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"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."



Part 5







            In the whole Old Testament the word “faith” occurs only twice (Deut. 32:20; Hab. 2:4), and even the verb form, “to believe,” is far from common, appearing less than thirty times.  What we find in  the Old Testament is not so much a doctrine of faith, as examples of it.  It sets forth the life of the servants of God as a life of faith.  That which differentiates their lives from others is the revelation of God unto them in their day and their commitment to God’s will and purpose, implicitly involving unwavering trust in and obedience to Him.


            The foundation of Israel’s faith was the revelation that God had given to the fathers and to Moses, the covenant that He had made with them at Sinai, and the conviction that the covenant promises would some day be fulfilled.  Old Testament faith is never mere assent to a set of doctrines or outward acceptance of the Law, but utter confidence in the faithfulness of God and a consequent loving obedience to His will.


            In contrast to the extreme rarity with which the terms “faith” and “believe” are used in the Old Testament, they occur with great frequency in the New Testament — almost 500 times!  It is in Paul’s epistles that the meaning of faith is most clearly and fully set forth.  Faith is trust in the person of Jesus, the truth of His teaching, and the redemptive work which He accomplished by His death and resurrection, and, as a result, a total submission to Him and to the great purpose of God being fulfilled through Him in union with His body, the true church.  Faith in His person is faith in Him as the Son of God, the God-man, the second man from heaven, the last Adam, who died for us and rose again, effecting our justification, making possible our quickening — our new birth into the God-family, and ultimately co-equal status with God’s glorious firstborn Son, in all the magnificence, inheritance, and dominion that belongs to Him.




            “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of judgment age-during” (Heb. 6:1-2, King James Version & Young’s Literal Translation).


            The King James Version here instructs us to leave the “principles” of the doctrine of Christ in order to press forward unto perfection — that is, maturity.  The Moffat translation says, “Let us pass on then to what is mature, leaving the elementary Christian doctrine behind.”  The Weymouth version reads, “Therefore leaving elementary instruction about the Christ, let us advance to mature manhood.”  The Amplified Bible renders, “Therefore let us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ…advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belongs to spiritual maturity.”  Can we not see by this that what we are admonished to leave behind is the FIRST ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES of the doctrine of Christ and these are enumerated for us: (1) Repentance from dead works (2) Faith toward God (3) Baptisms (4) Laying on of hands (5) Resurrection of the dead (6) Age-lasting judgment.

            Let us take special heed to the writer’s words, noting that he does not tell us to destroy these first and elementary principles, or throw them away.  Just leave them and GO ON!  Everything God has given us and all that God has brought us through in our walk with Him in the kingdom of God has been necessary stepping stones to get us started toward the ultimate goal of perfection and fullness in the Christ.  Yet the vast majority of Christians never get beyond these first stepping stones — these elementary rudiments of the teaching of Christ.  It is of singular interest to note that the Holy Spirit of inspiration firmly declares that ALL of these elementary principles pertain to the realm of children — babes in Christ.  The writer makes this clear when he further says, “For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the teaching of righteousness, that is, of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action, for he is a mere infant — not able to talk yet!  But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses are trained…” (Heb. 5:13-14, Amplified Bible).  Two significant things stand out in these passages — all six of the “first principles” of the doctrine of Christ are baby food,  and not one of them is strong meat for the mature sons of God!   


            It is extremely easy to spot a spiritual babe, an immature child of God, be he the believer in the pew or the preacher in the pulpit, for he will always be dwelling around one or more of these ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES…laying and relaying that foundation.  Now there is nothing wrong with laying these foundations for those that need them, but the immature babes in Christ will always be known by the fact that they continue to minister these things over and over and over again to God’s precious people who should be going on to higher things.  Think about it — how many church congregations are you acquainted with that preach the simple gospel of salvation and give an altar call every Sunday morning — week after week after week!  And those Christians sit there  in those services Sunday after Sunday drinking that same diet of  spiritual milk.  Those same preachers, day after day, and year after year, continue to use milk and minister milk to the people of God.  No wonder that they NEVER GO ON TO  PERFECTION!  Those who remain on this elementary level are often referred to as “Fundamentalists” or “Evangelicals.”   And the writer to the Hebrews pointedly identifies these as BABES THAT CAN’T EVEN TALK YET!


            Any “Fundamentalist” will be busily defending these elementary principles of the doctrine of Christ, and will readily brand you a heretic should you speak any truth beyond those foundation stones.  That’s all they know!  Start talking about perfection, sonship, the manifestation of the sons of God, the order of Melchizedek, bodily redemption, the restoration of creation, bringing in the kingdom, or any of a hundred other things related to God’s great redemptive and restorative purposes and they have not the foggiest notion of what you’re talking about!  I have no hesitation in saying these fall into the category of those to whom the apostle wrote in our chapter under consideration when he said, “Being designated and recognized and saluted by God as High Priest after the Order of Melchizedek.  Concerning this (the Melchizedek Order of Priesthood) we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull in your spiritual hearing and sluggish, even slothful in achieving spiritual insight…you have come to need milk, not solid food” (Heb. 5:10-12, Amplified Bible).


            These babes, as little children do, will always be absorbed in great disputes over the fine points of doctrines, ordinances, sacraments, rituals, baptismal modes and formulas, outward appearances, eats and drinks, church government, etc.  But don’t think for one  moment, my beloved, that this realm of immaturity and childishness is limited to those moving on the salvation level.  For another of these elementary principles is described as, “the laying on of hands.”  This identifies many Christians who are Spirit-filled, having spiritual gifts, and moving in the ministries of prophecy, healing, and deliverance.  Who can deny that this includes such groups as Holiness, Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Latter Rain or Move of God.  These movements have definitely carried a people forward in God — beyond the mere salvation level to greater dimensions in the spirit through the “baptism in the Holy Spirit” and the gifts of the Spirit. Impartation of blessing through the laying on of hands becomes prominent in these ministries.  Hands are laid on for healing, deliverance, in casting out devils, with prophetic utterance for confirmation and direction from the Lord.  But there is one fact that generally does not change with these groups — they continue to zealously lay again and again the foundation of the ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES of the doctrine of Christ! It can be clearly seen that even these gifts and ministries have to do both with the doctrine of “baptisms” and “the laying on of hands”  — two of the ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST!  The message is just this: Wherever you are in your walk in God my beloved brethren, DON’T STOP THERE!  Don’t magnify any of these elementary principles as though these were the great end that God is after!  Men will establish what they perceive to be a strong position in relation to these first principles, and fight to the death to defend it, then when the Spirit commences to reveal deeper truth and move in yet a new and more profound measure among a people they immediately cry “false doctrine!” and “false prophets!” as though they were the fountainhead of all truth and experts in the deep things of God.  It should be plain to every quickened heart that even the spiritual ministries of which we have spoken above are part and parcel of the ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES of the doctrine of Christ.  None of them pertain to the deep things of God  or to spiritual maturity.  Not one!  I tell you sadly and with weeping heart that some of the most carnal, immature, and unstable ministries I have encountered throughout my many years of walking in the Spirit of the Lord were men and women possessing phenomenal giftings of power. In spite of their lofty prophecies and spectacular signs and wonders they were, in their state of being, mere babes in Christ fervently laying the foundation stones of elementary things.  Thus many miss out on the great and glorious truths and operations of the Holy Spirit reserved for those who “leave these things” and “go on to  perfection.”


            Oh! that once and for all we might clearly see that nearly everything we have experienced up to now has been in the realm of elementaries!  And it is from HERE that we are exhorted to GO ON TO PERFECTION.  You don’t go deeper into the elementary rudiments in order to go on to perfection — spiritual maturity as a son of God.  Oh, no!  We must leave the first principles in order to find an entrance into all the glorious fullness of the Son of God!  If you chose to remain in the first principles you simply will never arrive at spiritual maturity in God.  Mature sonship lies beyond it all.  The first principles are merely the “elementary school” for those who would be sons indeed.  They constitute the “in part” realm in which we move before that which is perfect is come!  LET US GO ON TO PERFECTION is the present call of the Spirit.




            In Hebrews 6:1-2 the Holy Spirit lists FAITH among the elementary principles of the doctrine of Christ.  Let us note that it is not simply faith of which the Spirit speaks, but a particular dimension of faith which is spoken of as FAITH TOWARD GOD.  This distinction is important, as we shall see clearly later on.  The word “toward” is translated from the Greek word epi which means “upon,” “to,” or “toward.”  The Greek Interlinear New Testament which I have at hand renders this as “faith upon God.”  The thought is of a faith which turns one in a specific direction and thrusts him upon GOD.  This faith is directed totally toward God and bears along the one identified with it so that he in turn is directed toward and cast upon God.  The Amplified Bible comes very close to rendering the correct thought from the Greek: “Let us not again be laying the foundation of…the faith BY WHICH YOU TURNED to God.”  Thus, “faith toward God” is that elementary ministration of faith to us by the Holy Spirit which turns us around from our stumbling in darkness, blindness, ignorance, sin, and death, and brings us to life and relationship with God.  Elementary faith is the faith that first of all saves us — and which also lays hold upon the many elementary blessings and benefits included in our childhood walk with God — healing, deliverance, material provision, gifts of the Spirit, answers to prayer, redemptive  foundational truths, etc.


            We must not, however, dwell here in this realm of elementary faith, only exercising faith for our physical and temporal needs and things associated with our spiritual babyhood walk in God.  We are exhorted to leave this realm of faith and go on to perfection, that is, to a perfect, full, and mature faith.  We must go on to a greater faith which will lay hold upon better and higher things…the ultimate purposes of God…a faith that will bring the body of Christ unto “a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the FULLNESS OF CHRIST.”  


            The perfection of faith in the body of Christ in this new kingdom day shall lead it into an ULTIMATE FAITH which shall enable it to grow up into full stature of Christ, thereby coming unto full and mature sonship to the Father.  This faith will also bring the sons of God into their inheritance, a full and complete redemption in spirit, soul, and body.  The divine law of faith dictates that the  sons of God cannot possess the measure and quality of faith that will bring them to manifest sonship until God has first worked into them that elementary faith for the everyday, practical things of our lives — supplying our needs, healing our bodies, solving our problems, overcoming life’s challenges, and tapping into the spiritual world of reality by the mighty operation of the Holy Spirit within.  How can one bind the strongman and conquer death if he can’t even overcome the influences of the world and the devil that pressure him in his daily walk?  It is in the realm of elementary faith first of all that God must work, develop, and strengthen faith in our lives.  But this is not by any means the ultimate reality or accomplishment of faith!


            The Spirit daily deals with us in these elementary areas of our experience to bring us progressively into a relationship with Himself in faith where we can believe God — proving that whatever God has spoken to us shall surely come to pass unto us.  And let all who read these lines be assured that this hour demands a special dispensation and degree of faith to believe and know with certainty that the things  the Spirit is speaking and setting before His called, chosen, and separated elect for this generation shall surely come to pass!  It is one thing to talk about sonship and the kingdom of God and quite another thing to have that truth and revelation firmly inworked and established in our hearts, seasoned with a faith that will actually appropriate the reality, power, and glory of what God has promised.


            This is why the Spirit is sounding the trumpet across the land, thundering the kingdom message from one end of the earth to the other!  There are those who hear the trumpet sounding for the next great moving of God in the earth, and they pull up their tent stakes, fasten their eyes upon the  forward moving cloud of His presence and glory, and faith is being evoked in them to literally walk out every dealing of God in their lives until they fully and completely qualify through the processings of God to receive a kingdom and glory that far transcends any glory yet revealed unto men.




            “And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: and Enoch walked with God…and all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: and Enoch walked with God: and he was not (found); for God took him” (Gen. 5:21-24).          


            “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...without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Heb. 11:5-6).


            “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints  (Greek literal: comes the Lord in holy myriads of Himself)” (Jude 14).


            It is becoming increasingly clear to all who today walk in the Spirit of God and have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying that every indication and sign is pointing to the imminence of the long awaited hour of the great unveiling of the sons of God.  It should certainly not be difficult for us to see that, if a company of saints is to be transformed into the image and likeness of Christ and made partakers of the power of His resurrection, and reign with Him in an age when Christ rules in the hearts of all men and in the affairs of every nation and people, then they most certainly must be possessed of a faith greater far than the elementary faith by which we first believed.  One of the greatest means of grace given to the Lord’s people at any stage of our growth and development in Him is the power of faith.  While I suppose immense volumes could be written about faith, I am inclined to believe that vast volumes are unnecessary for the spiritually enlightened to grasp the eternal significance of the faith so vital to our apprehending that glorious calling and ministry that looms just before us.  Our spiritual  life is a very powerful thing.  It grows and increases by continual contact with God.  That explains how it is that in the verses quoted above we find that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, walked with God and by faith was translated that he should not see death.  Surely we can see that his translation faith was evoked in him as he walked with God!


            The life of Enoch is a wonderful parable pointing to all those blessed ones who are called to sonship to God.  Enoch serves as a type of the Christ, Head and body.  The inspired record states that he was “the seventh from Adam.”  The word “from” denotes action and movement from one place or position to another.  It means away from.  Adam is the man of disobedience and unbelief, the man of sin and death.  Enoch was the seventh away from Adam, away from the Adamic nature, the flesh man, the carnal mind, the earthly, human identity, the natural constitution, the soulical disposition, and the curse of sin and death, and all that pertains to the world  of Adam in his lost state.  Away from!  What a revelation those two words bring to our spiritual mind!  Seven is the number of divine perfection; to be the seventh away from Adam is to stand in all the beautiful perfection  of man as God created him to be and intends for him to be.  To be  the seventh from Adam is to be as far away from the Adamic life as it is possible to be and stand in a perfect identity, a divine state of being, a heavenly realm of life and glory.  Seeing then, that these things are so, who can doubt that this great truth is clearly what Paul had in mind when he wrote of the transition from Adam to Christ in these expressive words: “The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.  Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.  The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.  And as is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.  And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (I Cor. 15:45-49).     


            Time and space do not permit us to give an exegesis of the meanings of the other five men who lived between Adam and Enoch, but suffice it to say that each of them are fitting types of our progression from Adam to Christ.  The name Enoch means “initiated.”  It points to an initiation, an introduction or admittance into a fraternity, society, organization, or order by sharing secret knowledge.  It involves a secret ritual or ceremony by which one is inducted into the mysteries of the order.  The New Testament term mystery carries the same connotation and Jesus taught much concerning the “mysteries” of the kingdom of heaven.  The Greek word is musterion meaning “a secret known only to the initiated.”  Jesus stated plainly that it was not given to the multitudes who followed Him for the loaves and fishes (blessings) to know these mysteries of the kingdom, but to His select disciples, His most intimate footstep followers, it was given.  Of the revelation given to Him by Jesus Christ Paul declared, “Now to Him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest” (Rom. 16:25-26).  On another occasion he wrote to the saints in Corinth, “We speak a wisdom among them that are perfect (full-grown, spiritually mature): yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery (a sacred secret), even a hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: which none of the princes of this world knew (including all the vaunted religious leaders of Israel): for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (I Cor. 2:6-8).  Passage could be piled upon passage where Paul speaks of this hidden mystery, the mystery of Christ, and the elect’s fellowship in the mystery.  Those who are inducted into this order of the Son of God are the “initiated” typified by Enoch, the seventh from Adam.  Great is the mystery!


            There are secrets known to the called and separated elect of the Lord which are of necessity hidden from all worldly people and all carnal Christians.  Those who are apprehended unto sonship to God for this new kingdom day manifest an abounding and ever increasing love for the Father, for it is  the Father’s heart, wisdom, power, and purpose that is made known unto them.  These are as the apostle said, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not” (I Jn. 3:1).  This unique relationship with the Father is disclosed by their fervently laying hold on all things that concern His wise purpose of the ages.  The love of the sons for the Father is not in word only, but in deed and in truth.  Reverently they submit to all the Father’s dealings, His chastenings and corrections, His counsel and His commandments. These people display a quiet abandonment and a gracious and happy submission to all the Father’s ways and will.  These elect saints are more than mere believers sitting on a church pew and participating in the programs and methods of their church system.  In fact, these holy sons of God have no affinity at all with the carnal church systems of man and care not one whit for their static creeds, distorted doctrines, lifeless rituals, empty ordinances, and carnal-minded, flesh-appeal programs.  To be led by the Spirit of God is now their meat and drink.  Content they are in heart to sit at the Father’s feet and to know Him and be known of Him.  They are a people chosen by the infinite wisdom and foreknowledge of God before the ages were framed.  Their body, soul, and spirit have become sanctified by the cleansing of the blood of Jesus and the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost.  Their lives are being transformed by the indwelling power of Christ’s resurrection and they are progressively being changed from glory to glory into His likeness and  image.  His love toward all men everywhere of all generations is being perfected in them in preparation for their approaching  ministry of restoring the whole of creation back into fellowship and union with God again.  The elect of God are to be found everywhere, though in any age they are few in number.  They are not the darlings of popular religion, but they are called and chosen of God and will be found dwelling in the secret place of the Most High, and under the shadow of the Almighty.

            Enoch was the seventh away from Adam, a complete departure from all carnality, sin, limitation, and death. We have read in Hebrews chapter 11 that it was by faith that Enoch was translated that he should not see death.  The Greek word here rendered “translated” is metatithemi which means “to transfer, transport, exchange, change sides.”  Surely you will  have noticed that the Greek word does not convey the idea of an “upward” motion as does our English word “translate.”  It means merely to “transfer” from one place, realm, or condition to another.  When we “translate” language, for  instance, from English into Spanish, we do not take anything up, we just “transfer” the thought from one idiom to another.  Anyone who has used a transfer pattern knows that the image from the pattern does not go up, it is imprinted (transferred) from the pattern to another object.  Money may be transferred from one account to another, it is moved but it doesn’t ascend up to heaven!  Now, a transferral may be upward, but the Greek word does not mean that exclusively nor primarily. Enoch was translated, Enoch was transferred, Enoch walked with God and one day as he and God were walking along together in blessed fellowship Enoch suddenly stepped right out of one dimension, out of one realm, out of one condition and state of being, into another world of reality, power, glory, and dominion. Whether it was a physical movement upward through the vastnesses of infinity I know not, but I do know that for Enoch his reality was transformed from the earthly to the heavenly, from the natural to the spiritual, from limitation and death into the eternal and fadeless kingdom of God.  Oh, the wonder of it!


            Now let us notice how Enoch achieved this remarkable transferral.  It was not by power — there is no record of Enoch performing any prowess in signs, wonders, miracles, or exploits of mighty works.  It was not by gifts, not by works, not even by righteousness, not by anything but faith.  “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death.”  BY FAITH!  It was a faith obtained by walking with God.  “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took Him.”  It is impossible to disconnect the walking with God from the faith by which Enoch was translated, transferred into the incorruptible and immortal realm of divine life.  Let everyone who has ears to hear stop and take earnest heed, because the Spirit today testifies everywhere among the elect of God that faith is obtained by walking with God.  It is not something we can conjure up by any self effort or even an intense desire to lay hold upon it.  Faith comes by what God reveals Himself to be unto us and such revelation of God and His will and ways comes only and always by walking in intimacy of fellowship and vital union with the Lord of glory.  When we walk with God long enough and far enough in the light of His presence and glory we too will eventually cross over into transformation into His image and  likeness to be as He is.


            There’s another interesting thing about Enoch.  This is found all the way back in the opening chapters of the book of Genesis where we find the long list of genealogies from the days of Adam forward.  “And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: and Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years…and all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: and Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Gen. 5:21-23).  Now isn’t that profound — and that is all the record says about Enoch!  All the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty five and he walked with God.  In biblical numerology a “day” stands for a “year” and a year can also represent a day.  I won’t belabor the point by citing examples of how that is revealed in the prophecies of the scriptures, but suffice it to say it is confirmed again and again in the sacred record.  Here we find that Enoch lived in that prophetic time scheme; he lived for 365 years which may be viewed as 365 days for there are 365 days in each year.   This fact in itself is one of the marvelous internal evidences of the inspiration of the scriptures, for in Bible times a year was reckoned as being composed of 360 days, not 365.  The Holy Spirit of inspiration has here provided for us an amazing example of His infinite knowledge and wisdom.  Even when men believed differently God knew and recorded the true number of days in a year.  Isn’t it wonderful!  The 365 years, or 365 prophetic days of Enoch’s walking with God bespeaks the cycle of God’s dealings in his life.  It means that when he came to the end of that time, the end of a day of years, when he had fulfilled all that was required of him in each and every dealing and purpose of God in his life, when the full cycle was complete and he reached the end of that "day” of the Lord in his walking with God, Enoch had accomplished all that God had ordained for him.  In the epistle to the Hebrews we have this simple and instructive statement: “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.  But without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Heb. 11:5-6).  Again, my beloved brethren, there is no record of mighty works or great external accomplishment, merely the faithful testimony that Enoch knew God and was known of Him and he PLEASED GOD.  If we listen carefully to the gentle  whisper of inspiration we will see at once wherein it was that Enoch pleased God.  “By faith Enoch was translated…for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.  But without faith it is impossible to please Him.”  Surely we can see by these words that it was Enoch’s faith that was pleasing to God, so pleasing, that he walked right into the heavens of God’s Spirit.  For all of those 365 years Enoch walked in the Spirit of the Lord, fellowshipped with God, experiencing within himself every appointed purpose of the Lord, growing mighty in obedience and blessing, becoming strong in confidence, expectation, and faith until by that faith he crossed over in  spirit, soul, and body.  He walked with God in every dealing of God and came to the place where he believed God in all that God required of him.  To every challenge the Lord raised up in his path Enoch said, “Amen.”  He staggered not in unbelief and  pleased God by his unswerving faith.


            Let us, then, cast aside all hindering weights that our fleshly heart of unbelief and religion’s carnal traditions have heaped upon us and, delivering our feet from the shackles that tie us to all earthly limitation, let us lift up our countenance unto the distant peaks sublime and to every word God speaks to us in this important hour let us breathe a hearty “Amen,” running with patience the race that is set before us, looking only to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.  We will understand a great mystery  when we see that we have entered into a covenant with God.  It is not only a covenant with God, it is God’s covenant.  In the Old Testament God says again and again, “I will make my covenant.”  It is God’s covenant and all we are asked to do is ratify the covenant by saying “Amen.”  When Yahweh met Israel upon the blazing pinnacles of mount Sinai He revealed His covenant to the people through Moses.  Yahweh didn’t ask them whether they wanted a covenant, the initiative was solely His and Moses delivered it to the people on behalf of Yahweh.  The people responded saying, “All that Yahweh has spoken, we will do.”  Do you see it?  Israel simply said “Amen” to the covenant!  Amen — so be it.  To all that God has spoken we say “Amen” — we will do it, so be  it!  Of course Israel failed to fulfill their promise because they were weak in their flesh and corrupt in their hearts and had not the power within themselves to keep the commandments and precepts that Yahwey delivered to them.  Yahweh was faithful, but Israel played the harlot and forsook the covenant of their God.


            It is a most remarkable thing that God says in Hebrews 8:10-13, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: and they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me from the least to the greatest.”  Today, as at Sinai, God does not ask us, precious friend of mine, whether or not we want a covenant.  He announces His covenant with this irresistible declaration, “This is the covenant that I WILL MAKE.”  Yet, we must say “Amen” to the covenant.  “And they shall BE to me a people.”  Those words denote an action on our part.  The requirement that is laid upon us today is the same requirement laid upon Enoch, the seventh from Adam.  The requirement is to walk with God and please God.  It is faith that pleases God!  In this new kingdom day the elect sons of God are called upon to say “Yes” to all that the Father brings into our lives to accomplish His work in us.  His work is to put His laws in our minds and write His covenant in our hearts, and our part is to walk forward in faith, saying, “Amen!”  God says, “I will BE to you a God,” and we gladly respond in faith, “We will BE to you a people!”  Yes, Lord!  As we submit, as we obey, as we stagger not in unbelief, becoming strong in faith by walking with God from victory to victory we bear this testimony  that God is pleased.  Aren’t you glad! 


            As we come to the end of our cycle of Father’s dealings we, too, will step into a new world, a new dimension of life and glory, into a new and higher and greater reality and power of the kingdom of God that we’ve never experienced before.  As we stand upon our two feet we will cross over into a new administration of life, incorruptibility, glory, majesty, dominion, power, grace, love, mercy, compassion, goodness and blessing.  As we walk with God and are strengthened in faith we step into our inheritance in God.  Hallelujah, it’s all BY FAITH!  It’s not by power, it’s not by works, it’s not by gifts, it’s not even by prayer, but it’s altogether by faith.  That is the mystery. 


            We are coming ever nearer to the day when the kingdom of God shall triumph in the world, bringing its blessings, benefits, righteousness, and power to all mankind and every nation.  All about us there is the knowledge that old things are rapidly passing away and the only hope for the world is the new day of blessedness so long desired and prayed for by the people of God.  The whole creation for six thousand years has ceaselessly groaned for the manifestation of the sons of God.  This blessed manifestation will at last set creation free from the bondage of corruption and usher all men everywhere into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.  It has been long in coming, but the spirit of prophecy in the body of Christ through the past several decades testifies beyond any doubt that it will soon arrive.  Once, in the world’s darkest hour, in the fullness of time God sent forth His firstborn Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer and die for the world, and when the fullness of time comes once more, nothing will hinder or prevent the manifestation of all the members of the Christ body, the sons of God. Just as surely as Enoch walked with God and stepped over into the realm of incorruption, glory, and power, so in this significant hour the sons of God who are walking in the Spirit of the Lord shall suddenly cross over into their full inheritance as manifest sons of God.  In the day of the manifestation of the sons  of God heaven and earth will rejoice and every creature will be glad.  The Lord will not hide His power forever nor leave His high and holy purpose for mankind and the nations of earth unfulfilled.  Enoch is the pattern and the pattern proclaims that this wonderful manifestation in and through the saints will be accomplished BY FAITH — PLUS NOTHING!


            Beautiful gems of truth are to be found in one of the Bible’s smallest books, the general epistle of Jude, the brother of James.  Following his salutation Jude exhorts the saints with these poignant words: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me  to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).  There is a beautiful subject introduced in these words and that subject is described as the “common salvation.”  Now by common salvation the apostle doesn’t mean that it’s ordinary, or base, or something without much value.  That’s not the intent at all, for no salvation from the great God of glory could be lacking in status, value, or distinction.  Jude simply means that our salvation is something that we’re all participating in, it’s common to us.  It involves all of us as the people of God and should any of us walk out today into the streets of our town  or city and speak with anyone, the homeless guy with his shopping cart, the drunk on the sidewalk, the prostitute at the curb, or the banker, the shop owner, the college professor, or any man or woman of any status of life, we can mention to any or all of them this common salvation because all humanity — every man, woman, boy, and girl on the planet is included in this great salvation of God.  Jesus Christ is truly  the Saviour of all men, and He is also the Saviour of the world.  Yes, He is!  He is not just a Saviour “for” the world, as the preachers so foolishly suggest, but He is indeed the Saviour OF the world — thus the world will be saved by Him.  And this, my beloved, is the common salvation.  It is indeed wonderful!


            The special blessedness that unites the hearts of all who read these lines is that we have been chosen by the grace of God to be the firstfruits of His redemption, the first of all mankind to experience the blessings and benefits of this common salvation.  As that  firstfruits God must accomplish within us the totality of this great salvation.  For us, the deep and glorious things of God and a full salvation in spirit, soul, and body are common truths, for we have been apprehended by God for a complete and total redemption, the sample and prototype of what this common salvation will ultimately be for every man.  Divine, incorruptible life  and  power and glory are the finished product of this common salvation.  I will not have anything on you, my beloved, you will  not have anything on me, for God shall present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.  We are all destined for a full and free and total and complete redemption, transformed from the earthly into the heavenly, as Enoch, the seventh away from Adam, initiated into the likeness and image of God’s firstborn Son.


            Now then, Jude says that he was giving all diligence to write to the saints concerning this common salvation.  But in connection with that beautiful truth he adds that it was needful for him also to exhort them that they should earnestly contend for THE FAITH that was once delivered unto the saints.  What do you think he means by “the faith”?  And what do you suppose he means when he says that the faith was “once delivered” to the saints?  It is more than a coincidence that the apostle calls our faith “the faith,” for it indisputably signifies that in all the world there is only ONE FAITH.  That faith is not a religion, it is not a denomination, it is not a  movement, nor is it a  creed.  Unthinking and unenlightened people are always asking, “What faith are you?”  I understand what they mean, they are asking what you believe, what religious system  or movement you adhere to.  That’s what they want to know.  They are looking for insight into your ideas about God and the Bible.  These folk are sincere in their query, but I have no hesitation whatever in telling you that none of those things they are so concerned about have anything at all to do with THE FAITH.  The faith is not a system, nor a doctrine, nor is it religious performances of any kind.  Faith is none of those!  Faith is not static, nor is it something organized or structured.  Faith is a living reality and power.  The apostle Paul revealed precisely what the faith is when he wrote, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by THE FAITH of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).  Can we not see by this that THE FAITH is nothing more nor less than the living, energizing, quickening, sustaining faith of the Son of God.  It is God’s very own faith, the same faith by which the worlds were framed, the faith of God Himself, the faith which God is — raised up in us by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Oh, the wonder of it!  This is the secret that has been hidden from the minds of all carnal Christians down through the ages.  Jesus commanded His disciples, “Have THE FAITH of God.”  Oh, yes, I know the King James Bible says, “Have faith in  God,” but that is not how the Greek text reads.  The words of Jesus were, “Have THE FAITH of God.”


            Paul tells us that there is “one faith.”  He states that this “one faith” is “the faith” of the Son of God.  That living faith has been given to us in the power of our regeneration.  The testimony of the spirit of truth is that this is the only faith there is!  It is the one true faith.  See now how Jude informs us of a further truth regarding  this faith, the great truth that “the faith” was “once delivered to the saints.”  You will notice in these words that the faith has not been delivered to the saints five times, nor ten times, nor one hundred times, nor a million times.  The faith is not dispensed on the installment plan, nor does it come down from heaven each time a person hears the word of salvation and, trusting in Jesus, is quickened and made alive in Christ.  That is how many people conceive of  it.  But no, Jude says that this faith was given once to the saints.  The question follows — if it was given once, when was it given?  How was it given?  The beautiful truth is that there are a number of things in the progressive unfolding of God’s purpose through the ages that we find God did only once.


            It is interesting to read in the book of Hebrews, chapters seven through ten, and find where it is stated that Christ once suffered, Christ was once offered up, being made a sacrifice on our behalf once and for all, and then with His blood He entered once into the holy place in the heavens of God’s Spirit to appear there for us — on our behalf.  There are several other examples in other places, but these will suffice for the present.  We are prone to lightly pass over many profound statements of holy scripture, but the statements just referred to cause us to wonder why God would do something only once if it is so good.  Yet — that is just the point!  You see, my beloved brothers and sisters, anything that needs to be done over and over again is neither complete, all-sufficient, nor very powerful.  Let the heart of every earnest believer be assured that there is great significance and divine purpose in the fact that many glorious things God has provided for us have been done only once!  Thank God that Jesus was offered up once, that He hung on the cross only once, that He shed His blood only once, He  died once, He rose once, He ascended once, and appeared in the holy place for us once.  Again we ask, Why only once?  How my soul exults in the answer to the question!  It is my deep conviction in the spirit of the Lord that God did all these things, and many more, only once simply because He had to do them only once.  Can we not see that it was unnecessary to repeat them again because out of the divine and omnipotent accomplishment of that once there is an eternal outflow of the efficacy, the life, the victory, the love and mercy, the wisdom and goodness, and its redemptive power.  That is the mystery!


            You need do a thing only once if from that one act there is an abounding and eternal outflow of its accomplishment.  Let me give you an illustration.  A man drills an artesian well.  He strikes water, the water gushes up out of the earth and for years, decades, and centuries it continues to flow and flow and flow.  I remember when I was a boy in south Alabama there was an artesian well right near the center of the town where I was raised.  They had piped that water and made it as a water fountain in a spot by the sidewalk and many times when we went to town I loved to go there and drink from that fountain.  There was never any need of a spigot because the water was always flowing day and night.  That was the marvel in my little childish mind, that every time we arrived there the fountain was flowing.  No one could turn it off, for there was an abundant, unending supply.  Many years later, after I was grown and married and had children of my own, we visited my former home town and one of our stops was at the fountain.  Wonder of wonders, it was still flowing!  I drank again, as did my children also. 


            May the Spirit of the Lord give each one who reads these words the spirit of thoughtfulness and revelation to grasp the beautiful truth that some man drilled that well, he drilled it once, because out of that once there came a perpetual flow and an abundant and never ending supply.  So in order to do something once and never need to do it again, you must have two things: an inexhaustible and infinite supply, an unlimited and eternal outflowing.  Ah, that is exactly what we have in Jesus!  He was once offered, one time, and here we are two thousand years later and we have stepped into that divine stream that flows from Immanuel’s veins.  Oh, bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name!  It is as the prophet has written, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop with new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah (praise) shall flow with water, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley…” (Joel 3:18).  “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David…for sin and uncleanness” (Zech. 13:1).  “Jesus answered her…Whoever takes a drink of the water that I shall give him shall never, no never, be thirsty any more.  But the water that I will give him  shall become a spring of water welling up, flowing, bubbling continually within him unto eternal life” (Jn. 4:14, Amplified).  “To the thirsty I Myself will give water without price from the springs of the water of  life” (Rev. 21:6, Amplified).


            Beloved of the Lord, we have stepped into that flow today and its life has overwhelmed us and we have drunk of that life and been quickened by that life, we have been transformed by that life-flow, and we have heard the voice of the Almighty out of that stream and we are being changed in spirit and soul and body by His power.  All this is out of something that He did two thousand years ago.  Oh, yes!  There are things yet to come  to pass that will need  to be done only once.  The sons of God will be revealed for the deliverance of creation and they will be manifest once, just as the firstborn Son of God has appeared once at a consummation of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.  There will be a stream from that once that will encompass all the ages and every spirit that has ever existed and  every person that has ever lived and all creation shall be set free from the bondage  of corruption and given an entrance into the liberty and glory of the children of God (Rom. 8:19-23).  The stream from the sons of God is the same stream from Immanuel’s veins, the ever-increasing river of God that shall flow and flow until everything everywhere shall live unto Him.  In that blessed day all shall know the  glorious truth penned by the writer of the chorus that says:


                                                His love has no limit,

                                                His grace has no measure,

                                                His power has no boundaries known unto men;

                                                For out of His infinite riches in Jesus

                                                He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!


            It is very important that we see this truth, because once we understand it, we comprehend as never before the unfathomable depths in the words of the apostle when he exhorts us to contend earnestly for the FAITH ONCE DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS.  Infinitely significant are the words John adds to this in his first epistle, “For whosoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our FAITH” (I Jn. 5:4).  Does he say, “This is the victory that overcomes the world — even our gifts?”  Or, “This is the victory that overcomes the world — even our power?”  Or again, “This is the victory that overcomes the world — even our ministry?”  Ah, it is none of those.  It is greater than all.  This is the victory that overcomes the world — even our FAITH!  I perceive that in this hour God is stirring afresh and quickening  in new dimensions that faith that will bring us into our inheritance as the sons of God.  It’s only by faith! For many years I have been blessed and challenged by the words of the little chorus:


Hallelujah, it’s all by faith,

Hallelujah, not a faith of my own;

Hallelujah, it’s all by faith,

By the faith  of the Son of God!


            All that God has promised us, all that God requires of us, all that God shall do in and through us is BY FAITH.  I rejoice in gifts, I thank God for power, I praise God for His love, His mercy, His faithfulness, and His multiplied blessings.  They are all a part of the package, but the victory that overcomes the world, the victory of all those great saints who in ancient times did exploits, the victory of Enoch, the seventh from Adam, to be translated into the fullness of Christ, the victory that will enable  the sons of God to conquer sin and death and hell and bring blessed release to the whole of  creation  — indeed, the victory that overcomes the  world IS FAITH.  What a revelation that is!


            This living faith has been given to the saints of the Most High once.  It is the faith of God, the faith of His Son Jesus Christ; therefore it was given to us by and through Jesus.  This stream of faith was not always flowing as Paul so ably makes known in his letter to the Galatians.  “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise of faith by Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up from the faith which should afterwards be revealed.  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal. 3:22-24).  The Amplified Bible reads a little closer to the Greek text, saying, “Now before THE FAITH came, we were perpetually guarded under the Law, kept in custody in preparation for THE FAITH that was destined to be revealed.”  I find  myself too limited in both expression and articulation to set forth this truth as I should do, but I pray the Holy Spirit to take these words and anoint all who read, imparting the ability to see that with Jesus THE FAITH CAME, THE FAITH WAS BROUGHT FIRST  TO THE SAINTS, IT WAS GIVEN IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ONCE, AND OUT OF THAT ONCE FLOWS THE LIVING STREAM OF A DIVINE FAITH THAT IS INFINITELY AND UNCEASINGLY FLOWING OUT TO ALL MANKIND.  ONCE!  ONCE GIVEN!  ETERNALLY FLOWING!  There is an abundant supply, my friend.  Let me close this message by quoting the words of  the Lord Jesus who has brought us this faith — “Have the faith of God.”  May we, like Enoch, walk with God until by faith we cross over into the fullness of God.  Amen!



 To be continued…     J. PRESTON EBY



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Updated by Sharon Eby 11/02/2017 11:13:36 PM