Understanding Bible Faith. Receiving Faith is Aggressive Faith! Part 16
(Ver 1.1) Today’s lesson is Part 16 in one of the most important Bible study series that I have ever shared with you about the subject of “Understanding Bible Faith”. If you have not read all of the lessons I would strongly recommend that you go and start reading with “Part 1” first and then continue through the series. I have been working on another subject entirely when suddenly the Holy Spirit woke me up early this morning and gave me the title to this lesson for me to share with someone that needs to read it. After the title was given to me, God then shared the scriptures to use in this teaching. So I am typing as fast as I can and I am hoping, praying and believing that I can write down everything that He said for you to read. I have touched on this specific subject in several other lessons, but this lesson will be much more direct about this specific revealed characteristic of faith in the Gospels and how that having aggressive faith is the same as having receiving faith. I’ll start by addressing what is aggression? Aggression can be viewed as a negative quality when misdirected for evil. But as I taught you before on the subject of “deception” that any negative quality can be turned to a positive for a good use or purpose. Aggression or aggressive behavior is one of these qualities that can be used for evil or for good. For example, if you know of people in the world that are starving it would be good for you to become aggressive to get them some food. That would be a pro-active pursuit of spreading a positive aggression. Negative aggression would be beating someone over the head to steal their money. Let’s start today by researching one of the definitions of “aggression”.
Aggression of course can be taken to an extreme with violent disregard for anyone else and that is not what I am attempting to teach you. Pursuing a goal and being forceful to achieve it is not always a negative unless it is directed for an evil purpose or plan. Every Bible subject must be balanced with every other Bible subject. For example, aggression is one of those Bible subjects that we must balance with the subject of “Love”. We are never aggressive towards our neighbors or our brothers or sisters. But as you will learn from what God said to me, we must learn to have aggressive faith in order to receive anything from God. I am going to give you several examples of people in the Bible that had direct aggressive faith and these should become the models for your faith that you possess.
What is the opposite of being aggressive? I believe that being passive is one possible way to define someone as not being aggressive. I have learned that when studying the Bible it is always very wise to review the unstated antithesis truth from any verse of truth that you are reading. In other words I am saying that when God gives us a direct stated truth in a verse, He also always gives us an unstated antithesis or opposite truth that we can learn from. That is why I asked you to think about the opposite of being aggressive. As we read through my scriptural examples today, observe who is passive and who is aggressive. You see I read the Gospels very closely and I could find no reference to anyone that was passive of ever receiving anything from God. Let’s quickly review a definition being passive:
This is an amazing definition. Can you begin to see the difference between being passive and being aggressive? Aggression is a show of force and being passive is a show of inactivity. The synonyms for being passive are “inert”, “inactive”, “submissive”, or being “flaccid”. Being flaccid is an interesting word that means that you have no firmness and you are like a Jell-O Christian. Therefore being aggressive is the active pursuit of one’s goals or desires with firmness. Being passive is the acceptance of whatever has happened to you without any response or resistance. Wow, the difference between those two realities speaks volumes to me knowing what I know about the subject of Bible faith.
When you read the Gospels closely and carefully you will discover a repetitious pattern for receiving faith. The majority of the people that received a miracle from God were never passive. Most of the time, they did not sit back and wait for anything to happen or come to them, but they were rather direct and forward, going to Jesus and taking what God was giving to them. I’m going to go through a story in the Bible that the Holy Spirit pointed me to and attempt to give you a different new perspective to what was happening and being taught so that you can learn what God was teaching us about being aggressive. We will read today starting in verse 2 of John chapter 5:
Joh 5:2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
Joh 5:3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
This is the beginning of the story in John about the pool of Bethesda. I want to first draw your attention to the fact that this was called a sheep pool. If you have read my other Bible lessons you might remember a lesson I did on symbolic sheep. Symbolically in the Bible sheep are a representation for the people of God. Goats are a symbolic representation of those that are not the children of God. Therefore we can understand immediately that this story here in John is relevant by indirect symbolic reference to be something that is needed by the church. Next, if you look up the definition of the word Bethesda it means the “house of kindness”. How should we view God’s extension of saving and healing Grace to the human race? I believe God’s Grace to heal and to save is a display of His great mercy and His loving kindness. Right from the start of this story in John we can see that this story is about the saving and healing grace of our God. Therefore we can apply our knowledge from this series and say this story is about two related factors working together for good. One factor was the grace of God to heal and save and the other factor we will soon see was the aggressive faith of the people that were present to receive their healing. Let me try to bring you up to speed by reading the next verse:
Joh 5:4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
Verse 3 of John 5 informed us that there was a great multitude of sick, lame and diseased people that were present at the pool. Why were they all there? The Bible says here in verse 4 that God sent an angel occasionally to stir the water and the first one in the water got healed no matter what was wrong with them. Do you understand the reasoning behind what is happening here? It sounds like a race to me with a starter gun signal to begin. The winner was the first one in the water and they took the whole prize for that day’s race. All of the other people were losers and they went home with nothing. Think with me for a moment and help me determine who got healed when the angel stirred the water? It sounds like it was more than just luck or a random chance that determined who got healed. The water was not healing when still but when stirred it would heal only one person. I believe sincerely that this one healing that occurred was placed upon the one who wanted it the most. It would only make sense that only the most observant and most aggressive person present would be the most likely one that got healed. Did you know that your aggressive desire was a factor for your receiving anything from God? Are you beginning to learn that your passive attitude is probably why you are not healed or receiving what you asked God for? This lesson of aggressive faith is definitely still true for us today. For example, in Matthew 7:7 Jesus implied that if you were not seeking that you were not finding anything. What does it take to seek something? Seeking is never sitting and doing nothing. Therefore seeking is an act of aggression and effort to search. Certainly the one that got healed in the pool made extraordinary effort to be the first one in the water. Therefore, God was teaching the people that being passive is never a good quality to possess for receiving from God by faith.
After this point in time when someone had just gotten healed in the pool, for those that remained waiting at the porches it is both good news and bad news. The good news after someone is healed is that one of the competitors for next time to be healed was eliminated but the bad news was that they are still not healed because they were not aggressive enough to get in first. I believe that every winner of the race that gets there first teaches all of those that were left that they better increase their aggression level the next time. Do you see what God was teaching the people by only healing one? You see once someone was healed the word will spread about this miracle occurring again and the next time the water is stirred there might just be more sick people present waiting to receive. God said in verse 3 that there were five porches of people that were all seeking to obtain the prize and that really sounds like a lot of competition to me.
I do not want you to misunderstand what I am teaching. You are not competing today to be healed with anyone else. That is not what God is doing. Today there is no pool, no angel and no water to stir or get in. You do not have to wait for healing; God only has to wait on your aggression to receive. I am teaching a concept today from a Bible pattern. I am not teaching you a natural formula to receive in a pool of stirred water. Quit thinking naturally and step beyond what you see with your eyes to understand the spiritual application. Step out of the natural story and look at this story from an applied aggressive spiritual viewpoint. Later in this lesson I will attempt to transfer the natural pattern to a spiritual way to receive, but I’m not ready to go there yet.
Let’s take this part of the story and apply what we have learned about Bible faith so far in this series to verify God is speaking about faith in this lesson. In one previous faith lesson I told you that having faith was like a woman being pregnant and expecting something to come to pass. Wasn’t that exactly what these five porches of sick people were doing there? If they were not expecting the angel to come and stir the water again why are they even present? Does misery just love company? Perhaps someone in town called a meeting for sick people and they were just there to stand up for sickness rights. I really do not think that is the case although some people feel better if they are not the only one that is suffering. Others in the world today want you to believe they have a right to be the way they are but that is just passive lack of faith to change. I often asked myself, how did this pool dip race get started? Why was there so many present on this day and who was the very first one that ever got healed to start the people coming to this location? I mean this race must have been going on for a long time if they had the time to build five porches to sit under. I do not really think that we are given all of the direct answers to those questions in the Bible. However we can still learn what is happening and why God is doing this by applying what we have learned about faith so far.
Do you remember how faith comes? Romans 10:17 says Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The presence of a great number of people proved that they heard something and believed what they heard thus they had the foundational basis for having faith even though it was not faith in God’s Word that I know of right now. Can you understand that everyone present at the pool must have heard the same report of previous healings that had occurred before? Can you also understand that in order to have faith they must also have believed what they heard and thus establishing their reason for being there? They no doubt had heard before that whenever the water had been stirred that someone had gotten healed before and believed it. Having a right belief in what God says or does is the classic foundation for having sound faith by definition. Since this was an angel sent by God, there is still an opportunity for the people to believe or doubt and do without.
How about this new question; what makes sick people stay around without any proof or evidence that the water will ever be troubled again? I believe that is an important question to ask and to answer. The answer to that question is called faith and faith is always based upon the concept of Bible hope. Do you remember what Bible Hope was? Bible hope is not a wishing that something might happen. Bible hope is defined as an “expectation” knowing that something is certainly coming. Bible hope goes back to the pregnant woman example. If you are expecting something to happen then you are aggressively preparing for it to occur. A pregnant woman doesn’t wait until after she has the baby to get the baby’s room ready to receive it? Wow, did you understand what I just said. If you are not making plans for after you are healed you are not aggressively in preparation with any Godly expectation. I believe that I just said something very valuable, so take hold of it and don’t let it go.
The people at the pool certainly had expecting aggressive faith by just being present and not sitting at home. But they also exhibited patience for the appearance of an unseen angel and the moving of the water was then their trigger for an even more aggressive action. Having patience is certainly a factor being taught in this story. No stirring of the water meant no action was necessary, if stirring of water is present then I better do something fast. This stirring was called a point of contact and this just gets into some more basic faith concepts that I have taught on before. Do you remember the contact point example that I talked about before. I tried to teach you to release your faith by your actions up until you know that you have made contact with the power of God. For example, the woman with the issue of blood did this by physically touching the hem of the garment of Jesus. Her physical touch of His garment was her pre-established contact point and the exact moment in time where she stopped being aggressive in her faith having believed that she had now received what she desired. Did you understand that statement? The woman with the issue of blood was totally aggressive to receive right up until the point that she touched Him and received what she said. What she said was “If I touch His garment I will be healed”. Therefore she aggressively fought her way through the crowd of the other people that were also trying to touch Him but because only she had faith attached with her extreme aggression did she receive her healing when they did not. The entire crowd was aggressively touching Jesus but the others only had aggression lacking any faith. Aggression is worthless without faith and faith is worthless without aggression. The woman after touching Jesus turned and stopped being aggressive. Do you understand what I am saying? The woman with the issue of blood can now go home knowing she is healed and she hasn’t even talked to Jesus or asked for anything. Of course Jesus felt the power leave Him and He immediately turned to see who had this kind of faith that takes without asking. Only this single woman in the whole crowd of people exhibited the aggressive take it faith that receives without asking or without praying. She was the only one in the crowd that believed what she heard about Jesus and came for it. This kind of receiving is still available from God today no matter what it is that you need from God. Let me teach you something new about the woman with the issue of blood story that I have not mentioned before. The woman with the issue of blood was healed in chapter 5 of Mark. But, wait and see what happens in chapter 6 of Mark a little while after this news spread about the woman getting healed:
Mar 6:56 And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.
Suddenly everyone that touches Jesus is healed but in one chapter earlier it was only one woman that received. What changed from chapter 5 to chapter 6? People heard that touching Him works and they all believed it now. Now they could come in chapter 6 with the same level of aggressive expecting to receive faith as the woman in chapter 5 and they all received their healing. From this information we can learn that the aggressive faith of one woman can produce aggressive faith in many others by them observing what had happened. Before in chapter 5, the people had inadequate information and lacked expecting aggression. But, now they have overcome their ignorance and achieved a new level of aggression to receive because they learned some new valuable information and believed it. What you do not know is usually what is keeping you from receiving from God. In Hosea 4:6 God says “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge..”. The only way to overcome this insufficient knowing is for you to learn. That is why I teach on this subject a lot. I hope you are learning it.
Let us go back to the person that was healed at the pool. It was only the first person with this aggressive expecting type of faith that received their healing at the pool and this type of aggressive expecting faith will still receive today. As soon as the first one was in the water they were done. They got up, got out and walked home just like the woman with the issue of blood would have done. Learn the lesson that is being presented to us from the Word of God and then apply the concepts to your faith walk with God’s Word. Whatever you need from God if you have found the scriptural promises that say that you can have it, and if you believe them without wavering it is your time to go and get it. Be aggressive and take; do not sit passively waiting to receive anything. Keep the woman with the issue of blood and the one that was healed first at the pool in the forefront of your mind as your examples to follow. Do not let the others around you keep you from being the one that receives. I’m again not talking of natural physical aggression but of a spiritual aggression since there is no physical Jesus present and no natural competition to contend with. However, the Spirit of God is present and the devils are present and this is the spiritual atmosphere realm that you are in now to receive. Let’s look at some more examples in the Bible of aggressive faith to insure that this is a valid pattern found to learn from:
Mat 20:30 And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.
Mat 20:31 And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.
See the two blind men in Matthew 20:30 and 31 and how when they heard that it was Jesus, they cried out loudly (aggressively) ignoring the opposing multitudes of people that were rebuking them for shouting. They immediately had aggressive faith because they heard. These two blind men received from God what they desired because of their faithful acts of aggression. Clearly the two blind men had faith in something that they had previously heard about Jesus otherwise they would not have known who He was. No one said it was the Son of David but they called Him by this respectful title. Clearly they had great opposition but they were not going to let anyone around them talk them out of what they knew they could have. Clearly this is another example of not being passive and allowing what has happened to them to stay as it was. They heard who it was, they believed in Jesus as Messiah, they took action, they cried out loudly, they expected to receive, Jesus heard them and they received their sight. This is exactly how receiving faith works. Let’s move to another story of a lame man that received:
Mar 2:3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.
Mar 2:4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
Mar 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
Review this lesson of the lame man brought to the house by his four friends where Jesus was teaching in Mark 2:4. The crowd present was so large that they could not get anywhere near to where Jesus was, but did they let that stop them from receiving? Clearly they were faced with great opposition, obstacles and challenges to overcome. No one was present yelling at them to leave but yet they still could not get near to Jesus because the people were not going to move and let them in. What did they do, did they give up? No, they went up to the roof top and made a large hole and dropped their friend down to where Jesus was. Wasn’t that another example of creative positive aggression? Weren’t these men thinking outside the box of limitations? If they would have been discouraged by the size of the crowd they would have went away without receiving anything, but since they made a way where there was no way they got exactly what they needed. This verse says that Jesus saw their faith. This type of aggressive faith caused them to go away victorious. I have just given to you 4 great examples of aggressive expecting faith. All of them were presented with challenges to overcome. No one in the Bible ever said that you will not have any opposition. No one in the Bible said it will be easy to receive a miracle from God. But, persistent aggression overcomes the enemy every time and receives.
CHANGING OUR PERSPECTIVE FROM THE NATURAL TO THE SPIRITUAL
Let’s put this Gospel information into a spiritual context with spiritual opposition rather than a natural opposition story with a physical Jesus. You see these Gospel stories were only given to you in the Bible in order to teach you about the reality of the coming spiritual things that you would be faced with in the right now. There are several scriptures that inform us of things in the Old Testament were given to us as patterns for coming unseen spiritual realities. If you do not understand this you will be mostly confused with reading the Old Testament. You do understand that everything in the Gospels prior to the resurrection of Jesus was nothing but Old Testament examples, don’t you? In lessons 7 and 8 in this series I talked about the concept of taking the Promised Land. God’s stated Bible promises are representative of the symbolic Promised Land that the natural nation of Israel was told to take (receive). This clearly was described to be a fight for the land between opposing aggression. That was a physical natural reality and we in the church are not them and we do not fight like they fought:
2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
To war after the flesh is a concept that too many churches today are promoting in their ignorance. One recent unnamed ignorant pastor made the national news by preaching we need to lock up all the gays and just let them die off. Wow, how stupid can one man be and be called a preacher of God’s Word. Does he not know how to read his Bible? We are not wrestling against flesh and blood (Eph 6:12) therefore people are not our problem? If you lock up people without addressing the real spiritual force controlling the people you have solved nothing. Homosexuality has been around since the days of Lot. Did the death of the gays in Sodom solve the problem of homosexuality? No, obviously not. The spirits that were in them are now in others in the modern world. We are not in a physical conflict. Let’s get back to the subject of faith and our spiritual war:
1Ti 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
Faith is defined to be and described to us as a spiritual contest very much like the race to get into the pool first that we read about today in the Gospel of Matthew. In every fight there is one winner and a loser. Therefore a fight is a competition of opposing aggression and the winner is usually the one that wants it the most. However, we have a problem now. How do you fight in the spiritual realm? Who is your spiritual opposition that you are fighting against and what causes you to win or overcome in this fight? These are very relevant questions. In lesson 8 on faith I went into some of the answers to these questions. I listed 4 spiritual enemies that you are presented with. Do you remember what these 4 spiritual enemies were?
These were four revealed internal spiritual enemy conflicts that you can control and fix. If you do not understand that you were born ignorant on the subject of faith and that you needed knowledge to overcome this ignorance, then why are reading my Bible lessons? Next, I talked about fear being an opposing force to faith. If you are controlled by what it looks like on the outside rather than what God said to you on the inside you are probably going to die or loose. The children of Israel let their fears, worries and doubts keep them from their possession. I’m not going to go through all of that information again, but I thought that you should familiarize yourself with those subjects again as being potential enemies to receiving from God. I sometimes go back and reread all of my Bible lessons on a subject to remind myself what I said. It refreshes my memory and puts it in the forefront of my mind like God told Joshua to do in Joshua 1:8. I would recommend that just because you have read these lessons once that you go back and reread them again and again because there is no way that can remember everything and you should review them periodically as a fresh meal from God. Just because I ate steak yesterday does not mean I do not like to eat steak again.
What is Spiritual Warfare? I did a lesson on this subject a long time ago and it might help you to go and review it, to learn about what other spiritual enemies there are that you are faced with and how you can fight them. In that lesson I talked about how our weapons of war are not flesh based. But, God has given to us spiritual weapons of war to fight a spiritual battle. I’m going to take one of those weapons and discuss it here again today for you to connect it with your spiritual faith fight and how it works to defeat your enemy. This weapon of war is called the sword of the Spirit and it is described to us as being the Word of God (Eph 6:17). This Sword of Spirit is just one part of the six piece complete armor package of God that we are commanded to put on. Have you put on your armor? If not you are about to lose before the fight even begins. Prior to the verses describing the six piece armor of God, God reveals to you who you are fighting:
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Why would it be necessary to fight a defeated foe? If Satan has been rendered totally defeated why are we putting on any armor? You really need to ask God some hard questions in order to understand the whole truth. What God has given to us by His Grace can only be received by your faith. Thus the good fight of faith is now still on with Satan. Satan is your number one enemy and he is at the top of the food chain in this category of spiritual oppostion. Every other enemy that you are faced with is a direct result of something that Satan is using to try to defeat you. For example, fear is a spiritual force produced by Satan’s words.
Therefore we are in a spiritual war or fight concerning our faith and belief in God’s Word. How do you fight this unseen spiritual enemy? We can directly learn how to fight by observing from how Jesus fought Satan and then apply this knowledge to how we must fight him. When did Jesus fight Satan? It was actually a continual fight all the way to the cross, but there was one specific written example of this fight and that is what we are going to study next. This spiritual fight is popularly called the Temptation of Christ. Turn with me in your Bible and follow along in the battle:
Mat 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
Here in this chapter of Matthew we can read about Jesus being led by the Spirit of God. One of the key words in this verse is given to us as “tempted” in this translated version of the KJV. However, this Greek word means significantly more than that narrow definition. This Greek word represents a “test”. A test is normally a measure of a person’s knowledge, skill or endurance. A test in school provides instructors with evidence or proof that you know the material taught to you in their class. If you pass the test you are good to move on, but if you fail the test you better go and study the material again. That is a descriptive example of the fight of faith that you are probably in right now. God is not the tester or the test giver. It is unnecessary for God to test you since He already knows the results. Do you understand God’s omniscient quality and why He does not to test you? God provides the material and Satan is the one that attacks you to see if you know it, understand it and can use it against him. That is what is happening in this “temptation of Jesus” story. Satan comes to Jesus and speaks 3 different things to him in sequence. This represented a three part test with each part of the test being graded separately with a pending sudden death failure penalty if one test is not passed. The one being tested is only passed to the higher level in the test if they got the previous part of the test correct. To me it sounds like a progressive test of endurance with progressive skill levels from basic to advanced levels. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Ok, let’s go through the test that Jesus endured and learn from it:
Mat 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
What was the first level of test brought before Jesus? Jesus had just fasted and not eaten for 40 days and the Bible says he was hungry. Satan came to Jesus with a basic flesh test. Satan gave Jesus the thought to turn the stones around Him into bread. This thought of food appealed to His flesh. His flesh was very hungry and would have loved to eat some physical food. Being in the wilderness there was no physical food present, so Satan tells Jesus to turn stones into bread. But, Jesus responded with the Word of God.
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Do you understand that in this faith fight that Jesus also had on the armor of God? You do understand that this is a spiritual fight that is occurring, don’t you? This fight example describes how Satan will attack you. It also describes how Jesus countered the attack of Satan. The only key offensive piece in the armor of God is the sword of the Spirit. The sword of the Spirit is the written Word of God (Eph 617). Jesus aggressively quoted a written verse of God’s Word speaking it with His mouth to counter Satan’s thought and because He believed it He passed this phase of the test.
Mat 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
Mat 4:6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Now we are seeing more of the intelligence of your enemy in test number 2. Just because you can quote the scripture does not mean that Satan cannot do the same right back at you. Satan is taking a small part of the Sword of the Spirit and attempting to use it to test Jesus on a higher level of spiritual conflict. It has now become a battle of wits, wisdom and Bible knowledge and not just a battle of the flesh that we observed in test number 1. Satan has just progressed up to a higher test level from the flesh to the realm of the mind. You see man is a spirit being that has a mind and he lives in a body. The progressive levels of testing go from the exterior to the interior and these are your body or flesh first on the outside followed by your soul or your mind in the middle layer in between your body and your spirit. And then finally the real you on the inside called your spirit is the ultimate realm of testing that can occur. Satan is moving from the easier levels to the more difficult levels using progression steps. I hope you are learning something new today and that it will make a change in what you see that is happening to you and how to fight Satan.
Mat 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Jesus just quotes the Sword of the Spirit to Satan and once again passes the test. Jesus did not debate the Bible with Satan, but also Jesus did not ignore the verse that Satan quoted either. Jesus quoted a higher truth that takes precedence over what Satan has said to Him. You see you cannot take one verse in the Bible out of context, misapply it and then think that this is all of the truth there is or is necessary to understand. This battle of the mind that is occurring proves to us that not all scripture is equal. We must balance and weigh each verse against each other verse to see if any of them are greater in importance. Just because Satan said you can jump and the Bible says that God will save you, Jesus was smarted than Satan and understood first the Bible doesn’t tell us to jump. Then Jesus understood that if I obeyed this suggestion He would be testing God’s ability to save. Therefore, Jesus said it is also written “Don’t test God”. Do you understand how the second verse that Jesus just quoted helps to interpret what the first verse that Satan just tried to use against Jesus meant? Therefore, the second verse represents a greater truth to know and Satan did not dispute it anymore and moved to the next level. This brings up a very important point. If you do not know what God says in His word how can you fight against your adversary Satan? Wow, that is probably why and how Satan is using your ignorance to defeat you. You need to spend a lot of time in the Word of God and get it into your spirit so that is what automatically comes out of your mouth in abundance when you are under pressure. Jesus did not have time to say to Satan wait a minute and let me look up that verse. I know it is here somewhere. No Jesus’ response was built into His Spirit and this is what you need to do quickly.
Mat 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
Mat 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Now we can see the final temptation is on a spiritual level. Worship is only what a spirit being can do to another spirit being. No other mammal on the earth worships anything or anyone? None of them set up shrines or temples to bow down to their gods. Only ignorant men have the opportunity to worship the wrong god and they have created many of them in the last several thousand years. This is an amazing set of illustrated steps of progressive levels of testing. Clearly Satan started at the flesh exterior level of the man and then worked his way into the spirit going through the mind. I believe that this is exactly what will occur with you in your faith fight.
Mat 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Here we have the final example of how to counter every level of attack and to overcome each progressive step of the test. In every case given the only weapon mentioned was the Sword of the Spirit when Jesus quoted what was written in God’s Word. I certainly do believe that the rest of the armor was present and a factor, but they were not what were emphasized in the lesson of how to overcome a test. Every other part of the armor of God is designed as a defensive part of the battle gear to keep you safe from the aggressive attack blows of your enemy, but only the Sword of the Spirit was designed to be a weapon that can be used to aggressively counter the attacks. After these three tests Satan really has no choice but to go away and try to fight another day with Jesus. I really hope that you understand how to better fight your faith fight. When Satan comes to you and says look at your symptoms of illness and that you are not healed, you can simply quote God’s Word and tell Him “By His stripes I was healed”. That is an example of the good fight of faith.
Possessing the promises of God is a spiritual battle with spiritual enemies. To win the battle you must get the Word of God built on the inside of you in your spirit and believe it with your whole heart. Your salvation was the greatest spiritual battle that required your fight of faith to posses. Let’s reveiw a verse in the N.T. and see how you fought this fight and won:
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Here is a single verse that describes the entire spiritual battle using one statement. This verse refers to the heart of man so that takes us into the spiritual realm immediately. This verse speaks of spiritual beliefs and that takes us into the faith fight. There are implied enemies, there are implied failures, there are implied weapons and there is a literal stated victory that can be achieved. Do you see it? It is amazing what God can put in one verse when you understand a few other verses. The confession of the words of your mouth is your sword of the Spirit in your armor. If you are not speaking out loud you are not fighting to win. If you want to be defeated don’t say anything. That is called being a passive Christian and just letting whatever happens, happen. No, confession is an aggressive use of your mouth to get what you desire. This verse is about the subject of desiring salvation, but that is a much broader subject and it includes much more than us just going to heaven some day in the future. Did you notice that this verse started out with “belief”. We are back to having faith in God’s word. Therefore we must have heard God’s Word, believed God’s Word and then spoke God’s Word. If your beliefs are not based solidly upon the Word of God then your spiritual fight is already lost. Let’s stop and look up the word “salvation” in the Strong’s dictionary to see what else this includes or applies to in your faith fight.
G4991 – σωτηρία sōtēria
Feminine of a derivative of G4990 as (properly abstract) noun; rescue or safety (physically or morally): – deliver, health, salvation, save, saving.
This Greek word can legally be translated as “delivered’ or “saved” or even “healed”. Therefore it is an all-inclusive statement including our physical wellbeing, our mental wellbeing as well as for our spiritual wellbeing and deliverance. You see God’s salvation does not exclude any area of your life only you do that by your unbelief in that area. Remember what I said earlier of the three levels of human existence? You are a spirit which possesses a mind that lives in a body. Therefore God provided “salvation” and “deliverance” to save from each realm of existence. No that does not mean that you will be problem free in life, we already know that is not the full truth. You still have an enemy that is alive and well trying to “kill, steal from and destroy” you (John 10:10). In this same verse in John, Jesus said “BUT I HAVE COME so that you might have life and that life more abundantly”. Did Jesus mean that life was later in the future or here available for us in the right now? I personally believe that He meant it for right now in this world. Later when we get to heaven there will be no need for salvation from anyone, or any need to overcome because there will be no more enemies present there. However, there are other truths written in the Bible that must be balanced that say “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). But in this same verse, Jesus also said be of good cheer because I have overcome the world. If you do not understand that Jesus set an example of how to overcome in the world for us to follow, then we would have a legitimate expectation to think that there is nothing for us to overcome. However that is not what the Bible teaches us. The Bible tells us that we also must overcome our adversities and our adversaries? At least 10 times in the New Testament we are commanded to be overcomers. Why would Jesus make this stipulation if Satan was already completely defeated and a non-factor?
Satan’s future is sealed in a gloom of darkness, but he is still trying to take down as many people as he can with him now. That makes him a significant angry aggressive spiritual force for you to overcome here and now. This enemy is trying to keep you from experiencing the abundant life that Jesus said was given to you in John 10:10. This life of abundance was much more than physical prosperity, but I believe that was included. I believe that our mental and spiritual health is much more important features to focus on instead of us getting rich or getting healed. However I did not say you cannot have it all if you that is what God says you can have. I’ll end this Bible study with this statement written from John and God to the church:
3Jn 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
John prayed that the people would prosper financially and have good health but he placed the final greater emphasis upon their minds and spirits as being the determining factor for both of these other benefits to occur. There is an implied association that if your soul and your spirit are prospering, then your health and your finances are also prospering. I am not a health and wealth preacher, but I do preach the Bible and I do not ignore one part of the Bible to remain pious to believe a selective spirit only salvation theology teaching. If Jesus only saved our spirits why is there so many other references taught on so many other subjects in the Bible? You have to completely ignore verses like this one in 3 John if you want to believe in a sickness and poverty bad news type of gospel. Why would John pray for something for others that was not the will of God for all?
My emphasis in whatever I teach is always for you to seek the God of creation and His Word to prosper you spiritually and mentally and the other parts of your life will come almost automatically after you do this. There is not a valid reverse order or approach to finding God or getting God to answer your prayer. You do not seek healing or prosperity and think that God will give them to you just because you need them. God does not consistently respond to needs, but God does consistently respond to faith. I learned this over and over in the Gospels and many other examples in the Bible. When you find out what God says in His word the needs will become insignificantly minor. I could give you many more Bible examples that prove this point but I will only quickly focus on one. For example Solomon asked God for only His wisdom and this wisdom made him one of the richest men of all of the men on the planet. That was how prosperity was supposed to work doing it God’s way. You need to change your focused approach to God today. Quit seeking healing or prosperity without first seeking the divine wisdom from the God who blesses and heals.
Start right now and pray “God help me to see me as you see me”. Then pray and ask God to bring correction and direction into your life and tell Him that you will change. Then pray and ask God for revelation knowledge of what His word declares. Ask God to open the eyes of your understanding and to enlighten your mind and spirit with His Great Wisdom. However, like anything that you pray for you must use the prayer of faith and believe that you received what you asked for when you prayed and before you see the answer. I did a whole lesson in this series on the Prayer of Faith. This means when it does not look like that you have any wisdom from God, this is the perfect time to believe God heard and answered your prayer and for you to say “I have the mind of Christ today”. “The wisdom of God is formed in my spirit”. “I hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and the voice of a stranger I do not follow”. After you do that you will soon see that God honors your request and has given to your mind new insight that you never had before. Before too long you will be teaching others God’s word on your own being healed and blessed. Thank you for your time and I pray that you have been blessed by what God gave me to say in the early morning hours to teach you. Alyaws remember that an aggressive faith is a receiving faith and a receiving faith is always an aggressive faith. I’ll try to move back to some other subjects that I have left before, but I do want to be led by the Spirit of God so that I can help someone to receive. So as long as the Spirit of God does not wake me with a specific lesson topic I will be going back to a recent study subject. God Bless!
If you would like to continue in this Bible study reading the next lesson please go to “Part 17” now.