Those on the outside hear what they think the Word of God says.  
They hear that Sunday is the correct day to keep holy.  They hear
that December the 25th is the birthday of the Son of God.  They
hear that Good Friday is the day that God died.  They hear many
things, and guess what?  They do many wonderful works all based
on faith in what they hear, but they don't have the gift of faith.  
They don't have the gift of reading and understanding the truth so
they can have faith in the right things.

Only those given the holy spirit can have righteous faith.  Is this an
elitist doctrine?  If it is, then God is an elitist!

Those who teach such doctrine are themselves in danger of losing
their salvation if indeed they ever were called and chosen to
understand the truth to begin with.  Teachers of vanity who go
about with a doctrine of "I'm OK, your OK, have the deeds of a
dead faith.

Mat 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart
from me, ye that work iniquity.

We hear such statements as "Draw close to faith."  What does such
a statement mean?  The word <faith> in this statement has been
personified, or figured in some way by the speaker.  The word
<faith> in this statement means something beyond the dictionary
definition of what the word means in the literal sense.  A figure is
being employed here.  Is faith a person?  How do we draw close to
faith?

The only way I can understand such a statement is in context with
the following two verses:

Joh 12:32  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men
unto me.    

Jas 4:8  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse
your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.   

If we draw nigh to God, then we will have stirred up the gift of the
holy spirit within us.  Then when we read the word of God, we will
be able to clearly see what is required of us and will have great faith
to follow through on what we know.  Our lives will then project the
life of The Messiah and our works will manifest a faith that is pure
and true.

It is very important that we speak about the subject of faith in
literal terms, if we are to ever understand it.  If a teacher
understands what he is saying...If he knows that he is employing a
figure of speech...If those listening to him know that he is employing
a figure of speech...then a powerful lesson can be taught and
learned.  

But, because the religionists have used figures of speech to cloud
the issue of faith...whether intentionally, or under the influence of
Satan the devil...it is the best course in my opinion to speak about
faith in literal terms, if we are to ever understand what is being
taught.  So many people today don't understand figures in religious
sounding phrases.  Because the Bible is a book about spiritual
things, it is easy to drift off into figures.  But when we are trying to
get a clear understanding of the subject, we should avoid figures as
much as possible.

Figures are abstract in their usage.  In many schools of basic
education, figures have not been dealt with thoroughly.  Many
high-school graduates don't even know what one is talking about
when he mentions the words "figures of speech."  I have tried this
just to see if the concept is known.  It is not very well known.  
Abstract thinking is theoretical in nature.  It is not concrete.  It is
difficult to understand.  Why do we use such tools in the English or
any language for that matter?  

There are several reasons for using figurative speech.  Economy of
words is a good reason, if everyone understands clearly what is
being said.  But, because teachers of the Bible have used figures to
give a satanic twist to the understanding of faith, we need to avoid
figures on this subject until we are well grounded in its
understanding.  In fact, where the KJV of the Bible itself uses
figures on this subject, we need to explain those figures in literal
language so all can understand.

We have learned so far that faith is a gift given to us, but not an
outright gift as we may have thought in the past.  The ability to
understand truth makes it possible for us to have faith beyond the
belief of those who know not the truth.  We can hear the word and
understand what it is saying.  Then we can live what we know is
true by the power of the holy spirit that dwells within us.  
Therefore, we have a living faith.
Part 3
All this talk about faith <or> works is moot.  In other words, to
argue whether one is living by works or living by faith is irrelevant.  
If one has works, he has faith.  If one has faith but no works, it is a
dead faith.  Therefore, the question we should be addressing is,
What kind of faith do our works manifest that we have?  Do our
works indicate that we don't understand the scriptures, or do our
works indicate that we have a good working knowledge of the
scriptures?  That is the question that <we> ought to be asking
ourselves.

We need our senses fine tuned to what is right and whether we are
following after that which is right.  Read the following account of
David and Saul and see what kind of faith David had!  His senses
were fine-tuned to what was right.  Even a small infraction caused
him to realize he had overstepped his conscience.  Even when Saul
was out to kill him, his conscience smote him for cutting off a small
corner of Saul's robe.  Here was a man after God's own heart!  
Here was a man who had faith with works and not faith alone.

1Sam 24: 4  And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which
the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand,
that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David
arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily. {Saul's...: Heb. the robe
which was Saul's}
5  And it came to pass afterward, that David's heart smote him, because he
had cut off Saul's skirt.
6  And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing
unto my master, the LORD'S anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against
him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.
7  So David stayed his servants with these words, and suffered them not to
rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way.
{stayed: Heb. cut off}   

But, sometimes we will trespass in ways that are gross, and
sometimes on a continual basis because our hearts are seared and
we try to cover our actions or sins with the belief that what we do is
not important.  Don't be deceived.

Ga 6:7  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth,
that shall he also reap.

Nu 32:23  But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD:
and be sure your sin will find you out.    

So, what we do is read the Scriptures.  We believe the Scriptures
and it is accounted to us as righteousness, because we do what the
Bible says; we follow through on what we understand to be the
right way.  We have faith, because we believe the Scriptures just as
Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for
righteousness.  Abraham was the father of the faithful, not because
he went on his way and did what he pleased in spite of what God
had said, but because he did what he heard from God.

Ga 3:6  Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for
righteousness. {accounted: or, imputed}  

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

The above verse tells us that we cannot please God unless we have
faith.  We must believe that God exists, but beyond that, we must
believe that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.  Notice that
faith is belief.  That is where faith begins.  However, it must
develop into works of righteousness in order for the right kind of
faith to be full-grown.  

The religionists love the following verses, at least some of these
verses, because they are easily twisted into saying what they wish
they did say.  Verse 25 says that we must have faith that the blood
of The Messiah will wipe away our past sins.  How do we do this?  
Verse 26 says we must <believe> in Yahshua.  In other words, if we
believe that The Messiah's blood will wipe away our past sins, then
we have faith in Him for that purpose.

Rom 3:24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is
in Christ Jesus:
25  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,
to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through
the forbearance of God; {set forth: or, foreordained}
26  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just,
and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Do works justify us then?  No!  We are justified because we
believe in the sacrifice of The Messiah to wash away our past sins.  
There are no works that we can do to wipe away our past sins, or
any sin for that matter.  Once the sin is committed, we have to
believe that the blood of the Messiah will be used to wipe away our
sin.  That belief is our faith in the sacrifice of The Messiah.  

Of course, the reason this verse is exciting to some teachers is
because they project this verse into the future.  They reason, "If
our sins are wiped away without any effort on our part, then this
must mean that we don't have to do anything to keep from
sinning."  Of course such reasoning by a son of God will create a
son of Satan!  We know better.  For those who are not given the
gift of faith through the indwelling of the holy spirit, they will
understand in the future how wrong they were!

27  Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but
by the law of faith.

Therefore, we are justified by faith (our belief in The Messiah)
without the deeds of the law.  That is, our sins are passed over, or
justified by faith in The Messiah, not with some deeds of the law, or
any other deeds, or works.

28  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds
of the law.
29  Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the
Gentiles also:
30  Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and
uncircumcision through faith.

But, this is for sins past.  Whether we are speaking of sins that
were committed long ago, or just today, after they have been
committed there is only one remedy.  Faith, or belief in The
Messiah for remission of the sins, for the passing over of the sins.

But, does this make the law void?  No, because the law is for right
now.  The law is for the future of our lives.  The law is a lamp to our
feet and a light to our path.  In order not to continue in sin, we learn
what the law says and believe it enough to search ourselves to try
to commit fewer sins in the present and future by the power of the
holy spirit within us.  We don't want to go on forever like a little
baby unable to walk, unable to talk, unable to grow up.  We want to
mature into a full man able to be accountable for doing what is
right.  If one cannot overcome sin, he is a baby.  He has not drawn
close to God, so that God can draw close to him.

31  Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we
establish the law.

And, after we grow up in the faith, our faith with our works makes
for a perfect, balanced, mature person.  We don't sin so much as
before.  We have accomplishments that please our Father.  This is
accomplished by hearing the word, and believing the word, which is
our faith.  Then we seek the strength of God to help us abide by
what we know is right and our faith is developed into living faith.  
We are then really able to keep from stealing, to keep from
committing adultery, to keep from yearning for the sins of pleasure
for a season.

James 2:20  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is
dead?
21  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered
Isaac his son upon the altar?
22  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith
made perfect? {Seest...: or, Thou seest}  

I want to go back to Eph 2.8 for a few more comments.  We are
saved through faith.  In other words, we are drawn by God to
believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently
seek Him.  We must believe that God can save us, or we will never
be saved.  God will not save a person who believes that this
salvation thing is a bunch of baloney.  So, we have our part.  We
believe, but we believe because we are given insight to see that the
scriptures are the words of Someone who is greater than we are.  
We read them and believe them literally.  That is a gift from God.

Remember what the covenant is?  The covenant, which God has
established with us, is that we will have His law in our minds and in
our hearts.  In other words, we will be able to understand the laws,
and we will have a desire to keep those laws.  That is our gift from
God.  It is made possible through the gift of the holy spirit.

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. {ordained: or,
prepared}

So, our salvation is not of works.  In other words, works can't wipe
away our sins.  But on the other hand, we are created to do good
works, the good works, which God has ordained for us to walk in.  
This is the manifestation of our faith!  If we say that we believe
God, but are unwilling to walk in the good works that he has
ordained for us to walk in, then we have a dead faith.

By garbling the rules for wiping out past sins with the rules of what
we are suppose to do now, some teachers believe they have
reached their Nirvana.  They do as they please, and believe that
they will be whisked up to heaven in the end because of their faith.  
The truth of the matter is that they have some bitter lessons to
learn.
Part 4
Let's go a little deeper into the subject of faith.  What does the
following verse mean by "Let your light so shine before men..."
Your light is what emanates from you...as the rest of the verse
says, your good works.  Now, if what comes from you is not
good...if your works are evil, darkness, and emitting no light, then
the Father will not be glorified.  

Mt 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good
works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

We read the Word of God, we believe the word of God, we do the
word of God, and the Father is glorified.  That is plain and simple
what this verse is saying.  In other words, our good works are the
manifestation of what we believe.  The word faith captures this in
the one word.  If we have a living faith, then the good works will
glorify our Father.

The following verse shows that <everyone> will be rewarded
according to his works.  Of course!  One's works are a
manifestation of his faith.  If one's works are evil, then he believes
in the wrong god!

Mt 16:27  For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his
angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.  

The following verse refers to the Pharisees, but there are many
such people on the face of the earth today.  They want a faith
without works.  We are to observe, and <do>.  Not observe and
<do not> as many modern Pharisees believe.

Mt 23:3  All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and
do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.  

In Titus we see that some were professing that they knew God.  
But their works showed that they denied Him.  This is what we call
faith without works.  As one can see, such faith is <dead>.  They
believed that God existed, but their works were the manifestation
of a faith in the god of this world rather than the true God.

Tit 1:16  They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him,
being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
{reprobate: or, void of judgment}  

Notice what kind of faith the young men were to show in their
lives.  In all things showing themselves to be a <pattern> of <good
works>.

Tit 2:6  Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. {sober...: or,
discreet}
7  In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine
shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
8  Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary
part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

We are to provoke one another to love and to <good works>.

Heb 10:24  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to
good works:  
 

Continue ...
Faith !
PAGE 2