Friday, June 11, 2010

Evidence of God: Hebrews 11

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

The best explanation for "faith" is
in Hebrews 11. I think it is one of
the most powerful chapters in the
New Testament. Sometimes, it's
hard to stay on course, in this world
of temptation and wickedness.

Even for the most fervent
believer, sometimes, God seems
very far away when we're stuck
in the Valley of Death.

Whenever I need a booster shot,
I refer to certain tried and true
confidence builders. That's why
they were written.

Paul may have written this
Epistle, but, it doesn't matter.
It's inspired, and speaks very
personally to our hopes and
faith in Jesus Christ.

Obviously written to the FIRST
Messianic believers in Israel,
of Jewish descent, it speaks
personally to me, as a bloodline
Jew, possibly of the LAST
standing  remnant re-grafted in the

Like these early Hebrew believers,
I stand at the opposite end of
the spectrum, as one of the Jews
who survived to  come full circle:
from generations of Jews, not converted,
whose eyes were blinded to fulfill the
glory of God by spreading the Gospel
to the Nations.

I bear the strange psychic scars of my
heritage, both glorious and profane, and
relate to their ordeals of being cast out of the
Promised Land, forced to sojourn
 through the wilderness, through the
mountains, being reviled, making new
settlements,  facing expulsions, pushing
farther, spreading to the four corners of
the globe, wandering in all conditions of
persecutions, watching their children
being slaughtered, and finally, losing
their religion.

 I am the last of those 2000 years and
600 generations of abandonment,
disillusionment,  atheism, and

Seeking mystical enlightenment, while
young, without acknowledging the LORD,
was a path to the far left, which left me
teetering on the edge of a cliff with
nothing but darkness beneath me..

Oh, what a fall.

My salvation was more than a
form of self-justification, or
delusional thinking. I was fortunate
to be picked up and given the
choice to partake of the mercy and
compassion of our LORD.

He knew I didn't stand a chance.
I literally was saved from death
by divine intervention. I'm not
going to give my witness, but,
this is my belief that if I didn't
grab His kind Hand, I would
have gone *SPLAT*!! I would
have been well-deserving of Hell,
 and eternal damnation, which I
understand to be eternal
separation from God's love,
 his peace, light,warmth,
his glory and joy.

I don't know if there are "lakes
of fire" or what Hell means.
I have no insight into the
visions of Dante.

I do know that any time I've
lost my faith, or drifted back
to the "other side", the hopeless
pit of blackness that engulfed
me was Hell, so, that is scary
enough for me.

In fact, this chapter in Hebrews
expresses the only requirement
God seeks for acceptance in
His Kingdom is the recognition
of who HE IS, and that HE IS

That seems fair enough to me.
 If we deny God, why should we
 be entitled to live eternally in
His Luminous Presence?

What a small caveat of acceptance,
in exchange to be held guiltless of
our transgressions, no matter what
they were, and called, "brothers"
or "saints" by actual adoption
into the brotherhood of the celestial
angelic beings that are eternal.

 The darkness of denial is ludicrous
to me, knowing how easy it is
to please the LORD.

In his infinite mercy and kindness,
He recreated me, and I can't even
relate to the life before Him.
I've been chastised every time
I've strayed,  and I hate to admit
to too many transgressions
to count.

He is faithful to forgive, and I
believe I have been given mercy
and grace, not to mention
forgiveness for my past.

However, like the early Hebrew
believers, I have faced persecution,
and condemnation from my own
family members and culture.
I have been scorned by the world,
in general, because, even Gentiles
seem offended by my inclusion in
Christianity. It's a weird thing.

This chapter in Hebrews speaks to
all of my experiences, as well, as
resonating with what the original
Church was experiencing.

The writer of Hebrews reminds us
of the origin of our bloodline in
Abel and Enoch, who achieved
salvation through faith, in the
aftermath of the fall.

He then establishes the lineage
of grace, starting with Abraham,
Isaac, Jacob, then Joseph and
finally, his two sons,
which was the foundation of
tribes of Judaism.

Each, in their own way, especially,
Abraham and Sarah, were challenged
to abandon their indigenous pagan
 cultures in Canaan, and Mesopatamia,
to face life in the wilderness as
wanderers and pilgrims.

So faithful was Abraham, that he
was willing to sacrifice his only
begotten son, the apple of his eye.
Herein is the covenant forged,
between YHWH, and His Plan
of eternal restitution. Abraham's
gesture was halted when a surrogate
sacrifice, in the form of a ram, was
deemed acceptable.

This is the story of salvation, in a nutshell.

Christ is the Lamb Of God. In
fact, that is one of His Names.

The ancients had hopes and dreams of
the Kingdom of God that speaks to
me, today.

It's funny, because when I try to
justify my Judaism in Christ, to
those of my tribe, I mention Abraham,
Jacob, Moses, and even David, the
most infuriating reply I usually
encounter is that they do not
believe that any of these people
actually existed!

In fact, usually, only a few rabbis
seem to indicate that they believe
they were real people, and even
some of them refer to them as if
they were symbolic allegorical
figures, like Greek mythological
gods and goddesses..

So, how do I justify my Judaism
in Jesus Christ, to Jews who don't
believe in Abraham or Moses?

The writer of Hebrews does use
 Moses' birth, life as a son of Pharaoh
and latter days, as the "Lawgiver"
 as an effective analogy to our
experience in leaving our comfort
zones, and often, our families, to
head to the wilderness, and the vast
unknown, just on "faith."

This metaphorical "Egypt" is
an effective tool to understand
many sacrifices we make, and the
temptations of a land where we
feel at home, but, actually live
under the bondage of others.

Egypt is used as the symbol of the
world, where we either serve as slaves,
or like Moses, as overlords.. Not many
Jews even recognize the fact that Moses
was literally one of the sons of Pharaoh,
since his daughter adopted him.

So,. when he returned to his throne,
it was as someone brought up in that
court and family of Pharaoh. This
man was considered an incarnation
of the "Sun God" and for Moses to
abandon the family, then return to
demand the release of his biological
people, Pharaoh was all the more
incensed and obstinate. He hit that
nerve straight on.

"Let my people go" was a stab in the
heart to a man who raised him, and
considered him a grandson. Even
worse, he's leaving as well, turning
his back on a man who was considered
a god, so, he was committing a sacrilege,

The confrontation with Moses
was so much more intense than
the Passover ritual depicts.

Hebrew 11 expresses this as an
encouragement to us when we meet
resistance from our own families.

We have to sometimes submit to
God first, and turn against the wishes
of our family elders, who have
been so good to us, and who had
imparted their sacred culture
and traditions. Their investment in
us becomes a personal affront,
when we choose to follow the
cross, pass over into a nebulous
future, in distant land,  with a
completely alien culture that they
often cannot comprehend. With
Moses, his that meant spurning
and cursing the man who he
knew as his grandfather.

None of those called out of Egypt lived
to see Israel, only the subsequent generation.
We may not live to see New Jerusalem
descending from the heavens, but, we pass
the hope down to the next generation, who
perhaps will be the ones who will cross over
the Jordan.

I have wanted nothing more in my
life than to be chosen by God,
for even the most humble purpose
of serving Him. I want nothing more
from my eternal life, from this day
to forever, to worship Jesus Christ.
It's hard to explain this type of
love to others, if they've never
experienced Him.

There's nothing in this world that
I would trade for His love, and I
long to see His face.

Moses was willing to abandon all
he knew as an Egyptian, to take
up the cause of the Hebrew
people, and unlike me, he saw the
face of God and lived.

When I accepted Christ, I felt
as if my family (not my dad)
saw me as a refugee, looking for
a new family, and a new culture.

:When we regard the challenges
all the Prophets faced, in their day,
it is similar to the rejection, ridicule,
and hardships a disciple of God can
face, because we become alienated
from the world. They often see us,
as "holier than thou" and sometimes,
we become conceited and haughty,
portraying not grace, but, self-

Even I have to catch myself, constantly.
While criticizing Lady Gaga in another
post, I was reminded by the Holy
Spirit, that I could have EASILY
been her. I was being groomed,
but, I won't get into that.

It is with utter humility that I
proclaim my acceptance by a
Holy God, by the blood of Jesus
Christ, whose sacrifice was the
binder that bridged the eternal
gap between my sins, and God's
infinite perfection.

But, it is faith that is the engine
that helps a weak sinner overcome
temptation. Without faith, nothing
is possible. Without it, nothing

With faith, a weak person can move
mountains, literally, and more importantly
overcome the world, and inherit the
adoption of grace in the family of

I pray for faith, because, it does ebb and
flow. Whenever it has dried up, I feel
hopeless. When I am reinvigorated,
I actually become one with the eternal
entity that God created, and with God,
Himself, by the Holy Spirit in Jesus

I can't offer any other physical proof for
Jesus Christ than the faith of the saints
and martyrs for 2 thousand years, even,
today, in the most Anti-Christ world for
the past 1000 years.

I wish I could transfuse my faith into
those who are dying, who are without
hope, who are destroying themselves and
others, and who have accepted their
doom, or death without God's

Prayer is the partner to faith, and it's
like the water to a dry plant. It enlivens
it, and then, the mysteries open up,
like a secret book that's been coded
when you have the key.
Hbr 11:1Now faith is the substance of things
hoped for, the evidence of things
not seen.

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 report .

 3 Through 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 . 

4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more 
excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he 
obtained witness that he was righteous, 
God testifying of his gifts: and by it he 
being dead yet speaketh . 

5 By faith Enoch wastranslated that he 
should not see death; and was not found , 
because God had translated him: for before 
his translation he had this testimony ,
 that he pleased God. 

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. 

7 By faith Noah, being warned of God 
of things not seen as yet, moved with fear , 
prepared an ark to the saving of his house; 
by the which he condemned the world, 
and became heir of the righteousness 
which is by faith. 

8 By faith Abraham, when he was called 
to go out into aplace which he should after 
receive for an inheritance, obeyed ; 
and he went out , not knowing whither he went .

 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: 

10 For he looked for a city which hath
 foundations, whose builder and maker
 is God.

 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 . 

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

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 theearth. 

14 For they that say such things declare 
plainly that they seek a 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 . 

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. 

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried , 
offered up Isaac: and he that had received 
the promises offered up 
his only begotten son,

18 Of whom it was said , That in Isaac 
shall thy seed be called : 

19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up ,
 even from the dead; 
from whence also he received him in a figure. 

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau 
concerning things to come . 

21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying ,
blessed both the sons of Joseph; 
and worshipped , leaning upon the top of his staff. 

22 By faith Joseph, when he died ,
 made mention of the departing of the 
children of Israel; and gave commandment
 concerning his bones. 

23 By faith Moses, when he was born ,
 was hid three months of his parents,
 because they saw he was a proper child; 
and they were not afraid of the king's

24 By faith Moses, when he was come to 
years, refused to be called the son 
of Pharaoh's daughter; 

25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction
 with the people of God, than to enjoy 
the pleasures of sin for a season; 

26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ 
greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: 
for he had respect unto the recompence
 of the reward.

 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing 
the wrath of the king: for he endured , as
 seeing him who is invisible.

 28 Through faith he kept the passover, 
and the sprinkling of blood,
 lest he that destroyed the firstborn 
should touch them.

 29By faith they passed through the 
Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians 
assaying to do were drowned . 

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down , 
after they were compassed about 
seven days.

31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not 
with them that believed not , when she 
had received the spies with peace. 

32 And what shall I more say ?
 for the time would fail me to tell 
of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of 
Samson, and of Jephthae; 
of David also, and Samuel, 
and of the prophets: 

33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, 
wrought righteousness, obtained promises, 
stopped the mouths of lions, 

34 Quenched the violence of fire, 
escaped the edge of the sword, out 
of weakness were madestrong , 
waxed valiant in fight, turned to 
flight the armies of the aliens. 

35 Women received their dead raised to life again 
and others were tortured , not accepting 
deliverance; that they might obtain abetter 

36 And others had trial of cruel mockings 
and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds 
and imprisonment: 

37 They were stoned , they were sawn
 asunder , were tempted , were slain with 
the sword : they wandered about in sheepskins 
and goatskins ; being destitute , afflicted ,tormented ; 

38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they
 wandered in deserts, and in mountains,and
 in dens and caves of the earth. 

39 And these all, having obtained a 
good report through faith, received
 not the promise: 

40 God having provided some better 
thing for us, that they without us should not
 be made perfect .

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