1 faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced by what we do not [physically] see. For we are saved by hope; but hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he has already seen? Rom 8:24. So we are sure of what we hope for, our faith resulting from direct revelation by God to us; yet we don't yet see what we hope for. We are convinced by revelation. From the Word of the Lord within: "Faith is a series of revelations."
The faith that the Apostles preached was not an outward faith, but an inward faith. The object of both faiths are the same, but the differences are crucial to realize the promises of God. The two faiths are:
George Fox wrote of this inward faith and focus necessary:
"The Father is in you all, Christ is in you, and the Kingdom of Heaven is in you; there, in your hearts, is where you will find them all. Know him there searching your hearts, and find him there trying your minds and hearts; incline your ears, and give ear to him there, who will render to everyone of you according to your words and works whether they are good or evil."
Faith is authored by Jesus, who gives us a taste of the goodness of God through revelation. Though we do not yet see God, we are certain of His existence. Then we begin searching for how to obtain more of that taste of goodness. When we discover the necessity of turning inward to find God and what the true hope really is, our revelations increase. Each revelation increases our faith; each revelation increases our hope; each revelation convinces us even more, despite the fact that we still are yet to see God.
If you are dedicated to seeking the promises of the gospel, your dedication is evidenced by your waiting, listening, hearing, and obeying. If you do your best in that, you can't fail. It is your hope that saves you; and your hope is kept alive by:
- reading the promises in the scriptures along with the records of those early Quakers who endured to the end and entered the Kingdom of God;
- by hearing the Lord speak to you — every word, every revelation increases your faith, providing you stay obedient to His commands;
- to see your sins and your desires eliminated, one by one — ample proof of your hope being true;
- to experience supernatural affliction, (tribulation), for to the hungry, seeking soul, even tribulation can be encouraging: (The full soul loathes a honeycomb; but to the hungry [seeking] soul every bitter thing [tribulation and chastening] is sweet. Pro 27:7. Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.);
- to hear God tell you that you are going to succeed: be freed of sin, become a part of Him, and enter the kingdom.
(When tribulation begins, it is often a shock and easy to doubt the encouragements you have heard from the Lord; however remember, the devil does not encourage you unless you are practicing some sin that the Lord has commanded you to turn from.)
Those five assurances are what builds your faith, builds your hope, builds your confidence, and builds your trust in Him to complete His work in you. Realize, He wants you to be completed even more than you do. The earth exists for one reason only — to make saints; and saints are few, so anyone that continues to seek Him as their first priority in life, and do the one thing needed, cannot fail. Only by turning away, only by being distracted into the pursuit of other things, only by taking offence when suffering is experienced, only by your choice, would you not experience salvation, union, and translation into the kingdom. From the Word of the Lord within: "those young in the faith will succeed;" even those new to the faith, providing they stay on course, will succeed. (Being new to the faith is when you believe in the true hope and you are waiting on God, eager to hear and obey his commands, with faith that your hopes will be realized.)
Salvation through the cross, (the only way), is not easy. From the Word of the Lord within: "This is the hardest thing — this is the Only thing." It is hard to die. It is hard to suffer when tribulation comes. However, He knows when your faith is sufficient to survive and maintain your hope. He is perfect, pure, truthful, holy, wise, good, and virtuous; remember that, however tough it gets, and you will be able to maintain your trust and faith in Him that He will never fail you.
We start with the hope of being freed from sin; we start convinced (believing) that if we wait, watch, and listen, we will hear the Spirit of Grace teach us what to deny and how to live; we start with the hope of entering the Kingdom of God while on earth; we start with the hope of union with Christ and God. As you listen to him and obey him, you will experience being freed from some of your problems. Now your hope grows exponentially. Now you see results! Now you have the beginning of faith that is sure of what you hope for: to be totally freed from sin, to enter the union with God through Christ, (junior but up to God), and to be translated into God's kingdom while still on the earth. And though you do not yet see the Lord, you have unseen evidence of him and his promises of the gospel being real.
So, what is your hope? To be able to sin without penalty and go to heaven when you die? Or to become free from sin, enter the Kingdom of Heaven while still on earth, and then be there forever? Two different hopes, two different faiths. One hope is true, one hope is a lie. One faith is true, one faith is a lie. One hope purifies, the other leaves you in the sorrow of sin. One faith purifies, the other leaves you defiled. One faith leads to Heaven, the other to Hell. The true gospel unleashes the power of God to a purified, experienced salvation; the other is a form of godliness without the power with only a presumed salvation. If any man preaches any other gospel to you than that you have received, [from Paul] let him be accursed, Gal 1:8-9. Paul said he was sent by Jesus to preach this gospel: I am sending you to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may thus receive forgiveness and release from their sins and a place and portion among those who are consecrated and purified by faith in Me. Acts 26:17-18.
Jesus never said you could be saved if you say the sinners' prayer, or be baptized with water, or eat bread and drink grape juice; this is just heathenish ritual, the wide and broad way of that leads to destruction. Today's deficit sects, still captive to sin and the power of Satan, believe in a God whose favor is presumed to be granted due to their heathenish ritual and form of godliness. They deny a God of power, who can and is eager to free us from the oppression and captivity of sin, so that we can secure his promises, which require our holiness and purity. These deficit sects have defined a false gospel that promises heaven to those still sinning, and a false Jesus, who supposedly accepts sin, disobedience, and disregard of his own commands. Jesus said, He who doesn't love me will not obey my teaching. As Paul said, "cursed is anyone who brings you a different gospel," a different gospel and different Jesus from what Paul preached. The deficit sects falsely preach a different gospel than Paul, while completely ignoring, totally dismissing, and failing to believe the Good News that Jesus announced he had been sent by God to proclaim.