Understanding Bible Faith! How to Use Your Faith to Possess the Promised Land? Part 7
(Ver 1.2) This is Part 7 in a series of very advanced studies about the subject of Bible Faith. Today’s lesson will be an extended message on a subject that I just barely mentioned briefly in my last lesson. Sometimes you cannot cover everything in one lesson and so you have to spread the information out to give the details in limited proportions. I try not to overwhelm people with too much complex information all at once. Hopefully the way that I teach a subject is in an arrangement of understandable chunks that allows you to learn it a little bit at a time. When I learned computer programming, this is exactly how they taught it in school to me. They taught an introduction to computer programming class first that was the basic concepts of the subject. This introductory class was a prerequisite to the next subject of computer programming and each class became progressively more advanced. If they would have covered the advanced subjects first, they would have had no one graduate or pass, but since they started with the basics and moved to the more complex subjects many more people were able to learn it and become programmers. Well this is the way you should approach your Bible study also. Subjects in the Bible range from basic to expert levels. My Bible studies are generally very advanced complex subject studies. They are intended for people who know the basics of the Bible already. Paul called this teaching the meat of the Word of God and Paul had the same problem that I do sometimes. Paul told the Corinthian church, I could not feed you meat because you were babes in need of milk (1 Cor 3:2). I do teach some milk basics occasionally, but not always. If you do not understand Bible basics you should find a really good Bible teacher who goes over these concepts or you should ask me questions and I will try to answer them so you will be able to better understand the complex things that God wants you to learn and grow in spiritually.
We have been progressively moving through the subject of Bible faith and today I want to teach a lesson on possessing the Promised Land using your faith. Of course this is a strange concept to teach since we are not of the nation of Israel who lived in the Old Testament and many of us therefore think that this Old Testament story does not apply to us. However, God teaches us something very profoundly different in the New Testament and this is what I will cover today. If you have not been reading this series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1” first and work your way forward. Learn to look up the Bible verses that I include in these lessons in your Bible, take notes and learn to make hi-lights and underline important parts that you did not know or have never thought of before. Learn to see what the Bible says while you learn how to study the Bible and that will help you infinitely more than the things that I teach you today. If you can learn how to fish you will be much better off than depending on me to do all of your fishing for you. I hope you understand what I just said.
Heb 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
Here is a very strange verse about faith. God is comparing two groups of people, us and them. But, who is us and who is them? You have to back up and read the context to find the answers to those questions. If you go back and read chapter 3 you will find references to the children of Israel coming out of the nation of Egypt. The entire chapter is focused in on the subject of entering into God’s rest. It is implied that the promise land was the land of God’s rest. But, the rest of chapter 3 informs us that the majority of Israel perished in the wilderness and did not enter into God’s rest. God’s rest is exactly a type of something that we are focused in on today. It says in chapter 3 very clearly that the children of Israel did not enter in because of their unbelief. I have only mentioned this maybe a couple of times in this series, that unbelief is the opposite of faith. Actually unbelief is belief, just wrong belief in the wrong words. You may recall that Israel sent 12 spies into the promise land and ten returned with an evil report saying we are not able to possess it. The majority of Israel believed the evil report and as a result entered into unbelief of what God had said. So the “them” in this verse that I gave you is concretely confirmed to be the children of Israel. Now, if you go to Hebrews 3:1 you will see who it says is the “us”:
Heb 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
Obviously then Christ Jesus is said to be the Apostle and High Priest of the church. The “us” in this verse is referring to those who have believed the Gospel that was preached. These are the Joshua and Caleb type of Christians who will actually get to enter into God’s Promised Land. Is that you also? I know that is me, but you may not know that this is you. Only you can believe for you. I cannot have faith for you to be saved. Everyone is required to have faith for themselves. So that is a basic faith lesson that you should have already learned or understood from the first six lessons in this series about faith. It might have never been taught to you directly, but it was an implied teaching in many of the lessons. Just learn that faith is personal and only your faith will cause things to happen for you. Jesus never looked at anyone and said “Be of good cheer, My Faith has made you whole”. Did Jesus have faith? I believe that He did, but I also believe that Jesus could not force His faith to work for anyone else either.
So we have discovered a concept of us versus them being stated. God says, according to Hebrews 4:2, the gospel was preached to both groups, but only one group called “us” is profiting from it. The concept of mixing faith with the Word of God is what is being taught and many people do not even know this is a requirement. If you think, you can see that there are many people who hear the gospel in churches and on TV and they are never saved. Why is that? God tells us, that it is because they did not mix any faith with what they heard. You can clearly understand that faith is a freewill choice of man and a personal responsibility that God cannot override. Mixing faith with the Word of God is described to be a partnership agreement. Think of it like God gives you some faith ingredients to make a faith cake. You are taking what He has given you and putting all of these faith ingredients for a faith cake into a large bowl and then you are supposed to turn the mixer on to combine the ingredients. This is exactly what God is saying. Bible faith consists of several key ingredients that I have mentioned to you and each of these is supposed to be added in the correct order to get the proper results. Using the analogy of the cake, what if you left out the eggs or the flour? Would the cake turn out? If you have ever cooked before you know that following the recipe is a requirement for repeated results. Well, this is what God is teaching you now. Learn the ingredients of Faith and then mix them together in the correct order to get results. God does His part and you are responsible for doing your part. I have heard numerous ignorant people try to tell me I am wrong, but I ignore them because they lack spiritual knowledge. I have also heard several misinformed preachers try to tell me that God is not a formula. That salvation is not a formula. That faith is not a formula. In their minds they have rejected the truth in the Bible for their own personal interpretation of reality. If God did not want you to learn about this subject, why would God have put so many examples, definitions and scriptures about it in the Bible? You see you can clearly find that it must be very important to learn and to implement if you can actually understand what it all says. So I’m not teaching you a formula for success, I’m just teaching you the Bible and you can do with it whatever you want.
Faith as you recall always starts with hearing the Word of God. Faith then progresses through a series of steps that includes you understanding what you heard and then choosing and deciding to believe it to be the truth. I then taught you that those who believe will speak what they believe and then do what they say. This is just a basic reality of how faith works and today I am going to show you why you still need to mix faith with the Word of God to produce any positive results.
Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
Here is God telling the church that there is still a promise land left to possess. This verse is written to you and you are still required to possess the promises of God with your faith. God taught us that this is entering into His rest. We read verse 2 earlier so let’s skip down to verse 3 and see what God is saying to the church:
Heb 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Wow, this is very difficult to accept. Remember what believing is? Belief is the opposite of unbelief, so we are back to having faith. Remember that belief is accepting the Word of God as fact and that unbelief is rejecting the word of God in favor of someone else’s opinion. We learned this by studying the children of Israel and the 12 spies that they sent into the promise land. This verse in Hebrews 4:3 says those that have faith and believe the Word of God have entered into the rest. Wow, again and double wow! Do you feel like you are in rest? I just watched the evening world news and it is almost scary what is happening in the world. The evening news is reporting riots and people being killed. The price of the world basic necessity of gasoline is going sky high with no end in sight. The news is reporting escalating food prices and food shortages because of weather related catastrophes around the world. The government problems with the out of control economies of the world are in dire straits. There is trouble and confusion in every city and it appears to be getting worse and not better. So are you in rest? After hearing about the trouble it is a very difficult thing to consider. However, God clearly tells us that those who have believed have entered into rest. Rest represents the promises of God and the symbolic Promised Land. I personally believe that God is calling those things that be not as though they were and I’ll talk more about that soon.
If you recall, the children of Israel came out of Egypt by the mighty demonstration of the hand of God. God used His servant Moses to deliver the people of Israel from their bondage of Egyptian slavery that lasted 430 years. It is almost comical to not see the spiritual implications given to us in this natural historical story of deliverance. The children of Adam in the world were in bondage to Satan for 4030 years when the servant of God named, Jesus died on the cross in another mighty demonstration of the hand of God. Therefore, the deliverance from Egypt is a type of the salvation of Jesus from the dominion of Satan. Now, there are vast numbers of Christian churches that only emphasize deliverance from Egypt. They teach salvation like it is going out of style and then neglect to mention what happens in the wilderness? Does the story of the children of Israel stop with salvation? You see the story does not end at deliverance and salvation; it is only there that the beginning of the new story of life after salvation starts to appear and open up. Salvation is not the end all results for Christians in the world. If it were the end results, then we should get people saved and kill them so that they go directly to heaven. Obviously this does not make any sense does it? What we learn in reading about the children of Israel is that God had given to Abraham a land and this land was theirs but yet they did not possess it yet. God called this entering into His rest. That almost sound like an oxymoronic expression since Israel was required to take the promise land by force and to kill all of the giants that were in it. God called this fight a rest and it sounds much more like an extended effort of battle or work. That is the complexity of the Bible, isn’t it? Surely you can still see the parallels being given to us (the church) that we are required to possess the promise land. What exactly is this Promised Land that we are supposed to mix our faith with to possess today?
1Jn 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
Do you understand that God has made you promises in His word? What is the definition of a promise? This Greek word “promised” means the following “to assert something respecting oneself”. A promise is always a word based commitment to do something. If I said I promise to meet you at 3:00 PM in the lobby. I committed to do something to cause the meeting to happen like I said. This is the nature of a promise and it is totally based upon the integrity of the person who spoke the promise. If someone makes you a promise that has no moral character or integrity, then you should know not to count on it happening. This is where the integrity of God comes into play. If you are a Christian then you should know Him well enough to realize that it is impossible for God to lie. Then you must accept that the Bible is God speaking to you personally. Therefore, if it is impossible for God to lie and you can find a promise in the Bible from God, telling you personally that He will do something, then that is your opportunity to go and possess it by mixing faith with it. This is the New Covenant Promised Land which comes from an Old Covenant pattern and I’ll give you another Bible verse to help you begin to see it:
2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
What does God say in this verse? Does He not say that you have been given promises? These are not just any normal promises according to this verse. God calls them exceedingly great and very precious promises. That means that they are free, but they did not cost Him nothing to provide them to you. What God is saying is that they are highly valuable to possess, but yet we do not all possess them do we? This verse says “that you might become partakers”. You could call these people the potential possessors of the Promised Land. But, this promise land is always conditional and it is never dumped into your laps with you doing nothing. You see using the natural nation of Israel as our examples, there were many of them who died in the wilderness and never entered into the best that God had already given to them. This was the land that flowed with milk and honey and many, many never saw it. What can we learn from this lesson? Obviously according to Hebrews 4 we saw that they did not mix any faith and therefore they died without it. They heard that God had given them the land, but refused to believe it. So they did not enter into it and died in their unbelief.
2Co 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
Here is another verse from the mouth of God telling us that He has given to us “Promises”. Is there only one promise? According to these last two verses there are many promises. We obviously do not know very many of them, do we? It would be very much worth our time to go through the Bible to discover what God has promised to give us. Maybe in a future Bible study series I will do this. God definitely tells us that He has given to us promises, but like the children of Israel we are required to mix faith with these promises in order to possess them. Let’s review another Old Testament example of God’s promise and how it was fulfilled to learn some more of the concepts of mixing faith.
Rom 9:9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.
Here in this verse we are told that God made Abram and Sarai a promise to have a son. If you have read this story in Genesis, you know that Sarai was a barren woman unable to have children most of her life. So when God comes to Abram and Sarai they have a great desire for an heir, but did not know how to cause it to happen. God appeared to Abram and told him that his seed would become as the stars of the heaven and the sands of the sea shore (Gen 22:17). Yet, years and years went by and nothing happened. Sarai got desperate and gave Hagar to her husband so that they could have a child this way. We can learn that Abram and Sarai knew how babies were made, so that was not the problem. This turned out to be a huge mistake and we still see the conflict going on in the world today. This was man’s attempt to fulfill the promise of God and this never works. You cannot do by works of the flesh, what God has given to you to possess only by faith. So how did God get Abram into faith? That is a very interesting question to consider. Remember what I taught you about the woman with the issue of blood? “For she said” and then it happened. God tricks Abram into having faith. Before this next verse that I’m going to give you, Abram asks God “what will you give me seeing I go childless?” Abram saw himself as a childless man and this is not faith. What if God in the first chapter of Genesis saw only darkness and He could not envision light? Would light have come? Light came only because God could see the light inside of Him and then He spoke it out and then light was. This is the concept of “calling those things that be not as though they were” that I talked about earlier. Read this next verse that I will give you from the story of Abram:
Gen 17:5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
God tells Abram I have made you a father of many nations even before he has had a child through his wife Sarai. This is God calling Abram a father before he was a father. God tells Abram, “no longer is your name Abram, but it shall be called Abraham”. This is a very tricky way of getting Abram to have faith. If you read my last Bible lesson you understand that almost every Hebrew name has a hidden meaning and the name Abraham is no different. The name Abraham means “a father of a multitude”. Now everywhere Abraham goes and speaks his name, he is calling himself a father of many. Is Abraham speaking what God said? Is Abraham now calling himself the father of many sons? Do you understand that this is the concept that the woman with the issue of blood also did? She called herself healed before she was healed. God told Abraham you are the father of many nations and now Abraham believes God and because he tells everyone his name, he speaks it before it happens. This is an amazing faith lesson and you should pay very close attention to it. Abraham’s faith was based upon the Word of God and your faith must be based upon the Word of God. Abraham had a promise from God; you must have a promise from God also. Abraham believed God and you must believe God before you see the evidence. Remember faith is your only evidence that you possess before it happens. Abraham learned to have confidence in God and you must learn to have confidence in Him. By Abraham speaking his name on a daily basis, he began to expect it to happen and in less than a year, he had the promised son through his wife Sarah. This is how faith works according the Word of God.
So go through the Bible and find your promise that you need and then mix your faith to possess it. If you want to live a full life, then go find the promise that says “With a long life I will satisfy you” (Psalm 91:16). If you want to be healed, the go find the promise of healing that says “By whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24). These are just two of the promises of God and there are hundreds of others. If you want to possess them, do what Abraham did and call yourself with them. If you have no children or are unable to have children and you want children, begin to say I am the father of a son or a daughter. I am the mother of a son or a daughter. When you call yourself one and believe it, God says you will have it. This is how you poses the Promised Land and enter into the rest of God. Do not be naïve to think that it will happen like magic, be prepared for the enemies of this spiritual Promised Land to resist you tooth and nail. There are always spiritual giants that still exist today. However, possessing God’s Promised Land is a spiritual internal battle that will be fought on inside of you mostly in your mind. I believe that it will be worth the effort if you want to possess it. I’m sure that Joshua and Caleb were very glad after they had taken the land that was said by God to be theirs 40 years earlier. I literally poured my heart and my tears into this lesson so that I could help someone that is faced with a challenge today. I pray that you will learn to become a doer of the Word of God and not a hearer only. God Bless you all as we strive to enter into His rest. In the next lesson I will be teaching about the spiritual enemies to your faith fight.
If you like to continue reading this series of lessons about Bible Faith please go to “Part 8“.
Posted on February 16, 2011, in Bible Study, Faith, Understanding and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, Covenants, Faith, Genesis, God, Holy Spirit, Interpretation, Jesus, Knowledge, Prophecy, Religion, Revelation, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.