Lately, as I’ve been reflecting more and more on the gravity of events that have precipitated our troubled times this phrase from the book of Hebrews has been coming to my spirit. Although it refers theologically specifically to the promise of Christ the Messiah who was to come, which the patriarchs died having not yet seen the promise of Christ manifest in the earth, I still believe the Holy Spirit is breathing on this phrase with a message for our times. Over the course of this two part written article I pray that you would be blessed by this message.
“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.”
“And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.”
This of course comes from the great “Heroes of the Faith” chapter, Hebrews chapter eleven in the epistle to the Hebrews which most scholars believe was written by the Apostle Paul. I encourage you to read this chapter again in your private time with the Lord after you read this article. There is something incredibly powerful and faith invigorating that God is imparting from this chapter at this time for this hour.
CHRIST IS THE PROMISE
Notice how in verse fourteen the author uses promise in the plural saying “promises”, but in verse thirty-nine He uses it in the singular saying “promise”. Christ is the promise described in this chapter, the promise that all of the patriarchs and heroes of faith from the Old Testament were looking for, and at the same time we have many “promises” that are given and fulfilled in the person of Jesus the Promise. But the question arises, “Why were they looking for Christ”? I believe it was because they had caught, by divine grace and impartation, the revelation of Christ even though in some cases it was thousands of years before He actually came. Because they carried this testimony and revelation of Christ they lived their lives accordingly. They lived their lives according to and out of the revelation of Christ.
Abel offered a “more excellent sacrifice” and obtained a witness from the Lord that He was righteous in doing so (Heb.11:4). How did He know to offer this “more excellent sacrifice”? It’s because He was operating according to revelation, the very revelation of Christ. Christ is “the more excellent sacrifice” that Abel gained knowledge of, and because He moved according to that revelation it was accounted to him for righteousness, that is the righteousness by faith. The writer of Hebrews described how we were “sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb.10:10). That is that “more excellent sacrifice” that Abel was able to discern by revelation before Christ ever even walked the earth.
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and every Jew that caught the revelation of Christ and carried the “seed” within, who became heirs according to the promise, were seeking “the city” whose builder and maker is God (Heb.11:10). This is why they were made to seek a land called “Promise”. It’s because they were driven by “The Promise”, the revelation of Christ. This was not just any promise, this was the promise of Christ. This was not just any city they were seeking, this was in fact Christ. That is why John later sees “the city” whose builder and maker is God coming down from heaven, the New Jerusalem adorned as “the bride” joined as one to her bridegroom (which is Christ) (Rev.20:1-3). This was the revelation of Christ which would destroy the barrier created between God and man by sin and restore the breach through holy matrimony through the revelation and manifestation of Christ and his Church. Jews who did not receive the promise by faith were more concerned with the dirt of “the land”, but those who were called the remnant, the elect of God, the ones who carried the “seed” within which was the revelation of Christ remained, as their Father Abraham, “strangers and pilgrims” in their own land (Heb.11:13). Why? Because the dirt was never really the promise, it was just one of many promises that pointed to or revealed the true Promise, which was Christ.
Joseph gave instruction for his bones to not remain in Egypt but to be brought into the land of Promise when the children of Israel made their exodus because of his revelation of Christ (Heb.11:22). When Christ rose, so did Joseph along with several of the other patriarchs (Matt.27:52). They were seen walking the streets of Jerusalem, and this was why Joseph had his bones moved in the first place! His revelation of Christ led to him that resurrection!
Noah built an ark by faith because He received the revelation of Christ the Deliverer and that revelation moved him to build an ark to the saving of his household (Heb.11:7). Sarah was given strength to supernaturally conceive the “seed”. This seed was beyond Her’s or Abraham’s own bodies. It was the seed of Christ according to faith that they carried by revelation (Heb.11:11). If you walk through each story in this chapter you will see that every story that was lived out and every action that was taken by these heroes of the faith which was highlighted by the author all pointed to Christ. It was all done in faith because each action was born of the revelation of Christ, and that’s why it was accounted to them as righteousness, because righteousness is of Christ. Righteousness is of faith which is born of the revelation of Christ.
THE TEST OF OUR FAITH WHICH BEGAN IN 2020
The world currently is in a time of great trouble, as the scriptures refer to. Whether it is “the” great time of trouble before the end of this age, or yet another tremor before the great and final time of trouble preceding the coming of the Lord remains to be seen. I don’t think anyone truly knows. But it is indeed a great time of trouble, and in this great time of trouble the faith of the church is being tested from many sides. But be of good cheer saints, for the promise remains: though we be hard-pressed on every side, we are not yet crushed; though we are perplexed, we will not succumb to despair; though we are persecuted, we will not be forsaken; though we be struck down, we are not destroyed (2 Cor.4:8-9).
Paul said to the Corinthian church, just as by the Spirit of God he is saying to us today, that when the testing and pressing comes it comes on “every side” (2 Cor.4:8), yet grace will see us through as it did for the early church. But what are some of these sides that we’ve been hard pressed on and what is the promise that still remains for those who currently carry the revelation of Christ in the earth and are indeed heirs according to the Promise? In part two of this article we will look at a few of these “sides” of testing that I believe the Lord has highlighted to me. Until then, God bless, thanks for taking the time to read and join us for this word. Have a blessed day!
In His Service,
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