Monday, June 6, 2022

The University Of Love

A university is an educational institution of higher education and research designed for instruction, examination, or both, of students in many branches of advanced learning. It provides academic degrees upon the completion of any variety of subjects offered. It also provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education. God has a university. However, it is small and very few enroll and even fewer graduate. He has this university because He has very few broken men and women. Instead, what He seems to have is people who claim to be broken but really aren't.   

David, son of Jesse is a great example of one who not only enrolled but also graduated God University. Shortly after David defeated Goliath and returned home, "the women had come out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments. So the women sang as they danced, and said: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him..." (1 Samuel 18:6-8) "The next day that the distressing spirit came upon Saul, and he prophesied inside the house. So David played music with his hand, as at other times; but there was a spear in Saul’s hand. And Saul cast the spear, for he said, “I will pin David to the wall!” But David escaped his presence twice." (1 Samuel 18:10-11)

What do you do if someone throws a spear at you? Would you pick it up and throw it back? Well David did not throw Saul's spear back at him nor did he go out and make his own spear to throw at him. David simply escaped Saul's presence. If David were to respond to Saul by throwing a spear at him, David the shepherd boy, anointed by God to be king would have grown up to be nothing more than King Saul II. Although Saul sought to destroy David, he actually became the very instrument of God that would eventually mold David to become a man after God's own heart. (Acts 13:22)

David accepted his fate. He embraced the circumstances although unfair and even cruel. He lifted no hand nor offered any resistance. Even when David had the opportunity to retaliate and take Saul's life he would not. He would not return evil for evil even when prompted. "Then Abishai said to David, “God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day. Now therefore, please, let me strike him at once with the spear, right to the earth; and I will not have to strike him a second time! But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him; for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?" (1 Samuel 26:8-9)

How about you? When others throw spears at you in the form of evil speaking, gossip, slander or when they treat you with disrespect; how do you respond? Do you throw spears back? or do you exercise the most potent characteristic of our God, which is love, toward those who may do these things? The Bible tells us, "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails..." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) 

Believers that walk in this kind of love, agape, the God kind of love are those like David who have enrolled and graduated from God University. The Apostle Paul tells us, "Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Romans 5:5) The God kind of love is a part of the recreated human spirit that becomes a part of the believer the moment they confess and believe the Lordship of Jesus Christ. However, just like David had the choice to retaliate but chose not to, walking out the God kind of love is the same. In the mind of God, those who choose this path truly understand brokenness and selflessness. They have graduated God University because they know the power of love.         

Monday, May 30, 2022

Every Day is Memorial Day

Today, is the fourth Monday of the month of May and in the United States it is a national holiday entitled, Memorial Day. It is a day in which Americans remember the service men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives so that others may have freedom. They did not give their lives for the United States alone, but as they fought and died in the numerous conflicts throughout the world, they did it to bring an end to demonized dictators who enjoy(ed) killing, like Satan their father, have only one desire, to have power. They fought and died to turn back these satanic ruled people whose only objective was to steal, kill, destroy and or hold in bondage to slavery their fellow man in efforts to promote their tyrannical reign. Let us never forget those in the armed forces who have gone before and those today who are ready to do what it takes to defend and protect the citizens of the United States of America.

In a similar way, Christians also have a Memorial Day. However, our Memorial Day is not only a day of remembrance, but a day of celebration. We celebrate the day that we "confessed with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believed in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead, and were saved." (Romans 10:9) We celebrate the fact the Jesus Christ also paid the ultimate sacrifice by giving His life to save (redeem, heal, deliver, make whole) all humanity from Satan, the most evil, murderous tyrant known to man. The Bible reveals to us, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." (Acts 10:38) and "He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8)

When we consider what Jesus did for mankind the mind can hardly comprehend it. The apostle Paul reveals to us through the Holy Spirit, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned  (Romans 5:12) and speaking of the state of all men since the fall, “…having no hope and without God in the world.” (Ephesians 2:12) This means that not one person in all of mankind had the ability to provide redemption. God Himself must provide man’s redemption. God must redeem man from the dominion of Satan. Death must be destroyed and man’s authority over the Satan must also be restored. We also must keep in mind that God is just, "…God is abundant in justice…(Job 37:23) and therefore mankind could only be redeemed on absolute legal grounds. Even though God's love for man is unfathomable and the fact that He is also sovereign, He could not redeem man outside the realm of justice.

God would have to provide a substitute who would not have man’s satanic fallen nature but would be like Adam. He could not be mortal or immortal, but a perfect man as Adam was before the fall. He must fulfill the entire Mosaic Law, withstand the onslaught of all the devils attacks without sin, meet the demands of justice, (meaning that He would have to pay the penalty for man’s crimes against God) by suffering in man's place by becoming sin, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us..." (2 Corinthians 5:21) Being make sin the Redeemer would be separated from the presence of God by going to hell, which is the ultimate penalty for sin, until mankind had been fully and legally acquitted for their crime. In other words, Deity must suffer for humanity.

As Adam die both spiritually and physically ("a death you shall die," or, "dying you shall die." Genesis 2:17  Hebrew) and "and they made His grave with the wicked, but with the rich at His death..."(Isaiah 53:3 deaths in the Hebrew) Jesus too would have to experience both to reverse Adam's transgression. If Jesus' physical death was all that was required to redeem humanity, then sin is nothing more than a physical condition. If physical death deals with the sin issue, then every person that physically dies pays the penalty of his/her own sin. If sin is only a physical condition and can be dealt with through physical death, then we must conclude that God has no right to send someone to hell because the physical death of every person would be sufficient to satisfy justice and give them a pass to eternal life.

However, we know that this is not true. Jesus must suffer in both realms, physically and spiritually. Physically because that is the only way that spiritually dead humanity could eliminate the Son of God; spiritually, because it’s the only way that God could legally redeem man taking away Satan’s claim to humanity. It also stops man from accusing God of being unjust when they reject His way of redemption. Jesus indeed went to hell and suffered as a substitute for all mankind.  His physical death was infinitesimal to what He suffered in the spiritual realm. If humanity could have been redeemed apart from Christ, then Jesus becoming a substitute for humanity and being sent to hell would have become the most heinous crime ever committed in all of creation.

But thanks be to God who was willing to take upon Himself man's liability by suffering an incomprehensible death in two realms as man's substitute. So let us never forget what the Father did through Jesus to give humanity complete freedom from Satan's power. Let us never forget and rejoice continually on our Memorial Day. The day you and I were born again. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

I Am Independent of My Circumstances

Did you ever take a particular amount of money and intentionally put it aside for some reason, but forgot that you did it and also where you put it? I know I have and probably many of you have done the same. However, sometime later, you decided to do some extended cleaning or maybe just going through some personal items and found the money that you had put away and in your surprise you thought, "Where did that come from" or "I did not know that I had that."

Interestingly enough, you really cannot say "Where did that come from" or "I did not know that I had that" because you actually had the money. The only issue is, the money did not do you any good because you did not know you had it. Although this is something that happens in the natural, for many the same thing happens to them in the spiritual. When it come to spiritual things the thinking is, "If the Bible says it, it is automatically mine." This is only true to a point. The Apostle Paul states, "For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us." (2 Corinthians 1:20) Yes, the promises of God through Christ belong to believers, but have believers exercised faith to receive them, or are they only hidden somewhere in the Word of God.

God has given us His Word so that we would take the time to discover what we have been given through our faith in Jesus Christ. A good example of this would be eternal life. A person can have eternal life because one day they confessed with their mouth and believed in their heart the Lord Jesus Christ and not really know depths of eternal life. Their thinking maybe, "Thank you Lord that I am saved and now when I die I'll go to heaven." This is true, but you will not enjoy the reality of eternal life in this life because you do not know its depths or what it is suppose to do for you.

Many of the lyrics in our hymns and songs today speak of eternal life as a destination and not an instant transformation of ones old nature to the new nature in Christ. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:17-18) This is the miracle of becoming born again. The Apostle Paul is not talking about ones body or soul, he is talking about the spirit, "the hidden man of the heart." (1 Peter 3:4)  

According to scripture, Jesus came to earth for many reasons, "to seek and saved that which was lost" (Luke 19:10); "To bear witness of the truth" (John 18:37); "To give His life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45) and so on. But He also came for another incredible reason that many have not come to understand nor walk in the reality of, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) The word "life" here is the Greek word, "Zoe." That is the God kind of life; eternal life. The reality is, the moment that one is born again, God imparted His very nature into our human spirit. We are in Christ. Christ is in us. We have the nature of God. We have the life of God.

The Apostle Paul tells us, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20) Notice that Paul tells us how to fully come to the understanding of and how to take advantage of the believers new life, eternal life, in Christ. We are to live by faith in Christ. In other words, what God says in His Word is one hundred percent true. It does not change with time because He does not change (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8) and we can put our faith in the integrity of His unchanging Word and not only understand what abundant life in Christ is, but also live in it in this life.

In short, living in abundant life is believing on and acting upon God's Word no matter what the circumstances of life may try to dictate, especially when they are contrary to God's Word. The Apostle Paul tells us how he lived in Christ, "For I, however I am placed, have learned to be independent of circumstances." (Philippians 4:11 TCNT) We can experience the abundant life that Jesus gave His life for, by exercising our faith and as Paul did, "learn to be independent of circumstances." It really isn't as difficult as it may seem, if we can remember as Paul, "I can do everything in the strength of Him (Christ) who makes me strong." (Philippians 4:13)     

Monday, May 16, 2022

The Blood of The New Covenant

The greatest covenant in the history of mankind was made, established and fulfilled by God Himself. It is called the New Covenant. In short, God the Word became flesh (John 1:1, 14) and we called Him Jesus. (Luke 1:31) He stepped our of eternity and into time with a purpose, " give His life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:28) However, in the purpose of God, covenant between Him and man required the shedding of blood. (Hebrews 9:22) We see the first covenant established at the fall of man, where an innocent animal was sacrificed to cover man nakedness. (Genesis 3:21)

Looking forward, we see a man named Abram, a man in whom God would cut covenant with. God appears to Abram and proclaims, "I Am Almighty God." (Genesis 17:1) However, before God entered into covenant with Abram, He changed his name to Abraham (a prince of God). (Genesis 17:5) He then set the conditions of the covenant, "This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you." (Genesis 17:10-11)

The covenant was sealed by the blood shed in circumcision. This covenant bound Abraham and his descendants by indissoluble ties to Almighty God and it bound Almighty God to Abraham and His descendants. As covenant partners, all that was Abraham's was also God's and all that was God's would be Abraham's. Also in the Old Covenant, God gave Abraham's descendants the Mosaic Law. Within this covenant God appointed a priesthood with a High Priest. The priesthood was given the atonement offering known as The Day of Atonement. God appointed a special sacrifice through which the blood of an animal was to cover the broken law so that God could dwell in the midst of His people Israel. This occurred only once a year where the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle of Moses and pour the blood of a goat upon the Mercy Seat to make yearly atonement for the sins of Israel. (Leviticus 16) The word "atonement' in the Hebrew means "to cover." As it was with Abraham, so it was with Israel. As long as Israel upheld their side of the covenant, God was obligated to uphold His side. However, if Israel did not uphold the covenant, God was no longer obligated to make good. (Deuteronomy 28) 

Looking back to the Abrahamic Covenant once again, we find one of the most remarkable things concerning covenant. It came by-way-of the promise of a son made by God to Abraham. Sarah, Abraham's wife who was barren would bear a child, and his name would be Isaac. However, as Isaac became older God called upon Abraham to uphold his side of the covenant. Remember, as covenant partners, all that was Abraham's was also God's and all that was God's would be Abraham's. "Now it came to pass after these things that God tested  Abraham, and said to him, Abraham! And he said, Here I am. And He said, take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” (Genesis 22:1-2)  

Abraham would not hold back his promised son. In obedience to God the covenant maker and keeper, Abraham took Isaac his only son, to the place that God showed him, to sacrifice him to God. As Abraham raised his knife to slay his son, "the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." (Genesis 22:11-12) This very act set the stage for the covenant of all covenants. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

Jesus brings us a New Covenant having displaced and fulfilled the Old Testament (Hebrews 10:9). With the fulfilling of the Old Covenant, everything connected with it was set aside. As the Old Covenant was sealed with the blood of circumcision in Abraham and the blood of animals under the Mosaic Covenant, the New Covenant is sealed by the very blood of Jesus. Just as God stood behind the Old Covenant and was its surety, Jesus is the surety of the New Covenant. (Hebrews 7:25) As the covenant between God and Abraham bound Abraham and his descendants by indissoluble ties to Almighty God and Almighty God to Abraham and His descendants,  the same applies to the believer today through Jesus Christ.  Also as in the covenant between God and Abraham, all that was Abraham's was also God's and all that was God's would be Abraham's, the same is also true for the believer today through Jesus Christ. 

The Apostle Paul tells us,  "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Almighty God has purchased the believer for Himself. Next, we also see, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ..." (Romans 8:14-17) Not only has God purchased the believer, but He has adopted the believer and has made us His children and His heirs. By definition, an heir is one who inherits or is entitled to inherit the estate of another. 

The following are but a few of the believers inheritance as the children of God. "For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us." (2 Corinthians 1:20). "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5:1-2). "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3). "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness..." (2 Peter 1:3). "And this is the promise that He has promised us, eternal life." (1 John 2:25)

 As we can see, believers have a wonderful inheritance through faith in Jesus Christ and it has all been provided through the blood of New Covenant, the blood of Jesus Christ. "But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance." (Hebrews 9:11-15) PTL...

Monday, May 9, 2022

The Wonderful Name of Jesus

The name of Jesus is the most powerful name in all creation and has been given to the church. The Bible clearly reveals that the believer has been given the power of attorney to use His name. To have power of attorney means to have the legal authority to act for another person. How do we know that this is so for the believer? Jesus Himself gave every believe the authority to carry out His continuing mission and to have prayer answered, "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:17-18). "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." (John 14:13-14). "And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full." (John 16:23-24)

The measure of Jesus' ability is the measure of the value of His Name. If you keep in mind that God the Word (John 1:1) put on human flesh (John 1:14) and in human flesh was given the name Jesus, then we will understand that His name carries unlimited power in three worlds, "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him (Jesus) and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2: 9-11) Because Jesus was both man and God we also must note, "For with God nothing will be impossible." (Luke 1:37)

When we meditate on the wonderful name of Jesus, we see that demons and all manner of sickness and disease are subject to the believe in Jesus' name (Mark 16:17, Luke 10:17). We also see that prayer in His name receives special attention. (John 16:23-24) In other words, Jesus is saying, If you ask the Father in My name, I will endorse it and the Father will give it to you. Now for many this may sound unheard-of, but I submit that Jesus would not have said it if it were not true. It takes faith to accept such as wonderful promise and act on it. "So Jesus answered and said to them, Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." (Mark 11:23-24) 

Believers must also know, that the power of attorney to use His name is on purely legal basis. Not only has He given us the legal right to use His name, but He is the guarantee behind His name. When Jesus gave us the legal right to use His name, the Father knew all that His name would imply. So the possibilities enveloped in the name of Jesus are for the most part, beyond our understanding. However, when Jesus said, "whatever you ask the Father in My name," He is giving us a signed, blank check and asking us to fill it in. Mind boggling isn't it?

The Father has made this investment for the benefit of the church on which the church has a legal right to draw upon for Her every need. The church has the right to use name of Jesus against its enemies; to use in our petitions; in praise and worship; in healing and deliverance, etc. These are but a few of the wonders of the greatness of His name. Basically, He gave His name to the church that she might carry out the will of the Father in the same way He Himself did and to do even greater works than He did. This is clearly revealed in scripture through the early church as it took dominion by preaching the gospel and moving in the power of God through signs, wonders and miracles. So let us exercise our faith and see wonders released through the wonderful Name of Jesus.   

Monday, May 2, 2022

Christ In Me

One of the most exciting revelations shown in the Bible, is who the believer is "in Christ." For the most part, before the born again experience, our minds were dominated by the world with all of its negativity and carnality. For most in the church today, the world ruled mind has prevented many to see what they have now become in Christ. This also has kept many at the "cross" rather than experiencing the resurrected new life "in Christ."  The cross is the place of death, whereas the resurrection is the place of new life.

We find in the Epistles, especially the Pauline Epistles, the phrases, "in Him" or "in Christ." It is these two simple words that begin to reveal the facts of who the believer truly is in the mind of our Heavenly Father. We were "in Him" when Jesus was nailed to the cross, "I have been crucified with Christ." (Galatians 2:20) We were "in Him" when He died, "If we died with Christ." (Romans 6:8) We were in Him when He was made alive in hell, "made us alive together in Christ" (Ephesians 2:5) We were in Him when He conquered hell and death, "I have the keys of hell and death." (Revelation 1:18) We were in Him when He rose from the dead, "raised us up together." (Ephesians 2:6) We are in Him today in the heavenly places, "made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:6)

When the Father looks upon the believer, He sees us in Christ. The believers position in Christ guarantees true intimate fellowship with the Father and the Son. (1 John 1:3) It also means that Satan cannot reach us or touch us because his authority over the believer has been completely destroyed. (Colossians 2:15) Most important we must know without doubt that the Father is expecting us to occupy our position in Christ where there is no guilt, condemnation or inferiority (Romans 8:1); where we stand complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10); where His fullness becomes ours, (John 1:16); where His grace and strength becomes ours (2 Corinthians 12:9)

In the mind of the Father, there is no such thing as failure or defeat for the believer (Romans 8:37) because as noted above, the believer is "in Christ." All it take is simple faith on the part of the believer to release the power of God to meet every need whether in spirit, soul or body. Although these frail bodies of ours at one time had been stained with sin and marred with sickness, we are now His dwelling place (1 Corinthians 3:16). Sin can no longer have dominion over us (Romans 6:14); and sickness and disease can no long touch us (1 Peter 2:24) without our consent. The great Almighty Creator who spoke the worlds into being dwells in our body. Can you see just how mighty that makes us? This is all due to us being "in Christ." "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4) PTL

Monday, April 25, 2022

He Is Greater than All

No matter how hard we try to avoid life's circumstances, it is inevitable that they come. Sometimes circumstances seem more difficult than others and sometimes they seem almost impossible to overcome. In the gospel's of Matthew, Mark and Luke we find a story of Jesus and His disciple traveling by-way-of boat, which we will look at in Luke's account. "Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!” (Luke 8:22-25)

As we see, what started out as a simply boat trip turned into what seems to be a life threatening situation. What I want to draw our attention too, is the question that Jesus asks His disciples after He commanded the storm to cease. His question is what believes need to ask themselves when one of life's trying situation comes upon them. "Jesus said to them, "Where is your faith?” Jesus would not have asked this question if He did not expect the disciples to have faith to either deal with the storm or to have faith that with Jesus in the boat, they were safe. When we look closer at what was going on, we see that fear, "Master, we are perishing" had griped the lives of the disciples. The Bible shows us that the type of fear that the disciples were experiencing was not from God, "For God has not given you a spirit of fear..." (2 Timothy 1:7) This type of fear, timidity, fearfulness, cowardice is akin to doubt. When a believer deals with fear, he/she actually doubts God's Word, His ability, "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10) This is precisely what happened with the disciples. Believers must always keep in mind, fear neutralized faith.

Although faith is predominately a New Testament word or term, God has not changed His approach to humanity in all of human history. What do I mean? The writer of Hebrews gives us some great insight into the realm of faith and those who were not under grace but under the Mosaic Law. The Book of Hebrews was written to the Jewish believers. Many of the Jewish believers who had left Judaism for Christianity wanted to reverse their course in order to escape persecution by their countrymen. The writer of Hebrews exhorts them not to turn back. His appeal is based on the superiority of Christ over the Judaic system. He tells them, Christ is not only better than angels, but He is worshiped by them; Christ is better than Moses, because He created him; Christ is better than the Aaronic priesthood, because the sacrifice of Himself was once for all; Christ is better than the Law, because He is the mediator and surety of a better covenant; Christ produces tested faith, self-discipline and a visible love reflected through one’s life. 

In short, Christ is superior over the prophets, angels, Moses and Aaronic priesthood. Christ has established the New Covenant in His blood and this New Covenant is superior over all covenants and will not change. "My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips." (Psalm 89:34) Although this is an OT Scripture, God’s Word does not change. Again, we must keep in mind that this letter is to the Jews. The writer drives home the issue of faith. Faith triumphs over and accomplishes the impossible. "Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23)  "So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." (Mark 11:22-24)

One of the most quoted scriptures from Hebrews is, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6) This verse is not limited to the New Testament believer, it refers to how all men are to approach God and His response to all men. When reading through Hebrews 11 we find that these Old Testament saints operated in faith. Through faith, they were all commended and approved by God to the point that their names are recorded in the Word of God for us. The fact is, they did not receive the fulfillment of the promise, that is, they did not receive all that was promised by God. They all still looked forward to some future promise. But it is not so with us. Believes do not have to look ahead for what God has promised, by faith we receive all the promises. "For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us." (2 Corinthians 1:20)

When we think of these Old Testament saints we must also keep in mind that the Holy Spirit was with them. However, for believers we see something even more remarkable. Jesus said, "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you." (John 14:16-17) The Holy Spirit dwells in the believer. With this in mind, should not the church do greater exploits for the Lord than the Old Testament saints? "Who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens." (Hebrews 11:33-34) Most certainly! It all comes down to the only thing that we are asked of by the LORD, "...If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes. (Mark 9:23) Amen...