The true essence of faith is something that is known only to a believing Christian. When Jesus warned His disciples to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16:6), what He may have been cautioning them against is very much what the world sees today as faith. The Bible says in Hebrew 11:6 that it is impossible to please God without faith but the spurious faith that the world has taken a grip of is a condescending joke that nobody wants to laugh at. This is precisely what the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees is all about, just as yeast makes a batch of dough rise, in the same way the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees is what works to raise and magnify: not God, but the person himself. We see so much of this in the world today, which sees the strength of a person’s belief/faith, in the person’s fasting, dietary regulations, physical mourning and rigorous praying. When the world looks at this so called faith, who exactly is exalted, it is the doer, the people doing it themselves more than the god/gods they worship. This is the yeast effect where the people are exalted and God; oh what about Him? The world thinks: He already has all the glory as God but it is not right, never was and never will be, that people use God for the convenience of exalting themselves: the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Let us take a look at faith going back as far as Abraham. The Bible refers to Abraham as the Father of many nations (Genesis17:5) and says that it was because he believed (had faith in God) that it was credited to him as righteousness (Romans 4:3). Let us look at some scripture.
6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together.
7 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”
8 Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.
10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.
We see from the above, that this is a citation of the sacrifice God commanded of Abraham. Well, if you take a closer look, you will see that the faith that justified Abraham before God was the faith with which Abraham could foresee the Lord Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the cross. You see! The actual word in Genesis 22:8 i.e. “provide for Himself the Lamb”, the actually Hebrew word used here is “seh say”, which literally means that God would push out of Himself a Lamb. It gets more interesting here, the word “God” in Genesis 22:8 is written as the Hebrew “El-O-Heem”, which is the name of Supreme God but El-o-Heem is a name denoted in Plural taken from the Singular El-o-Ah. This not only makes you see a Triune God in the faith story of Abraham but from the term “seh say” like the Hebrew “shaw-aw” meaning to rush to wastage making desolate, you see the very essence of why Jesus cried out on the cross in Mark 15:34 “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” One can thus vividly picture the faith Abraham had in the promise of justification that would be worked out for him on the cross (Galatians 3:6).
Wait! There is even more. We know according to the Bible that Isaac was born to Abraham in his old age (Genesis 21:2-3), considering at this time that Isaac was at an age where he could talk, carry the wood and climb the mountain (Genesis 22:2) himself upon which he was to be offered as a sacrifice, we can safely assume that Isaac had the strength to resist Abraham, while he got Isaac ready for the sacrifice but we see no mention in scripture of Isaac’s resistance, with which we can only more clearly see it’s reflection of Jesus’ work on the cross, where the Bible says that Jesus was taken like a lamb to the slaughter where he did not resist to the extent that he did not say even a word (Acts 8:32).
It must be understood that “time” is also a part of God’s creation and just as God is never bound by His creation so is He never bound also with time. The difference between the Saints of the Old Testament from Saints of the New Testament is that the people of the Old Testament were justified through the faith in which they held to the promise of Salvation that God would work out for them Himself (Psalms 119:123). While the saints of the New Testament are justified through the faith of God’s handiwork carried out on the cross (Romans 5:1, 9). The deliverance a Christian has from his sin can be compared to the deliverance of the Old Testament Saints from Egypt and the reason a Christian is commanded to remember in faith the saving work of the cross (Ephesians 2:12-13) is the same reason the Old Testament saints were told to remember the handiwork of God’s deliverance of His people from Egypt (Exodus 13:3) i.e. that the people may have a fearful reverence (Exodus 14:31) in their reconciliation to God (Ephesians 2:16).
We therefore see here that trusting in God in the midst of trial not only yields carnal quietness but magnifies and exalts our God over us. This truly is the faith of His Church: the believing body of people starting right from the Spiritual father of every Christian i.e. Abraham.