Dead in Faith – Confessed Faith (Lesson 5)

By Kathy L McFarland

Faith is still not fully expressed through belief in the LORD God’s promises made through Jesus Christ by persuading and embracing; they must also be confessed, or faith is not perfected and complete. Through this study of “Confessed Faith” we will soon recognize that our own Christian belief has the same requirements of persuasion, embracing and confessing, as did the belief of our adopted ancestors through Abraham’s generations.

Hebrews 11:14-16

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 11:13–16)

It is important to note, first and foremost, what was confessed by the generations after Abraham and before the Lord Jesus Christ came to the Earth with the nature of human being. They confessed that they were “strangers” and “pilgrims” on the earth. When the strangers and pilgrims confessed, they spoke as with one mind. They all were saying the same thing…they did not belong on this earth, in this life, in this time anymore. They were “strangers” and did not know the place, tradition and common life style of the worldly and wicked that inhabited the kingdom of mankind. They were “pilgrims” which made them feel like wandering aliens, without a place to make home. They were temporary residents that did not belong to the kingdom of mankind; they felt like foreigners, unable to fit in or live fully in the places of carnal man.

Of course, this would not come as any surprise to Abram if he had been alive to see it all come to pass. The LORD God started the stranger status with prophesy that would come to pass:

“And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. 13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.” (Genesis 15:12-14)

“And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. 8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:9)

The LORD God gave His Chosen People, the “strangers,” a piece of land for themselves that would belong to them forever and ever. It would become an everlasting possession to the strangers that was not to be given away to anyone else, no matter how much the worldly or the wicked demanded! The inhabitants of the world had possession of all other land in the world; but, the land of Canaan, which later was called Israel, was the one place where the strangers could belong, live and possess.

What a powerful prayer David sings to His LORD God!

Psalm 39:12-13

“Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. 13 O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.” (Psalm 39:12-13)

David knew that both he and the LORD God were strangers to the wicked and carnal world. It was not His world, but rather the kingdom of Lucifer, seized by the wicked release of sin into the world amongst the compliant commoners who did not know the LORD God.

Now the LORD God’s people may be strangers to the whole world with Him, but there is one place they belong, where all the rest of the world does not. That is within the land He has given to them to possess, and within their Chosen People ranks.

Nehemiah 9:1-3

“Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them. 2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God.” (Nehemiah 9:1-3)

Note how the world is the “strangers” also, when trying to come into the presence of the Chosen People of God. It’s all a matter of location, location, location when the “strangers” tag is applied! Also pay attention to the process: Separate from strangers, stand and confess personal and father sins, stand in place and read the book of the law of the LORD God, then confess, and finally worship Him! (The pattern of faith clearly is established at this important point!)

Those belonging to the LORD God are the strangers of the world and desire to follow the laws, judgments, testimonies and ordinances of Him.

“I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me. 20 My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times. 21 Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments. 22 Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.” (Psalm 119:19–22)

Those NOT belonging to Him, do not obey Him.

Our Lord Jesus Christ stressed the difference between the world and His Kingdom when he stood before Pilate and answered his charge.

John 18:36

“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18:36)

Just as the Israelites were God’s Chosen People and not a part of the world, so are the followers of Jesus Christ without a kingdom in this world. Christians are as much a stranger to the world as our Jewish brothers and sisters. The Kingdom of God is located where He dwells, and is ruled by our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not upon the present-day earth; Revelation 21 records it will be located one day on the New Heaven and Earth, with New Jerusalem the center of government by our Lord.

The Lord Jesus Christ also stated the importance of seeking the Kingdom of God and righteousness, and thus rejecting the wicked things of mankind.

Matthew 6:33

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

His parable, “The Tares of the Field,” expresses the differences between the world and the Kingdom and the inhabitants of both, perfectly!

Matthew 13:36-43

“Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38 † The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 † The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:36-43)

The Israelites learned from the LORD God that they were strangers in this world, and that the Kingdom of God was their true home. Christians learn through Jesus Christ the same thing. But that is not the only similarity between the two groups of believers. The matter of faith requires persuading, embracing and confessing to make perfect the trust and belief in the Promises of the LORD God.

1 John 4:2-6

“Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:2–6)

Confessing the Lord Jesus Christ brings trouble to the Christian strangers who do not belong to this world!

Matthew 10:32–40

“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 10:32–40)

Our perfected faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and our confession of these promises given by the LORD God allows us to overcome this world as we await our Kingdom of God to come!

1 John 1:1-5

“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is borna of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1 John 1:1-5)

Hebrews 10:22-24

“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)( Hebrews 10:22–24)

The Nature of Faith Today

Sadly, today’s faith is not always an emulation of the faith of the ancient dead. Rather, it is a pretense in order to trick others to regard them favorably, or trick God into giving them reward, or trick death by hedging their bets on eternity by merely playing the “faith game.

Many, many, many Christian churches today allow their congregation to express faith in all manner of ideas. Some may believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, while others believe in a “higher power, and some think that there may not even be an actual Lord Jesus Christ, but the ideals are moral and uplifting to a society, and worthy to uphold. Some churches are moved by the devil himself, and doing works that are dead to God while giving the appearance of moral goodness. Many churches are peppered with “good” congregations that honor nature as unbelieving naturalists. Some contain ignorant feel-good people that deny the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, but attend church for appearance sake. The nature of faith today is often vastly different and changed from the faith of past Believers.

Is your faith so strong that you would follow after Christ even if you did not have promised salvation? Would your faith measure well even without the view of others? Would your love for Him be enough, without expectations of reward and promise? Are you able to declare allegiance to God without thought of promise, reward, or attention?

Praise God! For He alone is the giver and Perfector of our faith and the Rewarder of our salvation and eternal life through the redemption of the Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrificed blood.

Thanks Be to God!