Through Faith They Received
a Good Report

Believing - Definition
It is to have confidence and trust in the information received 
to the end that the information is acted upon.

Hebrews 11
    :30 By Faith the walls of Jericho fell down,
    after they were compassed about seven days.

When the children of Israel were done wandering in the desert 40 years Moses had died and Joshua was in charge. They were to occupy the land of milk and honey, the promised land but Jericho stood in the way. God told Joshua how to take Jericho (Joshua 6). Jericho was a well fortified city, when they shut the gates the citizens inside were protected.  Joshua and the people of Israel believed God and did what He told them to do. The city was conquered because they believed the promise of God. They did not physically fight a battle, God did the work for them. God could have used a fault line that leveled Jericho's walls, but it doesn't matter how He fulfilled His promise, the important thing is that it was God's responsibility to work out the details; they simply believe His promise.

:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not,
    when she had received the spies with peace.

Rahab believed God for deliverance. Consequently the spies came to her and she helped them and promised to let her live. Her and her family were saved when Jericho's walls came down and the city was burned.

:32 And what shall I more say?
    for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon,
    and of Barak,
    and of Samson,
    and of Jephthae;
    of David also,
    and Samuel,
    and of the prophets:
:33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms,
    wrought righteousness,
    obtained promises,
    stopped the mouths of lions.
:34 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.
:35 Women received their dead raised to life again:
    and others were tortured,
         not accepting deliverance;
    that they might obtain a better resurrection>:
:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings,
    yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37: They were stoned
    they were sawn asunder,
    were tempted,
    were slain with the sword:
    they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins;
    being destitute, 
:38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:)
    they wandered in deserts,
    and in mountains,
    and in dens
    and caves of the earth.
:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith,
    received not the promise: [because promise of the messiah had not been fulfilled yet]
:40 God having provided some better thing for us,
    that they without us should not be made perfect.

Even though they didn't have all that we do, the promise of the father--holy spirit within, the comforter--they still believed. Let us consider again the context in the beginning of chapter 11 of Hebrews.

Hebrews 11
:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
    the evidence of things not seen.
:2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God,
    so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Good report through believing..... God repeats the same idea in verses 2 and 39  "For by it (faith-believing) the elders obtained a good report." Due to their believing they are recorded in the Word of God. There records are repeated so that we may learn. In their time on earth they did not receive the promise, the better resurrection; that doesn't mean that they will not receive the promise at the judgment, they will be in the resurrection of the Just and the Unjust. The way they obtained the good report was by believing, they knew God's Word and believed.

God was also incredibly faithful to make His Word available. At any time when God's people turned to him with a need He made it available to them.

The records in the Old Testament are important to us. They are not written to our Administration, they are under the law where we have been freed from the law, redeemed, paid for by Christ Jesus.

Romans 15
:4  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning
that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

"Written for our learning," we can learn a tremendous amount about believing by studying the Old Testament Believers. And God promises that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

There are many avenues available to study the Old Testament

  • Cultures
  • History
  • Languages / manuscripts
  • the Christ line
  • Manifestations

All very valid and intensive, but this study focuses on believing.

Study Points:

  • Chronologies of the Old Testament are incomplete; no one knows exactly the times of different events. This is why so many chronologies disagree. The chronology which will be used in this series of teachings is to give you an approximate idea of when events occurred in relation to other events.
  • When studying maps of the bible lands keep in mind that things change over time.


This fourth teaching concludes the Introduction to the Old Testament Believers Seminar. The following teachings will cover Believers and their situations individually and in detail.