“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
In the definition of faith, is the beginning of faith (things hoped for, things not seen) and the end of faith (the substance, the evidence). The beginning of faith is an analogy to the beginning of Creation. God created heaven and earth in His mind, but there was no substance or evidence of His creation, no actualization, the earth was yet without form. For God’s thought or idea of creation to become substance or matter would take God’s word, the works that brought His creation into existence. Faith, like creation, requires works. There are works associated with the beginning of faith and there are works associated with the end of faith. 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 believing something in our mind does not make it a reality. Christians believe in the Son, which is the beginning of faith. And many still believe Jesus will return, which also falls under the beginning of faith, as there no evidence to support this belief. They have been taught to have faith in Jesus Christ, and to accept him into their heart as their personal savior, a level of faith that, by itself, has no power, as was spoken by James, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 2:26. As there could be no creation without works, there can be no salvation without works, the two allegorical. As it took works to bring God’s physical creation into existence, it takes works to bring our spiritual creation into existence, through which we receive internal salvation, which is the end of faith, as was spoken by Peter, “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:9.
The carnal works of the law, a figure or type-and-shadow of the spiritual works, could not perfect them that did the service, as we see in Hebrews 9:9,10, but which were to be kept until the spiritual works could be completed, until “the time of reformation,” when we form a new heaven and earth, through which our “first heaven and earth” passes away (Revelation 21:1). “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, referring to this new spiritual heaven and earth. Jesus said he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it, but it is not Jesus the person that fulfils or completes the law, but what Jesus personified, which is the word; the works of creation. “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:3. All things are made by a seed, and the seed is the word of God (Luke 8:11); the works through which the creation was made, which is the end of faith as our works have been completed, made perfect. To bring our new creation into existence is going to take works, which is synonymous with the son, as is written in the book of John, “Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works…” The works of the Father are the works of creation, which is why Jesus, the seed or word of God, was with God in the beginning, through which the physical creation was made. Our spiritual works of creation are found 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, providing the details of this creation or salvation process.
Jesus does not care if we believe in him, which falls under the beginning of faith. He wants us to believe the works, the word believe meaning to obey or put action to. These are the works that perfect our faith, completing it, which is the end of faith. Salvation, like creation, requires works. It took God’s Spirit and word to bring His creation into existence. It takes faith and works to make our salvation a reality. As there were six days of works in the physical creation of heaven and earth (not to be taken literally), there are six metaphorical days of spiritual works in the creation of our spiritual heaven and earth, through which we receive true salvation. These works are found in the first six churches in the book of Revelation. The message of the seventh church is for those that have skipped over these six days of works. What they think they are in their mind is not what they are in their heart. “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:… They are lukewarm, not on fire for God, which they would demonstrate by doing these spiritual works. They have been taught to think that Jesus did the works for them by dying on the cross. They have been taught to think that they have received salvation by believing in Jesus, which is only the beginning of faith. To reach the end of faith will require them to do the works, which Jesus instructs them to do through the message of the seventh church, saying, … I council thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyeslave, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Revelation 3:17-19. The word repent means to think differently. Changing the way they have been taught to think about salvation is the beginning of the spiritual works through which they will receive true salvation… “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:9.
Written by Sandra L. Butler © 2000