Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. — Nehemiah 8:8

January 14, 2007

Volume 6 Number 2

Eyes of Faith

When we look about us, what do we see? Do we only see physical objects and people, or can we also "see" spiritual things? While our physical eyes reveal the physical world about us, it is our "spiritual eyes" that show us that which is spiritual. Paul explains the importance of looking beyond that which can be seen with physical eyes. We need to also see "eternal" things:

18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. -2 Corinthians 4

The things that can be seen with the natural eye are called temporal. They are limited by time and space and are often measurable and/or countable. The "deep things of God," however, are not revealed to us physically, but spiritually. Paul explains:

9 But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.

10 But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. -1 Corinthians 2

He continues, explaining that the Spirit of God teaches us things that cannot be understood through the worldly wisdom of man:

11 For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God.

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. -1 Corinthians 2

It takes "spiritual eyes" to see things which are beyond the temporal world. These might be called "eyes of faith." They see things which are not visible to the natural eyes. The writer of the Book of Hebrews explains:

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. -Hebrews 11

Faith is called "substance" and "evidence" of things we hope for but cannot see. Having faith, we can see beyond that which is temporal. The writer of Hebrews continues concerning faith:

2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. -Hebrews 11

Having the "spiritual eyes" of faith, the "elders," or forefathers, testified of a reality that they had not yet seen with their natural eyes. Looking beyond their personal circumstances, they were able to "see" the promises of Yahweh fulfilled.

Abraham’s faith was so strong that he was willing to take action that seemed contrary to Yahweh’s promise. Even though Yahweh promised a blessing upon the nations through Abraham’s son, Isaac, Abraham was willing to offer him as a sacrifice. The "angel of Yahweh" responded to this act of obedience:

15 And the angel of Yahweh called to Abraham out of heaven the second time,

16 And said, By myself have I sworn, says Yahweh, for because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son:

17 That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

18 And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice. -Genesis 22

What was this promise that Abraham believed so strongly that he was willing to completely obey Yahweh’s word, even though it seemed contrary to the very promise that Yahweh had made to him? It was the promise of our redemption from the "curse of the law" through the Messiah. Paul explains:

13 The Messiah has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree:

14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Yahshua the Messiah; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it is but a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no man annuls, or adds thereto.

16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He said not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to your seed, which is the Messiah. -Galatians 3

Therefore, Abraham was able to "see" by faith that the promise Yahweh made to him was already fulfilled:

6 And he believed in Yahweh; and he counted it to him for righteousness. -Genesis 15

Because the promise preceded the law, it is not subject to the law. Therefore, it cannot be received through the law:

17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in the Messiah, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot annul, that it should make the promise of no effect.

18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. -Galatians 3

The promise made by Yahweh is fulfilled through the Messiah as "yes" and "amen:"

20 For all the promises of God in him are yes, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

21 Now he which establishes us with you in the Messiah, and has anointed us, is God;

22 Who has also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. -2 Corinthians 1

The word, "amen," is powerful. It affirms the truth or the reality of what is said. Meaning "so be it" or "so it is," the word confirms a promise as a reality. In other words, when God makes a promise, even though we may not yet see its fulfilment with our natural eyes, it already is. Believing Him, we see the reality of the promise through "eyes of faith."

When Yahweh made the promise, Abraham believed Him. He did not need to see the physical fulfillment of the promise in order to believe that it was so. Therefore, by faith, Abraham was counted as righteous:

While Enoch was "translated" without death, many Old Testament believers, such as Abel, Noah, Abraham, and Sarah, died in faith:

13 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. -Hebrews 11

They did not see and receive the promise of Yahweh with their physical eyes, but they saw it with their "spiritual eyes." They all took actions that showed their belief in Yahweh (see Hebrews 11:4-12). Through these actions, they all demonstrated that they were fully "persuaded" and they "embraced," and "confessed" the promise. Their actions revealed their faith. Therefore, each pleased God:

6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. -Hebrews 11

When the Messiah came to earth, that which many ancient prophets and kings saw by faith was finally revealed in the flesh. Yahshua told His disciples that their eyes were blessed to see what they see:

23 And he turned him to his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that you see:

24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which you see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which you hear, and have not heard them. -Luke 10

Even though the promise was finally revealed in the flesh, some who saw the Messiah with their physical eyes, such as Thomas, still doubted. Yahshua told Thomas:

27 Then said he to Thomas, Reach here your finger, and behold my hands; and reach here your hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

28 And Thomas answered and said to him, My Lord and my God.

29 Yahshua said to him, Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. -John 20

The Gospel concerning Yahshua was written to help us believe in Him, even though we have not seen Him with our physical eyes:

31 But these are written, that you might believe that Yahshua is the Messiah, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name. -John 20

Having "eyes of faith," we "see" the promise that Yahweh made to Abraham. By faith, we receive it:

25 And this is the promise that he has promised us, even eternal life. -1 John 2




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