(Faith in man)
(Trust in God)
“ For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)
The word “trust” has 24 different definitions under four different uses in Webster’s Dictionary. It comes from the Old Norse word traust meaning “trust, protection, firmness.” As a noun, it is defined first as a “confidence, a reliance or resting of the mind on the integrity, voracity, justice, friendship, or other sound principles of a person or thing. ‘Who so putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe - Prov. 29:25.’” Or ,also, as a noun, a trust is, “One who or that which is trusted. ‘O Lord God, thou art my trust from my youth.’” The seventh definition simply says, “keeping; care; custody.” The eleventh is more specific, defining trust in law as, “the confidence reposed in a person by giving him nominal ownership of property, which he is to keep, use, or administer for another’s benefit;” also a trust is when an, “estate or property”is “under the charge of a trustee or trustees” or it is when “a person’s right to property” is “held in trust for him” as a presumed benefit.
The word “trust” can also be used as an adjective as well as a verb. As a transitory verb, it means “to place confidence in; to rely on; to believe in the honesty, integrity, justice, etc.” As an intransitory verb, it means “to have trust or faith; to place reliance; to be confident. to hope…”
“Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Lu 22:42)
“A trust is an obligation of conscience of one to the will of another.”
“And he shall say, Where [are] their gods, [their] rock in whom they trusted, Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, [and] drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, [and] be your protection.” (Deuteronomy 32:37, 38)
The word “trust” shows up here for the first time in the Bible and, then, it is referring to the trust men place in false gods, instead of trusting in the God. It is a word that expresses the idea of protection, confidence, and hope for something better. Better than what? Better than God? Who will have confidence and trust and hope in the LORD’s protection?
“Protection draws to it subjection; subjection protection.”
O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Mt 14:31)
If man wishes the protection of gods, he must subject himself to them. If man looks to someone or something for protection, that thing shall be like to him a god. If he trusts in it, swears allegiance to it, prays to it for his benefit, and looks to it for guidance, then it begins to become the object of his trust and faith.
“Allegiance is, as it were, the essence of the law; it is the bond of faith.”
Most things, such as governments, usually require, not only allegiance, but fidelity of all sorts and service,as well. The people of Sodom lived there because they found safety and comfort under the protection of the city walls. As always, they paid tribute in money and service to the King and, in return, the king supplied protection and order.
“And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,” (Genesis 14:22)
Abram knew that often the gratuity proceeds the subjection. When the King of Sodom offered him the spoils of the city, he refused to take even a thread. Abram proclaimed his subjection and trust in the Lord his God and not in man or his cities. This choice, by its nature, builds character.
“After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I [am] thy shield, [and] thy exceeding great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)
Abram trusted in God’s rewards and benefits. He had faith in His protection. For this faith and the actions he took by that faith, he received a promise and the new name, Abraham.
“And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, [saying], In thee shall all nations be blessed.” (Ga. 3:8, see also Roman 4:12)
The seed of Abraham was delivered into bondage for four hundred years, but they were led out of that bondage by a man of great faith and trust in God. A man who could have had a kingship and glory for a season, but trusted instead in the LORD.
“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:24, 27)
Moses’ faith and trust in God separated him from other men who chose to trust in men and their governments. Moses set aside all the benefits, luxuries, and riches of the kingdoms of men, choosing rather to serve the LORD God in the desert. His trust extended beyond a mere spiritual trust and allegiance, but it also required that he come out of Egypt and serve his LORD God, Ruler and Sovereign.
“[It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. Better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.” (Ps.118:8,9)
The slavery in Egypt had become much more of a burden than the one-fifth income tax that had been placed on them and all Egyptians, except the priests, by Joseph at the time of their original captivity. Through subtle devises, they had been bound into a laborious corvée system of slavery from which there seemed to be no escape.
“And it shall come to pass in the increase, that ye shall give the fifth [part] unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones. And they said, Thou hast saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants. And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt unto this day, [that] Pharaoh should have the fifth [part]; except the land of the priests only, [which] became not Pharaoh’s.” (Genesis 47:24)
“He who is in the womb is considered as born, whenever his benefit is concerned.”
In the systems of slavery of both Rome and the United States, there were many who did work and save money until they bought their own freedom. But the labor, taxation, and money system of Egypt with its revenue officers and their clay scarabs, had become so oppressive that the people found children to be a burden rather than an asset. They often limited the size of their families by several means, including adoption and abortion.
“The same dealt subtly [subtle devices] with our kindred, and evil entreated [oppress] our fathers, so that they cast out their young children [fetus], to the end they might not live In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father’s house three months: And when he was cast out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son.” (Acts 7:19, 21)
Moses took the Israelites out of Egypt, but he couldn’t take Egypt out of the Israelites. They were constantly trying to return to the ways of Egypt. When the powerful figure of Moses was no longer there at their side to bind the people together, they began to fear the loss of loyalty in their great company. If attacked, they might break and scatter or just drift away and bind themselves to other communities, leaving their number diminished and vulnerable. Aaron knew the art of the temple of Egypt. He knew the complexities of the system of the high priest that had bound the people together for over four hundred years.
“And all the people brake off the golden earrings which [were] in their ears, and brought [to be enumerated] [them] unto Aaron. And he received [them] at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw [it], he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation [address by name], and said, To morrow [is] a feast to the LORD. And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.” (Ex 32:3, 6)
These Israelites were practical people. They did not melt down all their gold and wealth simply to make a golden god to worship. This was a way to bind the people together into a consolidated body for defense, allegiance, and economic protection. Commerce and wealth being vested in a common purse, the people gained at least a benefit of protection through unity. Even charity was administered through the temple, which assured the loyalty of all those who wished to partake of the benefits of this man-made conglomerate of wealth.
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Pr 3:5)
Moses put an end to such trust and common depositories of wealth. There was no king over the people, no sovereign but God, no ruler but the LORD God. Not a central bank, benefactor, or king, nor was it a democracy, but a theocratic republic. The kings of Israel were the heads of each household. How did such a kingdom work?
“For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5:46, 47)
The people didn’t believe Moses, nor did they believe Samuel. They sought kings which brought subjection and burdens time and time again. The fall of the Israelites was constantly proceeded by the people trusting in kings or foreign allies.
By the time the Jews found themselves under the influence Roman rule in the world of Augustus and Tiberius, the idea of a government-controlled economy and peace had become accepted. Corvee’ labor gangs built roads, aqueducts, harbors, and amphitheaters to stimulate commerce and revenue and to appease the masses. The Roman armies were spread throughout the world to keep the peace and maintain a flow of trade goods and a stable environment for business. That protection brought subjection and the repose bred apathy.
Herod had fashioned his rise to power and his kingdom after the political and economic designs of the day. Under the rule of the Pharaoh, the Israelites paid only one-fifth at first; under God, he asked only for one-tenth and that only according to their service. By the time the Romans, Herod, and the new high priests under Herod were finished taxing the people in the overstimulated Roman economy, the middle class was oppressed and the poor were disgruntled, with their rebellious nature needing to be placated or controlled.
“Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.” (Mic 7:5 )
“In Jesus’ day an impressive system of welfare tended the poor.... The tithe of grain and fruit could first be exchanged for silver.... silver for grain, wine, oil, and whatever would promote the joy of the people in the presence of their God .... The tithe also functioned as a kind of a tax to support the temple and its personnel… An administration was in charge of the storehouse for the continued welfare of the personnel… The presentation of any offering required careful adherence to the prescribed regulations as well as love for the Lord. The prophets often called for obedience rather than sacrifices (I Sam. 15:22-23; Isa. 1:10-20), for praise of the Lord rather than offerings (Hos. 14:2), and for humility (Mic. 6:8).”
“The prophets… were inspired by the vision of a faithful Israel responding freely in faith and obedience to the regulations given in the law.”
“For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, [was] not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” (Romans 4:13)
Faith comes from the Latin word fides meaning “faith, belief, trust, from fidare, 'to trust'…” It often has the idea of an “unquestioning belief” and has as numerous synonyms, words such as, “belief, trust, confidence, credence, fidelity, conviction, creed…”
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” ( 2Co 13:5 )
Do we believe in God? Do we trust God? Do we have faith?
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
What do you hope for? In what do you desire and have confidence ? In and upon what, in your heart, do you trust and rely?
In every day life, people trust in many things. They trust in the tires and brakes of their vehicles as they speed down life’s highways. They trust in doctors and lawyers, plastic packaging, and elevator cables. They rely on these things and they have hope that they will not fail. They deposit their savings and the fruits of their labor in banks and the stock markets. They trust in the military might of the nation, the local police or the revolver they keep in the night stand by their bed. Should they not rather trust, believe, and have faith in the LORD God?
That is not to say that any of those things are bad or evil in themselves, but, if they deplete or distract or seduce us in the smallest way from God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, then there is danger. If we tremble at their loss, then our faith in God comes into question. If we compromise God- given rights and responsibilities in exchange for the benefits and comforts of men, we sin.
“Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:29,31)
From the beginning, it was a trust, faith, and confidence in God and His way that has been the key to God’s will for man on earth.
“By faith Abel offered unto God … By faith Enoch was translated … for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (He 11:4, 6)
Some men believed with their faith in God and not in men or the worlds and institutions they created.
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, … Abraham, By faith … not knowing whither he went.” (Hebrews 11:7, 8)
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob traveled from the safety of their homeland and lived in tents. They chose not to look to the great cities of man for their security, trusting with faith, in the power of God, which was prepared for them. They chose to have faith and hope in the LORD God as their Ruler, in His city.
By faith, Joseph knew what was to come. “By faith Moses, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction and By faith he forsook Egypt and its wealth and protection. Even the harlot Rahab as well Gedeon, and [of] Barak, and [of] Samson, and [of] Jephthae; [of] David also, and Samuel, and [of] the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”
Do we look to Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit or have we, like the Israelites, turned to kings, governments, and foreign, alien customs to bring a false sense of security to our minds and our lives?
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1, 2)
Any time we are looking to, appealing to, or trusting in other things rather than Jesus and his way, it can become an occasion of sin. We must always seek to know the will of God, to do and serve the will of God, and to follow the way of God, through Jesus. If we remain steadfast in true faith in Him who made us, then why would we seek to serve others and do their will and serve their desires and ambitions and trust in them?
“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” (Hebrews 10:36)
Should we not believe in both word and deed? Jesus established the Kingdom of God on earth, but we must seek it by doing the will of God.
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
So, what is the will of Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit? What does their kingdom look like?
“But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Lu 12:31)
Do you seek the kingdom of God or the kingdoms and governments of the world?
“But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” (Mt 5:34 see Js 5:12)
But, if you go into the military or take public office, do you not swear your allegiance to an earthly government? Whether you swear or affirm, you are adding to your word and binding your conscience.
“For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, [It is] Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; [he shall be free]. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” (Mr. 7:10, 13)
Today, man has entrusted other men with their land and their labor and the care and protection of their families. Their elderly are cared for by others, for they have given Corban in the form of a social security at their temple.
“That which bars those who have contracted will bar their successors also.”
“The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.” (Pr. 12:24)
Men have sold themselves into servitude and now pay tribute, excise tax, on their labor.
“ And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” (2Pe 2:3)
People have wanted to rest before their labor was done.
“But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” (Galatians 5:15)
People expect their neighbors in the democracy to pay for those things that they themselves cannot afford. They vote one special program or benefit into existence after another expanding the tax burden.
“Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;” (De 4:9)
Children are raised with values and customs foreign to their parents because parents do not raise their own children. From day care to college and the media to their peers, the youth of America and the world have little contact with their economically-burdened, preoccupied, and working parents.
“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1Ti 5:8)
Families were the building block of God’s kingdom with the honor to our fathers the only tax. The people as a nation also gave contributions. The sacrifices of the people, in the times of Jesus' preaching, went to care for the poor and those who administered those gifts and sacrifices. People brought their sacrifices to the temple or synagogues. Before the temple, there was the altars of Abraham.
Foreign nations, like the Romans, did the same, but they had tax collectors who went out and collected the sacrifices of the people. These contributions were given, not to the God, but to strange gods. Today, government collects taxes by force or threat and gives back, that which was collected, in the form of welfare and other benefits, gratuities, and grants. The churches and temples of today do not manage the offerings of the people, but encourage them to filter their charity through government.
“As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol [is] nothing in the world, and that [there is] none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him.” (1 Corinthians 8:4, 6 )
So, is it that a man should not trust in other men and man’s institutions? What harm will it do? What harm has it done?
“When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take [them]: but he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain;” (Isa 57:13)
In America, there is a democracy where each person may help decide the fate of his brother, in common with his own. Is that wise?
“Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders.” (Jer 9:4)
In both the Old and the New Testament, God constantly reminds his people to make no covenants, to keep themselves separate, and to trust, believe, serve, and have faith in Him alone. He will care for His people.
“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:16, 17)
Are we to stay separate from the world and loyal to the LORD spiritually and physically?
“But [it is] good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.” (Ps 73:28)
The Lord prayed that we would have the faith in Him and remain separate from the world.
“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:16, 17 )
“Holiness then denotes the separateness, or otherness, of God from all his creation. The Hebrew word for holy, qados, in its fundamental meaning contains the note of that which is separate or apart.”
Some will divide “separation” into categories of separation, but does God? If man’s institutions have taken the place of God’s institution, then we could take Elwell Evangelical Dictionary's list of four reasons to separate and apply them. (1) heresy is not to be tolerated (2) By remaining in, one shares in the responsibility for it. (3) Remaining in seems to be a tacit endorsement and even recommendation of evil. (4) It is poor stewardship to give one’s money to help support … ministries that are not unequivocally Christian… Each believer will have to seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance in reaching conclusions for his own convictions.
Jesus preached a kingdom. He told us to do the same. He told us to preach that it was at hand. He appointed his apostles a kingdom to serve and he told us that it was not to be like the kingdoms of the gentiles, who are called benefactors and exercise authority one over the other. If you are in a government that acts as a benefactor but exercises authority one over the other to provide benefits and welfare for the people, then you are not in a Christian government.
Within the pages of the Bible and the untold history of mankind, there is a government form that edifies the Kingdom of Heaven. It is actually the most common form of government used throughout history, but there are few students coming from our modern schools that would recognize it or could tell you about it or the essential characteristics of it. It is not a centralized government of control, but a diversified network of faith, hope, and charity. In fact, "our modern reliance on government to make law and establish order is not the historical norm".
From the Altars of Abraham to the Levites of Moses, from the network of ministering Essenes to the early Christian Church, and from the Tithingmen of Britain to the Kapauku of New Guinea, history is ripe with the chronicles of spontaneous customary law bringing private property, free dominion, and order to vast cultures for hundreds, even thousands of years, without a central government.
Central governments have brought an endless series of wars and invasion, dictators and holocaust, national debt, inflation, and depressions. They have produced a divided populous, with a welfare society on one end, a rich ruling elite on the other, and a laboring middle class supporting both. People receive a designed education producing an unwitting population that equates comfort and the appearance of affluence with liberty. And historically, the family suffers a corrupting influence and a moral decay, the community is divided and ignorant of concepts of justice and law, and every person covets the gratuitous benefits supplied at his neighbor's expense. In this land of double speak, lies are called learning, servitude is called freedom, license is called liberty, and violence is called justice.
That voluntary system of spontaneous justice, which was the enemy of kings and rulers of men, had no taxes, no compulsory membership and no dominating authority to make law for the people. They depended upon a free population who chose to be involved. Their goal was protection of the rights of their neighbor, not punishment which was left in the hands of the superior authority, God. It’s success demanded mutual respect and diligent arbitration. There was no central state, for the civil power was held within each family, but guarded by all in a commonwealth of honor, love, and hope.
Through the sacrifice, attention, and virtue required to maintain such systems, people are compelled to develop and reward the superior qualities of man’s character. Those of more selfish and delinquent nature soon smart for their neglect of virtue under the cleared minds of diligent participants.
“[As] the door turneth upon his hinges, so [doth] the slothful upon his bed.” Proverbs 26:14
Few people realize that the prophets along with Jesus Christ taught men a way to be ruled without going under the authority of Kings, Benefactors, and Soters. These systems were not common purses of rights or authoritative dictators, but systems of hope and charity that cultivated strong communities, as long as virtue prevailed in the hearts of men.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Ro. 12:1, 3)
“And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth [his] sheep from the goats:” (Mt 25:32)
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean; and I will receive you,” (2Co 6:17) “Occupy till I come.” (Luke 19:13)