“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. In the definition of faith we find the beginning of faith (things hoped for, not yet seen) and the end of faith (the substance, the evidence). The beginning of faith is an analogy to the beginning of Creation. “In the beginning God created heaven and earth.” Genesis 1:1. God envisioned His creation. But there was no evidence. Nothing had been made yet, as we see in verse 2. For the thought or idea (energy) to become substance (matter) would require the word of God (Genesis 1:3; John 1:14). The seed of God (Luke 8:11). Every thing is made by a seed (John 1:3).
God’s thought of creation became a reality through His word; through the works that brought His creation into existence. Faith, like creation and salvation, requires works. “ Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 2:26. We are given a number of examples of the works associated with the beginning of faith in the book of Hebrews, each one having to do with external salvation, which started with a thought. Noah, believing in his mind that a flood was coming, began the works of building an ark. Just because we say something with our mouth, think or believe something in our mind, does not make it a reality in our heart. Saying we are saved because we have accepted Jesus into our heart does not make it so. To be saved we must accept the spiritual Jesus into our heart. The spiritual Jesus is the word of God, truth, through which we truly become in our heart what we think we are in our mind. “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” Revelation 3:17
Christians say they “believe” in Jesus. This is the beginning of faith. But this elementary-level faith is not enough to save us. Salvation, like creation, requires works. “ If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works…” John 10:37,38. The word believe means to obey or put action to. The works that Jesus is referring to are the spiritual works, through which our spiritual creation comes into existence. It is through these internal works that we receive the salvation of our soul. This is the end of faith. “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:9. As it took works to bring God’s physical creation into existence, it takes works to bring our spiritual creation into existence. The carnal works of the law, a figure or type-and-shadow of the spiritual works, could not perfect them that kept them. “… which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.” Hebrews 9:9,10.
Nevertheless, they were to keep the carnal works of the law until “the time of reformation.” When we do the spiritual or internal works of the Father, through which we form a new heaven and earth, works that do make us “perfect as pertaining to the consciousness.” This is because “a new heaven and a new earth” symbolizes a new mind and a new heart. “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:18. Jesus is speaking of a spiritual heaven and earth— the first heaven and earth, formed through darkness we mistook for light; through lies we mistook for truth. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away…” Revelation 21:1. Jesus said he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it. But it is not the physical Jesus who fulfils the law. It is the spiritual Jesus that fulfils the law. “ If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works…” John 10:37,38
The works of the Father are the works of creation, the works being synonymous with the word, the seed by which all things are made (the spiritual Jesus). We believe Jesus by doing the works. We have six (metaphorical) days of (spiritual) works to perform. The spiritual works of this new creation are encoded in the beginning and end of the book of Genesis, which means creation. The beginning of Genesis gives us an overview of the creation process. The end of Genesis, where Jacob tells his twelve sons what will befall them in the end of days, gives us the instruction for the salvation process. Salvation through the works of creation! “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:9
Written by Sandra L. Butler © 2000