Category Archives: Bible Study
(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“.
This is now Part 10 of a series of lessons on the True Identity of the Woman in Revelation 12. While I have said a lot of new things on this subject, there is certainly more that I can say. If you have not read this series from the beginning I would highly recommend that you start your reading with “Part 1” and go forward from there in order to understand everything that has been taught up to this point. Today will be more confirming follow up information and some new perspectives on some things that the Spirit of God has taught me about this subject recently. I have not written about this subject in a long time, but this is the way God works so I always try to go with the flow of the Holy Spirit. I will probably repeat some things that I have said in other blogs but, I’ll try to give you a new spiritual perspective on what it all means at the same time and how it relates to the woman in Revelation 12. I have found that no matter how long you teach or study any subject in the Bible, that there is always more to learn. You just cannot exhaust God’s knowledge on any subject. Part of today’s lesson will be focused upon the condition of the woman first described to us in verse 2. Too many Christians have ignore key symbolic elements given to us in this chapter and have concluded that this woman is Israel or Mary because they assume that the child is Jesus. I believe that I have shown you clearly many scriptural backings that the Bible says that this woman cannot be Israel or Mary. I also personally believe that most or all of the burden of proof of whether this woman in Revelation 12 can be the church, rests entirely upon God and His Word and not upon me or you. In other words I’m not just looking for scriptures to confirm my opinion on the identity of the woman in Revelation 12, I’m just looking for the truth no matter what it is, or who it is.
So if God describes this woman as being pregnant in Rev 12:2, can a spiritual woman called the church become this way? If the answer is yes, then how is this possible? This information will clearly tell us something very profound and help to confirm what I have already taught you about the woman; I hope and pray that you can see it also. I will warn you that part of today’s subject is a very advanced Bible lesson about sex and that is a scary subject to many Christians. You cannot discuss a pregnancy without discussing sex unless you choose to bury your head in the sand and ignore it. If you are not a mature Christian and have not agreed with what was taught in the first parts of this series, then I would suggest that you go and read somebody else’s blog today. If you have read this series of lessons and can clearly see that this woman described to us in Revelation is the church, then please continue reading today’s lesson about spiritual sex. Here is the first foundational scripture for today’s lesson:
Rev 12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
We can clearly see from reading Revelation 12:2 that whoever this woman is, the woman is said to be pregnant and about to deliver a child. If this woman is a symbolic representation of the spiritual reality called the church, then I believe all of the other references found in this chapter describing her are also symbolic spiritual realities, including the child that is delivered later in the chapter. I have already covered verse 1 in some depth so I will not rehash those symbolic references again today. However, I have not even touched on verse 2 in this series so I will start here today with asking you the million dollar question that arises from reading this verse. So how does a spiritual woman get pregnant? You may not totally understand what a spiritual woman is using God’s definitions found in the Bible so you might need to stop and go and read some of my other Bible lessons to better understand this subject. Here is a very quick overview of what the Bible describes as a woman to God. Technically speaking a spiritual woman is always a nation of people in covenant or married to God. If you do not understand this I wrote other lessons about God’s definition of a woman and marriage in my series on “Understanding the Bride of Christ”. These days if you are older than 12 years old you pretty much know how a physical woman gets pregnant so I will not discuss that, but we are definitely talking about a spiritual woman in this chapter and that is a totally different situation while at the same time being completely the same. Here now is a verse that Jesus taught to us in the book of John and you will probably read it at first and not even know why I included it next about a study of how a spiritual woman gets pregnant.
Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Jesus taught us something about knowing the truth that is very profound and extremely important to understand. Wow, this is a difficult verse to see and understand and even more difficult to discuss when you do understand it. We should start by saying that Jesus called himself the Truth (John 14:6). Therefore, the Spirit of Truth would be the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Then the verse has a phrase that says “and (He the Spirit of Truth) shall be in you” and that is the part that I want you to focus on first. This phrase has sexual connotations attached to it everywhere. However, the terminology is in the context of a spiritual state or reality, since the word “He” is referring to the Spirit of God, who is a Spirit. To get a natural woman pregnant you either have to get a sperm cell (seed) in her naturally or artificially as modern science can accomplish with surgical instrumentation and procedures. I warned you that this was going to be a mature subject, so please be mature and keep spiritual things in focus. While spiritual sex is not like natural sex, God actually calls them the exact same thing throughout the Bible, but you probably just didn’t know that until now. Here in this verse of John 14:17 there is a Greek word translated as to “know” and it says the unsaved world doesn’t “know” Him, but that the church does “know” Him. If you go back to the first mention of sex in the Bible and a woman getting pregnant, you find by the law of first mention some basic Bible truths to the reality of what God wants us to understand about the subject of sexual and spiritual reproduction. The first mention of sex that I could find in the Bible is between the first created man and woman in Genesis 4:1 and it says this:
Gen 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
How does God say Eve conceived a child? It clearly says Adam “knew” Eve and she conceived a son named Cain. The Hebrew word translated as “knew” means “to know” or “to ascertain by seeing”. That is a highly important definition of the word God created for the natural act of sex between the husband and the wife. So what does it mean and how does it apply to what we read in John? What we need to do is to take a natural occurrence example and correctly transfer it into a spiritual meaning; otherwise we will be just confused. To see or to ascertain are both terms that can be transferred to “knowing” or “understanding” a subject mentally. There is technically a great difference between knowing something and understanding something. You can certainly know your wife but never totally understand her. God never said that Adam “understood” Eve and she became pregnant. So I just went down a brief rabbit trail on the related subject of understanding vs. knowledge. What you must realize is that it takes a concentrated effort to understand anything or anyone and that this understanding only comes after the initial step of gaining knowledge. If you do not understand these concepts I would suggest that you go back and read my lesson on “Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom”.
In order to prove to you that I’m not making this stuff up, I’m going to teach you a valuable lesson on how to study the Bible correctly. Because the New Testament is written in Greek originally and the Old Testament is written in Hebrew predominantly; how can you insure that when I use a word from Genesis translated as “knew” that it is the same exact word that is related to “know” in John 14:17? That is a really good question to consider and I’m going to answer it for you right now. Too many people just assume they are the same or even different words and jump to conclusions that could be potentially wrong. So what do we do to solve this problem? First we find a verse that is in both the Old Testament and the New Testament with the word “Know” in it and then we look to see if they are the same words that we looked at in both Genesis 4:1 and John 14:17. Do you understand what I am doing? I am proving that the Greek word in John 14:17 is the exact same Hebrew word translated as Adam “Knew” his wife in Genesis 4:1 in order for you to clearly see that they are related subjects. So I looked for a verse in the New Testament with the word “know” and determined if it was a quoted verse from the Old Testament. If we can find a verse in the N.T. that is quoted from the O.T. we can automatically see what Hebrew words are directly related to what Greek words. However, this is easier said than done; unless you have a NASB translation of the Bible on your computer. In the NASB translation they put all Old Testament quotes in ALL CAPS making it much easier to see quickly that it is the same verse as one that is being quoted. So I found this one in Hebrews 8:11:
Heb 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
This just so happens to be a quotation from the prophet Jeremiah. If you notice this word translated as “know” is G1097 in the Strong’s. If you go back to read John 14:17 again and look up the Greek word for “know” you will find that it is the exact same word in this verse. So we can by logical deduction conclude that we have half of the puzzle solved on the New Testament side. Then we go to Jeremiah 31:34 and see what word God used in this original verse that was quoted in the N.T. to see if it is related to the Genesis 4:1 word being used for sex.
Jer 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
As you can see in this verse if you look for it, the Hebrew word translated as “know” is the word “H3045” in the Strong’s and guess what, that is the exact same word translated as “knew” in Genesis 4:1. So by doing some extended analysis of the Bible, we have confirmed that God is talking about spiritual sex in John 14:17 using the same word; this is clearly not a natural act in John but, is on a spiritual scale. God is basically saying that having knowledge of Him is like having sex with your wife or your husband. So how do you get the knowledge of God? The only way that I know to do this is to read and to study His Word. And guess what the Bible says the Word is? The Bible calls God’s Word His Seed (Mat 13:23, Mark 4:14). Guess what a natural man’s sperm is called in the Bible, it is called his seed. Are you beginning to see the parallels given to us in the Bible between these two subjects? This is obviously a very complex concept to understand for some because they are only thinking naturally. When you think only naturally as you attempt to interpret the Bible you are thinking as an enemy of God the Bible says (Rom 8:7). So you can search your New Testament and see that the word “know” is used frequently when discussing God’s relationship to the church. But, it is also a two way street as a type of relationship; we obtain to know God and then God knows us. You can see these in verses like John 17:3, Eph 1:17, 2 Pet 1:8, 1 John 4:2, 4:6 and 1 John 5:20 to give you a head start in your Bible study search. There are many scripture verses in the N.T. that also says we the church, are “In Christ” and that “Christ is in us”. This is just another example of this two way street that I was referring to earlier. You can find verses like this in Romans 8:10-11, 1 Cor 1:6, 1 Cor 3:1, 2 Cor 1:21, 2 Cor 13:5, Gal 4:19, Col 1:27, 1 Th 1:1, 1 Th 1:12, Php 1:6 and 1 Peter 5:14. What these verses say is that we are in Christ and that Christ is also in us simultaneously. What I am attempting to do with all of these verse references is demonstrate to you using God’s spiritual Words that the church is in a spiritual sexual relationship with God. That I know is not very religious sounding for sure. But, nevertheless it is what the Bible says and clearly implies. God knows us and we know God, that is how the church can get pregnant spiritually speaking.
I guess what I want to do next is to demonstrate to you that a spiritual woman can become pregnant and give birth to spiritual children using verses found in the Bible. By doing this analysis of the Bible to confirm that it has happened before, means that it can happen again. I want to introduce you to a woman named in the Bible as the “Heavenly Jerusalem”. I have talked about her in other Bible lessons so this is not something new for many of my faithful readers. However, this woman is extremely important to see as an example of how a spiritual city of God’s doing can be called by God a woman who gives birth. Let’s start by reading in Galatians 4:22:
Gal 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
What God does is something that is very profound. God takes the story of Abraham and uses it to teach us a spiritual lesson about God. We learn in verse 24 that God calls this an “allegory”. An allegory is always a real natural historical event with real people that reflect a type of a hidden spiritual truth. I had one very ignorant minister write me an email that God does not use allegory and that allegory was an invention of the medieval dark ages. He must have learned this at the cemetery, I mean seminary. This minister obviously did not know how to read because God says right here in this chapter of Galatians that He does use allegories and that they are very important to understand correctly. So let’s continue looking at the story of Abraham and see what God reveals to us.
If you did not realize it father Abraham is being used as a type of God the Father. This verse in Galatians 4:22 says God had more than one son, did you know that? Obviously a lot of ignorant NIV Bible translators did not know this, for they interpret God’s only begotten son (Jo 3:16) to be “God’s One and Only Son”. I guess I won’t go there today any more than I already have. Next in this chapter God says this:
Gal 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
So now we start to learn some really new things about God. According to this verse and others going forward we can see that God the Father had two wives. Remember that this story is an allegory and keep that all in mind as you study it. We have the one wife mentioned as being a type of Sarah, the freewoman. But first, we have another woman mentioned being a type of Hagar, the slave woman. These are mentioned in referees order from last to first wife based upon the story and I’ll talk more about this soon. These are clearly two different women and two different children produced by them so they are both directly called “mothers”. A mother is a woman who gives birth to a child, so this is not complicated just totally new stuff to many who have never studied it.
Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
So we are just getting deeper and deeper and I hope you came ready to swim, otherwise you are about to drown in the deep end of the pool. God tells us that these are two covenants. If we know that God the Father is a type of Abraham we know that God is saying something that is shockingly new to most people who study the Bible. You see God is not talking about Jesus’ covenant with the church here at all and that will definitely put a kink in your religious theology. Most every Christian realizes that the Bible is divided into the Old and New Testaments and surely you know that the word “Testament” means “Covenant”. So our Bibles tell us that God divided His word into two separate relationships. One is with the Old Testament nation of Israel and one is with the New Testament church. However, it is impossible for these to be the covenants that God is talking about using the information that we learn about in this allegory. You can clearly see in Galatians 4:24 that God starts telling us that one of these covenants is with a woman who is a type of Hagar who bears Ishmael for Abraham. Let’s read the next verse for more information on who this allegorical bond woman represents:
Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
God tells us very clearly that the slave woman Hagar represents the Earthly city of Jerusalem and this corresponds to the covenant given to Moses on Mt Sinai. Right here we have a major puzzle being presented to us and this is a very complex situation to resolve. If you do not think so, then why was this riddle not solved a long time ago? What we can see is that the Old Covenant given to Israel in the Old Testament is the marriage of God to the nation of natural people and God calls her a type of Hagar because she is still in bondage with her children. What is the nation of Israel in bondage to? It is the law of God! These are the people who are still forced to keep the commandments of God and this causes them to remain in bondage.
I did not mean to get into so much detail about the Galatians 4 women in this lesson on the woman in Revelation 12, but it is important enough for you to clearly understand that I am just going to have to do it anyway. What we learn about one woman in the Bible always applies to the subject of other women found in the Bible. However this woman is qualified differently because she is a bond woman and the other is a free woman. So let’s get back to the women in Galatians 4. If Hagar is type of the Old Testament wife of God, then Sarah the older woman must represent a covenant that existed prior to Hagar coming into Abraham’s family as a slave. If you study the story of Abraham and Sarah, Sarah was said to be a much older mature woman than Hagar. Hagar is described as being an Egyptian woman and Abraham and Sarah went to Egypt many years after they were married. Sarah was also Abraham’s ½ sister and thus we have some more perplexing complexity to consider. So if Abraham marries his ½ sister and then many years later leaves his father house to go to Egypt, we must conclude that Hagar who was a much younger woman is a covenant that occurs some time later in Abraham’s life. So logically we have to conclude that the covenant that God is referring to here in this chapter of Galatians is a covenant that He had entered into long before the one that He made with the people of Israel on the earth. Also keep in mind that Sarah was always called the barren woman who was unable to have children. According to the Bible this is why Sarah gives Hagar to her husband to have a son. Anyway this part of the allegory is not that complex, however it is totally new stuff to many so it will be hard to accept. Here is the next verse that I wanted to get to about Sarah the free woman:
Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Here we have another woman named “Jerusalem” but she is called the “Jerusalem which is above”. Obviously this is a completely different city than Jerusalem below. So we can also automatically know that she exists in the spiritual realm, being labeled “above”. This woman has to be a spiritual reality and she is inferred to be a type of the allegorical Sarah who was barren. So Sarah must also be a pre-existing covenant of God the Father to someone else not on the earth, but in the spiritual realm. You can see more clearly who this is by reading in Hebrews 12:22 where God tell us that this city is called the “Heavenly Jerusalem” and that this city consisted of an innumerable company of angels. We can deduce logically that Jerusalem Above and Heavenly Jerusalem are synonymous names for the same city. What we can logically conclude is that God was in covenant with the angels and that this heavenly city was a spiritual relationship that existed prior to God’s relationship with the nation of Israel who was a type of Hagar. This logically makes sense to me based upon what I have learn from studying the Bible. Of course there is a ton of more things that I could teach you from this simple allegory given to us in Galatians 4, but I do not have the time or space to do that today.
What I have done is shown you a city named Heavenly Jerusalem that God calls the spiritual mother of the church. We clearly understand that the mother must be a spiritual reality since Jesus taught us that, “that which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). We therefore, know that this spiritual mother (woman) pre-existed prior to the creation or birth of the church in order to have us as her children and to fit the allegorical pattern given to us as the barren Sarah.
Gal 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
God quotes another Old Testament prophet named Isaiah (54:1) here and reveals to us some more of the mysteries of these two women and covenants in the Bible. These are presented to us as a small part of a much greater, elaborate and perplexing puzzle or riddle from God. Reading in Isaiah 54:1 this barren woman is told to sing, rejoice and shout for joy because she has finally given birth to the promised children of God. It is very interesting to note that the Greek word translated as “travail” in this verse is only found 3 times in the N.T. That is certainly not a coincidence by far, for you see that word occurs two times here in Galatians 4 and once in Rev 12:2. The only other verse here in Galatians 4 is verse 19 where it says Paul is travailing in birth until Christ is formed in them that this letter is written to. You obviously know that Paul was a male apostle of the early church, so how can this man give birth to anything or anyone? It is not physically possible, so it must be only spiritually possible. That is the mystery being revealed to us; church members can give spiritual birth to a spiritual being. This confirms that the church is a female who can give birth. This verse of prophecy in Gal 4:27 has a lot more complex information in it but again I just cannot get into today. If you go and read some of my other blogs you might see some of the clues that I have revealed. Here is the last verse in Galatians that I will talk about:
Gal 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
This verse basically says what I have been trying to say in previous paragraphs. This verse calls us (the church) the children of the “Heavenly Jerusalem” a type of Isaac who was the promised son to Abraham and Sarah from God. Do you understand how amazing this story is? God promises Abraham a son through Sarah and it turns out to be a type of the church. This further implies that every child born under the Old Covenant woman of Hagar is not the promised seed so they will be cast out of the house as the story teaches us in Genesis 21:10 and they will not be the heirs with the free children. Wow, that is bad news for the natural nation of Israel. God clearly calls the nation of Israel the Ishmael’s of the world today. This I know will be pretty difficult stuff to grasp for many Christians.
What I have demonstrated to you is very clear Bible evidence that a spiritual woman can have spiritual children. Logically we can make the following spiritual conclusions based upon our knowledge naturally created things and the verses that we have just studied:
- A Spiritual woman can give birth to a spiritual child.
- There must have been a spiritual conception in order for there to be a spiritual child.
- In order for a spiritual conception to occur, spiritual knowledge must have been exchanged.
- In order for a spiritual woman to conceive a Spiritual Father is also required.
- God is always the Spiritual Father in every covenant marriage.
If you understand the Bible and covenants better now, you know that God the Father was in covenant with the spiritual angels in heaven prior to making a covenant with the nation of Israel on the earth. This knowledge helps us to better understand why God created our world, Adam and Eve, and had a son named Jesus who came to make a New Covenant with us. Because the New Covenant is now with the risen Son of God, God the Father tells us that the Old Covenants with Israel and the angels have been terminated. This is exactly why the Bible says that Satan should not have crucified the Lord of Glory on the cross (1 Cor 2:8).
I have given more than enough evidence found in the Bible that the church qualifies to be the woman in Revelation 12 who gives birth to a son. I hope and pray that you have enjoyed studying about this subject and who knows I will probably write more on it later. God Bless you until next time.
(Ver 1.1) We are living in a day when many are not thankful for anything. Teaching children when they are young to be thankful is a difficult assignment which too many parents ignore. When I was a child being raised in the south, many parents taught their kids to have manners. They would say Yes ma’am, No ma’am, Yes sir, No sir, please and thank you and if they didn’t their parents would correct it swiftly. This seems to be a lost skillset in the world today. Not only do many children grow up without manners, they grow up without any regard to being thankful to the ones that even brought them into the world. I know not everyone had a rosy childhood and a great set of parents and that life is much tougher on the outside than it could be or should be. But, there is what appears to be an over emphasis for the current situations in life that ignores the fact that these are always what I have found to be a relative set of temporary circumstances. In other words problems are always relative and they do not last forever. If you look arond you closely you can always find someone that is worst off than you are. So many look at their temporary problems and are consumed by what they don’t have and miss out on being thankful for what they do have. I have learned one thing in life that is of most importance for me and my relationship to God and that is I need to stop worrying about what could happen, what I don’t have and only focus on what God has already done in my life and give Him thanks for that. This is the Thanksgiving season and this is my message today for you, begin to be thankful for something.
So I usually do not get personal, because this blog is not about me. But, I am going to relate to you something that my family went through over 20 years ago. My wife and I were expecting our second child and it was a great time for us, we thought. Everything progressed in the normal way and when it was time to have the baby, we went to the hospital like we had done before. However, this night our world was going to change dramatically. Our new son was born and the doctors started checking him over and then started calling in specialists and things happened very fast from there. The doctors did tests and x-rays and determined my new son was born with a major heart defect and deformity. The heart surgeon did immediate open heart surgery to save my son’s life while I called my mother to help me pray to God. My wife was in another hospital recovering and I went to the children’s hospital where the surgery was taking place. After several hours of wondering, what was happening, the doctor came out and told me that he was alive and that we were very lucky. I know my wife was going through a very tough time being alone without her new son in another hospital. But we were doing the best that we knew how to do at the time. We all made it home eventually and we lived the best that we could a couple of more years before he needed another heart operation. So we went to the hospital and went through it again and the outcome was good again. You see the hand of God was with me and my family and I did not even know it sometimes. My son continued to grow and he turned 4 years old. All during this time we went to church and prayed and kept hoping for a good outcome. We would strive to look for little victories whenever we could. A couple of weeks after his fourth birthday my son and I were getting ready to go to church like we always did. My wife had to be at choir early so she went on first ahead of us. My son and I stopped in at McDonald’s and had pancakes for breakfast and were about to head to church when all sudden he collapsed in my arms and his eyes rolled back in his head. I knew something was not right and I yelled for someone to call an ambulance. I then waited until I could not wait any longer and put him in the car and drove him to the closest emergency room Hospital about a mile away. They started working on him as fast as they could and I could hear him scream as I filled out paper work for the hospital. They worked for over an hour and I tried to call the church to leave a message for my wife where we were, but she was on stage singing in the choir and the church services was on TV so they could not go and get her until she came off of the stage. My other son was away at a church camp retreat this weekend so God was watching over us in many ways that I cannot tell you. While my wife sang in the choir praising God, my son died at the hospital. We were probably 15 to 20 miles from the church. I cried very hard when the doctors told me the news. I sat outside on the curb waiting and finally my wife showed up and I had to tell her that our son was with Jesus now singing and praising God in heaven.
I wish things could have been different, I wish things could have been better, but yet I was thankful for the four years that I had with my son. He taught me many things that I would have not known otherwise. There were times in the car when he sat in the back seat in his car seat praising God and raising his hands in praise. Oh, to have a son with the heart of a child that was thankful for what he had and was not missing what he didn’t have, that is what changed my life forever. I will see my son again, so I know he is not gone forever. I will talk to him in eternity and we will run and play like he never could on the earth. Now learn the lesson of a child’s heart today and become thankful for everything that you have even if that is only a very little. I believe that God honors a thankful heart and blesses them that give Him thanks. So if you would only concentrate on what you have and be thankful, I believe that God will bless you and cause you to have more eventually.
This is the season of Thanksgiving here in the U.S. I pray that you become highly focused on everything that truly matters in your life and less focused on the things that you do not have. Problems I believe are only temporary and they are always relative. No matter how bad you think you have it, you can always find someone who has less or a worse situation and you can do something to be a blessing to them in whatever way you can. Being a blessing is why I do what I do on this website. If you could see my heart right now you would understand my tears while I wrote this blog. I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving wherever you are while you give thanks to God for all that He has already accomplished in your lives. God Bless!