FIRST-TRUMP#top..........Sound the alarm in Zion..... ...........................

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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

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LEAP OF FAITH

1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb 11:)



We are told in many places that we must live by faith as a Christian. And, I suspect, this is something that everyone who flies the Christian banner will agree with. We must live by faith. But just what is "Faith"? And what should we have faith in?

According to each church, we must have faith in the doctrines that the church in question has established as "Truth." If church doctrine is truth, and we must have faith in that doctrine, then we must change our faith and our belief when we change from one church to another. I for one do not believe that faith is so haphazard as to be effected by man's suppositions. If this is so, and the faith that saves us is more stable than water, then perhaps faith is elsewhere than in church doctrine.


Paul says of faith:


1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Heb 11:)


So then, faith is based on things not seen, things that do not appear. Things which are seen then, things that can be handled and observed, are not of faith. It takes no faith to believe in that bird in your hand, but it takes faith to believe there is a bird in the bush.


Let's take a look at the word "faith" and see what it means in the Greek. (It might be kept in mind that Faith is one of the few words that are the same Greek word interpreted each occurrence):


FAITH G4102 pis'-tis From G3982; persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: - assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.


Faith then is that which we believe, that which we accept as truth itself. Faith, belief, and our concept of truth itself might be summed up with either or all of these words.

Faith essentially is what we consist of as a Christian. Therefore, attack our "faith," and we feel attacked ourself as a person, as well as it be an attack on our religious system (our church).


We now know what Faith is, but knowing what faith is, is like knowing what water is. Knowing what it is does not keep us from dying of thirst. There must be something done with that knowledge if it is to be of use to us. So, what are we supposed to do with the knowledge we now have, that is, of faith?

James tells us:


14What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?. . . 17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. 19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?. . . . 26For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:)


I think James is trying to tell us that faith is only of use if there is action behind that faith. If you, as a parent, were to have a child who vehemently affirmed that he had total faith in you, but rejected all of your advice (or even part of it) and refused to do what you told him to do: what would you think of his claims of absolute faith? Would God expect any less of His children?

Of course, in many (if not most) of the churches today we are taught that faith is all that's needed. We are taught that Jesus fulfilled all the law, and that by His death there is nothing else for us to do but to rest our "faith" in Him. That would seem reasonable on the surface, but what then did Jesus mean by these statements?


15If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. (John 14:)


9As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. (John 15:)


26And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: (Rev 2:)


21To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Rev 3:)


11He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (Rev 2:)


I get the impression from the above Scriptures that Jesus believes there is something that must be done to prove one's faith. It seems to me that verbal consent of belief is not enough to satisfy Jesus' concept of "faith."

But if there is nothing to do, nothing that we can, or should "do" (works), then why did Jesus say what He did above, or why did He say this:


27For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. (Mat 16:)


12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Rev 22:)


11And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Rev 20:)


Now, the first Scriptures referring to being judged by our works might be taken to mean we will be rewarded for our works, but there will be no particular consequences for having fallen short. But that last Scripture, where our works are judged while we stand next to a fuming, fiery pit.... Well, I think I would give the Words just a little more consideration. Add to this the following parable intended (as I see it) to explain the event.:


28Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 24:)


Here we have a parable describing what I believe to be the same event described above. (I know some churches teach multiple judgments, but I for one do not see but one in the Bible (Mat 12:36; 2Pet 3:7; Heb 9:27). And, again, although it is widely taught that Jesus does not know a real servant from an unconverted imposter, I take it that the unfaithful servant was just that, an unfaithful "servant," just as the five foolish virgins were "virgins," not imitation virgins.

I would not want to risk my eternal soul to think otherwise.


If the above is true, then our works establish our faith. If we have no works, then we have no faith. And if Jesus has abolished all works of faith, then there is no way for us to satisfy the works of faith demanded of us that will keep us out of the pit. And if there is no way for us to work, then there is nothing we can obey. And if there is nothing that we can obey, I wonder then what Jesus meant when He demanded that we obey His commandments if we want to avoid the pit?

Such a dilemma. How do we get around this?


Now, to my point of this study:


We are to live by faith. The more faith we have, the more we are in tune with God and His will for us. Is this the way you read the Scriptures also?

If we see what we have faith in, then it is not through faith that we are seeing. The more we see, that is, the more the evidence that something is true, then the less faith it takes to believe in it (consider John 9:29-41 and Rev 3:17 in this light).

In the churches there are doctrines established by great theologians, students of the Word, and those who have ofttimes been martyred for their belief. Such persons who will stand up for their belief, even to their death, must certainly have faith in what they teach and in what they believe in. For this we have the Saints of the Catholic faith who have withstood the test of fire for their faith. We have the martyrs of the Protestant faith for their convictions. This should pretty well indicate that their view of Scripture must at least be given serious consideration, if not out 'n out believed as truth. However, to believe one Martyr's view of faith, is to completely contradict another Martyr's view of faith. And if we want to really see faith in action in these latter days all we have to do is take a quick look at the Mormons, the JW's and the Bahai's. Surely they must have the "truth" upon which to base our faith if we are to use the views of the martyred theologians as a bases for our faith.


Faith goes against that which we see. Therefore, the more evidence, the less the leap of faith needed to believe what we are looking at. The less the evidence for our belief, the more faith it takes to believe.


I present a dilemma for anyone seeking truth by way of faith. I say that all the theologians are wrong. I say that they have little "evidence" by which to base a belief. I say that the theologians have a multitude of conflicting views that contradict the Word of God they are basing their beliefs and their teachings upon.

Then I add more confusion to the mix by offering an even different view of Scripture that conflicts with all the others.

On top of this, I offer many times more evidence and Scripture to back up my stance than any of the others.

Therefore, if I have more evidence to support my view, it requires less of a leap of faith to accept what I am presenting, and therefore less faith is required. If less faith is required, then, less credit will be accounted to the "believer" for believing as they do, that is, those who accept my view.


Such a dilemma. What to do about this dilemma?

Of course the simplest solution, and the one that makes the most sense, is to follow the long established doctines of those who have gone before and stood up for their faith. That is what I would suggest under normal circumstances. The problem is in determining which one we are to follow.


I say: none. I say: certainly not my views. What I say should be the last to be considered when it comes to what one should accept and believe.

I say, do as Jesus commanded us to do, and that is to follow the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures and let Him teach you what you are to believe. If this happens to also be one of the established doctrines, well and good. But if not, then be prepared to abandon your view and accept that which God is showing you.


What brought this entire study about is a question regarding Lucifer. However, it was not Lucifer that the question (rebuttal) was over, but that of accepting another view (faith) than that of the established doctrine of the church.

And such is a very good point, and one that gives me a clearer understanding as to what I am trying to accomplish in these writings.

Is Lucifer Satan? Is Heaven in the sky somewhere? Is hell a burning pit of fire? Is there a Trinity? What words should be spoken over us at our baptism? Is there a pre-rapture? Is there tongues today? Saturday worship?


Paul said:


16Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. 18Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 20Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21(Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. (Col 2:)


We're told to not judge others, and according to how we judge, we will be judged (Mat 7:1-2). Yet we continue to judge and to divide the Body of Christ over the very things we are told are of no importance. We war and fight, belittle and accuse: and this our own brother who believes and chooses to worship God differently than we choose to (James 4:1-10). Imagine the power the Church would have if it stood together against evil, rather than spent its time spitting at one onother.

None of these issues are important, yet these are the things we use as morter for the walls we build to separate us, to dismember the Body of Christ. Meanwhile, the essence of the Word, the purposes of God, the reason Jesus died is ignored and explained away. We are given just two things which we are to do, and that we must do if we are to be in God's grace, and if we are to avoid the pit. Yet, almost unanimously the churches have dismissed these two requirements and have reduced them to mere requests if they even acknowledge them at all.

Jesus said: Keep my commandments. And He said: By your works you will be judged.

Both of these, as well as the faith to do either, is not something that can be dictated by a doctrine, or a church: but rather must be an individual act taken by each of us through the Holy Spirit. And it is those who are led by the Holy Spirit who constitute the Church of God, the Body of Christ, the Bride, and the Temple of God. No denomination, no affiliation, no work, no depth of study is going to suffice. We must be "Born again" through the Holy Spirit if we are to be a part of God's plan.

And if we are led by the Holy Spirit, we will then be able to fulfill Jesus' commandment to the Church. And if we are fulfilling His commandments, then there will be no backbiting in the Body of Christ:


36Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Mat 22:)


34A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:)


12This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:)


7Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Mat 15:)

19Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 21Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 26If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. 27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:)



 

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