November 15

Hebrews 11:1-19

In chapter 10 we were encouraged to live by faith and not to shrink back. The writer continues to expound on faith in chapter 11, defining it, and giving examples of it.

The examples given are not just about people who believed God; but they are about men and women who relied on and submitted to God, then acted from that trusted and surrendered relationship.

In verse 2, it says that by faith the elders obtained a good testimony. A testimony is something a witness gives. A witness is someone who has seen or heard something. That experience is the substance to their testimony. When a witness goes to court, the witness is considered evidence in the case, the proof for or against the defendant. What is the proof of our testimony? What is the evidence?

When it comes to matters of the spirit, we first receive in the spirit, or with our heart. When we pray or study God’s Word, we come to a place where we ask, and we receive something from God in the spirit. It may not be manifested in the natural right away, but we know we have it in our heart.

In verse 13 it says, “These all died in faith, not having received the promise,” speaking of Christ. However, they did receive Christ by faith in their heart, knowing that one day He would come to earth. They saw the promise afar off and were “assured of them, embraced them, and confessed.”

“Abraham, how did you know Jesus was coming?” Christ was revealed to him in the spirit, and Abraham believed it, relied on it, and acted on it. He was so convinced of what was true in the spirit, that when God asked Abraham to take Isaac’s life, Abraham believed God would raise Isaac from the dead, for God had said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called (11:17-19).”

Receiving from God first takes place in the spirit by that reliant and obedience faith. In Mark 11, Jesus cursed a fig tree. It wasn’t obvious that the tree had died on that day. A few days later, when passing back by the tree, the disciples were surprised that the tree had died. Then Jesus told them, “Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them (Mark 11:24).” Jesus didn’t say, “Pretend you receive them.” He was telling them “receive them” in the spirit, and you will “have them” in the natural. What’s the proof? What’s the evidence? I know that in the spirit, I have received my miracle, my salvation, my forgiveness, my healing, my provision, my baptism in the Holy Spirit, my peace, my joy, my freedom! Eventually you’ll see it in the natural, just like that fig tree. How do I know? My faith tells me so!

Ezekiel 10-12

In chapter 10 we read about the manifested glory of God (10:4), and we read about how the glory of God departed from the temple (10:18). The Hebrew noun for glory is kabowd (3519). It occurs 189 times in the Old Testament. It describes what is honorable. It comes from the verb kabad (3513) meaning “to honor.” Kabad also means “to make heavy,” as in giving value, to glorify. It means “to be great, to have plenty, to make notable, to be renown.” Kabowd (or chabod) also means “splendor, excellence, majesty.” It can also be used to describe riches, abundance, power, authority, fame, dignity.” It’s a renown and visible splendor; it’s something substantial, with weight.

The opposite of glory is a lightness, vanity, instability, temporariness, and emptiness. When something is light, gravity does not hold it down. This is the meaning behind hanging someone on a cross as a curse, it’s an insult that means, “You do not have worth.” God’s glory can come and go. It will roll in, and it will sometimes roll out if the Holy Spirit is grieved.

When God’s presence would fill the temple, His glory would manifest. It was a power and authority that was so strong, people could not stand. God’s glory was often manifested in a cloud, perhaps has a veil to keep us protected from God’s strength. There are some today that are said to have seen into the spirit and witnessed this glory cloud in church gatherings.

Chapter 11 gives judgment to wicked counselors. It also mentions regathering the Jews, changing their heart from stone to flesh, from hardened and closed to pliable and open. This word is for the Hebrews of the day, but it could also be predictive of the regathering of the Jews in Jerusalem for the millennium.

In chapter 12 God warns that judgment will not be postponed, and again we see the phrase, “you shall know that I am the Lord (12:20).” Anytime we see a phrase being repeated, we should understand that phrase is a message God is emphasizing. Even in judgment, we see God’s purpose, wanting His people to know that He is the Lord.

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