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WHAT IS FAITH?

THE WHOLE WORLD is now shaking with con-
vulsions, preparatory to a tremendous event.
This present world breakdown, following
the greatest, most destructive wars in history, with
world economic collapse, social unrest, religious confu-
sion, is merely the WARNING SIGNAL that the END of the
present civilization is here. The second coming of
Christ to establish a new order of world peace on earth
is near-much nearer than people think!

Any Faith Today?
And speaking of His own second appearance on earth, Jesus
Himself asked, prophetically:
"When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the
earth? "
When Jesus uttered those words He was looking into the
future-into our very present generation -which He clearly
foresaw. And, foreseeing the almost total absence of FAITH in
our time, He asked this question!
Certainly the world has almost lost sight of real FAITH.
No wonder so few have any-no wonder so many say, "My
faith isn't very strong"-or, "I just can't seem to work up the
faith." People today do not know what faith is, or why they
do not possess it. Yet without FAITH none can ever be saved!

Jesus Had Faith!
When Jesus walked the earth in human flesh, HE possessed
faith!
Yet He said plainly, "Of myself, I can do NOTHING!"
Few realize that what He did (the miracles He per-
formed) He did not do by any supernatural power of His
own. Everything He did, every miracle He performed, was
done literally through FAITH, setting us a beautiful example.
But how, then, did He perform His miracles, accomplish
His mighty works?
"The FATHER that dwelleth in me," explained Jesus, "HE
doeth the works."
Yes, even as you and I may be, Jesus was filled with
God's Holy Spirit, God's dynamic supernatural POWER! This
power of God Almighty, the Creator, was literally in Jesus;
and the same identical Power of the same identical Living
God may be within you today!
All the apostles and evangelists of the first century
true Church of God did perform miracles, and even greater
miracles than Jesus had performed, until even Peter's
shadow passing over the sick and afflicted caused them to
be healed!
Peter, Stephen, Philip, Paul, all common, humble, ordi-
nary men themselves all had that power, the SAME identical
power Jesus had, because they lived and walked CLOSE To GOD
and were filled with the Holy Spirit!
And we seem to LACK that power today, NOT because God
denies us that power, but because we are so close to a modern,
materialistic world, our minds are so filled with the material
interests of this life; our minds and our hearts are so far from
God; we are so out of touch with Him, through lack of enough
time spent in the study of His Word and lack of enough of
the right kind of surrendered, submissive, earnest and
heartrending PRAYER-and consequently, because we are not
filled with the HOLY SPIRIT!
So now let's ask two questions:
First, What is faith?
And second, How may we have it, and how may it be
increased?

What Faith IS
Now notice, faith is the substance, the marginal rendering
Says "ASSURANCE", Of things hoped for (Heb. 11:1). SO FAITH
comes before possession.
Once you have received the possession, you no longer
hope for it. But even before you receive it, you have it in
SUBSTANCE; and that substance, that ASSURANCE that you
shall possess it, is FAITH.
Then again, faith is an EVIDENCE-the "evidence of things
not seen." Faith precedes the actual receiving of what you ask
for. And faith is the EVIDENCE you shall have it, before you even
SEE it. It is the EVIDENCE of things not yet seen. You do not have
it. You do not see it, or feel it-yet faith is your EVIDENCE that
you have, or shall have it. Faith is the substance, the ASSUR-
ANCE, of receiving that which you Still HOPE for.

How to KNOW You Are Healed
So I want you to notice that when you hope for things or ask
God for things, there is an EVIDENCE-a proof because, where
God is involved, His evidence is proof-that you shall receive
what you have asked. And what is that proof-that evidence?
Is it the actual receiving of the answer, so you see, or feel,
or hear that you have it? No!
Suppose, for instance, you were ill-taken with a disease.
Now Jesus healed the sick continually. And, He said, the
works that He did, and this was one of them, we should do
also. Now suppose you ask God to heal you. Naturally, you
want some evidence that you are going to be healed.
So what is that evidence, that proof? Is it the evidence
of the pain ceasing or the swelling going down, something
you can feel, and see? I know a man who said, "When I can
see anyone healed by direct prayer, then I'll believe in it."
This man said he wanted to BELIEVE in it-he wanted to have
FAITH in it! He was looking for an EVIDENCE that he could
SEE-and he died without ever seeing it!
Because what we SEE-what we FEEL-is not the true
EVIDENCE. Having the thing-SEEING it-is not faith. Faith
precedes possession because FAITH is confidence -ASSUR-
ANCE-you shall possess it.

The human mind, naturally, can receive KNOWLEDGE
only through the five senses. These are five sole channels
capable of transmitting knowledge, by natural processes, to
the human mind. The senses of seeing, hearing, smelling,
tasting, feeling.
But that is not FAITH. Faith is a spiritual matter, and it
has nothing to do with the five senses, which are physical.
Prayer is a spiritual matter. God is a SPIRIT! And when
we ask, for instance, for healing, we do have an evidence-
proof positive-that the healing will be done, but that evi-
dence is not something seen, or felt, or heard-it is not a
physical evidence-it is rather the spiritual evidence of FAITH.
FAITH is our evidence.

An Unusual Trial
Let's picture a trial in a courtroom. It's a very strange-a
most unusual-trial, for the One being tried is none other
than GOD ALMIGHTY! And you, yourself, are sitting as JUDGE
and JURY. The prosecuting attorney is your human nature.
Attorney for the defense is the Holy Spirit. God is accused
of lying-of unfaithfulness -of obtaining things more valu-
able than money under false pretenses! God is accused of
willful non -payment of PROMISSORY NOTES.
You, now sitting as judge and jury, have read God's
command and written PROMISE, in James 5:14, for your
physical healing when sick. You have prayed for healing,
according to God's written promise. You have followed God's
instructions and called the elders of the Church, who have
prayed over you the prayer of faith and anointed you with oil.
The prosecuting attorney, your human nature, attempt-
ing to convict God of obtaining your allegiance under false
pretenses-of breaking His contract-of lying-presents be-
fore you, as judge and jury, his evidence.
"My evidence," says your nature, "is literal, tangible
evidence that is real -evidence you can see and feel. You can
see for yourself that you are not healed. The pain is still
there! In fact, perhaps it has grown worse! God gave you a
written promise, as certainly as anyone ever gave a promis-
sory note. You conformed to all His conditions. You prayed.
You called the elders of the Church, and they prayed. You
believed! But you can now see my evidence-you can feel my
evidence-you are still suffering-you are not healed! There-
fore God did not heal you! God did not keep His Word. God's
Word, the Bible, lied to you. God FAILED! My evidence is that
which you plainly see and feel! You are not healed. Therefore
I demand you bring in a verdict of GUILTY!-guilty in the first
degree -I demand you find Almighty God GUILTY of lying, of
obtaining your allegiance under false pretenses, of not per-
forming what He promised in His written promise."
But now the attorney for the defense-God's Holy
Spirit-speaks to you, quietly, calmly.
He says to you: "I now present my evidence that God's
Word is TRUE-that God is faithful -that God cannot lie. My
evidence is not anything you can see or feel. My evidence is
simple FAITH-patient trust in the veracity of God's Word. It
is impossible for God to lie. My evidence is YOUR FAITH in that
fact, and in His promise. And FAITH is the evidence of that
which is not seen, not felt!
"Let's review the case to see clearly what happened. Let's
understand plainly where your human nature has clouded the
issue and deceived you. God has told you, in Exodus 15, that
HE is your healer-your GOD-healer-that is one of His
names, and God is named what He is. God sent His Son into
the world to be beaten with stripes, to suffer the penalty of
your transgressions of nature's laws, in your stead -His body
was broken for you, and by His stripes, you are healed! God
gave you His Word that it is His will to heal you. He
commanded you to call the elders of the Church, which you
did. He promised to heal you. But God has also made it a part
of this contract, in His Word, that "according to your faith,
be it unto you"-in the very words of Christ!
"NOW FAITH is your evidence that God will do what He
promised. You can't see faith -you can't feel it. What you see
or feel has nothing to do with faith. But the point your
human nature wants you to overlook is that God did not
promise WHEN, or How, He would heal you!
"God's purpose in your life is to transform you from
what you've been into the very image of His son-into the
very character of God Himself. Part of this character is the
learning of PATIENCE! And God instructs you, in James 1:3,
that the trying of your faith works PATIENCE into your char-
acter. God has revealed to you in this and other Scriptures
that He will sometimes delay healing you in order to TRY your
faith and to teach you to be patient! Your healing, God has
promised, shall be according to your faith.
"Faith is trusting God to do that which HE has not yet
done. After the healing is completed, you no longer need to
exercise faith. Faith is the ingredient you must exercise until
God heals you-until you can see and feel that you are
healed. After God has healed you, then you won't need FAITH
in it any longer, but your faith must remain firm and stead-
fast, and patient, regardless of what you see or feel, until God
actually heals you, as He has promised to do.
"Now the prosecuting attorney in this case, your human
nature, wants you to believe that faith is something you
exercise about 30 seconds, while you are still praying, and
then if God has not done what He promised as soon as you
expect, you are to find God guilty of lying. The instant you
yield to the devil's influence over your human nature and
render a verdict that God will not do what He promised just
because He has not done it yet -that moment you make God
out a liar-you lose all FAITH in God; and you thereupon
break your part of the agreement, which is to have faith and
keep on having faith, and trusting God, and relying upon
Him, UNTIL He performs what He promised.

"Faith is simple reliance upon GOD'S WORD. It is the evi-
dence of what you do not see or feel. Therefore I call upon you
to have patience, to keep on TRUSTING GOD, until He heals you,
and then HE will heal you! I call upon you to find God innocent
of this charge of lying. I call upon you to find Him FAITHFUL
to His promises, and then you shall have them."
The evidence is now all in. You will now render the
VERDICT!
You must render your verdict based upon the evidence.
Which, now, is the evidence you believe? That which you
see and feel-the physical evidences that often are decep-
tive-or your faith that God's Word is true, that His
promises are sure, that it is impossible for God to lie?
If you BELIEVE this latter spiritual evidence, and reject
the physical evidences of sight and of feeling, you pronounce
sentence that His Word has been VINDICATED by your ver-
dict-you shall be RELEASED from the disease, and what He
promised shall be carried out.
But, if you decide that the physical evidences of sight or
feeling are to be trusted over and above the Word of
ALMIGHTY GOD-and you reject His Word and His promise,
and refuse to believe in it-refuse, in other words, to accept
and trust in the evidence Of FAITH until God completes it,
then you yourself must render your verdict, "NOT HEALED,"
and you will not be healed!
You see, God does not promise healing, or anything else,
unless we BELIEVE. "According to your FAITH be it unto you,"
said Jesus. And remember the FAITH must precede, and
therefore is a condition to, the possession.
One man expressed it very well: "FAITH is the assurance
that the things which God said in His Word are true: and
that God will act according to what He has said in His Word.
This assurance, this reliance on GOD's WORD, this confidence,
is FAITH!" And it is a true Bible definition. This Work of GOD
has been built by putting it into actual practice!

Learning God's WILL
Remember, whatever you need, the first thing to do, to be
sure of receiving an answer to your prayer, is to search the
Scriptures, to learn whether it is GOD'S WILL (Eph. 5:17;
II Tim. 3:14-17).
The BIBLE reveals God's will. We need never say,
"Well, I know GOD could heal me IF IT is His WILL." You
can know His will. And so far as healing is concerned, I
can tell you definitely that His Word says plainly and
emphatically that it is His will. The Bible is full of
promises -literally FULL of them. If you need anything,
study to see whether God promised it, and if He has, HE
CAN'T BREAK A PROMISE!

The Importance of CLAIMING a PROMISE
I remember one time years ago when my two sons came to
me and asked me to do something for them-I don't remem-
ber now what. They were then around seven and nine years
old. I do remember I didn't want to do it.
"But, Daddy, YOU PROMISED," they said, it and you've GOT
TO KEEP YOUR PROMISE."
And then I remembered I had promised. Well, what do
you think? Do you think I could break a promise when my
two sons came to me and put it like that? No, and if you'll
just as boldly tell God HE has promised and then CLAIM that
promise as applied to your case and TRUST God to keep it and
quit worrying about it-quit trying to work up faith-just
RELAX, and let God take over from there-leave it with
Him-let Him do it-He'll do it, every time!
I know whereof I speak, because I've put what I'm now
telling you to the test not once, but literally hundreds and
thousands of times, and God has never failed to keep His
promise once. I've seen the answers come so often and so
frequently that I expect the answer when I ask!
God promises to supply every need-that if we'll seek
first the Kingdom of God and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS-which is
right doing-He will provide every material need (Matt.
6:33).

WHY People Lack Faith
And now, very briefly, WHY don't we have FAITH, and how
may we get it, and how may it be increased? So many say,
"Well, I have no impression-I have no feeling, no convic-
tion-that I shall get the answer."
They want to wait until they get a certain CONVICTION,
a certain FEELING, a sort of assurance they can FEEL-before
they really believe they shall have the answer.
But THAT is not faith!

That is FEELING!
Your feeling, your convictions, your impressions, have
absolutely not one thing or the other to do with FAITH. FAITH
HAS ONLY TO DO WITH GOD's WORD! The one question is, Has
God promised it in the Bible? If He has, then probabilities,
possibilities, feelings, convictions, impressions, have nothing
whatsoever to do with it. God has a thousand ways we know
nothing of, of answering and providing whatever He has
promised. We don't need to see How He is going to do it.
And that's another thing-He almost never will do it the
WAY we expect. So don't try to figure out how it is possible
for God to do it. You are trusting in SUPERNATURAL POWER!
Then BELIEVE in that power. God works in mysterious ways
His wonders to perform. What He has promised, He will
perform; but He will do it His way, and in HIS TIME. Leave
all that to Him and just TRUST Him. Rely upon His word.

God's GIFT
And let us remember, FAITH is the GIFT OF GOD.
So many think that everything else that comes from God
is His gift, but the FAITH required to receive these things is
something we ourselves must somehow work up, or strain and
strive for. But we have to just relax and TRUST GOD, even for
the FAITH by which we receive everything else! (Eph. 2:8.)
In Revelation 14:12 is a description of the true Church
of THIS DAY. Those in this Church have the FAITH OF JESUS.
Notice, the FAITH OF JESUS! It is not just our faith in Him, but
His faith-the very faith with which He performed His
miracles-placed in us and acting in us.
How can you get it? Draw closer to God. Get to know
God. Surrender all the way to Him, and do His will. And then
PRAY. You get to know Him in PRAYER. We are too close to
the material things. Through PRAYER, much more prayer, you
can come closer to GOD and the spiritual things. And what
a happy, joyous experience it is, once you have really done it!

WHAT KIND OF FAITH
IS REQUIRED FOR
SALVATION?

N0 SUBJECT pertaining to Christian salvation
is more generally misunderstood than that
of saving FAITH!
Just "BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou
shalt be saved," is the popular teaching today. And that
statement is absolutely true-if you understand what
kind Of BELIEVING is required!
Unfortunately millions are being deceived-led to trust
in a faith that will never save one single soul-by a very
popular and very false teaching.
It is customary to quote only a PART of the Scriptures on
this subject-reading a false meaning into them-and thus by
subtle half-truths, popular teachings shackle most of Chris-
tendom to spiritual blindness and deceptions.

Do These Scriptures Contradict?
God does not usually reveal all the truth respecting a partic-
ular subject in any one passage alone. "Whom shall he teach
knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doc-
trine? ... precept must be upon precept, precept upon pre-
cept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a
little" (Isa. 28:9-10). To understand any general subject in the
Bible, it is necessary to view all the scriptural evidence
touching that particular subject. And we cannot read our
inherited or desired meaning into any particular passage; for
94 no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpreta-
tion" (11 Pet. 1:20), but each passage is interpreted by, and
in the light of, other texts.
For example. It is quite popular to quote Romans 3:20:
"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be
justified in his sight," and from this passage alone assume
that salvation comes by faith, in disobedience to God's Law!
Those who thus interpret this passage never tell you that in
Romans 2:13 the same Apostle Paul was inspired to write:
"Not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the
DOERS of the law shall be justified."
Is there contradiction here? If the one scripture is in-
tended to reveal that we do not have to make an effort to
obey God's Law to be justified and then saved-but that we
are saved by faith without obedience to God's Law-then,
indeed, God contradicts Himself in His Word! And if you
wish to make Romans 3:20 say that, you must consistently
acknowledge there is contradiction in the Scriptures, and if
this be true, you have no basis for your faith!
Again, Ephesians 2:8-9: "By grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of
works, lest any man should boast." But those who quote this
text so freely to teach the doctrine of "no works," never tell
you that the same inspired Scriptures say also:
"What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he
hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? ... Even
so FAITH, if it hath not works, IS DEAD, being alone ... I will
shew thee my faith BY my works. Thou BELIEVEST that there
is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, AND
tremble. But wilt thou know, 0 vain man, that faith without
works IS DEAD?" (Jas. 2:14, 17-20).
There is no contradiction here!
Rather, by putting all the scriptures on the subject of
"saving faith" together, we learn that there are TWO KINDS of
faith. And the kind so blindly trusted in by the majority of
this day is nothing but a DEAD faith-and a DEAD faith never
will save one soul! Notice! James 2:20: "Faith without works
is DEAD"-just a DEAD faith.

James continues: "Was not Abraham our father JUSTI-
FIED by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the
altar? Seest thou how FAITH wrought with his works, and BY
WORKS was faith made perfect? ... You see then how that BY
WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, and not by faith only" (Jas. 2:21-
22, 24). Then are we saved by works instead of faith? No,
NEVER! We are saved by FAITH! But faith functions with our
works and BY WORKS our FAITH is MADE PERFECT! That is
LIVING FAITH!
Why do we even need salvation? Because we have
SINNED, and the penalty of sin is DEATH!
But how have we sinned? What is sin, anyhow? "Sin is
the transgression Of THE LAW," is God's answer (I John 3:4).
"Yes," answers the victim of modern fables, "but we are
not under the law today, but UNDER GRACE!" Why certainly!
"What then?" asks the inspired Paul, "shall we SIN [trans-
gress the LAW] because we are not under the law, but under
grace?" And Paul's answer is, "GOD FORBID"! (Rom. 6:15.)
And again, "Shall we continue in SIN [transgressing the Law],
that grace may abound? GOD FORBID! How shall we, that are
dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Rom. 6:1-2).
The Law has a penalty-DEATH. It claims the life of the
one who transgresses it. The Law has power to take the life
of the transgressor. It therefore is more powerful than the
sinner-and is OVER the sinner, holding a claim on his life.
It is the SINNER who is UNDER the law. But when the sinner
REPENTS of his transgression, and accepts the sacrifice of
Christ as payment of the penalty of the Law, then he is
PARDONED-UNDER GRACE-the Law no longer stands OVER
him, claiming his life. Those who are still sinning are still
UNDER the Law! And those who, through repentance, obedi-
ence and FAITH have turned from disobedience and are,
through faith, KEEPING the Law, are the only ones who are
UNDER GRACE!

God's Spiritual Mirror
Let us understand it! "By the deeds of the law there shall no
flesh be justified in his sight." No, certainly not! That scrip-
ture is 100% true, and there is no contradiction! You cannot
be justified BY the deeds of the Law-not at all!

WHY? The last half of this same verse gives the answer-
why do most preachers never quote it? "For by the law is the
KNOWLEDGE of sin" (Rom. 3:20). THAT'S WHY!
The purpose of the Law is not to forgive, to justify, to
wash away, to cleanse. Only THE BLOOD OF CHRIST can do
that! The purpose of the Law is to tell us what sin is-to
define it, to REVEAL it-SO we can quit it. Sin is the transgres-
sion of the Law-that's what sin is.
All women ought to understand this. In every woman's
handbag is a little mirror. She knows what it is for. Every
little while she takes out this mirror and steals a glance at her
face. Sometimes it reveals a speck of dirt. And we might
truthfully say, "By the use of these mirrors are no dirty faces
washed clean." You women understand what we mean! But
do you throw your mirrors away because by them your faces
are not washed? Of course not-what a silly question it
seems, when applied to a MATERIAL case! And if we ask you
WHY your faces are not washed clean by your mirrors, you
answer: "Because by the mirror comes the KNOWLEDGE OF THE
DIRT."
God's LAW is His spiritual mirror. We look into it, and
see the dirt on our hearts! But by looking at the Law, or
keeping it, no dirt is WASHED from our hearts-only Christ's
BLOOD can do that. By the Law comes the KNOWLEDGE OF SIN!
Listen to James explain it! "But be ye DOERS OF the word,
and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any
be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man
beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself,
and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner
of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect LAW of
liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful
hearer, but a DOER of the work, this man shall be blessed in
his deed" (Jas. 1:22-25).

Is It Possible to Keep the Law?
"But," argues the "no law" deceiver, "no man can keep the
Commandments. It is not humanly possible. Since FAITH has
come, we keep no law-faith has made it VOID."
Thus even "Satan himself is transformed into an angel
Of LIGHT. Therefore it is no great thing if HIS MINISTERS also
be transformed as the ministers of righteousness ... for such
are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves
into the apostles of Christ" (II Cor. 11:14-15, 13).
"Do we then make void the law through faith?" comes
the question in inspired Scripture-and the answer: "GOD
FORBID: yea, we ESTABLISH THE LAW" (Rom. 3:31).
Yes, faith establishes the Law! By keeping it, is faith
made PERFECT!
Yet can we keep the Commandments? Is it possible? "No
law" deceivers say NO! What is the PLAIN TRUTH?
A man came to Jesus and asked how to be saved. The
Saviour Himself replied, "If thou wilt enter into life, KEEP
THE COMMANDMENTS" (Matt. 19:17). "When his disciples
heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can
be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With
men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible"
(verses 25-26).
There is Christ's own answer! With humans it is impos-
sible-utterly impossible to really KEEP His Commandments.
But-here's the blessed truth-WITH GOD, it is possible, even
to keep His Commandments. Do you begin to see? IT TAKES
FAITH-faith in the power of GOD! And, just as your own
diligent effort coupled with faith makes faith perfect, so faith
coupled with your effort makes PERFECT OBEDIENCE! The two
go hand in hand. And you cannot have the one without the
other!
A LIVING FAITH-the only kind that will SAVE-is an
active faith-one that TRUSTS GOD to make it possible to
OBEY Him-to live the true Christian life-to KEEP His
blessed Commandments!
Think! Could a just God command men to do what is
IMPOSSIBLE to do? Or can we conceive of Jesus as a smart-
aleck young man who knew more than His FATHER, and who
did away with His Father's COMMANDMENTS? How absurd!
Yet this is the popular conception today!

The Law Is Eternal
God's Law is not a horrible monster! Just and right laws are
a terror only to the criminal-they are made to PROTECT the
good! God's Law is PERFECT (PS. 19-7), it is a SPIRITUAL law,
(Rom. 7:14), HOLY, and just, and good (Rom. 7:12). ALL His
commandments are SURE, and stand fast FOREVER AND EVER
(Ps. 111:7-8). Don't you believe it, when men tell you differ-
ently!
God's Law is, Simply, LOVE! It is the perfect way of life.
Every particle of human suffering, unhappiness, misery and
death has come solely from its transgression! It was given to
make man HAPPY, and is the only philosophy of life that can
do so! It came from a God of LOVE, and LOVE is the fulfilling
of the law (Rom. 13:10).
But not YOUR own natural love! It requires "the love of
GOD ... shed abroad in our hearts BY THE HOLY GHOST"
(Rom. 5:5). God has, and will give you, the love that will fulfill
His LAW. And so it is possible through FAITH, and the GIFT
of God's Holy Spirit, for man to keep His Commandments!
And whoever claims differently, God calls a plain LIAR
(I John 2:4).
The true Commandment-keeper is forced to trust God to
make obedience possible. And thus faith does not void, but
establishes the Law! And to keep the Law requires FAITH!
A thrilling example of this eternal truth is recorded in
the book of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, erected
a great golden image.
"Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded,
0 people, nations, and languages, that at what time ye hear
the sound of the [band] ... ye fall down and worship the
golden image..." (Dan. 3:4-5). "And whoso falleth not down
and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst
of a burning fiery furnace" (verse 6).
Set over the affairs of the province of Babylon were
Daniel's three young Jewish friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego. One of the Commandments of God's eternal spir-
itual Law forbids such worship of images.
Had you been in their place, what would You have done?
Would you not have said, "Well, I have to bow down to this
image-I have to do it or be killed!" And perhaps you would
have excused yourself by reasoning thus: "I don't think God
would be fair if He punished me for this, when He knows I
am FORCED to do it. Anyway, He tells us to be subject to the
power of the state!" Yes, it is easy to use reason to excuse
disobedience to God. But God is not looking for chances to
punish us-but rather for opportunities to SAVE US through
faith-to save us from the folly of SIN and the sad conse-
quence our own acts impose!
God's Law is intended to protect us from suffering.
Whatever we sow we shall reap. It is not God who punishes
us when we do wrong, it is merely our own acts rebounding
like a boomerang!
But these three young Jews knew the truth-that we
should OBEY GOD rather than men, that through FAITH God
makes it possible. When they firmly REFUSED to bow down to
worship the king's image, Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and
fury commanded they be brought before him (verse 13).
Listen to the quiet, trusting, unafraid answer of these
lads. "0 Nebuchadnezzar ... our God whom we serve is able
to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace.. ." (verses
16-17).
Sometimes God tries our faith. He tried theirs. You
might think He failed them, but He only permitted their faith
to be tested.
"Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of
his visage was changed ... therefore he spake, and com-
manded that they should heat the furnace one seven times
more than it was wont to be heated ... Then these men were
bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their
other garments"- surely the God whom they trusted would
have them released now? But no-there was no physical
evidence whatever that God so much as heard!-"and were
cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace"! (Verses 19,
21.)
The furnace was so hot the flames leaped out and "slew
those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego."
And they fell down "bound into the midst of the burning fiery
furnace"!
God permitted them actually to be thrown in! Was He
unmindful of those who trusted in Him to make possible the
keeping of His Commandments? Not God!
The king looked into the furnace, and said: "Lo, I see
four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they
have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of
GOD" (verse 25). So Nebuchadnezzar came near the mouth of
the furnace and called to them:
"Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, ye servants of the
most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach,
Meshach and Abednego came forth of the midst of the
fire.... these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power,
nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats
changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. Then Neb-
uchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and DELIV-
ERED his servants that TRUSTED IN HIM..." (verses 26-28).
THERE was a example Of living FAITH-a faith that
TRUSTED God to make it possible to live the way of His Law!
Yes, WITH GOD, it is possible to keep all His Command-
ments-don't let any man deceive you to the contrary!

Can You Believe and Worship Christ in Vain?
When God's Word says, "BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and thou shalt be saved," it does not mean the DEAD faith
now popularly taught! The common teachings of this day
distort this to mean a mere belief in the FACTS of Christ's
existence, His sacrifice, and His saving work. Just accept
these FACTS, and accept Him-without any obedience to
God's Laws! But the demons believe these things-and they
TREMBLE-but they are not thereby saved!
Christ was the Messenger of the New Covenant-a Mes-
senger sent from God. You cannot BELIEVE on such a divine
Messenger, unless you believe, and obey the MESSAGE that He
brought! "If thou wilt enter into LIFE," was His teaching,
"KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS"!
"REPENT," said the inspired Peter, and "ye SHALL receive
the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:38). God gives His Holy
Spirit only to them that OBEY Him (Acts 5:32). And His Holy
Spirit is the LOVE which God gives us to fulfill and to keep
His Commandments! And it all comes BY FAITH!
Christ came to save US FROM, not in, our sins! To FREE
us from the enslavement of sin and the unhappiness and
wretchedness it brings-not to make us free to commit sin!
Is it possible to BELIEVE in Christ-to worship Him-in
the customary manner of the day, and yet be lost?

Christ Himself says, "YES!"
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall
enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH the will
of my Father which is in heaven," He said (Matt. 7:21).
Hear Him again!
"Howbeit IN VAIN do they worship me, teaching for
doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the
commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men..."
(Mark 7:7-8).
There it is! From Jesus' own lips! Such a dead faith-
such worship-is IN VAIN! Those who trust in it, and in the
preachers and denominations which teach it, ARE LOST!
And the quicker we come to realize it, the better.
God's PURPOSE in salvation is to rescue men from SIN,
and its resulting unhappiness, misery, and death! To REPENT
of sin is the first step! Then the BLOOD OF CHRIST, upon
acceptance and faith, cleanses of all past sins. And by FAITH
we are kept from sin in the future. Thus the resulting
righteousness is of FAITH-the righteousness imparted from
God.
We are not justified BY THE LAW-we are justified by the
blood of Jesus Christ! But this justification will be given only
on condition that we REPENT of our transgressions of God's
Law-and so it is, after all, only the DOERS of the Law that
shall be JUSTIFIED (Rom. 2:13).
How plain, and how beautiful is God's TRUTH!




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