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  1. 1. Faith By Melissa C. PointerSaturday, September 29, 12
  2. 2. We live in an interesting time. Quite frankly we are living on a precipice and it is not just us but the entire world. All things will soon change, everyone both great and small will be affected and there will be no return to the normality we have been accustomed to. This is a time when the integrity of a person will be tested in a way that it has not been before. Let us make sure there are no cracks in our armor, that each block of our spiritual house is perfectly aligned with the cornerstone, so that when our eyes see the fruition of the promise of God we respond with a shout of joy and not fear or weeping. Everyone’s faith will be tested and the majority will find theirs crumbling before them. This will cause worldwide distress, fear, and volatility. However if we have true faith and resolve we will have confidence and peace during the encroaching storm.Saturday, September 29, 12
  3. 3. …Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen… Hebrews 11:1 …If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible unto you… Matthew 17: 20 …Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, …⋯Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, and tremble. James 2: 19 because thou hast seen me, thou has believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed…⋯ John 20: 29 …Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works James 2: 18 But will thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? James 2:20Saturday, September 29, 12
  4. 4. Faith versus Belief Evidently there is a difference from stating belief and having the confidence to do the great feats of bravery committed by David when he was a lad (killing Goliath), or to continue in God’s word in spite of having your livelihood taken away, your life threatened, and being made blind like Tobit, or to rely and submit to the authority of God when it is not popular like the prophets who went before angry multitudes at the risk of being despised, imprisoned, or murdered in unspeakable fashion. Brethren this is true faith not the belief that is trumpeted in the churches every Sunday. It is the faith that is spoken of in Christ’s word and it will be what is needed to survive the turmoil ahead. Like everything else faith has a beginning, it grows and bears fruit. Let us start at the beginning.Saturday, September 29, 12
  5. 5. Faith is the belief, the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting solely and Quite simply in order to believe what someone has said you must first implicitly on his authority and believe in their authority and the fact that they are correct/accurate veracity: (veracity). In addition this belief will be based on some form of evidence. Yes, reliance on I am fully aware of what it is written in Hebrews but also remember Christ testimony. said he had a testimony and his testimony (the evidence he gave of his authority) was true. For further clarification let us read what Jesus said: St. John 10: 24-25, 37-38. It was what Christ did that proved that he was the Son of God. St John 8:12-14. Here we see that it was the works that Christ did that bare record of his authority and accuracy of his doctrine. Every child of God must and will yield to God because of the evidence he gives them of his authority over them. For some this comes in the form of a soft urging voice and for others it will come as a shaking of the skies and frightful wonders.Saturday, September 29, 12
  6. 6. Our First Steps Our personal experience with God is the beginning of faith for all those who are children of God. We are witnesses to God’s mercy, power, and truth. That event will begin to lay the groundwork for understanding the power and rights God has over you, the immutability of his words and doctrine, and the evidence of his mercy and judgment. This event is both similar and different for each child of God. We all have a testimony in which we converted but each conversion is unique from person to person. No matter the details of each of our testimony; we will all bare record of God’s authority, his truth, and the testimony he has given all of us.Saturday, September 29, 12
  7. 7. Evidence It is that observation that led us to the conclusion that not only is God real but he is omnipotent and infallible. If you are willing, you can see the evidence of God everywhere: in the sky, animals, sun, moon, and even the intricate makeup of the human body. God demonstrates his authority and his truth within our own lives.Saturday, September 29, 12
  8. 8. Our Experiences For example you could be driving on the road, nearly spin out of control but find that you are not hurt in the process. You could believe that it was luck or evidence that God has protected you, that he has authority over the car, the ice, and traffic patterns. Your response could be to shrug that event off or to recognize God’s power and yield to it. Some may require a greater level of evidence that might come in the form of an affliction. This affliction may force them to realize that their talent, brilliance, charm, money, or influence cannot protect you or remedy every solution.Saturday, September 29, 12
  9. 9. Personal Experiences However there is a being that has the power to turn hearts, to heal diseases, to give you favor in the eye of the oppressor, and to make a way when it simply seems to be impossible. Still others may believe that it was luck or by their abilities they were able to resolve the situation. I have my own personal example in which I know God intervened. For nearly a year my workplace has been and still is a battleground. I had been used to having a reputation of being caring, hardworking employee that was capable of working difficult workloads with little complaint. I am not always liked at first but I often used a killing with kindness approach to make working conditions easier that worked very well.Saturday, September 29, 12
  10. 10. That was not the case in my new profession. No matter how hard I worked, how polite I was or the fact I did not complain; my workplace was a treacherous combat zone. So much so I thought about quitting after the first 3 months. I was so perplexed about the situation I was in. There were many perks to working there; I had every Sabbath off, Feast days would never be an issue nor would vacations but my colleagues were nearly intolerable. Then I was told by the Spirit of God that I would never be accepted by them. That was a fact I was just going to have to accept but later I was told that he would confound my enemies. Brothers and sisters, I am witness to exactly that: Even when things are difficult we must not my abusive supervisor was demoted, a colleague allow enemies to discourage us from that continued to complain about my performance walking as we should was silenced and suddenly approved of my actions, my director looked favorably upon me and told me I was doing well and was happy that I was a flexible employee, and so many other things have happened that have made my work situation better.Saturday, September 29, 12
  11. 11. Evidence and Trust Brethren I know that it was not by my brightness, cheerfulness or my relationships with other hospital staff that changed my situation. Only God could have caused that turn around. God is the one that gives us abilities and he can take them away and I saw that in that department; for he said he would reduce their brightness with the new computer system and it happened. Zechariah 4: 6. Everyone there complained about a simple new system because they could not understand it or operate it; it was amazing. My belief that God gives talent and takes it away has grown by simply watching the news and hearing a former president who was once praised and acknowledged for being an excellent orator say foolish things recently that have alienated some of his most loyal constituents. Job 1: 21 Isaiah 40: 21-23, 28-29 Proving again God gives and he takes away. This evidence has increased my trust in him and belief that God knows best and that I must lean upon him to have success. Before David became king he had seen the evidence of God. I Samuel 17: 34-37. What should be noted is what he said in verse 37.Saturday, September 29, 12
  12. 12. …The lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out Of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of The Philistine. He did not attribute his success against two fierce predators to his strength or courage. He did not boast about how bright he was or how fast he killed these powerful animals. Instead he knew that only God could have delivered him and gave him the ability to overcome these animals. This was proof enough for David that God had the authority and the ability to protect him in all situations as long as he served him.Saturday, September 29, 12
  13. 13. Authority …Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am… St. John 13:13Saturday, September 29, 12
  14. 14. A simple definition of the word master is a person who has authority over others. Lord is defined as a person with renowned power or authority over others and/or lands. From the very mouth of our Savior, he stated that he is our master and lord. This authority was given to him by his Father, the ancient of days. Hebrews 1: 8-12. Which means Christ has the right to tell us what to do, how it must be done, where it must be accomplished, when it is to begin and end, and he does not have to tell us why? In addition he has the authority to award those who have been devout and to reprimand those who were disobedient. Satan does not believe in Christ’s authority or his right to punish or award. Instead he has tried to strip Christ’s authority from him by manipulating the word of God in the churches of this world. Common songs and sayings persist today about the supposed fallacy of God’s word: It is not necessarily so the things you read in the bible, we are no longer living under the Old Testament, the Old Testament/ Sabbath day/ food laws/ have been done away with.Saturday, September 29, 12
  15. 15. Entire portions of God’s sacred word have been denied, sacred tenets have been removed, and vital information has been discredited because the authority of God has not been respected. It is that exact disbelief in God’s authority that will prevent you from believing in God without question. You will be incapable of accomplishing certain feats for God if you don’t believe that he has the ability to give you the strength to carry out the act. Simply put a rejection of Christ’s authority will make you incapable of incorporating his Word into your life. Let us recall what our Savior said to Martha: …I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? John 11:25-26Saturday, September 29, 12
  16. 16. Her response was that she did believe that he was the Son of God. In other words, being God he had the authority over all things in the earth and in heaven; including raising the dead to life. Know this if you do not believe that Christ or his word has authority over you then you do not have faith. Jesus is not the cornerstone of your foundation. Another doctrine has taken precedence and that is what you have built your life around. Remember brethren that whatever has taken the place of God in your life it cannot save you. Just as a reminder, even if you do not accept that God and his words have authority over you they still do and you will be held liable for them. Just as if you visited a foreign country and unwittingly or willfully broke one of their laws, ignorance or believed superiority is never an acceptable defense. You are still within the jurisdiction of their authority and will be required to yield to it. The entire earth and heaven is under God’s jurisdiction and we are all subject to the laws and regulations that he puts forth. Psalm 89: 11 Ecclesiastes 12: 14Saturday, September 29, 12
  17. 17. Veracity We must believe deep within the marrow of our bones to the depths of our heart that the instruction that God gives is the only way we must live our livesSaturday, September 29, 12
  18. 18. Remember that faith is based on the authority and the truthfulness of the testator. If you have any doubt in the credibility of God you cannot have faith. Now people may say they lack in faith but what they are not aware of is that they have probably subscribed to a philosophy, doctrine, or other belief system. How is that possible because nearly every human being uses some form of personal belief to justify and build their life upon? For example many believe in the doctrine of capitalism. They believe in its tenets because of the proof in their lives that it works. They are one with Everyone builds their life around something. the pursuit of wealth and that that pursuit For some its the pursuit of money. However benefits everyone that works towards that this is faulty because it can not give you goal. In their eyes it has given them the best eternal life! and the most acceptable way to live and govern themselves. Now let us listen to what Jesus said:Saturday, September 29, 12
  19. 19. …Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life… St John 14:6Saturday, September 29, 12
  20. 20. We know that Jesus is God because of the evidence he gives to us. We also know that his word is the true and the only standard to live our lives by because of the Spirit of God that convinces us of it in our daily lives. John 14: 26, John 15: 26, John 16: 7-8, 13-14. During this process the Spirit of God will prove to us the fallacies of all other beliefs, philosophies, self-wisdom, and personal doctrine: how they will always collapse given the correct pressure, that they never meet the promised reward if you are faithful to them, and that they are unbalanced and to their core unfair. Other doctrines are at their core untrue, unbalanced, and unfair. They cannot defend you or come to complete fruition.Saturday, September 29, 12
  21. 21. He will show us that Jesus is the authority on uprightness because he created it and he is the standard that must be adhered to. He never forgets, he sees all, he is not biased, and he weighs everything perfectly. Unlike all other doctrines, his will not fail and we know this to be true because of the evidence we have been given: whether we yield or disobey we are forced to see that God is true and all else is fleeting. God is constant, he does not change, and the correctness of his laws is evident by our own experience when we obey them or when we do not adhere to them. Lessons that we receive from the Spirit of God prove to us that God is immutable and that the instruction he gives is perfect and unfailing. Remember what Jesus said about being the corner stone and how he determines a person or nations correctness: Matthew 21: 42,44 Amos 7: 7-8 Ephesians 2: 20-21.Saturday, September 29, 12
  22. 22. God’s words never fail and can be depended upon in the time of stormSaturday, September 29, 12
  23. 23. Brethren let us begin our investigation first with the definition of the word truth. It is a fact that has been verified, it is honest and has integrity. It is also something that is unwavering, correct, exact and has the attribute of fidelity. For further clarification let us review over some definitions:Saturday, September 29, 12
  24. 24. Fidelity It is the strict observances to promises. Has God ever fallen short of a promise that he given to his children or the children of men? We only have to look at ourselves and are difficult lives in this world for the answer. Consider the blessings and curses in Deuteronomy 28. God said he would bless Israel and he did and said he would make them a byword, astonishment, and a proverb among the nations if they disobeyed. Did Israel disobey? Yes. Was Israel punished? Yes. Are we still astonishment, yes! God also said he would send a Messiah that would instruct us on how to live. Deuteronomy 18: 15. That he would save his people from their sins and that he would have victory over death. I Corinthians 15: 54-57. Ephesians 4: 7-10.Saturday, September 29, 12
  25. 25. Can we say the same for other doctrines? Let us evaluate another philosophy called the American dream. According to the American dream if you are diligent and hardworking you will be able to overcome great obstacles and obtain prosperity. This is a complete fallacy. Our ancestors had multiple obstacles and built this nation with its blood, sweat and tears. We have no wealth and we have never been accepted by this nation. It does not matter how well off you are, your position of power, your intelligence, talent or athletic ability you are considered 2nd if not a 5th class citizen in this country; a group of people loathed and the target of hate and rage. This doctrine is not only a fallacy for Blacks but it is slowly being disproved in the population at large.Saturday, September 29, 12
  26. 26. Exact Strictly accurate or correct, precise, capable of the greatest precision. God is more exact than any other being in existence. Hebrews 4: 12. He sees all, hears all and knows all. He knows what motivates us, the extent of our abilities, and the intentions of our hearts. Revelation 19:6. This exactness is based upon his law which is a standard that has been constant since it was first established. Unwavering To not vacillate back and forth. To be settled in opinion. When has Christ ever wavered or his judgment fluctuate? Malachi 3: 6. Unlike man, his word has never changed and his standard has been like bedrock that does not move with any change in the ground. Thou shall not steal has been thou shall not steal since it was first established. It is man that changes and tries to manipulate God’s holy law. Mark 7: 8-13Saturday, September 29, 12
  27. 27. Can we say this about the modern religions of this world. The catholic church does not look like anything it was 1500 years ago, 500 years ago, 100 years ago, or even fifty years ago. At first their priest were allowed to marry and then they were banned from doing so. Doctrines of the church have often been combined and adjusted to fit the needs of the The Catholic Church has had people. Even the service of mass significant changes throughout has changed through time: the years prayer used to consist of hell, judgment, merits of the saints, and one true church. Theses references are not included todaySaturday, September 29, 12
  28. 28. The method of communion has even changed it was once placed directly on the tongue it is now given by hand by lay persons. During the middle ages the church performed passion plays that led to the persecution of those outside of Christian beliefs now tolerance of other religions is being upheld. The Catholic Belief has morphed like all other common philosophies unlike the Word of God.Saturday, September 29, 12
  29. 29. Correct: to be free from fault or error. For example when you bake a cake using a correct recipe you will have a better outcome and result than with one full of errors. Now you may ask how God’s law has been found to be valid above other doctrines or our own personal beliefs and standards. We learn that when we use a different standard or system it will eventually fail. Things that we thought would turn out well; don’t. We only have to look at what happen to Jonah the prophet to see that. Jonah was given a commandment by God to prophesy against a city. Instead he decided against what God said and ended up in the belly of a whale. Do you think that is how he wanted to spend his time? Jonah 2: 1-2. Considering the words that he used to describe his situation, it is obvious that he did not enjoy or even found it bearable to be tangled in seaweed in the belly of a fish. He knew that his way was not correct and it was best to obey God. Another example is that of the three Hebrew boys during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. They refused to obey the king and instead leaned upon God’s word instead. They were sent to a fiery furnace but did not die.Saturday, September 29, 12
  30. 30. Proving that just because you obey God doesn’t mean you will not go through difficult times but God will be with you and that in the end you will have the best outcome. Can this be said about other doctrines? Let us look at the doctrine of democracy. It is considered to be the best form of government that gives liberty, freedom and happiness to its participants. It is supposed to prevent tyrannical rule from dictators. What has been proven in Iraq that democracy may not be the best form of government especially when one part of the populous is bent on killing the other. Many felt that this form of government has not lived up to its promise because of the individuals elected to office do not always have the nation’s best interest in mind. Elections can be manipulated and the contentions that arise can often destabilize a nation and lead to bloodshed.Saturday, September 29, 12
  31. 31. We can look at these aspects of God’s law and understand why we can trust in it and the promise that is within it. It is because we can trust him we can do excellent feats in his name. We can leave mother, father, brother, sister, spouse, friend, job, home, and even nation if need be for God. We can deny ourselves the pleasures of this world because he promised us a better one if we yield to him. We can look at ourselves in the mirror and be willing to kill the part of us that offends God without mercy. We can face persecution, trials, and When you walk in the truth God will be with afflictions we can do all of this because you when you are faced with fears and enemies we know what God has said is true and unfailing.Saturday, September 29, 12
  32. 32. Even if others do not see it or try to convince us that it is not real we know within in our core the truth that he is given us. We can do these things because we know what was said in Philippians was not a myth or a pretty saying… I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me… Philippians 4:13. God does not lie, his word is true and we have witness him make a road in the middle of frightful boisterous waves, he has removed enemies before us, he has kept us safe while we were in a den of The greatest mountain is nothing lions, and protected us in compared to God ways we could not began to realize.Saturday, September 29, 12
  33. 33. Just like Job we all have or will soon realize that God giveth and he taketh away. We know what happens when we do well in keeping our Saviour’s laws and what happens when we disregard his word. It is that evidence of God’s power that we have all seen and forces us to bow to his authority. In our own lives we have seen his power and how God controls all things including us and that is the beginning of faith.Saturday, September 29, 12