Posts Tagged ‘faith’

A LEAP OF FAITH

 

INTRODUCTION

 

What is faith?

            I almost drowned one time in a waterfall. I was swimming hard but I kept drowning.  A swimming teacher said that the only way to be able to float is to learn to “trust” water.  I did just that, and water became like a bed where I can rest and relaxed.  Faith is just like that – “trusting the waters”.

I remember in a Christian youth camp, we swam in a waterfall.  My friends were diving and I wanted to try but was afraid to do so.  Somebody then told me, “The longer you stare at the water, the more you will be afraid.  If you want to jump, do it right away.”  I did as I was told and took a “leap of faith”. 

 

  1. I.            CALLING

 

          By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place…”

            Taking a “leap of faith” is not blind diving. In a recess during a youth retreat, one young man dived and had his head bumped in one of the rocks beneath the water. 

            In learning “new” doctrine, I would advise that when the waters are not clear, don’t jump.  In making decisions, when the waters are not clear, don’t dive!

            A “leap of faith” requires a clear, definite call.  Abraham was called to out “into a place”.  Abraham what the place was, but he had a specific call from God.

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

            There are two clear-cut “calls” here:

 

  1. THE CALL TO BE RECONCILED TO GOD

 

Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

 

                        1.  We need to be “reconciled” to God because we were “enemies”

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

                                    We were enemies because “all have sinned”.

 

                        2.  Reconciliation is only by the death of God’s Son.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

                                    As “sinners”, we were God’s enemies; but “Christ died for us”.

 

3.  To be reconciled is to be “saved”.

Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

 

Although we were God’s enemies as sinners, we are “jusitified by His blood”, “reconciled by the death of His Son”, and “saved from wrath though Him”.

 

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

 

O, be reconciled to God, right now!

 

  1. THE CALL TO BE REPRESENTATIVES FOR CHRIST

 

  1. Everyone reconciled to God is a representative for Christ. 

 

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,…”

This is automatic.  The only option of a saved, reconciled believer of God is either to be:

            a. A Good Representative, or

            b. A Bad Representative.

There is no other option.  Every Christian is an ambassador for Christ – right now!

 

  1. To be a representative of Christ means:

 

  1. To be an ambassador for Christ

 

                        This tells us that “this world is not our home”. 

1) We are sent with a mission.

2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

            2)  We are sent with a message.

2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

            3)  We are sent to a mission field.

2 Corinthians 5:19 …reconciling the world

 

  1. To beseech people “as though God did beseech you by us”.

 

My former pastor, Patricio Felasol, used to remind us : “God has no hands but our hands. He has no feet but our feet. He has no eyes, but our eyes.”  God does His work through us.

 

 

1) God is in Christ reconciling the world.

2) Christ is in us and God is beseeching people “by us”.

We are to plead to the world that they be reconciled to God as though it’s God doing it.

 

  1. To be “in Christ’s stead”.

 

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

                                                1) Christ died in our stead.

                                                2) We are to live in His stead.

 

The call to be reconciled to God and to be representatives for Christ is definite.  This is the “place” that God has called us to go to.  Once these have been made clear, one can now start a “leap of faith”.

 

  1. II.          COMPENSATION

 

          “…which he should after receive for an inheritance…”

Genesis 12:1 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:

2 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:

3 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.

 

Abraham did not know the place where God wants him to go; but the call was definite, and the compensation was well-defined.

 

  1. A certain place. “Unto a land that I will shew thee”

 

Dr. Dave Reese (founder of Open Bible College International) once said that in this Age of Grace, God’s call is not “geographical”. That is, it is not dependent or limited to a place.  One ought to serve God starting from right where he is.

In the Old Testament, the blessings of God seem to be “geographical” – that is they have to stay in the Promised Land.  Today, however, it’s in a “land” that God will show us.  We may not know it right away, but He will show us that sooner or later. Some people are afraid to follow God’s call in their lives:

            a. God may call them to be a missionary in another place.

            b. They may be “out-of-place” with their peers.

When God calls, He has a certain place for you.  Do what you are supposed to do right where you are and God will reveal the place for you where you will never be “out of place”.

 

  1. A certain position. “I will make of thee a great nation”

 

I remember Dr. Paul Chappell of Lancaster Baptist Church once said that when he started to pastor, he sought not for a position but he sought to serve.  From the “backside of the desert”, his ministry grew dramatically over the years and he is in a “position” where we got to know him in this other side of the world.

People look down on God’s servants, but God’s call is a “certain position” earned by a sincere, humble service.

 

  1. A certain prize. “I will bless thee”

 

1 Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

 

  1. A certain prestige. “I will make they name great”

 

George Beverly Shea was offered a big renumeration to sing over secular radio but refused it. He said, “I’d rather have Jesus than silver and gold.” How many modern “Christian” singers have departed from the “name of Christ” for selfish prestige.

 

  1. A certain purpose. “Thou shalt be a blessing”

 

Following God’s call is not only rewarding to self, but to many others as well.

 

  1. A certain protection. “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee.”

 

Blessings without protection is like putting money in a bank without walls.

 

  1. A certain possession. “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

 

In effect, being a blessing to others, Abraham did not just have the promised land but all the families of the earth as well.  True “possessions” are not just those blessings that you receive but those blessings that you give.

The call of God is fixed, and the compensation is sure.

 

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

1 Corinthians 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

           

 

 

  1. III.        COMPLIANCE

 

          “…obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.”

 

            There is no doubt about God’s call and His compensation.  The question is our compliance.

            Before diving, one is to make sure he does not leap so close to the bank nor to shallow water.  Sometimes it takes a big leap and further to the deeper area to have a good, safe dive.  Then, one will be challenged to dive from a higher place to a deeper body of water.

            So with our leap of faith: God may lead us in to a place where we have never been, and all that God expects us to do is to take a big leap further to the center of His will.  As one must trust the waters in order to float, so we are to rest in God knowing His clear and definite call and His sure and certain reward.

            Abraham didn’t know where the place was but He was sure that there is such a place, and that place is prepared by God.

            You may ask where would God lead us this year?  What would God tell us to do? Well, as Pastor Chappell puts it, “It’s the same old thing, just a little bit more.”

 

CONCLUSION:

 

God’s call is definite.          

God’s compensation is certain. 

Our compliancethat is the question.  Will we obey?

BY FAITH ENOCH

 

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

 

INTRODUCTION:

 

            Skeptics would always like to question the Bible.  Casting doubt is the Devil’s favorite hobby.  While it is certainly foolish to answer fools according to their folly, sometimes it is wise to demonstrate their foolishness by answering them according to their folly.

 

Proverbs 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

 

 

            One of the first things the “children of the wicked one” (Matt. 13:38) may do to dilute the minds of God’s children with infidelism is to question certain statements found in God’s Word and to try to find contradictions which do not exist at all. For example:

 

Jude 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

 

Their question would be: “Is Enoch really the seventh from Adam?” Then they would try to shake the faith of a “babe in Christ” (1 Cor. 3:1) or of a “novice” (1 Tim. 3:6) by showing several “supposedly” and “seemingly contradictory” passages:

 

Genesis 4:17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.

Luke 3:37 Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan,

 

These “Athenians” (Acts 17:21), thinking that they have something new against the believers of that ‘Ole Black Book, would try a futile reasoning like:

 

If Enoch was the son of Cain (Gen. 4:17), he is only the third from Adam; how come the Bible says he is the “seventh” from Adam (Jude 1:14)?

If Enoch was the son of Cain (Gen. 4:17), how can he also be the son of Jared (Luke 3:37)?

 

The “Gnostics” (Gr. “knower”) would add to the confusion by claiming to have found the Book of Enoch, which is an extra-Biblical, uninspired writing.

 

The apostate Fundamentalists, sidetracked by the opinion that a mere English “translation” of God’s Word (such as the King James Bible) could not qualify to be “given by inspiration of God”, seem to have us rather believe the so-called “Book of Enoch” than believing we have a “perfect” Word of God in our hands.

 

It does take a “leap of faith” to believe that we have the inspired and perfect Word of God in our hands.  The Bible itself will prove to unbelieving minds that Enoch had a testimony that will answer their questions, and he was translated to a better state because he had one thing that they don’t have – faith!

 

 

  1. TESTIMONY

 

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

 

 

            A “testimony” [Lat. testimonium]  (Microsoft Encarta 2006) is an “evidence that a witness gives to a court of law”. It is a proof to support a fact or claim.  The word is also used in the Old Testament (OT) to refer to the Law given by God through Moses. It is also used by believers torefer to the public declaration of faith in Christ and victorious Christian experiences.

 

            Concerning the question whether Enoch was really the seventh from Adam or not, or did Enoch really exist or not, Enoch himself left a testimony.    

 

            The supposed contradiction between Genesis 4:17, Luke 3:37, and Jude 1:14 is solved by two things:

 

(1)   Reading the Bible

 

The problem with most people who find problems in the Bible is that they have a reading problem.  They don’t read enough and they don’t read it well. Reading and believing the Bible (and “rightly dividing the word of truth”, 2 Timothy 2:15) will show that there is more than one “Enoch” in the Bible.

 

(2)  Common sense

 

As someone has said, common sense is not so “common” these days.  Common sense will show that some people have the same name, and one person may have various (“different”) and varied (“altered”) names .

           

 

 

            A. SAME NAME

 

            In Genesis 4:17, there are two “Enoch’s”.

 

  1. Enoch, the son of Cain, is the third from Adam.

 

Genesis 4:17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: …

 

  1. The second Enoch in the verse is not a son, but a “city”.

 

Genesis 4:17 … and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.

 

            The “Enoch” we are looking for is not the Enoch who was the son of Cain and the third from Adam.  We are not looking for the Enoch City.  We are looking for the Enoch who was the “seventh” from Adam:

 

  1. Enoch, son of Jared, is the seventh from Adam.

 

Luke 3:37 Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan,

 

            In Genesis 4:17, it was Enoch of Cain.  The one we are looking for is found in the next chapter (Gen. 5) – Enoch of Seth.

 

Genesis 5:5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

6 And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos:

7 And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters:

8 And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.

9 And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan:

10 And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters:

11 And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died.

12 And Cainan lived seventy years, and begat Mahalaleel:

13 And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters:

14 And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died.

15 And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared:

16 And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters:

17 And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.

18 And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch:

 

Jude 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

 

Enoch of Cain was the third from Adam.           Enoch of Seth was the seventh from Adam. Enoch of Seth is the one we are looking for.

 

B. ANOTHER NAME

 

Another thing that Bible reading and common sense show us is that Enoch is also known as “Henoch”.

 

1 Chronicles 1:1 Adam, Sheth, Enosh,

2 Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered,

3 Henoch, Methuselah, Lamech,

 

How do we know for sure that Henoch and Enoch are name variations of the same man?

 

Jude 1:14 already tells us that Enoch is the seventh from Adam. In 1 Chronicles 1:1-3, we can see that Henoch is the seventh from Adam: Adam, Sheth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered, Henoch. Luke 3:37, 38 also helps confirm that Enosh is Enoch, the seventh from Adam. 

 

Luke 3:37 Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan,

38 Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

 

            The Bible reader will also notice that Sheth and Seth are the same person, and so are Enosh and Enos, Kenan and Cainan, Mahalaleel and Maleleel, Jered and Jared, Methuselah and Mathusala.

 

            Which Enoch? Enoch of Seth, the seventh from Adam, left a testimony about his own name and existence in history, even though he has not written a book.

 

  1. NO WRITTEN BOOK

 

Jude 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

 

            Enoch left a testimony without a book.  His name is written in five of the books in the Bible, yet he himself has written no book. 

 

            Some people will say, “Well, Enoch is said to have prophesied. Let’s find that book that he has written. Let’s look for ‘The Book of Enoch’.”

 

            Again, Bible reading and common sense will show that “to prophesy” does not necessarily mean “to write”. In fact, Jude clearly indicates that Enoch “prophesied” of the Second Coming “saying”.  In other words, he didn’t write it; he spoke it.

 

            Why do we have it then in written form? Well, it was written later. Enoch’s prophecy was “translated” (moved from one place to another) from his spoken words to these written words.

 

            Enoch said, “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.” Prophets and apostles since then have a knowledge of this prophecy.

 

            Moses wrote:

 

Deuteronomy 33:2 And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.

 

            Zechariah wrote:

 

Zechariah 14:5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

           

            Paul wrote:

 

1 Thessalonians 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

 

            Jude confirmed Enoch’s spoken prophecy by putting it into writing:

 

Jude 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

 

  1. WALK WITH GOD

 

Enoch had this testimony:

 

Genesis 5:19 And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

Genesis 5:21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:

22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:

24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

 

                        Enoch walked with God? What does “walked with God” mean?

 

The Bible has its own “built-in” dictionary. It is its own commentary.  The Holy Spirit, the Author of the Book, is its own interpreter. We are told how to understand it:

 

1 Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

 

(1)   We understand Scripture, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth.

(2)  We understand Scripture by which the Holy Ghost teacheth.

(3)  We understand Scripture by comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

 

Words in Scripture are spiritual and living words:

 

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

 

To compare spiritual things with spiritual is to compare Scripture with Scripture.  This helps us understand the meaning of God’s Word, such as the following:

 

(1)   “Walked with God”

 

Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

 

Letting the Bible interpret the Bible, to “walk with God” is to “please God”.

 

(2)  “He was not”

 

What does the Bible mean when it said that Enoch “was not”?  The verse itself gives an answer:

 

Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

 

      That Enoch “was not” means that “God took him”.  Comparing it again with the other verse of the same context, “he was not” means “he was not found, because God had translated him”.

 

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

 

                       

 

II. TRANSLATION

 

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

 

            One of the dictionary definitions of the word “translated” or “translation” is to be moved or carried from one place to another (Microsoft Encarta 2006).    A look at several Bible commentaries would give you some etymological meaning that would “suggest” the same idea.  The Bible itself, however, is clear concerning the meaning of the word:

 

1)      To be “translated” is to “not see death”

2)     To be “translated” is to be “not found”

3)     To be “translated” is to be taken by God

 

Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

 

The words, “translate”, “translated”, or “translation”, occur only five times in three passages of Scripture:

 

 

  1. TRANSLATION OF ENOCH FROM EARTH TO PARADISE

 

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

 

          Enoch had this testimony: “he walked with God” (Gen. 5:24).  He so pleased God that God had to move him from this sinful, wicked world into the presence of God.

 

 

  1. TRANSLATION OF THE KINGDOM FROM SAUL TO DAVID

 

2 Samuel 3:10 To translate the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beersheba.

 

King Saul, the people’s king, disobeyed God’s Word many times during his reign.  God chose a man after his own heart – David.  God had promised that the kingdom of Israel will be translated from the house of Saul and David’s throne will be set up.

 

 

  1. TRANSLATION OF BELIEVERS FROM THE POWER OF DARKNESS TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD’S DEAR SON

 

Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

 

Every saved believer in this Age of Grace has been removed from the power of darkness and placed into the kingdom of God’s dear Son.  While physically we are still living on this earth, we are spiritually seated with Christ in heavenly places in Christ.  We are waiting for the great “translation day”, called the Rapture, when will physically be ever with the Lord in our “translated bodies”.

 

            In all three passages, the “translated” state is always better than the “original” condition.  As we have mentioned at the beginning of this message, there is an attempt to sow doubt on God’s Word in the minds of the believer.  The notion is that a “mere translation” of God’s Word should not be considered equal in authority to the original writings.  This is, however, contradictory to Bible doctrine and practice.

 

            The Bible doctrine of the inspiration and preservation of God’s Word magnifies the power of God. God could not be limited to a piece of paper.  God could have His words “translated” without error ; He can perfectly move His pure words with no problems at all from one place to another, from one piece of paper to another, from one language to another, from one generation to another, and from time to eternity.  The translation of the Bible in the universal language of man has always been for the better.

 

            The Bible practice is that a “translation” in the Bible is always better than the “original”.  David’s kingdom was a translation of Saul’s kingdom; the translated kingdom was better than the original kingdom.  Church Age believers were translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God’s dear Son; again, the translation is better than the original.  Enoch was translated to God’s presence from this sinful world; Enoch’s translated state was certainly better than his original condition.  The Bible practice is that a translation is better than the original.

 

            In Enoch’s life, there are several things that we can notice being translated.

 

1)      The most obvious, of course, is the fact that he was translated by God, he was not found, he did not see death, for God took him.

2)     We have also seen how his spoken prophecy, concerning the coming of the Lord with ten thousands of his saints, has been “translated” into the writings by Moses, Zechariah, and Paul; and the very prophecy was quoted verbatim by Jude in his epistle. And, finally, the words of the man who was not found are surprisingly in our hands; it’s translation from the spoken language of Enoch’s day can be read in written form in a language the present world understands. Praise the Lord for that man who walked with God all his life and never saw death!

3)     What remains to be done is for Enoch’s testimony to be translated into our testimony – that is the best translation the world needs to see at this present day before Jesus comes.

 

CONCLUSION

 

            Enoch wrote no book. There is no Book of Enoch, but he left a testimony.

He, however, left a testimony by His word and by His deed.  He spoke a prophecy of the Second Coming of Christ and he walked with God all his life. He so pleased God that God took him alive into his presence. Enoch never died and never will die anymore.  What a testimony he left – a testimony of the fact of the grand “translation” of the true believers of God!

Every person needs to translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son right now.

Every believer must translate the testimony of walking with God by pleasing God in word and in deed.

Every believer, dead or alive, is waiting for that grand “translation” day when we all see and meet Jesus in the air to be with Him forever!

While waiting for that day, let us…

 

Leave a testimony of the translation,

and keep that testimony translated!

 

How do we do it?

 

BY FAITH, …

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