By Faith - Part Two

Kenya - August 2014 series
By: John Herbert | Jul 20, 2014
Heb 11:1 ¶ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Over the next weeks we are going to study the messages that will make up the Word of the Kingdom Conferences in Kenya, so that we may all get to share the experience. We begin in Part Two of these messages.

Message Notes

By Faith – Part 2 Page 1
WOK Conference
Kenya – August 2014
By Faith – Part Two
1). Heb 11:1 ¶ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. 4 ¶ By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. 7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
a). In our first session we had established that the focus of the Book of Hebrews is Christ and His coming Kingdom, something the Book itself clearly states in - Heb 2:5 ¶ For He has not put the world [age] to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.
b). And it is in this context, Christ and His coming Kingdom, the age to come, that we must place Chapter 11, the chapter which forms the primary object of our study.
c). Now, as there is so much foolishness taught within Christendom concerning ‘faith’ let’s make clear exactly what is meant in the scriptures by the use of this word. And as we should expect scripture is its own interpreter.
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Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." 39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe [who have faith] to the saving of the soul.
d). As we will know there are no chapter breaks in the original letter to the Hebrews, these have been added by the translators in order to make it easier to locate a particular scripture.
e). Here at the conclusion of Chapter 10 we find that ‘the just’, those who have been ‘justified’, who are eternally saved are to live ‘by faith’ – and more correctly, grammatically, to live ‘by the faith’ – and according to our verse if anyone ‘draws back’ from ‘the faith’ the Lord will have no pleasure in that person.
f). And that which is not to be drawn back from is ‘believing’, of having ‘faith’ to the saving of the soul – ‘the faith’ then as we see in the scriptures is believing that which God has said concerning the saving of the soul – not only that the salvation of the soul is necessary, but also what is required for this salvation to be realized.
g). So then, as we move into the beginning of Hebrews Chapter 11 we find the words, ‘Now faith….’, which because of the context must be the same faith that we see at the end of Chapter 10 – faith, believing God, with respect to the saving of the soul.
h). It is then ‘faith to the saving of the soul’ that is the substance of things hoped for, ‘faith to the saving of the soul’ that is the evidence of things not seen.
i). And it is by having ‘faith to the saving of the soul’ that the elders obtained a good testimony.
2). Now a quick word concerning ‘the faith’ – look at this verse from –
1Co 2:14 But the natural [unsaved] man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
According to the scripture the unsaved man, the man who is still eternally lost ‘does not receive the things of the Spirit’, he cannot know them because ‘they are spiritually discerned’. Although unsaved man can comprehend the scriptures just as he would in comprehending the sentences in any other book he might read, he cannot understand the spiritual truth contained in the scriptures because he has no spiritual life, no indwelling of the Holy Spirit to guide him into all truth – no spiritual reference.
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a). So then having ‘faith to the saving of the soul’ can only come after the point of eternal salvation and is then dependent upon each eternally saved individual believing that which God has said concerning this salvation. This is exactly what we find in - Ro 1:16 ¶ For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith [eternal salvation, the salvation of the spirit] to faith; [to the saving of the soul] as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
b). Here in Romans we find the same quotation, ‘the just shall live by faith’, from Habakkuk 2:4, as we saw in Hebrews 10:38 – not only are we to live our lives in the present by having faith to the saving of the soul, but if we do that then we will ‘live’, we will have life, in the age to come – the very time period that is the subject of the Book of Hebrews.
3). So, to return to the opening verse of Hebrews Chapter 11 - Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
a). That which we see here does not provide us with a definition of ‘the faith’, but rather that which is the outcome of having this faith.
b). Substance = Greek – Hupostasis = to stand under.
c). This has the idea of a foundation underlying a superstructure – that is, faith to the saving of the soul is the foundation upon which the ‘things hoped for’ [the superstructure] rests.
d). The things hoped for, we can see in Titus - Tit 2:11 ¶ For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing [lit. the appearing of the glory] of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
And we see from these verses that our hope is in connection with an inheritance in the coming age at the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ – these are the things hoped for.
e). Earlier in Hebrews this same hope is described as - Heb 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,
f). Then with our soul anchored in this way so that we should not drift away we are admonished to – Heb 3:6b hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
g). And - Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
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h). Our hope then, concerning the appearing of the glory of Christ and all that is associated with that appearing, rests upon the foundation of our faith to the saving of the soul. This is why our faith to the saving of the soul and our faith in the coming of Christ’s Kingdom are inseparable – our hope then rests upon and remains upon that which is believed rather than that which is seen - Ro 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
i). Faith to the saving of the soul is also said to be ‘the evidence of things not seen’.
j). Evidence = Greek – ‘elegchos’ = bringing to light.
k). So then faith to the saving of the soul is not only the foundation upon which our hope rests, but it is also that which brings to light the things connected with this hope which cannot be seen with the natural eye.
l). These things can only be seen ‘by faith’, only by believing that which God has revealed in His Word through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. And it is only through this means that all the various things having to do with the saving of the soul, the hope set before us, are brought to light.
m). And of course this faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the antitype of Abraham’s oldest servant searching for a bride for his master’s son – Ge 24:53 Then the servant brought out jewelry of silver, jewelry of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother.
n). 1Co 2:9 But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
o). Joh 16:12 "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 "All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
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p). It is in this way then that the things which cannot be seen except through the eyes of faith are revealed to those who believe that which God has said, who have faith, to the saving of the soul. And this has been our experience.
q). And, according to our opening scripture, it is through having faith to the saving of the soul that the elders were commended by God - 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
r). Jas 2:23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God.
s). And so, by putting some of this together we will realize that those described as ‘the elders’ were all eternally saved and were commended, not because of their eternal salvation, but because of their faith beyond that initial experience – for going from faith to faith – for believing that which God has said concerning the age to come, the coming Kingdom of Christ, the salvation of the soul.
t). And as we progress beyond the opening verses of Chapter 11 we will concentrate particularly on 4 examples of having the faith to the saving of the soul witnessed in these ‘elders’ that caused them to receive a good testimony from the Lord. And in like manner if we conduct our lives from faith to faith, having faith to the saving of the soul then we can confidently expect a good testimony from the Lord also – Mt 25:21 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
u). 1Pe 1:7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
4). 3 By faith we understand that the worlds [ages] were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
a). Here in v3 we see how the outcome of faith to the saving of the soul provides the evidence of the things not seen.
b). It is by faith to the saving of the soul alone that we understand that the ages were framed by the Word of God.
c). The word ‘framed’ has to do with setting in place in an orderly arrangement and as we see this was done by ‘the Word of God’. In other words, God said, just as we see in - Ge 1:3 ¶ Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
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e). God said, and instantly the ages of eternity past, the present age, the age to come and the endless ages of eternity future were set in place, were structured, in order and perfection in accordance with the Divine plan and purpose for these ages – a plan and a purpose only seen through the eyes of faith.
f). Hebrews 11:3 will also take us back to the beginning of the Book –
Heb 1:1 ¶ God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds [ages];
g). And by comparing scripture with scripture we can find additional commentary on v2 here in - Joh 1:1 ¶ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
h). John 1:1 of course begins in the same place as Genesis 1:1 - Ge 1:1 ¶ In beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
This foundational verse takes us to the creation of the universe and the framing of the ages; all of this being done by God the Father, ‘through’ God the Son whom ‘He has appointed heir of all things’.
i). And just as the eternal ages are structured in perfect order, so is the written word that became the living Word structured in perfect order also, so as to emphasize God’s purpose.
j). Scripture begins in a specific place and ends in a specific place with a specific structure between these two points so that the eternally saved, with eyes to see, can know by the faith God’s plans and purposes not only by what He says in His word but also through the way His word is put together.
5). Ge 1:1 ¶ In [the] beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Scripture begins with the endless ages in perfect order and ends with the restoration of the perfect order that existed in the beginning.
a). Apart from very sparse reference to the ages of eternity past and the endless ages of eternity future, the bulk of scripture concerns this present age with its focus on the age to come.
b). Ge 2:1 ¶ Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done……..21 ¶ And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
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23 And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
c). God sets out 6 days of work followed by a 7th Day of rest and at the conclusion of the 6th Day a Man is created and a Woman built from a part of the body of the Man in order that they may rule together, over the earth, during the 7th Day. This pattern of 7 days is the perfect pattern for the restoration of a ruined creation and would be used whether restoring the ruined creation after Satan’s rebellion or restoring the ruined creation after Man’s fall – there is no alternate or better method than this.
d). And then at the end of scripture, after 6000 years of work, that which is pictured in the Man and the Woman is brought to fulfillment as Christ and His Bride enter the Millennial Kingdom to rule over the earth together, just as God had set in place from the beginning. And just as the light shining in the darkness was the beginning point in Genesis so is eternal salvation which the Day 1 account pictures, the beginning point for those who will be the Bride. The intervening days then, days 2-5 from the Genesis account, picture the progress of the eternally saved from faith to faith resulting in the salvation of the soul, the salvation to be revealed in the last time; the reward that must be received by those who would reign with Christ and be a part of the Bride.
e). Scripture then, begins with a marriage relationship with respect to rulership in the 7th Day and scripture ends with a marriage relationship with respect to rulership in the 7th Day sandwiched between God’s perfectly ordered universal Kingdom from the past and God’s perfectly ordered universal Kingdom of the future.
f). This is how scripture concerning Man and the earth was given, this is how scripture concerning Man and the earth is written, all conforming to the pattern of 7 days as set out in the foundation.
g). It is only by having faith to the saving of the soul that we are able to see these incredible events laid out for us in the scriptures – it is only by having faith to the saving of the soul that we can patiently endure and maintain our diligence, as this faith gives us the absolute, irrevocable certainty that Christ will fulfill God’s plans and purposes for the ages – the 7th Day must come after the 6th day, just as Revelation must come after Genesis. There will be a wedding at Canna of Galilee and Israel will be restored and He who is coming will come and will not tarry – there must be no doubt in our mind.
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6). And so as to avoid all doubt in our minds and conforming to God’s Divine pattern Hebrews11:4-10 introduces 4 OT saints who are part of the group of elders who have obtained a good testimony who through their typology provide a panoramic view of God’s dealings with both Israel and the Church ending in the 7th Day, the age to come, the Millennial Kingdom of Christ.
a). Just to remind ourselves - Heb 11:4 ¶ By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. 7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
b). Now with respect to Israel these verses take us through the whole of Jewish history from the nation’s beginning in Egypt during the days of Moses to the nation’s restoration and return to the land with their Messiah as they enter into the Millennial Kingdom.
c). And then from the perspective of the Church these verses take us from the crucifixion of Christ through the resurrection/rapture of the ‘Church’ also ending in the 7th Day, the Millennial Kingdom of Christ.
d). And as we begin to look at these 4 OT saints let’s remember 2 things – firstly, each one of these, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, is commended for having faith to the saving of the soul. Each one within their historical context looked beyond the boundaries of the time in which they lived to that which God had promised with respect to the future – something we can see quite clearly in Hebrews 11:10 - 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all looked beyond their present to the New Jerusalem, the city which has foundations, a city associated entirely with the Kingdom of Christ and eventually the New Heavens and the New Earth – And that on which they had set their focus, the 7th Day, then governed how they lived their lives in
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their present. And secondly, for ourselves, not only does the example given be these saints provide us with a pattern by which we should live our lives in anticipation of the 7th Day, but they also provide the foundational basis for that which we are to believe with respect to all events concerning Israel, the ‘Church’, the Gentile nations and the Kingdom of Christ.
e). At face value the latter part of this for ourselves may not seem of great significance, but given the error that is prevalent within Christendom concerning events for the Church and Israel we will come to realize that believing what God has said here in these verses through the spiritual truth they contain is paramount to our having faith to the saving of the soul - Nu 23:19 "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent[change His mind]. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
2Ti 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
7). The verses under our consideration begin with reference to Abel and Enoch in v4-5. V6 then provides a statement concerning ‘the faith’ which is then followed by reference to Noah and Abraham. And that which we see in v6 - But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Reflects backward on Abel and Enoch, forward onto Noah and Abraham and leaps off the page to challenge our own experience.
a). So, let’s state the obvious – without faith to the saving of the soul it is impossible to please Him – the full impact of this needs to sink in – apart from acting out of faith to the saving of the soul there is NOTHING we can do that is pleasing to the Lord - 1Sa 15:22 Then Samuel said: "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
b). Then there are 2 things that go hand in hand with this – the one who is to please God by having faith to the saving of the soul must believe, must have faith that He is [God] and that He is rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
c). Abel and Enoch believed as did Noah and Abraham, but what exactly does it mean to believe ‘that He is’ from our perspective? Well beyond the obvious that He is the same God who dealt with Abel, Enoch, Noah and Abraham, to believe that He is, is to believe what He has done and what He has promised; to believe that He is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, an important fact given that the scripture says - Ge 1:26 ¶ Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;
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A fact that demonstrates without a shadow of a doubt that we are 3 part beings who are in need of total redemption, spirit, soul and body. To deny our tripartite make up is in effect to deny the scripture and to deny that He is. This is no small thing, particularly as we remember that so many Christians are taught and believe that Man is only a dichotomous being.
d). Then we are to believe that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Our 4 OT saints certainly believed that and to use Abraham as our example, his reward for his faithfulness is clearly stated - Ge 22:17 "blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.18 "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."
e). To seek the reward that God has for us should not be considered prideful or arrogant, but rather a matter of having faith to the saving of the soul. After all what does the scripture say – Mt 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Col 3:23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.
f). But please note that our seeking is to be diligent – this then is neither casual or half-hearted but the passion and focus of our life wherever we find ourselves and whatever circumstances we are in. Geographical location or economic status is never the issue, but seeking first His Kingdom by having faith to the saving of the soul is.
g). We will pick this up again next time.
Other messages from this series Audio Video PDF Study Notes
By Faith - Part Five
By Faith - Part Four
By Faith - Part Three
By Faith - Part Two