NOW FAITH

(You can listen to this study by audio, and you can pause the audio to follow page links, then resume when you are ready. Please note that I use page links in lieu of references or footnotes for important details of this teaching.)

ABRAHAM, BY FAITH

Has a coddled and pampered postmodern Church has produced generations of coddled, pampered, spoiled and rebellious people. The time has come, and is now, that they do not tolerate sound doctrine; always wanting to have their ears tickled, they accumulate teachers in accordance with their own desires, and they turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

Are we that generation who calls evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitutes bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Are we that generation who is wise in our own eyes and clever in our own sight!

Who are heroes in drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing intoxicating drink, who declare the wicked innocent for a bribe, and take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!

As a tongue of fire consumes stubble, and dry grass collapses in the flame, so our root will become like rot, and our blossom blow away like dust; for we have rejected the Law of the LORD of armies, and discarded the word of the Holy One of Israel.

For this reason the anger of the LORD is burning against His people, and He has stretched out His hand against us and will strike us. The mountain will quake, and our corpses will lay like refuse in the middle of the streets.

Despite all this, His anger is not, yet all spent, but His hand is still stretched out. (See the prophetic Word of Isaiah, chapter 5)

Now is the time that we return to Him and live not by our selfish and self-centered faith, but, according to the faith shown to us by our fathers of long ago:

Hebrews 11 is our source material, paraphrased and personalized:

Verse 1.  “It must be now that we return to the faith that is the certainty of things expected, the proof of things not yet seen. Verse  2 Now, we must return to the faith that the people of old obtained a good testimony.

Verse 3. Now, we must return to the faith that causes us to understand that the world has been created by the word of God so that what is seen has not been made out of things that are visible.

Verse 4. Now, we must return to the faith that Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he was attested to be righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.

Verse 5. Now, we must return to the faith by which Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for before he was taken up, he was attested to have been pleasing to God.

Verse 6. “We must know that without faith it is impossible to please Him, for the one who comes to God must believe that He exists, and that He proves to be One who rewards those who seek Him.

Verse 7. Now, we must return to the faith that, Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Verse 8. Now, we must return to the faith that Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he left, not knowing where he was going. Verse 9. The faith by which he lived as a stranger in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; Verse 10. for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

Verse 11. Now, we must return to the faith that Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. Verse 12. Therefore, even from one man, and one who was as good as dead at that, there were born descendants who were just as the stars of heaven in number, and as the innumerable grains of sand along the seashore.

Verse 13. All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen and welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. Verse 14. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. Verse 15. And indeed, if they had been thinking of that country which they left, they would have had opportunity to return. Verse 16. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

Verse 17. “The faith by which Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and the one who had received the promises was offering up his only son; Verse 18. it was he to whom it was said, “THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE NAMED.” Verse 19. He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.

Verse 20. The faith by which Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even regarding things to come.

Verse 21. The faith by which  Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.

Verse 22. The faith by which Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones.

Verse 23. The faith by which Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

Verse 24. The faith by which Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, Verse 25, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the temporary pleasures of sin, Verse 26, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. Verse 27. The faith by which he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he persevered, as though seeing Him who is unseen. Verse 28. The faith by which, he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch them. Verse 29. The faith by which they passed through the Red Sea as through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.

Verse 30. The faith by which the walls of Jericho fell down after the Israelites had marched around them for seven days. Verse 31. The faith by which the prostitute Rahab did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.

Verse 32. And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, Verse 33, The faith by which they conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, Verse 34, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Verse 35. The faith by which women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; Verse 36, the faith by which others experienced mocking and flogging, and further, chains and imprisonment. Verse 37. The faith by which they were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tested, they were put to death with the sword; The faith by which they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented Verse 38, (people of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts, on mountains, and sheltering in caves and holes in the ground.

Verse 39. And all these, having gained approval, a good testimony through their faith, did not receive what was promised, Verse 40, because God had provided something better for those who would follow, so that along with them, we will be made perfect through Christ.

What more is to be said? The “Day of the Lord” is at hand. Be ready!

Let’s live by faith and not by sight!

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

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