As believers in Christ, we are sons of Abraham, and we need to live a life by faith – we need to be today’s “river crossers” to live the life of the altar and the tent. Abraham’s life and experience of God is being repeated in our life and experience with God today.
We walk in the footsteps of our father Abraham, walking in his faith. What we see with Abraham firstly is that he believed God, and this faith was considered by God as righteousness.
How did Abraham believe God? Was Abraham really this “giant of faith” that many believers think? If we read the story of Abraham we will see that he dragged his feet in following God, and it was God’s appearing again and again that infused him with faith to continue in his journey. When God appeared to Abraham, something happened: he was infused with God and he believed God!
Our faith today is not something that we “do our best to believe in” or something that we muster up, neither is our faith excluding our mind and putting it aside. Rather, we have a spirit of faith (2 Cor. 4:13), and it is by looking away unto Jesus that we believe into Him! When we look away unto Jesus, we are infused with Him: He generates faith in us by becoming our subjective faith, the believing element in us.
There is not a believing cell or bone in our body but rather we have doubts in our mind; but when we look away unto Jesus, we are infused with Him through the hearing of faith and we simply believe!
By faith, we cross over any river that the Lord wants us to cross over, and we become real Hebrews in His eyes, His people. By faith we live the Christian life and the church life, and we are separated from the world to enjoy the good land of blessing (the all-inclusive Christ) in the church life!
In the church life today we live the life of the altar and the tent, and we cross the river to be the real Hebrews, the people of God, and to enjoy Christ as the good land. Hallelujah!
The Believers in Christ are the Corporate Seed of Abraham
The Jewish people today is the fleshly seed of Abraham, and they are the earthly descendant of Abraham (who is their forefather). However, as believers in Christ, we are the corporate seed of Abraham, those who repeat the history of Abraham and walk in his steps to live a life by faith on earth today (see Rom. 4:11-12).
Abraham is our spiritual father, and we walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham. But how can we, Gentile people, become the corporate seed of Abraham?
When God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ, He was the promised seed of Abraham. In His resurrection, Christ as the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45). Christ in the flesh was the seed of Abraham, the son of Abraham, and a descendant of Abraham, and He was transfigured to become a life-giving Spirit as a transfigured descendant of Abraham!
As the transfigured descendant of Abraham, Christ was dispensed into us to make us all descendants of Abraham, the corporate seed of Abraham (see Gal. 3:6-7, 9, 16, 29). We today inherit the consummated Spirit as the blessing of Abraham (Gal. 3:14), having Abraham as our father, and we enjoy the spiritual inheritance of the processed and consummated Triune God for eternity (Acts 26:18; Eph. 1:14)!
Whoever opens to the Lord, repents, and believes into Him becomes a son of Abraham, part of the corporate seed of Abraham by faith.
Five Points Concerning Faith and Our Believing into Christ
Many people today hear something of the word of God, see the Christians preaching the gospel, are being persuaded by other believers to repent, read something from the Bible, but still wonder,
Does this really mean that I have to “throw my mind away” and mindlessly believe in God? How can I believe in God if I don’t see Him, understand Him, comprehend what He’s about, and so on? Am I supposed to be “brainwashed” with “believing in God”?
Well, the Bible speaks a clear word concerning faith and our believing into God, and here are five main points that may shed some light on this matter:
1. Faith is to believe that God is and we are not. In Heb. 11:5-6 we see that, before Enoch was raptured by God, he obtained the testimony that he was pleasing to God; everyone who comes forward to God must believe that God is. First of all, we need to believe that God is. Gen. 5:23-24 says that “and Enoch was not, because God took him.” To believe means, on the one hand, to believe that God is, and, on the other hand, to believe that we are not! God is the Unique One, the Only One in Everything, and we are Nothing in everything.
2. Faith comes by looking away unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:1-2). How can we believe? It’s by looking at Jesus, the One who is the Author and the Perfecter of our faith. When we look at Jesus, He as the life-giving Spirit infuses us with Himself, and spontaneously something rises up in our being: we believe! Faith doesn’t originate from us but of God. When we look at the Lord Jesus, He imparts Himself into us as the believing element to believe for us. He Himself becomes our faith and we live by Him as our faith. If we keep looking to Jesus, He will complete what He has begun in us. Look away from anything and anyone else that is NOT Jesus to Him. Don’t look at your situation, at other people, or at things; look AWAY to Jesus, because only Jesus is and anything else is NOT!
3. Our mingled spirit is a spirit of faith (2 Cor. 4:13). When we look away unto Jesus, He as the Spirit comes into our spirit to regenerate our spirit and fill our spirit with faith; now we have a spirit of faith! Our mingled spirit is a “house of faith”, and it is because of our spirit of faith that we believe in God, the things of God, God’s economy, the word of God, the Christ of God, and the church of God.
4. Faith operates through love (Gal. 5:6). When we tell the Lord, “Lord Jesus, I love You!”, faith operates in you. When we love the Lord with all of our heart and mind and soul, He manifests Himself to us, He infuses us with Himself, and He increases faith in us (John 14:21). When we love the Lord, He loves us back, and we are infused with faith, believing in Him in an organic union with Him.
5. Faith comes through hearing, and hearing comes through the word of Christ (Rom. 10:17). When we hear the word of God, we have the hearing of faith (Gal. 3:5), which takes places in the meetings of the church, in one-on-one meetings with believers filled with Christ, in the ministry meetings, etc. When we have the hearing of faith, we hear the word of God, we appreciate the Lord Jesus, we call on the Lord’s name, we receive the supply of the Spirit, we accept Christ, we are being joined to the Lord Jesus, we partake of Christ, and we enjoy Christ!
It is by such a faith that we live today in the church life a repetition of the life that Abraham lived before God. The Christian life and the church life today are the harvest of the life and history of Abraham, and all the genuine believers in Christ should live a life by faith, a life by being infused with God to become their subjective faith by which they live.
The Believers in Christ are the Real Hebrews, and our God is the God of the Hebrews
The first Hebrew was Abraham, and God is called “the God of the Hebrews” (see Gen. 14:13; Exo. 7:16; 9:1, 13; Rom. 4:11-12; Heb. 1:1). A Hebrew is someone who crosses the river, a river crosser. Abraham was called by God out from Chaldea, an idolatrous land, filled with satanic, devilish, and demonic things.
God didn’t tell Abraham where to go: He simply called him out (Heb. 11:8). Eventually, Abraham crossed the great river, and he “dwelt across the river” (Joshua 24:2-3). The believers in Christ are the real Hebrews: they “cross the river” by being baptized, and when they come on the other side they enjoy the good land, the all-inclusive Christ!
God desires to save us by bringing us out of the world which has been corrupted and usurped by Satan, and we need to be baptized and live in the reality of our baptism today so that we may be the real Hebrews! On “the other side of the river” we now build up the church by enjoying the riches of Christ, and we live a life separated from this world.
We are river crossers: Hebrews is our name! Our God is the God of the Hebrews, and we cross every river to leave all the old things behind until we are fully in God, one with Him to be the Holy City, New Jerusalem!
Lord, we look away from all things, persons, and situations unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith! Infuse us with Yourself as the believing element, Lord, that we may live a life of faith like our father Abraham. Lord, we believe that You are and we are not; You are the only One, and anyone and anything else is not. We want to follow in the steps of our father Abraham, living a life of the altar and the tent, a life of crossing the river into Christ as the good land for the building up of the church!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. Ed Marks’ speaking in the message for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Hebrews (msg. 1), as quoted in, the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Genesis (2), week 2 / msg 2, Living by Faith—Being Today’s River Crossers to Live the Life of the Altar and the Tent (you can buy this morning revival book here).
- Hymns on this topic:
# What glory! How attractive was this light! / How we appreciated such a sight! / Our first reaction was belief in Him— / This precious God has placed Himself within. / Our first reflection of this element / Reflected Jesus back to God, Who sent / His own response to count as righteousness / Our faith in Him Who was infused in us. (Hymns #1202)
# I couldn’t, Lord, believe, / But, Lord, You still appeared. / Your life in me conceived, / Dear Lord, I now believe. / You called not being as being / In me conceiving. / Your life transfusing, / I’m now reacting. / O God of glory, / You’re now my story. / Dear One, I can’t refuse! / By You, I’ve been transfused. (Howard Higashi song on, O God of Glory)
# We’re the river-crossers, Hebrews is our name; / Crossed the Euphrates, idols all are slain. / Entered into Canaan, left the other side; / Seeking a city, which shall e’er abide. / We are the Hebrews, that’s our real name; / We’ve crossed the river, we are not the same. / Building God’s house that He may dwell on earth. (Hymns #1271)