What is Faith

January 20, 2009

Hebrews says that Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But, I’d like to offer another definition. Faith is obedience in action. Hebrews tells us that Abraham believed God and it was accounted unto him as righteousness. Yes, Abraham believed God. But, the important thing is thae he believed God enough to act on it. Abraham actually got up and moved to another place. If Abraham had simply said, “Yeah, I believe you”, but had not followed up with action, would that have been faith?

God calls us to do absurd, rididuclous things. When God sent Moses to Pharoah, he already gave Moses several signs. There was the burning bush, the rod that became a serpent, and Moses’ hand that changed. But Moses still wanted a sign. God told him to go and tell Pharoah, “Let my people go” and when Pharoah refuses, that will be a sign. It’s like God saying go tell the bank to loan you a million dollars because your new idea is going to be the biggest thing ever. But, when they laugh at you and escort you out to the sidewalk, THAT will be a sign unto you that yyou will succeed.
Think of the shepherds who were met by angels and told to go to Bethlehem and find a babe lying in a manger. As if the angels weren’t enough! So what if there was a child lying in a manger of stable outside an inn in an overcrowded city full of people travelling to take a census. That really isn’t any more out of the ordinary than today finding a child left in a dumpster. But, to believe that that child is going to be a King is something altogether awesome.

Advertisements

Table of Nations

January 7, 2009

The Table of Nations is one of the most overlooked passages in the Bible. Most people look over it without really looking at what it says or its implications. The Bible says that God has made from one blood, all nations of man. Also, I can remember a National Geographic article several years ago that discussed the evolution of race.

But, the genealogy of man is not the only reason to study the Table. Some of what’s discussed in Genesis 10 comes back later as prophecy.

8 Cush was the father of Nimrod, who grew to be a mighty warrior on the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD.” 10.

Nimrod being a “mighty hunter” is discussed in another of my articles. This mighty hunter was a hunter of men. He captured men by beguiling them. “before the LORD” means “in the face of the LORD” or “in opposition to”. Incidentally, Nimrod, is said to come from the Hebrew Ni murud which means “the fool” or “the rebel”. Nimrod is thought be an insulting nickname for Gilgamesh, the first king of Babylon.

The Table can also reveal to us who the Magog are as they play an important role in prophecy. See Ezekiel 38-39 and Revelation 20:8. Also, the Table will help us know about the relationships between the various nations and how they related to Israel.
Noah
Japheth Ham Shem
Gomer
Magog-(modern Russia)
Madai,
Javan,
Tubal
Meshech
Tiras
Cush—(Ethiopians or Africans)
Mizraim
Put (Egypt) and Canaan Elam Asshure Arphaxad Lud Aram
Sons of Gomer
Ashkenaz
Riphath
Togarmah Sons of Cush
Nimrod
Seba
Havilah
Sabtah
Raamah
Sabteca Sons of Aram
Uz, Hul, Gether, and Meshech

Sons of Javan
Elishah
Tarshish
Kittim
Rodanim Sons of Mizraim
Ludites
Anamites
Lehabites
Napthuhites
Pathrusites
Casluhites(from where the Philistines came)
Caphtorites Sons of Arphaxad
Shelah
Shelah was the father of Eber from which we get the name “Hebrew”

Eber had two sons, Peleg and Joktan
Sons of Canaan
Sidon
The Hittites
Jebusites
Amorites
Girgashites
Hivites
Arkites
Sinites
Arvadites
Zemarites
Hamathites Sons of Joktan
Almodad, Sheleph
Hazarmaveth, Jerah ,Hadoram,
Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah
Jobab

 

 

Okay, so I don’t post often.  Part of that is because, I like to do a bit of research on topics before I jump into them.  Also, I’m trying to dig into stuff that most Christian know very little about.  And I’ve been literally going through the Bible a chapter at a time covering topics.  My next planned post was going to be on the Table of Nations–but. . .

In my personal Bible study, I’ve really come into something that needs to be talked about more in the Church today.  It’s a topic that most people don’t like to talk about and at most when we talk about it, we skim the surface like a pebble across a pond, not dive into it and plunge its depths.  So, I’m skipping the OT commentary for a while and jumping into the NT.  What I’m talking about is Matthew 7:21-23.

21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Whoa!  There it is!  Did you catch it?  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven”.  Wow!  That means a lot of people who think they’re saved now, will be sorely disappointed come that Day.

In verse 22, he goes on to say that many will say “‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform miracles?’  Then, I will tell them plainly, I never knew you.  Away from me you evildoers!”

To be totally honest, this verse has always made me a little uneasy.  I mean, you think you’re saved on that you’re on the Glory Land Way.  Right?  And then boom!  Jesus just pulls the rug right out from under you. 

But, I don’t quite think it works that way, either.  Jesus gives us several points here that we need to take into consideration.

In verse 23, he calls them “evildoers”.  Well, who are evil doers?  The obvious answer is those who do evil.  Those who rebel against the Law and God.  It is possible to go to Church on Sunday and live like hell on Saturday.  Conversely, he says in verse 21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven”.

So, who’s going to heaven?  The one who does the will of the Father.  That’s right.  So what is the will of the Father?  This doesn’t necessarily mean finding the “will” for your life like whether or not to take that job offer.  No, this is about doing the basic will of God.  Let’s bounce back to the OT for just a second and look at Deut 10:12

12 And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?

The will of God is that we fear Him, we walk in ALL His ways, love Him and serve Him and to observe His commands.

One last thought.  If you go back to Matt 7:15-20, we learn that you can tell a tree by its fruit.  And that every tree that  does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions.  But I do set goals.  This year, I hope to bear more good fruit in my life and I hope you will too.

May God shower his blessings on you

Happy New Year

January 1, 2009

Kind of getting away from my typical post, I wanted to say that last night, I want to the annual New Year’s Gospel Sing in Charleston, WV at the municipal auditorium.  The performers were Tony Gore, The Isaacs, Brian Free and Assurance, and several more!

I would encourage anyone who loves good Southern Gospel or Bluegrass music to come out next year.  The attendance was kind of slim this year, I would really hate to see this annual event come to an end because the word isn’t getting out.  Even if you’re not into that “twangy” bluegrass type stuff, Southern Gsopel has a bit of a modern country feel to it.  I recommend you check these sites.

http://www.brianfreeandassurance.com/

http://www.tonygore.com/

http://theisaacs.musiccitynetworks.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beOG_DF6UwY