Understanding Bible Faith! The Spiritual Enemies to Your Faith? Part 8
(Ver 1.3) This is now Part 8 in a series of very advanced studies about the subject of Bible Faith. Today’s lesson will be a continuation of the lesson that I taught on last time about Using Your Faith to Possess the Promised Land. In this lesson the Promised Land was described to us to be entering God’s Rest found in Hebrews 3 and 4. What we discovered was that the children of Israel coming out of Egypt represented a natural type of the spiriutal church and God’s salvation from Satan and the world of darkness. We definitely learn from this type that salvation was not the end of the Christian journey, but rather the beginning of our spiritual walk through the wilderness where we hear and learn the Word of God personally. You might recall that after the children of Israel left Egypt they had to go through the Red Sea that was parted for them by the hand of God. We are taught in the N.T. that this was a type of natural baptism into Moses that corresponds to Christians that are now spiritually baptized into Christ during salvation (1 Cor 10:2). The symbolism in this O.T. story is quite extensive and has many applications and lessons for the church. The Red Sea is really a type of the Blood of Christ that we have been baptized into. The cloud by day and the fire by night is a type of the leading of the Holy Spirit today in the church. The Bible tells us that those who are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God (Rom 8:14). Just as the cloud led the children of Israel through the wilderness, so the Holy Spirit leads us today. The Promised Land in the story of the children of Israel represents the promises of God that God has given to the church to possess today. You see, the truth of Christianity is not about the promises that we make to God, it is really much more about the promises that God has already made to us. Just as God told Israel “I have given you the land”, God is saying to the church “I have given you the victory over poverty, sickness, emotional despair, distress and the other things that He has given to us as promises in His Word” and we are to go into the this spiritual land and take them by our faith. Here is another interesting parallel. The children of Israel wandered for 40 years into the wilderness until finally a generation came along to possess the promise land. If you consider the church age has been going on for approximately 40 Jubilees then you will realize that we are the spiritual generation prophesied to take the Promised Land. A Jubilee is a 50 year period where God’s plan has recorded many secret parallels. If you multiply 40 x 50 you get 2000 years. All of these are amazing parallels that speak that we are God’s people that will take the land already given to us. Here are just a few of the promises of God found in the Old Testament. I will give you these as examples so that you know what to look for.
Pro 1:23 “I will make known my words unto you”.
Joel 2:25 “I will restore to you the years..”
Joel 2:28 “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh…”
Jer 30:17 “I will restore health to you and I will heal thee of your wounds…”
Jer 33:6 “I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth”.
Nah 1:13 “For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder”.
Zec 3:4 “I will clothe thee with a change of raiment”.
Whenever God tells you that He will do something, these represent God’s promises that have been given to you and He is committed to fulfill them. These are just a few of the promises of God found in His Word that can be possessed by men and women in the earth, if they mix their faith with them. Just as we learned that Israel was given the Promised Land, they did not possess it because God says they did not mix any faith with the Gospel that was spoken to them (Heb 4:2); this still applies to you today also. The only way to possess the promises of God that have already been given to you is by you mixing your faith to possess them. I’m sorry I sometimes repeat myself, but I want you to get it. Hopefully you have read all of these faith lessons in the series and you have been taking notes so that you can learn this important subject. In my opinion, Faith is one of the top three subjects that every Christian should know completely. We have found that faith is more complex than just simply believing in something or someone. We have seen that faith involves several independent subjects working together in harmony to produce a positive result. If you have not read this series from the beginning I would suggest that you go back and start reading with “Part 1”.
Just as the children of Israel sent spies into the Promised Land to investigate their possession, we can do the same still today using God’s word. You see the spies of Israel went in and found giants and these are a type of something in our Promised Land. There are still many spiritual enemies trying to intimidate you and to try to keep you from walking in the victory that God has already given to you. Today I will be the spy that gives you the report of these enemies and what you do with this information is up to you, just like it was up to the children of Israel what they did. I plan on being a type of Joshua and not a type of the ten spies with the evil report, but hopefully you will learn what to do. The first spiritual enemy that I want to discuss is the giant of ignorance. Here is one of my favorite Bible verses because of what God teaches us:
Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
To be destroyed is the opposite of being victorious so this sound like it applies to our story of the children of Israel and why they died in the wilderness. Ignorance is the opposite of possessing knowledge. What we have here is one of the primary reasons that God’s people are defeated easily. God reveals to us (His New Covenant People) that we will also be destroyed if we remain ignorant and unlearned. Therefore, the knowledge of God should be the number one goal for the people of God. Let’s put this into context with the subject of having faith. We learned that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom 10:17). So if we have not heard the Word of God it is impossible to have any faith. If you have not heard the Word of God, then you are ignorant of the Word of God and therefore you are easily defeated. In order to not be ignorant you are going to have to hear from God and this involves Him teaching you His knowledge.
Pro 11:9 An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.
God gives us clues in the Bible and here is one of them that I am attempting to teach you about today. God is saying that “knowledge” will cause His people to be delivered from their adversary. It is very obvious to me that the lack of knowledge is being stated as one of the key factors to why you are defeated. Because you never knew or understood what faith was, you were constantly defeated. But, now that you are learning about faith you are a potential threat to the enemy of ignorance and Satan. You see Satan wants you ignorant. He is doing all that he can to keep you from knowing the truth. As long as you are ignorant of the truth you are no threat of taking the Promised Land. Knowing this fact alone should cause you to become a more diligent Bible student. You should try to do what I do and spend hours a day in the Word of God. I know in today’s busy world this is almost impossible, but learn what God said in Proverbs “The knowledge of God is greater than obtaining gold” (Prov 8:10). You see God is saying knowing His word should be your number one priority above you working to get rich. Please understand that God does not care if you are rich, but know this that He does cares if you are ignorant. One of the wealthiest men in the entire Bible was Solomon. His wealth is still spoken of today. However please note how Solomon got this way. Solomon wrote some of the greatest wisdom books found in the Bible. Therefore, Solomon had the wisdom of God and this caused him to be rich mentally and physically. This ought to tell you something about you knowing the ways of God that it will cause you to become wealthy. Israel was primarily defeated in the wilderness because of their ignorance. So ignorance is the first giant of faith land that is attempting to defeat you. Let’s move on to the next giant in the land.
The next spiritual giant that will come against you is the giant of “fear”. The ten spies of Israel brought back an evil report and their words caused fear to spread throughout the people. It was this fear that caused the majority of the people of God to die in the wilderness never to see the good land that God had already given to them. Over the course of 40 years the children of Israel died one by one and were defeated, except for Joshua and Caleb. You see Joshua and Caleb said they were well able to take the land and they were never afraid. Joshua and Caleb did not allow fear to rule their lives or their outcome. Let’s look at a verse of scripture that Jesus is teaching us about the giant of fear:
Luk 8:50 But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.
If you read the context of this verse you will discover that this is another faith lesson within a faith lesson from the Lord God. A man comes up to Jesus and he asks Jesus to come to his house to heal his only daughter because she is dying. While Jesus is on the way to his house, the woman with the issue of blood comes and touches His clothes and gets healed as we have already talked a lot about her faith. Before Jesus could finish with the woman with the issue of blood, some messengers come to the man with the sick daughter and informs him it is too late, your daughter is dead. However, death is not the end of the story, is it? Jesus only looks at the man and says “Fear not, only believe and she will be made whole”. Do you see what is happening here? Here is a faith choice between two reports being given to a man in a highly pressure filled moment of time. One report is very evil and the other is a good report from God and the man has a critical internal decision to make in a split second. This man could get into fear and believe the evil report or stay in faith and believe the report of the Lord. Jesus heard the same report as the man did, but it did not affect Jesus in the least. If you go and continue reading this story Jesus does make it to the man’s house and Jesus makes everyone leave except for the parents. Jesus speaks to the daughter and she arises from the bed healed. Which report did the father believe? Do you think it mattered? I know that it mattered and he believed the words of God. This is again the story of the children of Israel who had a choice to make and they chose fear and death in the wilderness. This man chose faith and saw his daughter raised from the dead. That is pretty awesome if you ask me. Let us look at another faith story about the giant of fear in faith land:
Mar 4:40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
If you read the context of this verse you will see that Jesus is asleep in the boat and the disciples are trying to sail across a large body of water and suddenly a storm arises. Now, Jesus had already said they were going to the other side so these were the faith filled words of God already spoken informing the disciples of the outcome before it happens. Just as God had told the children of Israel “I have given you the land” they let their fear of the inhabitants of the land conquer them without a battle or a fight. So when the disciples looked at their enemy of the wind and the waves, like the children of Israel in the wilderness they caved to the fear and were easily defeated also without a battle or a fight. They ignored Jesus’ words for the sight of the physical surroundings and circumstances and Jesus is awaken and was not happy at all with them. Jesus stills the winds and the waves with His words and then turns to the disciples and declares there is a major problem here. “Why are you so fearful?” Fear is always the opposite of having any faith. So when you see your situation to be unwinnable or insurmountable and you get into fear, you are about to sink your boat. Jesus was the only one on the boat that had any faith and fortunately for them He was there. What were the disciples expected to do differently? That is a really good question to consider. I personally believe that if they would have believed the words of Jesus, they might have gone to lay down with Jesus and gone to sleep also. I do not recall Jesus telling them they had to sail the boat to get across the body of water. Maybe you and they assumed this, but that is not always good to assume what Jesus wants you to do. Regardless of what they did or didn’t do, I do not believe that they would have drowned or that their boat would have been lost if they would have stayed in faith. Of course what the disciples really should have done was what Jesus did; get up and speak to the problem to cause it to stop. I never think it is wrong to do what Jesus did. Oh, yea they are not God, how can they do this? You see the problem with people is that they think that they cannot do what Jesus did because they think He is God in His omnipotent power. But, that is just not true. Jesus was God, but God had become a man just like you and me and if He could do something, then we can do the same thing. What Jesus did was to set us an example that we can do the exact same things that He did. Do you recall what Jesus said? Jesus said in John 14:12 “The works that I do, shall you do and greater works shall you do because I go to my Father”. Was Jesus telling us that we could do what He did? I believe that is exactly what He was saying to me, you can decide to do with it what you want to and even ignore it if you like. I believe that Jesus expected them to do what He did and they chose to believe the circumstances instead. The spiritual giants of fear, panic, dread, fright, and being afraid are all still very real and they exist today. Satan will cause the circumstances to look just as formidable as the children of Israel were facing and he will even cause people to come to you and tell you how bad it is, to get you into fear. This could be a doctor’s report that says you only have a short time to live. It could be many different things, but yet Jesus taught us that it will come and you will have to choose not to believe it. Let us move on to another faith land giant that is trying to defeat you:
Mat 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
Here is another faith lesson from the God of creation. Jesus is walking on the water and the disciples are in a boat and Jesus is about to pass them by when they see Him and they think it is a spirit or a ghost. After all men can’t walk on water so they thought. Anyway Peter suddenly gets faith and thinks if Jesus can walk on water then I can do this also. Peter is beginning to catch on to what Jesus was teaching. Peter saw that Jesus was setting them an example showing them what they could do. So Peter says to Jesus “If it is you, bid me to come”. Of course Jesus had no choice but to say “Come” because it was Him. Peter steps out of the boat onto the water and he begins to walk to Jesus and this is a really amazing feat and I’ll tell you why. Peter was walking on the water by his own faith and not the faith of Jesus. He based his faith on the Words of God, but it was his faith that kept him from sinking, until he started thinking about what he was doing. You see the Bible says that Peter began to observe the wind and the waves and this caused something to change in his previous water walking faith level. This is an important faith lesson for you to learn today. It concerns the circumstances that you will also be faced with. If you begin to believe today that you are healed and tomorrow things look worse than they did today, what will your reaction be? You can clearly see by Jesus’s words that He told Peter you should not doubt. He asked Peter “Why did you doubt”. By Jesus asking this question it is obvious that it was Peter’s doubt that caused him to begin to sink, so it had to be Peter’s faith that caused him to walk on the water. What is doubt? Here is a definition from the Strong’s concordance of this word:
From G1364 properly to duplicate, that is, (mentally) to waver (in opinion): – doubt.
This word comes from a root word meaning twice. It is basically saying to us that those who are double minded are those who are in doubt. We can quickly learn that being single minded and focused is the state of faith and being double minded is the state of doubt. This word can mean to waver and this means to hesitate or change your confidence. It is sometimes difficult to understand when we are double minded and when we have thoughts from Satan that are contrary to having faith but we will have to learn the difference. Remember an earlier faith lessons I taught about the factor of having “confidence”? Having confidence today and not tomorrow is being double minded and allowing doubt to rule your life and your spirit. If you believe today that God has done what he has promised and tomorrow when it looks worse you no longer have the same confidence then you are in doubt. The Bible teaches us this that “We walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7). This means that we do not observe our surroundings with your physical senses and allow them to control us. What if Peter would have ignored the environmental circumstances while he was walking on the water and not looked at the wind and the waves, what would have happened? This is actually a very good faith lesson to learn and it teaches us to ignore the circumstances of life and to only focus on the rpomise of the Word of God. Keep your eyes on Jesus and the Word of God and ignore your external circumstances. Of course I’m not saying for you to stop taking your medicine or to do something stupid. I’m just saying keep your eyes on Jesus no matter what is happening around you. I believe that if Peter would have only looked at Jesus, they could have walked to the other side together. So this is the giant of doubt that will come to try to keep you out of possessing the Promised Land. I can almost guarantee you that all of these enemies will show up to fight against you. Even Jesus had opportunities to get into fear, to doubt, or to become worried, to waver or to allow the circumstance to overwhelm Him. But, He set the example for us to follow and we need to learn to follow Him and all of His ways. These are probably not all of the enemies in your faith battle, but they are some of the most important ones for you to learn about that I know of. Overcome the giant of ignorance by gaining the knowledge of God. Overcome the spirit of fear by resisting it. When the giant of doubt comes, keep your eyes focused on Jesus and He will see you through to victory. I hope that you enjoyed my Bible faith lesson about Possessing the Promised Land and that you can take away something that will cause you to become victorious. I still have a lot to talk about on understanding this subject of Bible faith, so please continue studying the Bible with me. God Bless.
If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons about Bible faith you can continue to “Part 9“.
Posted on February 19, 2011, in Bible Study, Faith, Understanding and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, Faith, God, Holy Spirit, Interpretation, Jesus, Knowledge, Prophecy, Religion, Revelation, Satan, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.