Category Archives: Bible Study
Understanding Bible Faith! What Is Bible Faith and What Makes it Different than Other Types of Faith? Part 6
(Ver 1.4) This is Part 6 in a series of very advanced studies about the subject of Bible Faith. Today’s lesson will be a discussion concerning the definition of Bible faith, then we will have a discussion about what faith is and then finally how your Bible faith is different from another person’s faith like those that believe in Islam, Buddha or whoever. If you have been reading this series of lessons, you should know that the subject of faith is a very complex topic to completely understand, like most other subjects found in the Bible. In the last lesson I discussed 8 basic factors that all contributed to you having faith. I also went into the Old Testament and even showed how faith was demonstrated in the life of David and how all of the steps that i listed were still valid for what was written about concerning David’s faith. You should be able to draw out these steps in the lives of anybody in the Bible that is said to have faith. Go through the list of faith heroes found in Hebrews 11 and see who God has inducted into the faith hall of fame and then go read about them again in the Old Testament. See how they heard God say something, see how they received what was spoken, understanding it and then believed it. Then watch and listen to everything that they say and do. See if they expect anything to happen. See if they have any confidence in God coming through for them. Elijah is a great faith man. He called down fire from heanven. He spoke words that caused it not to rain for three and half years. Go and read these stories again and you will see that God honored their faith when nothing else would work. Even though God never mentioned faith as a factor, God always moved the mightiest when a man was established in faith and believed God’s Word. Here are the steps that I have listed for you to review:
- Your Will
- Your Ability to Hear
- Your Understanding of the Word Heard
- Your Beliefs
- Your Confidence
- Your Words
- Your Expectation Level
- Your Actions
These are what I call the Faith Partners that must be present and working in unity to produce results. I hope that you have read all of the previous lessons for I will not be repeating that information in any great detail and it was all very important to know. So if you have not read from the beginning I would suggest that you go back and start reading with “Part 1”.
In speaking of faith it is interesting to note that everyone in the world, saved or unsaved has faith to some degree. That sounds like a contradiction to a statement that I made in an earlier lesson where I told you that the Bible says “For all men do not have faith” (2 Th 3:2). But, what we must realize is that there are different types of faith and God is speaking of Bible faith in 2 Thessalonians 3:2 and not common human faith that everyone possesses. Faith is a basic human characteristic created by God. Faith is based upon ignorance and since every human is ignorant, we all have to have faith. Let me try to explain that last statement in different terms. Since none of us are God, our knowledge is extremely limited; would you agree with that statement? We therefore, on a daily basis accept many things by our faith and we do not even realize that this is what we are doing. For example, the sun rise this morning came by natural human faith. Now just because we have seen thousands of sunrises in the past does not necessarily prove or mean that there will be another one tomorrow. If you believe that there will be one then you are in effect placing your faith in your past experiences. You believe that the sun will rise tomorrow and thus your confidence and expectations are set based upon only on your past experiences or your current knowledge of how the earth rotates around the sun. There is no proof or evidence for the sun coming up tomorrow, because it has not happened yet. After it happens then you have the proof or evidence, but before it happens you can only believe that it will happen. This is common human faith, just not Bible faith. Let me try to give you another different example of having common faith. If you make a date with someone to have dinner at a certain time and place and you show up, then you had faith based upon what? Your faith is based upon the word of agreement from that person that you were supposed to meet with. Now depending upon who that person was, your confidence level and expectation level of them showing up might be great or it might be very small based upon your past experiences with them. This is acting out your faith in the real world, but this is not Bible faith. Showing up at a dinner date is an act of faith, you start with words with a friend, the two of you agree with the words that were heard to make the arrangements, you understand the arrangement, you believe the arrangement and then you wait for the time and go to the restaurant to meet with them. If your confidence level was correct you expect them to show up on time. That is how common faith works and we do it every day. Do you understand how human ignorance plays a role in both of these examples that I just gave you? In both cases you must believe in something that you cannot prove will happen. So let’s discuss what is different about Bible faith. The only difference is God is the one that we are expecting to show up; it is based upon His word that we are putting our confidence in. It is the Word of God that we must hear spoken and we must understand these words. Next we must believe the words and put our full confidence in Him and His Word. That is Bible faith and it is the exact same process that you went through to make a dinner reservation with a friend. Here is the challenge to Bible faith; no one has ever seen God. You cannot prove that God exists. So you take His existence by your faith and this is beginning of Bible faith, but not the end of it. God can then do many great things as your faith progresses upward to greater levels.
Do you realize that the Bible says it is impossible for God to lie? (Heb. 6:18, Tit. 1:2, Rom. 3:4) There are very few things in the Bible that it says that God cannot ever do and lie is definitely one of the few things that God is completely incapable of doing. Why is that important? It is important because it helps establish your confidence level in what the Bible says and the Word of God is the basis for Bible faith. If God says something in the Bible and you can claim it for yourself then God says you can have it (2 Cor 1:20). Many ignorant Christians have derogatorily called this a “name it and claim it” false religion. But, that is their problem and not mine, I’m just studying the Bible and seeing what it says and you can do whatever you like and ignore the parts of the Bible that do not fit your theology, if that is what you want to do. What these Christians do not realize is that faith is how they became a Christian and if they have no faith, then they are not Christians. The word of God is a handbook written to you personally. The words in it are written to you as a personal love letter and this is the basis or the foundation to your house of faith. You are building a faith house and your faith foundation must be the Word of God.
I am trying to teach you that everyone in the world has faith, but few have faith in God and even fewer have actual faith in His Word. Jesus taught us that wide is the path that leads to destruction and many are those that find this path (Mat 7:13). Jesus went on to say that narrow is the path to life and few are those who find it. Since both paths contain people with faith it is extremely sad to me that only a few get to live with God forever. What do the people on the wide path to destruction, have their faith in? They either believe there is no God, no judgment, no hell, no eternity, etc., or they believe in Buddha, Mohammed, Hare Krishna, the Dali Lama or some other false religion. Everyone believes something in the world, even the atheist believes there is no God, and the Hindu believes there is another chance coming in the next life, and on and on. Man was created by God to believe in something and this is what people do every day for good or evil.
That was my introduction to the definition of faith. As you can see it is complex while being based upon simple binary concepts. I learned this approach as a computer programmer. You take the complex system and reduce it to rudimentary understandable pieces and learn those and then as each part works together the complex system works as a whole. A binary concept is one where only two possible answers exist. In the binary world of computers everything is based upon either ones or zeros. That is the basis for the concepts of faith. You either, hear or you don’t hear. You either understand or you don’t understand. You either believe or you don’t believe. Just basic binary choices, yet making the right choices can result in great things and making the wrong choice can lead you down the wide path to destruction. I want to give you the classic Bible definition of what faith is according to the Word of God. This definition is found in the first verse of Hebrews 11 which is the famous “Faith Hall of Fame” chapter found in the Bible:
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
There are many people who have read this verse but do not understand what it means and I was one of those in the past. As you can see this verse contains the classic Bible construction of a definition being revealed to us. Whenever God gives us this information, it is a classic spiritual redefinition of a word that we thought we understood. This verse says “Faith IS” and then goes into what faith should be to us. I will take it word for word and hopefully elaborate on what it actually is saying. The first word in the verse is the word “Now” and this is a reference to time. Time is a concept expressed in three different dimensions. Time can be past, present or future. So we can clearly see that faith is said to be a present tense reality. In other words your faith that you had yesterday is not a factor and your faith that you will have tomorrow is also not a factor. It is only the faith that you have right now that is a factor to what happens to you right now. When people came up to Jesus, He would always rebuke them for having no faith or He would commend them for having great faith. When was their faith important or not important, effective or not effective to Jesus? You can clearly see that faith only mattered at the exact time when Jesus was speaking to them. Jesus never cared if they had faith yesterday and Jesus never cared if they might change and have faith tomorrow. Jesus never told anyone to go get more faith and come back tomorrow. If you had no faith right then and there, you got nothing from Jesus. The woman with the issue of blood got healed because she had right now faith at the instance when she needed it the most. All of the other people in the crowd had no faith while they were touching Him and none of them got healed. Do you understand now how important faith is? The next word in Hebrews 11 is “Faith” and since “Faith” is what we are defining, I will not be discussing that word.
So let’s move to the definition part of the Hebrews 11:1 verse and the words translated as “the substance”. This Greek word translated as “substance” is not easily understood unless you look up the definition in the Strong’s concordance and read what it says. This Greek word translated as “substance” means “confidence”. Here is one of the key 8 faith partners that I gave you earlier. Do you have any cofidence?
- Do you have confidence in the existence of God?
- Do you have confidence in the ability of God?
- Do you have confidence in God’s Word?
- Do you have confidence that God will do what He said?
Confidence is a multi-dimensional critical building block to having faith and I just listed four things that you need to have confidence in. if you have confidence in only 3 out of 4 of those things, then your confidence is lacking and you need to learn more of the Bible. Today, you might have confidence in one area but not every area that I just raised. Only you will be able to evaluate your level of confidence in each of those areas.
What is confidence based on? If you have experience with someone then you base your confidence level upon your experience. So what if you are new to someone? What do you have to base your confidence in? Confidence is a factor of trust. The better you know someone the more you trust them. This is another reason people fail to receive from God. They do not know God. They do not know the character of God. They do not know the integrity of God. They do not know the promises of God. You are going to have to ask yourself, do you trust God?
Psa 115:11 Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
There are too many verses in the Bible for me to give you them all about trusting in God. The word trust also contains multiple concepts. First, it means to have confidence in. Next, it means to be sure of. Next, it means to be certain of. There are a number of synonymous terms like be assured, be confident, be convinced, be firm and to be unquestioning. Trust and confidence go hand and hand and they are both essential partners to your faith.
The next Greek word in this verse is translated as “things hoped for”. This again is a very difficult word to understand unless you look up the definition in the Strong’s. The word translated as “hoped” is actually poorly translated in today’s English language. When we hope for something in the modern world we normally just wish that this was what was happening. I have heard many ministers about to pray for someone and they ask them “will you be healed now when I lay my hands on you?”, and the answer is usually “I sure hope so”. This means the people wished it would happen but that they did not actually have any confidence that it was going to happen. Let’s take this back to the woman with the issue of blood. Remember what she said? She said “If I touch His clothes, I will be made whole”. There is absolutely no doubts in that statement to her not having any confidence that it would not happen. What would have changed if she said “I hope I will be made whole”? You see she would not have been healed. Hope is not having full confidence and this Greek word in Hebrews 11 does not mean to “hope“, it means “to expect” and this is based upon your confidence level. So we are back to having confidence and expecting something to happen as the woman with the issue of blood did. The last part of this definition says this “the evidence of things not seen”. As we come to the conclusion we see that having faith from the Bible definition is our evidence of what we do not see with our physical eyes. What is evidence? In a court of law “evidence” is the “proof” of innocence or guilt. Why is God introducing you to legal terms and court room procedures in this definition? It is because God is the Supreme Judge and His ways are the Spiritual Laws that govern what happens to us. So you better understand that faith is the component that will either exonerate you or your lack of faith will convict you on judgment day. Did you know that Faith was a spiritual Law? This is why God is introducing legal court terms like evidence:
Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
According to the Word of God, Faith is a spiritual law that is the opposite of another spiritual law called the “law of works”. Those in the Old Covenant were trying to achieve salvation by the law of works. Israel was given 5 books of the Law and these contained instructions from God of the does and don’ts of everything that was permissible on a daily basis. Jesus came and changed everything and said “He that believes on me shall have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus came to reveal the law of faith which professes salvation that is based upon believing. This was obviously a radical departure from the law of works. However, the Bible tells us very clearly that Christians have been justified by faith and that no flesh shall be justified by keeping the Law of Moses (Acts 13:39). You see the term “justified” in the Greek language means to be found innocent. Again we see the legal ramification of terms and words that are usually only associated with a court of law.
Let’s take this information and relate it back to the woman with the issue of blood. What evidence did the woman have from the time that she left her house until the time she touched Jesus’ clothes? At no time before touching Jesus did the woman feel differently or feel like she was healed, yet she continued to press through the crowd until she reached Jesus. Technically speaking at no time did the woman have any physical evidence to being healed or that she would be healed. But, by the definition of faith given to us in Hebrews 11:1, we see that her faith must have been her evidence. Because she heard and believed on Jesus and had confidence in what she heard to be the truth, she expected to get healed when she touched Him. Here is the law of faith and how it works. Faith must be present internally to see the external results. Because she believed that she was already healed internally in her spirit, the external manifestation of this reality showed up on the outside. This is still exactly how faith works in the modern world without Jesus being here physically. Like I told you before, you cannot go and touch him physically today, but that does not mean you cannot touch Him spiritually and that He is still looking for your faith to give you what you need.
If you would like to conintue reading in this series about Bible Faith, please continue to “Part 7“.
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 5 in a series of advanced studies about the subject of Bible Faith. Today’s lesson will be a further expansion of the basic foundational truths surrounding faith and a discussion of the differences between having faith today in the modern world versus that of having faith back when Jesus walked the face of the planet. Are there any differences to having faith today to that of when Jesus was walking among us? In the modern world we are faced with an enormous set of challenges. There are the distractions of technology, the media and the internet. We have had numerous natural disasters, economic pressures, threats of violence, wars, riots, terrorism and other things that can consume our focus in recent days. Maybe you have been where I have been and have thought the same things that I have thought. I have personally thought it would have been nice to live in the days when Jesus was physically walking around and living with us. Life was just so much simpler back them and you could have seen the God of creation in the flesh. Wouldn’t it have been nice to see Him physically speaking, healing, walking on water, raising the dead and doing the things that we can only read about today? Sometimes people think that if I had just lived back then, it would have been easy to get healed and I would not have to put up with this disease anymore. I wouldn’t have to put up with this sickness or this disease if I only lived when Jesus was here. If, I could have just gone to see Him and bam I would have been healed like everyone else. However, when you study the Bible you actually come to a much different understanding of reality and that is what I will discuss today. If you have not been reading this series of lesson from the beginning I would suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1”.
I want to start today by turning to the book of Mark chapter 6 and reading a story of Jesus that is often ignored. In this story of Jesus, He is visiting some old friends and relatives and we see a very different reality of how difficult it was back then to get healed even from the Son of God walking among you.
Mar 6:5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
Mar 6:6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
People like to think that Jesus was God in His omnipotent power and that He could do anything that He wanted to on the earth when He was here. However, that is not what the Bible actually teaches us. According to these verses in Mark 6, it says that Jesus wanted to heal them, but He could not. Wow, that is very earth shattering to the theology of many confused Christians. This verse does not say that “He would not heal them”, it says very clearly that “He could not heal them”. That clearly tells us this is not God in His omnipotent power. What would cause God not to be able to do anything? What would limit God’s ability on the earth? You should really think about that before you try to answer. If you have been reading this series of lessons on Bible faith you have learned that Jesus rebuked people for having no faith and praised others for having great faith. Jesus would always emphasize a person’s faith and no other factors were given for anyone getting healed. So if no one gets healed here in this story in Mark 6, why didn’t they? Verse 5 says Jesus tried to do His mighty works there, but was not able to and then in verse 6 it reveals to us why He could not do anything there. In verse 6, it says Jesus marveled at their unbelief. The term “marveled” comes from a Greek root word to “to see” or “to perceive”. Jesus saw that they had no faith and was astonished. If you learned what I taught in the last lesson, you saw that believing was a key factor for having faith that grows and works. You first had to hear, you then had to understand what you heard and next you had to believe what you heard. This was the people’s problem in this chapter of Mark 6. These people heard that He was anointed, understood what it meant, but refused to believe it by a purposeful act of their own freewill. Pay attention to what I just said, it was not Jesus’ choice to not give them faith; it was there choice not to believe that caused them their problems. That is the first thing that you need to know about that I did not cover in the last lesson. You see I could not cover everything in one lesson or I would have overwhelmed you with too much information all at once. What you need to realize is that faith is more complicated than just four simple steps and miraculously you are healed, saved and delivered from every problem. Your “will” is a determining factor to whether or not you believe what you hear. What I am trying to show you is that faith is an internal choice that you make after you hear and understand. You can choose to believe or you can choose not to believe, it is always your choice. You can read in John chapter 5 about a story where Jesus teaches us this lesson about faith and you will see this point being emphasized. In John 5:6 Jesus approaches a lame man at the Pool of Bethesda and says this to him “Will you be made whole”? Why is Jesus asking this man, this question? Apparently it is not all up to God’s will but it was up to this man’s will to whether or not he was to be made whole again. That was a very direct question that reveals the man’s will played a major part in the man getting healed. What we must realize is that Jesus is not diminishing the man’s faith to be a factor; He was only emphasizing the man’s will needed to be adjusted. The man when asked this by Jesus said “I don’t have anyone who will help me”. In other words the man was making an excuse why he was not healed by blaming others that did not help him and this was what Jesus was trying to correct. Jesus was in effect saying to him it is not their fault that you are not healed, it is your own fault and that does not go over well with people who like to blame everyone else and not take any responsibility upon themselves.
Let’s discuss briefly what is your will? Your will is a key part of your internal unseen soul realm. Your soul is made up of your mind (ability to think, reason and your memory), your will (ability to choose and make choices) and your emotions (love, hate, happiness, sadness, etc.). Your will determines what you do today. If you get up in the morning instead of lying in bed all day, then you exercised your will to get out of bed. If you ate breakfast, you exercised your will to determine what to eat and then to eat. Your will is a conscious decision to do something. Jesus is basically informing us that if you are going to get healed then it is up to your will and not God’s will that makes it happen. In other words if you are waiting on God to heal you, you are not going to get healed. Let’s examine the woman with the issue of blood again and see what she did that fits this reality. She heard about Jesus, understood what she heard and believed it and then she did what? She made a decision to go get healed. If she had done nothing or waited for Jesus to come to her she would not be mentioned in the Bible. It was only because of a conscious act of her will that she is found in the Bible at all. So a decision that she made with her will played a huge role in the fact that she got her healing. I wish that was all of the factors, but that is not all of the factors and it gets more complex than this. So hang in there as we learn some more about faith’s prerequisites and partners to get answers using your faith.
Let’s get back to Mark 6 and see why these people did not let Jesus do any mighty works there. These people failed in step 3 of God’s faith building Bible class. Unbelief is a diametrically opposed force to faith. You cannot have faith and unbelief at the same time and get healed; they in effect cancel each other out. There is one story in the Bible that seems to show you can have both, but I believe that faith and doubt can occur in two different realms of reality. Real Faith is of the heart, and doubts can occur in your mind. What you are supposed to learn today is that Bible faith is of the heart or the spirit and it does not occur in your mind. However, to get faith into your heart takes a trip through your mind and I’ll talk more about that soon.
Luk 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
Where does Jesus say you need to believe? You can actually see that Jesus is associating true faith to the spirit of man. To believe with your heart is the goal that you are after. That also implies that you can believe with your head as a mental choice and not with your heart. The mental realm is a doorway to your spirit, but it is not your spirit. In order for God’s word to work you are going to have to get it into your spirit. How do you do this? In elementary school as children, you would say the multiplication tables over and over out loud until you knew them by heart. Guess what that is how you get God’s word into your heart also. When you get something in your heart abundantly you do not have to figure out the answer, it will just automatically come out. In other words when asked what is 6 times 9 you would just say 54 and you do not have to do a calculation to figure out the correct answer. This is what you are after with the word of God also. You should be able to say exactly what the Bible says about your situation without looking it up. You do this by speaking and mediating on it day and night as God told Joshua in Joshua 1:8:
Jos 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
This is God speaking to you today. If you think that this is a private message to Joshua, you do not understand God very much. God is saying that you must keep His words in your mouth all the time. The Hebrew word translated as “meditate” means to “murmur”. To murmur is a term that means to speak under your breath as in to mutter to oneself. God is telling Joshua how to be successful in life and this applies to you also. The net effect of this action is God builds faith in the heart of Joshua and he is able to lead his people into the Promised Land. It is very difficult to explain the difference between head faith and heart faith. If you learn God’s word and say it over and over until you get it inside your spirit, you will know when you have it and I won’t have to explain it to you. There will come a time when it will be obvious to you also. I will talk more about this soon.
What caused these people Mark 6 not to believe? You can obviously learn that believing with your heart is a key component to whether you will get healed or remain the same from this lesson. The people in Mark 6 were the people of Jesus’ hometown where He grew up as a child to become a man. All of these people knew Him intimately and personally, they saw Him physically for many years and yet after being baptized by John and anointed by God, they refused to believe that Jesus was anointed by an act of their will. You see the problem they had was that they could not overcome the mental conflict that was occurring in their minds when they recalled all of the years that He was with them and never did anything extraordinary. They had put Jesus into a box of familiarity and it caused them to miss the great works that He wanted to do. Apparently living back in the days of Jesus is not that much of an advantage to getting healed as I thought originally. It would seem that the more you knew about Jesus the less likely you were to believe that He was anointed and chosen of God. Did you ever think about this? Why did Jesus choose a bunch of strangers to be His disciples? It was simply because they did not know who He was that allowed them to follow Him blindly. It would appear from this information that knowing Jesus would have been a major stumbling block to you getting healed rather than the other way around. So after I read this story, I was glad I did not live back then and see Jesus personally.
In the last lesson on Bible Faith that I did, I gave you one of the greatest faith lessons found in the Bible about the woman with the issue of blood who was sick for 12 years and when she had heard of Jesus she risked public stoning and pressed through the crowd to touch His garment and she was healed. I have been using this story repeatedly because it holds valuable lessons on how faith works that we need to understand. In this lesson I further described that Jesus said it was her faith that had caused her to be made whole. In studying this story you should become aware that it was only this woman who got healed and no one else present was healed who was in the crowd. When Jesus asked “Who touched me”, the disciples told Jesus that everyone is touching you. Why were all of these people touching Jesus? They must have needed something. I do not think that Jesus was seen to be a rock star personality in those days. Jesus did not get up and sing love songs and the women would faint and scream. The crowds of people were there because Jesus had claimed to be anointed by God, but yet none of these people knew that it required more than just a physical touch to get their answer. What we learn from this information is that Jesus does not place any priority on people, but He does place a huge priority on faith. I want to go over another scripture in this story that I intentionally left out of the last lesson to teach you some additional factors about this woman’s faith. I want to show you why this woman had faith and no one else in the crowd did and we will begin reading in verse 27 of Mark 5:
Mar 5:27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
We can clearly assume that everyone that was there to touch Jesus that day was there because they had heard the same thing that this woman had heard and that was He was anointed by God. So hearing was not the issue for anyone present, everyone present must have heard about Him the same way. They all must have understood what an anointed one meant. They all must have believed that He was anointed. They all came to touch Him, but only one woman got healed. It must have been another factor that caused this woman to get healed while others did not and that is why I want to show you what is found in verse 28:
Mar 5:28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
We understand from reading this verse that it is out of sequence in time. In other words these are words spoken by the woman before she got to Jesus. Do you understand that? I want to describe the Greek word translated as “for” first in the verse. You see this word in the Strong’s means “to assign a reason”. In other words God is giving us the reason for this woman’s faith. That means it is important to understand. I alluded to this factor in my last lesson and I talked a little bit about it earlier when I mentioned Joshua, but today I want to emphasize it with some extra teaching on the subject of “speaking your faith”. If you have read my other Bible lessons, you know that I teach a lot about the power of words spoken. Here is another example, of this reality using this lesson in Mark 5. We already saw in verse 31 that Jesus said, “Daughter, thy faith has made you whole”. Therefore, we know that the woman had faith before she got to Jesus. Here is how I know that the woman possessed faith before she ever physically saw Jesus:
Luk 17:6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
Here is God speaking to you right here and right now. God says “if you had faith, you would say”. The opposite truth to this statement is “if you had no faith you would be silent”. Wow, that is really good stuff. Does God say that speaking is doing faith? Remember what step four of my last faith lesson was? God said you must 1) hear, 2) understand, 3) believe and 4) do. Step four is always doing your faith. We can clearly see that based upon God’s word here in Luke 17:6 that this woman had faith and was doing her faith because she has said something positive. Remember earlier I tried to teach you that real faith was of the heart and you get this faith by speaking to yourself over and over. This is what this woman must have done. Jesus taught us that “from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Mat 12:34). So whatever comes out of your mouth is what you have abundantly put into your heart. We can clearly understand that this woman had faith from her heart that God says resulted in her healing and that she possessed this before she arrived to where Jesus was because she was saying something.
However, it was not just saying something that was important; it was really more what she believed and then what said. She said “If I touch His clothes, I will be made whole”. Was this prophetic? Was this an amazing coincidence? You have to understand the power of words to see that she got exactly what she said. We should all learn to watch what we say after reading stories like this in the Bible. The woman is never focused on her sickness; her words are only directed at her being whole. If you walk around talking about how bad you feel and how sick you are, you are probably going to stay that way. God is teaching you a concept found in the Bible that is radically different than any concept you get from your doctor. Thinking positively, believing positively and speaking positively will result in good things happening to you. Do you remember what God says in Joel 3:10 “Let the weak say I am strong”. Why would God almighty teach weak people to say what they are not? Wow that is very strange isn’t it? However, God’s ways are not our ways and if you want the God kind of results you are going to have to change to do it His way. This is the major difference between this woman who got healed and the others who touched Jesus but did not get healed. It is obvious to me that none of the others believed or said that they would be made whole. They were just there to try it out and see if anything happened.
It is virtually impossible to teach about faith and not talk about spoken words. These two subjects are intimately connected to each other. The woman with the issue of blood was in effect calling herself whole before she was whole. This is a Bible faith concept revealed to us in Romans 4:17. In this verse God tells us that He called Abraham a father of many nations before He became the father of many nations. In this story of Abraham God changes the name of Abram to Abraham and this causes him to start saying what God said. Abraham was an old man now, but as soon as he starts saying “I am Abraham” which means “father of nations”, He becomes a father that year. God uses your words to produce the results in your life whether you want to believe it or not that is how it works. This faith concept of calling things that are not as though they are, will also work for you today. If you are sick and you want to get healed, be like this woman and start calling yourself whole before you are whole and don’t stop doing this just because it looks worse tomorrow than it does today. This woman could have given up and said there are just too many people for me to get through to Jesus. It is just too hard and it looks impossible. But, she went and made her way through the crowds of people pushing to get to Jesus and when she made it and touched His clothes and she was healed. Would it have mattered if she said “I might be healed”. I think it would have mattered a lot. You see might is a word that implies “might not”, or “depends upon something” I don’t know or some other factor that demonstrates a lack of confidence. If you have no confidence in the Word of God or the anointing you would say “might” or “maybe”. But, if you have great confidence and expect to get healed when you touch Him, then you would say “I will be made whole”. Because the woman had faith in God’s word and His anointing she could say this the way that she did. So I just introduced you to two new determining factors or faith partners that contribute to you having faith. Your confidence level determines your expectation level and these two factors are essential to receiving anything from God. I further showed you that “saying” is a part of doing and some tines it can be all you need to do.
As you can begin to see, Bible faith is a complex subject that is related to many other subjects. We have seen that being willing to hear something new is the introductory level of obtaining faith. Then we learned that you must hear the Word to get faith started. I then showed you how understanding what you heard is a determining factor to having correct Bible faith. I then showed you how believing is an essential factor to having Bible faith. Today I introduced you to your will playing a role in what you decide to believe. Then I taught you that doing is a part of having your faith work for you. Today I introduced you to “speaking” as being a part of doing and getting faith abundantly in your heart. I also showed you that what you say will be dependent upon your level of confidence in what you believe. Finally, the woman with the issue of blood expected to be healed when she touched Jesus, so expectation is another essential piece of having faith that receives. If you don’t expect to get healed you will not get healed. Bible Faith is complex, like a transmission in a car is complex. If you do not think so, you should go unbolt your transmission off of your car and take it apart and see if you are smart enough to put it back together correctly. It takes a lot of training and experience to be a great transmission mechanic and to rebuild a transmission. This is the same way with faith. There are many cross related subjects that you must study to fully understand this complex Bible subject. I wish I could simplify it more, but I did not write the Bible and I did not invent faith so I must learn to work with God’s definitions and the information given to us in the Bible, just like you must do the same.
When you begin to understand how faith works, you will better understand the examples of faith given to us in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. Take for example, the famous story of David and Goliath. Did faith have anything to do with what happens in this story? You should go back and read it again and see what you see that is different now. David heard there was a giant and asks what will be done for the man who kills this giant. It would appear that hearing was a factor in the story. When you read this story notice what David says very carefully and see if he is not speaking words of faith. It is a very powerful faith filled story with words that come from the mouth of David. David said “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine?” In other words who is this one that is not in covenant with the almighty God of Israel? Then David says to Goliath “this day will I take your head from your shoulders and feed your carcass to the birds of the air”. Before David did anything, he always said what he would do. Then David did it acting out his faith in His God. This story exhibits David’s high confidence level in his God’s ability and thus David expected to win the battle and not to be defeated. There were no doubts in the heart of the future King of Israel. But, also realize that before David killed the giant Goliath, David had faith experiences with a lion and a bear. In other words, faith is a progressive undertaking of experiences and previous victories that causes your confidence level to increase. If you start small, your faith can grow to the giant killing level, but if you start with the giant level, you might be easily defeated. Here is a modified list of faith factors that has increased significantly since the last lesson, but hopefully you can see and understand them better now.
- Bible Faith is based upon truth in the Bible.
- Being open to the truth allows truth the opportunity to come to you.
- Hearing the truth is the beginning of obtaining Bible faith.
- Understanding God’s Word spiritually will open the door to allow it into your heart.
- Believing and speaking the Truth will plant it firmly in your heart in abundance.
- Choosing to decide to believe it and do it are both conscious acts of your will.
- Your confidence in the truth determines your level of effort, your commitment and your expectation level for it coming to pass in your life.
- Expect the answer to occur even when it looks impossible. Expecting is like ordering a package from the internet and knowing it will arrive any day very soon.
- Do what you said and receive the answer.
These are the basic steps and factors to having Bible faith in the modern world. It just so happens to be the same as we found in the days when Jesus was walking the face of the earth that we learned about from the woman with the issue of blood. These faith steps also apply to other Old Testament saints like David and Joshua. Faith has not really changed at all, and Jesus has certainly not changed. So whatever He did back then is what is available to you today. I know you cannot touch His physical garment, but you can do everything else that the woman with the issue of blood did and get healed the same way by touching His Spirit. God still sees your faith today and it will still work the same. The Spirit of God is everywhere all at once and His power is available to you right now, but it is only accessed by your faith. In closing I want to emphasize one point that I have seen in the past. There are some people who believe if they throw away their medicine they will be healed. They look at this as an act of their faith. However, that is usually presumptive foolishness that gets you killed. Taking medicine does not heal you and not taking medicine certainly does not heal you. There are no examples in the Bible of people throwing away medicine and getting healed anywhere, so you cannot base your faith on this. Go to the doctor, take your medicine and believe and say that God has healed you and made you whole anyway. When you are healed you will know when not to take any medicine. Your words are much more important to your healing than you not taking any medicine. You begin to say that you are healed and whole and still take your medicine. “Let the sick say I am whole”, that is what Joel 3:10 could say if you want to see it that way. I also want to say that I write these lessons speaking about sickness because many people need to be healed and that is why I have focused in on only one part of receiving from God. But, I want to emphasize that every part of the steps that I just listed will work for whatever you need from God. Maybe it is a job? Maybe it is some money to help pay your bills? The only things that is going to change on my list is what scriptures you need to hear in order to get faith for your need. The Bible contains God’s promises and the New Covenant is built upon better promises than the Old Covenant. So go find the promises of God written about your need and use those to build your faith for what you need today. The rest of the steps are still the same. I hope that clarified a question that someone might have had about faith and how to make it work for a different need other than healing. Thanks for taking the time to study the Bible with me and to see God’s truth.
If you would like to continue reading in this series of Bible lessons on Faith you can go to “Part 6“.
(Ver 1.1) This will be an extremely advanced Bible study about a subject that many married Christians have thought on at one time or the other. Today, I want to focus in on a challenging question that I had presented to me from a reader. It was an excellent question and I appreciate getting stimulating questions form people. She wondered if her marriage between her and her husband would still be able to continue after this life ends. She told me that they loved each other greatly and did not want the marriage to ever end. She had read some of my other lessons where I taught some potentially troubling things that concerned her future marriage to her husband and thus the reason for the question. I do want to say up front that I admire this couple’s resolve and dedication to each other. It is a highly commendable attitude to take hold of and to keep. Anyone going into a marriage should be fully committed to that marriage for however long it might be and for whatever negative things that might occur. Recently on the national news a very prominent Christian TV personality was caught cheating on his wife. This couple after several years of counseling and help from God has decided to remain together and are attempting to rebuild the trust that was lost. While I do not admire the actions of the man to cheat, I do admire that he sees fit to change and get it right and for his wife’s ability to forgive. So this is a very hard question to answer without potentially offending someone or causing anyone to become discouraged, but I will try to do the best that I know how from my current level of knowledge of the Bible and then I’ll let you decide what you want to believe. Let’s first start talking about what marriage is.
Mal 2:14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
Jer 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
You can surely see from these verses in Malachi and Jeremiah that God says a marriage is defined to be a covenant in His eyes. A Bible blood covenant is a legally binding contract between the husband and the wife based upon the Word of God. God told Israel, that I made a covenant with you when I took you out of Egypt and I was your husband. That would make Israel His wife in covenant with God. These are very clear definitions to what a covenant and a marriage are. A covenant and a marriage are clearly synonymous terms for the same thing. When a Christian couple unites in covenant marriage they become “one flesh” according to the Word of God and the law of marriage. You can read this fact in several places in the Bible, but the first time it is mentioned is when Adam and Eve are created in Genesis 2. The body of the wife was taken from the body of her husband and God says they are one flesh (Gen 2:24). This is God’s natural law of marriage covenant between a male and a female and this law is still in effect in the New Testament (Mat 19:5, Mark 10:8, Rom 7:2, Eph 5:31). You do understand that Adam and Eve were created before the Old Covenant. So anything that happens before the old covenant is still in effect after the old covenant has ended. In the eyes of God if you marry someone and consummate that marriage, you are now one flesh that cannot be legally separated for any reason except two Bible exceptions that are given to us by God. God gives us only one legitimate reason for divorce and this is infidelity (Mat 5:32, Mat 19:9). Divorce is the legal end to a marriage covenant contract and God says that this is only permissible if your spouse is unfaithful. If your spouse is adulterous and sleeps around, you are free to divorce them without fear of punishment, legal recourse or retribution from God. This is what the Bible says, so if you divorced for any other reasons you will have some future issues with God. I’m not going to go there anymore since divorce is not my primary subject. The only other legal end to a marriage covenant is when one spouse dies a physical death. According to God’s word that marriage is over.
Rom 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
According to this verse it is very clear that God says the law of marriage is null and void when death occurs. As long as you both are alive and neither is unfaithful you are bound by the law of marriage and God. But, as soon as your spouse dies, then you are not bound to that legal covenant any more. We can recognize that death is a legal separating force for the termination of covenants. This is actually a very important Bible concept that I might not get into fully in this lesson. This concept is introduced when Ruth says to Naomi I will go where you go and your people will be my people. Then Ruth 1:17 says until death part thee from me. This is a popular wedding vow phrase that many have spoken when they were married. The bride and the groom were promising to be faithful until death do we part. You can read about this in some of my other lessons of why God did this and how He used it to terminate His covenant with Lucifer. I want you to see the Greek definition for the word translated as “loosed” found in Romans 7:2:
From G2596 and G691; to be (render) entirely idle (useless), literally or figuratively: – abolish, cease, cumber, deliver, destroy, do away, become (make) of no (none, without) effect, fail, loose, bring (come) to nought, put away (down), vanish away, make void.
It would seem to me that this word is a very strong definition for the termination of a marriage covenant. You can read in the definition “vanish away”, “make void”, “render idle”, “abolish”, “cease”, “destroy” and you can clearly see that there is really no other way to take these statements other than literally. A death when it occurs in a marriage covenant represents a separating force that renders your previous obligations ineffective, useless and vain. So while you would like to think that your marriage is eternal you must take the words of the most intelligent being (God) to be a greater witness to what actually occurs. If you choose to ignore God’s words for what you want to believe it does not cause God’s words to fail or not to come to pass.
I heard a minister say once that he and his wife had made a covenant to stay together in heaven. They enjoyed each other so much that they could not bear to part like my reader. While he did not give any scriptures to back this promise, I’m totally convinced that it might be a possibility for them in some degree. You see I do not know of any scripture that says you cannot speak to others in heaven and establish relationships or friendships. This would further mean if you can speak with someone then you can do other things with that person as well, like walk the streets of gold, eat, fellowship, or whatever. While Jesus was on the earth, He constantly said “According to your faith…” and “As you have believed…”. Jesus seemed to emphasize the faith and beliefs of the people to be a determining factor to what happened to them on the earth. Is faith still a determining factor in heaven? Is how you believe still a defining influence to what you get throughout eternity? That is an excellent question to consider. I personally believe that God would not have gone to such extensive efforts to produce a people of faith, if faith was not a future eternal gift to possess and use. Here is a Bible verse that tends to give that impression also:
1Co 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
God says that there “abides” faith, hope and love and God seems to indicate that these will continue forever. Faith is mentioned first, but God says Love is the greatest of these three. Since the Bible says that God is Love, we know that love is an eternal concept that will never end. If Love will be a dominant characteristic in heaven then faith will surely be there also. The Greek word translated as “abide” means “to continue”, “to be present”, “to endure” and “to stay in a given place”. This word seems to indicate that faith will be present in heaven and if it is like it was on the earth, what you believe is usually always what you get out of life, good, bad or indifferent.
So I have concluded that it might be entirely possible to remain in a relationship in heaven if that is what you both believed for. Now the complexity factor is increased because of this additional emphasis which you must place on the Bible. Bible faith or beliefs are always based upon what God tells us in the Bible. If God says anything is for you, then you can believe it is yours and possess it. Then there is inverse truth to that law which is that you cannot believe God for something that violates His Word and expect to get it. Therefore, if you believe for something that is sinful, hurtful, harmful, lustful, or a violation of the Word of God you will probably not get what you were expecting. Let’s say a man wants to live with a woman in eternity that was another man’s wife on the earth, would that be permissible or even remotely possible? You can begin to see the complexity that is involved in multiple personalities wanting the same thing and what is the resolution? I guess what we need to do is figure out what the Bible actually says on the subject and then believe for that. In our world, people marry and divorce like it is no big deal. There are many people in the world who have married multiple times. Some have done this because their spouses have all died, but others have done it because they thought the grass was greener on the other side of the hill. What happens when a person in our world is married multiple times and then they are saved and go to be with the Lord? Jesus actually was presented this hypothetical question in the Gospels and here is this story:
Mat 22:24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
It is very interesting to note that the Law of Moses does not tell a woman to remain unmarried if her husband has died and she has had no children. In fact the Law that God gave to Moses actually commands the opposite. It is interesting to note that God is not opposed to being married multiple times and you should think about that. It is more important to God why you have been married multiple times and not if you have been married multiple times. Here in this story the woman’s dead husband’s younger brother is supposed to marry her and raise up children for his dead brother. This means to have sex with her and give her children. So we can clearly see that God is saying something can’t we? Now the additional complexity comes in if they have already had children, then there is not a requirement to remarry and it is permissible for her children to take care of her in her old age. The law was intended to give a childless widow an option that would cause her to not stoop to prostitution to feed herself. I believe that God was looking out for the widow in this law and that it has spiritual meanings attached to it that I cannot get into today.
Mat 22:25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother:
So in the hypothetical question being presented to Jesus there are said to be seven brothers and one woman. The first brother dies and leaves his wife to his brother, like the Law of Moses so states.
Mat 22:26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh.
They continue to go through the list of brothers in ordered succession and each has had their turn to be married to the same woman in this world. This is one woman who had seven different husbands. Surely you have read this in the Bible before? But, did you understand it?
Mat 22:27 And last of all the woman died also.
Finally the woman dies and is buried and then what? This is where we are today in this lesson of what happens next after this life? The men that were standing with Jesus are about to ask him a question. Here is the question finally presented after the long background discourse:
Mat 22:28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.
Jesus was being questioned by a group of Jews who did not believe in the resurrection from the dead. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, so they were trying to get Jesus to see their point of view by asking a hypothetical question about it as a trick. The Pharisees did believe in the resurrection based upon words, from something that they had read in the Old Testament it gave them the impression that death was not the end of the journey. So the Sadducees ask Jesus which husband will this woman belong to since she was “one flesh” with all of them. Wow, that is a tough, tough question to answer unless you are God who knows how to handle hard questions.
Mat 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
So here we go with the response of the creator of the universe and this is a potentially explosive answer that can be interpreted many wrong ways. If you look at just the first part of the entire response you could say that these guys did not understand the scriptures and Jesus was saying there was no resurrection coming. But, that is not what Jesus said at all. Jesus literally said “You are in error not understanding the scriptures or the power of God”. This verse actually gives us some tremendous insight into two things. The answer to their question was clearly found in the Old Testament, if we can see it and understand it. The next item to consider is that the Power of God is involved in the solution to the mystery. Jesus was in effect saying if you understood how powerful God was, you would not be asking such a foolish natural question. Wow, that is tough right there to handle isn’t it? It almost sounds like my reader’s question of can I still be married to my husband in heaven? Would Jesus give the same answer to my reader’s question as He did to the one that these guys asked? I do not know for sure how to answer that. I just know that God says “With Him ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE”. So I’m not sure if I helped or hurt with that last statement. Let’s continue through the answer that Jesus gives us and see what else He has to say:
Mat 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
Here we have a very interesting statement where Jesus continues His answer to the men’s question. Did you see what Jesus said? Jesus definitely said there is a resurrection coming, it has not occurred yet, so it is a future event within God’s calendar. Next, Jesus said after the resurrection that people will neither marry or be given in marriage. Let’s stop there and think about that part of the statement. The Greek word translated as “marry” means to wed and applies to either sex, male or female. God says males and females will not marry after they are raised in the resurrection. Then the Greek word “given in marriage” is a term only for females when a daughter is given to her future husband to become his bride. These are very familiar topics and subjects that we are all familiar with in this world. We see this happening all around us. But, Jesus clearly says that this is not what will happen after the resurrection occurs. The question then shifts to why? Does it mean it is not possible or just not permitted or could it be a third option that you have not considered? You see in the world today you see things from a very narrowly focused point of view. What will change after the resurrection occurs? Is it possible that you will not have the same desires and your focus will experience a transformation which will permit you to see things completely different? Read this verse very carefully:
1Co 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
There seems to be some clues in the Bible that we do not see things very clearly in this world. In other words our spiritual vision is clouded and our perspectives are skewed. I believe what God is saying to us is that what we hold as valuable in this world, when reflected on could become very minor to us when viewed correctly in the next world. Think about this statement very closely and consider the words written there for you. If you can only see a small part of this world and only know a minor slice of the greater truth that will be revealed later, how can you make a determination now what you will want in the next spiritual dimension? Your desire to stay married with your present spouse might just change dramatically once you see the awesome power of God. Your spouse might be the center of your world today, but in the presence of God they could fade and become much less important to you. I do not mean to say that you will not love them, but according to this verse in first Corinthians you will see them more clearly along with God.
I can almost feel the disappointment that my reader no doubt might be feeling right now. But, let’s continue with the answer that Jesus is speaking of in his response to marriage after the resurrection. After Jesus says we will not marry, Jesus says something else that is very profound; he says “we will be as the angels of God”. We can clearly understand from this statement that angels pre-existed man. Angels were not created to look like us; we were created to look like them. But, how are the angels of God? Jesus implies that angels do not marry each other either. The implication is that they could marry but that this is not the design of God for them to marry. You can take this to mean that there must be both male and female angels can’t you? If there were not any female angels then God would not be able to compare us to them. We could never be like them, if there were only males. Do you understand that? You see when I read in Genesis where the “sons of God” (angels) had sex with the daughters of Adam (women) on the earth and created a race of giants, I wondered if there were any female angels. It is clear that God says there are male angels. If God created male angels with male sexual organs and no female angels it would not make any logical sense to me. I guess I’m getting off of the subject somewhat, but it is a very fascinating concept to consider. I have to conclude that if people who are resurrected can become like the angels and female humans are included in this group there has to be female angels that exist or they would not really be like anyone else. The major thing to learn from this statement is that after the resurrection, we will be like the angels of God. Whatever they do, we can do, whatever they are we are very similar, however they live, we will live also. Please remember this and I will try to talk more about the angels later. However, Jesus is not through answering the question and we must see the rest of the answer and put it together correctly:
Mat 22:31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
Here is Jesus beginning to give us another very deep revelation of the spiritual realm. As you can clearly read, Jesus has not finished speaking about the resurrection. This next statement is a direct revelation that is very powerful to know:
Mat 22:32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
Wow, this is a hard saying from God. It will go over your head if you are not careful to observe the words that are being communicated on the subject of the resurrection. What was Jesus saying with this statement? The words of the prophet were written many hundreds of years after the physical deaths of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God is saying that at the time the prophet wrote these words, these three men were not dead. These words confounded the Sadducees who were listening and put them to silence. You see I have had several very ignorant commenters try to teach me about what happens after physical death occurs and they should have noticed what Jesus just said before they try to tell me what they think. Some have said the soul and spirit sleep and do not know anything until the time of resurrection. Some of them have tried to say that the human life is ended when a person dies and there is nothing else for them. But, God Himself says that they did not die and they are alive and the resurrection has not yet occurred. Here is one of the most important things you should learn from today’s lesson about spiritual things. If you are a Christian and your body dies in this world, the Bible says your spirit departs and is present with the Lord (Php 1:23). Jesus is saying that physical death is not the end; it is only a change of address. Death is a departure from the physical realm and an entrance into the spiritual realm. Did you understand what I just said? If you did not you should go and read it until you do understand it or just ask me some questions about the parts that you do not understand. What you need to see is that Jesus when speaking to these men on the earth said God is the God of the living and not the dead. God said Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who had died physically hundreds of years earlier, were not spiritually dead but were called alive. Let me give you a verse that I alluded to earlier about changing your of perspective after you die:
1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
What I see from studying the Bible are people’s desires, viewpoints and perspectives are purely based upon what they know and have experienced up until this point in time. In other words your favorite food might be apple pie on the earth, but who knows what it will be when you get to heaven since God could have things there that you have never experienced. People think that because the love found in their current family has been so special and real to them, that it cannot get any better so I will be happy if I just have this throughout eternity. However, God says in 1 Corinthians 2:9 that we have no idea or clue to the great and awesome things that He has planned for those who love Him. I tried to tell you this before, but when you are standing on the streets of gold surrounded by mansions and an innumerable company of angels with the awesome light coming from the throne of God, if you still think and feel the same way that you do today, then God has failed in you knowing Him.
I heard a minister teach about a vision of heaven that he had once where he appeared there and saw things that were so amazing that they are difficult to describe in human terms. He saw spiritual things and even people he knew and talked to them. One of his relatives a sister was there and he got to speak to her. She had died a number of years earlier and she asked him questions about her family that she left there was doing and I think these questions shocked him. You see she did not know what was happening on the earth in the physical realm so she had to ask questions about it to her brother who had just came from there to visit. Her brother did not tell her that her husband had remarried but, said that they were all doing fine. You see people in heaven do not see things the same way and they do not care about the natural realm in what you ate today and what we are wearing or even who you are married to. People in heaven do not care what kind of car you are driving or what kind of house you are living in. Things in the natural realm are very unimportant to people in the spiritual realm. It is a complete opposite perspective to what people on the earth are focused in on. Those in heaven only care if you know Jesus and are saved and that you are growing up spiritually. The eternal things are so much more important than the natural things of this world, that our perspectives are totally different after we leave here. Here is a verse that certainly applies to what I am trying to say to you today:
1Co 7:34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
God is comparing two women in this verse and it clearly says there is a major difference between them. But, do not take it out of context or try to say that God is saying you should not get married. You see if people did not get married and have children, there would be no harvest for God to come back to get. God is simply showing us how a perspective changes when you are married. You see things differently than someone who is not married. You can also take this into the spiritual realm comparison between someone who is spiritual versus someone who is naturally minded. If you are focused on Jesus, then you want to please Him and if you are married your focus is shifted to your spouse. When you get to heaven, who do you want your focus to be on? What do you think God wants your focus to be on?
So I am not saying today that you will not love your spouse when you get to heaven. I’m not saying you cannot spend a lot of time with your former spouse in heaven. I am just saying that in heaven you will see things more clearly than you do today. You will be able to see God for the first time there and you will know Him better than you have ever known Him. I personally believe that the experience of heaven will truly be overwhelming. I believe God has some awesome things prepared for us and when we begin to see them, the past will become just what it was, a spec of inconsequential meaning that pales to the definition of an eternity with God. The human mind cannot fully comprehend infinite and eternal concepts of time. No doubt we will be able to do things in eternity that we never imagined in our short life span on the earth. So I have much more to say on this subject, but I have gone long enough today. I’ll give you a list of key points from today’s lesson about marriage before and after the resurrection.
- Marriage is a blood covenant union between a man and a woman.
- Divorce is not permitted except for infidelity.
- There is a physical resurrection coming where we get a new glorified body.
- Just because you die physically does not mean you are not alive spiritually. You exist just not here in the physical realm.
- After you die physically, your marriage in the natural realm is over.
- This does not mean Christians will not know each other in the spiritual realm in fact you will definitely carry over your memories and experiences in this life into the next.
- We will see things clearly then and not be limited in our perspective as we are now.
- Jesus said in the next realm we will:
- Not marry
- Not be given in marriage
- Be as the angels in heaven
I see marriage, children and families as natural things that God has created for us to teach us about spiritual things. If we did not have these things we would not be able to understand the future spiritual reality that we will soon all experience with Him. So my reader asked me if her marriage could continue and this is a difficult question to attempt to answer today. I hope I have not disappointed anyone in my answer with what the Bible says. I do not believe that you will be disappointed after you get to heaven in any degree. There are many things that you do not know yet, so keep learning them and you will see things more and more clearly as we approach Him who is calling us to a greater and higher ability to see.
(Ver 1.2) This is Part 4 in a series of advanced Bible studies about the subject of Bible Faith. Today’s lesson will be a basic foundational definition to how to get Faith. There are many people in the world who claim to have faith and yet when pressed for a definition of what faith is to them, they cannot tell you. Then if you asked them how did you get this faith, again they cannot tell you. Therefore, we are going to explore the basic Bible subject of faith to help people understand what faith is and where faith comes from. Technically speaking you do not have to know how transmissions work, to drive a car and faith is the same way to some extent. You can drive a car by just automatically learning which gear to be in and press the gas and you are off and running. Salvation can be this way also. You do not have to know that it takes faith to use your faith to be saved, yet your faith is still the determining factor to whether you are saved or not. So we could liken your faith to be your spiritual transmission and God and His power and Grace to be the spiritual engine to the car. Without both of these two key components working flawlessly together in harmony, your spiritual car is not going to move. Hopefully you will understand this analogy better as we continue through this lesson. If you have not read this series of lessons from the beginning, I would recommend that you go back and read starting at “Part 1”.
In order to understand what faith is, let’s first find out how faith comes. If you did not know that faith comes then you did not read my first lessons very closely. In a previous lesson I described a verse found in Romans 12:3 that said that all Bible faith comes from God. This verse told us that God has dealt to every man (among you) faith. I explained that verse in that lesson, so I will not repeat the explanation here. Just read it and recognize that God has faith to give, so we as men and women must receive it. Also, in a previous lesson I taught that faith is measurable and quantifiable ranging anywhere from zero or none upwards to full of faith, the maximum that you can have. Remember that your faith can vary in that range of measurable numbers based upon something. Jesus would look at His disciples and rebuke them for having “no faith” and then for a few people that Jesus ran into, He would praise them for having “great faith”. Obviously there is a great deal of difference between those two ranges found on the faith value chart. We can conclude based upon the information that we learned in lesson 3 that faith comes in stages and can grow or increase up the chart to the highest levels. But, how do you get faith and how do you increase your faith that you already have. If you were a car, and your gas tank was empty you would simply go and fill it, does this simple concept also apply to faith? Can I go to the Faith station and fill my Faith tank? That is where we are at in the lesson today so let’s go to the Bible and see what God has to say to us.
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
God gives us a major revelation concerning faith in this verse of Romans. God ties the amount of faith that you possess to the amount of Words of God that you hear. Of course, it is much more complicated than that simple statement. If you could get faith by just hearing God’s Word, then you would just need to go buy the Bible on CD and play it all the time and you should have faith to move mountains left and right. Obviously it takes more than just hearing to get faith. But, hearing is where you faith lesson begins today to teach you about how to get more faith. Let me teach you the progressive steps to getting faith and then we will look at this in the scriptures to find if we can prove what I just said. Faith depends upon you doing the following steps and there are 4 possible reasons why faith does not come and only 1 instance where your faith actually grows. Read these 5 examples very carefully and see if you can see what God is teaching you:
Faith Comes by Hearing, but they:
- Don’t Listen or Refuse to Hear!
- Listen but don’t understand what is Said.
- Hear, Understand but don’t believe it.
- Hear, Understand, Believe and then don’t do it.
- Hear, Understand, Believe and then do it and finally they have faith that grows.
Wow, I do not know if you understood what I just said but it was good. These same concepts are how you learn things in school. You go to class, you either choose to hear your teacher or reject her words by closing your mind to them. Then you can hear her words, but not understand what was being taught. Right there is your opportunity to ask questions or remain ignorant. Next you can hear your teacher teach you about history and then not believe that it happened. Next, you hear your teacher teach you about algebra, understand it, believe it but just not do the work and you will fail that class. Finally, when you achieve to all of the first four requirements, hearing, understanding, believing and doing is when your faith will grow and increase and you can move to the next higher faith grade level. That was how faith works in a nutshell. It is the basis of how faith comes and how you put it to work for you. Let’s examine if we can find faith demonstrated to us in a Bible example that we are given and see if this is how it really works:
Mar 5:25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
Mar 5:26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
Mar 5:27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
Mar 5:28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
Mar 5:29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
Here is story of a woman who was diseased for 12 years. But, did you notice what the Bible says happened to this woman? I tried to underline some of the important parts for your careful consideration. It says in verse 27 that she had “heard” of Jesus. How does faith come? According to Romans 10:17 faith comes by hearing. So right there we know that this is the first requirement for having faith. She obviously heard something that gave her faith and it must have been the Word of God according to Romans 10:17. What did she hear? While we are not told what she heard directly, we can make an assumption based upon other scriptures that it had to be something from the Old Testament. Remember what Jesus did after being baptized by John? Jesus went into the synagogue one day and open the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and read from it “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me and He has anointed me” and then he continues to say “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:18-21). If you think that Jesus did this only one time, you would probably be making a wrong assumption. I personally believe that Jesus read this verse of Isaiah everywhere He went to build the people’s faith. So I believe that this woman with the issue of blood had heard what Jesus had said. Now right there she must have understood what was spoken and you clearly see that she believed it by what these verses in Mark 5 say that she does after hearing. Here is a woman that should not be out in public, but she has heard of Jesus and decides to get healed. She does not ask Jesus or anyone else if it is permissible to do anything; she simply presses through the crowds that were also touching Jesus, sneaks up on the back of Jesus and touches His garment surreptitiously. The Bible says that instantly she felt in her body the disease was gone. Immediately, Jesus felt power had flowed from Him and he turned to ask “Who touched me”. Wow, this is one of the best faith lessons in the Bible that I know of and it clearly demonstrates the principles that I have outlined. A woman hears about Jesus, understands what she heard, chooses to believe it and then acts upon her faith and goes and gets healed and Jesus did not know it was happening until after it happened.
Mar 5:31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
The disciples look at Jesus like He is crazy and say to Him, Master everyone is touching you. Here is a definitive clue to the difference between a physical touch and a spiritual touch. The crowd was touching Jesus physically, but this woman with faith touched Him spiritually and there is a major difference between those two realities. That is why I get some critics who write me and tell me how wrong I am and I get some people who have spiritual eyes to tell me “Wow that was good”. If I could make everyone see things the way God sees them, I would certainly do that, but I can’t and God won’t so we have what we have in the world today. Faith is a spiritual force and not a physical feeling.
Mar 5:33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
The woman was caught, but now that she is healed it is legal for her to be in public again, so she goes to Jesus and falls down before Him. She is obviously grateful and thankful and she tells him the truth.
Mar 5:34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
Jesus confirms to everyone present and to us His readers that it was the woman’s faith that made her whole. You see if it was only up to God’s power, everyone would be falling down before Him thanking Him for their healing, but no one else present got healed. Jesus clearly tells us that it was her faith that was the determining factor for her healing. It was her faith that made her whole. The Greek word for “whole” is the word “sozo” and it means to “save” or to “deliver”. This is the word that is translated many times as “saved” or “salvation”. Faith as you can see was the cause for her salvation. People, who do not want to see this, claim that everything that happens to them is what God has caused to happen. If is funny that God does not say this in the Bible anywhere. Jesus could have told the woman with the issue of blood “Be of good cheer, my power has saved you”, but God does not say this. Are you able to see the truth? I pray that you do. So what does this story in Mark reveal to us that the woman did:
- She heard the truth.
- She understood the truth.
- She believed the truth.
- She acted on the truth.
- She was saved because of her faith.
That was faith in a nutshell again and it confirms what God taught you earlier. So did you hear it? Did you understand it? Do you believe it? What will you do with it? Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God. So if you want to increase your faith that is what you need to do. It technically means that you have to be an open and receptive type of vessel in order to hear. If you are not being open to the Word of God you will not hear it to begin with. So decide in your heart to be a vessel that is willing to change and then go and hear the word of God until you understand it. Next, if you believe what you have heard is the truth, then you are ready to take hold of the hem of His garment and receive the power of God for your answer. Your faith is the transmission that causes your spiritual car to accelerate and to go places. God’s Grace is the Motor that supplies the power to your spiritual car to change your location. You can keep your car in the garage and never use it to go anywhere in the world or you can do what Jesus taught “If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you would say…”. I hope that you enjoyed this basic Bible faith lesson and that you learned something that can be useful with your walk with God. Until next time, I will let you go and review this lesson and see if you truly understood it and then you can write me and tell me about how it worked for you. God Bless.
If you would like to continue reading in this series of lessons on faith, you can go to “Part 5“.
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 3 in an advanced series of lessons on understanding the basic concepts of faith found in the Bible. To have basic and advanced in the same sentence is almost an oxymoronic expression, but I am attempting to simplify a very complex subject so that anyone who wants to can understand it. In the first lesson I gave you an overview of the origin of faith and how that God had faith when He created the world so therefore I taught you that faith was not a brand new concept found only in the New Testament. I further showed you definitive scriptures from Hebrews 11 that described Old Testament faith examples even though God never emphasized or taught this to be a required quality to possess. However, you can clearly see that many people are included in the Bible simply because of their faith. For example, we are told that Rahab the harlot had faith and then we are told in Matthew that she becomes a key figure in the life and genealogy of Jesus (Mat 1:5) because of her faith (Heb 11:31). I taught you that faith is a rudimentary subject of Bible theology which is foundational to you being a real Christian. I also showed you that faith was an essential element for your salvation. Many people want to emphasize God’s sovereignty and ignore man’s faith. I had a commenter like that yesterday. He blasted me pretty well with his religious rhetoric and I’m just going to smile and ignore it. When you discover the balance in the Bible of putting things together correctly you learn to ignore unbalanced ignorant people who know about God but, who do not know God personally.
We have not yet technically defined what faith is, or determined where faith comes from fully, or how you get faith to grow or described how faith works, but we will eventually get there, but probably not today. Today I want to show you some more very important foundational Bible concepts about faith that God reveals to us from a series of scriptures that describes to us, that the amount of faith that we possess is quantifiable or measureable. In other words not everyone has the same amount of faith and that is going to upset some people’s theology greatly. You see I have heard it taught in some churches that God gives everyone the same amount of faith and that all faith comes from God. However, both of those statements are only partially true or I should say just a part of the complete truth. When people teach things like this, they claim that it is not up to us to do anything to have faith and they alleviate us from having any responsibility or accountability for our actions. They in effect seem to place all of the responsibility upon God and that relieves them from having to do anything. This is what I call the “Blameless Christian” theology; a theory of which some confused men on the earth teach. They believe that whatever happens to them in the world, it was just not their fault and therefore they could have done nothing to change it from happening, whether it was good, bad or indifferent. Wow, someday these men and women are going to be very disappointed when God begins to ask them some very basic direct questions about what they were thinking. If you have not read this series of lesson from the beginning I would suggest that you go back and start reading with “Part 1”.
What do I mean when I say that faith is measureable or quantifiable? Here in the U.S. we have a set of standards that may be different than you are used to in your country. However, the concepts are identical regardless of the standard being utilized. We measure the size of boards when building a house and precise calculations are made to keep the house level, plumb and square. Then here in the U.S., almost everything in the grocery store is sold by weight, volume or some other identifiable and quantifiable quality that makes them more fairly priced. If you go to the market and buy some grapes, they are normally weighed and then the price is calculated from that. This is the only fair way of buying and selling grapes since grapes can vary in size and the number of grapes on each vine differs. This is what I am trying to teach you today, that faith even though you cannot see it, it is also a measureable spiritual substance according to God and He is able to tell how much that you possess, even if you can’t. Like buying grapes, God is also able to measure your faith to determine how much you enjoy. In the natural realm, this would normally involve a measuring device like a scale along with a computation or calculation for the total amount found, but since we are discussing a spiritual reality this is going to be a little bit more complex than that. I think I want to start this lesson with a Bible verse that is widely taught that confuses people. Here in this verse it would at first seem to imply that faith is a substance that God has given to everyone in equal amounts, but upon closer examination, I believe it says something much different:
Rom 12:3 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.
Here is God teaching us where Bible faith ultimately comes from. If God can give faith to a man, then all Bible faith must ultimately come from God. This is a further confirmation that faith existed with God before God created man. I mean it only makes since that if He can give something away, then He must first possess it before He can hand it to you. I certainly believe this statement that Bible faith comes from God and the Bible. That is the first key element to note in this verse. However, just because God has given you something, does not mean that you have possessed it or that is all there is to give. In other words I could give you a drink of water in a cup, but you only took a sip and threw the rest away. Did you possess everything that I gave you? Was it up to me to make you drink the water? Do you think that I had any more water or was that all of the water that I had? Do you understand the complexity of spiritual things based upon a simple example of a glass of natural water? There is absolutely no way that I can make you have all of the water that I have and drink it. I could have another pitcher of water to refill your cup after you drank that one. I could have a well of water that is able to refill that pitcher after you drink that much. It could be a never ending supply of water. So to say that God gave faith to every man and that they all received the same amount is pretty crazy using my cup of water example.
Bible faith is clearly a spiritual substance given to us by a spiritual God. Then it says that God has given every man “the measure of faith” and this is where the controversy begins to get deeper. This verse cannot be talking about every human on the earth or it would contradict what the Bible says in other places and God’s Word does not contradict itself ever when interpreted correctly. You see the Bible clearly tells us in other places that every man does not have faith and if you look in 2 Thessalonians 3:2 you will see this is true. Therefore, we have a potential scripture conflict that needs resolution. The way to resolve this conflict is to note the context of the given verses. If you read the entire chapter in 2 Thessalonians you will see that God is speaking about unsaved wicked and evil men not having faith and in Romans 12:3 the context is clearly written about men who are Christians because God says “to every man among you”. Romans 12:3 is written to church members who have to possess faith to be a Christian. So we can conclude that even if God has given faith to every man (saved or unsaved), that everyone does not possess it because they have not received the free full gift from God. This is like if you have a party and invited 12 people and you put out 12 pieces of cake for them and say come and get it. Whose responsibility is it now to take the cake and enjoy it? The host of the party is not responsible to make you take your cake and eat it, so if you choose not to come and get it, you lose out and the host of the party has done their job. This is how salvation works, God is not responsible to make you take your salvation cake and eat it. It is totally up to you to partake of Christ by faith and taste and see that He is good. You see you may not know that you like cake, until you try it by faith. I guess I got off the main subject of did God give to every man “faith” and the same amount. Here is where the controversy continues. I have heard several preachers say that this verse in Romans 12:3, proves that we all have the same amount of faith, but in actuality that is not what God is saying and if you teach it that way you contradict several other scriptures that clearly teach a radically different truth. Let’s start by analyzing the word translated as “dealt”. If you were playing a card game you would normally deal out the cards equally to every participant and this is where people probably get the initial idea or concept of everyone having the same amount or an equal distribution of faith cards, but here is the actual definition for this word from Strong’s:
From G3313; to part, that is, (literally) to apportion, bestow, share, or (figuratively) to disunite, differ: – deal, be difference between, distribute, divide, give part.
Nowhere in this definition does it ever say or even imply that the portions divided are equal. In fact I get the opposite inference from reading this definition that the portions are greatly varying from each other. Do you see this when you read it? But then I have heard that it is the words “the measure” given in this verse that implies everyone is given the identical portion of faith. However, let’s look at the definition of the word “measure” also from the Strong’s:
An apparently primary word; a measure (“metre”), literally or figuratively; by implication a limited portion (degree): – measure.
Here in this definition it does not say “the” measure it says “a” measure and that changes it dramatically. When you read all of the definition it says that out of all of the faith that is possible we have been given a very limited portion of it and if you try to say that means we are all equal you would be assuming incorrectly. The translators of the KJV Bible obviously thought wrong and put the word “the” in their translation instead of the word “a” and came up with this incorrect wording. If you like you can check other translations like the NASB and Young’s Literal Translation and see that they translated it correctly to say “as to each God did deal a measure of faith”. What I will do now is try to show you this position of everyone possessing differing amounts of faith using the Bible to help us establish this truth. Let me give you some Bible examples of this in order to make my point more clear.
Mar 4:40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
Here is a verse of scripture where Jesus and the disciples are crossing over a large body of water which appears to be the Sea of Galilee and a storm arises that appears to be their demise. However, Jesus is asleep in the back of the boat and the disciple have to wake him up and after Jesus calms the sea and winds, He looks at them and rebukes them for having no faith. The state of “No Faith” would have to represent a complete absence of the spiritual substance of faith from them. If you had a scale that weighed grapes, this would be zero or the state of having no grapes. If you had a bucket this would be the state of it being empty or void of any substance. You do understand this don’t you? If Jesus is saying “where is your faith”, then Jesus is clearly expecting them to have faith and they do not. Why is Jesus looking for faith? You should ask yourself that question and try to come up with the correct answer. In reading this story it would appear to me that Jesus is not a happy faith leader and He clearly tells them they better get with the God faith program. I also believe that He is talking to you and I right now also.
Mat 17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
Here we can read another rebuke from the God of creation to His followers. I have only noticed one thing in the Gospels that Jesus ever rebuked His followers for, maybe you can find something I did not and if so please let me know. But, it appears to me that Jesus is blaming the disciple’s lack of faith for their inability to cast out the devil from this man’s son. This is a further confirmation that faith represents the power to remove an evil spiritual force or enemy. So clearly faith is a number one priority to Jesus and these are two examples where Jesus declares that He expected His followers to have some faith and He could not find any when He looked at them. So this is two examples of where people had no faith. Now let us go up the spiritual faith scale to where Jesus said someone had just a little bit of faith.
Mat 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Here is the first occurrence of the word “faith” in the New Testament. Jesus is speaking and it is clear to me that Jesus has some inside information that we do not normally possess. Jesus is comparing some natural things that God accomplishes by clothing the grass of the field and He compares this to clothing people who He says are much more valuable than grass. Then Jesus says something very profound. Jesus said these people that he was speaking to had “little” faith. The word “little” here means “puny” or an “insignificant” amount of faith. If I had a 5 liter bucket and I poured a couple of drops of milk into it that is what Jesus is talking about here in this statement. Jesus is clearly saying that faith is a measureable substance and that you can have just a very tiny portion of it. Do you understand this? There are five times found in the Bible that Jesus refers to people having “little faith” and these can be found in Matthew 6:30, 8:26, 14:31, 16:8 and Luke 12:28. Let’s move on to another very different example of contrasting faith that Jesus gives us from that of no faith or little faith:
Mat 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
Here is the second time faith is mentioned in the New Testament and this time it is dramatically different than the first time. Jesus is speaking about a Roman centurion here in this verse. A Roman centurion was a military man that Jesus said had “great” faith. The term “great” means a very large amount in quantity. You can clearly see that this is the complete opposite of the term “little” faith. In my bucket analogy it would be like pouring in milk to reach almost the top. These verses fascinate me tremendously. They clearly tell me that Jesus was looking for faith by His reaction to when He found it and didn’t find it. It also clearly tells me that the amount of faith that people possessed was not up to God or Jesus. Otherwise Jesus would have not been surprised to find a Roman centurion with great faith and the children of Israel with little faith to no faith. If it was God who was dealing out the faith and He wanted Israel to have great faith, then they would have clearly had it. Do you see my logic here? This tells me that “faith” while it comes from God it does not depend upon God solely and completely for how much we have. In other words we have a major part and role to play in the situation and we will definitely talk more about this in other lessons. Let me give you another example of great faith:
Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
There are only a very few number of people in the Bible that Jesus ever commended for having “great” faith and this woman in this chapter of Matthew is certainly one of them. Later in these lessons on faith we will discuss why some had great faith and why some had little faith but that is not my subject today. What I want to demonstrate to you is the fact that Jesus said “faith” was measurable and that the amount that a person had was not dependent upon God’s actions alone. It is very interesting to note in this story that this woman is another example of a Gentile being ministered to by the King of the Jews who clearly said that He was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Yet Jesus ministered to her and the Roman centurion and Jesus said both of them had “great” faith. It is very clear to me that great “faith” gets God’s attention no matter who possesses it. I firmly believe that we as Christians should be doing whatever it takes to achieve to this level of great faith so that we can be praised by God. Did that sound arrogant? Do you want God to say to you “well done thou good and faithful servant”? If you do then I believe it is going to take you having great faith.
Mat 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
Here is a scripture that I have touched on some before, but I will give you another perspective on this verse given what we have learned. We have clearly seen that Jesus rebuked his disciples for having no faith. Jesus also said of others that they had little faith. Then we saw that Jesus clearly said some had great faith. Because, Jesus does not appear to measure or qualify the amount of faith that is being observed, I make the logical conclusion from that information that Jesus puts their faith somewhere in the middle of the scale. In other words their faith was not just a little bit and it was not a huge great amount, I believe that it was just right faith for the situation they were in. I’ll call this the Goldilocks Faith, just for the sake of argument. In the Goldilocks story she is always looking for the just right fit for her size. It is an interesting concept to consider, if you can have varying degrees of faith from zero to a whole bunch, then you should be able to evaluate your faith and measure what you can and cannot do with it. Many times people want to have million dollar faith when they don’t have the faith for 50 cents. This is where faith gets a bad rap in churches and people begin to teach this faith stuff doesn’t work. You should read the life story of a man named Smith Wigglesworth and learn that he did not start out raising people from the dead and that this only came after years of developing his faith to this level. Smith Wigglesworth also started an orphanage that when he began he had nothing with little faith to even get it going. But, by the time of the end of his life came he ran a home for hundreds of orphan children that cost big bucks to sustain. Smith Wigglesworth learned the conepts of faith from God and learned how to grow his faith. He wrote a book about this called “Ever Increasing Faith” teaching us that faith grows. Let’s think briefly about the men who carried the lame man up on the roof, if they had no faith or little faith, they would not have gone through such extraordinary ways to get to Jesus. However, if they had possessed great faith, they would not have had to go through such extraordinary efforts to get to Jesus. It is a complex paradox of how faith works. The Roman centurion told Jesus “You do not have to come to my house to heal my servant, just speak the word only and he will be healed”. You see if the Roman centurion had middle of the road faith, he would have had Jesus come and lay hands on him. If the Roman centurion had no faith or little faith he would have not even come to Jesus and his servant would have probably died. Wow, I just gave you a quick introduction to how faith works and what faith does depending upon the amount of faith that you possess. That was an introduction to stuff to come.
It is also imperative to make another observation from these few verses that we have read in Matthew. Jesus has not died on the cross, been raised from the dead nor ascended back into heaven and yet Jesus is speaking of “faith” as being a critical element to who receives a miracle from Him and who does not. This fact further proves the existence of faith as being an essential and present factor in the Old Testament even though it has not technically been revealed in the Word of God up until this point in time of the physical ministry of Jesus. Let’s move on to another quantifiable measure of faith found in the Bible.
Act 6:5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
Here we have a measurement of faith that should be the ultimate goal of every Christian. Here in this verse of Acts God describes a man named Stephen. In this verse God says that Stephen was “full” of faith. Using my bucket analogy again, that would mean a bucket that overflowed with milk; in other words a bucket that you could not put any more faith into. This was the condition of this man and this concept is totally difficult for me to even comprehend. God is clearly contrasting the amounts of faith in at least five different levels. We had no faith, little faith, just right faith, great faith and full of faith and we could logically assume that there are varying ranges of faith in between these levels given to us like a gas gauge. In fact using my bucket analogy we could have a totally empty bucket all the way to the overflowing bucket level.
We have learned a lot about faith today. Faith is a measureable and quantifiable spiritual substance that the total amount of faith contained in every human can vary dramatically from none to overflowing amounts. We have seen repeatedly that faith was a substance that God expected to be present in every person that was ministered to by Jesus and we can conclude that God expects this in us Christians the same way. Here are some other facts about faith that we have discovered today:
- Bible faith ultimately comes from God.
- However Jesus and the Bible said some had No Faith.
- Jesus taught us that some people had only Little Faith.
- Jesus taught us that some people had “Just Right” Faith to be made whole.
- Jesus also taught us that a few people had Great Faith that exceeded His expectations.
- Later in Acts we saw Stephen being described as being Full of Faith.
- All of these are differing levels of the same spiritual substance from Zero to Maximum.
- We again saw that Jesus was looking for faith in everyone that He encountered.
- People were praised by God for having faith and rebuked by Him for not having any or just having a little bit.
- Finally, we can logically conclude from all of this infrmation given to us today that since faith is measureable that the current level of our faith can be increased no matter where we currently are at on the faith scale.
Do you understand the importance of studying this subject of Bible Faith? Are you beginning to see the significance that God put on this subject of faith in the Bible? I hope you have learned something that will help you in your walk with God and that this new knowledge will be put to use to help further the Kingdom of God. God Bless you until next time.
If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons on Bible faith you can go to “Part 4“.
(Ver 1.1) Today is a lesson to me because I am challenged at times with turning the other cheek when people write me hateful self-righteous comments on my website, my flesh wants to strike back, but my spirit feels compassion and love for them. This is a very constant internal struggle that we are all faced with over the course of our lives. This is a battle of our wills, between what our flesh wants and what our spirit wants to do and as long as we live on the earth this is a never ending cycle. Satan is bent upon getting real Christians to come out of the spiritual dimension and to get them back into the physical fight with our brothers and sisters but, we must learn that there is a higher path and ground to stand on. So when a commenter left me a message yesterday telling me I’m not a Christian, my flesh wanted to write them back and tell them they were a self-righteous idiot to stand in the seat of judgment against a fellow Christian. They didn’t know me, so they had no idea what I was or was not. They obviously just read some words on a web-site and I guess I didn’t believe like they did so they have concluded I don’t know God. Wow, I find that attitude very humorous. People can act so foolishly and not even know it. The Bible says in Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to you who call evil good and good evil”. In the very next verse in Isaiah God says “Woe to you that are wise in your own eyes”. In other words God calls someone who judges incorrectly and raises their own self higher than others, a person who is in jeopardy of being judged by God.
So rather than doing what my flesh wants to do today, I will teach on love towards your brother. In doing this I will feed my spirit on the right things to do and build up myself to become stronger in this area. You see I technically do not know if my commenter was my brother or not, but I will give them the benefit of a doubt since they were reading a Christian’s blog about Advanced Spiritual Bible study.
Rom 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
To be kind means that you have the opportunity to not be kind at times. It would seem that this occurs more often than you might think. People can be easily misunderstood; their words can be taken incorrectly very easily. Reading someone’s writing is not like hearing a person’s voice where you can pick up on voice changes, inflections, sarcasm, humor and emphasized or deemphasized expressions or whatever. I have found that writing online is probably harder than just talking to someone in person because of these challenges. So while I do not intend to offend anyone, I know sometimes I do. The term translated as “kind affection” is a Greek word that is interesting to note in this verse. The word means an “emotional cherishing or fondness of a family member”. Did you know I was in your family that is if you are a Christian? Obviously if you are not a Christian you are not in my family which is the family of the Most High God. I am in the family of Jesus Christ and I know this for a fact whether you do or not. Did you know that God has a spiritual family? Christians need to learn this first and then learn how to treat their fellow family members with kindness.
Here in this verse we have another word that is translated as love, but is a different type of love. The Greek word “philadelphia” is the word that is translated as “brotherly love”. Brotherly love is a “fraternal love” of your family again. If you did not know that there are different types of love in the Bible you should do a study on that subject. Most intelligent people understand that you love your wife differently than you love your sister. Unless your sister happens to be your wife, like Abraham’s wife was. In John 3:16 it says “God so loved the world that He gave…”. In John 3:16 the Greek word for love is “agape”. This word in John 3:16 is the God kind of love where God loved us while we were even sinners and died for us when we did not deserve it, earn it, or ever could. The Bible tells us that God is “Agape” in 1 John 4:8. It does not say that God has Agape, it says He is Agape. Then if you are a Christian this Agape is now a part of your spirit. Agape is an unconditional God kind of love that every Christian possesses in their spirits. However, getting “Agape” out to the external is a different subject entirely. Philadelphia is similar but yet different. It is kind of like the saying you can choose your friends but you cannot choose your relatives. Well sometimes your natural relatives can be the most challenging to love, so it is in the spiritual family of God also. In the real world you can walk away from someone being hateful, but if this is your brother doing this at the family dinner, then you have an opportunity to overcome the same internal challenge that I have been going through today. Do you retaliate or do you try to smile and say something kind. Wow, that is a bigger challenge than you can imagine.
Next, in this verse it says “in honor”. This is an interesting concept. This word in the Greek means “something valuable” or “a great price paid”. This word in 1 Peter 2:7 is used to describe Jesus Christ as being the “precious” stone that the builders rejected. This is the exact same Greek word used in Romans 12:10 as “honor”. Anything that is “precious” in the eyes of God should be precious to you also. I believe that God is saying to treat others as being precious as you are. Wouldn’t it be a nicer church if people would just do what God said? I hope and pray that someday they will become a doer of the word of God and not just a hearer only. The last phrase in this verse Romans 12:10 says to “prefer one another”. This is another amazing truth that is very profound. This Greek word translated as “preferring” means to “lead the way for others”. Wow, is that a strong statement. So obviously when someone hits you verbally and you want to hit them back, God instructs us to become an example to them so that they can be directed into the right path. I use to have a sign in my office that said “He who leads when no one follows, only takes a walk”. So today I am attempting to take a few people on the internet down a path of brotherly love and I am hoping someone will learn to follow.
1Co 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
I’m not Paul and I’m certainly not Jesus, but I’m trying to follow their examples. The Christian way is a complex life style that can be simplified if you approach your existence using God’s words to guide you into the right things to do. Because people do not know the Bible they do not follow the Bible. God says in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge”. Instead of getting the right knowledge from God, a lot of the time people are deceived into a distracted priority for a lesser way of learning and doing. I am attempting to come up to a higher spiritual dimension today and to set an example of what to do when someone calls you names unjustly. This will probably not be the last time that someone does this to me, so this will probably not be the last time that I write about love on this website. I trust that those of you, who can see the difference, you have some understanding in what kind of spiritual battle I have been going through today. Now that I read the Bible about love and looked up the definitions, reminding myself of the truth, I have a better and stronger resolve to do the words of God towards others. So if you have been a faithful reader of this website, I apologize for writing a Bible lesson directly and mostly at myself. I hope that you will display some grace towards the things that we probably all face at one time or the other and to my brother who left me this hateful comment, I will tell you that I love you anyway and I will pray that you will do the same in the future. God Bless!
(Ver 1.2) This is a basic rebuttal to a man who left me a very ignorant comment on one of my posts. He was adamantly opposed to the concept that Jesus could possibly come back and catch His church up before the tribulation occurred. He basically took some verses out of context and gave them some natural interpretations to justify his ignorant position and beliefs. I have learned not to reply to my critics and their hateful words because they are not interested in getting help or learning the truth. I may read their comments to see if I can learn something, but I then delete them and move on. So if you want to leave me a hateful bunch of reasons of why I’m wrong, please do not waste either of our times. So today’s lesson is not for my commenter but, only for those who are willing to hear the truth and to change. That is what makes me different than my commenter, I am perfectly willing to change if anyone can give me spiritual Bible verses that say I am wrong, and then I will change very fast. What this man was guilty of is an attempt to put his limitations and definitions on what God can do. It is very clear to me that God will never violate His word. You can always count on the fact that God will do whatever He says. However, it is also very clear to me that there are many people in the world who do not understand God’s word so they have come up with erroneous conclusions that put limitations on what God can do in their mind. It is interesting to note that God is not limited in His ability to what you have in your mind and what you think that He can do. Your interpretation of God’s word does not limit His ability to do what He said He would do. Your wrong interpretations of His word will only affect you personally and what He will do for you and it will have no effect when He comes to rapture me out of here in a very short time from now. I am going to start by giving you his main scripture that this man said was proof for why Jesus could not come back before the tribulation ended and then hopefully show you how narrow minded and blind his argument was.
Act 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
According to my very ignorant commenter, he claimed that this verse says that Jesus has returned to heaven and must remain there until the time when all things that have been written about have been completed, fulfilled, accomplished or performed. In other words according to him Jesus cannot ever come back to the earth to rapture the church before the tribulation because every prophecy has not been fulfilled in his mind. I wonder who died and made this reader God. Clearly he acts like he knows more than God when he can tell God what he can do and what he can’t do. Clearly he does not know how to read the Bible and see that Jesus has already been back to the earth several times since ascending into the heavens and being seated at the right hand of Majesty. He is attempting to put God into his little box and God is not interested in his mindless interpretations. According to my reader he saw where Scofield said that Israel must be restored to the seed of David before Jesus returns. Therefore he has concluded that a pre-tribulation rapture of the church is impossible without understanding that the Seed of David has already been restored His Kingdom. I went and reviewed Scofield’s notes on the subject and I do not have any idea how this man came to his conclusions based upon this information. It is very clear to me that he is thinking of spiritual things in the terms of natural interpretations, definitions and realities and not seeing that they have already been fulfilled in Christ. Let’s go back and see what God said to David:
2Sa 7:16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
The basis of the Davidic Covenant is established when the prophet Nathan comes to speak to David in 2 Samuel 7. You can go and read the entire chapter if you like. I just want to focus in on one verse for now and this occurs in verse 16. God says to King David that He will make David’s house and kingdom an eternal everlasting one. Since David died physically and has not been resurrected, God was obviously not speaking to David who was incapable of fulfilling this prophecy. In fact there were no sons of David who were ever capable of fulfilling this prophecy until God became his son in Jesus. If you understand the genealogies of Jesus given to us in Matthew and Luke you know that these are two different ancestries of two different people. If you do not know this you better go and study it again in detail. Both lineages go through David, but after David the one in Matthew is through David’s son Solomon and the other one in Luke is through David’s son Nathan. So it is very clear that they are not the same person who comes to the end of this list. Both do not end up at Jesus, only one does. So how do you resolve this problem? You have to realize that the genealogy in Matthew is that of Joseph and the genealogy in Luke is that of Mary the mother of Jesus and I do not have time to prove this to you in this lesson. Use your brain and read it and hopefully you will see it. What we understand from the Bible is that Joseph was not the father of Jesus, so in order for Jesus to be born a physical son of David his physical mother must have been a daughter of David. This is the only way the Davidic covenant would ever be fulfilled eternally. Jesus Christ is the only son of David that is alive today to take his father’s throne and since Jesus is eternally alive His kingdom is also eternal.
What I am going to do now is to change subjects for a bit to show you that Jesus is not limited to the words of an ignorant commenter to what He can do. According to my commenter, it is not possible for Jesus to return to the earth because we read in Acts 3:21 that heaven has received him until all things have been restored in the earth. It is very obvious to me that my commenter is expecting an earthly Kingdom to be reestablished like David’s kingdom and that only this would fulfill the prophecy in his mind. However, Jesus is not limited to your interpretation of the scripture, so He can return to the earth as often as he likes and you can’t do anything about it. Let’s look at a couple of examples in the Bible where it clearly tells us that Jesus came back to the earth after being seated in heaven:
Act 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
Uh oh? What did this verse say? Did Jesus appear to Saul on the road to Damascus? Didn’t Jesus know this was not permitted according to my deceived commenter? I guess Jesus didn’t read Scofield commentary and decided to show up and talk with Saul anyway. This verse also says that Jesus was the one that sent Ananias personally to Saul. How did Jesus accomplish this while being in heaven? Apparently Jesus appeared to Ananias and told him to go to see Saul. You can read this in the surrounding verses of chapter 9 how that Jesus appears to Ananias in a vision. What is a vision? A vision is the appearing of Jesus in a spiritual form on the earth where a man is permitted to see him spiritually. Maybe you do not understand spiritual visions because you have never had one. So that is probably the most difficult obstacle for you to overcome. You need to learn about what visions are and how visions occur using the Bible. I wrote a Bible lesson about this subject so you should go and read that if you want to know if they are “Real or Fantasy”. Here we have a verse that says very clearly that Jesus appeared to two different people on the earth after going back to heaven and you will have to ignore them completely to hold on to your deceived ideas of what Jesus can and can’t do in the earth before the tribulation occurs. Here is a much more detailed account of the appearing of Jesus to Saul on the road to Damascus and you should pay close attention to this story to see if God is saying this is the way it happened or not:
Act 26:12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
We can definitely see that Paul is describing his journey and the reasons behind the journey. Saul was given authority of the chief priests to persecute the church of Jesus Christ. That is what he intended to do when something happened to interrupt his plans:
Act 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
A very bright light shines from heaven into the natural realm on the road to Damascus and Saul and his traveling companions see it. This light is compared to the light of the sun. Of course Jesus is called the Sun of Righteousness in Malachi so this is not uncommon to describe the appearing of Jesus as being a very bright light from heaven. In fact if you look through your Bible you will see that Jesus is described to be either light or various synonymous terms for the sun around ten times just in the New Testament. If you do not know where these verses are you can check out my post on the “The Names, Titles, Symbols of Jesus”.
Act 26:14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
You see in my Bible, the words of Jesus are in Red Ink so that they are easily recognizable. If Saul is on the earth on the road to Damascus, how is it possible that Jesus can appear and speak to him, since Jesus is obviously not permitted to come back to the earth until the restoration of all things be accomplished? Wow, I wonder how stupid you have to be to come up with some of these false teachings. People really need to open their spiritual eyes and see what the Bible actually says before they open their mouths and prove how ignorant that they are. It is very clear to me that my commenter has a scriptural dilemma to resolve; a conflict of monumental proportions. Either the prophecies that he says have not been fulfilled and God is a liar or the prophecies have been fulfilled in the spiritual realm.
Act 26:15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
This verse must baffle the minds of many of the mindless deceived people in the world. Saul was persecuting the church and Jesus says he was persecuting Him personally. How is that even possible? If you think only naturally it is not possible, but if you begin to think spiritually it is very possible. You see the problem is when people do not see things spiritually they are limited to their natural view points and these are clearly not what God intended for us to use. The Bible clearly says that the people in the church are the “body of Christ” and members in particular (Rom 12:5, 1 Cor 12:27, Eph 4:12, Eph 5:23). Just as the human body is made up of millions and billions of individual cells, God is saying my spiritual body is made up of millions and billions of individual people. I’m about to blow some of your minds with my next statement of revelation so get ready for a new bomb shell. You can clearly see according to the Bible that Christ has NEVER technically left the earth fully yet! As long as the church is here Christ is here since we are His body and He is our head. So obviously my ignorant commenter is just a bit confused and does not know what he is talking about in this instance. If Jesus never left the earth then it is perfectly legal for Him to return anytime He likes for any reason He likes and this would include the rapture of the church, His body. When the church is raptured and only when the church departs the earth has Christ fully left the earth. However, it is more complicated than that since even after the rapture occurs more people on the earth can become Christians also and choose to believe.
Act 26:16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
So according to the words of Jesus himself, He has appeared to Saul to make him a witness to the truth. Wouldn’t it be nice if Jesus would do this with everybody on the earth? However, there is no Bible verse that says He will do this so do not pray for Jesus to come and appear to you, for more than likely your prayer will be answered by Satan and not God. You can clearly see in this verse that Jesus is saying that He has appeared to Saul for a specific purpose and then in the final statement of this verse Jesus claims that He will come back to teach him more things in the future. The statement that Jesus made goes from present tense to future tense and it is very important for you to see this. Jesus is able to appear to anyone that He wishes at any time. It is His choice to do this and not yours. I have heard more than one modern minister say that Jesus appeared to them in a vision and that He taught them something very important to tell us. So if Jesus wants to come back to the earth, He is not going to check with you and see if it is OK for Him to come. Get it? He is the head of the church and not you!
Act 23:11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
Here is just another Bible example of how Jesus came to Paul and appeared to him on the earth without asking for anyone’s permission. Please understand the precedence that is being established and is presented to you. If the Bible records these specific instances where Jesus appeared on the earth after His physical ascension into heaven, then there is absolutely nothing stopping Him from coming to rapture His church body out before the tribulation has started. This is really not rocket science but you do have to have the eyes that see spiritual things. You do understand that Jesus does not have to set foot on the earth to catch His church up to where He is, don’t you? So technically speaking the rapture of the church is not Jesus setting foot on the earth at all. We are going up to meet him and he doesn’t have to come down to get us. Therefore, your argument for no rapture is purely fictional rhetoric.
So back to the Davidic covenant; let’s return to this and see what else the Bible says. We know that Jesus Christ is called the son of David in Matthew 1:1, 9:27, 12:23, 15:22, 20:30-31, 21:9, 21:15, 22:42-45, Luke 1:32, Rom 1:3, 2 Tim 2:8, and Rev 22:16 to name a few of the verses that reveal this information to us. Then you can read in Revelation 1:8 that Jesus says “I am alive forevermore”. So clearly Jesus has been resurrected never to die again. Based upon these scriptures Jesus certainly qualifies to be the eternal ruler of his father David’s throne which was prophesied in the Old Testament.
Luk 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
Luk 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
Luk 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
What we must do after reading this angelic prophecy given to Mary about her coming son Jesus is determine if God is declaring a natural kingdom or a spiritual kingdom. There are obviously many Christians who do not understand that there is a difference and this is their first mistake. What these Christians do is to think naturally first, without considering or finding out if there is any other way that this prophecy could be fulfilled in the spiritual realm. For example, in many of my Bible lessons I have taught you that the Bible declares that there are three different cities named Jerusalem. So when you read a prophecy of Jerusalem you must determine which city is being spoken of. I guess this concept blows the mind of many people and they are just not making the connection. I believe that they are having trouble making the leap from natural into spiritual things. There is only one city in the natural named Jerusalem in the Bible and this is all they can wrap their minds around, but the Bible teaches us that there are two other cities in the spiritual realm called by the exact same name. This makes correct Bible interpretation infinitely more complex. By assuming that a scripture is speaking of the natural city you are more than likely missing the truth. You see we can find many verses in the Bible that reveal there is a major difference between these two realms. For example, read Matthew 5:34 and 23:22 to see God’s throne being described as a place in heaven. This is clearly a spiritual location, a spiritual throne and a spiritual kingdom based upon the fact that God is a spirit (John 4:24). If you can see the existence of parallel realities in the Bible you will be far above the capabilities of many people who read the Bible using their natural one dimensional mind. I guess I need to do a Bible teaching on the reality of the spiritual nation of Israel. I have avoided this subject because of the potential controversy that it can stir up. You see I have read other people’s blogs after they have written about spiritual Israel and they are attacked vehemently by narrow minded spiritually blind people who cannot see the truth and what the Bible says. Let me ask those who fight this Bible subject so enthusiastically if there is like the Bible says a spiritual city called Jerusalem, what is it the capital of? We can clearly understand that natural Jerusalem was and is the capital city of the natural nation of Israel here on the earth. Can you not think logically enough to conclude that a spiritual nation of Israel must exist if God names his new heavenly city Jerusalem in Revelation 21? I mean come on and use your brain.
I guess I have gone long enough in today’s lesson. I have not fully covered the subject about the Davidic Covenant and there are many other scriptures that we could add to this discussion. I want you to think with me if God tells David in 2 Samuel that his kingdom will be an eternal one, what do you think that implies? To me it is obvious that it is not a natural kingdom here on this earth. There are many Bible verses that say that Jesus will come back and establishes a 1000 year reign of peace on the earth. This is God’s day of rest prophesied from Genesis 1. I think that there are some confused people who are expecting Jesus to set up His eternal kingdom in this 1000 year time frame and that is why they say that the rapture cannot take place until this happens. However, this is just more misguided interpretations of the Bible while they clearly are not looking for the real answers. Did you know that the 1000 year natural reign of Christ is not forever? I mean think! It clearly only lasts a 1000 years and then what? The Bible tells us that Satan will be released from the pit to deceive again. So everyone who is born during the 1000 years of the righteous reign of Christ will be given the opportunity to make a choice and to be deceived like we have all had these same choices to make. There is an eternal Kingdom of God and the Bible says it is in me right now. Jesus clearly taught us where His kingdom was located when He said “the Kingdom of God is in you” (Luke 17:21). So men are looking for external things while God has established His kingdom on the inside of us in a spiritual realm you cannot see. Either change your perspective to see the truth or choose to remain in your deception. Thanks for reading my Bible lesson on the Davidic Covenant and why the rapture can take place at any time. God Bless!
(Ver 1.2) This is a very tricky complex subject. In light of the events in America this weekend in Arizona, I thought it would be a good topic to discuss briefly. I do not like evil and this is not my favorite subject in the Bible to study. Clearly the murder of defenseless people is an evil action which should be viewed as an abomination to God and not the plan of God. While it is possible for God to cause something positive to come from any evil negative, there is absolutely no way that God planned it, authorized it or was a party to it. If you think that He was you are probably very ignorant! People read stories in the Old Testament like how Joseph spent years in slavery and prison and think that it says God caused this injustice to happen to him so that Joseph could fulfill a greater plan of God, but this is just a religious philosophy to help explain away the existence of the devil who influences evil men in the world to do stupid things. You see in the Bible it clearly teaches that Satan was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). So if a man ever killed anybody, where would they have learned it from? Was it God or Satan? Let’s look at the first murder in the Bible and see what God says about it.
Gen 4:3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
Gen 4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
I like verses like this in Genesis. It says “in the process of time” which represents a scientific principle of creation. In other words, before creation there was no time, but now we live within the designed process of time constraints. Cain was the firstborn son of Adam and is said to be a farmer who grows things and his younger brother Abel as we are told is a shepherd of sheep. Kind of sounds familiar doesn’t it? Jesus was both a shepherd and the Lamb of God and his brother Satan killed him also. Uh oh, maybe I shouldn’t have told you that already. Here in these verses we are told that both men are attempting to do service to God and try to do the right thing, but one does it much better than the other. Did you notice the difference? It wasn’t the fact that one brought sheep and the other brought their crops from the field like I have heard some preachers try to teach. What they brought was not the key difference being revealed to us. God says that Abel brought the “firstlings” and this is not what Cain did at all. So what does this word mean? It basically means the “firstborn” or those who have the birthright of man or beast. So God had respect for Abel’s offering because He gave the best and Cain only gave some of his crop and not necessarily the first fruits like Abel did. Oh well that is not my subject today so I’ll move on. Hopefully you understand what I just said because I will not explain it any further today.
Gen 4:5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
So here is where Cain’s offering mistake hits the fan. Since God did not respect Cain’s offering it made him very angry. Emotions are one of the greatest blessings and the greatest curses that we have been given depending how we use them and where they directed. Let’s think logically again and determine whose fault is it for God accepting Abel’s offering and not Cain’s? In today’s society no one wants to accept responsibility or accountability for doing the wrong things. You see in the news recently a young Mexican man was killed by a U.S. Government border agent because he started throwing rocks at the agent, so the agent had to defend himself and stop him. Well, the news media interviewed the young man’s mother and she was very upset calling the shooting a crime against her son of major proportions. Isn’t it funny how the mother ignored all of the crimes that the young man was guilty of only to say that an officer defending himself was the real problem. You see the young man crossed into the U.S. illegally and was not supposed to be there to get shot. Then if he hadn’t thrown any rocks at the officer he would have just been sent back to Mexico and not shot. Does the young Mexican man have any responsibility for what happened to him? I believe he holds all responsibility, whether you want to see the truth or not. So it was in Cain’s day also. Cain could have done the right things like Abel and God would have respected his offering also.
So up until this point nobody has been killed, but yet the seeds are planted in the mind of Cain. Here is where the story repeats in today’s murders also. We have a man who has done wrong and has become emotionally unbalanced because of his past wrong thoughts, choices and actions. Cain let’s jealousy overrule the love for his borther and doing right. Since Cain has justified his actions as not being the problem it is now much easier for him to escalate his actions to a much greater sin level. Are you learning anything about how people become murderers?
Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
It is very clear to me that God tells Cain what I just taught you. God says to Cain change and do the right thing and I will accept your offering. However, Cain refuses to conclude that he has done anything wrong. So a smaller insignificant sin is about to become the entrance door to a much greater path to sin. This is exactly how murderers become murderers. They hardly ever start out at the murderer level; it is usually always some smaller petty crimes that are committed first and then they grow into a harder more callous state of the hardness of their heart towards others. It is a progressive build-up within an evil process over time to become a murderer. These are the seeds of Satan being planted in the hearts of men that cause them to do progressively evil things. It always starts with little things and then grows to the greater. That is why God tells parents in the Bible to “train up a child in the way that they should go and when they are older they will not depart from it” (Prov 22:6). That is the root to how children without any correct training are becoming murderers in our world.
Gen 4:8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
So instead of Cain making corrections he became more hard-hearted towards God and took it out on his brother since God was unable to take the wrath that he wanted to display to him. Here is another factor to why people murder; people will take out their anger towards God on whoever they see first. Because God has mistreated them and not been fair in their minds, they have become mentally bent to relieve their frustrations on somebody and sometimes anybody. God tells us that Cain began to talk to his brother and because his brother was the only one there at the time and of course God treated him differently then he became Cain’s solution. Instead of talking to God, Cain thought that by getting rid of his brother that would solve his problem and now God would have to accept his offerings. Isn’t it amazing how twisted the human mind can become when all it took was for Cain to take responsibility to do the right thing? Believe it or not this is why the young man also killed those people in Arizona. This man took out his misguided frustrations and anger upon the person who he thought would take away his responsibility for his own past bad choices and self-justified actions. It’s craziness I know and borderline insanity, yet he clearly knew it was wrong based upon his notes that he left asking for forgiveness. He was not insane, he was just deceived and took out his foolishness upon those who could not defend themselves. It is extremely sad when this happens in the world, but yet I believe God says these things will happen more as the time of the end grows nearer. It is important as Christians not to let murderers think that have won anything.
Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
Here is God’s commentary to the story of Cain and Abel. You can clearly see that God honored Abel because of his faith. You can assume that it was the lack of faith that caused God not to honor Cain’s offerings. You see the Bible says that God is not a respecter of persons, but it does not ever say that God does not respect someone’s faith. If you have been reading my lessons on Bible faith you understand this by now, I hope. Here is the other major thing to see from this verse of scripture in Hebrews; God tells us that Abel was deemed righteous and you can assume Cain was not. This is the difference between going to heaven and going to hell. I will not be surprised when I meet Abel in heaven. Abel’s righteous actions still speak the Bible says and they are profoundly greater than those of his brother, the murderer. I would much rather be in Abel’s shoes than Cain’s shoes today so it is with the killer of those in Arizona also. I’ll wrap today’s blog up with a statement from Jesus that you should take note of being a Christian.
Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Here we have a major revelation being presented to us. Jesus is declaring the life in this world is only temporary so we should not be so afraid of anyone who could kill us physically. Jesus is clearly saying that there is an eternity after this life that we better be concerned with. Fear God who is able to save or throw you into hell forever. This life is only a time of preparation; it is not a permanent lasting situation. Jesus is clearly saying that just because someone kills your body, the real you (the spirit being) is not dead. You are just not here in this world alive physically anymore. Jesus is warning you that we should be eternity aware and not so much concerned with the natural realm where crazy evil men will try to take your life. I guess that is enough for one lesson today and I pray that you at the least learned a little bit that helped you get through the events that happen daily on our news. God Bless.
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 2 in a series of lessons on understanding the basic concepts of faith found in the Bible. In the first lesson I gave you the overview of the origin of faith and how that God used faith to create the world; so therefore I taught you that faith was not a new concept found only in the New Testament. I showed you conclusive scriptures from Hebrews 11 that described Old Testament faith examples even though God never emphasized or taught this to be a requirement. In reading Hebrews 11 you can clearly see that there were many people included in the Bible because of their faith. I told you that Faith is a rudimentary subject of Bible theology which is foundational to being a real Christian. I also showed you that faith was an essential element to become saved. I then taught you that “Salvation” is a word than means to make whole the spirit, the soul and the body. We have not yet fully defined what faith is, where it comes from or how it works, but we will eventually get there just probably not today. Today I want to talk about faith being the critical factor for anything that you receive from God. I want to reemphasize the importance of you having faith so that you can begin to understand why you need it. This of course means that you must understand that just because God has given you something like salvation for free, that you must do something to receive it. There are many Christians who do not understand that concept who have obviously never had anything in the world given to them. However, in the Bible you can read story after story of how God gave man something by His grace and how that man was required to receive it by his faith. What we see is a spiritual partnership being established between God and man. God is trying to give you something by His grace and teach you how to receive it by your faith. If you have not read from the beginning of this series I would highly recommend that you go and start reading with “Part 1”. Otherwise turn to your Bible and read with me:
Mat 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
Here in this story of the lame man is revealed a lot of profound spiritual truths. Jesus is teaching a large group of people in a house that will not permit the lame man to get to Jesus. So the lame man’s friends take him onto the roof top and they cut a large hole in the roof so that they can lower him down to Jesus. The Bible says something very amazing here and if you are not careful you miss it. The Bible tells us that Jesus saw their faith; the faith of the friends to help and the faith of the lame man to get up on top of the roof to get to Jesus. This revelation clearly tells us that faith is visible and observable externally in our actions. You need to remember that as we go through this lesson on Bible faith. The next thing you need to take note of is that faith is the only thing that Jesus observed, so it must have been a very important part of determining if this man would get healed or not. Do you see anything else mentioned in this verse? Why can’t people just read scriptures and see what they say? There are certainly other things to learn in this verse, but I will skip them to move on with our subject of faith today and give you another example of Jesus and the faith of people to receive:
Mat 9:22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
Here in this chapter of Matthew is the woman with the issue of blood who has been sick for many years. But the Bible says that she pressed through the crowd in order to touch Jesus and she got healed. Nowhere does it say that Jesus knew this was going to happen or that He caused it to happen. So even though it was God’s power that healed the woman Jesus reveals to us the determining factor that caused it to occur. Jesus makes another statement that is essential to our subject today. Jesus turns to the woman and tells her that it was “her faith” that made her whole. “Made whole” is the Greek word “sozo” and this is the same word translated as “saved”. So Jesus clearly tells us again that faith was a determining factor for her salvation. What we can observe from this story is her faith was set in motion by her actions and the two of these caused her to become healed. You can clearly see that in the context of this story that the disciples say the crowd was touching Jesus on every side. But, the Bible does not say that any of them got healed. So it was not because she touched Jesus like the others did that got her healed. It was because she touched Jesus in faith that caused the healing to come from Jesus. Of course it was the power of God that was on Jesus that healed her, but it was received by her faith and that is how Bible faith works. It is a joint partnership between God’s grace and man’s faith. Let’s look at another example of this in the Bible:
Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Here is another example of a verse that Jesus directly mentions a woman’s faith to be the key factor of her receiving her daughter’s salvation and deliverance. Jesus does not mention anything else, so I conclude that this is the only reason that she got her answer from Jesus. Why was Jesus so obsessed with only faith? Why didn’t Jesus ever say anything else? Jesus never looked at anyone and told them “It was my power that healed you” as most confused Christian in the world think. You need to understand that faith is being emphasized more than anything else and that this is by God’s design and purpose to teach you that faith is the important part to learn about. There are many Christian who believe that God has the power to heal, but do not understand how to get God’s healing power to work for them. They want to pray and leave it all up to God and that is not what we find in the Bible that actually happens in the majority of the cases being presented to us as examples:
Mar 10:52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
This is now the fourth example found in the Bible of a blind man who Jesus said “his faith” made him whole, saved him, healed him and delivered him from blindness. Jesus never took the credit for it being His power alone. In fact Jesus never mentions His power as being a factor to whether people got healed ever. Again we see the same Greek word being translated as “made whole” which is later used for our salvation. Therefore we understand again that it is our faith that is the determining factor for if we receive from God what God has given to us by His grace. I’ll give you one more example found in the Bible, even though this is not the last example that I could give you of faith being mentioned:
Luk 17:19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
Here in this chapter of Luke Jesus is on the way to Jerusalem and is passing through a village where he is met by ten lepers. These men ask for Jesus to heal them and Jesus tells them to go and show themselves to the priest. As they were going one of them notices that he has been made whole and comes back to Jesus to worship and thank Him. Jesus again mentions that it was “his faith” that made him whole. Every time Jesus only mentions one thing and every time it is the same thing. Jesus never commends anyone for anything else other than when they had faith. What you should do is go through and reread all of the Gospels and see if you can find anything else that Jesus ever emphasized to be a determining factor for anyone being saved, healed or delivered? I know there are times in the Bible that Jesus does not mention anything as being a factor, but every time that I saw Jesus mention anything, it was always the faith of the people that was the determining factor to if they got healed or not. This is the way the Bible was written and it gives man the choice to believe it or to reject it. But, if you can see it and understand it, I believe that it will dramatically change your perspective on what God thinks is important. If Jesus who was God in the flesh says that faith is a critical spiritual reality to possess, then I believe that we need to study the subject to find out what it is that we are missing. I’ll end this lesson with one more scripture found in the New Testament that is very revealing.
Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
Here is a key verse that describes to us about when Jesus comes back to the earth, what exactly He will be looking for in His people. You can again see how faith is being emphasized as being a critical factor to possess. It also seems to put the responsibility in our court to whether we have it or not. Why would God be looking for something that He knew we already had? It really does not make any sense, if it is not our responsibility to get this faith before He returns for us then Jesus would not need to look to see if we have it. If it is not up to us to get it, then Jesus does not need to check for something called faith to exist when he returns. I hope that you understand this logic.
Let me end this lesson by giving you some more scriptures where Jesus emphasized faith to be the determining factor for man to receive from God:
Mat 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
Mat 9:22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
Mat 9:29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Luk 7:50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
Luk 18:42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.
These are some of the major scriptures found in the Gospels that reveal faith to be the determining factor for receiving from God. It is very clearly the only thing that God was looking for and it is the only thing that pleased Him to allow the people to receive. Reread these verses very carefully and you will begin to understand the importance of faith today to receive from God. The Bible instructs us to let every word be established in the mouth of two or three witnessess (2 Cor 13:1). I have just given you two different writers and six different verses and that satisfies the requirement exclusively. If you choose not to beleive them then that is your problem and not mine.
Here are the key points from today’s very important faith lesson so that you can go back and review:
- Faith is visible and observable in the actions of people.
- Faith is the determining factor for salvation, healing and deliverance.
- Jesus never mentions any other factor for a person being made whole, other than their faith.
- Jesus is expecting to find faith when He returns for us very soon.
- Do you have the faith that Jesus is looking for?
Faith appears to be a critically important subject in the New Testament and it is certainly taught to be the determining factor of whether or not you are a Christian and whether or not you are ever to be made whole. Jesus rebuked his disciple constantly for having no faith or little faith. Then Jesus would look at people who got healed and tell them that it was their faith that caused it to come into reality. Jesus obviously thought faith was important and you need to understand this importance in order to figure out what Bible faith is. We will discuss more about Bible faith in the next lesson, so please continue to grow in the knowledge of God. God Bless.
If you would like to continue reading about Bible Faith, you may continue to “Part 3“.
(Ver 1.2) This is Part 1 in a series of lessons on understanding the basic concepts of faith found in the Bible. Faith is of course a rudimentary subject of Bible theology which is foundational to being a real Christian. According to the Bible, without faith it is not possible to even be a Christian. However, you do not technically have to know how you became a Christian to be a Christian. In other words you do not have to understand that it took your faith to become a Christian to have the faith to be a Christian. I know that was a complex statement that I just made. But think about it logically for a second, it is very much like a new born little baby does not have to know or understand how they got to be here to be a real baby in our world. But, any Christian who doesn’t know how they became a Christian is practically incapable of knowing how to get others to become a Christian with them. That is why so many people join a church and they think they are Christians, but are not. It is like a natural child cannot have another child. It requires a maturing physical process of the human body to be able to have children, so it is within the spiritual realm also. You need to learn to grow up spiritually in order to know how to have spiritual children. One of the basics of the spiritual birth process is found in the concept of “faith”. Having faith in Jesus Christ allows God to come into your heart to abide. Today’s lesson title is called the “Genesis of Faith”. Genesis is a word that means “beginnings”. So we will attempt to learn where faith came from and when it started to be important from a spiritual Bible perspective. The Bible says a lot about this subject, but most of the direct references of the subject are only found in the New Testament. Why is that? I believe that is a very good question to understand and I will attempt to start to explain it today using several Bible verses. Is faith something new to the New Testament? I’m going to start by explaining why faith is important to know and then we will get to where faith came from and when it came into existence and finally we will touch on a small portion of what Bible faith is.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Here we have a popular verse that is widely taught and greatly misunderstood. The primary subject of the verse is “salvation” and that is what you should see first. The next thing you should understand is that salvation is the gift that is given to us from God. God is directly teaching us two key factors about the gift of salvation. Salvation is a term that means to be completely delivered, physically, mentally and spiritually. The word “saved” actually means to be made whole. This definition informs us that unsaved people in the world are clearly missing key factors that cause them to be incomplete beings. A human being is a spirit that lives in a body and that has as soul. So God’s salvation must address all three of these human dimensions in order for us to be made whole. Therefore, God’s salvation is an all-inclusive work. In other words God did not save a small part of you and leave the rest of you out in the cold. Of course it is much more complex than that and I cannot get into that level of detail in this blog. Just keep in mind that salvation is a gift from God. Meaning we did not buy it, earn it or even deserved it, yet He gave it to us freely. But, like any gift salvation can be rejected, lost, thrown away or discarded if not cared for, esteemed and held as valuable. There is nothing that I could give you that you could not completely disdain and treat with contempt. So it is with God’s gift of salvation, we can understand that we must value this gift and take care of it in order for it to remain in our life. The first of the two predetermining factors to salvation mentioned in the verse is “grace”. Grace is of course what God has given, extended and done for us even though we did not deserve it or could do anything to earn it. The grace of God is often associated with two other deity qualities called mercy and compassion. God exhibited His mercy and compassion by extending us His grace. To allow a guilty man to go free instead of being put to death is an act of either stupidity or great mercy depending upon what that free man does with his new freedoms. This is the state of the human race today. They have been granted God’s clemency and God is watching to see what man will do with it. The next key factor in the verse is of course my main subject today and it is called “faith”. So we understand that in order for anyone to be saved, it at the least takes these two given factors to be working together in harmony. Of course this subject is vastly more complex than that and I cannot get into all of the other related things all at once, so you will have to exercise your patience and bear with me as I try to teach a very complex set of truths. Just take away from this verse the fact that “faith” is a requirement in order to be saved and we will learn more later the why, how and where it came from as we go through the series.
If you search your KJV Bible for the word “faith” you will discover that the word is only found two times in the Old Testament and well over 200 times in the New Testament. One time in the O.T. is in Deuteronomy and the other is in the prophet Habakkuk which is later quoted for us in Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38 saying “the just shall live by faith”. So we can clearly see a direct imbalance to the distribution of the subject of faith, with it being totally under emphasized or hidden in the Old Covenant while seemingly being revealed to us in the New Covenant. Again I’ll ask you, why is this? Is faith something new to us? This of course is by God’s design and I will hopefully explain why as we go. In order to understand why faith is not mentioned directly in the O.T., we need to read some more Bible verses and learn what God says about the subject of faith in the N.T.:
Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
If you just read the first part of this verse you might begin to think that “faith” is something new in the New Testament. The first part of the first seems to imply that faith originated at some point in time and before this there was no faith. However, that is not what this verse is actually saying if you read the entire statement correctly. Too many people only read a part of a verse and walk away from the Bible with thinking or assuming they know what it said; when in fact they did not see the real meaning that God had given to them. What we can see clearly in this verse if we look in Galatians 3:23 is the fact that faith preexisted before the New Testament in a hidden state. But, that faith was later uncovered and revealed after Jesus died and was resurrected. Why do you hide anything? That is a very good question to consider. To hide something is often an act of someone trying to protect it or keep it from being stolen, lost or damaged. My mother use to hide her silverware thinking no one would break into her house and find it and of course no one did, including her because she forgot where she hid it and never knew what happened to it. Why was it necessary for God to hide faith from the Old Testament readers? Who is God trying to keep from this hidden information? To answer this question you must understand that too much information can be a very dangerous weapon in the wrong hands and since we are talking about spiritual realities that are much greater than natural things. Who is this spiritual enemy that would benefit from this information? Let’s think naturally for a second. I believe that it is very much like knowing how to build a nuclear bomb today in our world. To those peaceful nations who know how to make one, it is a deterrent to keep others from attacking them, but to a terrorist it is the ultimate weapon of destruction. This is why Iran wants this weapon of mass destruction right now! So what I am trying to do is to show you that faith involves revealed spiritual power and ability and that this is equivalent to knowing how to build a nuclear bomb in our natural world. You still may not understand these statements, but I’m not finished, so hang in there.
Heb 11:3 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.
Here is another widely misunderstood Bible verse about faith and words. Here is a verse of scripture that basically reveals how the world was created. God says that everything that we can see came from two spiritual power factors that God possessed. Did you see what they were? The two factors were God’s faith and God’s words. You see too many people read this verse and think that it is talking about our faith and that we have to believe in order to understand, but that is just a tricky way of wording a statement to make you think wrong. The main problem with the Greek language is the lack of punctuation such as a comma. The presence of a comma can change the meaning of a verse dramatically and this verse is an example of this. Take the words “we understand that” and put them at the first of the sentence and reread the statement:
Heb 11:3 We understand that through faith the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
You can basically get the same statement by adding the appropriate comma after “We understand,” in the original version, so hopefully you can understand that God has faith and God used His faith to create the world. God has existed for how long? I guess I’m getting ahead of myself somewhat and telling you that faith was a spiritual force that has always existed with God. Therefore, faith is definitely not something that is new and only came to be in the New Testament. This chapter of Hebrews is commonly referred to as the “faith” hall of fame. This is because the chapter is dominated by the subject of “faith” and it reveals to us the names of individuals throughout the Old Testament who exhibited faith even though they did not understand that this is what they were doing. According to Hebrews 11, the first mention of anyone with faith in the Bible is the firstborn son Abel who was slain by his brother Cain. In verse 4 it says by faith Abel offered unto God a far better sacrifice than his brother Cain. So it was “faith” that caused Abel’s sacrifice to be accepted by God and not so much as to what was sacrificed or given. According to the Bible “without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Heb 11:6). So whatever we do in this world it is imperative for us to do it in faith in order to be pleasing to God. That could have been the most important thing that I said in this entire lesson and it reveals to us the significance that God places upon the spiritual factor of “faith”. There are very few things in the Bible that God says are impossible and this is a prime example of one of the most important lessons about spiritual impossibilities.
You can continue reading in Hebrews 11 and see time after time God mentioning and commending the faith of these Old Testament saints. Faith is the central theme of the entire chapter. The word faith occurs over 23 times in this chapter proveing God is making a point on the subject. Verse 5, by faith Enoch… Verse 7, by faith Noah… Verse 8, by faith Abraham… Verse 11, through faith Sarah… I could go on, but you get the point, I hope and pray? You see the faith of a man or a womean was the key factor for everything positive that happened in the Old Testament and why their names even appear in the Bible at all. We can clearly learn by reading Hebrews 11 that faith existed in the Old Testament even though it was never revealed directly to anyone. God just wrote about them in ways that taught these Bible concepts without telling you what those concepts were. That was very tricky if you ask me!
Earlier I spoke of faith as being a powerful spiritual force that helped to create our world. This of course is probably a new concept to you that you do not yet understand. So I will attempt to give you another Bible verse that exhibits this reality to us in the words of God written to the church. In this way, we will hopefully see that we have this power within us right now and that we should learn how to use it.
1Co 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
Here in this chapter of 1 Corinthians God is saying some things about the spiritual reality of faith from a God perspective. I am not going to go through the entire verse and try to teach everything that it says in order to shorten this lesson. I want to focus in on the words in the middle of the verse about faith. God says that we can have the “faith” that moves mountains. That is an amazing statement of power without you even realizing its full impact. You see what does it take to move a real physical mountain? Since I live close to the mountains I know that this task takes some dynamite and some really big equipment. I’m talking about big trucks, bull dozers, scoops and on and on we could go. All of these things are natural examples of physical power. These natural examples are what God is saying faith represents in the spiritual realm. Do you understand this? You can either use your faith to move a physical mountain or a spiritual symbolic mountain and both are valid in this verse since God does not qualify the noun with an adjective limitation. This is called a double reference, where a scripture crosses the natural boundary to apply to a spiritual domain equally and simultaneously. We can understand natural mountains, but what is a spiritual mountain? A spiritual mountain can be any spiritual obstacle or obstruction that is in your spiritual way to spiritual success. In the eleventh chapter of Mark we see Jesus himself speaking to his disciples in the 22nd verse He tells them to “Have faith in God”. Another very legitimate translation of this verse is “Have the faith of God”. Young’s literal translation reads this way and Young was a Greek expert more than I am. If you look at the context you will see that Jesus had just cursed a fig tree and the disciples were pointing this out to Him and God says to them you are capable of doing this also. Jesus who was God tells His followers if they would have the God kind of faith they would be able to speak to the mountain in verse 23 and say to it be removed and not doubt it but believe what they say would come to pass, Jesus said they would have whatever they said. Jesus was describing how He created the world to them and telling them they could do what He did and remove the obstacles that were hindering them. This is why Paul could write the same in 1 Corinthians 13:2 to us the church. Both of these represent two witnesses to the fact that faith embodies God’s powerful spiritual force. You need to read Mark 11:23 and decide if you are a “whosoever” that God was speaking to.
So faith is a spiritual force, but that is not the only way that it is described to us in the Bible. You see faith is a multi-faceted spiritual reality that can be used for offensive or defensive actions. You can read in Ephesians 6 God describing the spiritual armor of the church to consist of a number of spiritual entities and one of them is called the “shield of faith” and this is clearly a defensive weapon.
Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
The verse starts by saying “above all” meaning there are other parts but this one is one of the greatest that is an essential necessary part to possess. What God is doing in this chapter is describing the spiritual warfare components that are essential to know and understand. First off you need to know you are in a spiritual war and if you do not know this you are already defeated. The Bible says for us to “submit to God and to resist the devil” (James 4:7). What does it mean to resist? That is not a passive verb, if anything it is an aggressive verb of action. To resist is when you are in a war with an opposing occupying force and you choose not to submit to them. You do know that Satan is the occupying force that we are now in resistance to, yes? God gave man the earth and put Adam in charge, but Satan came and took it from him and has been occupying the earth illegally for the past approximate 6000 years. His time of occupation is growing significantly shorter now and it is time to demonstrate his defeat and he is not happy about this at all.
God says to take the shield of faith so that we might quench all of the fiery darts of the enemy. What is a fiery dart of the enemy Satan? Satan is a spiritual being so a fiery dart is a spiritual weapon thrown at the unseen part of you and this is your mind. You are to use faith to counter these offensive weapons of Satan. What we have not done is to talk about everything that faith is, how you get it so that you can know and understand how to use it as a defensive or offensive weapon. Perhaps in a future lesson on this subject we will see how to go about increasing our faith. For example, did you know you cannot find anywhere in the Bible that God says for us to pray for Him to give us faith? That is probably the second most important thing that I said today but you might have blown it off as a non- important or trivial statement. This could be because you just do not understand very much about faith yet. Let me review some of the things that I have taught you today so that you can go back into your Bible and review them:
- Faith is one of the requirements for Salvation.
- Faith was a hidden spiritual concept until revealed by God.
- Faith is the spiritual power to move physical or spiritual obstacles or obstructions.
- Faith is a spiritual defense against the spiritual power of your enemy Satan.
- Faith pre-existed the New Testament but was only formally revealed to us after Jesus died on the cross.
- Faith was active in the Old Testament but never directly identified to be faith.
- God used faith to create the world so God had faith before time existed.
- Therefore faith existed with God eternally.
I just taught you several very key basic elements that are essential to understanding the spiritual subject of faith found in the Bible. This was just a basic introduction to the subject of faith so I hope you can continue to read and study this subject as I am able to continue it with God’s help. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading in this series, you can continue to “Part 2“.