Henbrews 11:1 Now faith (trust/firm persuasion) is the substance (assurance) of things hoped for (expectantly awaited), the evidence (proof) of things not seen. (to look forward)
Let’s paraphrase what he is saying here: “My faith, your faith, and our actions, and our enthusiasm for Yeshua should be all the proof anyone needs, that the promises made to us from God, are in existence! We are the witnesses to this mystery.”
2 For by it the elders (ancients) obtained a good report. (testified as witnesses)
- Numbers 13:27 “And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.”
- Deuteronomy 6:3 “Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.”
- Jeremiah 11:5 “That I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day. Then answered I, and said, So be it, O Lord.”
3 Through faith (trust/firm persuasion) we understand that the worlds were framed (completely formed) by the word of God, so that things which are seen (the earth, sky, animals, etc) were not made of things which do appear. (they didn’t get made by humans or aliens)
4 By faith (trust/firm persuasion) Abel offered unto God a more excellent (better quality) sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness (could observe) that he was righteous (made holy before God) , God testifying (giving evidence) of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
There is sooo sooo much packed into this little sentence. Paul is referencing many various concepts in the Scriptures. Once again, he draws us into the Day of Atonement and our propitiate righteousness. His focus is on the actions one takes in response to the faith, and this, this is why he mentions Cain and Abel.
As we have seen in the previous comparisons of the requirements of Atonement we can reflect on the need of innocent blood. This is what satisfied Torah. Cain was unwilling, either by fear or what we can detect from his behavior, due to his obstinance towards God. Needing the help of his brother, meaning, he had to go ask for a certain animal and by doing so he would have to confess his shortcomings.
- James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
This establishment of checks and balances among the people would have seriously curbed the propensity of “going outside the lines.” It is this lack of transparency that constitutes the darkness in our lives. This is the territory in which Satan finds his best inhabitation. Is it any wonder the Bible also speaks against the secret societies of men as they collude in darkness and obscurity.
5 By faith (trust/firm persuasion) Enoch was translated (to exchange) that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated (exchanged) him: for before his translation (exchange) he had this testimony, that he pleased (gratify entirely) God.
Deuteronomy 7:7-9 The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
- Jude 1:14-15 “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
- Luke 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.”
- Genesis 6:1-2,4-5 “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
- Matthew 24:37-39 “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
6 But without faith (trust/firm persuasion) it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe (completely convinced) that he is (real), and that he is a rewarder (one who gives payment of service) of them that diligently seek (this word combination has these combined meanings: crave, search out, investigate, demand and worship) him.
It will take a very deep rooted conviction for the believer to sustain a way of life during the reign of the Antichrist. This is why Paul is going through this intense litany of believers and their days of strife.
7 By faith (trust/firm persuasion) Noah, being warned of God (divinely instructed) of things not seen as yet, moved with fear (reverence), prepared an ark to the saving of his house (family, heritage); by the which he condemned (sentenced judgement) the world, and became heir (possessor) of the righteousness which is by faith. (trust/firm persuasion)
First things first; Noah received grace through faith, not of himself, and this occurred BEFORE the life of Yeshua. So many Christians can quote the following verse and then immediately they attribute it to Paul as some sort of addendum to the covenant with YHVH. Paul was merely stating an already know fact to the first century Hebrew.
- Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”
By many estimates it would have taken Noah about 40 years to complete the ark. Also while he was working on it, he was preaching that there was a judgement of rain coming when it had never rained prior to that time. The water of the earth would come up as dew to feed plants and thus the people thought Noah was crazy.
8 By faith (trust/firm persuasion) Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
9 By faith (trust/firm persuasion) he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles (tents) with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him (participants in common) of the same promise:
- Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Ammim first, and also to the Goyim.”
12:1-4 “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.”
10 For he looked for (awaited) a city which hath foundations (structure), whose builder (founder) and maker is God.
(Melchizedek – King of Salem [Salem was renamed Jerusalem])
- Isaiah 54:5 “For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.”
- Isaiah 17:7 “At that day [Day of Atonement] shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.”
- Revelation 21:1-3 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.”
11 Through faith (trust/firm persuasion) also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed (a child), and was delivered of a child when she was past age (90), because she judged him faithful who had promised. (Isaac means laughter)
The promise of our redemption comes at such a huge price. The Angels ask in Revelation 6:10 “And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” This is why we hear so much about the threshing floor. It is the shaking of the earth and its inhabitants.
Fortunately for us, God’s timing is perfect, even if it isn’t in our timing. The Hebrew people had been waiting for their Messiah for many generations, so much so, they had all but given up on the idea.
12 Therefore sprang there (to procreate) even of one, and him as good as dead (so very near dead/old ), so many as the stars of the sky in multitude (very large number-nonspecific), and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.(repeated and expanded for emphasis)
13 These all died in faith (trust/firm persuasion), not having received the promises (of the land of Jerusalem), but having seen them afar off (could understand the process), and were persuaded (convinced) of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers (guests) and pilgrims (resident aliens) on the earth.
“These all” have been given the exact same promise as those of us that live today. They were promised the restored Eden or what Genesis 1:8 states is Heaven.
- Genesis 1:6-8 “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.”
Ephesians 2:12-13 “That at that time ye [Goyim] were without Christ,
being aliens [estranged] from the commonwealth of Israel [Ammim],
and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”
14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. (heavenly home)
15 And truly, if they had been mindful (recollecting and reminiscing/ a longing) of that country from whence they came out (Egypt), they might have had opportunity (made the occasion) to have returned.
16 But now they desire a better country (abode), that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. (future tense – the New Jerusalem)
- Genesis 17:7 “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.”
- Genesis 32:28 “And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: (straight/upright of El) for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.”
- Exodus 29:45 “And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God.”
- Ezekiel 11:20 “That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.”
It is so very important to our comprehension of the letter to have the same background information as the writer. Having the 4 aforementioned verses stored in the memory banks (written on your heart) for reference. This is the reason for his progression of the patriarchs and how their faith motivated them to action and obedience.
17 By faith (trust/firm persuasion) Abraham, when he was tried (tested), 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: (brought forth)
19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up,(rouse from obscurity, inactivity, ruins, nonexistence) even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. (parable of common life conveying a moral premise)
The concept of life after the death of the flesh was not a new concept to the Hebrew people. In fact, there was much debate over the issue. The Essenes, The Pharisees, the Sadducees, along with the Marcion, and Nicolaitans factions were always at odds with the concept of a resurrection. It is this promise within the Everlasting Gospel that motivates the faithful to action and obedience.
This next section has extensive meaning as he reflects on the same strength that Steven displayed at his stoning….
Hebrews 11:20-31 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel (from Egypt); and gave commandment concerning his bones. 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 commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming (to consider) the reproach (defamation) of (from) Christ [to be] greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect (intently regarded) unto the recompence of the reward. By faith (trust/firm persuasion) he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. (YHWH) Through faith he kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest (in order not) he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red sea as by (on account of) dry land: which the Egyptians assaying (attempted) to do were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about (surrounded) seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. 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: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.
- Acts 6:7-11 “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. Then they suborned* men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.”
*G5260 ὑποβάλλω hupoballo (hï-po-ɓal’-lō) v. introduce by collusion.
Look closely at the root word… G906 βάλλω ballo (ɓal’-lō) v. dung, lie.
34 Quenched the violence (miraculous power) of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness (frailty) were made strong (empowered), waxed valiant (became forcible) in fight, turned to flight (to decline) the armies of the aliens. (Foreigners)
35 Women received their dead raised to life again (resurrection of Lazarus): and others were tortured (beat to death), not accepting deliverance (relief); that they might obtain a better resurrection: (after life)
36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings (flogging), yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder (cut into pieces), were tempted (scutinized), were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
38 Of whom the (this) 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 (witness) through faith , received not the promise: (still pending)
40 God having provided some better thing for us [Ammim], that they without us [Goyim] should not be made perfect. (complete)
This is the same message delivered by Stephen. Both men expose the traditions of men and the opposition these traditions present to the truth of the Everlasting Gospel. Look at this exchange Yeshua has with the Pharisees….
Matthew 15:2 “Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.”
Yeshua’s response, which we should adopt as our own, is to hand them a mountain of truth!
Matthew 15:3 “But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?“
Look at Stephen’s response… familiar?
Acts 7:51-59 “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Your faith is going to require action, whether by choice or by force, as we see from the lives of the Patriarchs, the Prophets and the Apostles. It is the action of Yeshua that moves us to be “like him” by following His example and living a life guided by His instructions/Torah.
Leave a Reply