The Technique of Faith Rest, No. 2

Techniques of the Christian Life

TL06-02

Faith rest is one of the techniques which enables us to live the Christian life. This is a perpetual Sabbath rest in contrast to that weekly rest. The Christian enters into a continual condition of rest. In other words, this is almost unbelievable that a believer can enter a condition of the soul where he is free from turmoil; where he can move along on a stable plain spiritually; and, where he can meet the crises of life up and down no matter what they may be in the full stride of the Word of God, because of what God has said; because of doctrine; because of prophecy; and, because you mix it with faith. So this refers to our privilege here on earth of uninterrupted repose through fellowship with the father.

I can tell you right now that if you do not know clearly these five or six techniques for living the Christian life, it is impossible to live the supernatural life to which you've been called. If you cannot give a fairly good explanation of them, you will be led off by Satan into pseudo substitutes. You're going to come up with something and say, "This is the Christian life." I won't burden you tonight with all the idiotic substitutes that man comes up with. Unless you know these techniques, you cannot live the life to which you've been called in Christ. That's why God gave them to us.

The first promise that we mixed with faith, of course, is the gospel promise. Then after salvation, there are the thousands and thousands of promises in the Bible that we may claim by faith during our walk on earth. They will do us no good in heaven. They're only good here. Failure to use this technique results in turmoil in the soul and loss of peace, loss of happiness, and much pseudo so-called Christianity. You come up with phrases and words. This is why you go around certain Christians and you notice that they identify themselves and their spiritual caliber by certain words they use. They're forever saying, "Praise the Lord," and "Hallelujah." It's okay if you want to say that. Or, they will put themselves in a situation where they will create an emotion by some artificial means. They'll get a rock band out there rolling so that everybody starts dancing in the aisle, and they'll go home and say, "Oh man, didn't you feel the spirit there night?" All of this is fakery. God sits up there smiling. He's got such great humor. Once in a while, He looks at His Son and say, "Look at that. Just look at that. Do you see what a job we've got? You see how many pastor-teachers are going to have to get on the stick to start giving some rationality and sense in the final days to enable Christians to pull through?" You can see the father turn to his son and say, "Do you see what we've got with these politicians? How are they ever going to manage it and survive if they don't know doctrine?"

Well, there we go. We go putting in all of the substitutes, and it's pathetic. We may laugh at it, but the long range results are going to be devastating. Mind you, our eternal loss of reward. A lot of Christians are going to wake up in heaven and say, "God nobody ever told me. I was conned from one end to the other by sincere people who were out to reach people for the Lord and to do the lord's work. And they couldn't even name the techniques. You cannot get to first base unless you know this. You better believe it because you've got a lot at stake. The divine technique is to believe and rest upon God's promises, doctrines, and prophecy.

Hebrews 4:10

So now I want to look at the characteristics of this faith life with you. We want to kind of move along because we have a lot of ground to cover. We are going to look at Hebrews 4 beginning at verse 10. That tells us, first of all, that the first and primary characteristic of the faith rest technique is, of course, faith itself. "For he that is entered into His rest, he also has ceased from his own works as God did from His." Rest in one's soul, in the face of the issues of life, is not secure through some program of works or some worked up emotional experiences. In place of works, we're told that we are to act upon faith which is a continual trust in the promises of God.

Now this kind of faith involves a patience that looks to the Lord to meet our problems when they come to us. While we're coming to grips with the problems, we're looking to the Lord with a certain patience and a certain repose, a Sabbath-like rest within our souls. God is going to handle it. We are going to come through. We are going to win out. No matter what the turmoil at the moment may be, we are counting upon His promises.

So we read, "For he that is entered into His rest." "Entered into" is the Greek word "eiserchomai." It's aorist which means at any time that you have a point of trial in your life. It's active which means you choose to use the faith technique to simply stand at ease in the Lord's presence. It's participle which means it is declaring to us a very important principle of life. His rest is "katapausis." This is God's rest in the sense that God ceased from activity after his six days of creation activities. On the seventh day, he ceased from those activities. This divine rest is experienced in the soul of the Christian who has ceased trying to meet his crises in life in the activities of the old sin nature. He also here refers to the Christian who is using the faith rest technique, "hath ceased." This word is "katapauo." It matches. God has come to "katapausis" (rest) from his activity. The Christian also "hath ceased" is really "he hath rested." He "katapauo" from his activity. This is also aorist, at the point when he comes to pressures in life. It's the active voice, so he chooses to do this. It's indicative, a statement of fact.

Therefore, if you're going to enter God's rest of soul, you have to knock off your own works. This doesn't mean that you come to a problem in life, and you first come up with your own solutions, and then it doesn't work. Then you go to the Lord and say, "Lord, I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm going to lean on you. Wait a minute. I thought of something." Then you go out and try this. Then you come back saying, "I was wrong, Lord, it didn't work. I'm leaning on you, Lord, to carry me through." None of that kind of stuff. This is recognizing that your works are no good to begin with. This does not mean that you are not active, but while you are proceeding to come to grips with your problem, you are looking to the Lord and you are recognizing that it is going to be His solution ultimately that carries you through.

"He that is entered into His rest (the believer), he also has ceased from his own works (the believer's works) as God did from His." This word "His" is "idios" which means "private personal." In other words, God had a certain brand of works. His were creation works. That's what he ceased from. The believer has a different brand of works. Those are works from the old sin nature, but those also he has ceased from. The believer's works are hustling, doing, visiting, talking, smiling, handshaking, and emoting, with suitable noises to accompany it all. That's the kind of thing that the Christian is to cease if he's going to rest in the Lord and accomplish the Lord's business. He is to cease from doing that kind of human substitute pseudo productivity. If you learn that, you're going to be a very wise believer because it's almost impossible to grasp this. Christendom is so overwhelmed; so beclouded; so deluded; and, so confused that it's impossible to listen to this and not say, "He must be wrong. He must be wrong. Everybody out there is doing all that kind of stuff. That's exactly what's going on. That must be Christianity in the highest sense of the word." It is simply what man has come up with for his substitute--flesh in action; a phony front; religion; and, superficial hypocrisy.

You and I live in days certainly that are days of unrest and uncertainty, and yet the faith rest technique will give you within your soul the millennium that you can never hope for outside until the Lord comes. The millennium to meet the crises of your lives. Our society needs Christians who know how to operate on this technique; who don't fall apart in the crunch; and, who aren't hustling off to the psychiatrist to try to get straightened out. We've already covered that ground, and you know how comparatively hopeless that is. Instead you go to the technique that God has provided for repose. We need this in our homes. We need this technique in our churches; in our business; in our school; in our social life; and, in our government. Yet the world holds in contempt this kind of faith and it prefers to think that God helps those who help themselves. This does not mean we are inactive, but we are dependent upon the Lord. It means counting on the Lord to simply be true to His promises. And if we can't do that, then you can't do anything. Because of widespread communications today, people are given many false notions and they are stampeded into human viewpoint as to how to come to grips with their personal problems.

Promises

I want to give you a little sampler starter kit of promises. You may view these more on your own. These are some of the things we're talking about that we should believe God. This is the content upon which the faith rest technique operates. You will find that within the Word of God, He has made provision for everything that we need in time. These promises are something we have to use. It is good to memorize them. It is not a bad idea at all to use this as a center of rallying for your family devotions or for your family memorizing verses of this type. There are many. These are just samples.

Roman's 8:28: here's a promise. "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose. That's a great one to remember.

1 Peter 5:7: "Casting all your care upon him for He cares for you." How can you have anything better than that when God says He'll take care of the whole thing?

1 Thessalonians 5:18: "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." Now what's the last thing that happened to you that you felt was the biggest bombshell you've ever experienced? This verse says that you should go to the Lord and say, "Lord, I want to thank you for this experience to which you've brought me and what you have done in my life in this way."

1 Samuel 17:47: here is a precious one: "And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear, for the battle is the Lord's and he will give you into our hands." Now this does not mean that God does not use weapons of warfare to perform His will. He does indeed. But this verse, declared by David as he faced Goliath on the field of battle, is pointing up to us that even with the best of weapons in our hands, the One who makes us victorious is the Lord. While we may be on the field of combat doing the fighting, the battle is still the Lord's.

1 Corinthians 1:9: "God is faithful, by whom you were called into this fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 10:13. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful who will not permit you to be tempted above that you are able, but with the temptation also make the way to escape that you may be able to bear it." When you come to grips with temptation, just remember that the Lord says, "I have never given you one greater than you could say no to. I have always given you a way out." Now that's a real promise. And you can count on it. When you come to the temptation, you can never say, "This is overwhelming to me." What you have to say is, "Lord, what is the way out?" and He will make it clear to you.

2 Timothy 1:7: "For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." He has not given us the spirit of fear--that's tensions. That is where biblically confessing sins comes in. He has given us instead a spirit of power; that is, spiritual power, the filling of the Holy Spirit; of love--divine type mental attitude love, not human mental attitude love; and, of a sound mind, a mind oriented to doctrine that is a controlled mind.

Matthew 21:22: "And all things whatsoever you shall ask in prayer believing you shall receive."

Philippians 1:6: "Being confident of this very thing; that He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Philippians 4:19: "But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Exodus 14:13-14. "Moses said unto the people, 'Fear not. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord which He will show you today, for the Egyptians whom you have seen today you shall see them again no more forever. The Lord shall fight for you and He shall hold your peace." These Old Testament promises reveal to us principles by which God works in behalf of believers. Therefore they are promises that are apropos to us today.

Psalm 4:8: "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for you, Lord, only make me dwell in safety." The next time you're frightened or the next time you're in a position in which you are afraid of something, there's a verse to recall and to repeat out loud.

Psalm 37:4-5: "Delight yourself also in the LORD and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord. Trusts also in him and he shall bring it to pass."

Psalm 55:22: "Cast your burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain you. He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."

Isaiah 26:3. "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you."

Isaiah 40:31: "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint."

Isaiah 41:10. "Fear not for I am with you. And be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness." There's a triple whammy blessing promise.

Romans 8:31: "What shall we say then to these things? If God be for us who can be against us." That's a great promise. That one I can personally testify to.

Romans 8:32: "He that spared not his own son but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not also freely give us all things." He gave us the greatest thing--salvation. Now all the rest is there for us.

When you pray for the unsaved, you're witnessing to the lost. 2 Peter 3:9 is a great promise: "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that he should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

There are promises for our temporal fellowship. Hebrews 12:1-2: "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses. Let us lay aside every wait and the sin which death so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking into Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." He has completed--he has begun and completed your faith.

Regarding your confession of sin, we have 1 John 1:9, which is another promise, that will carry you through in temporal fellowship: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Then when you have need of the promise of divine viewpoint, which we secured through the Word of God, 1 Corinthians 2:16 says, "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ." Do you realize that just by the sheer learning of the Word of God, of its doctrinal principles, you've got the mind of Jesus Christ?

We have promises of eternal life as it applies to your present phase here on the earth. John 10:28: "I will give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall any man snatch them out of my hand." Nobody can take you back out of your salvation.

John 10:29: "My father which gave them me is greater than all. No man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." Now that is a promise of the Word of God.

We have the promise of the permanence of divine good production. Philippians 1:6, that we looked at earlier, says, "Being confident of this very thing; that He who has begun a good work in you shall perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." God has begun something in you in salvation and in divine good, and He's going to carry it right through to the rapture.

Then there are the promises in the face of pressure. Philippians 3:13-14: "Brethren. I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do; forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth into those things which are before; I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." The last time you had a problem in life; the last time you stumbled; the last time you fell into sin; or the last time you shocked yourself and discovered you weren't all a sweet patootie that you thought you were, how did you handle it? What are you going to do? You're going to do like Paul says. That is a great pressure. You're going to faith rest in the Lord and say, "You are the author. You are the finisher. And I go on. I exercise my confession technique and I move on."

Philippians 4:6-7: "Be anxious in nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God, and the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

That was just a little sampling. There are obviously many more promises through the Word of God. But here's a pretty good starter kit. If you knew these, and if you even began your day, or for that matter went to sleep at night running these off in your mind, it would mean worlds to you.

Hebrews 4:11

Coming back to Hebrews 4:11, the second characteristic of the faith rest technique, and that is diligence. Verse 11 says, "Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." This is a call for an eager use of the faith rest technique if you want to enjoy its benefits. The word labor here is "spoudazo," and this word means "to be eager." Here's one place the Word of God is interested in you being a hustler, to be eager for something that God has to offer. It is in the aorist tense, which means at any point when you need God's rest to seek it eagerly. It's active, so it's your personal choice. It's subjective which is that mood of potential. Maybe you will. Maybe you won't. You have your free will, and you may be foolish enough to know all about this technique and never to use it. Obviously, unless you know something basic about promises, basic about doctrine, and basic about prophecy, you won't be able to lean on God except in some general way. You will not be able to come to Him and say, "Now this, Lord, is what you have said to do. I now commit myself and I claim this promise," and that's it. You wait upon Him. It's a mental attitude of great esteem for sharing God's rest.

"Let us labor therefore to enter." "To enter" is "eiserchomai." This again is aorist, at any point you need his rest. It's active, your choice. And now it's infinitive and that means it's purpose. He's telling us that this should be our purpose in life. We should eagerly make it our life's purpose to enjoy the rest that the Lord has for us. "Lest any man fall" is "pipto." It is aorist. You need rest and you don't use the technique. It's active because you are negative to it. It's subjunctive again--maybe you will, maybe you won't. It's potential. It's here for you. If you use it, God will come through. If you claim the promise, He will come through.

"Lest we should fall after the same example of unbelief:" The context here has been talking about the Exodus generation who rejected all the promises that God gave them. Consequently, all of them, 20 years old and up, except for Joshua and Caleb, ended up as corpses in the wilderness because they would not use this technique. That's the example he's talking about here. The example here is "hpodegma," which means "a copy." This is a copy of a spiritual loser, the pattern of the Exodus generation in their unbelief toward God. This kind of unbelief is often excused. We come up with many excuses why we should have this kind of unbelief, just like they did in the wilderness. We can say, "Well, who knows what God thinks, that I can act with confidence on what God thinks? Who knows what is the will of God?" We want to sort of muddle our way through. Or some say, "That's the preacher's opinion. That's what he thinks. That's his opinion. What does he know? I go to the Lord and I feel something right here. I know what's true. What does he know?" Or, "That's old-time conservatism." That's another cute attack of clichés and words.

This involves an eager diligence that you do not follow a loser's example. God knows we've got losers galore in the Christian life who think they are winners. That's the saddest part. They think they're the biggest winners in the process. They're the biggest losers without realizing what has happened to them as they've gotten caught up into that little turmoil that Satan has created within Christendom to make losers think they are winners.

Hebrews 4:12

Another characteristic of the faith rest life is the Bible. Here obviously is a strategic one. If we're going to have faith in the Lord, relative to what He has promised, His principles of the Word and His prophetic declaration to us of where it's all going, then we have to get them someplace, and the place we get them is out of the Word of God. So the Bible comes up here with that dramatic Hebrews 4:12 verse which says, "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow. And as a discerner of the thoughts and of the intents of the heart." You cannot use the technique without knowing this Word. God's grace system for learning the Word of truth from communicator through the various steps to building up spiritual maturity in your soul up to full knowledge is what this is all about.

The Bible

This book we have called the Bible, the Word of God, means that in this book you have words which God spoke. I hope you understand that. We say we have the Word of God. These are words which God spoke and had men write down. The English Bible? Not quite--the original languages. However, to the extent that the Bible is translated accurately and literally from those original Greek and Hebrew languages, that too is the Word of God. You will never get from the English Bible the best of translations, the full impact, of what that Word says. That's where you have to have a communicator to explain, to give you a little insight into what the original language is saying. If you don't have the original language, you will certainly go far astray sooner or later. You have to have that background to understand what God has. But in effect, your English Bible, which is a proper translation, is also the Word of God.

This word, we are told, is living: "zao." It is present which means it's the constant quality. The revelation we have recorded in the Bible has given to us the very words of God to convey the thoughts of God. That's the doctrine of inspiration. Thus, many times in the Old Testament we read, "Thus saith the Lord," which means I am now about to quote the very exact words which have come from God. I'm not simply taking God's thoughts and putting them into my words as a human being. These Bible words were in the original manuscripts and they are living words. Those specific words on the page have a living quality to them that words on any other page do not have. Consequently, what the Bible says is current for every generation. It is just as applicable to us today as it was in days past because it is alive. The Bible is active. It has an inherent life. This Bible is not living because some church group, some ecclesiastical body declared that it was alive. It has an inherent life. This participle indicates a statement of principle. Translations are, in effect, the Word of God--full meanings conveyed with explanation.

Paraphrase

There is another type of conveyance of the Word of God that is very popular in our day, and that's called a paraphrase. We should stop for a moment to look at that. I think all of you know that a paraphrase is a man sitting down and taking the thoughts that he reads in the Bible and putting them in his words. Once you do that, you no longer have the Word of God. You have now moved from the Word of God into a commentary on the Word of God. Therefore you must very clearly understand that a paraphrase is not the Word of God. If you fall into the bad habit of sitting down and reading a paraphrase during your bible study or your personal devotions (whatever you want to call it), you have gone far astray from what God has to communicate to you. You will be cutting yourself off from the Lord. You would not think of sitting down with a book that is has a label on the front that says, "Here's a commentary on the Bible." You would not think of sitting and reading through a commentary. Some people do fall into that. There are these little devotional booklets that you can buy, and they have a little verse at the top. Then most of what is written, the paragraph, is an explanatory commentary about that verse. It interweaves that verse, and so on. They feel that they have read the Word of God but most of what they have read is a person's comments upon the Word of God.

Remember that a paraphrase is the author's presentation of the ideas of the Bible as he would interpret them in the English language of our day. A paraphrase is simply an author expressing in his words the ideas and thoughts of the Bible. These thoughts, while coming from the Bible, the words in which they are expressed are not the Word of God, nor do they convey fully those thoughts. They are only conveying it as the author interprets those thoughts. So what you have is an interpretation and, in effect, you are not reading the living Word. What you are reading is dead words. You are reading the words of some man. Consequently, you begin to starve spiritually. Any time a believer starves spiritually, he sublimates. He goes spiritually insane, and he begins sublimating and substituting, and he really goes off the deep end. More people have gone into tongues on this ground alone--that they have entered dead words, either through lack of anybody explaining to them, or slipping them off into paraphrases.

Some people, because they don't understand this, even go to the extent of memorizing out of paraphrases. There is one on the market called Good News for Modern Man. This one is particular deceptive because when you open it, it doesn't say, "This is a paraphrase." You open it and you start reading and you think it's the Word of God. Unless somebody says, "Did you know that's a paraphrase?" you are reading a dead Bible.

The Living Bible

The paraphrase that is most popular, of course, that you're all acquainted with is the Living Bible. This paraphrase has been very widely popularized partly because it was offered by Billy Graham on television. I think it was in a smaller copy of Living Letters that they were sent out free, so it gained wide notoriety. This paraphrased edition of The Bible is bound so that it looks like a Bible. It feels like a Bible. It smells like a Bible. The only trouble is that it's not the Bible. I think it's unfortunate that it is called The Living Bible. It's an unfortunate title because in a way it reflects negatively upon a true translation like the King James Version or the New American Standard. The comparison is that's The Dead Bible. The translation is The Dead Bible, and if you want to get with it, it's The Living Bible.

If you think I'm exaggerating, keep your eyes and ears open on the television ads. Our television screens are being flooded in order to sell this. The publishers are putting on a great campaign to sell these under the guise of Bibles. "Give your family a Bible for Christmas." The words that you hear would be, "This is the 'new Bible' in the language that we talk today." The words "Bible" and "new" are used, so people get the idea that this is a Bible. That's extremely deceptive. It has, of course, been a very profitable venture. It has made a hand-over-fist fortune for the publishers. As a matter of fact, the publishers wrote an article attacking the Gideons for putting King James editions of the Bible in hotels and motels. They offered to give literally thousands upon thousands copies of the Living Bible free to the Gideons if they would pull out the King James version and put in the paraphrase. Now that seems very gracious but, of course, you can see that there are a lot of hotels and motels. Once they started putting in the dead paraphrased Bible instead of the living translated Bible, that would make a fantastic amount of money for the publishers if that got rolling.

An executive, high up in the Gideons, told me this. I said, "Well what do you think of that?" He said, "I think it stinks? I was a little shocked. He was a rather dignified fellow and he shocked me. You know me. It's pretty hard to shock me. But this top executive of this great organization, the Gideons, said, "I think it stinks." And I knew why. He understood the difference between a commentary in the form of a paraphrase and the Living Word of God. That's what he was being asked to make an exchange for.

Well, the Living Bible, or as I like to call it the Dead Bible, has made a fortune for its publishers for the simple fact that there are so many ignorant untaught Christians who don't know the difference between that and the precious living genuine Word of God. They miss the subtle deception that is inherent there. Maybe nobody is trying to be deceptive. Maybe even the publishers really don't understand what it is they're dealing with.

As a book for study, the paraphrase has its value. It does convey the thoughts of the Bible in some well-turned modern phrase as all commentaries will do for you. You may treat it as a commentary and use it as a reference book and it has a value as such. But the Bible is the living Word of God because it is the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), and because it is conveyed in exact words which God the Holy Spirit selected (2 Second Peter 1:21, 2 Timothy. 3:16), not the words that some man selected in order to express how he would say it if he were writing God's thoughts for us.

A Two-Edged Sword

We are told that this book is also not only living, consequently, but it is also powerful ("energes") which means an operating power. The Word of God has a divine power which you can turn on in your soul and let the Word of God work in you as you learn doctrine and go positive toward it. It is sharper ("tomoteros"). This is spoken in reference here. It says a two-edged sword ("machaira"). It was a short little sword. It was not one of these two-handed jobs nor a sword which was sharpened on only one blade. Some swords had only their point sharpened and that was all. This was a short hand weapon which the Roman army adopted in the ancient world, and with which the Roman army was able to do a fantastic job of conquest. This was partly because it was the kind of weapon that you could go into combat with and be balanced with. You weren't swinging some big monster weapon that put you at certain points where you were off balance and thus vulnerable to a thrust from the enemy. So the Roman army simply cleaned up with this short "machaira" sword. It was a small two-edged sword. It was a very apropos comparison here that the Word of God was this particular kind of sword. In other words, in its entirety, on the sides as well as the point, the Word of God has a cutting edge.

Soul and Spirit

It reveals the depths of our own being in a way that nothing else can. The Bible has the greatest insights that are ever given to the human race. The means for victory is this faith rest technique. This particular factor of the Bible causes it to have a piercing quality. The word "piercing" is "diikneomai." The Bible has a constant (present tense) penetrating power of its own. It cuts to expose the realities of the sin within us. This penetrating goes so deep, we are told, that it divides between the soul ("psuche") and the spirit ("pneuma") within us.

You can see how far the Bible is ahead of modern psychology because modern psychology does not distinguish between the soul and the spirit. If you find yourself with some emotional problems and you go to a psychiatrist, he will look upon you as a physical creature. He will look upon you as having something inside of you that somehow is attached to that physical part. However, he will not distinguish your immaterial being as having a soul and a spirit as the Word of God does. Yet that is crucial in dealing with emotional problems and mental problems within people.

It uses the example of a physician here "piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow." This is a comparison to what a doctor does--a surgeon, with a knife, who can distinguish between close fitting pieces of the body. "And is a discerner:" The word discerner is "kritikos" from which we get the word "critic" or "judge. The Bible evaluates us for what we really are, apart from the front that we put on with people. The area of the Bible's evaluation, we are told, are the thoughts and the intents of our hearts. These are, in other words, the areas of our motivation. That which motivates us the Bible is a discerner of. The heart, of course, stands for the mind. It is the mentality, the thinking, and the intentions of the heart--the motivations of the mind.

Divine Inspection

It is characterized by divine inspection. So verse 13 says, "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight, but all things are naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. God reads our mind just as His living Word reveals our thinking. Faith rest involves the Lord's inspection of our minds and its attitude of trust in Him. God knows when we have the rotten mental attitude sins, the pseudo human love that he despises, while men only see the pretensions that we put on the outside. He really knows by divine inspection whether we are really trusting Him.

Witnessing

Then verse 14 gives us another factor which is witnessing: "Seeing then that we have a great high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. This involves the role of the believer in witnessing to the contents and the working of doctrine from the gospel on up. Faith rest does not mean inactivity. It means going about doing the lord's work, but doing it in peace. "Holding fast" ("krateo") means "to cling tenaciously to."

Our High Priest

Verse 15 says, "We have not a high priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. It's compared to testing. Faith rest is a status of continual testing. There never comes a time in your Christian life when you're not under pressure in some way or another. Therefore, you are forced to use this technique. It's a factor that you may expect in your Christian life--pressures one way or another. The Lord Jesus Christ has already met all of our trials. He did it without sinning and he did it under testing. I remind you he did not do it because He was God. He did it under the fact that he had God the Holy Spirit working through Him as a human being.

Prayer

Finally, there is the factor of prayer, verse 16, involved in the faith rest technique. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." "Draw near" ("proserchomai") is constant, present, middle (for our benefit), and subjunctive (our choice). We may come boldly, knowing that the throne of grace, the Lord's presence, is there, and we may approach him in prayer without any hesitancy. Thereby He will solve the problems of life.

Hebrews 3:7-18, which we'll let you read at your leisure, give us the danger of not using this technique. Those verses tell us that if we do not use this technique, we will create a hardness of heart as the Exodus generation Jews did, and we will reveal an evil heart of unbelief. The non faith rest user will be spiritually unproductive. This is something you have to use every day. It is something you have to resort to. Israel is given as an example of this kind of failure. They failed at the Red Sea where they had too much water. They failed at Marah where the waters were bitter. They failed at Rephidim where they had no water. Every time they had the promises of God that He would take care of them.

Therefore, this teaching, in short, to tie it up, is based upon the essence of God. Faith rest is based upon the essence of God. Again here's another example of how if you know the essence of God, it will solve a lot of problems and lot of questions for you in your life. We tie it together this way:

Relax

Sovereignty, faith rest, is God's plan. So relax. God is righteous. God is perfect, so all that he brings into my life is perfect. So relax. God is justice and He always treats me fairly. So relax. God is love. Every situation is surrounded by His love. So relax. Eternal life--His life is shared in all my experiences. So relax. Omniscience--He knows my trials and He knows my needs. So relax. Omnipresence--God is everywhere so he's with me wherever I am. So relax. Omnipotence--God is all powerful to meet all of my needs. So relax. Immutability--God never changes toward me in His essence. So relax. Veracity--what God promises in His Word he's always true to perform. So relax.

We have the great example of Joseph. Before Joseph died, he said, "When you move out of Egypt, 400 years hence, four generations from now, take my bones with you." Therefore they did not put Joseph underground. They put him in a sarcophagus aboveground, and for all those years, Joseph's burial aboveground was a testimony to his faith rest because he believed God's promise that they would have this land forever. He believed God's prophecy that they would go back. He believed God's doctrine that He would be true to His essence. The Jews were carried through the darkness of their slavery as they looked at that sarcophagus and said, "We're going back some day. Someday we're going back as Joseph who has prepared himself to go with us." When they moved out that night, that Passover night, they took Joseph with them, and finally came back to the Promised Land and buried him in the plot of ground that Jacob had in Joshua 24:32. God's useful servants, therefore, in short, are those who use the faith rest technique; who know how it operates; and, who have the material to use it.

So, dear believers, study the word; mark the promises; get hold of the doctrine; get hold of the prophecy; and, then accept the fact that our God is no liar. He will perform every one of those things. He will carry you through the depths and he will carry you through the heights. He will make you a stable believer if you use this technique.

Dr. John E. Danish, 1973

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