw near, and He definitely does, then we must believe and do it. Faith is believing what God says, simply and solely because He said it. In order to receive from God, several things are here said:
We must come to the Lord with our problems; we must come with our needs; above all we must come to Him in order to have fellowship with Him; we must come to Him in order to praise Him and to express our gratitude to Him, which should make up a great part of our audience in His Presence.

We must believe Him, that is, we must have faith in Him.

We must believe that He is, which is far more than just merely believing in His existence. I’ll define it momentarily!

We must believe that He is a rewarder of them who come to Him.

5. We must diligently seek Him.
The privilege of being able to take our needs to the Lord, to obtain His leading and guidance, and above all to have fellowship and communion with Him, is the greatest blessing and privilege that any human being could ever have. To think of the possibility of being able to go to someone Who is “all­powerful,” “all-knowing,” and “all-present,” opens up doors of possibilities beyond com­prehension. So why is it, that many if not most Christians do not take advantage of this tremendous opportunity?
There are two reasons for that, “unbe­lief,” and “sin.” We’ll take the latter first.
The very moment we come into the Pres­ence of God, which every Believer has the

privilege to do constantly, the Holy Spirit and without fail, if there is sin in our lives, will begin to deal with us about that sin. And to be frank, it’s impossible to proceed any far­ther with God, until the sin is handled. To be sure, it can be handled very quickly and very easily (I Jn. 1:9), but the problem with many Christians is, they really don’t want to cease and desist as it regards some particular pet sin within their lives. That’s why the Holy Spirit through the Apostle said, “I beseech you therefore, Brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect Will of God” (Rom. 12:1-2).
And then many Christians simply do not believe that God hears and answers prayer. I think one of the reasons for that is because of the religious climate in which we pres­ently find ourselves:
The Church as a whole in the last several decades has been greatly swayed, and in the wrong way I might quickly add, by the erro­neous doctrine of “Word of Faith,” or what­ever type of appellative one would like to ap­ply. In other words, the Church has had more teaching on faith in the last half-century than possibly the balance of its existence all put together; however, almost all of this teach­ing has been wrong, i.e., “unscriptural!”
In the first place, faith itself has been the object instead of the Cross being the object, which makes it little different than the East­ern mind cult religions. As we’ve said over and over again, faith within itself is not re­ally the problem, it’s the object of Faith which is the problem. Everyone has faith, but only a few have it in the Cross, where all Faith must reside, or else it’s faith that God will not rec­ognize. The modern faith teaching excludes the Cross altogether, with many in this false doctrine, even repudiating the Cross, refer­ring to it as the greatest defeat in human his­tory, etc.
In this false teaching, and false it is, we have not been taught prayer, but rather a “proper confession.” In other words, “confession” is, they say, the trigger that energizes Faith; consequently, adherents to this doctrine are taught to simply confess things over and over again, those things they want and desire. In fact, prayer is looked at somewhat askance in these circles, and because, according to this teaching, prayer is an admittance that some­thing is amiss, and nothing can ever be amiss in these “super people,” who have this “su­per faith.”
Of course, all of this teaching, while it might sound good to the carnal ear, has no Scriptural support whatsoever.
Paul said, “When I am weak, then am I strong,” which blows to pieces their hypoth­esis (II Cor. 12:10). What did the Apostle mean by this?
Our problem is, and it’s just as acute with Believers as it is with unbelievers, is our own supposed strength. Irrespective of all the so-called super faith, within ourselves we are no match for the Devil, cannot bring about the needed things within our hearts and lives, in other words, we simply cannot live the life we ought to live within our own power and strength. It doesn’t matter how strong we think we are, the end result of that effort is going to be the same — failure.
When we finally come to the place that we realize we actually are “weak,” which means that we have to trust God completely, allowing the Holy Spirit to do for us what Alone He can do, then we’ve found real strength. That’s what the Apostle means! (II Cor. 12:7-10).
No! Prayer is not an admittance that something is wrong, but rather that some­thing is needed, and it is only God Who can meet this need. So we must throw aside all of this foolish teaching we’ve heard in the last half-century, and avail ourselves of the glo­rious opportunity to be able to “come to God.”

As I’ve already stated, but because it’s so important I’ll say it again, “believing” is the definition of Faith. It’s what Faith does.
For Faith to be what it ought to be, and as we’ve already stated, and because it’s so very, very important, we’ll keep saying it, the Cross must always be the object of one’s Faith. This simply means that we understand that all

Salvation, all Blessings, all prosperity, all healing, all the work of the Holy Spirit, Who is really the One Who makes all of these things possible, are all done, and without ex­ception, through what Jesus did at the Cross on our behalf. If we don’t believe that, then we’re not believing properly, and God can­not really help us (Rom. 6:3-5, 11, 14).
As we’ve already stated, for some ten Chap­ters in this Epistle to the Hebrews, Paul has opened up to us the object of our Faith, which is the Cross of Christ. He has addressed this great factor in every way possible. He took us into the Holy of Holies with the High Priest under the old Levitical order, and then took us again into the Holy of Holies with our Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, showing how superior the work of Christ is in His great Sacrifice, to the Levitical order of old. Therefore, as he deals now with Faith, which is the ingredient of the foundation of our walk with the Lord, He means for us to always have the Cross as the object of our Faith. He has shown us the object, now he shows us the way.
What I’ve just told you is one of the great­est things that you as a Christian can ever hear. But the great question looms large, “Do you believe what I’ve just said?”
Our Faith in God is never to be something nebulous. In fact, the world has that kind of faith. Even the Devil has that kind of faith (James 2:19).
The idea is, our Faith must be in Christ, and more particularly, must be in His Finished Work, i.e., “the Cross.”

Most have limited this short statement to the bare bones idea of simply believing that God exists. That’s not what it says!
“He is” is active. In other words, it refers to God as doing things. In other words, He is the Creator; He is the answerer of prayer; He is the worker of miracles; He is the healer of the sick; He is the leader, teacher, and guide; He is our all in all!
This is the same thing that God answered Moses, when the great Law-Giver to be asked the question, “When I come unto the Chil­dren of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is His name? what shall I say unto them?

“And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM” (Ex. 3:13-14).
We must believe that God is whatever it is that we need Him to be, and what might that be?
First of all, front and center, we need a Sav­ior. He is that! After that, if we need a finan­cier, He is that! If we need a teacher, He is that! If we need an engineer, He is that! If we need a healer, He is that! I really doesn’t mat­ter what we need, He is that and more.
The phrase, “And that He is a rewarder,” proclaims the fact that He will do whatever it is that we need, providing that it’s in His Will.
“Rewarder” in the Greek is “mistha­podoaia,” and means “a remunerator, to per­form, recompense, render, requite, restore, yield.” In other words, God will definitely do good things for the Believer. Do you be­lieve that?
Paul had already told the Hebrews, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which you have showed toward His Name” (Heb. 6:10).
What we are speaking of here is the en­tirety of a mindset which looks to God for everything. We want Him to lead us and guide us, to provide for us, and to ever draw us closer to Him, and all of this He will gladly do, for this is what He desires to do. In other words, when a person comes to Christ, they come into the economy of God (Lk. 12:21­31). And to be sure, this is the greatest life there is. To put it all together, He has prom­ised us that if we would “Seek first the King­dom of God, and His Righteousness, that all of these things would be added unto us” (Mat. 6:33; Lk. 12:31).
The phrase, “That diligently seek Him,” is literally “seek Him out.” Vincent says: “God’s beneficient will and attitude toward the seeker are not always apparent at the first approach. In such cases our faith must not flag, especially in the face of delay, be­lieving that diligent seeking will ultimately find its reward.”

This is very dear to me personally. At a crisis time in this Ministry, the Lord gave me a Promise that I’ve held onto, and which characterizes this of which Paul has said to the letter. It pertains to that which I refer to as the “parable of the three loaves.” It’s found in Luke 11:5-13.
Jesus told the story of a man who went to a friend at midnight asking him to “lend me three loaves.”
He went on to explain that a friend (an­other friend) on his own journey had come to him, and he had no food to set before him; consequently, he was attempting to borrow something which he needed.
The answer was, “Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.” In­cidentally, Jesus said it was at midnight when all of this was taking place (Lk. 11:7).
Jesus then went on to say, that even though the man would not get out of bed and give him the loaves strictly on the basis of their friendship, because of the man’s continued asking, in other words, continuing knock­ing on the door, he ultimately arose and “gave him as many as he needed” (Lk. 11:8).
Our Lord then went on to say, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
He then went on to emphasize that if we “ask for bread, He wouldn’t give us a stone,” etc.
And finally, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them who ask Him?” (Lk. 11:9-13). This rhema Word was given to me in January of 1992.
For four and one half years I held onto this Promise, which was a great strength to me. To be sure, at times I would grow very dis­couraged, but every time, the Holy Spirit would encourage me with this which the Lord had given unto me. I was to keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking.
At the end of that period of time, which was sometime in 1996, the Lord began to open that door. First of all, He gave me the Rev­elation of the Cross, or I should say, that He began to give me the Revelation of the Cross, because it continues unto this hour. He then began to enlarge the Telecast, plus give me a very unique Revelation as it regards Radio, which we immediately began to institute.
I have diligently sought Him, I do dili­gently seek Him, and I shall continue to dili­gently seek Him! To be sure, I am believing Him for the greatest harvest of souls that I’ve ever known, which will necessitate a Moving and Operation of the Holy Spirit that one might say is unparalleled. But I believe that God is going to do these great and mighty things, and because He has always done great and mighty things, and because He has done them for me as well.
The diagram is:
God revealed to Noah that He was go­ing to send a flood upon the Earth.

Upon receiving this Revelation, Noah was “moved with fear,” which in this case, means “to reverence, to stand in awe of.”

He obeyed the Lord in preparing an Ark, which saved his house.

His faith served as a condemnation to an unbelieving world.

In his believing God, he obtained righ­teousness which is by faith, which is very similar to that done by Abraham.


The phrase, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet,” means that God told Noah that He was going to send a flood upon the Earth, a flood incidentally of such proportions as the world had never seen before, and in fact would never see again, with the conclusion being that Noah believed God. He believed Him in the face of something that was so absolutely preposterous as to defy de­scription. He believed it despite the fact, that no one else believed him, even though he preached to them and warned them.
The Bible says that God spoke to Noah. Whether it was in an audible voice or through a vision, we aren’t told; nevertheless, ever how the manner that God addressed Himself to

this man, it was so powerful that he had ab­solutely no doubt as to what was being said. And as stated, he believed God (Gen. 6:6-22).

The phrase, “Moved with fear,” is not here the normal word for fear, which refers to act­ing under the influence of fright. The Greek word is “eulabeomai,” which means, “to act cautiously, circumspectly, to reverence, to stand in awe of.” It means that Noah acted with “pious care, a reverent circumspection,” that he do exactly what the Lord had told him to do. In other words, he was careful to obey the Lord to the letter.

The phrase, “Prepared an Ark to the sav­ing of his house,” refers to him doing exactly what God told him to do. By acting thus upon the Word of the Lord, he condemned the world and became heir of the Righteousness which is according to faith. The very building of the Ark was in itself a sermon to the antediluvians. Every tap of Noah’s hammer was a part of his preaching of Righteousness to that genera­tion. It declared him to be a man of faith, and it manifested their utter unbelief.
It might be said that the human race owes its existence to the fact that one man was “moved with fear.” It is sad but true, that fear as a factor in Salvation is decried at the present day, with the claim that only love is the True Gospel; however, this Passage tells us that fear can definitely be a factor in one’s Salvation.

The phrase, “By the which he condemned the world,” refers to that which always is the case when true Faith is registered in the Word of God; consequently, anger is gener­ally the response.
This doesn’t mean that Noah condemned the unredeemed personally, as many Preach­ers think, but rather, that the very fact of his ministry condemned the world, which such ministry always does.
The world holds its own self-righteous­ness in high regard; consequently, whenever the Righteousness of Christ is held up as the answer and the only answer, which automati­cally states that the self-righteous direction of the world is wrong, it arouses hostility. And to be sure, it is the same in the Church. When­ever the Preacher fully preaches Christ, and that the Righteousness of Christ is the only Righteousness which will be accepted by God, and that it is obtained only through Faith in what Christ did at the Cross, this Message is not accepted by most of the Church. It as well, arouses hostility. Again I state, it’s not that the Preacher of Righteousness personally con­demns individuals, but that the Righteous­ness of Christ clashes with self-righteousness.
When the hostility responds, it generally responds with animosity toward the Messen­ger, as well as the Message.
The phrase, “And became heir of the Righteousness which is by Faith,” proclaims the only manner in which Righteousness can be obtained. Righteousness is always by Faith, and more specifically, it refers to Faith in the great Sacrifice of Christ. Of course, those before the Cross, more or less, would have had a dim view of this coming event, but according to the fact that God had insti­tuted the sacrificial system, which He defi­nitely did from the very beginning, they knew that it represented a coming Redeemer Who would give His life for humanity. Exactly how it was to be done, of that they would have had no knowledge. But that it would be done, this they knew!
There has never been any way for anyone to be saved, except by and through Faith in Christ, which pertains to Faith in His great Sacrifice.
The structure is:
Abraham was called by God to do something which would have worldwide and eternal repercussions.

He obeyed, because he had Faith in what God had said.

He obeyed, even though he didn’t re­ally understand, at least at the time, what God was saying.


The phrase, “By Faith Abraham,” pro­claims the manner in which this great man began his adventure with the Lord. Too many and too often, begin their journey by “sight” instead of faith. They don’t last long!
Faith as it is here given, proclaims a settled trust in the Lord, exhibited by Abraham. This is remarkable, especially when we under­stand that this man’s history was that of idol worship. In other words, he had no history of God, as did Abel, Enoch, or Noah. Joshua says of Abraham, that he was an idolater when Grace found him (Josh. 24:2-3).
Of the manner in which God revealed Him­self to Abraham, we aren’t told. Josephus, the Jewish historian, says that after God had revealed Himself to the Patriarch, that Abraham was the first to declare boldly that God, the Creator of the universe, is One, and that the sun, moon, and stars had no inher­ent power of their own. Because of these state­ments, Josephus said, the Chaldeans rose against him, and so he then left to go to Canaan with God’s help.

The phrase, “When he was called to go out into a place which he should after re­ceive for an inheritance, obeyed,” indicates Abraham’s immediate obedience to God’s Call. In line with this, Paul gives more space to Abraham than to any other individual on his list. He sees Abraham as an excellent example of what he has in mind, for Paul does not see Faith as making a good guess based on the best human estimate of the possibilities. Abraham’s faith accepted God’s Promises and acted on them even though there was noth­ing to indicate that they would be fulfilled.
Even though an “inheritance” is here mentioned, which of course includes the en­tirety of the land of Canaan, there is no record that the Lord had furnished this information to the Patriarch at the time of his call. “He was called to go out,” but regarding all the things that eventually happened, of that he then had no knowledge it seems; conse­quently, the more we learn of this man, the more we realize how great his Faith in God actually was.

The phrase, “And he went out, not know­ing whither he went,” refers to the fact that although he knew where God had told him to go, which was the land of Canaan, he knew absolutely nothing about the land, what type of people were there, or what awaited him in any capacity. In fact, this is the manner in which God usually works.
He generally just gives us enough infor­mation for the next step, with us having to trust Him for the rest. This builds faith and creates dependence; however, all of this is for our good, and for our good alone. Most of the time, we only have enough faith for the next step, and not at all for the entirety of this which the Lord is doing. To be frank, our faith even for the immediate step most of the time, falls short, with the Lord having to supply even that limited amount.
The Reader must understand, that God has far larger plans for us than we could ever dare begin to realize. That which the Lord had for Abraham was so staggering, so over­whelming, so absolutely phenomenal, that it literally beggars description. But of course, Abraham didn’t know that then, and in fact, all the days of his life he only saw and knew in part.
While that which the Lord has for us, may not be nearly as far-reaching as that of Abraham, in one sense of the word it actu­ally is. God has no small plans, only those which are outsized. And to be sure, He defi­nitely has a distinct plan for every single Be­liever, irrespective as to whom that Believer might be. Of that we can be certain!
It’s our business to make certain that the totality of God’s Plan for our lives is realized. That, even as this great Eleventh Chapter of Hebrews proclaims, is all done by Faith. We must believe God.

God’s plans may be delayed, but they are never stopped. Let the Reader understand that. And to be sure, the delays are never caused by Him, but always by us. And always, our prob­lem is Faith, and more particularly, mis­placed faith.
If the Believer can keep his eyes on “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified,” the Holy Spirit,

Who is the secret to all of this anyway, will then carry out in our lives what needs to be done. That’s the combination:
The Cross, our Faith in the Cross, and the work of the Holy Spirit Who always works within the parameters of the Cross. That’s why Paul said, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Gal. 6:14).
Concerning Abraham, Jesus said to the Jews, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it, and was glad” (Jn. 8:56).
How did Abraham see Jesus’ day? He saw it by faith. To be frank, the entirety of the Call of God upon Abraham’s life, was in regard to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who would redeem fallen mankind. In fact, that was the purpose of every single Prophet and Priest of Old Testament times, to point to the coming Christ, as now the purpose of every Believer is to point to the Christ Who has already come. That and that alone is our mission!
The structure is:

Abraham went into the land where God told him to go and dwelt there.

It was “the land of the Promise,” speak­ing of a particular promise, the one in Gen­esis 12:7 and 13:15.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are men­tioned because they cover the entire period of the sojourn in Canaan.


The phrase, “By faith he sojourned in the Land of Promise,” actually reads in the Greek text “the land of the Promise,” speaking of a particular Promise.
By the Holy Spirit using the words “the Promise,” while He was definitely speaking of the Land of Canaan per se, more than all, it had reference to what all of this meant. I speak of the coming Redeemer.
The nation of Israel would be raised up out of the loins of Abraham and the womb of Sarah, for the express purpose of doing three things:
1. To give the world the Word of God.
2. To serve as the womb of the Messiah, so to speak!
3. To evangelize the world.
They succeeded in the first two, but with great difficulty. Rejecting the very One Whom they were raised up to bring into the world, they failed miserably regarding the third pur­pose; however, in the coming Kingdom Age, when they finally accept the One Whom they have rejected, namely the Lord Jesus Christ, they will then carry out this third purpose of World Evangelism.
How so much the phrase “the Land of the Promise,” holds for the entirety of the human race. Thank God, this “Promise” extended all the way to my family. When God first gave the Promise to Abraham, He told him, “In thee shall all families of the Earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). Even though billions of fami­lies have rejected that Gospel call, thank God that my family got in.
We were nothing, the poorest of the poor, without God and without hope, but Oh happy day! Oh happy day! The day that God the Holy Spirit brought the Gospel to our little town, our world would never be the same again. Through Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God would bring us out of darkness into light.
At this very moment, we are laboring with all that is within us to install Radio Stations in every single city, town, and village in the United States. Even though it costs us just as much money to put a Station into a small town of one thousand people, as it does a major city, still, I believe the Lord has instructed us to not ignore the small places. He reminds me, that my family as well lived in a little tiny town in Northeast Louisiana, a place of no im­portance, except the Lord thought it impor­tant enough that this great and glorious Gos­pel would be brought to the confines of that small place. As stated, my entire family came to Christ and by the Grace of God, the Lord has helped us to bring untold thousands of souls to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
So, even though it costs just as much money to install a Radio Station in a small town as it does a major city, still, the Lord has instructed me that these “small places” must not be forgotten. He has souls there, eternal souls, more precious than words could ever

begin to describe. Because you see, that “Promise” which God gave to Abraham so long, long ago, it reached out some 4,000 years into the future and touched my family, and to be sure, that “Promise” is still reaching out, and in fact, it will ever do so, and because it is “The Promise of God,” which in fact is Jesus Christ, and more particularly, “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified” (I Cor. 2:2).

The phrase, “As in a strange country,” presents Abraham living in this land, not as its owner, but as a resident alien. One might say that he as a “stranger” dwelt in a “strange land.” Consequently, the Patriarch had to live there as “in a foreign country.” He had no rights.
To be frank, this phrase proclaims the “sojourn” of all Believers on this Earth, “as in a strange country.” As the song says:
“This world is not my home,
“I’m just a traveling through.

“My treasures are laid up, somewhere
beyond the blue.

“Jesus beckons me, to Heaven’s open

“And I can’t feel at home in this world

The phrase, “Dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob,” proclaims the truth that all of these trod the pilgrim path, dwell­ing as strangers in the Land of Promise, their tent and altar witnessing to the double char­acter of the pilgrim and worshipper.
Actually the word “tabernacles” should have been translated “tents,” because that’s actually what the Greek says. This means that these Patriarchs acquired no fixed prop­erty, no title to the land, except the small portion purchased as a burial place. This to be sure, is indicative of the entirety of the human race. The only thing that we actu­ally ever really occupy permanently, one might say, is the burial plot. We are meant to be pilgrims and strangers here, actually putting down no roots, because this is not our permanent dwelling, that being Heaven.
While this land would ultimately belong to their seed, and in totality, at this moment it was meant to be a type of the pilgrim jour­ney of the Child of God. Let us take a lesson from this!

The phrase, “The heirs with him of the same promise,” proclaims the fact, that what God promised to Abraham, He prom­ised as well to those who would follow him. In a sense, as they (the Jews) had the “same Promise,” you and I have the “same Prom­ise.” There is a difference, however, as it regards the Jews and the Gentiles, in that the former were promised the land of Canaan as their eternal possession. In fact, under David, they did possess the greater part, but then ultimately lost it due to rebellion against God.
At this very moment (2000), Israel is still contending with the Arabs for “the Land.” This contention will increase until it is ulti­mately settled by the Antichrist, which will take place shortly. However, the false peace tendered by the man of sin, will soon come to an end, with the nation of Israel once again facing destruction. They will be saved by the Second Coming (Rev. Chpt. 19), when they will at that time accept Christ. They will then occupy all of that which was prom­ised to Abraham, with the nation of Israel then becoming the greatest nation on the face of the Earth, with the Lord Jesus Christ ruling as their King, which in a sense He will do forever.
The composite is:
“City” and “foundations,” actually read in the Greek text, “the city” and “the foundations,” specifying a particular city with particular foundations, which refer to the Heavenly Jerusalem.

All of this which the Lord was leading Abraham to do, would ultimately lead for all Believers the occupying of “the city which has the foundations.”

God is totally the author of this of which we speak.


The phrase, “For he looked,” refers to his

Faith, and that its object was the Promises of God, which spoke of the great Plan of God for the entirety of the human race. Consid­ering then that very little was known concern­ing this of which we speak, this Tenth Verse suggests that God had made wonderful rev­elations to Abraham, which are not neces­sarily recorded in the Old Testament. For instance, terminology which this Verse pro­vides, concerning the New Jerusalem, is not described for us until we come to the clos­ing Chapters of the Book of Revelation. It will be the home of all the Saints of God, and toward that Abraham looked and, because of its glory, counted things then present as of small moment. We should take a cue from these statements:
We know that for which Abraham looked, but what is it to which the modern Church looks?
The faith of much of the modern Charis­matic community, and I speak of those who go under the guise of “faith,” are looking solely at material things concerning the here and now. In other words, money! In fact, the entirety of the Church world, with some few exceptions, has little interest in the there and then, but rather in the here and now. This we do know:
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, had such a Revelation from the Lord concerning that which is to come, that they were not overly concerned about the here and now. Their faith made them willing to live in tents, even to endure patiently their unsettled life, since whatever they presently endured was but temporary, in view of that which was to come. What a lesson for us presently!

The phrase, “For a city which hath foundations,” as stated, should have been translated, “the city which hath the foun­dations.” All of this portrays to us the fact that Abraham knew and understood, that everything God was doing, which in­cluded the possession of the land of Canaan, which those who followed him would not occupy until many years later (Gen. 15:13­16), were all leading to something Heav­enly. The idea that the Holy Spirit would mention “the foundations,” is meant to note the permanency of all that God does, by contrast with the world which has no foundations to its empires, etc. Everything that man builds will rot and crumble, while everything that God builds will last forever. Abraham saw this, understood, and knew this, which seems to escape most of the modern Church.
The phrase, “Whose Builder and Maker is God,” actually refers to Christ, Who is the Creator of all things (Jn. 1:1-3).
One might say that God is the Owner, while Christ is the Architect, and the Holy Spirit is the Builder (Col. 1:15-18; Ps. 104:30).
The prevailing religion of Abraham’s day was idolatry, and the claim which the Patri­arch set up to a special call from the Most High, might have been deemed entirely fa­natical. To start off on a journey through a pathless desert; to leave his country and home, and all that he held dear, when he himself knew not whither he went; to go with no means of conquest, but with the expectation that the distant and unknown land would be given him, but yet he would not actually then possess it, could not but have been regarded as a singular instance of visionary hope.
The whole transaction, therefore, was in the highest degree an act of simple confi­dence in God, where there was no human basis of calculation, and where all the prin­ciples on which man commonly act would have led him to pursue just the contrary course. It is, therefore, not without rea­son that the Faith of Abraham is so much commended.
The exegesis is:
Sarah’s faith overcame her initial doubt.

Her faith brought forth a miracle in that she was able to conceive, even though she was past age.

3. Her Faith was in God Who had prom­ised, which means that she hung onto the Promise.

The phrase, “Through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed,” implies that there was something remark­able in the fact that she should manifest this faith. Perhaps there may be reference here to the incredulity with which she at first re­ceived the announcement that she should have a child (Gen. 18:11, 13). However, even though everything pointed to the impossible, she rose above her doubt and unbelief, and was able to claim the Divine Promise.
Even though Paul does not state the au­thority for his assertion that the strength of Sarah was derived from her faith, nor when particularly it was exercised, still, the Text implies this. Consequently, this should be an encouragement to all who have a struggle of faith.

Whether the Believer understands it or not, every single struggle within his life, is in one way or the other, a struggle of Faith. What do we mean by that?
Every attack by Satan, and irrespective of the manner in which he attacks, whether it be physical, material, financial, domestical, or spiritual, it is all but for one purpose, and that is to destroy our faith, or at least to seri­ously weaken our Faith.
Paul said to Timothy, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on Eternal Life, where­unto you are also called, and have professed a good profession before many witnesses” (I Tim. 6:12).
Most of Satan’s efforts against our Faith is to move it away from the Cross to something else. And when our Faith is placed in some­thing else, for all practical purposes, the fight will cease. Many Christians take that for vic­tory, when in reality, it’s the very opposite.
Satan only opposes that which does him great harm. Naturally, he does not oppose that which is error or wrong, actually aid­ing and abetting such direction, as should be obvious. But most Christians have it backwards.
They think if they’re suffering difficulties and problems, with Satan attacking on every hand, that this means that something is wrong in their life. Quite the contrary, it is because something is very right in your life, and Satan is trying his best to oppose you because of this very thing.
He knows that if your Faith is properly placed, and that refers to being placed in the Cross of Christ (Rom. 6:3-5, 11, 14; 8:1-2, 11), that the Lord is then going to be able to do great things within you and through you. So he opposes your Faith.
In fact, Satan little opposes most Chris­tians simply because their faith is misplaced, therefore, no threat to him. I have watched Christians come into the Truth of the Mes­sage of the Cross, with Satan immediately then beginning to oppose them. This would be confusing to them, never having experi­enced such before, and for the simple reason that their faith previously had been misplaced and they were no threat to Satan, at least not in a spiritual sense, which is the only sense that counts.
In this struggle, some give up and quit, with the old hackneyed expression, “I tried it and it didn’t work!” Please note the fol­lowing:
As I’ve said over and over again, the Cross is not merely a Doctrine. It is actually the foundation of all true, Biblical Doctrine. It is a total way of life. Most of the Church needs to rethink its position, actually bringing about a reformation. When one begins to properly understand the Cross, which is the Source of all Blessings, and of course, when we speak of the Cross, we are actually speak­ing of what Jesus there did, one will find that this affects how we interpret the Word of God, how we interpret Christ, in fact, and as stated, it becomes a total way of life. That’s at least one of the reasons that it’s hard for the Church to accept the Message of the Cross. Every­thing has to change! In fact, the entirety of our interpretation of the Word of God has to change! And for this reason:
Once the Believer properly sees and un­derstands the Cross of Christ, the Believer’s thinking actually changes. He then sees

everything in the Word of God, in the light of the Cross. In fact, the Word of God will then come alive as never before, and much more understandable than ever before. In fact, one cannot properly understand the Word, un­less one properly understands the Cross. The two, “the Word” and “the Cross” are synony­mous (Jn. 1:1, 14, 29).
While Satan will definitely oppose the Message of the Cross as he opposes nothing else (I Cor. 1:18, 21, 23; 2:2), irrespective, the Believer will enter into a dimension of spiri­tuality led and controlled by the Holy Spirit which has not been previously experienced. In other words, the Blessing by far outweighs the opposition.
That’s why Paul referred to this as the “good fight of Faith.” While it is a “fight,” it is a “good fight,” simply because victory is guaranteed. And as well, you’re fighting for something worthwhile. Sadly and tragically, the struggle and efforts of most Christians are wasted on pursuits that lead no place spiritually.
Sarah had a struggle with her Faith, as ev­ery true Believer will, but she persevered and God brought her out, and gave her one of the greatest miracles in the history of humanity.
Incidentally, many Scholars have problems with the word “seed,” as in “to conceive seed,” as it referred to Sarah. They refer to the fact that woman has no seed, which of course, is correct — at least with one exception.
In the first Promise given by God as it refers to Redemption, He said, “And I will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman, and between thy seed (all men who serve Satan) and her Seed (this refers to the coming of the Messiah, the Son of God and Mary)” (Gen. 3:15).
Knowing that the Seed to which He here referred to was Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit through Paul, refers to the same thing.
Isaac was the promised child, a work of the Spirit, through whom would ultimately come the Messiah, God manifest in the flesh, in what we refer to as the Incarnation (Isa. 7:14). So, the “Seed” of which Paul here spoke, pertained to Christ, Who would come through the lineage of Abraham, and Isaac, etc. Therefore, Paul didn’t make a mistake here as some claim.
The phrase, “And was delivered of a child when she was past age,” refers to the struggle.
Her bringing forth this child, had to do with the coming Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who would die on the Cross, in order to redeem lost humanity. So we’re speaking here of the Cross!
For man to be redeemed, God would ac­tually have to become man (Isa. 7:14), “made of a woman, made under the Law” (Gal. 4:4).
He would have to keep the Law of God perfectly, which no man had ever done, but which Christ did do, and then would have to address its terrible penalty of death, by dy­ing on the Cross, which He did, thereby, “re­deeming us from the Curse of the Law” (Gal. 3:13-14).
I think I can say without fear of contra­diction, that the degree of opposition brought by Satan, is according to the degree of the Promise of God. In other words, if it’s a mighty work that is to be done, there will be a mighty opposition. As someone has well said, “Faith must be tested, and great faith must be tested greatly.”
Through the lineage which would come forth from Abraham, which was the reason for the great opposition by Satan, the Re­deemer would ultimately be born. Conse­quently, despite the opposition, Faith ulti­mately prevailed. Now let’s look closer at the miracle of faith:
As we previously stated, God’s plans are always much larger than our plans. That which God desires us to do, whatever it might be, is in fact, beyond us in every capacity. In other words, what is to be done within our lives, and which God wants us to do, can only be done by the Holy Spirit; however, the work of the Spirit is always predicated on our Faith (Gal. 5:5). As I keep saying, the Spirit doesn’t require much of us, but He does definitely require Faith on our part, and Faith which must always have as its proper object, the Cross of Christ. Again, please allow me to emphasize the following:
This was the struggle of Faith in Sarah’s heart and life. To go straight to the bottom

line, her Faith in God pertained to her bring­ing forth the child, through whose lineage, would come the Christ, Who would redeem mankind, by dying on a Cross. Of course, she would have had no knowledge of the Cross; however, she definitely did know that “the Seed” she would produce, would ulti­mately fall out to the Redemption of human­ity. Let’s say it another way:
All faith evidenced before the Cross, was evidenced in the principle of what the Cross “would do”; all faith evidenced since the Cross, is evidenced in the principle of what the Cross “did do.” This means that the Cross of Christ has always in some way, been the object of true Faith. Listen to the following:
On the Mount of Transfiguration, the Bible said, “And, behold there talked with Him (with Christ) two men, which were Moses and Elijah:
“Who appeared in glory, and spake of His decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem” (Lk. 9:30-31).
In this phenomenal happening, which Peter, James, and John were privileged to wit­ness, the topic of conversation on that memo­rable day was, the Crucifixion of Christ, which would take place in a short time. This tells us two things:
1. The Redeemer and the manner of Re­demption, which would be His decease, which refers to the Cross, was the general thrust of the Faith of both Moses and Elijah during their lifetimes of Ministry. In fact, it was to Moses that the Lord showed the manner of death, which would be the Cross. It referred to the brazen serpent on the pole, which was lifted up in the wilderness (Num. 21:9; Jn. 3:14-15).
God had shown Abraham that it had to be by “death,” through which Justification would be received (Gen. 22:1-2, 8-9, 14), but to Moses He showed the “manner” of that death, which was the Cross.
As well, Elijah knew exactly what God had shown Abraham and Moses, and which had been so dramatically portrayed to him on the day the fire fell and consumed the sacrifice (I Ki. 18:30-39).
2. Inasmuch as Moses had been dead, at least physically speaking, for some 1,600 years, thereby having been in Paradise for that length of time, and that Elijah had been translated that he should not see death, and had been in Heaven for some 900 years, we know the topic of conversation in both places had been that of the coming Redemption, i.e., “what Christ would do on the Cross.”
So, Faith must always be linked to the Cross, which of course is the great Sacrifice of Christ, or else it’s not Faith, at least the kind that God will recognize (Eph. 2:8-9).
Faith properly placed, will always ulti­mately produce a miracle of tremendous pro­portions, even though there is a struggle at times, of getting our Faith properly placed, and keeping our Faith properly placed!

The phrase, “Because she judged Him faithful Who had promised,” refers to God Who had made the Promise regarding her bring­ing a son into the world. On the merely hu­man level, there was no hope for this miracle to be brought about. Sarah had been barren all her life, and on top of that, she was now 90 years old. As well, Abraham was 100, so the idea that he could father children at this age, was slim indeed!
Even though all of this placed Abraham and Sarah in the position of “impossible” as it regarded bringing forth the child, what is impossible with men, is possible with God (Mat. 19:26).
Everything done through us and by us as it pertains to the Lord is always done by and through the Person of the Holy Spirit. In fact, it has to be a Work of the Spirit, or else God cannot accept it.
Therefore, with Abraham and Sarah, all hope of the flesh had to die. In other words, they had to be brought to the place that they had exhausted all their physical, mental, intel­lectual, and material resources. In other words, there had to be absolutely nothing left but Faith in God. And that’s exactly what happened!
Despite their own personal problems, which means that many times they were unfaithful, they judged God to definitely be faithful. And herein lies a great truth:

Getting from the “Promise” to the “Possession,” is never a simple, short, or

easy task. And that’s where the test of Faith comes in.
The implication in this phrase is that they finally got their eyes on the Lord instead of themselves. As someone has well said, Abraham and Sarah had to deal with their sin, before Isaac could be born. And what does that mean?
Their sin was in looking to themselves, and by that I refer to their own efforts at try­ing to bring about the Promise of God, in­stead of looking solely to the Lord. That is the entire crux of the Christian experience. Let’s look at it in another way:
That is our sin as well! The Holy Spirit cannot bring forth in our lives that which He desires, until we quit attempting to do it by our own machinations, whatever they might be, and instead, glue our eyes strictly and to­tally onto the Finished Work of Christ. In doing this, we are at the same time saying that we know we cannot carry this forth ourselves, and at the same time, we realize that Jesus has already done it for us at the Cross. In other words, in the Cross is the potential for all blessings. When we finally “give up and let Jesus take over,” which refers to looking to what He did on Mount Calvary on our be­half, then the Holy Spirit can take over in our lives, just exactly as He did with Abraham and Sarah so long ago, and a miracle will be born.

How do you judge God? Whether you re­alize it or not, by your actions you are judg­ing God every day.
If you are attempting to live this Chris­tian experience in any other manner, other than by Faith in the Cross of Christ, you are in effect, judging God as not being faithful to His Promise. What is that Promise?
In fact, He gave the Promise to Abraham. He told the Patriarch, which Promise inci­dentally included you and me, and in fact the entirety of mankind, “I am ‘Jehovah-Jireh’,” meaning, “the Lord will provide” (Gen. 22:13-14).
Provide what?

He would provide a Redeemer for man­kind, which He did!
To be sure, God kept His Promise, in pro­viding a Savior Who would redeem mankind, and as well, would give us Eternal Life, and provide for us an overcoming victory. In other words, everything we need, is found in that which He provided, which all translates into “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified” (I Cor. 2:2).
Now how do you judge God? Do you judge Him as having done this great thing? And if you do, you will trust Him implicitly, which refers to looking exactly as to what He did, which is the Sacrifice of Christ. Otherwise, you will look to other things, which regret­tably, most of the modern Church is pres­ently doing!
God promised through Abraham that He would give to the world a Redeemer Who would save man from sin. He also promised that accompanying this Redemption, He would give us the Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:13-14). And then He promised us that we could live a victorious, overcoming, Christian life, meaning that sin in no way, shape, form, or fashion, would dominate us (Rom. 6:14). He promised us that if we would look to the Cross, which refers to what Jesus there did, with all of its continuing benefits, that we could have all of this for which He paid such a price (Rom. 6:3-5; 8:1-2, 11).
Now if you believe that, you will under­stand that it all comes through the Cross, and that this is where your Faith must be anchored. Accordingly, you will judge God as having kept His Promise!
If not, you will trust other things, but I warn you. All these other things are “broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:13).
The diagram is:
“Therefore” introduces the inevitable result of true Faith.

The smallness of the beginning is brought out, in that Abraham was only one man, and he was “as good as dead.” But Faith in God worked a miracle.

That which Faith in God brought forth, is as the “stars of the sky,” and the “sand by the seashore.” God’s Blessing is beyond hu­man calculation.


The phrase, “Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead,” refers to the hopelessness, absolute hopelessness, of Abraham’s situation, but yet which brought forth the multitude. God did exactly what He said He would do!
All of this is meant to teach us valuable lessons. It is meant by the Holy Spirit, that we transfer these lessons to ourselves and, therefore, apply them to ourselves. In other words, the Lord through what Paul here said, is prodding you to exercise the same faith as Abraham and Sarah.
We may draw back from that, thinking that we could not even begin to measure up to that of Abraham and Sarah; however, we must always remember, that we’re not look­ing to Abraham and to Sarah, or even to our­selves for that matter, but rather to God. While God’s work for us is not the same as that of Abraham and Sarah, nevertheless He definitely has a work for us to do, and their experience is related here in order that it might help us (I Cor. 10:11).

Paul said to the Corinthians, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (II Cor. 5:7). But our problem is, most of the time we do walk by “sight,” which refers to that which Abraham and Sarah were doing, before they began to walk by faith.
What does it mean to walk by sight?

In effect, this means that we are placing our faith in ourselves and circumstances, instead of in the Lord and what He did at the Cross on our behalf.
If we look at ourselves, we, exactly as Abraham and Sarah, will see many problems. If we look at circumstances, which Abraham and Sarah also did in the beginning, what we see won’t be good. Consequently, we be­gin to doubt, with all of its attendant results, which means that we are “walking by sight.”
When we “walk by Faith,” this means sim­ply that we are not looking at ourselves, are not looking at circumstances whatever they might be, but rather looking to Jesus and what He did for us at the Cross. We know if we keep our Faith anchored in the Cross, that the Holy Spirit will then do great and mighty things for us and within us, which is the way it must work anyhow.
What must be done, we cannot do! In fact, it is literally impossible for us to do these things which God demands of us. And what things am I speaking of?
It really doesn’t matter! Perhaps we could divide it up into two sections, thereby mak­ing it easier to understand:
The Holy Spirit wants to develop Righ­teousness and Holiness within our hearts and lives, in other words the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23), therefore, Christlikeness. If this is done, it at the same time will give us victory over all sin (Rom. 6:14).

While that just stated is the Holy Spirit working “in us,” the Lord also has a work which He desires of us, which must be done “through us.” In other words, He has a work for you to do, whatever it might be!

All of this can only be done in one manner:
Abraham and Sarah are a perfect example that all of this can never be done by human machinations, but only by Faith. They were meant to serve as our examples, and we are meant to learn from them. One cannot walk by sight, but rather one must walk by Faith! And then this great thing can be done within our hearts and lives, but only then!

The phrase, “So many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable,” records what God did through this amazing couple. But it was all “through faith!”
Sarah’s faith, though obscured at times, shines out brightly indeed when we remem­ber how utterly impossible from a human standpoint it was that she should ever be­come the mother of the promised child. That there was a breakdown on the part of both herself and her husband — a breakdown which brought Hagar — a work of the flesh
— into the home and led to unhappy circum­stances later — is perfectly true, but all this was only temporary. That which God delights to remember of this great lady is that she “counted Him faithful Who promised.” And so the Apostle reminds us:

“From this one, as good as dead, the Lord has brought forth such a multitude as the stars in Heaven, and the sands which are by the seashore.” However, in their lifetimes, they did not see all of this, even as the next Verse brings out. But this only shows us that Faith is so powerful, that it will never die.
When Paul mentioned “the stars of the sky in multitude,” he was referring back to Genesis 15:5, when the Lord said to Abraham, when he was in a state of doubt, “Look, look now toward Heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He said unto him, ‘So shall thy seed be’.” That’s when the Scripture said, “And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for Righ­teousness” (Gen. 15:6).
Later, the Lord again reinforced that promise by again mentioning the “stars,” but this time adding that about the “sand” (Gen. 22:17-18).

When I was a kid coming up, and espe­cially after Frances and I married, my Grand­mother was a source of unparalleled strength to me. I was just beginning to preach the Gospel, and she was to me at that time, my Bible School, my Seminary. Her lessons were to the point, and they minced no words.
I can see that faraway look in her eyes even to this day, as she seemed to look past me, into the very heart of God. She would say to me:
“Jimmy, God is a big God, so ask big!”

I’ve never forgotten that, and by the Grace of God I will never forget it. It has helped me touch a great part of this world for the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Ask big,” for this is the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob! This is the God of Paul and of Silas! This is the God of Peter, James, and John!
Oh how I sense the Presence of God, even as I dictate these . Faith is as big as God, which means that Faith, that is if it’s true Faith in Christ and what He has done at the Cross on our behalf, has no limitations. God is the God of the impossible!
The Lord said to me in October of 1991, at a time of great crisis for me and this Min­istry, at a time when I didn’t know of the Victory of the Cross, “God is not a man, that
He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? Or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?”
He then said to me, “What I have blessed, nothing can curse!” (Num. 23:19-20).
His Word then said, “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath He seen per­verseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them” (Num. 23:21).
This prophecy is actually a portrayal of “Justification by Faith.” Was there iniquity in Jacob? Was their perverseness in Israel?
God was looking at them through Christ; consequently, He beheld no iniquity or per­verseness. He looks at you the same identi­cal way. So what am I saying?
I’m saying, that on that memorable day in 1991, because of Christ and what He did for me at the Cross, the Lord saw no iniquity or perverseness. What did He see?
He saw and heard “the shout of a King.” That King is Christ, and the “shout” is the “shout of victory!”
Therefore, if Christ shouts “victory,” then I shout “victory!”
The structure is:
These things which God had prom­ised, were far larger than the ones to whom they were promised. The Promises incorpo­rated eternity.

However, by Faith they saw them, and knew they were real.

The Promises of God are not of this present world.

The phrase, “These all died in faith,” in the Greek text actually says, “According to Faith.” They died, one might say, under the regime of faith, and not of sight (Vincent). That is, all died with the exception of Enoch.
Seven Verses up to this point have be­gun with the emphatic words “By faith.”

Consequently, we must not change the order of the original. In fact, there is a change here, but not in the emphasis of this thought.
We should not expect to read “By faith these died”; what is said is, “In accordance with faith all these died”; faith had been the support and guide of their lives, and their deaths were in accordance with the same prin­ciple. That is, they did not die in possession of what had been promised, but saw at a dis­tance the Blessings of which God had spoken.
There is nothing in the world greater than to “die in faith.” In fact, that was not only the lot of the Patriarchs as here described, but also every single Believer who has lived from the very beginning until now. While it is certainly true, due to the First Advent of Christ and what He did at the Cross, that we have more now than they had then, at least as it regards the Promises of God; still, most is yet to come. But the Truth is, as the year 2000 rolled around, signifying a new cen­tury and a new millennium, we are closer today than ever. Actually, all of these things of which we speak are now even at the door.
One must “live in the Faith,” and above all, one must “die in the Faith.”

The phrase, “Not having received the Promises,” tells us in no uncertain terms, that the Promises of God are not of this present world. What are these Promises?
In fact, the Promises of God are of such magnitude as to defy all description. They include Eternal Life, which points to the coming Resurrection when we shall all be changed (I Cor. 15:51-57), which as stated, is even at the door. It is called “the Rapture of the Church” (I Thess. 4:13-18), and will include every Saint of God who has ever lived from the time of Abel through the coming great Tribulation.
Then every Saint of God just mentioned, will come back with Christ to this Earth, in what is referred to as the Second Coming (Rev. Chpt. 19). Then Israel will be brought back to God, and done so by accepting the One Whom they rejected so long, long ago, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ (Zech., Chpts. 12-14). At that time, Israel will not only accept Christ, but will also accept the Cross. The Scripture says:
“In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the House of David and to the in­habitants of Jerusalem for sin and for un­cleanness” (Zech. 13:1).
There is only one fountain, and that is the one that is filled with blood, and as the songwriter said, “Drawn from Immanuel’s veins.” That is the Cross!

The phrase, “But having seen them afar off,” proclaims the fact, that the Promises of God do not include only this mortal coil, this present life. In fact, Paul also said, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (I Cor. 15:19).
Cannot the Reader now see the abomi­nable error of the present “money gospel” which in reality is no gospel at all! What­ever the Lord seeks to give us in this present world is well and good; however, to trade the “there and then” for the “here and now,” is the most foolish of all trades. But of course, the great claim is that one can have both! Is that correct?
It doesn’t take a Biblical Scholar to see what is here being said. Our hope, our bless­ing, in fact, for all that Jesus died, are not found on this side of the Resurrection. We must never forget that. This means that if we put too much emphasis on the things of this present world, we are of all men most foolish.
Some of these people mentioned here in the Text, were blessed abundantly in the fi­nancial sense, but they placed no stock what­soever in those things. In fact, their home was a “tent,” and because they ever looked at themselves as the last phrase tells us, as “strangers and pilgrims on the Earth.”

The phrase, “And were persuaded of them,” refers to the fact, that the Revelation of God to them, had been so poignant, so powerful, so real, and given with such im­pact, that they gladly traded that which they could see, for that which they could not see.
To which we have already alluded, one of the greatest problems of the modern Church, is the “here and now.” In fact, the far greater majority of the Church, that is if we include all who claim to be “Christian,” don’t even

believe in a coming Rapture. The reason is not difficult to locate.
They have no clear understanding of the True Promises of God. They do not know what they really are, and because they have no true Revelation. This means they do not really know Christ, and they do not know Christ because they do not place any confi­dence in the Cross. I think the perilous state of the modern Church can be traced to that one problem — not understanding the Cross of Christ. If one understands the Cross, then one understands the story of the Bible, in fact, the great Plan of God as a whole. The Cross is what makes all the Promises valid. Without the great Sacrifice of Christ, there would be no “Promises.” The Cross “made” it all pos­sible, and the Cross “makes” it all possible!
A vote of no confidence in the Cross, is a vote of no confidence in the Promises of God. As we keep saying, one cannot have it both ways. One is either “persuaded” of this which the Lord has promised, or else one is not persuaded. And irrespective as to what one might say, one’s direction proclaims how one is persuaded. Let me be clearer:
According to one’s interpretation of the Cross, accordingly is there “persuasion.” For one to have a part understanding of the Cross means they have a part understanding of the Promises. And that is the position of much of the modern Church!

The phrase, “And embraced them,” refers to the fact, that the Promises of God, although not presently seen except from a distance, were nevertheless accepted in all faith. In other words, this is where they placed their hope, their dreams, their past, their present, and their future. It must be the same pres­ently, for in fact, nothing has changed.
We as Christians have either embraced this present world, which will lead to nothing but trouble and even destruction, or else we have embraced the Promises of God, which are afar off. One cannot have a middle ground, it is either one or the other! And to be sure, it is very easy to look and see as to what is being “embraced!”
The part of Christianity which has sold out to the world, has all the earmarks of the world, while those who have embraced the Promises, have those earmarks as well.
The phrase, “And confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the Earth,” holds true unto this present hour. The Christian, that is the true Christian, must never forget that. We do not march to the world’s beat, and neither do we sing its song. That which is of interest to the world, is not of interest to us, and that which is of interest to us, is definitely not of interest to the world. And never forget, if the two become intermingled, something is badly wrong with the Church. In the anonymous Epistle to Diagnetus, prob­ably of the Second Century, there occur these words concerning Christians: “They inhabit their own country, but as sojourners: they take part in all things as citizens, and en­dure all things as aliens: every foreign coun­try is theirs, and every country is foreign.”
The composite is:
The terminology of the Believer points to their emphasis.

Our emphasis “declares plainly” which way we are headed.

The emphasis of the Believer if it is correct, automatically declares that this present world is insufficient, and thereby, we seek something else.

The phrase, “For they that say such things,” refers to the conversation and ter­minology of faith.
The Church is divided into two parts: the True Church and the Apostate Church. Some of the time, they are intermingled. Even though much of the terminology at times is the same, still, if one listens closely, one can hear the difference.
For instance, the True Church is looking for the Rapture, says so, and orders its behav­ior to that end. The Apostate Church has no regard for the Rapture, and in fact, doesn’t even believe there will be a Rapture, and says so!
The True Church follows after the Spirit, while the Apostate Church ignores the Spirit.

The True Church looks exclusively to the Cross as the Source of all things from God, while the Apostate Church ignores the Cross and even at times, repudiates the Cross. Con­sequently, Jesus said:
“For by thy words thou shalt be justi­fied, and by thy words thou shalt be con­demned” (Mat. 12:37).

The short phrase, “Declare plainly,” re­fers to the fact, that the true Believer leaves no room for doubt. He declares plainly what he believes, why he believes it, and in Whom he believes. If he doesn’t declare it plainly, then he really doesn’t believe what he tim­idly suggests. The Scripture plainly says:
“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy” (Ps. 107:2).
I have made the statement many times, that the Cross of Christ is the dividing line between the True Church and the Apostate Church. As also stated, that has always been the case, but the Holy Spirit is going to make it more pronounced now than ever. So what am I saying?
The die is being cast. Do we believe that the Cross of Christ is the foundation of the Faith, or do we believe in something else? If we do believe in the Cross, we are going to have to boldly say so. And when we do, many will be asked to leave their respective Church. That’s the price that one may have to pay, but in fact, that’s the price that God has al­ways demanded. The opposition has little come from the world, but most always from the professing Church. That is going to be more pronounced now than ever.

I think I am just now beginning to un­derstand the manner of the prime thrust of Satan within the Church. I observe Churches which claim to be Spirit-filled, but are yet extremely legalistic, while at the same time embracing the things of the world. The two at first do not seem to match, but after a little observation it becomes very clear that they perfectly match.
While these Churches, and they are in the far greater majority, claim the Spirit, they at the same time embrace the ways of the world, and oppose the Cross. They are mor­alists! And what do we mean by that?
While mouthing Christ, and while claim­ing the Holy Spirit, they in effect, have fab­ricated their own Salvation. They have set up their rules and regulations, and their Sal­vation is in abiding by these particular rules and regulations, which of course, excludes the Cross. They do not really see themselves as they really are, and if they did, they would understand the need for the Cross.
They consider themselves to be very moral, simply because they have abided by their particular, formulated integrity. It fools many people, because they talk about the Lord constantly just as the Pharisees of old, in fact whom they emulate, and yet they claim the Spirit.
Irrespective of their claims, and irrespec­tive of their profession, that which denies the Cross has denied Christ. Now here is the second clincher to all of this:
While some of these openly repudiate the Cross, and I primarily speak of the Word of Faith people, many do not consider them­selves as opposing the Cross. In fact, they pay lip service to the Cross by mentioning the death of Christ, etc. However, their trust and confidence are not in that Finished Work, which they prove by their emphasis. Their salvation, whether they realize it or not, is a salvation of law and works, which in reality, is no salvation at all (Gal. 2:16).
These Churches are primarily accepted by the world, which should be a tip-off. And as well, they deceive many people because of their religion of ethics and morality. While all true Christians will definitely have eth­ics, and will definitely uphold true morality, the difference is that theirs comes from Christ, while the other supposed morality, and supposed it is, comes from rules and regulations, i.e., “law.”
Before God, and before the Scriptures, all of this is “declared plainly,” but sometimes, it is not understood plainly by many Christians.

The phrase, “That they seek a country,” refers to that which is not here, and has no reference to that which is here.

Even though words such as “city” and “country,” are here used, and to be sure, Heaven is definitely a real place; however, more than anything else these words sym­bolize the entirety of the Plan of God for the human race, at least for those who will be­lieve (Jn. 3:16).
The word “seek” implies Faith. It also implies a way of life, a particular direction, a particular lifestyle. In other words, what the true Believer is seeking is not at all that which the world seeks.
The structure is:

Of what country are you “mindful,” the “here and now” or the “there and then”?

God does not make slaves of people. Had these mentioned so desired, they could have re­turned to that which they had left. They had free wills, but they “willed” to go God’s way.

Regrettably, some, even many, have returned to the former ways.


The phrase, “And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out,” in the Greek text, means “habitu­ally remembered.”
The old song says, “This world is not my home, I’m just traveling through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The Angels beckon me to Heaven’s open door, and I can’t feel at home in this world any more.”
Those of which Paul speaks had come to the place that they knew that this world was not their home, and conducted themselves accordingly.
Paul also said of this time, “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed” (Gal. 3:8).
This shows that they of whom Paul here speaks, was “mindful” not of the country they had left, but rather of that which they sought. It is proven by their actions:
When Abraham wanted a wife for Isaac, he wanted her to be from his homeland. There was a reason for that, even though I will not now address that reason. But he did not go back there himself. Instead, he sent a ser­vant to get the bride and said to him, “Make sure that you do not take my son back there”
(Gen. 24:6).
After Jacob had spent 20 years in Meso­potamia, he still regarded Canaan as “my own homeland” (Gen. 30:25); and he heard God say, “Go back to the land of your fathers” (Gen. 31:3).
Abraham buried Sarah in Canaan, not Mesopotamia, and in due course he was bur­ied there himself (Gen. 23:19; 25:9-10), as were Isaac (Gen. 35:27-29) and Jacob (Gen. 49:29-33; 50:13), Jacob being brought up from Egypt for this purpose.
Joseph commanded that the same be done for him (Gen. 50:24-26; Ex. 13:19; Josh. 24:32).
All these men wholeheartedly accepted God’s Word. Had they been earthly minded, they could have gone back to Mesopotamia. But their hearts were set on their Heavenly Home, and they did not go back. Single mindedly they walked the path of faith.
The Reader shouldn’t misunderstand! All of these particular places we have here named, including Canaan, were but symbolic of the Way of God. At that particular time, Canaan represented the true Way of God, while the balance of the world represented other things. It really hasn’t changed presently.
Today it is no longer the land of “Canaan,” but rather, the “Church.” And yet, the earthly institution referred to as “the Church,” must never be confused with “the General Assem­bly and Church of the Firstborn, which are written in Heaven” (Heb. 12:23). In other words, the true Church has no bearing on our names being written on some earthly church roles, but rather written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, which is in Heaven.
The Believer must ever understand, that you have been “brought out” of darkness into Light. You have “come out” from the world, and are no longer a part of its system. In other words, you are “in the world,” but defi­nitely not “of the world!”
The phrase, “They might have had op­portunity to have returned,” proclaims the

fact, that if they had been “mindful of that country from whence they came out,” they definitely could have, and in fact, would have gone back. This graphically portrays the free moral agency of man. It is “free will” which got you in, and if someone so foolishly de­sires, “free will,” God forbid, can get you out. What if they had returned?
In fact, the entirety of the Epistle to the Hebrews was written for this very reason. Some of the Christian Jews were in fact, re­turning to the former ways. And regrettably, millions since, and I think I exaggerate not, have returned to those ways. Concerning this, Jesus said:
“No man, having put his hand to the plough and looking back, is fit for the King­dom of God” (Lk. 9:62).
All of this shows that the Patriarchs re­maining in God’s Way as strangers and so­journers was voluntary. They preferred it, with all its inconveniences and hardships. The same thing is true of all the people of God now.
If they choose to return to the world, and to engage again in all its vain pursuits, there is nothing to hinder them. There are “op­portunities” enough. In fact, there are abun­dant inducements held out, even as Paul will later say concerning Moses. But go back? Go back to what?
Having been enlightened and having tasted of the Heavenly Gift, and having been made a partaker of the Holy Spirit, and hav­ing tasted of the good Word of God, and the powers of the world to come, how could one forsake all of this, to go back to the “beg­garly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage”? (Gal. 4:9; Heb. 6:4-5).
The exegesis is:

1. They have made their choice “now.”
They desire something better, because they have seen it “afar off.”

That which they desire, is not of this world, but rather has its origination in Heaven.

Because of their Faith, God is not ashamed to be called their God.

5. And to show that He is not ashamed, He has prepared for them a city, where they will be with Him forever.

The short phrase, “But now,” proclaims the fact, that if one is to have this “better coun­try,” they must forsake at the same time, this present country, i.e., “the ways of the world.”
Paul said, quoting Isaiah, “Now is the ac­cepted time; behold, now is the Day of Sal­vation” (II Cor. 6:2; Isa. 49:8).
While deathbed repentance is definitely valid, as true repentance is valid at any time, the truth is, most don’t have a deathbed op­portunity. That’s the reason the Prophet and the Apostle said that “now is the ac­cepted time.”

The phrase, “They desire a better coun­try,” presents the fact that through faith the Patriarchs were willing to connect their whole life and that of their children with waiting at God’s bidding for the fulfillment of the Promise — wandering and sojourn­ing until God’s Own time should come when He would grant a home and a country of their own. The idea is, the sojourning in the land was a symbol of their Faith in God, that the “better country” was ultimately coming.
Every single Believer who has gone be­fore us is now with the Lord. In a sense, they have gained that better country, but in an­other sense, a great deal is yet future.
That which is future awaits the Second Coming, when all Saints will come back with Christ to rule and reign on this Earth for a thousand years, after which time, the heav­ens and the Earth will be cleansed by fire (II Pet. 3:12), with the New Jerusalem then com­ing down from God out of Heaven, to take up a permanent abode on this planet, which means that God will literally change His Headquarters from Heaven to Earth (Rev., Chpts. 21-22). Consequently, in view of this, Peter said:
“Nevertheless we, according to His Prom­ise, look for new heavens and a new Earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (II Pet. 3:13).
Then “the Promise” will be totally, com­pletely, and fully realized.

Paul said, “Then cometh the end (the end of all rebellion against God), when He (Jesus) shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when He (Jesus) shall have put down all rule and all authority and power” (I Cor. 15:24).

The phrase, “An heavenly,” presents the adjective “heavenly” as connecting “coun­try” with God and with all it means to be­long to God. In other words, this of which the Apostle speaks is not of this world in any shape, form, or fashion. It is all “heavenly,” i.e., “all of God!”
Let it ever be understood, that all of this of which we speak, all of this which the Holy Spirit has revealed unto us, this “better coun­try,” this “heavenly,” is attainable only through and by what Jesus did at the Cross, and our Faith in that Finished Work. As the Cross made it all possible, then it is absolutely necessary that we have Faith, and maintain Faith, in that which makes it all possible.
Paul said, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the Blood of Christ . . . for through Him we both (Jews and Gentiles) have access by One Spirit (the Holy Spirit) unto the Father” (Eph. 2:13, 18).

The phrase, “Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God,” is because they have commended themselves to God by their Faith.
Wuest says, “The expression ‘to be called their God’ is most interesting in the Greek. The word ‘called’ is ‘epikaleisthai,’ the simple verb meaning ‘to be called,’ the preposition meaning ‘upon.’ Thus the compound word means ‘to be called upon.’ The idea is, there­fore, that of adding an additional name to the one which one already has, namely, a surname. God was not ashamed to be sur­named their God. He is called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And this is shown by the fact that He has prepared for them a city, introducing them into the per­fection of social life, fellowship with Him.”
However, it must be ever remembered, that poor, sinful human beings are not brought to this state of acceptance by God, except through what Jesus did at the Cross. That and that alone made everything possible.
While it is certainly true that the Cross was still a futuristic event during the time of the Patriarchs, still, it was their Faith in that coming event, as shadowy as it might have been at that particular time, which gave them their standing with God.
Let us never forget, that it is the Cross and the Cross alone, which makes all of this possible.
The phrase, “For He hath prepared for them a city,” refers to the past tense. It is not that God will one day prepare their city, but that He has already done so.
Out of all of this, we must understand that the life of the Patriarchs was, in all essential respects, such as we should lead. They looked forward to Heaven; they sought no perma­nent possessions here; they regarded them­selves as strangers and pilgrims on the Earth. So should we be.
In our more fixed and settled habits of life; in our homes; in our residence in the land in which we were born, and in the soci­ety of friends, we should yet regard ourselves as “strangers and sojourners.” We have here no fixed abode. In fact, the houses in which we dwell will soon be occupied by others; the paths on which we go will soon be trod by the feet of others; the fields which we culti­vate will soon be ploughed and sown and reaped by others.
Others will read the books which we read; sit down at the tables where we sit; lie on the beds where we repose; occupy the chambers where we shall die, and from whence we shall be removed to our graves.
If we have any permanent home, it is in Heaven; and that which we have, the faithful lives of the Patriarchs who went before us serve to teach us, and the unerring Word of God everywhere assures us (Barnes).
When the Patriarchs died, and we speak of all who lived before Christ, in fact, at that time they didn’t go to Heaven, but rather down into Paradise, which was in the heart

of the Earth. The only thing that separated Paradise from the burning side of Hell itself, was a great gulf, even as related by Christ (Lk. 16:26). So, they didn’t realize that “City” even at that time. But their Faith would ul­timately take them there.
The reason they could not then be ad­mitted into Heaven, with the possible excep­tion of Enoch and Elijah, was because the sin debt was still attached to them. Even as Paul said, “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Heb. 10:4). To be sure, they were saved, but they did not have the benefits which we have since the Cross.
When Jesus died on the Cross, thereby paying the sin debt for all of humanity, at least for all who will believe, even before His Resurrection, He went down into Paradise, and liberated those souls from that particu­lar place, where they had actually been held captive by Satan, thereby making them his captives, and taking them to Heaven with Him (Eph. 4:8-10).
Now when Believers die, their souls and spirits immediately go to Heaven to be with Christ, there to await the coming Resurrec­tion of the Righteous, which we refer to as the Rapture of the Church, when a Glorified Body will then be joined to the soul and the spirit (Phil. 1:21-23; I Thess. 4:13-18).
The diagram is:

All faith must be tested, and great faith must be tested greatly.

This test of Faith would include the manner in which God would redeem human­ity, which would be by the death of His Son.

Isaac was looked at by God alone as the son of promise, and heir to all things of Abraham, and not Ishmael, showing us that it is only that which is birthed by the Spirit which God can accept.


The phrase, “By faith Abraham, when he was tried,” presents Paul returning from the Patriarchs in general to Abraham in par­ticular. This was a test of Faith, perhaps one of, if not the greatest test ever, put upon a human being.
In fact, the faith of all Believers is tested constantly, although certainly not to this degree; nevertheless, the testing continues on an ongoing basis.
The Greek word used here for “tried,” is rendered “tempted” in Matthew 4:1, 3; 16:1; 19:3; 22:18, 35, and in 22 other places in the New Testament. The same word is translated “prove” in John 6:6.
It does not mean here, as it often does, to place inducements before one to lead him to do wrong, but to subject his faith to a trial in order to test its genuineness and strength. The meaning here is, that Abraham was placed in circumstances which showed what was the real strength in his confidence in God.
Satan “tempts” us, while God “tries” us. The meaning is according to the following:
Even though the same Greek word is used for both “tempt” and “tried,” it has a differ­ent meaning according to whom we are re­ferring, whether God or Satan. Although there is no evidence that Satan was involved whatsoever in this particular incident, in fact, Satan is definitely involved many times, with Job as the perfect example.
Satan, of course, “tempts” us, in order that our faith may fail; God “tries” us, in or­der to strengthen our Faith. God cannot tempt men to do wrong, hence James say­ing, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil (cannot tempt men to com­mit evil), neither tempteth he any man” (James 1:13).
As well, it is God Who sets the param­eters as it regards how strong that Satan can tempt a particular individual (Job, Chpts. 1­2). Let no Believer think that Satan can do anything he so desires. In fact, he can only do what the Lord allows him to do, being held on a leash so to speak, at all times. To be­lieve otherwise, would make God subservi­ent to the Devil, which of course, is prepos­terous! Satan has latitude in any and all things, only up to the point in which God allows him such latitude. In fact, he has to go hat in hand asking permission, even to do what he does do, and then as stated, God sets the parameters and not the Evil One.

Consequently, James also said, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation (that which Satan is allowed to bring against him): for when he is tried (God allows the trial and test of Faith), he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him” (James 1:12).
Genesis Chapter 22 records this great test of Abraham.
The Scripture says, “That God did tempt Abraham” (Gen. 22:1). The Hebrew word for “tempt” is “nacah,” and means, “to test, prove.” No inducement to sin is implied. In fact, it should have been translated “test.”
The Reader is not to think that God al­lows testing in order that He might see, for He already knows. He allows such, in order that we might see. Probably one could say without fear of contradiction, that one’s Faith is never quite as strong as one thinks it is, even when, as Abraham, we pass the test.

The testing of our faith is allowed by the Lord, even induced by the Lord, not so much to test the quantity, but rather the quality. By that, I refer to the proper object of Faith. Every Christian has Faith (Rom. 12:3), but most Christians do not know what the proper object of their Faith ought to be. If asked, most would reiterate that they have “Faith in God,” or “Faith in Christ,” or “Faith in the Word of God.” All of that is correct, but at the same time, doesn’t really say very much.
In this Volume, I have already addressed this subject, and I do so again only because it is so very, very important. In fact, nothing could be more important as it regards the Child of God. If the Believer doesn’t have the proper object to which his Faith must be attached, the end result, and without excep­tion, will be failure and defeat.
For the last 50 or so years, most teachers of Faith have claimed that one must increase their Faith, and they have proposed all type of methods by which this could be done. That is incorrect!
At a particular time, “the Apostles said unto the Lord, increase our Faith.”
Jesus answered by saying, “If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you might say unto this sycamine tree, be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you” (Lk. 17:5-6).
He was telling them in this statement, even as we’ve already stated, that it was not the quantity of their faith that was impor­tant, but rather the quality. And by quality, we are referring to the proper object of Faith. He didn’t explain that to them at the time, because it would have been pointless to have done so. In fact, He said to them as it regards such teaching:
“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
“Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth is come (the Holy Spirit), He will guide you into all Truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come.
“He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you” (Jn. 16:12-14).
The Holy Spirit couldn’t come into the hearts and lives of Believers to abide perma­nently, until the Cross was a fact. At the Cross, Jesus paid the terrible sin debt owed by man to God, which meant that man could be to­tally and fully justified upon Faith, thereby totally and perfectly cleansing the temple, making it possible for the Holy Spirit to now abide permanently. Hence Paul would say:
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (I Cor. 3:16).
It is the Holy Spirit Who guarantees the results of our Faith, that is if our Faith is properly placed (Gal. 5:5). That proper place is the Cross, which refers to what Jesus there did on our behalf, which has continued re­sults, and in fact, results which will never be discontinued (Eph. 2:12-19).
There is no power in the Cross per se; however, it is what took place at the Cross, which gives the Holy Spirit, in Whom resides the power, the latitude to work in our lives. Hence Paul said:
“For the preaching (Word) of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the Power of God” (I Cor. 1:18). In other words, the Cross is what makes the power possible, simply because the

legal work of Christ carried out at the Cross, gives the Holy Spirit the legal right to exert His power on our behalf, hence Paul also referring to this as “the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:2).
As I’ve already stated, I’m addressing this in every way possible, simply because there is nothing more important in the Believer’s life than the proper object of his Faith.

The Holy Spirit through Paul also said, “So then Faith cometh by hearing, and hear­ing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17).
This means simply, that we hear the Word of God being properly taught and preached, and if we properly hear it, our Faith will defi­nitely increase. Now notice that I said “properly!”
If we hear the Word of God improperly taught and preached, it will fall out to our harm, as should be obvious. What do we mean by the Word of God being properly taught and preached?
To properly teach and preach the Word of God, the Preacher must have a proper knowledge of the Cross. In fact, even as we’ve said many times in this Volume, the Word and the Cross, or the Cross and the Gospel, or the Cross and Faith, are all synonymous. In other words, when you’ve said one, you’ve said the other.
The story of the Bible is the story of the Creation, Fall, and Redemption of man. The Creation takes up the first two Chapters of the Bible (Gen., Chpts. 1-2), the Fall takes up the Third Chapter, and man’s Redemp­tion covers the entirety of the balance of the Bible. It begins in Genesis Chapter 4 with an example of the manner in which man would be redeemed, which would be by the Cross, symbolized by the slain lamb and its shed blood. That theme is then carried through­out the entirety of the Word of God. Every Prophecy in the Old Testament, in one way or the other, whether directly or indirectly, points to the coming Redeemer, and His manner of Redemption, i.e., “the Cross.” In fact, the great Sacrificial System of the Mo­saic Law, all typified, and without exception, the Cross of Christ. Every vessel in the Tab­ernacle and Temple, in some way personified the Life, Ministry, and Death of Christ on behalf of lost humanity.
Likewise, all instruction given in the New Testament, points back toward that Fin­ished Work. In other words, everything, and without exception, is based on the Sacrifice of Christ.
So, if the Preacher is to properly teach and preach the Word, he must do so with the understanding that the Word of God is in fact the Cross, one might say, and the Cross is in fact, the Word of God.
If the Believer hears it in that fashion, which means that his Faith is properly placed, growth will automatically come about within his heart and life. This is the manner in which the Holy Spirit works and, I might quickly add, the only manner. If we attempt to make other things the object of our Faith, and irrespective as to how good in their own right those other things might be, the Holy Spirit simply will not work for us. To be sure, He will always do all that He can on our be­half; however, He will not break “the Law of the Spirit of Life which is in Christ Jesus.” Faith ever placed in the Cross, and ever main­tained in the Cross, every guarantees His leading, guidance, empowerment and help. Faith otherwise placed, closes off His help to us. That’s a sobering thought, considering that we must have His help, but it happens to be the truth.

The phrase, “Offered up Isaac,” refers to the fact, that even though God stopped Abraham’s hand at the last moment, still, in the mind of Abraham, the Patriarch had al­ready offered up Isaac.
The construction in the Greek makes it clear that while the testing of Abraham was still in progress, he had already offered up his son, that is, before the trial had come to an issue, by the act of his obedient will, through Faith in God, he had committed him­self to the completion of the act. This means that Abraham met the test through faith be­fore there was any visible evidence of God’s intervening Hand. The Patriarch fully ex­pected to offer his son as a Sacrifice, and as fully expected God to raise his body from the dead out of the ashes of the burnt Sacrifice

(Wuest). As stated, there has probably never been a test of faith exactly like this!

The phrase, “And he that had received the Promises offered up his only begotten son,” proclaims by this action, as well as the terminology, that this test of Faith, was far more than merely a conflict between Abraham’s love for his son and his duty to God. It may well have included that, but the major thrust of the test was in two parts:
In this test of the Patriarch’s Faith, he had difficulty in reconciling the different Revelations made to him. God had promised him innumerous posterity through Isaac; yet now He called on him to offer Isaac as a sacri­fice. How then could the promise be fulfilled?

Though he did not understand, Abraham knew how to obey. His faith told him that God would work out His purpose, even if He had to raise the boy from the dead.

The greater action of all of this, was that God would show the Patriarch as to how the great work of Justification by Faith, which He had shown the Patriarch some years ear­lier, would be worked out (Gen. 15:6). It would be through the death of God’s only Son. As God called upon Abraham to offer up his son, through whom the Messiah would ultimately come, God would give His Son, of Whom the former was but a type. So, from this graphic illustration, in other words, so graphic that it beggars description, God would show Abraham the manner in which all of this would be done.

But it would remain until the time of Moses, over 400 years later, that God would portray the “means” by which this death would be carried out, which would be by the Cross (Num. 21:9). The manner in which both of these types were carried out is wor­thy of consideration.
The manner of the offering of Isaac was not precipitated by sin and failure. It rather only spoke to obedience. This typified God Who would give His Only Son, Who would acquiesce perfectly to this Sacrifice, even as Isaac had obeyed and acquiesced perfectly.
To the contrary, the manner in which this Revelation came to Moses as it regards the “means” of this Sacrifice, which would be the Cross, came out of sin and failure, as it could only come out of sin and failure.
To which we’ve already alluded, Israel, due to the difficulty of the way, “spoke against God, and against Moses” (Num. 21:5).
They complained bitterly about the way, and then said “our soul loatheth this light bread,” speaking of the Manna, which was in essence, a complaint against Christ, of Whom the Manna was a type.
The Scripture says that “the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people and much people of Israel died”
(Num. 21:6). At that point, the Lord told Moses to
“make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every­one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live” (Num. 21:8).
Jesus alluded to this in His statement to Nicodemus, by saying, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up” (Jn. 3:14). Of course, Christ was speaking of His being lifted up on a Cross.
Inasmuch as Jesus died for sinners, this Revelation which came to Moses concerning the “means” of the Sacrifice which was de­manded, that is if man was to be saved, had to come out of sin and failure, which it did.
So in these two Revelations, we have the manner in which Justification by Faith would be brought about, which would be by the death of God’s Only Son, which was shown to Abraham, and the means by which this death would be carried out, which would be by the Cross, which was shown to Moses.
“Of whom it was said,” refers to Gen­esis 21:12.

Abraham had other sons, Ishmael by Hagar, and six others by Keturah, whom he would marry after the death of Sarah (Gen. 25:1-2). But it was Isaac whom the Lord had designated to be the chosen one, through whom the Messiah would ultimately come.

Isaac was the promised son, and thereby, was totally and completely a work of the Spirit. This refers to the fact, that

had not God performed a miracle, Isaac could not be born. In fact, I think it could be said that every single thing God does, could be labeled in one sense as a miracle.

The phrase, “Of whom it was said,” refers to this one being predetermined by God (Gen. 21:12). The statement was originally made to Abraham to assure him that the promise was not to be fulfilled through Ishmael by the bondwoman Hagar, but through Isaac. Of course, it was implied that Isaac was to reach manhood; and yet, not withstanding this, and notwithstanding the fact that Abraham fully believed this, he prepared deliberately, in obe­dience to the Divine command, to put him to death.

The phrase, “That in Isaac shall thy seed be called,” refers to the fact that the poster­ity of Abraham was to be named after Isaac, which meant that it was to descend only from him, and not Ishmael, etc.
The word “called” in the Scriptures, is often equivalent to the verb “to be.” To name or call a thing was the same as to say that it was or that it existed.
It does not mean here that his “spiritual” children were to be called or selected from among the posterity of Isaac, for that being the case, it would have only referred to Jews, but that the posterity promised to Abraham would descend neither from Ishmael nor the sons of Keturah, but in the line of Isaac.
This is a strong circumstance insisted on by the Apostle, to show the strength of Abraham’s Faith. It was shown not only by his willingness to offer up the child of his old age — his only son by his beloved wife
— but by his readiness, at the command of God, to sacrifice even him on whom the ful­fillment of the Promises depended (Barnes).
The composite is:

1. The word “accounting” refers to the fact that Abraham came to a conclusion, meaning that he would obey God whatever!
He knew the Promise could not fail, so he reasoned (accounted) that God would have to raise Isaac from the dead.

Isaac’s death took place symbolically, in the sacrifice of the ram: correspondingly, the restoration was only a symbolic restora­tion from the dead, “in a figure.”


The word “accounting” in the Greek is “logisamenos,” and means, “reckoning, sup­posing, concluding.”
This one word tells us that Abraham had been extremely perplexed at the demand of God for him to offer up Isaac in sacrifice. While the struggle of doing this to his own son was paramount to say the least, the indication is, that it was a struggle of faith more than any­thing else. Abraham knew and understood his purpose and mission in life. He lived to­tally and completely that the great Promises of God would be carried out through him. He understood, what it all meant, at least as far as a poor human being could understand.
He knew that through him the Messiah would ultimately come into the world, which would be the greatest event in human his­tory, and by far we might quickly add, and that Isaac was the promised son who would establish the lineage. So, realizing what was at stake, he struggled in his own mind and spirit, to know for certain that it was God tell­ing him this. He reasoned that it was, and then set out to obey, irrespective of the cost.

The phrase, “That God was able to raise him up, even from the dead,” proclaims the fact, that the Patriarch reasoned that it took a miracle from God to bring Isaac into the world, and that God could perform another miracle in raising him from the dead. Abraham reasons in his mind and spirit that it was God Who gave life to his aged body to begin with in order that he could father Isaac, and life to Sarah’s womb who incidentally had been barren all her life, in order that she could conceive; therefore, God, the Patriarch reasoned, would have to give life once again to Isaac out of the ashes of his burned body. He knew that the Promise of God could not fail as it regarded the seed that would be raised

up through Isaac, so he reasoned that God would have to raise the boy from the dead.
This fits in perfectly with the Genesis narrative, for as Abraham went off with the boy to sacrifice him — and as we have seen he was fully determined to go through with the command — he said to the servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you” (Gen. 22:5).
We pass over these words lightly, I think little realizing the vast struggle of faith which took place here. But Abraham reasoned in his mind and spirit that “God is able!” That is the crux of it all: “God is able!” This is the lesson, I think, that the spirit desires that we here learn. Whatever else it says, what­ever direction it takes, “God is able!”

In one way or the other, every single Be­liever has to prove to himself that “God is able!” And that refers to anything that must be done. While of course our own personal circumstances are of far less degree than that of Abraham, still, there has to be a time in our Christian experiences, that we come to the conclusion, and beyond the shadow of a doubt, that “God is able!”
When the Lord first called Frances and me into Evangelistic Work, which was in 1956, our situation looked anything but promising. We lived in a little tiny town in Northeast Louisiana, by the name of Wisner. My Dad had built a church in this commu­nity several years earlier, and it was there that I met Frances, and we were married. Other than the day that the Lord saved me, that was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. The Call of God was on my life, and Frances was definitely made a part of that Call, in which she has proved so efficient and faithful through these many years.
The Lord has helped us to touch a great part of this world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but the beginnings of this Ministry didn’t look very promising, to say the least.
At this particular time in 1956, we were preparing to go into full time Evangelistic Work. While that particular time would not completely come until 1958, still, it actu­ally began at that earlier year.
Without going into detail, knowing what the Lord had called me to do, and yet not knowing how in the world it could be done, even as insignificant as it seemed to be at the time, I remember one particular after­noon in question. It was to be a moment in which the Lord would move upon me greatly, letting me know that “He is able!”
We were living at the time in a little tiny 32’ long house trailer. Frances had gone some­where for an hour or so, and I remember tak­ing this time while being alone, to go to the Lord in prayer. The scene is freeze-framed in my mind, and will be there forever.
As I went to prayer that afternoon, all of these things were weighing heavily on my mind. How could I go into full-time Evan­gelistic Work, considering that almost no Preachers or Churches even knew that I was alive? How would I get started? How could we make a living? Donnie was then 4 years old, and how could I be an Evangelist, and at the same time give him proper schooling?
And then the Spirit of God began to come upon me that memorable afternoon. We had learned a little chorus a few weeks earlier. The words are:
“My Lord is able, He’s able, I know that He is able, “I know my Lord is able to carry me through. “My Lord is able, I know that He’s able, “I know my Lord is able to carry me through.”
“For He has healed the brokenhearted, and set the captive free, “He’s healed the sick and raised the dead and walked upon the sea, “My Lord is able, He’s able, I know that He is able, “I know my Lord is able to carry me through.”

The Holy Spirit took the words from that song, “My Lord is Able,” and began to im­press them mightily upon my mind. He just kept saying that over and over to me, “I am able!” “I am able!” “I am able!”

Without going at all into detail, the Lord let me know that memorable afternoon, that all that He had called me to do, that He was able to bring it all to pass. I must trust Him, and do so explicitly, but never fear, He was able.
And so He was, and so He is, and so He ever shall be.
This doesn’t mean that there were not dif­ficult days. In fact, there have been many of those, but every single time, He has proven and beyond the shadow of a doubt, that He is able.

The phrase, “From whence also he re­ceived him in a figure,” actually says, “And figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.”
The idea is, at the last moment, God stayed the hand of the Patriarch even as he was ready to plunge the knife into his son’s breast. Abraham had passed the test. He did not bind the Power of God to the life of Isaac but was persuaded that it would be effective in his ashes when he was dead no less than when he was alive and breathing.
Instead, God chose “a ram caught in a thicket by his horns,” and told the Patriarch to offer up this animal as a “burnt offering in the stead of his son.” So, figuratively, Isaac died in the ram, and figuratively, at least in the mind of Abraham, his son was raised from the dead. The latter is due to the fact, that in the mind of Abraham, he had already of­fered up Isaac, i.e., “committed himself to the death of his son.”
As well, all of this was a “figure,” of the manner in which God would redeem human­ity, which would be by death, and further­more, the death of His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The diagram is:

The Patriarch’s had a faith that looked beyond death.

Their faith was so great, that they held a firm conviction that death could not frus­trate God’s purposes.

Consequently, they could speak with confidence of what would happen after they

died. Their faith, being stronger than death, in a way overcame death, for their words were fulfilled.

The phrase, “By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau,” does not concern itself with the spiritual condition of the two men, one be­ing righteous and the other unrighteous, but rather what their seed would bring forth. As well, let us state, that true Faith, which Isaac definitely possessed, always brings a “Bless­ing” — even to the members of the family who aren’t righteous.
However, the greater blessing will always be to those who exhibit Faith, even as Jacob did. Esau had no faith in God and no regard for the coming Promise. He was concerned only with the things of this present world. Nevertheless, the Faith of Isaac blessed him anyway, although not at all like the blessing of Jacob. The seed of Esau would be con­cerned only with the things of this world, while the seed of Jacob, which pertained to the Jews, would look up to God.
If it is to be noticed, Paul says nothing about Jacob’s deception of his old father. Ac­tually, at this stage he is not interested in the struggle of faith, as it was on the part of Jacob, but rather the Faith of Isaac. He doesn’t even mention Isaac attempting to give the bless­ing to Esau, with that once again concern­ing the struggle of faith. In fact, the struggle in one way or the other, is a given in the hearts and lives of all Believers.
This perhaps would have been a great les­son to the Christian Jews of Paul’s day. Some of them as well, were having a great struggle with their Faith, which is what the Epistle to the Hebrews is all about. The Apostle is tell­ing them, that these Patriarchs rose above their struggles, and were able to pronounce great blessings of faith that reached out even until Paul’s day, and continues unto this hour, and in fact, will never die.
All of this is meant to be an encourage­ment to us as well.

The phrase, “Concerning things to come,” concerns the Revelation of God given to these men, which reached out in Faith to

the future. On each occasion, Isaac spoke out of a firm conviction that Blessing given in accordance with God’s purposes could not possibly fail. Though as stated there were marked differences in the two Blessings, con­cerning Jacob and Esau, but these are passed over. They are at this time not relevant. The important thing is Isaac’s faith. Fittingly, the sons are listed in the order in which they re­ceived the Blessings, not that of their birth.
The structure is:

The words “By faith Jacob,” proclaim the fact, that the vision had come down to this Patriarch.

His faith was as strong or stronger when he was dying, than at any other time.

The blessing he pronounced on the two sons of Joseph, proclaimed his faith, and above all, proclaimed his faith for the future.

As he blessed, he worshipped, showing that the Spirit of God was in the Blessing.

His staff intimates the Word of God, of which we will have more to say momentarily.


The phrase, “By faith Jacob,” proclaims the Faith of the Patriarch shining as brightly as his father Isaac, and his grandfather Abraham. And so with that particular word, even though Paul doesn’t mention it here, we have the last Patriarch mentioned, who made up the great phrase, “The God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob.” These three would be used by the Lord to bring the entirety of the nation of Israel into the world, raised up for the specific purpose of giving the world the Word of God, which they did, and as well, serving as the womb of the Messiah, Who was the fulfillment of all the prophecies. Sadly and regrettably, they didn’t recognize Him when he came; nevertheless, He came! He, the Lord Jesus Christ, fulfilled the Promise, and in fact, was the Promise! God brought it all about by the “Faith” of these three men.

The phrase, “When he was a dying,” pro­claims the fact, that even though the Patriarch would die, his faith would not die, actually coming down to this very hour. In fact, faith cannot die, and that is what makes it so great. And of course, when we speak of Faith, we are speaking of Faith in Christ, and what Christ would do, and in fact did do at the Cross, all on our behalf. That was ever the object of the Faith of these individuals.
We know from the Text that his Faith burned brighter at the time of his death than at any other time. This means, that despite the problems throughout his life, despite the horrific struggle with the flesh, despite the ups and downs, despite the many failures, there is nothing left now but victory, and all because of his Faith in God, and more par­ticularly, What and Whom God had prom­ised. God had promised a Redeemer, and Jacob knew this Redeemer would come through these sons that God had given unto him.
The only thing that anyone can take with him when he dies is his faith. And of course, the only ones who have faith, and we’re speaking of the Faith which God will recog­nize, are those who have placed their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. He Alone must ever be the object of our Faith.
The phrase, “Blessed both the sons of Jo­seph,” pertains to Manasseh and Ephraim, both born to Joseph in Egypt.
Isaac’s action in blessing Jacob, and Jacob’s in blessing Ephraim, illustrate Romans 9:16. Isaac willed to bless Esau, and Joseph ran to set Jacob’s hands aright, but neither could defeat the purpose of God. As with Isaac, the Blessing went against the natural order of birth.
At the time of the Blessing, Joseph tried to have the major blessing given to Manasseh, the firstborn. But Jacob crossed his hands to pick out Ephraim as the greater. God is not bound by human rules like those that give pride and benefit of place to the firstborn. He fulfills His purposes and He chooses. This incident, like the blessing of Jacob by Isaac, again illustrates the theme of the Patriarchal blessing with its fulfillment far distant. At the time the words were spoken, fulfillment could be known only by faith.

While each son received a Blessing, the greater Blessing was given to Ephraim, the younger.
Though Jacob’s natural eyesight was dim, his spiritual discernment was not. Deliber­ately, Jacob crossed his hands “guiding his hands wittingly” (Gen. 48:14), or as the He­brew reads, literally “he made his hands to understand.”
Note it is expressly said in the Genesis account, that “Israel” did this: it was the new man that was acting, not the old man, “Jacob.” And “by faith” he blessed both the sons of Joseph. Truly, it was not by sight or reason.
What was more unlikely than that the children of these two young Egyptian princes, for this is virtually what they were, should ever forsake Egypt, the land of their birth, and migrate to Canaan! How unlikely, too, that each of these boys should become a separate tribe in Israel. And how improbable that the younger should be exalted above the elder, both in importance and number, and should become “a multitude of peoples” (Gen. 48:19). How impossible for Jacob to foresee (by any human deduction) that long centu­ries afterwards, Ephraim should become rep­resentative of the kingdom of “Israel,” as dis­tinct from “Judah.”
But Jacob had heard God, had rested on His Word, and had believed in the sure ful­fillment of His Promise. What a grand dis­play of faith! Nature’s eyes might be dim, but faith’s vision was sharp: in his bodily weakness the strength of faith was per­fected (Pink).

When the Patriarch was dying, he blessed; when he was dying he became a blessing. This is the way we ought to die — letting our lives become a blessing. If we live the transformed life and we walk in the pathway of Righteous­ness, Holiness, and Duty, then the day of our death will be a blessed day; it will be a bless­ing to others as well.
It is Faith that does all of this, and Faith alone! But let it ever be remembered, that when we say “Faith,” the ultimate object must always be “Christ and Him Crucified” (I Cor. 2:2).

The short phrase, “And worshipped,” por­trays to us the fact, that the Spirit of God was involved in all that Jacob did in these final hours. This portrays the fact as to how God honors Faith.
Worship is what we are, while praise is what we do.
All of these individuals did what they did, whether of Blessing or of obedience, or both, all through Faith, which means they had their Faith fixed on the proper object, which was Christ. Anything else, and I’m speaking of any other object of our Faith, is not actu­ally true faith, or true obedience, or true blessing. In fact, that’s where much of the Church is presently:
There are tens of thousands of Churches across the land and around the world, who are in effect “blessing Churches!” There is nothing wrong with that, in fact it is very right, if the blessing is based on the right founda­tion; however, most of the time it isn’t.
True worship comes out of the Spirit of God, Who Alone guarantees the Blessing. Everything He does, is done on the basis of Christ and Him Crucified. The Scripture re­fers to this as “The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:2). So what am I saying?
I’m saying there can be no true blessing without true worship, and all of this comes through what Jesus did at the Cross. If our Faith is properly placed in the Cross of Christ, and that alone, then we can bless people with the assurance that the blessing is from God and not the sound of mere words. As stated, Jacob’s worshipping, showed that the Spirit of God was present, Who instigated the wor­ship, and guaranteed the Blessing.

The phrase, “Leaning upon the top of his staff,” is not recorded in the Genesis account of Chapter 48 in that Book; however, that in no way means just because it wasn’t re­corded, that it didn’t happen. More than likely, Paul derived this information from the Jewish Targums, which in effect was a Com­mentary on the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit told him the information was correct,

irrespective of where he derived it. Let’s look at it a little closer:
The “staff” of the ancients was far more than a mere walking stick, etc. While it defi­nitely was a stick, and while it definitely was used for walking, it had far greater signifi­cance than that. On the staffs were carved all the history of whatever was desired. In the case of Jacob, there would have been carved on his staff, at least in abbreviated form, all the happenings from Adam to his day, as it pertained to God dealing with men. As stated, it would be in very abbreviated form; how­ever, it was all there in chronological order. In fact, one could in essence say, that this was the “Bible” of that particular time.
So, when he “leaned upon his staff,” he was in effect leaning on “the Word of God.” He was in effect saying that everything which had been done was real, and every Promise that was made by God, would definitely come to pass. Understanding it in this light, the entirety of the Text now becomes more un­derstandable.
The Patriarch blessed the two boys, and then leaning heavily upon his staff, begins to worship God, recalling all the great Prom­ises carved upon this piece of wood.
The composite is:

The faith held by Joseph, was the same identical faith as those who had gone before him.

2. His faith looked beyond death.

That faith said that in due course, God would send the people back to the land of Canaan.

When the children of Israel did go back, they were given commandment to take his bones with them. While he lived most of his life in Egypt, his heart was in Canaan, the land of the Promise.


The phrase, “By Faith Joseph,” portrays one of the most striking personalities in the entirety of the Word of God. He is the only man in the Bible of whom no faults or sins are recorded. This doesn’t mean that he never sinned, because the Bible says that “All have sinned”; however, regarding Joseph, whatever those faults and failures were, they were not recorded, and because he was a type of Christ in a very unusual way. He is also the first to be spoken of as having the Spirit in him (Gen. 41:38). Others before him had the Holy Spirit, but he is the first one to be spoken of in this capacity.
The phrase, “When he died,” once again brings faith up to the last moments. This portrays the fact, as with the others, that he looked beyond his lifespan, believing what God had said about the future.
As we read these simple statements writ­ten here by Paul, but yet with such a wealth of meaning, what will it be like when we have the opportunity in the portals of glory, to con­verse with them personally, and discuss these glorious things. In a sense, their journey is ours, because as stated, the same faith we pos­sess is that which they possessed. In a sense, their faith has come down to us, which is what God intended.
What a privilege to be a part of such no­bility, such giants of the Faith, such men and women of honor.
Looking at all of this in a secular sense, every single freedom we presently possess, all prosperity we now have, in this which we refer to as “western civilization,” are all made possible, and without exception, by the faith of these here mentioned, and others not mentioned. Of course, the world knows this not at all; nevertheless, it is the Truth!
The phrase, “Made mention of the depart­ing of the children of Israel,” proclaims the possibility that Joseph had been given added revelation concerning this coming time. While he very well knew what God had spo­ken to his great grandfather Abraham, his grandfather Isaac, and his father Jacob, about this coming time, every indication is, that the Lord had given him more light on the subject. On his dying bed he said:
“And God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land into the land which he

sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob”
(Gen. 50:24).

The phrase, “And gave commandment concerning his bones,” proclaims the certi­tude of this coming event, and that his home was not Egypt, but rather the Promised Land of Canaan (Gen. 50:25).
As well, the experience of Joseph is meant to be a portrayal to us of the Truth, that this world is not our home. Our heart is with Christ, and Christ is in Heaven. Before the Cross, the Promised Land consisted of a little part of this present world; since the Cross, it consists of the portals of glory, which Paul referred to as a “better country.”

The Reader must understand that the Old Testament is much more than mere history. While it definitely is that, at the same time, it is the story of our Redemption. Every ex­perience of these Patriarchs and Prophets of Faith, presents another step toward our Sal­vation. If we read the Old Testament in that light, it will take on a brand-new meaning.
For the fulfillment of Joseph’s dying re­quest (Ex. 13:19), “Moses took the bones of Joseph with him” out of Egypt; and the Scrip­ture further says, “And the bones of Joseph buried they in Shechem.”
The exegesis is:

With Moses, and what God would re­veal to him, faith is about to be enlarged.

Him being a “proper child,” means more than him merely being a pretty baby. By Revelation they knew that he was favored by God.

Knowing this, which means they be­lieved that God would protect them and him, they were not fearful of the king’s com­mandment.


The phrase, “By Faith Moses,” proclaims the beginning of the manner in which God will deal with the human race in an entirely different way. He would give His Law to Moses, which would in effect be God’s Standard of Righteousness. It has served as the Standard ever since for all nations, at least for all those who have even a modicum of intelligence.
The Revelation of God which pertains to His dealings with man has always been a pro­gressive Revelation. In other words, the Lord always adds to what He has already given.
From the time of the Fall, God had or­dained that man would approach Him, at least to the degree that they then could, by sacrifice — and we speak of the sacrifice of an innocent victim, namely a clean animal, which involved the shedding of blood. This is portrayed in Genesis Chapter 4, and con­tinued up unto the time that the Law was given to Moses, a little over 2,400 years later.

The phrase, “When he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child,” means that in the sight or estimation of God, Moses was comely. The “Faith” here spoken of, con­cerned his parents, with the next Verse per­taining to his faith.
“Proper” in the Greek is “asteios,” and means “comely.” The construction in the Greek text is a dative of respect, which means, “he was comely with respect to God.”
As we’ve stated, the parents of Moses did not take the risk they did, simply because he was a handsome baby. By Revelation from the Lord, they knew that God had His Hand on this child, and were thereby given instruc­tions to protect him at all costs. I doubt very seriously that the Lord gave them very much information; however, what He did give them, gave them a firm grasp of the situa­tion and that God’s Hand was in the entirety of the matter.
The parents of Moses were Amram and Jochebed (Ex. 6:20). Jochebed was the daugh­ter of Levi, the son of Jacob (Num. 26:59).
We aren’t told how old that Amram or Jochebed were when Moses was born. We do know that Amram lived to be 137 years old.
Moses was born to Amram 80 years be­fore the exodus (Acts 7:22-30), which means it was definitely possible that the father and

mother of Moses were alive at the time of the Exodus; however, it is not likely that they were, meaning that Moses had been born to them late in life.

The phrase, “And they were not afraid of the king’s commandment,” refers to the fact as stated, that they had a Revelation from God on which to base their faith, for Faith comes by God’s Word (Rom. 10:17).
Pharaoh had given the mandate that all male children of the Israelites were to be killed at birth.
We might say in passing that the children of God are by God obligated to obey the laws of the country in which we reside, and dis­obedience to these laws is sin against God. But we are obligated to obey these laws only up to the point where obedience to such laws would mean disobedience to God. Conse­quently, the parents of Moses were entirely within their rights in this case, for the reign­ing Pharaoh was violating the Law of God which forbids murder. This law was given to Noah long before Moses (Gen. 9:1-7).
The diagram is:
Now we come to the faith of Moses.

Moses refused the crown of Egypt.

3. This is not indicative at all of the mod­ern gospel.

The phrase, “By Faith Moses, when he was come to years,” refers to him coming to the age of 40 (Acts 7:23). Up till this time, he had been raised in the palace of the Pharaoh. He had been adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter, whose name Josephus said was Thermuthis. It is said that she adopted him in order to make him her father’s successor as ruler of Egypt.
It is believed that Moses was adopted at possibly about five years old, and at that time began his education as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. The Scripture says that he was “learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds” (Acts 7:22).
Josephus also said that he was put in com­mand of the Egyptian war against the Ethio­pians and conquered them completely.
After the death of Joseph and his broth­ers, the Israelites, as their descendants were now called, flourished in Egypt. Meanwhile, the Egyptians, forgetful of the benefits they had received from Joseph, began to envy the prosperity and happiness of the Children of Israel. The kingdom, meanwhile, had passed to another dynasty, and they became very cruel to the Israelites, forcing them to cut numer­ous canals from the river, build walls around their cities, and erect pyramid after pyramid.
They spent about 100 years enduring these afflictions. Eventually, they suffered a still greater cruelty. One of the Egyptian wise men, who was able to somewhat foretell the future, told Pharaoh that a very special child would be born to the Israelites. If he were allowed to live, he would diminish the Egyp­tian dominion and free the Israelites. He would excel all men in virtue, and would obtain everlasting fame.
Alarmed, the King commanded that ev­ery male child born to the Israelites be thrown into the Nile River, and that if any parents should try to save their offspring, they and their families would be killed.
Amram, a Hebrew of noble birth, was greatly troubled because of this law, and he prayed to God. Appearing to him in his sleep, God reminded him of what He had done for the Israelites in the past, and told him He would continue His favor in the future. “And, therefore,” He continued, “that I will provide for your common welfare, and particularly for your own fame. For that child, whose birth has caused such dread that the Egyptians have doomed the Israelite children to destruction, shall be your child. He will be concealed from those who seek to destroy him. He will de­liver the Hebrew nation from their bondage in Egypt, and his memory will live as long as the universe, not only among the Hebrews, but among other nations also” (Josephus).
The phrase, “Refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,” refers to a settled

disposition on the part of Moses. As stated, he was now 40 years old.
The indication is that God had begun deal­ing with him about this very matter. He could have been the Pharaoh of Egypt, the mighti­est man on the face of the Earth, but of this he would refuse.
I think this doesn’t match much modern gospel. Moses, according to the present mes­sage, would have been urged to remain in the Palace of Pharaoh, thereby ultimately becom­ing Pharaoh. It would be claimed that he could do much more for the Lord as Pharaoh of Egypt than otherwise. And how do I know that this modern gospel would propose such a scenario?
I know this because of what is presently being done. Bartenders are told they can keep tending bar after coming to Christ, country western singers can keep singing that par­ticular type of music, gamblers can keep gam­bling, night club performers can continue their performances, etc.
Let the Reader understand, that if one is to truly follow Christ, that one must at the same time refuse the system of this world. And that means everything about the world. We as Christians do not march to its drums, do not respond to its invitations, and do not sing its songs.
The idea that the youth can be won to the Lord or kept for the Lord, by using the rock-‘n’-roll spirit, is preposterous indeed! No one will be won to the Lord and no one will be kept for the Lord.
The Child of God must “refuse” all that Pharaoh offers. There could have been no greater position in the day of Moses than this position as the most powerful man in the world; however, that was not what God told him to do. While he did tell Daniel to stay in the palace, he told Moses to leave. And yet, Daniel’s life was totally set apart from that of the heathen who were all around him. As well, the situation regarding Moses and Daniel was totally different!
The structure is:

1. Moses made a choice; every Believer must do the same.
To oppose the spirit of the world, one will incur upon himself affliction. This is inevitable!

There is pleasure in sin, but it’s only for a short time.


The phrase, “Choosing rather to suffer af­fliction with the people of God,” proclaims the choice which Moses made. He traded the temporal for the eternal, which is the oppo­site of what many modern Christians do. Someone said, “Moses chose the slave­driver’s lash rather than Egypt’s crown.” His act was an expression of his deliberate choice. He joined his people because they were “the people of God.” To stand aloof for the sake of ease and pleasure would for him have been apostasy from God, and it is apostasy for any­one else as well!
The Faith of Moses had brought “convic­tion of the things not seen,” which “are eter­nal”; hence he looked not at “the things seen” which are “for a season” (II Cor. 4:18).

The phrase, “Than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season,” presents the choice that must be made, “affliction with the people of God,” or “the pleasures of sin for a season.”
The significance and source of this refusal lay in his preferring to suffer ill-usage with God’s people rather than to have a short-lived enjoyment of sin . . . It was because they were God’s people, not solely because they were of his blood, that Moses threw in his lot with them. It was this which illustrated his faith.
He believed that God would fulfill His Promise to His people, little likelihood as at present there seemed to be of any great fu­ture for his race. On the other hand there was the pleasure of sin, the enjoyment which was within his reach if only he committed the sin of denying his people and renounc­ing their future as promised by God.
That which is said here, which concerns the enjoyment to be reaped from sin, does not refer to the pleasure of gratifying sensual appetite and so forth, but to the satisfaction of a high ambition and the gratification of finer tastes which he might have had by re­maining in the Egyptian court.

To be sure, the denial of the type of sin here mentioned, is far harder than the de­nial of sensual gratification. To be frank, al­most none presently, as stated, would refer to the former as that of “sin.” They would refer to it as “opportunity,” or a way to serve God in a greater dimension, etc.
The diagram is:

The value of Christ up beside the world.

The reproach of Christ is greater than the riches of Egypt.

The reward of Christ is so much greater than the highest reward of the world, that there is no comparison.


The phrase, “Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt,” carries a wealth of meaning:
“Esteeming” in the Greek is “hegeomai,” and means, “to consider, to give account, to judge.” Moses looked at the Promises of God, although not yet realized, and in fact wouldn’t be realized during his lifetime, be­lieved those Promises, and judged them to be greater than the throne of Egypt.

The reproach of Christ, as hard as that is on the flesh, is deemed as far greater than the riches of Egypt. The reason is the reward to which that reproach will lead.

As well, we are told here that there defi­nitely will be a reproach, that is if one truly lives for God.

By Paul using the Name of “Christ” which means “the anointed,” tells us, that Moses reckoned and understood that Christ was the fulfillment of all the Promises, and we speak of the Promises given to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc. While these great Promises in fact included other things, those other things ultimately, and without exception, led to Christ. In fact, the entirety of the theme of the Word of God is Christ, and more particu­larly, “Christ and Him Crucified” (I Cor. 2:2).

Even though none of this would be realized in Moses’ lifetime, he knew there was

a Resurrection coming, which was all cen­tered up in Christ, which presented the true picture of eternity, and not the foolish think­ing of the Egyptians and their pyramids as it regarded the afterlife.
This tells us that Moses saw the big picture, and that what was coming, which would be eternal, was of far greater value than the “treasures in Egypt.”

All these treasures were temporal, while the true riches of Christ are eternal.

Every single person in the world has to make the same decision. Do you esteem “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in this present world”?

The words that Paul used here, concern­ing the reproach of Christ, are almost exactly a quotation from Psalms 89:50-51. The Psalmist said: “Remember, Lord, the re­proach of thy servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people;
“Wherewith thine enemies have re­proached, O LORD; wherewith they have re­proached the footsteps of thine Anointed (Christ).”
Here the writer of this Psalm in effect speaks of himself as bearing “the reproach of the Anointed” of the Lord; pleading in His Name and identifying himself with his cause. “The Anointed” of course, is Christ, for that’s what the word “Anointed” means.
Throughout the whole of their history the people of Israel were the people of the Christ. Their national existence originated in the Promise to Abraham, which was a Promise of the Christ; until the fullness of time should come their mission was to prepare the way for Him. The reproach which Moses accepted by joining the people of the Promise was, therefore, “the reproach of the Christ.” In fact, He Who was to ultimately appear as the Mes­siah was already in the midst of Israel (Ps. 69:9; Col. 1:24; I Pet. 1:11).
(Incidentally, the literal Greek says, “The reproach of the Christ.”)
The reproach has always centered up in Christ. The reason for that is clear and simple. Jesus is the only way to God. He plainly said

of Himself, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (Jn. 14:6).
That statement is blunt and to the point, and leaves no room for side issues. If one doesn’t accept Christ, one cannot be saved! There is no way to the Father except by and through Christ, and in effect, such terminol­ogy means not only that He must be accepted as it regards His Person, but as well, one must accept the Price that He paid that man might be saved. That Price was the Cross, which speaks of His poured out Blood, all which was demanded, in order that the Righteousness of God might be satisfied.
So, when we speak of accepting Christ, we speak as well of accepting all that He has done, which of course is the Cross.
Man doesn’t like that. In fact, he doesn’t like that at all. The Moslems say that the way to God is through Mohammad. The Jews, having rejected their Own Messiah, claim that the way to God is through Moses. Catholicism says that the way to God is through Mary. The Mormons say that the way to God is through Joseph Smith, whom­ever in the world that is! Hinduism says there are millions of gods and you can be one yourself. Buddhism, Shintoism, and Con­fucianism, in essence claim, that man is god. Humanistic psychology in essence claims the same thing! Irrespective, man bridles at the idea that Jesus Christ is the only Way to God.
Untold millions in the world claim their good works as the way to God, or the fact that they haven’t done bad things, etc. At any rate, this is the reason that Jesus Christ is the center of all controversy. But it hap­pens to be true, He is the Way and in fact, the only Way.

The phrase, “For He had respect unto the recompence of the reward,” means that Moses habitually “looked away” from the treasures in Egypt, and fixed his eye on the Heavenly Reward. History, of course, has vindicated him. We do not so much as know the name of the Pharaoh of his time; and even if we did, he would be of interest to us only be­cause of his link with Moses. But the choice Moses made resulted in his influence still being felt. It is faith that always emerges tri­umphant, not worldliness.
If one wants to look at tangible results, as it regards “reward,” one should look at the last two Chapters of the Book of Revela­tion, which are the last two Chapters in the Bible. This is a tangible reward that is abso­lutely breathtaking in scope, eternal in con­sequence, and rich in greatness, grandeur, and beauty. But yet, the greatest reward of all is being an “heir of God, and joint heir with Christ” (Rom. 8:17). The culminating meaning of all of this is absolutely beyond comprehension. And if such could be summed, it would be summed up in the two words “with Christ.” He is in fact, the re­ward, the great reward, the eternal reward.
These statements as given here by Paul were meant for the entirety of the Church, and for all time; however, they were especially directed at the Christian Jews who in fact, were suffering reproach for Christ, with some of them having turned back to Judaism, hence the writing of this Epistle. This no doubt carried great weight with them to re­alize that they were being called to partici­pate in the same kind of experiences and at­titudes the great Moses had.
The structure is:
The forsaking of Egypt here has to do with him leaving Egypt personally, and not the Exodus of all the Israelites which took place some 40 years later.

Paul here speaking of their being no fear of Pharaoh, doesn’t contradict Exodus 2:15, which states that fear was the motive of his flight. What is in Paul’s mind is not Pharaoh’s wrath as the cause of Moses leaving, but rather the consequence of his leaving.

This he was strengthened to do be­cause he saw an invisible Monarch greater than Pharaoh. That Monarch was Christ.


The phrase, “By faith he forsook Egypt,” does not refer as stated, to his forsaking Egypt concerning the Exodus, which would take

place about 40 years later, but rather his flight consequent upon his killing the Egyptian.
From a child, Moses had been brought up in the Palace of the Pharaoh. He had lived in the lap of luxury, been surrounded by ser­vants, with his every wish being someone’s command. To which we have previously al­luded, he was being groomed to be the Pha­raoh of Egypt himself. Consequently, he had received the finest education regarding the arts and science of the Egyptians, which means that he had received the best educa­tion in the world of that time, at least in a secular sense; however, even as the Bible re­lates, even though Paul doesn’t mention it here, his education in the things of the Lord, which is actually the only real education, is now about to begin (Ex. 2:15-4:18). As he was educated some 40 years in the Palace of Pharaoh, he was also educated some 40 years by God in the wilderness. As someone has well said, it took about 40 hours to get Moses out of Egypt, but 40 years to get Egypt out of Moses. Of all this education in Egypt, the Holy Spirit alludes to it only in the sense of saying, “By Faith he forsook Egypt.”
It should be here understood, that God cannot use anything of this world. Many Christians are fond of speaking as to how God could use the great talent or ability of some particular individual, if they would only give their heart to Christ. Not so!
God only uses what He Himself has birthed, and the reason for that is simple: everything that man is, has, or touches, is polluted and because man himself is totally depraved as a result of the Fall in the Garden of Eden. Consequently, we make a grand mis­take when we think in any measure that the Lord uses anything that man was born with, or anything of this world’s system. In fact, even after a person comes to Christ, it is gen­erally quite some time, even as it was with Moses, before the person is ready to be used of the Lord. It must ever be all of the Spirit and none of the flesh. And to be sure, that is the most difficult place to reach in the life of the Believer, and I speak of the place of total Spirit control! Thankfully, before the Lord begins to use us, He doesn’t demand that the Spirit have total control. If He did, no one would be used. In fact, He begins to use us, the moment the Spirit has even some con­trol. So, let the Reader understand, if he is being used by the Lord, and that means to any degree, it only refers to the fact that the Spirit has some control. In other words, all of us yet have a long way to go!
If it is to be noticed, the Holy Spirit here through Paul, doesn’t mention Moses kill­ing the Egyptian (Ex. 2:11-12), and why? There are two reasons:
There is some indication that Moses at this particular time was casting about for a way to help his fellow Israelites. I doubt seri­ously that a wholesale Exodus was in his mind, which would later come to pass, but it seems that some thoughts were beginning to form concerning freedom for his people. So he undertakes to help them by means of the flesh, which God can never honor. So, the Holy Spirit doesn’t here mention this particular act, and because “the flesh” in the life of a Believer is just as hateful to God, as it is in the life of Pharaoh, etc.

Beginning one’s ministry by commit­ting manslaughter is not exactly the best way to start out; however, that’s exactly what hap­pened to Moses! But God forgave this man this particular sin, as evil as it was, and such a thing being washed, cleansed, and forgiven, Grace will not again allude to this situation. Isn’t God good?

The phrase, “Not fearing the wrath of the king,” is not, as we have stated, a contradic­tion of Exodus 2:15, which does state that fear was the motive of the flight of Moses from Pharaoh. In addressing this, R. Milligan wrote in his New Testament Commentary:
“When Moses fled into Midian, he cer­tainly did fear the wrath of Pharaoh, as we learn from Exodus 2:14-15. But surely he did not fear him any more than did his par­ents, Amram and Jochebed, when they con­cealed their child three months, and then committed him to the care and providence of God by exposing him on the bank of the river in an ark of bulrushes. And yet Paul says of them, ‘they were not afraid of the king’s commandment’ (Heb. 11:23).

“Manifestly then, Paul uses the word ‘fear’ in both these instances in a relative sense. Moses and his parents both feared the tyrant, so far that they thought it necessary to use all lawful means for their personal safety, but they did not fear him so far as to disobey God on his account, nor had they any fear that he would be able to nullify or set aside the decrees and purposes of God concern­ing Israel.
“In this sense, it may be truly said of both Moses and his parents that they did not fear ‘the wrath of the king.’ And this being so, it is certainly more natural to understand the Apostle as having this type of reference to the flight of Moses into Midian.”
The animosity of the world, and regret­tably, the animosity of most of the Church, is going to be tendered against the one who seeks to live “by faith.”
Whatever it means, it has been the same from the very beginning, even as these illus­trations provide as given to us by Paul in this Eleventh Chapter.
As well, and which I certainly hope by now is very obvious, Faith in God is the only way. It’s the only Way that God will recognize, the only Way that He will condone, and the only Way He will bless. In fact, any other type of effort meets with His severe disapproval, as also by now should be very obvious. So what exactly does it mean to live by Faith?
Even though terms may be used such as “Faith in God,” or “Faith in the Word,” or “Faith in Christ,” and which are all correct; still, if the definition stops there, it leaves something to be desired.
Whenever “Faith” or “believing” are men­tioned in the Bible, at least as it speaks of the Lord, always and without exception, if traced down to its roots, it refers to “Christ and Him Crucified” (I Cor. 2:2). As we’ve already stated, Redemption is the story of the Bible, which means that its entire thrust is “Redemption,” and of course, we know that Redemption is brought about by Christ and Christ Alone, and more specifically, is brought about by what He did at the Cross, all on our behalf. So, when one mentions Faith, one must at the same time be saying Christ and the Cross.
This means that the Cross of Christ must ever be the object of our Faith.

When one begins to understand this, it will become a total way of life. He will begin to read the Bible in the light of the Cross. He will understand that every Blessing that he receives from the Lord, comes exclusively from the Cross. He will begin to understand the tremendous Doctrines of the Faith, such as Grace, Reconciliation, Justification, Sanc­tification, etc., and that all and without ex­ception, come through and by the Cross of Christ.
In this capacity, he will place not faith or trust in himself, but place all faith and trust totally and completely in Christ, and His great Sacrifice. Such an attitude refers to a mindset as well as a lifestyle. This is God’s Way, and I speak of the Way of the Cross, and it is the Way which Satan opposes more than he opposes anything else. That’s why Paul referred to this by saying, that we must “fight the good fight of faith” (I Tim. 6:12). To be sure, it is a fight, but it is a good fight, be­cause this particular fight, will always, and without exception, lead to total and complete victory (Rom. 6:14).

We read of the account of both of these in the Fifth Chapter of Galatians. Either one is possible in the life of the Christian; how­ever, one can have the Fruit of the Spirit only by one means, and if that means is not at­tained, the “works of the flesh” will definitely show themselves in the life of such a Believer. And to be sure, those particular “works” are ugly indeed!
Now let the Reader understand the follow­ing:
Whenever the person comes to Christ, that person now has to live for God. If it’s done right, it is the most beautiful, wonderful, and fulfilling life that there could ever be. If not done correctly, it can be devastating. Please note carefully:
If the Believer doesn’t know and under­stand the Message of the Cross, which is God’s Way, or if the Believer doesn’t subscribe to

the Message of the Cross because of unbe­lief, irrespective as to whom that individual might be, the “works of the flesh” are going to manifest themselves in that person’s life (Gal. 5:19-21).
Now please understand, it’s not that maybe these things will happen, it is a guarantee that they will happen. While it is true that all listed here, and others not listed, may not manifest themselves, however, to be certain, there will be a manifestation of the “works of the flesh” in some way. The only way this can be avoided is by the Believer exhibiting Faith in the Sac­rifice of Christ and doing so at all times. When the Believer does this, the Holy Spirit then exerts His almighty power on the Believer’s behalf, and the Believer can then walk in vic­tory — but only then (Rom. 8:1-2, 11).
Understanding this, we certainly should realize how important this teaching is. We are dealing here with the issues of life and death, and to be sure, if we go God’s Way, victory will be ours; otherwise, no victory at all will be ours, with these terrible “works” manifesting themselves, which will definitely lead to untold problems and difficulties, and can lead to the loss of one’s soul (Gal. 5:21).
While most Christians are fond of claim­ing that they have no problem with “adul­tery, fornication, uncleanness, lascivious­ness,” etc., while that may be true in the out­ward sense, it’s definitely not true in the spiri­tual sense. Please let me explain:

While it is definitely true, that most Christians have not actually committed acts of adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lascivi­ousness, etc., and I speak of since becoming Christians, still, if that Christian doesn’t know and understand the Message of the Cross, they have definitely committed these sins in their heart (Gal. 5:19).
For instance, and to give an example of this of which I speak, Jesus spoke of com­mitting adultery in the heart, by a man look­ing at a woman to lust after her (Mat. 5:28). The point I make is this:
The only way a Believer can defeat evil thoughts in his mind and heart, is by look­ing to the Cross, where Jesus defeated all of these powers of darkness (Col. 2:14-15).
Paul also said that we must “bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Cor. 10:5). How can we do this?
Even though this statement given by the Apostle covers a far wider scope than the obscene thoughts to which we are momen­tarily addressing ourselves, it definitely in­cludes this of which I speak.
By one’s own efforts, it is impossible for the Believer to obey this command. I don’t care how much willpower he uses, how strong he may think he is, he simply does not have it within himself to do this of which we speak — bring every thought into captiv­ity to the obedience of Christ. However, it definitely can be done, if we do it God’s Way.
The beautiful thing about this of which I speak, is that it includes every single facet of our lives. When we give you the answer to the question as it regards “evil thoughts,” it also includes everything else from the worse to the worst. Therefore, when you learn this secret, you’ve learned it all.
It’s a shame that it’s a secret, but sadly that’s the category in which the Cross presently falls. The Church has had so little preaching and teaching on this great subject, which is actu­ally the foundation of the Church, that it hardly anymore knows where it is or where it’s going.
The only way the Believer can live this life, which means that works of the flesh will not manifest themselves in his life, is that he understands that everything comes to him through the Cross of Christ. That is to ever be the object of his Faith. When this is done, and continues to be done, the Holy Spirit, Who is God, and Who can do all things, will carry out the necessary work within the heart and life of the Believer. This is God’s Way, and it is the only way (Rom. 6:3-5, 11).
Understanding what Paul was saying in the first few Verses of Romans 6, and accept­ing this which the Holy Spirit gave us through the Apostle, we can now say with certitude, “sin shall not have dominion over you” (Rom. 6:14).
Since I’ve been a child, I have heard Preachers say that sin is a matter of “choice!” While that is correct, it definitely isn’t cor­rect in the way in which they said it.

They were claiming that anytime a Chris­tian does something wrong, that it’s simply because he chose to do that thing which was wrong, meaning that he could either say “yes” or “no” to whatever it is that has proved his undoing.
In fact, that’s one of the biggest mistakes of the modern Church.
What these Preachers were advocating, whether they realized it or not, was “will­power.” They dress it up by saying that once a person becomes a Believer, that person now has the capacity to say “yes” or “no” as he so desires. That being the case, if one does wrong, well then it means they have willfully chosen to do wrong and, therefore, they need to be punished. As stated, none of that is correct.
Every person has the capacity to make the choice, but only in one direction. A person’s choice is limited to whether he chooses to go God’s Way, or another way. Let’s look first at the unsaved:
Let’s address ourselves first of all to the worst alcoholic of which one could think. There is no way that individual can say “no” to alcohol. He is hopelessly bound. How­ever, he still has the capacity to say “yes” to Jesus Christ, if he will only do this (Jn. 3:16). His free moral agency in that capacity is al­ways free to act, but only in that capacity.
When it comes to the Believer, it is actu­ally the same identical thing. The Believer has the free moral agency to say “yes” to Christ as it regards all things concerning his daily living, or he can say “no”! That’s where his free moral agency begins, and that’s where his free moral agency ends.
In fact, there are untold millions of Chris­tians who have said “yes” to Christ as it re­gards their initial Salvation, but in effect, said “no” to Him, as it regards their personal, daily living. Now the sadness is, many of these Christians do not really know or understand that they have said “no” to Christ, actually thinking they have totally and completely said “yes” to Him. Let me explain it this way:
When we speak of saying “yes” to Christ, we are actually speaking of saying “yes” to Christ and what He did at the Cross, under­standing that this is the source of all victory, power, and blessing. If we do not know or understand the part the Cross plays in our ongoing Christian experiences, then because of lack of knowledge in this area, which in effect characterizes almost all of modern Christianity, we have in effect put our faith in something else, which means, whether we realize it or not, that we have just said “no” to the Grace of God (Gal. 2:20-21). That being the case, that which follows will not be pretty.
Having his faith and trust in something else other than the Cross, the Believer in some capacity, will begin to find himself un­able to overcome sin. Having his faith in something other than the Cross of Christ, he has just frustrated the Grace of God, which means he has stopped the help of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:2, 11; Gal. 2:21). In this situ­ation, which again most Christians presently find themselves, and because they do not know the Victory of the Cross, such a Chris­tian will quickly find that his willpower is simply not strong enough. Paul addressed this very thing in Romans 7:18. At that time, the great Apostle didn’t know the Victory of the Cross, even though he definitely was saved and baptized with the Holy Spirit. Consequently, not knowing that Victory, he was depending on his willpower, and he found that he didn’t have the power and strength to say “no,” which means, that he was being forced into an action he did not want to en­gage (Rom. 7:15). I’ll say it again: that’s the state of most modern Christians.
Now is that person culpable? Most defi­nitely, yes! Whether they realize it or not, they are guilty of not trusting Christ. The sad part of all of this is, most of these indi­viduals think they are trusting Christ, when in reality they aren’t. Most of the modern Faith is really in ourselves instead of in Christ and what He did at the Cross. Such faith is that which God will never recognize.
Until such a Christian learns the Victory of the Cross, despite him exerting his will­power trying to say “no,” he will find that his situation will get worse and worse. In other words, the “works of the flesh” will manifest themselves more and more in his life. This is why Paul also said, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (Gal. 5:9). Despite all of his efforts otherwise, such a Christian will find the situation steadily

growing worse, and because these things we have stated, actually fall into the category of “laws” (Rom. 7:23-25; 8:2).

Of course, and as is obvious, the “Fruit of the Spirit” is the total opposite of the “works of the flesh” (Gal. 5:22-23).
But notice, it is the “Fruit of the Spirit,” and not the individual. In other words, it is only the Holy Spirit Who can develop such fruit within our lives. Again, if one is to no­tice, this is labeled as “fruit” meaning that it takes time to grow and develop.
All of this means that it’s not possible for a human being, even the most consecrated Christian in the world, to develop this fruit himself. When he attempts to do so, as pos­sibly all of us have tried at one time or the other, it will not be Fruit of the Spirit which is developed, but rather “works of the flesh.” So what is the Believer to do?
Once again, we go back to the Cross. When Jesus died there, He atoned for all sin, making it possible for the Holy Spirit to come in to the heart and life of the Believer and to there abide, and to do so permanently (Jn. 14:16).
Inasmuch as the Spirit works exclusively within the parameters of the Finished Work of Christ, we are simply to exhibit Faith in that Finished Work, realizing that it included us, and then the Spirit will definitely plant, cultivate, and develop His Fruit within our hearts and lives. This is the only way it can be done.
However, when we put our Faith in some­thing other than the Cross of Christ, we frus­trate the Grace of God, which means that the work of the Spirit stops, which as would be obvious, stops the development of the “Fruit.”
The Cross is where Jesus paid it all, and that not only refers to our initial Salvation experience, but as well to our everyday living (Lk. 9:23). Faith in what Jesus there did, gives us all the benefits for which He paid such a price. It is all centered up in three things:
The Cross (Rom. 6:3-5, 11, 14; Gal. 6:14).

Our Faith in the Cross (Rom. Chpt. 4).

3. Our Faith in the Cross gives the Holy Spirit the latitude to work (Rom. 8:1-2, 11; Gal. 5:5).
The phrase, “For he endured, as seeing Him Who is invisible,” speaks of Christ.
“Endured” in the Greek is “kartereo,” and means, “to be strong, steadfast, patient.” It actually speaks of the 40 year sojourn of Moses at the back side of the desert. This gathers the 40 years in Midian into one exhibition of wonderful perseverance in Faith. It was dur­ing those 40 years in Midian that Moses kept before himself his great destiny, that of lead­ing God’s people out of Egypt, and kept trust­ing God despite his flight from Egypt and his enforced absence from that land, that God would yet bring him back there and effect the deliverance of the Chosen People. He had no idea as to how this could be done, and more than likely, when God finally appeared to him in this capacity, it probably was different than he had thought, as it usually is.
All of these years, his Faith had been in Christ, “Who is invisible.” This is in effect where faith actually is, “the invisible vs. the visible.” To be sure, the invisible will little by little become visible, but in the meantime, we have to work our way around the unholy vis­ible. That is where the test of Faith comes in.
The structure is:
The final example of Faith given here by Paul in connection with Moses concerns the Passover.

The protection of the Children of Is­rael resided in the Blood.

As the Blood was the protection then, the Blood of the Lamb, i.e., “the Lord Jesus Christ,” He is the protection now.

The phrase, “Through Faith he kept the Passover,” refers to the fact, that by the com­mandment of the Lord, he “instituted the Passover.” “Kept” is the translation of the Greek “poieo,” which means, “to institute.”
The Greek Scholars say that the verb here is in the perfect tense which speaks of the continuing significance of the service of the Passover to the time of its conclusion, not that the Passover is looked at here as a permanent

institution, for it was not, being only typical and, therefore, transitory in its nature, in op­eration only until the Reality, Which and Who was Christ, to Whom it pointed, appeared. But its significance, namely, that as a type of the Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, is of perma­nent value (Wuest).
Linking “Faith” with the “Passover,” re­fers to an enlargement on that which had been instituted from the very beginning, as it re­gards the sacrifices of the lambs (Gen. 4:4). Salvation, and in fact, every single thing that man receives from God, and with no excep­tions, has always come through the Sacrifice of Christ, of which the animal sacrifices were types. While the Passover would definitely take this a step further in its symbolism, still, the principle was the same — the shedding of the blood of an innocent victim, i.e., “Christ.” In fact, the Ordinance which we know as “The Lord’s Supper,” actually came out of the “Passover.” It was during the eating of the Passover, that the Lord instituted this sacred Ordinance (Mat. 26:26-29). As is obvious, the Lord’s Supper portrays the Death of Christ on the Cross, in the giving of His Body, which was broken, and the shedding of His Blood, which purchased our Redemption.

The phrase, “And the sprinkling of blood,” referred to the blood of the Paschal Lamb on the lintels and doorposts of the houses (Ex. 12:22).
“Sprinkling” in the Greek is “proschusis,” and means, “to pour on, an affusion.” While the Blood was in the case of the first Pass­over, sprinkled on the doorposts and lintels, in the case of the post-Exodus legislation, it was poured upon the Altar (Wuest).
There was nothing in the previous expe­rience of either Moses or the Israelites to jus­tify this action, but their faith in God, thereby believing what He said, was vindicated when “the destroyer of the firstborn” passed over them. Moses had nothing to go on but the conviction that God had directed him. Clearly, faith was his mainspring.
Moses entered on an undertaking wholly beyond the power of man to accomplish, and against every human probability of success. It was no less than that of restoring to free­dom several millions of downtrodden, op­pressed, and dispirited “slaves,” and conduct­ing aged men, tender females, helpless chil­dren, with numerous flocks and herds, across barren wastes to a distant land. He under­took this against the power of probably the most mighty monarch of his time; from the midst of a warlike nation; and when the whole nation would be kindled into rage at the loss of so many slaves, and when he might expect that all the power of their wrath would de­scend on him and his undisciplined and feeble hosts.
He did this when he had no wealth that he could employ to furnish provisions or a means of defense; no armies at his command to encircle his people on their march; and even no influence among the people himself, and with every probability that they would disregard him (Ex. 3:11; 4:1).
He did this when the whole Hebrew people were to be aroused to willingness to enter on the great undertaking; when there was every probability that they would meet with formidable enemies on the way, and when there was nothing human whatever on which the mind could fix as a basis of calcu­lation of success. In fact, if there ever was any undertaking commenced opposed to ev­ery human probability of success, it was that of delivering the Hebrew people, and con­ducting them to the Promised Land. To hu­man view it was quite as hopeless and im­practical as it would be now for a stranger from Africa, claiming to be a native prince there, and to have a commission from God, to liberate the two and a half million of slaves in this country some 200 years ago, and con­duct them to the land of their fathers. In all the difficulties and discouragements of the undertaking of Moses, therefore, his only hope of success must have arisen from his confidence in God.

All of this was an undertaking where there were many certain trials before him. The people whom he sought to deliver were poor and oppressed. An attempt to rescue them would bring down the wrath of the mighty

monarch under whom they were. They were a people unaccustomed to self-government, and as the result proved, prone to ingrati­tude and rebellion. The journey before him lay through a dreary waste, where there was every prospect that there would be a want of food and water, and where he might expect to meet, as stated, with formidable enemies. In all these things his only hope must have been in God. It was He only Who could de­liver them from the grasp of the tyrant; Who could conduct them through the wilderness; Who could provide for their wants in the desert; and Who could defend a vast multi­tude of women and children from the enemies which they would be likely to encounter.
There was nothing in this to gratify am­bition, or to promise an earthly reward. All these prospects Moses gave up when he left the court of Pharaoh. To be the leader of a company of emancipated slaves through a pathless desert to a distant land, had noth­ing in itself that could gratify the ambition of one who had been bred at the most mag­nificent court on Earth, and who had enjoyed every advantage which the age afforded to qualify him to fill any exalted office.
The results of this man’s action, de­meanor, and character showed that he never designed to be himself the king of the people whom he led forth, and that he had no in­tention of aggrandizing his own family in any case (Barnes).

The phrase, “Lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them,” proclaims by the sprinkling of the blood that Moses ac­knowledged that he was as much the object of the just judgment of God as was Pharaoh himself. In fact, there was no moral differ­ence between them. Both were sinners. Nei­ther of them was innocent. Both stood un­der the sentence of death; and, being guilty, both merited it.
This is where self-righteousness has a problem. I remember some time back, a man wrote me, somewhat incensed, because I had stated that Cain and Abel were both under the Judgment of God. It was the blood sacri­fice alone which spared Abel, and the lack of blood sacrifice which doomed Cain. It was the same with Moses and Pharaoh, and in fact, the same with every individual who has ever lived.
For anyone who doesn’t see that, it shows that they don’t believe that all men need a Redeemer. I suppose they think in their minds that they are above such need.
The Truth is, all are justly doomed, and thereby, all can be saved, that is, if they will trust in the solution provided by God, which is His Only Begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Sacrifice which He afforded at the Cross of Calvary. Let all understand, that any Israelite who would have refused to have placed the blood on the doorposts of their houses, as commanded by God, would have witnessed the death of their firstborn. Thankfully, all obeyed! But let it ever be understood, that it was the blood that pro­tected them, and nothing else! Let it also be understood, that it’s the blood that protects you now, and more particularly, the Blood of Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit states in I Corinthians 5:7, that the Passover pictures Christ’s Sac­rifice of Himself in order to save sinners sen­tenced to die.
Two great facts appear in the Passover, the certain doom of the firstborn and as well, his certain Salvation. He was doomed to death by God, not because of his conduct, but because of his birth. Of course we speak of being born in original sin. This latter fact he could not alter; and he was, therefore, hopelessly lost. He was, however, absolutely saved, and because of the value of the life sacrificed for him. He knew he was saved because God had pledged Himself to most certainly save all who sprinkled the shed blood upon their doorposts. There is some indication that some of the Egyptians, as well, may have availed themselves of the protec­tion of the blood (Ex. 12:38).
All sinners are justly doomed by God to death. But He loves them as He loved the firstborn and, therefore, the Lamb of God has suffered that death. His Precious Blood, that is, His priceless life, poured out, attests the fact.
The Word of God promises eternal safety to whomever will seek salvation in that aton­ing Savior. The Believer in Christ knows,

therefore, that he shall never perish; and this knowledge is based on two facts outside of himself: these are, the preciousness of Christ’s Blood to God; and the faithfulness of God to His Own Promise.
The composite is:

The crossing of the Red Sea is attrib­uted to God (Ex. 14:14).

The pronoun “they” refers to all the Israelites who evidenced faith in following Moses across the dry bed where the Sea had been.

The Egyptians lacked faith, and the result was disaster. Their fate shows that the faith of Moses and the Children of Israel was real and not just a formality.


The phrase, “By Faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land,” presents that body of water becoming a temple to Israel, but a tomb to Egypt. The faith that sprinkled the blood, and the unbelief that refused its shelter, fixed this great gulf between them.
Some of these Israelites who went out of Egypt with Moses were anything but shin­ing examples of faith. But the facts seem to be, that all of them had at least some faith, which they had to have, in order to follow Moses through the Sea, and it is on this that attention is focused.
The crossing of the Red Sea is definitely attributed to God (Ex. 14:14) and to the east wind that God sent (Ex. 14:21); but Paul pre­fers to concentrate on the faith that enabled the people to respond to what God had done. That their faith and not merely their cour­age was important is shown by the fate of the Egyptians.
Some may claim that it took no Faith whatsoever to follow Moses across the dry Sea bed; however, I remind all who would think such a thing, that the Scripture says, “And the water was a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left” (Ex. 14:22).
It took faith to trust the Lord that this wall of water, which perhaps stood 100 or more feet high on either side, which defied all laws of gravity, wouldn’t come crashing down upon them while they were in the middle of the Sea bed. In fact, that’s exactly what happened with the Egyptians when they pursued after the Israelites (Ex. 14:26-31).
Incidentally, those who claim that the Red Sea at this particular location was only a foot or so deep, have no proof at all for their statement. Irrespective as to how deep it was, the Scripture says they passed through “by dry land.”

The phrase, “Which the Egyptians assay­ing to do were drowned,” proclaims the fact that God orchestrated the entirety of this mi­raculous event. The same God Who opened the Red Sea for the Israelites, and did so by His miraculous powers, at the same time, closed the Red Sea on the Egyptians, thereby destroying their army. God did it all! It just remained for Moses and the Children of Is­rael to evidence Faith in this which God did, and which they did!
It is amazing how that unbelief in the hearts of many refuse to believe in the miracle-working power of God. It is more amazing still, when many of this number include those who profess to be Christians. With these individuals, the days of miracles are always over, and in fact, they try to ex­plain away the miracles of the Bible, by natu­ral means.
The Truth is, the Lord of Glory is a miracle-working God. In fact, one might say, and with­out fear of contradiction, that in some way, everything He does is a miracle. While it’s not always to the degree of the opening of the Red Sea, still in some way, when God answers prayer, every time He has to do cer­tain things which defy the laws of nature, and as well, the passions of men. While He does not tamper with anyone’s free moral agency, He definitely does maneuver individuals into certain positions which are of their own choosing, but which falls out to the purposes of God. In fact, He is doing this constantly!
All of this shows us that Moses balanced the best of the world with the shame of Christ and deliberately chose the latter. He saw its future wealth.

The exegesis is:

We are here told, that the falling of the walls of Jericho should be ascribed to Faith.

The taking of Jericho is a striking ex­ample of the power of faith.

Faith requires obedience, even in that which we do not understand.


The phrase, “By faith the walls of Jeri­cho fell down,” proclaims another miracle of unprecedented proportions. While it was God of course, Who performed the miracle, we are here told, exactly as in the previous Verses, that the Faith of Joshua and the Children of Israel played a tremendous part in this, even as faith always does. The idea is, God oper­ates totally on the principle of faith on the part of His followers. He demands that we believe Him, have Faith in His Promises, etc.
Much of that today which is referred to as “Faith,” is actually presumption. In other words, God has not promised many things which are claimed and, therefore, will not respond to human commands.
Many have attempted to teach that if enough faith can be mustered, anything can be done; however, that is blatantly false! Any­time anything which claims to be faith, seeks to circumvent the Will of God, in reality it’s not faith, but as stated, is presumption. God will never honor such! As we’ve stated, it’s not the quantity of faith that makes the dif­ference, but the correct object of Faith, which must always be the great Sacrifice of Christ.
Let not the Reader forget, that the Faith which opened the Red Sea, and thereby saw the deliverance of the Children of Israel, plus destroying their enemies, was all predicated on the Passover, which of course symbolized the Crucifixion of Christ. As well, the walls of Jericho falling down were likewise predi­cated on the same thing (Josh. 5:10).

The phrase, “After they were compassed about seven days,” proclaims obedience, which did not make sense at all to the natu­ral mind. We cannot doubt, the unmeasured contempt and ridicule of their foes during this time.
Apart from the conviction that God would act, nothing could have been more pointless than the behavior of God’s people. They did not attack. Instead, they simply walked around the city once a day for six days and then seven times on the seventh. But once more, faith was vindicated, for “the walls of Jericho fell down.”
These walls fell not by any natural causes, or by any means that were in themselves adapted to secure such a result. It was not because they fell of themselves; nor because they were assailed by the hosts of the Israel­ites; nor was it because there was any natu­ral tendency in the blowing of horns to cause them to fall. None of these things were true; it was only by confidence in God in obeying what He had said to do, that such a little ef­fort adapted to such a purpose could have been employed at all; and it was only by continued faith in Him, that they could have been per­severed in day by day, when no impression whatever was made. But yet, God had told them, that if they obeyed, that “the wall of the city shall fall down flat” (Josh. 6:5).
Exactly as God told them this would hap­pen, exactly it did happen!
As deliverance from Egypt was a type of our Salvation, likewise, the Promised Land was a type of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. But there are Jericho’s which seek to hinder our progress into this inheritance. How do we get them down?
We do so in the same identical manner that Joshua did so long ago, that is, by obey­ing the Lord. And what obedience does He now demand?
Jericho didn’t fall before Joshua, in the strict sense of the word, but rather it fell be­fore Christ. The Scripture says:
“When Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a Man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand.”
He introduced Himself, “As Captain of the Hosts of the Lord” (Josh. 5:13-14). This was an appearance of the Lord of Glory, and before Whom Jericho would fall!

It is the same Lord of Glory to Whom you are to look. He, through the Spirit, will exert His mighty power on your behalf, the same as He did on behalf of Israel so long, long ago. Jericho will fall, but it will not be by the machi­nations of man or the brilliance of brainpower. It will only be by the Power of God.
The obedience demanded of you is very similar to the obedience demanded of Israel. Their marching around the walls of the city, in essence, was a claim of victory over its in­habitants. You, as well, are to understand, that God has already given you the victory, just as surely as He had already given Israel the vic­tory. While that city had not yet crumbled, it was as good as destroyed, and because the Word of the Lord had said so! It is the same with the Jericho in your life.
Quit listening to the Devil, as he attempts to tell you that he is too strong for you. He is a liar! Beside that, you, even as the Chil­dren of Israel so long ago, are not depending on yourself, but altogether on “the Captain!” And please be certain, the Lord Jesus Christ is definitely the Captain. He has conquered every power of darkness, and did so at the Cross. As they look to the Captain, you are to look to the Captain!
The Spirit of God had already told them to eat the Passover, which they did. Once again, a lamb for each house was slaughtered, symbolizing the Crucifixion of Christ. Its flesh was roasted with fire, symbolizing the judgment which would come upon Christ in­stead of upon us. They would “eat the flesh” which spoke of what Christ would do on the Cross by the giving of Himself, and one’s faith in that Sacrifice. They would eat the flesh with “unleavened bread,” which symbolized His Perfect humanity, and Perfect body. They would eat it with “bitter herbs,” also sym­bolizing the slavery of Egypt from which they had been delivered (Ex. 12:3-11).
As they looked forward to the coming Sac­rifice, symbolized by the Passover, we look back to the finished Sacrifice, and celebrate it symbolically by taking the Lord’s Supper. The idea is, the victory is in the Sacrifice of Christ, and our obedience in placing our Faith and Trust in this which Christ has done.
Just as surely as Jericho fell so long, long ago, your Jericho’s will fall also. They must!
They have no choice! But always remem­ber, it is only your Faith in the Finished Work of Christ which batters down these strong­holds that Satan seeks to erect in your life. No Jericho need stand; no Jericho must stand; all must give way before Christ, be­cause all have given way before Christ.

Incidentally, “seven” is God’s perfect num­ber, which de completion, totality, and perfection. Man’s number is “six” which al­ways de imperfection and incompleteness.
God has a perfect Salvation and a perfect victory. He will settle for nothing less, and we must settle for nothing less. This means that we must not attempt to come to a com­promise with the Jericho’s, but rather insist upon, and in fact demand, total victory within our hearts and lives. Of course, the demand is not made of God, but of ourselves. We must not settle for “six” when we can have “seven.”
Even as I dictate these , I sense the Presence of God. There is faith which rises in my heart, faith which demands that I tell you that victory can be yours, and in every capacity. If Jericho fell before Joshua, it will fall before you. You’re serving the same God that Joshua served, and you have the same faith which Joshua had.
Christians are too easy to say, “If I only had the faith of Joshua,” or some such Bible Character. The truth is, there isn’t but one kind of faith, at least that God will recognize, and that’s Faith in Christ and His Finished Work. If you believe that, then you have the same Faith that Joshua had, and in fact ev­ery one of these Patriarchs and Prophets. As I’ve said over and over again, it’s not the quantity of faith, it’s the quality of faith. And to be sure, the correct object of faith, which is always the Cross of Christ, gives one the quality that is needed.
The diagram is:
1. The list of the champions of Faith whose victories are especially noticed is closed by a woman who was a Gentile, and as well, an outcast.

She “perished not” because she placed her faith in the red cord of Redemption.

She received the spies with peace, which in essence, means that she received the Word and the Holy Spirit, of whom the spies were types.


The phrase, “By Faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not,” proclaims no doubt, one of the most astound­ing miracles of all. As we have stated, this woman was a Gentile, and as well an out­cast, and an outcast of the worst type. She was a harlot!
Some have tried to soften the description of Rahab and have tried to make her out to be a hostess or an innkeeper, or at the worst, forced into temple prostitution; however, the Holy Spirit here designates her as “the harlot.” Both the Greek and Hebrew words signify a secular prostitute, and not a temple prostitute. This is beautiful and signifi­cant that a woman from such a background could become such an example of faith. But she did!
She is mentioned favorably in James 2:25, and she is listed in the genealogy of the Lord as the wife of Salmon (Mat. 1:5), which would have made her the grandmother of David, several times removed, and of course, the grandmother of the Lord of Glory, the Son of David.
There were only four women mentioned in the genealogy of Christ, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba; however, the latter was not mentioned by name, only that this lady who was the wife of David, “had been the wife of Urias” (Mat. 1:3, 5-6).
Rahab and Ruth were Gentiles. Tamar and Bathsheba were Jews. Thus, Christ descended from both Jews and Gentiles. As stated, Rahab was a harlot. Both Tamar and Bathsheba com­mitted adultery (Gen. 38; II Sam. 11:1-5). Ruth was of the cursed Moabites (Ruth 1:22).
All were products of Grace, which is by Faith (Eph. 2:8-9). By this we are given to understand, that this which these women had been, they no longer were. The Grace of God changed them, as the Grace of God will change anyone who places Faith in Christ. The Lord doesn’t save us in our sin, but from our sin.
The word translated “believed not” is not the simple word for “faith,” but rather the Greek word that means, “to be disobedient.” It speaks of disbelief manifesting itself in dis­obedience.
The word here speaks of the failure on the part of the inhabitants of Jericho, to be persuaded that God had given the land to the Israelites, and the consequent refusal to sur­render Jericho.
Any time the unsaved cooperate with God, they are always blessed; however, it is seldom that they do such a thing.
The natural inclination of the depraved mind and spirit, which characterizes all un­redeemed, is to oppose God. Actually, there is a built in animosity in the hearts of all un­redeemed against God, whether they realize it or not. This being the case, if they are put to the test, most of the time they will oppose God’s Way, and God’s people.
However, the greatest opposition of all al­ways comes from those who claim to be God’s people. We see that in Cain killing Abel, Joseph’s brothers opposing him, and Saul attempting to kill David, etc. As well, the greatest hindrance to Paul in the spread of the Gospel was not Rome, but rather those inside the Church, Who were trying to pro­claim another gospel (II Cor. 11:4). It is the same presently:
The True Church is opposed by the Apos­tate Church more so than anything else. Many times, those in the Apostate Church claim by and large, the same Doctrines as those in the True Church. And yet, you can recognize the false by their fruit (Mat. 7:15­20). The Apostate Church will always op­pose the True Church. While at times they will attack the Message, more than all, they will attack the Messenger.
The phrase, “When she had received the spies with peace,” proclaims Rahab’s faith.
“Received” in the Greek is “dechomai,” and means “friendly reception.”
“With peace” speaks of the act of Rahab in receiving the spies without enmity, and in not allowing them to suffer harm from others.

To help the Reader understand the hap­penings of that time, perhaps the following would provide some information:
When the Children of Israel crossed the Jordan River, which incidentally is in a val­ley, they were camped on the slopes of Mount Pisgah, on the shank of Moab. From this po­sition, the elevation slopes down to the Jor­dan River and then rises back up to the city of Jericho. Consequently, those in Jericho could easily see the several millions of Israelites camped on the other shore, and of course, the Israelites could easily see Jericho, even though it was approximately five miles on the other side of the River Jordan.
It can well be imagined that the inhabit­ants of Jericho in observing this vast horde, and knowing who they were, would have talked of nothing else. Of course, all knew of the great miracles which had taken place in Egypt and the Red Sea, some 40 years ear­lier. They also knew how Israel had recently defeated the two kings of the Amorites (Josh. 2:9-11). They also knew that they worshipped Jehovah, the unseen God. And of course, they attributed the miracles and victories, and rightly so, to Jehovah; however, most of them would have claimed that their gods contained greater power.
But in the midst of all of this was Rahab, who heard all of the stories of the miracles as the others, but it struck her heart differ­ently. Even though her information was the same as the other Jerichoites, something stirred within her when she heard these ac­counts, and that something made her heart receptive. Of course, it was the Holy Spirit!
It is obvious, that this lady was sick of her present lifestyle, sick of the worship of these pagan gods, sick of the emptiness of her heart, sick of the lack of peace. And if a heart is hungry, God will bring bread. Con­sequently, He directed the two spies to her abode or inn, or whatever it was. To these men she said, “For the LORD your God, He is God in Heaven above, and in Earth beneath” (Josh. 2:11). This means that she accepted Jehovah as her God, thereby renouncing the pagan gods she had formerly worshipped.
She asked if they would spare her when Israel took the city, and they promised that she would be protected, and in fact, all who would be in her house. The sign would be “a scarlet thread in the window” (Josh. 2:18).
And so it was! Her entire family was spared when Jericho was taken, and as we’ve already stated, she became one of the great women in Israel, actually in the lineage of the Mes­siah, and all because of her Faith in God.
The composite is:
With a neat, rhetorical flourish, Paul shows that his subject is far from exhausted, even though he does not propose to continue his list.

We will find, if we search the record, that each of these individuals battled against overwhelming odds, but triumphed, and all because of their Faith.

As well, some of these people had moral problems in their lives. The truth is, in every Saint there is always to be found something reprehensible. Nevertheless, although faith may be imperfect and incomplete, it does not cease to be approved by God (Calvin).

The question, “And what shall I more say?”, refers to the fact that enough has now been said to guide all who are willing to search the Scriptures for themselves.
With a brief mention of names which would call up before the minds of his readers achievements almost as wonderful as those on which he has been dwelling, Paul passes from the Elders who received witness from God by their Faith, and speaks in general terms, but all the more distinctly of the tri­umphs which faith has won in these as well!
The idea of all of this, which is overly ob­vious, is “Faith.” That’s the principle by which God works, and that is the principle by which He deals with men. And when we say “Faith,” even as we’ve said many times, even though it has many nuances and side issues, the bot­tom line always is “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.” In fact, all the Faith these indi­viduals evidenced in Old Testament times had as its proper object Christ, and the manner

in which He would redeem humanity. Of course, their knowledge of this event would have been somewhat different than ours, for the simple reason that it was before the fact; nevertheless, the Sacrifice of Christ was al­ways the object of their Faith, even as it must always be the object of our Faith. That’s what it’s all about!

The phrase, “For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae: of David also, and Samuel, and of the Prophets,” proclaims four of these as being Judges, one a King, and the other the first Prophet, at least the first one who stood in that Office.
The first four of these are mentioned only here in the New Testament. Samuel is men­tioned only twice elsewhere in the New Tes­tament. David, of course, is mentioned fre­quently. There seems to be no reason for the order in which they are named.
Paul does not go into detail about what these men did. But if we examine the Old Tes­tament record, we find that each man battled against overwhelming odds so that, humanly speaking, there was little chance of his com­ing out on top. For men in such positions, Faith in God was not a formality. It meant real trust when the odds seemed stacked against them. The idea is they set worthy ex­amples in their difficult circumstances.
There seem to have been defects in the faith of four of them. Gideon was slow to take up arms; Barak hesitated and went for­ward only when Deborah encouraged him; Samson was enticed by Delilah; and Jephthah made a foolish vow and stubbornly kept it.
Often the men whom the Holy Spirit chooses to become leaders seem to be the most unlikely choices. Yet, God sovereignly selects and anoints, because He sees something in the heart that is not obvious to others.
Whatever the problems there might be in an individual’s life, the Lord can handle those things, that is if a man or woman will have Faith in God. This is a tremendous Truth, and in a sense applies to every single human being. The idea of this list is as fol­lows, and probably would apply to all listed in this Eleventh Chapter:
If one looks closely enough, one will find difficulties and problems in all, even the greatest. But that is not the criteria by which God uses individuals. Don’t misunderstand, God can never condone sin or spiritual fail­ure of any nature; however, if that person has Faith in God, in other words, if they truly be­lieve, God can take their Faith and straighten out their problems, and then mightily use them. It’s the lack of Faith which shuts the door to God helping the individual. And sadly and regrettably, that’s one of the great sins of the modern Church.
God can help anybody out of anything, except a quitter. Now that’s so important, that I must say it again:
The difficulties and problems along the way as it regards this Christian life, are in­dicative of every single Believer. It is a growth process, and sometimes the growing is not easy; however, there is nothing that the Lord cannot handle, cannot cleanse, can­not forgive, and cannot rectify, unless that person is a quitter. If they quit, which shows a lack of faith, then there is nothing that even God can do. And to be sure, the shores of Christianity are littered with the wrecks of spiritual cripples who quit. They refuse to finish the race; they refuse to get up out of the dust; therefore, they tie God’s hands.
Faith is never an uneventful exercise. To say it another way, the faith journey is never uneventful. Actually, the one with Faith hits the dirt just about as often as the individual without faith. The difference is, the one with­out faith stays in the dirt and refuses to get up. The one with Faith, gets up, and when he does, which is an exhibition of faith within itself, to be sure, and without exception, the Holy Spirit will always brush the Believer off, start him back out on the road to victory, and give him all the help he needs to get there. God doesn’t like quitters! (Lk. 9:62).
One of the great troubles as it regards this great Faith walk, for that’s what it is, is fel­low Christians who try to hinder faith. In other words, instead of trying to help pick the individual up, they instead kick him back down. There could be no greater sin than that! The reasons should be obvious, they

are hindering what the Holy Spirit is endeav­oring to help.
God help me to be a Preacher of the Gos­pel who will render aid to the faith of any in­dividual. I don’t care who that person is, I don’t care what they’ve done, I don’t how sor­did that it’s been, if they’re trying to get up, God help me to lend them all the support that I have, in order to get them back on their feet. That God’s way! That’s the reason for the death of Christ on Mount Calvary.
Humanity was down for the count! And there was no way that we could rise once again, and no matter how hard we tried. To be sure, the scene was not pretty, as such scenes never are. But God didn’t leave the situation as it was. In fact, He became a Man, and came down here to this cesspool, and lifted man up above the shadows and planted his feet on higher ground. It took the Cross to accomplish this task, but the Lord paid the price irrespective as to its cost.
As a Believer how can I do less? Espe­cially considering that this is God’s way. You as a Believer should ask yourself this ques­tion: “Am I helping the Faith of others, or am I hindering their Faith?”

The Word of God must be the criteria for all things. When we make rules and regula­tions that have no Scriptural foundation, and when asked as to why these rules have been made, only being able to give the lame ex­cuse, “That’s our tradition,” then we’re in serious spiritual trouble! It is a terrible sin to hinder the faith of others, and that’s what unscriptural rules always do. The following we believe, is the Bible way:
First of all, there are no perfect people, and that includes Christians. Even the God­liest have character flaws, which are indica­tive, sadly and regrettably, of humanity. In fact, all of these character flaws will not be handled until the Resurrection.
No, this in no way is meant to condone sin of any nature. Sin is awful! It’s a terrible affront against God. And to be sure, God doesn’t save us in sin, but rather from sin. Nevertheless, sin is a problem the Church has to deal with, and sometimes very severe situations, and we must ever understand, that these situations must always be dealt with in a Scriptural manner.
Sometime back, we had a situation in our organization which involved one of our Min­isters, and which constituted a morals prob­lem. Without going into detail which is not necessary, we had to deal with this problem. What did we do?
First of all, it must be handled Scriptur­ally. We must ever realize, that we’re deal­ing with someone whom God has called, in whom dwells the Holy Spirit, and for whom Jesus died. Consequently, we must deal with that person in that particular manner.
The usual, unscriptural route for most Church Denominations in such a situation, is to tell the individual he can no longer preach for two years, or some such length of time. In the first place, there’s absolutely nothing in the Word of God to substantiate such foolishness.
God called this man to preach, and who am I to tell him that he can’t preach. That’s ridiculous! In fact, it’s a gross sin to even re­motely think of engaging in such a thing. To do such, is to tamper with that which is the domain of God alone. Actually, if you’re go­ing to throw out every Preacher who has sinned, you wouldn’t have any left. You must remember, that for every one who is found out about something, there are hundreds who aren’t found out, but in the eyes of God, it’s all the same. Exposure is not the sin, but in reality exposure is what most Churches address. They do so, because of self-righteousness, which of course is embarrassed by exposure.

In fact, the entirety of the Bible is the story of restoration. And then to be more detailed, Paul tells us the following:
“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thy­self, lest thou also be tempted” (Gal. 6:1).
Incidentally, the word “fault” in the Greek is “paraptoma,” and means “a moral fail­ure.” We are told to “restore such an one in the spirit of meekness.”
How is that to be done?
Paul is speaking here to the Galatians, who had been brought in right, actually brought

in under his Ministry; however, false teach­ers had come in, attempting to pull them away from Grace to Law; consequently, for those who allowed such to happen, the re­sults and without exception, were going to be failure of some nature. In other words, the “works of the flesh” were definitely go­ing to manifest themselves, even as it always will in such cases (Gal. 5:19-21).
These individuals had moved their Faith from the Cross to something else, mostly themselves, which always guarantees failure. So here’s what Paul says must be done:
We are to tell the individual why they have failed: it is because, as just stated, that their Faith is in something else other than the Cross of Christ. This being the case, there is always going to be failure in some manner. Again, as previously stated, it may not be known by others, but to be sure, it’s there in some way.
So, the one who is “spiritual,” which means he understands that all Victory is in the Cross of Christ, which means that our Faith must always be in the Cross, which guarantees the help of the Holy Spirit, must explain this to the one who has failed.
While it is certainly true that there are some people who just want to go in a wrong direction, and if that is the case, and they refuse to come back to the Cross, which will guarantee continued failure, then ultimately that person has to be disfellowshiped (I Cor. Chpt. 5); however, most Christians fail, sim­ply because they do not know and understand God’s prescribed order of victory, which is the Cross of Christ. So they must be told why they have failed, and how they can get their faith right, and maintain victory in Christ. That is the restoration process out­lined by the Holy Spirit.
That’s exactly what we did with the indi­vidual in question, which to date, has worked out beautifully. His Ministry is stronger than ever, and his life is right with God, and be­cause his Faith is right with God.
Now what good would it have done, for us to stop this man from preaching for two years, and as well, to level other foolish de­mands on him?
It would not have done any good, it could have completely destroyed him, which is gen­erally the case in all of these efforts.
We do not have any Scriptural right to punish other Believers. In the first place, the Lord Jesus Christ has already been punished for us. And for us to claim that more punish­ment is needed, is in essence saying that what He suffered at the Cross is not enough and needs something added, which is a gross sin!
As well, even as James plainly said, “There is one Lawgiver, Who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” (James 4:12).
In other words, he is saying, “Who do you think you are, thinking you are qualified to judge or punish another Christian?” In fact, only self-righteousness would even think of doing such a thing.
The exegesis is:
Only through Faith in Christ can the powers of darkness be subdued.

We see from these Verses, that the so­lution for all things is the same, Faith in Christ and Him Crucified.

The problem with much of the Church is, that it makes works the criteria instead of Faith, which God will never honor.

The phrase, “Who through Faith,” is meant to proclaim, and by giving all of these different examples, that it doesn’t matter what the problem is, what the need is, that Faith is always the ingredient. That’s at least one of the reasons that the Church makes a grievous mistake when it proclaims differ­ent solutions for different problems.
For instance, some years ago, the Church was big on marriage seminars, which have pretty well fallen by the wayside. At the mo­ment, all the rage is “prosperity seminars,” etc.
The Truth is there is nothing in the Word of God which substantiates such efforts. In other words, we’re being unscriptural when we go in those directions.
If the Christian will understand that ev­erything we receive from the Lord comes through the Sacrifice of Christ, and that we are to always have Faith in that Finished Work, and in fact, maintain Faith in that Finished

Work, this is all that God requires. To be sure, the Holy Spirit will then work out in our lives all the things which are needed, and what­ever those things might be. In other words, this will handle the marriage problems and the prosperity problems, and in fact, any other type of problem we might have.

The phrase, “Subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,” proclaims the fact, that Faith in God was all that was required for each of these situations, whatever they might have been, even as the next few Verses proclaim.
I’m trying to say that there wasn’t one type of Faith for “subduing kingdoms,” and an­other kind for “stopping the mouths of lions,” etc., simple Faith in God sufficed for all.
Paul is proclaiming these things to Chris­tian Jews who were very seriously consider­ing defecting from Christ. And the reason for their proposed defection was a lack of Faith. In other words, they were losing Faith in Christ and what He had done at the Cross. In fact, that’s where the problem always is, irrespective of the timeframe.
It is my personal feeling, that the situa­tion presently as it regards the Church, is more dangerous than it’s ever been before, or at least since the Reformation. The reason is this:
If Faith is the criteria, and it definitely is, then the Church is in serious trouble. For Faith to be that which God will recognize, it must have, and without exception, as its proper object, the Cross of Christ. While the Church has had more teaching on Faith in the last 50 years than ever before in its his­tory, despite all of that, the Church pretty well finds itself at this present time, faith­less! How can that be?
The teaching that the Church has received has not centered Faith up on the Cross, but rather something else. And it really doesn’t matter what else is proposed, if it’s not Faith in the Cross, then it’s not true Faith.
So, we have multiple thousands of Churches that go under the name “Word of Faith,” and the truth is, as it regards the majority of these Churches, they have no Faith at all. In fact, most of them don’t even believe in the Cross, at least as it regards the Sacrifice of Christ, referring to it as the great­est defeat in human history. Such is rank blasphemy!
It is Faith alone in the Cross which God will recognize (Rom. 8:1-2; Eph. 1:3-7). In fact, every time Paul uses the phrase, “in Christ,” or “in Him,” etc., he is speaking of what Christ did at the Cross on our behalf, to which our Faith must always be directed.
The diagram is:
These mighty feats were performed by ordinary men and women, who had Faith in an Almighty God.

If God deems something should be done, and He can find a man or a woman who will exercise faith, irrespective as to what that situation is, faith will overcome it.

The Holy Spirit keeps telling us that whatever is the need, faith in God is suffi­cient to meet the test.


As I study these examples given here by Paul, my Faith is encouraged, which is exactly what the Holy Spirit intends. That which God has called me to do, and in fact, what He has called you to do as well, can be done. Please understand the following thought:
The Holy Spirit is telling us here, that Faith can overcome any obstacle, and irre­spective as to what that obstacle may be. To be sure, there will always be hindrances, problems, difficulties, and in fact, difficulties at times so severe, as to make the situation seem to be impossible. In fact, as far as we are concerned, it is impossible. But we’re not the ones who are going to have to do this thing. It is God Who will do whatever needs to be done.
All He requires from us is that we believe Him. Just last night in prayer (Sept. 8, 2000), the Lord spoke this to my heart:
In essence, He said to me, “I have given you a vision, and to be sure, I will also bring about the provision.” Let’s say it another way:

1. God gives a vision.

He is the provision, or in other words, He will provide for the vision.

Satan comes in with division. Notice how this word is pronounced: “di-vision.” Satan wants your vision to die! And how can he do that?

If he can get us to looking at circum­stances and situations, he can cause the vi­sion to die. In fact, he did exactly this with Israel when the spies came back with an evil report. The people looked at the walled cit­ies and the giants, etc. Despite the protests of Caleb and Joshua, who proclaimed the fact that, “We are able to possess the land,” the unbelief of the ten spies affected the entirety of Israel, which destroyed an entire genera­tion, and delayed the entrance into the Prom­ised Land by nearly 40 years.
While you and I may be susceptible to circumstances and situations, God isn’t! So that’s what our Faith is all about. We are to believe that God, Who is not susceptible to circumstances and situations, and Who is not moved by these things whatsoever, can bring about whatever is needed, irrespec­tive as to what it might be. He only demands that we have Faith in Him. In other words, don’t look at the problems, look at the Lord, Who is able to do all things, and believe Him. That’s Faith!

As the Lord moved upon my heart last night, His Spirit impressed upon me that de­spite the problems, despite the difficulties and circumstances, that He would provide. What­ever was necessary, He would provide! And I believe it, and to be sure, I believe it with all of my heart.
God has called me for World Evangelism. He has called me to carry out this Vision by the means of Television, Radio, Crusades, print materials, and Videos. It takes two things to get this done. I will address the lesser first:
1. It takes money! While the media reaches a staggering number of people, which is the only way that Evangelism can really be carried out as it regards the masses, it takes a sizeable amount of money to do this. And for that money to come in, we have to cross all types of hurdles. Tragically, instead of the Church trying to help us, the far greater majority seeks to hinder, by discouraging anyone from giving to this effort. Neverthe­less, God is able! He has given the “Vision,” and He will make the “Provision.” The only thing that can bring in “di-vision” is my lack of Faith. And God help me, that I believe Him and that despite the obstacles.
2. That which is the most important of all, is the moving and operation of the Holy Spirit, for which I pray constantly. I cannot do anything without the Holy Spirit, and I can do anything with the Holy Spirit, at least that which He directs me to do. This is the greatest need of all, the Anointing, the lead­ing, and the Power of the Spirit. I pray about this more than I pray about anything else.
If the Spirit has His Way in my life, then the money will come in. But above all, people will be saved; lives will be changed; Believ­ers will be Baptized with the Holy Spirit; the sick will be healed, and people will be deliv­ered. But it is only through the Spirit that these things can be done. And He works ex­clusively according to my Faith in the Fin­ished Work of Christ (Rom. 8:2).
The structure is:
We learn from these Verses that Faith produces different types of miracles.

Some were not delivered from torture, with their victory being that they didn’t lose their Faith.

The great goal of Faith must always be the “better Resurrection,” and not any­thing else. This means that whatever hap­pens here, whether we are delivered or not, whether we are healed or not, whether we get the money or not, such is only a chapter in the book. The end result must always be the “better Resurrection.”

The phrase, “Women received their dead raised to life again,” presents as would be obvious a tremendous miracle of faith. In fact, there could be very little that would be greater than one being raised from the dead.

And the God Whom we serve is able to do these things, providing it fits His purpose.
As well, He can do such now, just as He did such in Bible times. We make a great mistake, when we limit God to particular time frames. God is limited only by our Faith and His Wisdom. Our lack of faith limits Him, and at times He limits Himself, because it’s wisdom to do so.

The phrase, “And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better Resurrection,” proclaims the Apostle dealing with another side of Faith, which is just as powerful as that which he has been addressing.
The word “tortured” in the Greek is “tumpanizo,” and is an extremely strong word, meaning “to torture with the tumpanum.” This was a wheel-shaped instrument of tor­ture, over which people were stretched as though they were skins, and then horribly beaten with clubs or thongs.
The word “deliverance” is preceded by the Greek article, in effect saying, “the deliv­erance.” It was the deliverance offered at the price of denying their faith, that was refused. They did this in order that they might attain to a better Resurrection than the one men­tioned in the previous phrase of this Scrip­ture, namely, a mere continuation of life on Earth. They were looking forward to the Res­urrection that would be unto glory, which they would not obtain, if they denied their Faith.
The idea is, God didn’t deliver them as far as the cruel torture was concerned, even letting them die.
Now many in the modern Church would claim that these individuals simply didn’t have faith; however, the words “Who through faith,” includes these as well as all the others. Yes, they had Faith, and great Faith at that! They had so much Faith in fact, that despite the torture, despite the horrible pain, despite death, they would not renounce Christ, but continued to proclaim His Name even unto the end. In fact, untold thousands have died in this manner, and possibly down through the centuries, even millions.
To be stronger with my statement, how dare anyone claim that these were faithless!
The Holy Spirit says otherwise. The prob­lem is this:
Those who would claim such foolishness, and I speak of those who claim that these didn’t have Faith, are basing all of their re­sults on material things. These types of in­dividuals judge the faith of Christians, by the cost of the suit of clothes they wear, or the make and model of the car they drive. Noth­ing could be more foolish, even downright stupid! In fact, such people don’t really have any faith themselves, only hot air.
All of this life is a dress rehearsal for eter­nity. We must never forget that. As we have stated, the goal of all true Faith is the “bet­ter Resurrection,” which will take place when the trump sounds (I Thess. 4:13-18).
The exegesis is:
The word “others” introduces a differ­ent class of victories achieved by Faith.

The criteria for Faith is not necessar­ily deliverance from difficulties, but rather that we do not lose our Faith.

The modern Church for the most part, has a false definition of Faith, and because they have an improper faith, i.e., “an im­proper object of Faith.”


The phrase, “And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings,” refers to “another of a different kind.” This word “others,” as stated, introduces a different class of victories achieved by faith. Mockings and scourgings were endured by the martyrs just mentioned, and they were not delivered, at least in the way we normally think of such. All of this is an attempt by Satan, to get the person to re­nounce their Faith. In fact, during the times of the Early Church, when thousands of Chris­tians were tortured to death, and in fact, died in every conceivable way possible in the Ro­man arenas, many times, they were offered free­dom if they would only say “Caesar is Lord.” This of course, was an attempt to get them to change the object of their Faith from Christ to Caesar. Rather than do that, untold thou­sands died, and in fact, died horrible deaths.

In late May of 2000, we were in Rome, Italy, with a tour. We visited the Coliseum, where it is known that many Christians died. We saw the places where they kept the lions and other wild animals, starving them, so they would be ravenous with hunger, when they were unleashed on the victims.
We saw the tunnels through which the Christians had to walk as they were ushered into the arena. One can only imagine the horror that took place those many centuries ago. Now tourists look and gaze where Chris­tians once wept!
But where today is mighty Rome of old? Her Caesar’s are peanut vendors and her great military generals are organ grinders. And where is Christianity? It spans the globe, with untold millions who profess that glori­ous Name of Jesus Christ. It is only Faith that has done this.

The phrase, “Yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment,” was that which experience the Apostle personally knew. In fact, he also knew the “trial of cruel mockings and scourgings.”
The words “yea, moreover” are used commonly to express a climax. One might say, that some imprisonments were even to be more dreaded than scourging (Jer. 38:9).
When we all stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ to give account, which every Believer shall, even from the very beginning, I won­der how will the Faith of many modern Chris­tians stand up beside those of which we here speak? And to be sure “Faith” and “Faith­fulness” will be the criteria of that judgment.
Thankfully, our sins have been judged at the Cross, and will never be brought up again. But to be sure, our faithfulness as it regards this life given to us by the Lord, will definitely be judged, with rewards meted out accordingly.
The diagram is:

1. In all of this, we see the purposes of God brought forth, and done so by the Faith of the individual.
While God could deliver from any situ­ation, His purpose might be for some Believ­ers to suffer in this manner.

The Believer should want and desire above everything else, the Will of God, and at all costs.

We could easily dissect this Scripture as to its several parts, giving occasion and ex­amples of this which the Apostle speaks; how­ever, each statement is fairly self-explanatory. The idea is, that we learn the lessons here taught. Some of them are:
The idea of all of this is, that these individuals cried to God for deliverance from these excruciating situations, even which took their lives. But God did not answer them, at least in the manner in which they requested. He did answer, but by giving them even more Faith, that they may stand the test, even unto death. One would have to say, that this is the greater faith of all.

By the word “tempted” being included, we know that in many of these cases, the in­dividuals were given opportunity to recant, which means to renounce their Faith in Christ. If they would do so, the torture would stop, and their lives would be spared. Need­less to say, such a temptation would be great; however, many of them, and no doubt one could say, most of them did not succumb to that temptation. They were stoned; they were cut asunder with saws; they were mass slaughtered with the sword; they were desti­tute, afflicted, and tormented, but they didn’t lose Faith! And that’s all that really matters.

The sufferings lasted but for a short time. The “better Resurrection” lasts forever!
The structure is:
The world is not worthy of the Child of God.

The word “world” does not refer here to the corrupt world system, but the world con­sidered as an economy, or a particular way of life, which is unworthy of these, because it is an economy ruled by sense, whereas the world of the Child of God is an economy ruled by faith.

3. The world drove them out, thinking them unworthy to live in it, while in truth it was unworthy to have them living in it.

The phrase, “Of whom the world was not worthy,” refers to the fact that the few true Christians in this world are of far greater worth, and in every sense, than all the bal­ance of the world put together. As well, these are the words of the Holy Spirit, and not mere hype. But of course the world being spiritu­ally depraved, doesn’t know this.
Every freedom in this world, all prosperity, whatever it is that men might refer to as “good,” and of course I refer to that which truly is good, it is because of the Believers in this world. This in a sense, can be divided in two ways:
First of all, the world owes a debt of grati­tude to the Jew. Of course, they do not rec­ognize that at all, even with many parts of the world harboring a deep resentment against the Jewish people.
For some 1,600 years, the only people in the world who knew God were the Jews. Ad­mittedly, they didn’t do a very good job, and neither do we as the Church, but still, under God they were the only light in the world of that day. As a consequence, they gave to the world the Word of God, which is a worth and value all out of proportion to our ability to comprehend. As well, they brought the Mes­siah into the world, which was the greatest happening in the history of mankind, even though they did not recognize Him.
According to Romans Chapter 11, the Church has been grafted in to take the place of the Jewish people, who will ultimately be brought back after the Second Coming. Under Christ, the Church is now the light of the world.
As one looks at the nations of the world, regarding those who have at least a modicum of Biblical Christianity, these nations enjoy the greatest freedoms and the greatest pros­perity. As well, and because of the Presence of the Holy Spirit more or less in these par­ticular countries, and especially the United States and England, almost all the technologi­cal advancement has come from these areas.
Now as should be obvious, this doesn’t mean that the scientists in question are Spirit-filled, but rather, it speaks merely of the Presence of God in an overall way.
I do not mean to be unkind, but I do not consider Catholicism as true Biblical Chris­tianity. In many senses of the word, I con­sider it to be as pagan as Islam, etc. And if anyone takes the Bible seriously, I think, they would as well have to come to that conclu­sion. And regrettably, there are many parts of that which we refer to as “true Christian­ity,” which are also spiritually corrupt. By now I’m sure the Reader understands, that if it’s not “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified,” then it’s not truly the Gospel.

The phrase, “They wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the Earth,” refers to the lot of some Believ­ers, not all of the time, but some of the time.
The world oftentimes maltreats Believ­ers, and especially in countries which do not recognize Jesus Christ, simply because they do not know the worth and value of these ones in their midst.
As we have seen in these examples, the Lord doesn’t always pave the road with gold, or even deliver the blessed one from nega­tive circumstances, but that doesn’t at all mean that they are lacking in Faith. The Lord does what He does, in His Own way, and for His Own purposes. To be sure, He loves ev­ery Believer with a love that is far greater than you and I could ever realize. But yet, the Lord knows all things from beginning to end. To be sure, He Who every spar­rows fall, and even numbers the very hairs of our heads, if in fact, He allows us to suffer, even as untold millions down through the several millennia have suffered, He does so for good purpose and reason. We know that He can change any situation which He so desires, and in any way He so desires. So if our lot is less than we would like, we should do the following:
1. We should look at ourselves very closely, even asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to us any wrong direction which we might be engaging, which can definitely hold back the Blessings of God. The Holy Spirit can­not sanction wrong doctrine, wrong direc­tion, self-will, or sin.

2. If we know in our heart that all is right, and to be sure, that’s not difficult to deter­mine, and our lot in life is less than we might think it ought to be, we should acquiesce to the Will of God, thanking Him for what in fact He has seen fit to give us. We must al­ways remember that God is good! And as the song says, He’s not good just some of the time, but He is good all of the time.
If our lot in life, be it physical, financial, domestical, or otherwise, is less than it seems it could be, and if despite our importunity the Lord hasn’t seen fit to change it, we must remember that whatever our lot is now, it’s only for a short time. By comparison with eternity, in ages to come, it won’t even be remembered. Remember this, your hope and my hope, and in fact the hope of every true Believer, is focused on “a better Resurrec­tion” (Heb. 11:35).
The composite is:

The word “all” claims every single Believer before the Cross.

They passed the test, and did it through faith.

None of these received the Promise, which refers to the coming Messiah, the sum and substance of all the Old Testament Prom­ises (Lk. 1:67-79; Rom. 1:2-5). The next Verse which we will momentarily address, explains this.


The short phrase, “And these all,” is meant to claim by the Holy Spirit, those who saw great miracles and those who didn’t. They’re all put in the same category. This means that the miracles were not the yard­stick of measurement, but rather “Faith.” Unfortunately, the modern Church has a ten­dency to judge one’s faith by yardsticks which present a wrong measurement. Tragically, the modern judgment too often centers up on monetary things, which is about as far removed from the True Gospel as anything could be.
True Faith, while at times bringing about the miracles, signs, and wonders mentioned, rather develops Christ in one’s life. The Fruit of the Spirit is the criteria of this Faith, i.e., “Christlikeness!” If we fail to see that, then we fail in our understanding of Faith.
The phrase, “Having obtained a good re­port,” refers to that soul judged accordingly by the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, much of the modern Church ignores that of the Spirit, having devised its own scheme. The “good report” is all based on Faith in Christ, and Faith in Christ alone. Unfortunately, much of the Church seeks to add to that. In other words, it’s Christ plus, which God cannot ac­cept. And more unfortunate still, many if not most Preachers, and even the people, opt for the good report given by man, rather than that given by God.
I’m concerned that most of the Readers, not being Preachers, would have some diffi­culty in understanding this of which I speak. Let me be a little clearer:
Satan is very subtle in his approach. Ac­tually, he is a religious figure, and as such, he is well versed in religious ways. In other words, as an angel of light (II Cor. 11:13-15), he deceives many. And how does he do that?
In the first place, he generally always has some “Truth” mixed in with his “lie.” The truth serves as the bait, and the Believer is pulled in, and not realizing what is happen­ing, oftentimes takes the bait and thereby the “lie.” And what type of lie are we speak­ing about?
Anything that is not strictly and purely Faith in the Cross of Christ and that alone, is a “lie.”
For instance, there is nothing spiritually or Scripturally wrong with Denominations, whether forming one or belonging to one. Ideally, they can serve as a tool to help fur­ther the Cause of Christ; however, oftentimes, and in fact almost all the time, the leaders in these Denominations gradually attempt to turn them into something spiritual, which they aren’t, and can never be.
By that I mean, they project the idea that belonging to their Denomination equals Sal­vation. While some will not go that far, many project the idea that if one belongs to their

particular Denomination they are spiritually superior, and if they do not belong to that certain group, while they might be a Chris­tian, they are something less.
In fact, this is not an isolated thing, in­corporating itself in almost all Denomina­tions, and even local Churches. In fact, the great criteria for spirituality presently, is sim­ply to belong to a certain Church, etc. This goes under the idea of “covering.”
In other words, it is taught that if you belong to a certain Church, that you enter into its “covering,” which means that you are protected, blessed, etc., which also at the same time means that if you belong to other Churches, that you do not enjoy this protec­tion, etc.
As stated, it’s all very subtle, and is all ladled out with great religiosity. But the truth is, “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified” is no longer the criteria for all things with God. They have gradually substituted something else to take its place. In other words, they have taken the faith of the individual from Christ, and moved their Faith over to the De­nomination or that particular local Church. The object of faith has now changed, and has done so very subtly, so subtle in fact, that most Christians hardly know what has hap­pened. They have come to believe the “lie.”
These Christians, and they number into the millions, who follow such directions, are now given a “good report”; however, what they don’t realize, is that their “good report” is that given by man and not God.
In all of these scenarios, the people actu­ally get the very opposite of what they are told. In other words, instead of getting protection and blessing, the end result, and without ex­ception, will always be “works of the flesh” (Gal. 5:19-21). If one’s Faith is not totally and completely in “Jesus Christ and Him Cru­cified” there is no way that the results can be anything else than “works of the flesh.”

I do not think it is possible for a Believer to stay in such an environment, and at the same time, continue to have proper Faith in Christ. Such Churches, and to be sure, they make up the far greater majority, are not preaching Christ, but rather “another Jesus, by another spirit, which is presenting another gospel” (II Cor. 11:4). It is virtually impos­sible for a Believer to stay in such a spiritual climate, without the “leaven ultimately leav­ening the whole lump” (Gal. 5:9). Under such circumstances, the Holy Spirit through Paul plainly taught that under such circum­stances, “Christ is become of no effect unto you” (Gal. 5:4). If that course is maintained, he also stated that such a person would “be entangled again with the yoke of bondage”
(Gal. 5:1).
You as a Believer, and because it’s so very, very important, should carefully inspect what your Pastor is preaching. Is he preaching the Cross, or other things? If he’s preaching more “other things” than he is the Cross, you might give him this Commentary on Hebrews. If he ignores it, you would be best finding an­other place to attend Church.
Of course, there will always be a price to pay to follow the Lord. Many times we have to go against family and friends. But what is more important, the “good report” given to you by the Lord, or the “good report” given to you by men?
Please remember this: the price that you are called on to pay, whatever it might be, is far less than the price paid by many of these mentioned in the latter portion of the Elev­enth Chapter of Hebrews.

The short phrase, “Through Faith,” pro­claims the only manner, in which this “good report” can be obtained.
Always and without exception, even as we have repeatedly stated, when the words “be­lieving” or “Faith” are used in the Bible, at least as it pertains to the Lord, traces back to “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified” (I Cor. 1:18, 21, 23; 2:2).
The word “faith” is bandied about in the modern Church in all types of ways; how­ever, if it’s faith in anything, and no matter how religious it might sound, except the Cross of Christ, then it’s not faith that God will recognize. In fact, when most Christians exclaim that they have “Faith in Christ,” the truth is, most hardly know what they mean by that statement. They think they under­stand it, but regrettably, most don’t!

When asked what thy mean by that, most would answer, “I believe Him,” or words to that effect. While of course, all of this is true and correct as far as it goes, the truth is, it doesn’t go far enough. If that’s as much as the Christian knows, it is just about certain, whether the Christian will admit it or not, that such a one is living in spiritual defeat.
Faith must always have as its object the “Sacrifice of Christ.” This means, even as we have just portrayed, such faith must not be divided with the Church, Preachers, good works, manifestations of the Spirit, or any­thing else for that matter. While all of these things we have mentioned, may or may not be good in their own respective right, those things didn’t die on the Cross for you. The problem with the Church is by and large ac­cording to the following:
Many if not most in the modern Church look to the wrong thing as it regards their “Source.” While they always speak of the Lord as their Source, most of the time, whether they realize it or not, they are look­ing toward a Church, or a Preacher, or their good works, or something else.
The Believer must know and understand, that every single thing he receives from the Lord, and irrespective as to what it is, is given to him in one way only, and that’s through the Sacrifice of Christ at the Cross, and our Faith in that. That’s the way the Holy Spirit works, and the only way He works. Jesus plainly said of the Spirit, “He shall glorify Me” (Jn. 16:14). That means that He will not glorify the Church, will not glorify Preachers, will not glorify good works, will not glorify anything for that matter, except Christ. How does He glorify Christ?
He glorifies Christ in two ways:

1. “He guides into all Truth” (Jn. 16:13). Of course, Truth is the Word of God. But the story of the Word of God is the story of man’s Redemption, which was all brought about at the Cross of Christ. Therefore, in all the things that He teaches us about the Word of God, in some way, everything streams toward the Cross. This is the Truth of which He speaks.
The entirety of the Old Testament points toward the coming Christ, Who would redeem man by His Sacrificial Offering of Himself. This was all typified by the Sacrifices of the Levitical Offerings.
Now that this is done, all instruction in the New Testament points back to that cel­ebrated event. Everything is based on the Cross of Christ.
2. The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ by re­ceiving of all that Christ did for us at the Cross, and showing it unto us (Jn. 16:14-15).
After He taught this to His Disciples, He then proceeded to tell them how He was go­ing to be offered up, which would cause re­joicing in the world, but would cause them great sorrow, but then their sorrow would be “turned into joy” (Jn. 16:20). All of this, the Cross, the Resurrection, and the Exalta­tion of Christ, would make it possible for the Holy Spirit to come into this world in a way heretofore unknown. Now He would abide in the hearts and lives of Believers forever (Jn. 14:16).
The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ by taking all the things that Christ purchased for us at the Cross and making them available to us. Considering the great price paid for all of this, it stands to reason, that the Lord would want us to have everything which He there pur­chased, and purchased I might quickly add, with His Own Precious Blood (I Pet. 1:18-20).
These things which I reveal to you now, have come to me by Revelation. To be sure, it is not something new, actually being the foundation of the faith from the very begin­ning. But Satan has been very successful in pushing the Church away from its true foun­dation, which is the Cross. As a result, most Christians, and even most Preachers, hardly know the Source of their victory; conse­quently, there is little victory in the hearts and lives of most Believers. To be sure, they desire the victory, with many of them even laboring diligently trying to obtain such, but without much success. Let me give a per­sonal testimony.
In the 1980’s, the Lord gave me many, many souls. Through Television aired all over the world, we saw literally hundreds of thousands brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Regarding Salvation for the

lost, I preached the Cross, and preached it strongly. God rewarded the Message, as He always shall!
At the same time, I tried to correct the Church regarding areas which I knew to be wrong. In fact, the Lord plainly told me to call attention to these wrong directions. During this time, He also told me, that in all of this “my own would turn against me.” I’m so very glad at that particular time, that I didn’t know the extent of that which the Lord said to me. I’m not sure I could have stood it!
In those days, and by the Spirit, I knew what was wrong, but I didn’t know how to correct it, which means that I did not under­stand the Cross as it pertains to our everyday experience with the Lord. As stated, I under­stood the Cross and preached it strongly, as it regards our initial Salvation experience, but beyond that, I had no knowledge of the Cross, and in fact, didn’t know anyone who did. And in that context, the following must be noted:
Before one can properly turn the Sword of the Spirit on others, one must properly turn the Sword of the Spirit on himself. That I didn’t do, and because I didn’t understand how it was to be done, in which Satan took advantage.
Turning the Sword of the Spirit on one’s self, refers to dying to self. And what does that mean?

It is most bitter to a man to learn that all his goodness must be slain with the Sword of the Lord just as much as all his badness. God cannot give victories to “the flesh,” i.e., to “self.” Hence, “the flesh” must be “put to death” — the “old man” must die and the “new man” brought forth in a life of victory in Christ and with Christ.
This is all done by the Believer under­standing that at Salvation he died with Christ, which means that he was baptized into the death of Christ, was buried with Christ, and was raised with Christ in newness of life (Rom. 6:3-5).
This means that the “old man” has died, and the “new man” now lives (Rom. 6:6). However, our problem is this:
If we do not understand how the “new man” lives, which is by continued Faith in the Cross of Christ, we will find that the “old man” is quickly resurrected. And that’s our problem!
By the “old man” we refer to trust placed in “self” which translates into “flesh,” which refers to the effort to live this Christian life without the help of the Holy spirit. Even though the Holy Spirit is definitely present within our lives, He demands that we exhibit Faith in the Cross at all times, in order for Him to work. But the problem of most Chris­tians is, that they do not understand this.
If most Christians will think back, after they were saved, as far as the greater major­ity are concerned, the Church which they then began to attend, little directed them to the Cross, if at all! In fact, most Christians, despite living for the Lord many, many years, have little been directed toward the Cross at all. The Pastor not understanding the Cross, directs them to other things, and even though he may be very sincere, he is at the same time, very wrong. Consequently, the “old man” is resurrected, which means that the Christian is trying to live the Christian life by his own efforts, which is extremely frustrating.
That’s exactly the trap that I fell into, and it is the trap that almost all of the modern Church is in presently. While it is certainly true that the Preachers to whom we listen, at least for the most part, do not blatantly tell us to ignore and forsake the Cross, however, due to lack of knowledge in this area, they direct the Christian to “works.” Such a course is always the road to spiritual disaster. But, as stated, most Preachers, I think, do this sim­ply because they don’t know any better.
And because I didn’t know any better, as stated, Satan took full advantage of that, as he always will, which almost destroyed me.
In the late fall of 1991, at a time of serious crisis for this Ministry, with me not even know­ing if it could continue, I laid my Bible on the table and said, “I don’t know the answer, but I know the answer’s in this Book, and by the Grace of God I’m going to find the answer.”
It took nearly six years of crying and pray­ing before the Lord, even day and night, and I exaggerate not, but the Lord did see my tears, did hear my cry, and did answer my prayer.
In late 1996, the Holy Spirit began to show me the road to victory. First of all, He showed

me the Sixth Chapter of Romans. In effect, He showed me the Cross. He plainly and clearly told me from the Word of God, that the answer for which I sought was found in the Cross, and the Cross alone! And as I’ve already stated several times in this Volume, He told me as well, that my Faith must al­ways be in the Cross, for this was the man­ner in which the Holy Spirit worked.
Since that day, this Revelation has con­tinued to expand, with it becoming a total way of life, which is actually what the Word of God teaches. It is Christ living in us, and doing so by and through the Power and Per­son of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 2:20). Conse­quently, and by the Grace of God I might quickly add, I now experience a victory for which I had so long sought. The Sword of the Spirit has been applied to my own life, and to be sure, it is producing the most glorious life that one could ever have. This is the “more abundant life” of which Jesus spoke (Jn. 10:10). This is the “rest” which He promised (Mat. 11:28-30).
Now there is no longer any trust or de­pendence on “self,” or “good works,” or any­thing else for that matter, with the excep­tion of Christ and what He did for me at the Cross. My Faith is totally and completely in Him and in His great Sacrifice. This and this alone is the Christlike life!

The phrase, “Received not the Promise,” refers to the coming Messiah, as stated, the sum and substance of all the Old Testament Promises.
As I’ve repeatedly stated, all the prophe­cies and predictions of the Old Testament point toward this “Promise.” And what is the end result of that “Promise”?
Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners. He did that by dying on the Cross. His Sacrifice is what purchased our Redemp­tion, and His Sacrifice Alone is what pur­chased our Redemption. We must never for­get that.
Irrespective that the Old Testament Saints received not the Promise, in other words Jesus didn’t come before their deaths, still, they died in Faith, and Faith I might quickly add that He would come, in which He definitely did. Now let’s look at the next Verse which sheds more light on “the Promise.”
The structure is:
From the very time of the Fall, God began the process of providing a perfect Sal­vation.

This “better thing” is the Sacrifice of God’s Son, which would provide this perfect Salvation.

All the Old Testament Saints were made perfect (a perfect Salvation) by that Sacrifice, exactly as we are presently.

The phrase, “God having provided some better thing for us,” presents that which God had promised to Abraham (Gen. 22:14).
Of course, we do not have an account of all that went on between the Lord and Abraham that particular day when the Pa­triarch was to offer up Isaac, but we do know, that more than likely, a lot more was said than the information we are given, because Abraham “called the name of that place Je-hovah-Jireh.” The name actually means, “the Lord will provide.” That of course is a con­firmation of what God said in the Garden of Eden immediately after the Fall, concerning the seed of the woman, which would bruise the head of Satan (Gen. 3:15).
Of course, that which the Lord was to provide, was a Redeemer Who would bring forth Redemption for lost humanity. That Redeemer was and is the Lord Jesus Christ.
As we have stated concerning the Old Testament Saints, they “did not receive the Promise,” they only foresaw that it would be fulfilled and died in that Faith. But this failure to obtain the fulfillment of the Prom­ise was not due to any slackness on the part of God, nor to any defect in their Faith; there was a good reason for it, and that reason was that “God had in view some better thing for us.” The “better thing” is that which this Epistle has made it its business to ex­pound, the perfecting of God’s people by full communion with Him mediated by the per­fect Revelation of His Son and His perfect

Covenant (Heb. 8:7-13), and His better Sac­rifice (Heb. 9:23).

“Better” in the Greek is “kreisson,” and means “greater, strength, stronger, best.” It is used here repeatedly by Paul in this Epistle to the Hebrews with a definite theological significance.
Paul penned this letter to the Hebrews to encourage and to strengthen wavering He­brew Christians. His argument to those con­verts who were deeply rooted in Old Testa­ment traditions is that the Gospel of Christ is far superior and that Jesus in fact fulfilled what the Old Testament merely promises. In this argument, the Apostle often uses the word “better” to show ways in which Faith in Jesus and what He did at the Cross are superior to the Faith of the Old Testament that it supplants.
Jesus’ Gospel is superior, for Jesus is su­perior to the Angels, who are considered mediators in a sense of the Old Testament Message to man (Heb. 1:4). However, Jesus brings a superior hope, which enables us to approach God Himself and does not leave us standing outside a drawn veil (Heb. 7:19).
The Son of God provides a superior Cov­enant relationship (Heb. 7:22; 8:6), anchored in better Promises (Heb. 8:6). All this is guaranteed by a better Sacrifice than that of the animals offered on Old Testament Altars (Heb. 9:23).
All the Old Testament Saints were com­mended for their faith, but we have more, we are recipients of what they hoped for, as God in Jesus has planned something better for us (Heb. 11:40).
How wonderful it is to realize that in Jesus, and His great Sacrifice on the Cross, that God has provided the very best for you and me!

The phrase, “That they without us should not be made perfect,” lays the stress not nec­essarily on the Church to which this phrase points, but rather on Christ Who would make it all possible for both the Old Testament and the New Testament Saints.
Alford says: “The Advent and Work of Christ has changed the estate of the Old Testament Fathers and Saints into greater and perfect bliss; an inference which is clear in many other places in Scripture. So that their perfection was dependent on our per­fection: their and our perfection was all brought in at the same time, when Christ ‘by one Offering perfected forever those who are sanctified’ so that the result with regard to them is, that their spirits, from the time when Christ first descended into Paradise and then ascended up into Heaven, enjoy heavenly blessedness, and are waiting with all who have followed their glorified High Priest within the Veil, for the resurrection of their bodies, the Regeneration, the renovation of all things.”
The idea of all of this is, at least as it re­gards the Old Testament Saints, that the blood of bulls and goats could not take away their sin, so even though they were saved, the sin debt still remained. The sin debt was re­moved when Christ did on Calvary, and be­cause the sin debt was removed, Satan could no longer hold the Old Testament Saints in captivity down in Paradise, which Jesus spoke of in Luke Chapter 16. When He died on the Cross, thereby satisfying the demands of Heavenly Justice, which means that all sin was then atoned, past, present, and future, at least for those who have believed, who do believe, and who would believe, Satan then had no more legal claim on the Old Testa­ment Saints, or anyone for that matter who places their Faith and Trust in Christ and what He did at the Cross. Regarding these Old Testament Saints, Jesus literally went down into Paradise immediately upon His Death at Calvary, and liberated them from that pit, and took them to Heaven (Eph. 4:8-10).
The whole thing as Paul gives it here, actually presents itself in two parts. The fa­thers had one part “in the Promises,” and we the other “in the fulfillment,” and neither would have been complete without the other.
Christ was predicted in the Old Testa­ment, even from the very beginning, and of course those predictions were fulfilled in His First Advent.
The “better things” referred to here as possessed by Christians, are the privilege of seeing those promises fulfilled in the Messiah; the blessings resulting from the Atonement;

the more expanded views which we have un­der the Gospel; the brighter hopes of Heaven itself, and the clearer apprehension of what Heaven is which we are permitted to enjoy.
The argument of all of this is, that if the Hebrew Christians went back into Judaism, thereby forsaking Christ, they would be for­feiting all of this, which would be a tragedy of unparalleled proportions.
Considering that all the Old Testament Saints died in the Faith, thereby looking for­ward to that which was to come, and now that it had come, for these present Hebrew Chris­tians to apostatize, would be tragic indeed! If the Old Testament Saints, under the influ­ence of the mere “Promise” of future bless­ings, were enabled thus to persevere, how much more reason is there for us to perse­vere, who have been permitted, by the com­ing of the Messiah, to witness the perfection of the system!

There is no part of the New Testament of more value than this Chapter; none which deserves to be more patiently studied, or which may be more frequently applied to the circumstances of Christians. These invalu­able records are adapted to sustain us in times of trial, temptation, and persecution; to show us what Faith has done in days that are past, and what it may do still in similar circum­stances. Nothing can better show the value and the power of Faith, or of a true experi­ence with Christ, than the records in this Chapter. It has done what nothing else could do. It has enabled men to endure what noth­ing else would enable them to bear; and it has shown its power in inducing them to give up, at the command of God, what the hu­man heart holds most dear.
Among all of these lessons which we may derive from the study of this portion of Di­vine Truth, let us learn from the example of Abel to continue to offer to God the sacrifice of true Faith which He requires, though we may be taunted or opposed by our nearest kin­dred; from that of Enoch to walk with God, though surrounded by a wicked world, and to look to the blessed translation to Heaven which awaits all the righteous; from that of Noah to comply with all the directions of God, and to make all needful preparations for the future events which He has predicted in which we are to be most interested; from that of Abraham to leave country, and home, and kindred if God calls us to, and to go just where He commands, through deserts and wilds, and among strange men; and like him, also, to be ready to give up the dearest ob­jects of our earthly affection, even when at­tended with all that can try or torture our feelings of affection — feeling that God, Who gave, has a right to require their removal in His Own way — and that, however much we may fix our hopes on a dear child, He can fulfill all His purposes and promises to us though such a child should be removed by death; from that of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to regard ourselves as strangers and pilgrims on Earth, having here no perma­nent home, and seeking a better country; from that of Moses to be willing to leave all the pomp and splendor of the world, all our brilliant prospects and hopes, and to welcome poverty, reproach, and suffering, if need be, that we may identify ourselves with the people of God; by the remembrance of the host of worthies who met danger, and en­countered mighty foes, and vanquished them, let us learn to go forth in our spiritual conflicts against the enemies of our souls and of the Church, assured of victory; and from the example of those who were driven from the abodes of men, and exposed to the storms of persecution, let us learn to bear every trial, and to be ready, at any moment, to lay down our lives if necessary, in the cause of Truth and of God.
Of all those holy men and women who made these sacrifices, which of them ever regretted it, when they came calmly to look over their lives, and to review them on the borders of the eternal world? None! Not one of them every expressed regret that he had given up the world; or that he had obeyed the Lord too early, too faithfully, or too long.
Not Abraham, who left his country and kindred; not Moses, who abandoned his brilliant prospects in Egypt; not Noah, who subjected himself to ridicule and scorn for many years; and not one of those who were exposed to lions, to fire, to the edge of the sword, or who were driven away from society

as outcasts, to wander in pathless deserts, or to take up their abodes in caverns and caves, none ever regretted the course which they had chosen (Barnes).
When we reach Heaven, we shall see that we have not endured one pain too much, and that through whatever trials we may have passed, the result is worth all which it has cost.
We must ever understand, that whatever be our present lot, the journey will soon be ended, and soon what are now objects of faith will become objects of fulfillment; and in their enjoyment, how trifling and brief will seem all the difficulties and problems of our present pilgrimage.
In all of this, we must remember that it is Christ Who has made it all possible. And we must also remember, that He gave us this great Salvation, this perfect guarantee of an eternal future, this eternal life, this escape from the bondages of darkness, this trans­ference from darkness to light, at a fearful price. But it was the price that He paid by the giving of Himself on the Cross. Considering that, what complaint do we have as it regards these minor annoyances.
There are very few people who suffered more for Christ than the Apostle Paul; how­ever, he refers to all of this as but “our light affliction, which is but for a moment” (II Cor. 4:17).
At whatever price, what a privilege it is to live for God!
“He, Who safely keepeth, slumbers not, nor sleepeth; “Tho’ by all the world forsaken, wherefore should I fear? “That which He hath spoken never can be broken, “Who shall harm the trusting heart when He is near?”

“He will keep me ever, where no power can sever, “From my heart, the love that hides me, in His secret places. “There in faith abiding, all to Him confiding, “Thro’ His Spirit I am sealed, an heir of grace.”
“He will keep me ever; like a gentle river,
“Peace from Him, my Lord and Savior, comes with joy to me;
“In its quiet flowing, life and health bestowing,
“Til within the gates of pearl the King I see!”

No comments: