Hebrews 11:8-16 Abraham by Pastor Don Moore

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hebrews 11:8-16 by Pastor Don

Pastor Don continued teaching on this passage.

Hebrews 11:8-12 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; (10) for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.

Abraham didn’t know where God was going to take him and Sarah, but Abraham was obedient, and it cost something.  He had to pack his camels, gather what he might need and then set out.  He rightly divided the word of truth.  He went BY FAITH, and just like us, he was a journeying in a foreign land.

Pastor Don talked about those who try to set out on their own without the help of God, that they are like the Lone Ranger without Tonto.  When bad things happen, we are not to just leave the church, we need to pray and make more room for God to prosper.  We need to keep going, as verse 10 tells us, He waited for the city whose foundations, builder, and maker is God.  This is what kept Abraham going.

There are three ways we can obey, by what lies in our sight, a vision by emotion, and a vision by faith.  Future faith, where we project our faith based on a Word of God, which is written, spoken, or a prophetic Word of God. Abraham had Future Faith.

If you have a vision by lie, then it is a falsehood.

Pastor Don gave an example, you can look at someone and decide they are out to get me.  They can speak a casual word and you take it to mean something it isn’t.  Or the devil speaks to you telling you that you are not going to make it, that this sickness is going to kill you.  He mentioned a voodoo doll where a person believes they will die in 30 days, and then they speak that out loud, and actually speak that lie into truth.  We do it to ourselves and the devil helps us in this.  The devil has the ability to do two things, he can listen to our conversation and finds out where we will be vulnerable to suggestion in our lives, then he gives us suggestions to promote where we are vulnerable.  The devil cannot read our minds, but he can read our actions and words.

Sometimes Christians say to themselves, “I am a good Christian.  I only hear from the Lord.”  The problem is, this is not always true. You hear from both sides, from God and from satan, and you must discern.  The devil knows what he is doing and tries to make his statements sound godly, even though they are riddled with lies.  The devil also uses his agents to spread those lies.  When we hear what we think is from God we need to make sure it lines up with the whole Word of God, if not, it is not from God.

Pastor Don gave an example of Jesus and the disciples in a boat, where Jesus tells the disciples they are going to the other side, then Jesus falls asleep.  The seas get rough, and the disciples forget Jesus is in the boat, that He has said they would go to the other side.  The disciples get scared and wake Jesus up. Jesus is not moved by what the devil was doing with that storm, he calmed the storm, “Peace, be still.”  The devil and his minions are fearful at the Word of God. The devil goes around trying to thwart God’s plans for a person’s life, and works with the people who can be easily manipulated. That is why we need to hold to the Word of God.

Paul shook the viper off and did not die from the venom. He did not fall to the distraction of satan.

Back to Hebrews, Abraham went BY FAITH.  Pastor Don then told us that many people put Sarah down because they assumed that her finding Hagar meant she wasn’t believing God.  She waited and waited and nothing happened, so she crafted a plan to help God and had Ishmael.  But we must not forget she also conceived and bore a child.  But God had to wait until after her plan failed, then she had a child.  She still believed and brought forth Isaac.  God is faithful.

The greatest thing that works against our faith is us.

Pastor Don went on an aside to Bible translations, telling us that we have to be careful about who the translators are in our version of the Bible, for each set of translators will slant the words used to fit their view of Scripture.  They translators do not totally translate outside of their world vision.  He told us that the NIV has a little of everything, kind of middle of the road. The ESV is not good.  Pastor Don likes the Jewish Bible, the Weymouth Bible, the Emphasized Bible, a Parallel Bible with KJB/NKJB/AMP/Living translation, and the Greek Transliteral Bible and Strong’s.

Hebrews 11:12  Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.

The Milky Way Galaxy is one of the smallest galaxies in the universe, this is a lot of stars, and a lot of sands. More than we can count.

Hebrews 11:13-16 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

These people died in faith, having not received the promise.  Pastor Don pointed out that the crux of this is we have an understanding of spiritual things, that there is life beyond this life, and it is so much greater than what we have here.  We cannot even imagine what God has for is if we are too bound by what is down here. Our perspective is we are separate from this existence, so we don’t live our life down here as if it is the only thing there is, there is something beyond just this life down here.

These people discerned this truth, and now that they have died, they did not receive the promise on earth, but that does not mean they did not receive the promise. They died in faith.

When one of your children gets off on the wrong track, some want to state God does not keep His promise, so you blame God and stop going to church.  But God never said if you were righteous your kids wouldn’t go through a period of knuckle headedness, or that they won’t get knocked up or locked up.  When these things happen to our children we may fall apart, but God still will keep His promise to us at the right time.

God is forthright with us. In Genesis 17 God chooses not to hide the truth from Abraham.  He knew Abraham would do the right thing. The journey can be long. Pastor Don said, when you are riding in a car with your father and the destination is unknown to you, often a child will say, “Are we there yet?”  They want to know, but even if they are not there yet they will not jump out of the car.

Hebrews 11:13-16  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. or those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

We need to trust in the integrity of God who shows us the promise, even if it is not fulfilled in this lifetime.  There is no shame in calling Him God, for from the start He has prepared a city for us, and has made us long to see the promised city.   In our walk of faith, we sometimes need a Godly carrot to change us so we will go to where God’s best is for us.

The problem is our view that we didn’t get the promise when we thought it should manifest. Time is the enemy of our faith. We got the promise, but the time for the promise to manifest may be farther off.  Just because Abraham died in faith not receiving the promise on earth, does not mean the promise was not received by Abraham.  By faith He got the promise in the Spirit, in eternity.  God is still a promise keeper.  When the window of eternity opens up, we can see God kept His Word. We, as believers, want to get into that eternal point of view.

If we hold to the integrity of God, we have the faith of saints to look on our present circumstances from a heavenly perspective.

We took a look at Stephen and how he gave the history of the Jews verses 1-50, and was martyred for Christ. Acts 7:51-59 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.” When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,  and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

God was available to Stephen in the Spirit, and when the flesh was hurt, Stephen stepped into glory.  God gave him a disconnect and he could see the Glory of God and Jesus.  If you read the history of the martyrs, you will find God gave them the strength to endure what they suffered and move beyond it to glory.

For the believer there is no pain in death.  At that point faith comes up and says, “God’s got it.”  We pray, “I thank you Lord.”  We can cast our cares upon the Lord, and thank Him.

Sometimes people hold onto life waiting for certain circumstances to happen.  Sometimes we can only hold onto life for so long, and maybe we can go by faith and see it on the other side.  God can take our brokenness and heal it in the Spirit, and we can have future faith to get to that place of healing.  We need to look at things with the eyes of faith.

Hoping this blessed you. Sometimes I get stuck in circumstances and I have to remind myself God is above my circumstances. I don’t have to stay in the realm of circumstances.



About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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