The American Wisdom Series

Pamphlet 1985 Hebrews kc 20-1

It should also be pointed out that in order to confess (fully acknowledge)
that one is a "stranger and pilgrim" (resident foreigner)
requires the foundational knowledge of the three world ages
which by faith we know are "fitly joined together" (Heb. 11:3) in the plan of God.

Are you "fully persuaded" that God is faithful to His Word
and that He will fulfill all the promises He has made to you?

The reason to consider the question is that there is a vast difference in just saying you believe,
which is a "blind" or "unsubstantiated" faith indeed,
and being "fully persuaded" from "seeing"
and internalizing the preponderance of evidence to the point there is no "staggering",
no doubt whatsoever in your mind, that God is faithful and able to fulfill His promises.

It is that type of "full assurance" which is the "substance", the substantiation,
the confirmation, upon which true faith and trust in God stands!

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
You see, there is nobody who has as fully documented a "track record" of credibility as our Father,
even much of which is second witnessed to by secular history itself.

To that end in this great 11th chapter of Hebrews,
Paul is giving us but a short synopsis of the witnesses to God's faithfulness
in keeping His EVERY PROMISE to those who love and serve Him!

He has already summarized for us the faith and witness of Abel, Enoch, and Noah
who became "heirs of the righteousness" which is by faith (Heb. 11:7).

We also learned and saw in our last study that God is a rewarder of those who diligently (earnestly) love and obey Him
and that without believing that He is true to His Word and exercising your faith, it is impossible to please Him.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
In today's study we are going to witness the faith and trust Abraham and Sarah had in believing God's promises,
especially in the face of seemingly impossible situations and circumstances.

The question is: "Why is it that Paul goes to such great lengths to remind us of all this?"

That's simple!

It is to increase the foundation upon which we stand, thereby strengthening our faith.

Consider Paul's words in the great Book of Romans concerning Abraham's faith:

Romans 4:19-25 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:
God promised Abraham that he would have a son, even Isaac,
though at his ripe old age of 100 and his wife Sarah's age of 90,
whose womb was not only barren but now well past the age of menopause,
it would certainly be obvious that it would now take divine intervention
to bring to pass the promise of a "seed".

"So what?", a man or woman of faith would say.

You "see", Abraham had the faith to know that "with God nothing shall be impossible"
and so he wavered not one bit in his belief that God was able to fulfill His promise.

That is true faith, dear ones!

[20] He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
Abraham was strong in faith and "staggered not",
which means he did not doubt nor waver to and fro in his mind.

And how is it he was so steadfast in his trust and belief in God?

Do not miss the REASON which is contained in the next verse!

[21] And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform.
He was entirely convinced, fully persuaded, completely assured,
that what God had promised He surely WOULD and WAS ABLE to perform.

That trust and strong faith in giving glory to God,
pleased His Father and was therefore imputed to him for righteousness!

How "persuaded" are you?

[22] And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
These next two verses are the reason we came here:
[23] Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

[24] But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

[25] Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

That's right!

The same thing applies to all of God's servants in that the "full assurance"
of your faith in trusting and believing and giving glory to God, is also imputed to you for righteousness!

That is why we have the written testimony of our elders,
i.e. to give us confidence and build up the foundation upon which our faith firmly stands.

Let us now return to Hebrews and read what Paul has to say concerning the faithfulness of Abraham, whose name means the "father of many nations".

Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
It is that "full assurance", knowing that you have the "title-deed" to the promises of His covenant,
that gives you the faith and trust in your Father to obey whatsoever He commands you to do.

In Abraham's case he was willing to give up all that he possessed in the land
to go out and sojourn in a foreign land!

You "see", he had enough faith to trust that God would provide a better place,
a better inheritance, than the one he left behind!

Also, the very fact that Abraham was willing to trust and follow God's commands
even though at the time he did not know "whither he went" is very relative to God's elect today.

How so?

Well, just as Abraham did not fully know his "destination",
i.e. what God had in store for him to fulfill according to His will,
many of God's elect also do not fully know their destiny
but are willing to trust and obey God's commands knowing with "full assurance"
that He will, in His time, bring them to fulfill their destiny according to His purpose!

[9] By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
The "same promise" of eternal inheritance which was made to Abraham
was also made to Abraham's son, Isaac, and to his grandson, Jacob,
whose name was later changed to Israel.

And would you believe that "same promise" to be His heirs
is also made to the sons and daughters in this final generation of the fig tree?

That would be to you, if you love and serve Him!

[10] For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
To "look for" is to "look forward to", as in to eagerly anticipate,
and God's elect today also "look for" that same great city our father Abraham was focused on,
even New Jerusalem which we read about in Revelation 21, whose builder and maker is God.

[Speaking of foundations, "Did you know you can be made a 'pillar' in the temple of God (Rev. 3:12)?"]

[11] Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.
This verse emphasizes the very basis of what Paul has been teaching us concerning one's faith.

You see, it is when a person "judges" in his or her own mind,
knowing with "full assurance" that Almighty God is faithful to His promises,
that he or she receives "strength" (dunamis, power). In other words,
if you truly believe in God and His Christ,
that He is true to His Word regardless if what He says "appears"
to the flesh eyes to be impossible or beyond reach,
then you have the faith to receive strength as did Sarah and Abraham
who were 90 and 100 years old respectively when Isaac was conceived.

Think about it!

This was a really old couple as far as both conceiving and bearing children is concerned.

Yet, it was to them that the promise of the "seed" was made
and so it came to pass that the promise was fulfilled exactly as God said!

[12] Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
And so as it always has and always will,
God's promise came to pass exactly as He said and that "seed" came forth even from one whose body was as good as dead.

Here is the promise to which Paul was referring in verse 12:

Genesis 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
Of course Abraham was not only promised a son,
and that his children would become innumerable as the sand of the sea,
he also knew that Messiah would come through his loins, through Isaac and Jacob.

Keep that in mind as we complete today's study.

Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Though they received many blessings even while in the flesh
because they trusted and obeyed God,
the one promise they did not receive before they died was the promised "seed"
who would come and pay the price on the cross.

However, when Messiah did come, immediately following His death
he went to those still bound by the penalty of sin and all who would believe in Him,
even back to the antediluvian period (the days of Noah),
were set free by the blood of the Lamb (1 Pet. 3:19-22).

It should also be pointed out that in order to confess (fully acknowledge)
that one is a "stranger and pilgrim" (resident foreigner)
requires the foundational knowledge of the three world ages
which by faith we know are "fitly joined together" (Heb. 11:3) in the plan of God.

In other words, we know that this temporal flesh age is Satan's earth age
and so we look forward to the heavenly kingdom.

Those who have faith, who know with certitude the promises of a "better inheritance",
embrace those promises and hold on to them endearingly,
knowing and confessing that they are not of this world,
but rather sojourners on the earth.

This is confirmed by the very words of Jesus Christ Himself in that beautiful prayer to the Father in John 17.

Concerning His disciples He said:

John 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Just like Abraham, we look forward to the city, the eternal city described in Rev. 21.

And we know that there is NOTHING in this earth age that can compare to that which is coming.

Even the trials and tribulations and sufferings in the flesh,
in these tabernacles in which we dwell for such a short time,
are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Romans 8:18 "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared
with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

Hebrews 11:14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
When we say "we are not of this world", we "make no bones about it"!

We seek an heavenly country wherein our heavenly Father dwells.

By the way, the Greek word for country is "patris" which means father-land, figuratively a "heavenly home".

country =  patris pat-rece'Strong's #G3968
From G3962; a father land, that is, nativetown; (figuratively) heavenly home:—(own) country.
[15] And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
Abraham could have returned to his former land and earthly possessions
but his "eyes" were no longer focused on earthly things, on the things of this world!

Again, he knew that he was but a sojourner in the "land", i.e. on this earth,
walking under the sun for a short time.

The point is, once your "eyes" are opened to the vision of the Father land,
the heavenly country, that heavenly city that awaits those who believe in God,
there is nothing worthwhile to look back upon!

So don't look back!

To wit, remember what happened to Lot's wife who looked back,
meaning she longed to return to the former life she had (Luke 17:33).

Such a lack of faith, which is unbelief, is not pleasing to God.

[16] But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city.
Your faith and trust in your Father, in His Word,
makes Him very happy and He is so delighted to call you His child.

And remember Hebrews 11:6 which declares that He is a "rewarder" of those who love and serve Him?

And so it is that He has prepared a beautiful new home
for His faithful children, even that glorious New Jerusalem we read about in Rev. 21.

You "see", that great city is not "wishful thinking"!

We have the concrete evidence that the Word of God is true and accurate in every detail.

It always has been and so it always shall be!

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

The "American Wisdom Series"


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