Faith Toward God by Pastor Don
Key Verse: Hebrews 6:1-3 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits.
The Scripture wants us to go on to perfection and to repent from dead works.
We are told to have faith TOWARD God. Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, the Word of God, gave instructions where to place our faith. Faith is based on a relationship of trust. It takes trust to believe something you cannot see. In the physical, we want to attach our faith to what we are experiencing and feeling, but faith is not based on experience and feelings. If it was based on observation it wouldn’t be faith. Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. It is not seeing. When we have faith toward God we are having faith toward God whom we cannot see. The apostles did see God (Jesus), but they did not see Him in the fullness of His glory. But they had faith toward God (Hebrews 11:1). They had the testimony of Christ, and believed Christ based on faith. They deposited their trust.
What we observe with our senses is untrustworthy. For what we perceive changes due to circumstances. We can trust faith that is not based on feelings or experience. Faith is a free gift given to us by God. We have to have faith to Believe. Trust is a choice we make. If we can only trust based on experience, we are distrusting. We make a decision to take a chance to walk in a relationship.
In our relationships when we mess up, in human experience the slate is never clean. People remember, and they look at you waiting for you to mess up again. It is not true trust and faith. We do the same thing toward God as we do to people. We don’t believe Him at His Word. We need to get beyond the emotional content to the person, get beyond the dead carcasses of failed trust in order to be able to alter our position of faith.
We say, “I believe God can do anything,” but we do not trust Him to do it. If we are believing FOR IT, it is faith postponed. For we are not trusting God already has it in position.
If we messed up last week, do they trust you this week? If they are watching to see if you mess up again it is a test – and a test is not trust.
The way you feel about fighting for life affects your battle plan. Are you in the arena where people are watching, or outside the arena still fighting for life, whether people see it or believe it or not. Do you use faith when you are not in public? It is easy to be a faith giant until a real battle starts. Everybody wants everybody else to act the way we want them to act. Our trust of a person becomes based on if they acted the way we thought they should – did they give you that hug, write, call, smile, etc. Our trust is so connected to emotions. Our faith to what we observe. It is often hard to separate it. We need to develop a faith that you meant well, and I trust you.
The Bible contains both criticism of people and encouragement. We tend to look at the encouragement and ignore God’s criticism. Ask ourselves, by faith, do we still believe in God?
Do we base our faith and trust on what God says to me and about me, so that I can trust Him. We need validated.
John 17:1-2 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.
We can apply our faith to the Son of God who puts on a body suit to bring glory to the Father and Glory to the Son. He has AUTHORITY over ALL flesh for the purpose of eternal life -to as many as YOU HAVE GIVEN HIM. This is NOT universal salvation as some pastors teach. Jesus has authority over ALL flesh, but He does not give eternal life to all flesh.
Those pastors who are teaching this false doctrine and those who hear and know that they are false doctrines and do not challenge them will answer to God, and God will hold them responsible.
Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,
Paul says does that make me want to sin more, God forbid. The lie of the devil is to tell us these things do not matter. What if we told an athlete that eating, drinking, exercise and rest don’t matter. We would ensure failure in their future. If all were going to be saved, why would Jesus put on a body suit? There will be rewards, punishment, and correction. The Father in His infinite wisdom gave Christ Authority over our planet, but not everyone on our planet will rely on Him.
John 17:3-4 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.
That is the glory of the Father, Jesus’ work was being a sacrifice on the altar (the cross). Those who looked to Him from unborn generations will have eternal life. It is a blessing to know God knows what He is doing. Verse 2 only makes sense with John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. This Scripture applies regardless of WHOEVER. As many are are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. God knows we are not perfect, but He did this for us. We are being taught more than ever that all can be saved. He said WHOEVER, He did not say ALL – only those who believe in Jesus will have everlasting life.
Pastor Don shared that he heard a radio broadcast by Ravi Zacharias talking about a Muslim woman who in a moment of despair called, “Jesus help me.” She went home, went to bed, and Jesus appeared to her in a vision – and Jesus changed her world. The book Ravi Zacharias shared from gives many testimonies of people who came to a relationship with Christ by Jesus sovereignly manifesting Himself to them. As long as we are praying, He comes to all who lift Him up in prayer, and He can use our prayers to reach others. Pray for the persecuted church. More Christians are suffering and dying today for Christ than in earlier times.
John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
This plan was in effect before the world was. Can you trust in the reality of Jesus authority over the earth, all the flesh and all creation – for He was there before the foundation of the World? He spoke the World into existence. How do you know Him? Is he the Creator and Sustainer of the world? Can you trust that He made it all and governs it all?
John 17:6 I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.
This is what upset the scribes and pharisees, for Jesus did not call on the name of the Lord with the terms that were in use, He called God, “Abba,” “Daddy.””Father.” No one else dared to call God, Father. It was then that people started thinking that Jesus should die.
Pastor Don grew up in the South Bronx and still has Jewish friends from his old neighborhood, which was predominately Jewish. He spent many days in his Jewish friends’ home and knows about their belief concerning the name of God. From the time of Moses, God’s name was considered so holy they would not speak it. They did not write the name of God completely (they left out the vowels). Only once a year, at the Feast of Atonement, the High Priest would enter the tabernacle to sacrifice a lamb for the people and he would pronounce the name of God. Over time the way to pronounce the most sacred name of God was lost to history. That is why the Jehovah Witnesses have it all wrong regarding “Jehovah.” For that is an English translation of a name that no one knows what it is spelled like or how it is pronounced. Pastor Don often asks them which Jehovah should we use? Jehovah Rapha, Jehovah Nissi, etc. We know the person of God, the Spirit of God, and Jehovah Witnesses do not. We do not want to limit God by limiting Him to just one of His names, when we need a victory we need, The Lord is My Banner, when we need a healer, we need The Lord is My Healer.
Pastor Don suggested a good book for the names of God written by Marilyn Hickey called The Honey of the Name. The greatest name of God is the All Merciful, All Kind God. Muslims claim that that is the name of Allah, but if you look at what Allah does he does not portray that name.
Moses went up to the mountain and asked God to show me your glory. He wanted to see God and Speak with God. God put Moses in a cleft of a rock and let him see the afterglow of God’s glory, but He also told Moses His personal name. Do you want to know His Name?
Exodus 34:6-7 And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and fourth generation. (Heather’s comment -THAT is the God I want to know! I want to see HIS glory! Praise God!)
John 17:7-8 Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.
We know He is speaking God’s Words, we can trust and believe Jesus, to believe all that He has said. For Jesus is the Word of God.
Another false teaching is that we are not to judge – yes, we are to judge. We have to judge whether or not a teaching agrees with the Word. Somebody has to make a judgment when kids are killing kids, when there are pedophiles, when there is immorality. We are just not to judge to condemnation, but we do judge. And God will judge as well. If we do not judge, we will end up like Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
John 17:9 I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.
This is a prayer for believers, not for all in the world.
John 17:10-11 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.
Jesus is praying for the elect. And the elect will not be fooled by false teachings. Some try to teach that even the elect will be fooled. NO. Matthew 24:23-25 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.
It will not be possible to fool those who know God and know God’s Word. Pastor Don gave an example using cheese and Velveeta – He said would be be fooled into thinking that Velveeta was cheese – no, not if we know what real cheese is like.
But Pastor Don also told us that, if we have ever bought a lie in doctrine it does not mean that we are not of the elect, God will send the Holy Spirit to help us to see the truth. We will not go straight to Hell for accepting a false doctrine in error. Good people make mistakes, get lost in their bearing, say or believe the wrong things. It does not change their status with God. God still loves them and will keep reaching out to them. Even if it takes years to learn the truth.
We need to fight the fight of defending the Word, not defending the doctrines of a particular denomination. We must have faith in God, and trust the Word of God – we have to be PRO-WORD, and not whitewash sins on any level.
Jesus deposited the Word in the earth, and He relies on us to share His Word.
John 17:14-15 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.
God has given us His Word. But we are going to come into some stuff when we share His word. Not all will be peaches and cream. We will face trials for sharing the truth, and we should thank God for the rapture. In today’s culture we can sometimes get away saying “God” but if we say “Jesus” we ruffle feathers.
John 17:20 I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word
This was not just a prayer for Jesus’ disciples, but for all of us who believe in Jesus. A prayer for believers in the past, now and also in the future.
John 17:21-22 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
Jesus wants us all to be one Body IN Christ..
Trust in the Word deposited into the apostles, and shared with us. The disciples were not perfect and they sinned just as we sin. But we are forgiven through Jesus, and are able to be used by God. We do not do it in our own power, but through Him.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
If you trust Him, He will perform it.
Mark 11:22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.
Have faith to trust the Lord in EVERY situation. Don’t say, God won’t help in your finances, in your health, feelings, obedience. We need to TRUST God. His Word will not come back void. He set His word above Himself. Have faith in God. Trust God.
Say, “I know it, I believe it, I receive it. Trust God.
Ephesians 1:13-14 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
He has deposited His Spirit in us. God is within us, God is outside of us. When we need to seek His guidance we need to make sure we have enough Word in us so He has word to draw from to guide us. The Holy Spirit has given us a witness that He is operating. The most effective tool is our ability to speak in tongues in our prayer language.
We need to use all tools that God has given us, for as the end times draw nearer, the enemy will increase his attacks on the people. We need to know God’s Word, speak God’s Word, and have faith in God. For God is sovereign. (Heather’s note, I have read the end of the book – satan loses, God wins).
Have a blessed day.
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