Keith Hunt - Bible Story, NT - Chapter One-hundred-eight: Epistle to Hebrews #15   Restitution of All Things
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New Testament Bible
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Chapter One-hundred-eight:

Epistle to Hebrews #15

                      THE NEW TESTAMENT

                         BIBLE STORY

                  Chapter one-hundred-eight

                   Epistle to Hebrews #15

                     Chapter 11 - Faith - continued


     Noah sure had to have faith. God told him there would be 120
years for his society to repent and mend their ways. Sometime
during that time Noah was told to build an Ark for the saving of
his wife, three sons and their wives, and the animals god would
bring to him.
     A false misconception is that Noah was building the Ark for
120 years. The account in Genesis does NOT say the Ark took 120
years to build.
     The reader can go to my studies on this Website for both
sides of the question as to the flood being LOCAL or UNIVERSAL.
     Noah BELIEVED God and acted with faith on the instructions
the Lord gave him. Except for his immediate family, the whole of
his society laughed at him, rejected him, and continued to depart
from the ways of the Eternal God (verse 7).

     Abraham is called the "father of the faithful" - he left his
home with faith that God would guide and lead him in the promise
that the Almighty had given him.
     
     When I came to Canada at age 18, not knowing one single
person in the country, the first ones I met and talked to thought
I was very brave to venture out on my own to a new country, where
I was a total stranger. But, not like Abraham, I knew the town I
was to live in, I had the immigration officers meet me at the
train-station, and they had already acquired a house where I
would have board and room. Maybe it took some faith for me to do
this move from Britain to Canada, but it was not near the great
faith that it took for Abraham to obey God and pack his things
and move out to a place chosen by God for him, but which Abraham
did not know.
     Abraham lived in a strange land, new to him, and dwelt in
tents or tabernacles. He never really inherited the land, never
really established himself there in a mansion and took control as
some kind of a king over that land. But, in faith, he looked
ahead to the day when that would be the case, when he would
inherit a city from God, inherit the land as a mighty leader over
the land, and in fact over all the earth. That reality will not
come until Abraham is in the resurrection of glory, at the coming
of Jesus, to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. Abraham lived
by faith, that the thing promised, which he could not see in
reality, would be performed by God, as promised to him (verses
8-10).

     Then there was Abraham's wife - Sarah. Most immediately
think about Sarah laughing at God when it was told that she would
have a son in her old age. But here Paul floats right over that
happening and focusses in on her basic faith. at first mention of
having a son, she may have smiled, chuckled, and said, "Oh, yes,
tell me another one." But when it was said that NOTHING is
impossible with God, when the reality set in, that the Lord was
indeed giving His word that she would have a son, she BELIEVED
Him, she lived by faith, that what was not yet seen in reality
would come to pass. And it DID! She had a son of promise, who was
in figure, as good as dead, and from that one son, has come so
many as the stars of heaven, as the sand on the sea shore. 
     Though there have been millions of Jews down through the
centuries, the Jews were only ONE tribe of 13 tribes of
Israelites. The multitude of Israelites from the time of Sarah,
has indeed been as the stars of heaven and the sand on the sea
shore.

     NOTICE verse 13. THESE ALL DIED IN FAITH, not having
received the promise. It says ALL DIED .... that includes Enoch!
None mentioned inherited eternal life. None of them are up in
heaven looking at the face of God or whatever people that "go to
heaven on dead" are supposed to be doing in heaven. NONE of them
received the promise of eternal life. They had faith in what was
yet to come, after their death. They did not look back from where
they had come, their mind did not dwell on the country they left,
or they may have decided to return to their old life. No, they
looked ahead, in  faith, they looked towards a heavenly country,
they looked towards eternity, living, inheriting, eternal life,
living in a country so to speak that was heavenly. They looked
towards the Kingdom of God on earth, coming at the glorious
appearing of Christ Jesus, who will raise the children of God
from death, glorify them, give them their rewards according to
their works, and who will all then descend from the clouds, the
sea of glass, and establish the rule of God on earth, first from
Jerusalem and then eventually the entire planet.
     All of these promises I have covered in great detail in many
studies on this Website.

     Back we go to Abraham again in verses 17-19. All Bible
readers are familiar with the wonderful story of Abraham being
told by God to offer up his promised son (Genesis 22). God had
promised Abraham and Sarah a son in their old age (normally an
impossibility), and now God wanted Abraham to sacrifice him. The
faith he had developed by now, stood fast, he knew God could do
anything, nothing was impossible for the Lord to do. If it was to
be so, then Abraham knew the Almighty could raise that promised
son from death.
     We know Abraham was about to bring that knife down on his
son when the angel from the Lord stopped him. Remember also
(which is often forgotten) that the son Isaac must also have had
great faith in willingly submitting to being a sacrifice, if it
was God's will.

     Isaac himself gave blessings on Jacob and Esau, gave
blessings in faith, that what he blessed would one day come to
pass on both of those sons of his (verse 20 with Genesis 27:27).

     It was by faith that Jacob blessed both the sons of Joseph
(verse 21 and Genesis 48).
     Most Christians today have no idea of the truth of the
matter concerning Genesis 48. Most Christians in the Western
world are living WITHIN the very fulfilment of the blessings
given and promised to the sons of Joseph. Those two sons of
Joseph have become the peoples of the British Commonwealth of
nations and the great United States of America. Yes, in this
19th, 20th, and 21st centuries - in our so-called modern times,
space age world, the faith of Isaac in giving blessings to
Joseph's sons way way back in human history has come to REALITY. 
     God is MIGHTY, He is FAITHFUL, He is true to His word and
His promises. One of the greatest proofs that God does exist,
that the Bible is His very inspired word, is the promises given
way back in Genesis 48 by Isaac on the heads of the two sons of
Joseph. Read Genesis 48 and 49. Joseph was to be given the
blessings of the earth, sea, heavens. He was to be like a vine
planted by a well, whose branches would run all over the well,
spread abroad, and be physically blessed like no other peoples
who have ever been on this earth.
     History has never seen such a mighty and prosperous BROTHER
peoples as are the brother peoples of the British Commonwealth
and the United States. None of the four world Empires of the past
B.C. times can compare to the might and physical wealth of the
modern Anglo-Saxon peoples. The one time Russian Empire of the
20th century, the one time Chinese Empire of the past ages (and
maybe the one to come), the Japan Empire of the past and its
power-house economy of today, or any other Empire of the past or
present can compare in POWER and PHYSICAL MATERIAL BLESSINGS with
the British Commonwealth of nations and the United States of
America.
     You are seeing, before your very eyes, the fulfilment of the
FAITH of Isaac as he manifested that faith in a blessing on the
heads of the two sons of Joseph, way back in history as recorded
in Genesis 48.

     There was the faith of Joseph (verse 22 with Genesis
50:24,25) - who had faith that his bones would not be lost or
left behind when Israel came out of Egypt. His faith did become
reality, it was done according to his faith.

     Then there is the famous Moses. Moses' parents had faith to
send him as a baby down the river in a basket. Their faith was
answered. What Paul brings out here is that which is not found in
the Exodus account. When Moses was of age (some time before that
he found he was really an Israelite) he refused to be called the
son of Pharaoh's daughter. He had faith in being a part of the
children of God, than serve the pleasures of sin for a season. He
looked with faith to the distance beyond just this life, and was
willing to put away the life of fulfilling the sins of the flesh.
As Pharaoh's daughter, you can only imagine all the lusts of the
flesh he could have lived, "wine, women and song" as the saying
goes.

     It is interesting that Paul here says Moses had greater
esteem for CHRIST than the riches of Egypt. Jesus Christ WAS the
GOD of the Old Testament. Did the people of God know that God by
the name of "Christ"?  No, not at all, but the fact brought out
by Paul (and the Gospels) is that Jesus the Christ WAS the GOD of
the Old Testament. The member of the Godhead that Israel knew,
that Enoch knew, that Abraham knew, was the one that became the
Jesus Christ of the New Testament. This I have proved and shown
in many studies on this Website. see the studies under "All About
God."
     Yes, Moses' faith may have wavered or became weak when he
fled Egypt after striking the Egyptian task-master and killing
him (as the account in Exodus records), he may have wondered why
he found himself working as a shepherd or cattle-man for 40
years. God sometimes allows us to experience things in life that
we wonder about, or question why we are in the situation we are
in. But in the end it is true that all things work together for
good to those who love the Lord. Moses was eventually brought to
a very close contact with the Almighty in the famous "burning
bush" encounter. Moses came to look beyond the present to realize
their would be great reward in serving the true God (verses
23-26).

     It was through faith that Moses forsook Egypt and led the
Israelites out of bondage, he looked to THE ONE who is mostly
invisible to us. Moses was one of the few in history who was
given at times the privilege of seeing God in person, one time
seeing the back parts of the SPIRIT GLORY of God, as well as
speaking face to face as friends may do (Exodus 33). It was
through faith that Moses observed the very first Passover and he
obeyed the instructions of the Lord about the sprinkling of blood
so the destroyer of the firstborn sons would not touch the
Israelites (verse 28).
     It was by faith that Moses passed through the Red sea as the
waters opened up and God made the sea bed dry. The Egyptians
passing through that dry sea bed were drowned as the waters came
crashing down on them (verse 29). 
     
     What people have done through faith down the centuries of
time is truly amazing. You may have stories of miraculous faith
you have encountered in your personal lifetime or know of faith
experiences of others, that you can share with different people
as time and situations permit. Sometimes we may have to give our
lives in faith, as Paul mentions in some of the remaining verses
of this chapter.

     There was the fabulous faith it took to walk around the
mighty city of Jericho for seven days, and know that the promise
of God that the walls would come tumbling down would happen as
the Almighty had said it would (verse 30 with Joshua 6).

     Paul lists many who exhibited faith in their lives in one
way or another, people like Gideon, Samson, David, Samuel, and
many of the ancient prophets of God. Faith subdued kingdom,
wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouth of
lions (the famous Daniel in the lions den is probably the first
we think about in that regard), quenched or overcame fire
(Daniel's three friends throw into the fire pit comes to mind),
some escaped death (David from Saul comes to mind), from weakness
became strong, were brave in various types of fight, turned
armies away in defeat, women had children brought to life (2
Kings 4).
     Then some of God's people had and used faith while being
tortured, even unto death. Others had faith through mockings and
whippings, tied in chains and thrown into prison. Some were
stoned and even cut to death, went through all kinds of trials,
some killed by the sword, others destitute of many of life's
daily needs, some had to be wanderers with no large wardrobe of
clothes, Others afflicted and mentally tormented by others as
they had to wander around in the desert, mountains, caves and
dens of the earth. They all kept FAITH in their hearts, and they
all kept THE faith of God, living according to the will and
commandments of the Lord.
     Paul says of such people of God that the world was not
worthy of them. It is not the rich and the famous per se that
count with God. Riches and fame are not wrong in and of
themselves. Indeed some of God's people down through history have
been both rich and famous. But the bottom line, where it truly
counts with God is you as a person being willing to hear what the
Lord says, to walk the pathway that leads to eternal life, to
humble yourself and to love the Lord your God with all your
heart, mind, and life. Living by faith, living by the very faith
of Christ in us (Galatians 2:20) is where it counts with God the
Father,

     Notice verses 39,40. Everyone that Paul listed he said did 
NOT receive the promise, they did not inherit eternal life, not
yet. They were NOT made or glorified into immortal perfection.
God has planned and designed that THEY of the past, will not be
PERFECT IN GLORY, without US!
     We shall ALL, past present, future, be glorified to immortal
PERFECTION at the same time, at the time of the resurrection to
glory at the coming back to this earth of Christ Jesus. 
     The plain truth on the subject of death and immortal glory,
is all found in many studies on this Website.

     The FAITH chapter - Hebrews 11 - what a chapter it is. The
Bible is FULL of life examples of LIVING faith. They are recorded
for our admonition, our edification, our encouragement, our
inspiration.

                           .....................

Written April 2007


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