Section XII: From Faith To Faith

Faith is:

  1. believing in the trustworthiness of the one making a promise because of his past record,
  2. for our uncertain future in his promise to battle and defeat evil and death for us,
  3. we choose to join our self with him.

His death’s redemption for evil – whenever it happened – thereby unites us with him in his full identity including his spirit’s resurrection life.

How awful that this concept is better understood and deeply expressed by Satan’s fans in the final episode ‘The Wrath of the Lamb” of the top rated TV show Hannibal, than by followers of the actual Lamb.

“Going my way?” What a loaded question. It’s…delivered to Will with rakish charm by Hannibal…Is Will going Hannibal’s way? Is he finally becoming like Hannibal…or is he sacrificing himself to save the world…? And in the end, is there a difference?…

Will bends Hannibal to his will by saying the words he wants to hear: “I need you, Hannibal. Please…”  a truly glorious fight sequence…Hannibal and Will killing together…

...their blood-soaked embrace was payoff galore…with Hannibal getting everything he has ever wantedand in that moment I think he was perfectly content to die…Will is the one who pushes them off the cliff, but Hannibal allows himself to be backed up onto the ledge…

Shocking to equate God’s plan of salvation with a ghastly TV show? Are you forgetting that the Antichrist mirrors the Christ? This shows just how tepid the Christian church experience has become. The Bible is packed full of heroic people experiencing torture and gruesome death while battling monsters and cannibals. If this is news to you, read the previous posts on Noah, Nimrod, Abraham and Moses.

Job’s account is considered the oldest document in the Bible, predating Moses’ writings. Both Job and Moses would have drawn their information about God from the same clay tablet eye-witness family histories going back to the Adams. As proof, Job’s documented faith in God’s promise of restoration to the original Adamic sinless immortal state is the same as that documented by Moses in the book of Genesis.

“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself.” (Job 19:14-16)

The book of Job was undoubtedly one of Paul’s documentary sources for proving that the law of Moses, given to Moses by God about 2,500 years after God gave the promise of salvation to all humanity through identification with the Seed of the Woman, was never an alternative means of salvation for a select group of people which was replaced when Jesus died on the cross, but is the same throughout the history of humanity.

The traditional title “To the Hebrews” is very old. Clement of Rome seems to know the letter by this title late in the first century…In one of our earliest manuscripts…Hebrews follows Romans, indicating the book was viewed as part of the Pauline collection. In the King James Version of the Bible (1611), the book was given the title, “The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews.”

TheCouncil of Carthage (397) and also the Council of Carthage (419)…took place under the authority of St. Augustine (354–430)… Their decrees also declared by fiat that Epistle to the Hebrews was written by Paul, for a time ending all debate on the subject.

The importance of this document is signified by the arguments raised against Paul’s authorship of it.

Was Paul the author? There are certainly some similarities between Paul’s theology and the theology of Hebrews…There are other bits of circumstantial evidence, such as the fact that the author of Hebrews, like Paul, was an associate of Timothy (Hebrews 13:23). Yet…the Greek writing style of Hebrews is very different from Paul’s other letters. Hebrews has some of the finest and most polished Greek in the New Testament. Paul’s style in the letters definitely written by him is much rougher, less refined, and more informal…The vocabulary of Hebrews is also very different from Paul’s, including 169 words not found elsewhere in the New Testament (NT)…

When we place Paul’s epistles in chronological rather than canonical order, it becomes crystal clear why Paul, unlike in all his other letters, didn’t identify himself as the author. It may also explain the difference in style of Greek language style. Paul’s authority had just been soundly rejected by his base of support. If he was going to get his message across, they would have to read it first, and accept it on its own merits, rather than reject it out of hand from his name on page 1. The argument regarding the Greek writing style is easily answered by Paul’s reliance on his amanuensis Luke. These clerks were customarily used throughout the Roman empire, as much as an executive dictates to a secretary in our day. Paul additionally reports poor eyesight.

“Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And…I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me…Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.” (Galatians 4:13-16, 6:11)

It was the custom of St. Paul to add a few words of parting benedictory encouragement or admonition in his own handwriting, partly as a mark of his own personal interest in his readers, and partly as a precaution against forgery. (See especially Galatians 6:11, and 2 Thessalonians 3:17.) We have observed in the course of this Commentary how frequently the involved and broken style is to be accounted for by this habit of dictation, and, as it would seem, not very punctilious revision. We have the thoughts and words of the Apostle as they came warm from his own mind.

It makes sense that at the end of his ministry, while imprisoned, Paul had more time, and relied more on his trusted assistant, to allow Luke to refine and polish this message to its utmost clarity.

Perhaps most significantly, the author of Hebrews claims to be a second generation Christian who received his gospel from those who came before him.

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;” (Hebrews 2:3)

Here we see one of those interpretations that fits a pre-conceived purpose, which in this case is to deny Paul’s authorship. While “at the first began to be spoken by the Lord” can with certainty be grammatically referenced back to  Jesus from “God…Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2), the second phrase “confirmed unto us by them that heard him” does not rule out Paul as being among “us” who confirmed his personal salvation and understanding of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ with those who heard Jesus. See, for examples, Acts 9:10-17 and Galatians 1:13-18. Oddly, though, the word “Hebrew” is not found in the letter. How, then, is this letter assigned to Hebrew readers?

there are strong indications that the readers are Jewish Christians…The writer assumes his readers are familiar with OT stories,referring to them without elaboration with statements like, “as you know . . .” (12:17). The author presupposes knowledge of Jewish ritual, including the layout of the Jewish tabernacle and the functions of the sacrificial system. The recipients also seem to be aware of extra-biblical Jewish traditions, such as the role of angels in mediating the OT law (2:2; cf. acts 7:38; Galatians 3:19…Finally, throughout the book the author speaks of the superiority of the new covenant to the old and warns believers not to go back. The implication is that they are in danger of returning to their former faith, that is, to Judaism.

And here is where we find the reason for the arguments against the historic record of Paul as the author. And that is to file this letter as being to the Jews, and not to Paul’s Hebrew Gentile congregations. Remember, while Jews belong to the Hebrew nation, not all Hebrews are Jews. See the post Father Abraham if this is news to you.

The reason the letters is entitled Hebrews is because of the clear internal evidence for the identity of the intended recipients of this letter, not as Jews, but as the people of God drawn into one nation, reversing the scattering under Antichrist Nimrod at the tower of Babel.

  • God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers [including pre-Israelite Abraham] by the prophets (Hebrews 1:1)
  • “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; [as the Promised Seed of the Woman promised to all humanity in Genesis 3:15)…he took on him the seed of Abraham [the father of many  nations]. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people…(Hebrews 2:14-17)
  • Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus…the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.(Hebrews, 3:1, 5:9-1)
  • Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens…Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest [acting as priests] by the blood of Jesus..And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faithwe receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: (Hebrews 8:1, 10:19, 12:28)

This New Testament book is clear evidence that the Hebrew nation in existence in the Old Testament continues to be the assembly in the New Testament to which people from every nation are gathered back as God’s people. This is confirmed by Jude’s testimony.

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 1:3)

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus [Jewish and Gentile believers] and to the faithful in Christ Jesus

  • According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
  • Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself,  [i.e. to belong to his nation] according to the good pleasure of his will…
  • having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ,

It is crucial for a correct understanding of Paul’s doctrine of the New Testament Church that we recognize its place in the doctrine of the letter to the Hebrews.

Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the [historic] order of Melchisedec.

Remember – “forever, eternity” is not an endless future starting with a point in time. It is the opposite of time. Like a circle it has no beginning as well as no end. Jesus didn’t become a priest in the order of Melchisedec at a point in time, he was always Melchisedec.

the Apostle and High Priest of our profession [of faith], Christ Jesus…was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house / dynasty / family hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his household / Judaism, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be SPOKEN AFTER; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose household are we…” (Hebrews 3:1-6)

Likewise, when we are transformed into the image of Christ we are translated into a different state of being.

And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto ALL them [past, present and future to this writing] that obey him; called of God an high priest after the [historic] order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 4:14)

Ergo, while in transition to becoming fully spiritual, sons of God from all time are united together in the existing United Nations / brotherhood of saints, AKA Hebrews since Father Abraham.

Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God.” (Hebrews 5:14)

OK, lets go back to the first principles of the oracles of God to the Hebrews.

Abraham

Abraham, the father of the original assembly of post-flood international believers before there was a nation of Israel, is stated in the New Testament to continue to be the father of the same assembly of believers after the establishment of the nation of Israel.

What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?…what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness… faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness…the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was…through the righteousness of faith…of Abraham; who is the father of us all…

Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. (Romans 4)

Can we understand that becoming Abraham’s seed / children is a real national identity, based on established social principles, in effect during – and since – Abraham’s day? When we apply the full meaning of father as we’ve come to understand it in ancient culture (see post on Father Abraham if you don’t understand this), we understand the extent of Paul’s claim to Gentile believers. He is not allegorizing a relationship. He is stating a fact that Gentiles have equal standing with the physical descendants because all the children only qualify as legitimate children when they are acknowledged by the Father.

Notice that Paul inserts a plug for his unique ministry of eliminating apartheid within the body of believers when he states that Abraham is the father “of us all.” More to the point here, notice exactly what it is that Abraham and his seed are promised – to be heirs of the world, not just a piece of it as given to Israel. Paul is claiming the inheritance lost to Satan in the garden of Eden.

O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. He shall choose our inheritance for us, For God is the King of all the earth…God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness. The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham.” (Psalm 47)

Those who are identified with The Promised Seed / Messiah / Christ through the faith of Abraham are granted fellow-citizenship with all the saints,  including Abraham’s godly ancestors like Shem, Noah, Enoch, etc. back to Adam back in the day when there was only one language, ergo one nation. God is restoring his one world government.

“The elders” referenced in the letter to the Hebrews, the ancestors of all humanity, were justified by acting on their faith in the word of YHVH – which is whatever God said to that recipient in his time and culture – and this remains the way of salvation for believers of all time.

“who shall stand when he appeareth?…I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against [those] that…fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. For I am YHVH, I change not; (Malachi 3:2-6)

“the gospel of Christ / Messiah / Promise of Redemption from sin and death is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: The just shall live [vs be condemned on the day of judgment] by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17)

Hebrews Chapter 11 tracks the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith. It is the same righteousness, and the same faith. Not the faith of Judaism to the faith of Christianity.

  • [Genesis 1-2] 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.
    • For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:16-20)
  •  [Genesis 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 [in the present]
    • the first of many men to be persecuted and killed for acting on God’s notice that “without shedding of blood is no remission” of sin. (Hebrews 9:22)
  • [Genesis 5] By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death…for…he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is [in the present] a rewarder of them that diligently seek him under the direst circumstances testing our faith.
    • Three references to “translation” from mortal to immortal without going through death allow us to establish a pattern and determine that translation occurs to believers during times of great tribulation from the followers of false, i.e. lying, gods. The following is a bare bones summary elaborated upon in a later post.
    • “The words of the blessing of Enoch, according to which he blessed the chosen and righteous, who must be present on the Day of Distress, which is appointed, for the removal of all the wicked and impious…Behold! He comes with ten thousand Holy Ones, to execute judgement upon them, and to destroy the impious, and to contend with all flesh, concerning everything that the sinners, and the impious, have done and wrought against Him…you sinners, you have not persevered in, nor observed, the [antediluvian] Law of the Lord…for all you sinners there will be no salvation. For the chosen; there will be light, joy, and peace, and they will inherit the Earth…And then the Most High, the Great and Holy One, spoke, and sent Arsyalalyur to the son of Lamech…”Say to him, in My Name; hide yourself! And reveal to him the end, which is coming, because the whole Earth will be destroyed. A deluge is about to come on all the Earth; and what is in it will be destroyed.
      And now teach him, so that he may escape, and his offspring may survive for the whole Earth…And from everything, Enoch had been hidden, and none of the sons of men knew where he was hidden, or where he was, or what had happened. And all his doings were with the Holy Ones, and with the Watchers, in his days.” (Book of Enoch)
    • “the word of the LORD came unto him / Elijah, saying…hide thyself…when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD… [Obadiah] hid an hundred men of the Lord‘s prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water… the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table…Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there…Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time. And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life…and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” (I Kings 17-19, II Kings 2:11)
    • “in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure...it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, WHEN the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.” (II Thessalonians 1:1-11) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shallhe shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31) 
  • [Genesis 6] 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.
    • great-grandson of Enoch and heir to his preaching ministry during a time when wickedness escalated to such a degree that by the time God brought judgment only 8 persons were left to save. This will be the same situation in the future for believers. “then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened…as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:21-22, 37)
  • [Genesis 12] 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, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned [rented, not purchased his home] 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: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
  • [Genesis 21] 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.
  • [Genesis 22] By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. 
  • [All throughout history] 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. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but…were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth…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.”
  • Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-3)

If Jesus is the author and finisher of your faith, you must be a Hebrew.

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