Category Archives: Bible Study
(Ver 1.5) Today is the beginning of another in-depth spiritual study about “Understanding where sickness and disease came from”. I have been teaching a lot on the subject of Bible Faith and I got a comment that caused me to back up and think that I was teaching potentially in reverse order. You see there has been a long theological debate in many churches about the origin of sickness and disease. I have even heard preachers teach that sickness is a punishment or a correction sent from God. Of course this is based upon the erroneous assumption that just because God is sovereign that He always gets His will done no matter what. Also, there has long been a teaching in the some churches that since Paul had a thorn in his flesh that we must endure sickness the same way with great humility. These people have concluded again in error that Paul’s thorn was a sickness and thus they are wrong without reading what the Bible actually said. There are really too many false teachings for me to tell you about them all. What is important for us all to know and learn, is did sickness come from God? If it is something sent by God, then we should not be trying to get healed and this causes many people to stay sick. When I taught on faith I said one of the enemies to faith was doubt. Doubt represents a mental question in an area that you have insufficient knowledge or incorrect knowledge. For example, Jesus actually taught us in the Bible that healing does not occur as long as there are questions in our mind to whether healing is the will of God. Here is the lesson Jesus taught us:
Mat 8:2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
Here is a man that was fully diseased with leprosy. He believes that Jesus is fully able and powerful enough to heal him, but he does not know if it is the will of God to accomplish this request. This is a common point of failure to correct Bible faith even today. We have countless Christians in churches today that are taught the same things. It is not God’s will to heal today! God healed through the apostles, but that passed away when they died. I have heard many ignorant men making excuses for why they have no faith, blaming it either on others or God. They act like it was the apostles that were healing the people, when it was only God using the apostles to heal the people. Has God changed since the apostles died or is He still the same today? No God is the same today as He was yesterday! Then there are ministers who are like this leprous man, they believe that God is powerful enough to heal people so they pray “Lord if it be your will, heal this man”. What kind of prayer is that? It is a questioning or questionable faith full of doubts. These men who pray that way do not have the question in their mind answered to whether or not we can know the will of God about anything. But, if that was true then God would not have given us His Word in written form. We have the basis of proof of the will of God by examining the Word of God. As soon as God wrote down His spoken words in a book form, He has committed Himself to do what He has said or He will become a liar. Notice how Jesus answered this question given to Him by the leprous man and see if God is telling you right now what His will is for your healing.
Mat 8:3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
You can clearly see the will of God for healing being revealed by the Words of the Most High God. Jesus when He was physically walking the planet, taught us when you have seen me you have seen the Father (John 14:7). Jesus further went on to say “I do nothing of my own, but the will of the Father, I do” (John 5:30). If Jesus Christ is the revealed will of God from heaven, did Jesus ever make anyone sick? Take the time and go back and reread the Gospels and notice everything that Jesus does. Write them in a list on a piece of paper if you like, and then know this is the will of God for you. If you cannot ever find Jesus making anyone sick, then you cannot ever say God made anyone sick even if you have mistranslations in the Old Testament that say otherwise. I searched the Bible and I found Jesus only healing people after he would preach and teach. Healing must be the will of God then. Don’t take my word for it, you go and reread and search for yourself. It doesn’t take that long to learn the truth if you look for it. And if you cannot find it in the Gospels where Jesus ever made anyone sick, then this was God’s will for everyone in personal manifestation. So Jesus by His words and His actions has revealed the will of God is to heal ONLY! Please be smart enough to see this truth.
One religious man who graduated from a theological cemetery told me his wife had cancer that came from God. This man had a zeal for God but, no knowledge of God. If this was true, I will tell you right now that I would not want to follow that kind of God or that kind of religion. How do you tell people in the world come and get saved so God might give you cancer? Does that motivate you to want to get close to this God? Or is this a fear based religion like Islam, where you obey the law or we will cut off your hands. If God gives people cancer because they sinned, then here in the United States God would be easily convicted in any court of law as being a child abuser. Yet religious people think that God answers to a different law than man does. That is a very foolish presumptive thinking. If cancer is what a loving God does to His children, then what would an evil God do to his children? You see when the Bible says God is Love, how do you justify that He gave you cancer? You would have to redefine what Love is and that is a scary way to interpret the Bible. If I loved my wife so much and then I beat her because she did something wrong, I would be thrown in jail. Yet this reasoning is OK for a God you cannot see and throw in jail. It was also very hilarious to me that this man’s wife with cancer from God went to the doctor and received treatment to get out of the will of God for her life on the earth. Why go to a doctor to cure cancer if God gave you the caner? In this situation according to this man who was smarter God or the doctor? Why couldn’t this man go to God for healing instead of the doctor? It is simply because he thought that it was God that gave his wife the cancer so why pray for healing, just go to the doctor. It would appear that the doctor was smarter than God according to this man, if the doctor wants to cure people and God does not that is a major problem. People can truly be blinded by religion and not even know they are wrong. Let’s go back to the beginning of our world and see what God says to us about the things that He created:
Gen 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Here is God’s opinion of all of the things that He created. God looks at everything from the six days of creation and says it is all very good. What does “very good” mean to you? Did God create Adam or Eve as a weak or sick man or woman? Did God create them with cancer and call it good? I think you can easily conclude that after creation, there was no sickness or disease present in the world. If nothing else you can see that Adam lived over 900 years on the earth and that does not sound like a sick man at any time. In fact you cannot even find the words sickness or disease in this book of the bible until near the end of the book and into the next books of the Bible. The book of Genesis encompasses the first 2000 years of human history and there is barely any mention of sickness or disease in this time period. It is very clear to me that sickness and disease did not come from God and was not a designed plan of God by what He created in the beginning. But, you can believe whatever you want. If you look up the Hebrew word translated as “good” it comes from another word that can also mean “well”. If you are well, then you are not sick. If you are well then it is good! So obviously God thinks being well is good and being sick is bad or evil. This is not rocket science; surely you can see the truth of God’s word today.
Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
You see if you believe your sickness is God teaching you, correcting you or testing you; then you must conclude that it is something good based upon James 1:17! Is sickness ever good? Is wife beating ever good? Is child abuse ever good? If you think these are all good things then you are clearly confused and vastly deceived. I do not know of anything good about sickness. But, my opinion is the same as your opinion, worthless! Show me a Bible verse that says sickness is a blessing from God and I will believe it. It would have to be a blessing in order to qualify for it being good! Sickness steals your time, it takes your strength, it removes your ability to be a blessing to others, it causes your life to be shortened, it sucks away slowly your ability to do anything positive and your money is wasted in great quantities to get rid of it. Sickness and disease is a thief and a robber of your well-being, strength, your life and substance; I do not know what else to call it but an impressive evil. I have only shown you a few Bible verses and I can tell from this information that God did not send you sickness. If Jesus came to the earth to heal and cure people from sicknesses that God had sent on them, then that would be a house divided (Mat 12:25). God would have had to have been divided against Himself. Jesus would have been working against God and not for God. That would mean that God is schizophrenic, double minded and confused? God makes them sick and Jesus heals them. Too many Christians want to believe in a Dr. Jekyll and Mister Hyde type of God. Sure God will make you sick so that He can prove His power by healing you. That is a crazy mixed up Theology! Why heal them if you were the one that made them sick by your will. Do you understand the problem with many people’s confusing beliefs? God cannot be the same one that heals people that causes them to be sick or God would not be consistent and never changing (Mal 3:6), He would instead be the ever changing God. This is not what the Bible says to us, is it?
Act 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
You can clearly read from the Bible where sickness comes from, if you want to know the truth. Here is a verse that I use all of the time because it contains a lot of great spiritual information about good and evil. This verse is a self-evident claim that doing good is healing and this always comes from God. Think about it! How was the human body designed by God? It was designed with a built in immune system that fights against sickness and disease. If you get cut or scrapped, you do not have an eternal sore, your body has a built in self-healing machine mechanism. This was God’s designed plan in action. So when you read the Gospels did you ever see Jesus making anyone sick, lame, blind, crippled or diseased? Do you ever see anyone that Jesus said it is not my will to heal you? If you cannot find Jesus who was God in the flesh doing these things while He was personally here on the earth, then why would think that the same God in heaven does them to people now? Jesus clearly taught us, “When you have seen me, you have seen the Father”, so whatever we saw Jesus doing is what God does all of the time and Jesus only went about doing GOOD and healing. Do not make your God an Evil God who goes about doing EVIL and making people sick unless you can find where Jesus did it.
Here is where more people are confused. They allow Satan to blind their minds to the truth so that he can continue to cause sickness and disease to abide in them. A man recently told me that Satan is only allowed by God to do what God wants. So if Satan makes people sick, then it was God’s will for them to be sick. Again this is just more C.R.A.P. (Christian Rhetoric Applied Poorly)! I’m sorry I can be very blunt sometimes and I do not mean it to be hurtful, I only mean it to shock people into seeing the truth.
Where did God say sickness came from in Acts 10:38? God clearly called sickness satanic oppression in Acts 10:38. The devil is clearly Satan and sickness is from him and Satan is not God’s policeman sent by God to make people sick. Therefore sickness and disease is satanic oppression and the direct opposite of God’s definition of good. Go back and read the Gospels again and see who got healed. You have blind people seeing (Mat 15:31, Mat 21:14, Mar 10:51, John 9); you have leprous people’ made whole again (Luke 17:17), a woman with the issue of blood (Mat 9:20), a man with the withered hand (Mat 12:13), the dumb to speak (Mat 15:31), the lame to walk (Mat 15:31, Mat 21:14, John 5:9). These are just a few verses to show you who Jesus healed. There are many others that I did not mention. There are even several verses that teach us that Jesus healed every type of disease and infirmity (Mat 9:35) and everyone present (Mat 12:15) so if you did not see your problem being healed it is included in the other all-inclusive category of the type of people and sickneeses that Jesus healed. What I want you to notice is that God calls all of this satanic oppression. If it was sent by God then it would be Godly oppression and that is not what the Bible said. Neither would God have been there to heal them if He had been the one to make them sick.
Luk 13:16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
Here is another verifiable witness to the fact of the origin of sickness is from Satan. Jesus is asking a direct question that is still relevant and applicable to you today. He says that this woman is a daughter of Abraham; therefore she should be freed from this bondage of Satan. Think with me again and ask yourself this question; are you a son or a daughter of Abraham? If you are then you should also be freed from the bondage of Satan. Bondage is being held against your will as a prisoner. Did you know that was what sickness was? You could call sickness a spiritual jail cell that has kept you physically locked up from your freedom. It is clear to me that Jesus is saying you ought to be free today and this is why I say that.
Rom 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
According to God we in the church are called Abraham’s spiritual children today by our faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore what did Jesus say? Didn’t Jesus just say “ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham be freed from this bondage of Satan?” When you begin to see who you are in Christ, it should begin to change your perspective on if you should be healed. According to Jesus, you should be healed even on the Sabbath. Let’s back up and look at an Old Testament verse to change our perspective. Many times people look at scriptures in error found in the Old Testament to justify their erroneous beliefs that God makes people sick, so I’ll talk about one of these to potentially help someone:
Exo 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.
You can see a clear conflict in the English translation of this verse. This is why so many people are confused today. They do not research the words or study the definitions and they conclude things based upon Old Testament verses that you cannot find repeated in the New Covenant teachings. Yet, these are tough words to read. It would appear that God is inconsistent and that God shows favoritism and that God treats one nation differently than the other nation. If God heals Israelites and makes Egyptians sick then God is not the same to everyone. That is a major problem to me. It means that you cannot count on what God said and you cannot trust in God doing anything good for you or to you. It tells me that the definitions of God and Good are inconsistent and unreliable. It means the sun might come up in the west tomorrow because we just never know about how God does anything. Why would God give us a huge book of information about Himself if God did not want us to know who He really was? It does not make any sense to me. Let’s get back to the Hebrew words in this verse found in Exodus and become extremely picky to see exactly what God is saying to us. I want to make one extremely important point up front. First it does not say that God put the disease on Egypt. It was the translators that said that. Look at the Hebrew words translated as “I” will and see that in that statement within the context of Egypt there is no Hebrew word in the verse that can be translated directly as “I”. Do you understand this? It is an assumed reference and inserted because the translators thought that God was the one that made people sick. Now look at the end of verse and see the difference in the last part of that statement. “I am the Lord that heals you”. Now God uses a direct Hebrew word that can only be a personal pronoun of who God is and what God does. If God wanted you to believe that He is the one that puts sickness on people He would have used the same personal pronoun in the other parts of the verse so that you can associate it with Him. No, sickness does not come from God it only originates there by the minds of men who credit God with everything good or evil. Here is the same verse with the removal of the words “I” that do not occur in the Hebrew:
Exo 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, will put none of these diseases upon thee, which have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.
No you can see that someone still put sicknesses on the Egyptians, but we learned from the New Testament that this was not God, but Satan. It does not say God put the sicknesses on them. I am attempting to use the Bible to understand the Bible and to get you to see the subtle differences a few mistranslated words in the Old Testament can make. This verse still says “I am the LORD that HEALS” very plainly. So God is attributing healing to His work and not sickness. You of course can remain in darkness and still believe otherwise.
The major difficulty that people are facing today is the fact that the Bible contains two separate covenants. The Old Covenant was with a natural nation of people and the New Covenant is with a spiritual nation of people. In the Old Covenant, God hid the existence of Satan largely in symbolic references, unnamed references and in ways that allowed you to know something was there but not always understand what it was. In the New Covenant, Satan is revealed for who he is directly. Yet the majority of people today, who are confused, are those that are focused in only on the law of God and the prophecies of God without interpreting them using the revelations of God in the New Covenant given to the church. That is a huge mistake, it is no wonder we have so many different opinions in the world.
Let’s ask ourselves some really basic theology questions:
- Which Covenant are we in today?
- Which Bible pages and verses should hold more importance to us as Christians? Genesis or Revelation? Deuteronomy or Galatians?
- Are we under the Law or are we now under Grace?
Too many times Christians want to emphasize the Old Covenant and ignore the New Covenant reality. They only read things in the Old Testament that are important to them thinking that they apply to them. I can go through your Bible and look at what verses you underline to see what you choose to believe is important. If you spend more time in the Old Testament than you do reading the letters written to the church directly, then you are living under the Law of Moses and you ignore God’s Grace. I would strongly recommend that you take the time to go and read Deuteronomy chapter 28 and see what God says about blessing and cursing under the law. But before you do this go and read what God says about it in chapter 30 first:
Deu 30:15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
God clearly says Life is GOOD and death is EVIL! These are two different perspectives of contrasting opposite events. Births are good and deaths are evil. You could also say healing is good and sickness is evil. You can go down the list of opposites and clearly see God is teaching you something you should understand clearly. Then God says this to you:
Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
It appears the choice to live or die has been placed upon humans. This goes against a Sovereign Predestination theology that is clearly wrong. Now go back and read chapter 28 about the blessing and the cursing of the Law of Moses. If you go and read down the whole chapter you will see many diseases being named by name. Then in verse 61 you will find this statement:
Deu 28:61 Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.
So the curse of the Law includes “every sickness and every disease” that is not named in this book as well as those that are named. Do you understand this so far? What we conclude from this chapter is sickness is a curse and healing and health is a blessing. What did God tell us to choose? Was it not life to live? These are very simple truths found in the Bible yet many people just ignore them. Here is a New Testament reality that will help you if you can see it:
Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
According to God, what were you redeemed from? You soon learn the difficulty in the teachings of confused people who do not know the truth. We can very clearly see that if Christ has redeemed us (PAST TENSE) we have been freed from all sicknesses and all diseases that were listed in that chapter 28 of Deuteronomy and even those that were not named directly. According to God He did not leave out any sicknesses or diseases in that chapter so that means all of them! If Jesus Christ came to redeem you from sickness and disease then there is NO WAY that God is sending you sickness or disease to kill you. This would again be God working against Himself and a clear Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type of theology.
I am attempting to alleviate the questions in your mind that God sent you sickness. It is a difficult subject for some people to accept because of the things that they have been deceived into believing about God. I hope if nothing else you will start to go through your Bible and see the Jesus who revealed the true nature of God in the Gospels. Then go and read the Letters written to the church about how God is Love, the Grace of God, the Goodness of God and the mercy of God. Learn to see the real God and who He is today in the New Covenant. If you want to, you can also go through the names of God given to you in the Bible. The names of God in the Bible always reveal the character of God! You will see God called “Jehovah Raffa” which means “I am God Your Healer”! You will never see the name of God called Jehovah Makes You Sick! Yes there is coming a judgment of God and this will occur during the tribulation and the time shortly thereafter. But, do not confuse the Judge God with your Father God. Perhaps I will have time to discuss a balanced approach to understanding the character of God. Ok, I have a lot more to teach on, but I have gone too long today. If you want to learn more about where sickness came from in the Bible, please come back and read with me again. God Bless!
If you want to continue reading in this series about the origin of sickness and disease, please continue with “Part 2“.
Mat 16:3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
(Ver 1.1) This is Part 2 in a series of advanced Bible lessons on the subject of the signs of the end times. If you have not read from the beginning of the series I would recommend that you go and start with “Part 1“. In the news the last few days the great earthquake in Japan has been very disturbing to many people. However, this is really nothing new, is it? Here we have a major Biblical prophecy unfolding before us and people are very surprised that it is happening. If they would only read their Bibles they have had seen God tell them it was coming. Over the course of the last few years we have had major quakes in Japan, New Zealand, Chile and Haiti. As recently as 2004 we had one of the greatest earthquakes ever registered in the Indian Ocean that caused a massive Tsunami that killed almost a quarter million people. They are predicting that the earthquake in Japan has killed up to 10,000 people. In Chile and New Zealand there were both less than a 1000 deaths. But, in the Haiti earthquake last year there were around 170,000 killed. These are not all of the quakes, just some of the major ones that have made the news because of the deaths and devastations that have occurred. I believe looking back over our history; the largest recorded earthquake occurred around 1964 in Alaska and it measured 9.2 on the Richter scale. So this was less than 50 years ago. While I do not like what is happening, I can read the signs that are being presented to us that the earth is coming to the end of the age. I know there are many confused Christians that do not believe that and I’m sorry that you cannot see the truth. From everything that I have read in the Bible, it is not going to get any better; but, according to God it is going to get much worse. In other words what we have witnessed in the last 50 years is nothing compared to what is about to happen on the earth. I do not want to be a doom and gloom preacher, but I feel like it is somebody’s responsibility to be realistic and warn people of what is coming. I am not here to sell you a book by hyping something up. What I tell is for free. Here is some of the important things that Jesus taught us in the Bible about what is happening right now:
Luk 21:10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
Luk 21:11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
I am not acting as a prophet and telling you what will happen today, I’m simply reading the greatest prophet Jesus and seeing what He said to us. In verse 11 Jesus said there are coming “great earthquakes”. Look up the definition of this word “great”. It is the Greek word “megas” that means big, large and mighty. These are just a few things in the Bible that describe what is happening in the world. All of these could be from a story given on the evening news cast. We have seen wars, but these are nothing compared to what is coming.
1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
God says that there are more wars on the horizon to come and therefore, be warned! Many will die! Be warned! God says that when everyone cries for peace and safety in the world that destruction will fall suddenly upon them. Notice I’m not calling for peace or safety in this blog. Did you notice that? There will be Global climate changes, floods and natural disasters that will cause the world’s food supply to dwindle to nothing. Many will die! Be warned! We are not through with the earthquakes either, there are more big ones coming and many will die. Be warned! Fear will become prevalent with all non-Christians. Be warned!
Luk 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Jesus in the same discourse tells us of great fear that will begin to come on men. This fear will cause their hearts to fail and for them to fall dead in the streets. Do not think this is not happening today, it is all around you. Heart failure is the number one killer in the world. Look it up and see if heart failure is not the leading cause of death in the world today.
Luk 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
The potential for Tsunamis is also a growing threat to many people. If you live near a coast, be warned! If you live near known fault lines then be prepared, it is coming! If the seas and waves are roaring as Jesus had said, then there is something causing them like the Japan earthquake this week. The roaring sea wiped out many things, cities, boats, trains, cars, houses, buildings and these all happened in a matter of seconds.
I do not believe that God is causing these things to happen, but yet God knows that they will happen and He tells us of them before they occur. Always remember that God knows the end from the beginning, so nothing is catching Him by surprise, it is only those who ignore His Word that are caught by surprise. I believe that we are very, very close to the return of Jesus. I saw a man on TV the other day that Jesus appeared to in a vision and told him, tell my people I am coming soon. I don’t know about you, but I believed him. Jesus is preparing those who are listening to be ready. To those who do not believe in the rapture, he is saying this is what will happen and why we are gone. You see when we disappear from the face of the planet, there will be many deceivers trying to tell you what happened to us. Since these people were so easily deceived in not believing in the rapture, I think they will continue to be easily deceived into other lies.
Rev 16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
Here in this chapter of Revelation, it appears things get dramatically worse. We also seem to see that God has gotten personally involved and has sent angels to pour out the wrath of His fury. God predicts the greatest earthquake in the entire human history is coming in Revelation 16. If you have never read the book of Revelation you are missing a view into a seven year descriptive time that is about to happen. I do not know exactly when it will happen, I just know it is not long from now. So I sound like a “Chicken Little” Christian telling you the sky is falling. If you think this year is bad and the worse that it can get, I can only tell you to ignore me and tell me what happens next year, if I am still here. I am not setting a date, I am not telling you the world is ending tomorrow, I just know things are happening very fast right now. It is like time is accelerating to a climax.
So if you don’t agree with my assessment of the world’s situation from the Bible viewpoint, then that is OK. You do not have to write me a nasty comment. If you just wait a few months we will both see who is right, you or me and you won’t sound like a fool if I’m right. If I am right then I won’t be here to look like a fool, because Jesus said this to me:
Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Jesus personally told me that when I see these things beginning to happen. Did you notice that? Jesus said this was the beginning and not the end of them, so there are definitely more to come. Do you choose to believe what Jesus is saying to you? I definitely do! Jesus told us, fear not, for when these things start to occur you should look up and see that I am coming. I personally believe that Jesus is coming only for those who are looking for Him. So if you are not looking for Him to come, He will not bother you.
Luk 21:27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
We shall behold Him in His Power and Glory in the sky. Therefore, He is not coming to set foot on the earth this time. This is just a coming to catch away His people from the coming turmoil and destruction that will occur on the earth. I really do not understand why people would not want to believe in the rapture, it is right there in front of them and even Jesus describes it to us. Please be wise and heed the Word of God. These are not my words so I am not offended if you do not believe them. Just know that someone tried to tell you what was happening before it happened and you had a chance to hear it. Do you discern the signs of the times? God Bless you to see them!
(Ver 1.3) Today is Part 11 in a series of advanced lessons on Understanding Bible faith. If you have not been reading this series from the beginning I would recommend that you go and start with “Part 1”. I think I shocked people with my last Bible lesson on faith and sex. It is amazing how many people read it but did not comment. What do you think when God said you can clearly see the invisible qualities of me in the things that I have made (Romans 1:20)? When I read that verse it made me start looking around at the things that God has made and then I would attempt to learn about God from them, but I guess many people close their eyes and ignore the fact that God made things like sex and marriage and they pretend they don’t exist. As a result they miss the obvious spiritual things in the Bible that God is trying to teach them. You need to start becoming a Sherlock Holmes type of Christian detective and start looking for God in the clues that He has created all around you, for you to find. These are the invisible things of God hidden in plain sight. If you like this series of lessons and have learned something, be brave and leave me a comment.
Faith is a complex subject found in the Bible. God teaches us something about faith in practically every book of the Bible. Faith is a predominate theme of the Bible. Yet so many people do not understand it or they would understand that God says that without it you will never please Him (Heb 11:6). This subject of Bible faith is complex because it involves many other dependent factors and subjects that are also taught in the Bible. In previous lessons, I taught you that everyone in the world has faith in one thing or the other. But, few people have faith in God and His Word. If you believe that Buddha is your way to the state of eternal happiness, then you will soon be very disappointed, but you at least do have faith in Buddha. Jesus the God of the Bible taught us that there is a very narrow way to God that few find and He taught us to search for this path (Mat 7:14). Since we know that Jesus is this path (John 14:6) and that He was the only way to the Father we can have confidence in His words as being faithful and true, if we have believed in Him. Today I heard the national news report on an upcoming book written by a self-proclaimed man of God. You must realize that just because a man says he is a Christian and writes a book, does not mean what is written is based upon the truth. This preacher is teaching people in error and has written a book that claims there is no hell. What an ignorant deceived blind man. Here is what God says about this man’s opinion:
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
We are living in the last days as this scripture is being fulfilled right now. The sinners of the world are departing rapidly from sound doctrine and they want to exalt men who will teach only what they want to hear. A spirit of tolerance and acceptance is what they are after and they will flock to a deceiver whose lies scratch their itchy ears. Beware when a man ignores a large part of the Bible to teach you another part while misapplying it. The word “hell” occurs over 50 times in the KJV Bible. It is also referred to many other times in other scriptures while not being directly named. For example, Jesus spoke frequently about it, telling you there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth there (Mat 8:12, Mat 13:42, 13:50, Mat 22:13, Mat 24:51, Mat 25:30 to show you 6 references found in only 1 book of the Bible). This blind man is teaching that a loving God would not send people to hell. We obviously understand from scripture that God is love and I do not deny this fact. However, this man has exalted one truth in the Bible and has made it the entire truth and this is a very dangerous type of man to follow. You see he is ignoring the Holiness of God, the Wrath of God, the Power of God, and the Judgments of God in favor of only the Love of God. If you do not balance your theology and teaching with every truth in the Bible you are falling into error and deception. You see, I do not deny the fact that God so loved the world that He gave Himself as a sacrifice for us. What I am teaching you today, is that there is more in the Bible than Love. I’ve already written other Bible lessons on this subject of “Why Do People Go to Hell”, and “The Biblical Evidence for the Existence of Hell”. So if you want to know the truth go and read about it, otherwise I’ll miss you in heaven.
I’m sorry I got off the subject of faith, but liars and deceivers cause me to get into righteous anger. I do not appreciate people who are leading others down a path of destruction simply to sell a book and to make some money. Somebody needs to stand up and tell the truth regardless of what it costs them. I have determined to try to do this. Today’s lesson is about “How to have great faith”. If you have read this series you know that your faith is measureable. You also know that your faith level can vary from none to overflowing. Jesus only looked at two people in the Gospels and told them they had great faith. This was not a derogatory put down; rather it was a praise of the highest magnitude from the Supreme Spiritual Power of the Universe. Jesus tells us very clearly in the Gospels that He was looking for people with faith while He was here on the earth. It further goes on to say that He will be looking for people with faith when He returns for us (Luke 18:8). So it must still be important to learn how to have great faith today. When Jesus ran across individuals who possessed a level of faith that exceeded His expectations, Jesus would stop and marvel saying “I have not found so great of faith in all of Israel”. Therefore, we are going to examine these people that marveled Jesus to find out, why they had such great faith and see if we can become a God marvel also. We will begin with this verse about a woman that caught God’s attention:
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.
I want you to notice in this verse that the Bible says because of this woman’s great faith, her daughter was made whole again. The Greek word translated as “made whole” means to cure or heal. We can therefore conclude the daughter was sick or diseased. The majority of the time when people came to Jesus asking for help it was because they needed physical healing. So today’s lesson is about how to receive healing from God and you might need to know this also, because He is still the same today as He was back then (Heb 13:8). This is actually a very good faith lesson found in the Bible to learn from. We will back up in the chapter and go verse by verse through the information to learn from the context of how this woman possessed such great faith.
Mat 15:21 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
Here is Jesus going into the outer fringes of Canaan into the Gentile population. In these days the Jews mostly settled in and around Jerusalem, but the cities outside of this realm were heavily populated with the Gentile nations. I want to point out that Tyre and Sidon are not even close to Jerusalem. The cities were on the Mediterranean coast nearly 30 miles from the Sea of Galilee through mountainous terrain. Jesus was obviously getting far away from the Jews to be in such a place. It also had to take Jesus significant time to travel to reach this area. You might recall that I have said before that God will move heaven and earth to get to someone with faith and I believe that Jesus is not in this area by chance or accident. Keep this in mind as we continue through the lesson.
Mat 15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
Now we are told about the woman for the first time. She is being described to us as a person that is from the coast. She is also described to be a Canaanite which is the greater region’s name sake. Canaan consists of a broad stretch of land and is often called Palestine by many non-Jewish people. This is a wide land area that encompasses land from south of Jerusalem all the way to the north where Tyre and Sidon are located. We know from Genesis 9:18 that Canaan was a son of Ham, one of the three sons of Noah saved in the ark by God. So the Canaanites were descendants from this branch of the family of Noah. It is also interesting to note that in Genesis 9 that Canaan is cursed to be a servant of his brothers by Noah. These are just interesting Bible background facts that are good to note. When I read this story of the Canaanite woman in Matthew, I wondered how the description and message of Jesus had reached a woman all the way on the coast. It is obvious that news traveled in this land even without cell phones. Also note that she is not a Jew, but she calls Jesus the Son of David a covenant title of respect and honor. It also implies that she understood what God had said to David in the O.T. that David’s Son would sit on his throne forever. God had told David that his son would build God a house for His name and He would sit upon your throne. I also wondered how she knew it was Jesus. Was it the presence of the disciples with Jesus or was it what He was wearing, or how He was acting or speaking? Jesus obviously did not walk around with a giant name tag hanging around his neck saying “I’m the Son of David Your Messiah”. Neither was Jesus identifiable by a halo around His head. The angels of the Lord did not surround Him with a visible wall of protection and His appearance had to resemble every other man. It does not say that Jesus has spoken or taught anyone directly in this area. I could only find the following scripture about Tyre and Sidon in Mark:
Mar 3:8 And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.
It would appear that information about Jesus spread by word of mouth. I could not find a direct reference where Jesus ever taught in these cities, yet it clearly says the people there heard of Him and came looking for Him. So when a stranger comes to your town, do you automatically assume it is Jesus the Messiah? I honestly do not know how to answer that question. There was something that this woman must have heard about Him to cause her to know it was Him. We have learned that the Bible says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So we can easily assume that since Jesus said this woman had faith, she must have heard the Word of God at some time in her recent past. We are told that she comes to Jesus and asks Him to deliver her daughter from a devil. What was Jesus’ reaction to the words of this woman? This is where the story starts to really get good to me.
Mat 15:23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
Silence was the answer from the Master. That is not what she was after, was it? The disciples who were with Jesus asked Him to send her away. They think that they are the reason for her presence, but they are clearly confused. She had not said anything to them at all. I want to introduce you to a new factor for having great faith and a new partner to receiving anything from God. What does it take to come and ask anyone for help? In the world we live in there are homeless people everywhere you turn. What does it take for them to ask for help? Wow, that is a tough question for people with pride to answer. You can clearly understand that it takes humility to come to ask anyone for help. Of course if you are desperate then you might say people act out of desperation. But, even desperate people can die with pride and not ask for help. No, you have to humble yourself to ask anyone who is capable of helping to help. There is no room for having pride if you need something from God. If you are too proud to ask God to help you, then you are truly in trouble. The Bible says that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). So if you are need of anything that God can do for you, please learn to come to Him in reverent humility. Watch the actions and words of this woman and see what you can learn about what your ways should be.
Mat 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Jesus finally speaks and says something very strange. He tells the woman that He was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. That is a very revealing insightful statement about many things, especially since we see the fact that Jesus purposely left the lost sheep of Israel to get to where this woman was. What is a lost sheep of Israel? First, the name implies that they are no longer in the house of Israel, because they have wandered away and become lost. Do you understand the conflict that is arising in what Jesus has said? Where is Jesus right now? Who is Jesus speaking to? Jesus is in a Gentile costal village of people who He just said He was not sent to. Wow, is God confused? I don’t think so! What we understand from this lesson is that faith will cause God to go out of His way to help someone no matter who it is or how far He has to go. Next notice this, what was the woman’s reaction to the words of Jesus? Jesus had basically told her I was not sent to help you.
Mat 15:25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
Here is where her humility begins to kick in and to shine. Notice how she remained focused, persistent and confident that she was in the right place at the right time. This woman did not give up, nor did she throw away what she had heard because of what she is experiencing right now. You should learn from this woman all that you can to duplicate her efforts. Also notice she is worshipping God. If you want to receive from God, learn to worship Him. If it could not get worse for this woman, it suddenly does:
Mat 15:26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.
Jesus calls this woman a dog and that would cause most religious people to get angry and start yelling about “Who do you think you are?” “Who do you think you are calling a dog?” If Jesus called you a dog, what would have been your reaction? Here is a golden opportunity to get offended at the word of God. Do you know that people getting easily offended is one of the greatest enemies to why they do not possess the Promises of God? I guess I didn’t teach on this enemy before. Offense is a powerful weapon of Satan. Take and learn from this woman, she is not angry, upset, offended nor does she get up to walk away from her answer. This woman was too smart and wise to allow the words of God to offend her and she says this:
Mat 15:27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.
This woman simply agrees with God and said you are right I am a dog, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the masters’ table. WOW! Was that a great reaction or what? You see if you have ever had a dog in the house while you are eating supper you know exactly what she is saying. Children and people accidently drop things off of the table and before you can bend over and pick it up they are gone. A crumb falling from the table is not there long enough to be a problem. Learn what she is saying today. The dog is so focused on getting anything dropped, they do not care what it is and it can be a very small crumb and they are all over it. Do you see why this woman is about to receive from God? She is the dog looking for the crumb. Always agree with God and always stay on God’s side. If He calls you a dog, you just smile and agree. Of course if you are His child now, He is not going to call you a dog, just learn what is happening here and do not get easily side tracked.
What is Jesus teaching us in this faith lesson? Do you remember what the woman came for? Her daughter was being grievously vexed by a devil. What does that mean? By looking up the words “grievously vexed by a devil” in the Strong’s we learn that the child was possessed by an evil spirit that caused her to be greatly sick or diseased. We understand one of the reasons that Jesus came to the earth was to do the following:
Act 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
The Bible tells us very clearly that Jesus was anointed by God to heal those oppressed of the devil. So when a woman comes to Jesus because her daughter is possessed by a devil that makes her sick, this is one of the reasons we are told that Jesus was here. However, notice again what Jesus said in Matthew 15:26. He said “I have the children’s bread and it is not for dogs”. Remember she is asking for Jesus to heal her daughter and Jesus says this “bread” is only for the “children”. Do you understand what Jesus is saying? Jesus is saying healing is the children’s bread. This of course is a hard saying of Jesus to fully comprehend. The woman is talking about healing and Jesus is talking about bread. How did He make that transition? It is clear to me that Jesus is not speaking of physical bread, butHe is speaking symbolically of something spiritual. Therefore we must determine what this spiritual bread is? This is why you have to use the Bible to interpret the Bible or you will be totally confused.
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.
Here is Jesus teaching us using another radical shift with the transition of words. Here we have God in the flesh beginning to talk about natural bread and then moving into the spiritual realm and telling you that the Word of God is this true bread from heaven that will cause you to live. Jesus is basically revealing the definition of spiritual bread in this verse. God’s word is proclaimed to be this spiritual food. Of course Jesus is simply quoting this information from an Old Testament prophet Moses found in Deuteronomy 8:3. If you read this verse you will know that the bread from heaven was a type of food given to the children of Israel called manna. This was equivalent to a spiritual food source and Jesus teaches us that this bread comes from the mouth of God when He speaks.
Joh 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
If you read the context of this verse you can clearly see that Jesus is comparing two things. Natural things are being compared to spiritual things. Jesus is calling natural things false and spiritual things to be the true. I hope you can see this. Here is God telling you something very significant about spiritual things. Jesus is saying I have come to bring you the words of life. Jesus is inferring His words have life in them that causes people to live and even to get healed. Here is an Old Testament scripture that will fit in very nicely with our study today:
Psa 107:20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
As you can again see from this verse, God says “I sent my Bread and the bread Healed them”. So when Jesus is telling the Gentile woman that healing is the children’s bread, He is referring to His words as being the bread of life that brings healing. Jesus then told the woman these words are only for the children at the table. But, the woman makes a statement that truly astounds God. She said it won’t take but a crumb from the table to heal my daughter. This is so powerful if you can see it. The woman did not ask for any of the bread, she only needed a crumb and God called this having great faith. The woman recognized that the Power of God was in His Word and that it did not take great power to heal even a significant disease. Change your perspective today to see your disease as insignificant compared to the power of God which is far superior. Many times people are so consumed by their circumstances they lose sight of the power of God’s Word. Shift your focus so that you understand that it does not take very much power to heal any disease. You only need a crumb like this woman needed to fix her problem. God called this great faith. If you noticed this story of the woman, she went away to her home and her daughter was healed already when she got there. Here is a review of the key factors we learned in this faith lesson today:
- Humility, Stay Humble to Receive God’s Grace.
- Persistence, don’t give up even if it looks worse.
- Not being offended when you are called a dog.
- Worship the God who can solve your problem.
- See your problem as being small and insignificant.
- See the Word of God as Powerful and capable of solving any problem.
- Expect a Crumb to solve Your Problem.
Today’s study was another very different faith lesson found in the Bible about the faith of dogs eating crumbs from the table of the Master. Remember what Jesus said? Jesus told us that “Healing was the children’s bread”. Are you one of His children? I know that I am. The Bible calls us His children in several places for example: Romans 8:16-21, 9:26, Galatians 3:26, Ephesians 5:8, 1 Thessalonians 5:5 and 1 John 3:10. If God calls us children and God says “healing is our bread” now, then why don’t we have it? You better learn to partake of the true bread from heaven. I hope and pray that you learned something from this lesson today and that you can apply it to your situation. If the Word of God is not relevant to you today then it will never be relevant to you at any time. You may not need healing, but there is always something that can be challenging you. The Bible faith concepts work for whatever the situation when applied correctly with the right attitude. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading in this series of lesson on understanding Bible faith you may go to “Part 12“.
(Ver 1.2) Today is Part 10 in a series of advanced lessons on Understanding Bible faith. If you have not been reading this series from the beginning I would recommend that you go and start with “Part 1”. These words in my title ask some specific questions that you might ask a pregnant woman. Did you know that God created these natural processes to mimic and reveal to us the spiritual process of having faith? You might be amazed to find the parallels in the Bible to these two realities, if you search for them and you can see the connections being taught. Hopefully I will not get to graphic today, but this is a mature Christian subject since I might have to discuss sex. I am personally glad that God created sex and not me. Since it was nothing that I invented it is nothing that I can take credit for. Obviously God created this activity for the bonds of covenant marriage and I might talk about that today also. Do you recall how people get faith? If you do, then make the transition to this next question. How does a woman normally get pregnant? You see my difficulty beginning to teach this subject today, don’t you? In the modern world this can happen artificially, but in the world created by God if there was no sex, there were no babies. We can tell by the nearly 7 billion people and growing on the planet that there has been a lot of sex. Well today I am going to teach you about the spiritual concept revealed in sex and pregnancy that corresponds to God’s spiritual development of you having faith in God. So natural babies, start by people having sex. That is a basic viewpoint that seems rather obvious to me, but yet on the news and in our government they seem to forget this fact when it comes to allowing abortion. If there was no sex there would be no abortions in the world and nobody wants to talk about that. Oh well, I guess I better not go there today or I’ll get off track again.
The concept of the husband sowing seed into his wife to have children is definitely a self-sustaining and self-perpetuating God created design of nature. If you have never read my Bible lessons on “Understanding Seeds” then you might not understand that the sperm of a man is called his seed. The human sperm is the natural seed of human life and it is required to perpetuate our race. Calling multiple things by the same name “seed” is a complex technique used by God to conceal and reveal spiritual information in the Bible. God uses the word “seed” to refer to around 10 different things in the Bible and all of these while different are very similar in design. You see the “Word of God” is also called the “Seed of God” in Mark 4:14 and Luke 8:11. We understand that God is a Spirit so God’s words are spiritual in nature. Jesus said “the words that I speak unto you they are Spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). We can therefore, conclude that God’s Words are the spiritual seeds of life. We are already beginning to establish a direct connection between natural things and spiritual things by God’s interchangeable usage of the word “Seed”. You might recall that in an earlier Bible lesson I taught you where Bible faith comes from. Let’s review a verse that I gave you before:
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
How does faith come? It comes by you hearing God’s Seed! Did you get the transition that I just made? I can legally interchange “Seed” for “Word” by the laws of mathematics created by God. If you do not understand these laws then you have never taken an Algebra class or you took the class and you didn’t learn anything from it. What God is telling you, is that planting God’s Spiritual Seed into your heart (spirit) is the equivalent to a husband planting seed into his wife and them having a baby. You plant a seed and you get a crop. It is a basic design from God and it is really not that complicated.
Psa 62:5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
You see there are many strange verses found in the Bible that can literally be taken several different ways simultaneously. This one in Psalms is no different. Here is a verse that speaks of someone expecting from God. This is the same concept that my wife told me when she said “you are the reason that I am expecting”. Since I am teaching on the subject of being spiritually pregnant with the Word of God, what does a spiritual pregnancy infer? Technically speaking if you have faith, you are expecting God to do what He has promised. This is the concept of being spiritually pregnant. Now, this concept is certainly more familiar to women, but yet if your wife has been pregnant you have at least an external perspective of the situation. What occurs when a woman gets pregnant? Things inside her begin to change and as time goes along, there is a growing force of eager expectation for the baby to come to fruition. This concept is really no different than a farmer planting a field with a crop seed. He plants the seed into the ground and then goes into expectation mode to wait for the crop to produce so he can harvest it. Harvest time is akin to delivery time in a pregnancy. This is the basis of Bible faith also. God is revealing to you that you better be expecting His word to come to pass. A woman is expecting to be delivered of her child when the time arrives and so it is with having faith. If you expect God to deliver you from your current situation, then He will, however if you do not expect God to do anything then He will do that also.
Pro 10:28 The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.
If you do not look up the definitions of the words in the verses that you read in the Bible, then you can easily miss what God is trying to say to you. Unless you know Hebrew or Greek and can read the original languages, you need to study to figure out what is being stated. There are just too many translation errors in every version of the Bible for you not to do this research. This is the case for this verse, because the Hebrew word translated as “hope” is a word that means “to expect” or “expectation”. This word expresses a human response of “waiting patiently”. Uh oh? That is a problem for many Christians, isn’t it? We have just introduced a new key word to the faith equation of believing God. God is teaching you that sometimes things take time. Most people understand that a woman’s pregnancy term can vary, but that it generally takes 9 months to produce a healthy child. So it is also with crops planted by the farmer in his field. No seed planted is going to instantly produce the end result immediately. Before the concept of harvest occurs there is always seed planting and a duration of time that occurs where we wait patiently for the result. This is why many people start out walking by faith and then they give up because they think it is not working. I have heard many faith critics teach against faith simply because they do not understand the complex dependent factors of how faith works. These types of teachers obviously teach out of ignorance to their own downfall.
It is also important to note the difference between waiting patiently and waiting anxiously. If you are worried you are not in faith. If you are nervous, then you are not in faith. If you are in fear, then you are not in faith. Waiting patiently is another demonstration of having confidence in God. If you are confident in God’s ability, power and His word then you are waiting patiently. If you are worried or anxious if God is really going to do what He said, then you are about to abort your miracle. Fortunately for Christians, patience is a fruit of the Spirit. So learn to develop patients when standing on the word of God.
Heb 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Here is a verse that certainly applies to our series about faith and possessing the Promised Land. God is taking and connecting two different factors to produce one positive result. Faith is intertwined with patience for you to inherit the promises of God. So patience is a key ingredient in your successful positive outcome. This is why the Word of God is so complicated. It takes several simple concepts or ingredients to mix together to produce a good result. That is why I could not teach you everything all at once. It would have been too complicated and overwhelming. So I try to introduce you to new concepts in stages so that you learn in manageable chunks of information. Today subject is primarily about expectation and expectancy but you can see we just learned about a higher dimension of how patience plays a vital role in waiting for the harvest or the delivery.
Rom 4:18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
Here in this chapter of Romans, God gives us a major faith example for us to live and learn by. God is speaking of the faith of Abraham. Here was a man who was 99 years old with a 90 year old barren wife and God told him that I have made you a father of many nations. If a human situation ever looked hopeless, Abraham’s situation was there for an example for us. This verse says that “against hope, Abraham still had hope”. However, this word for hope is not our modern word for hope. When people in the modern world say “I really hope so”, they are meaning to say “I wish it were so”. Abraham did not wish he would become the father of the promised child, this word says Abraham “expected” it to happen. There was a level of expectancy within the spirit of Abraham that was conceived by the Word of God spoken to him. This is an example of a spiritual pregnancy test that you should be taking on yourself today. When a woman in the modern world thinks she is pregnant, there are things she can buy at the drug store that can be used to determine if she is pregnant. These are natural “pregnancy tests” that confirm what she already thought was happening. So I am making another spiritual transition from a physical reality and telling you that you need to do a spiritual pregnancy test to see if you are in faith. If you do not have the promise of God in your spirit you need to get it into your spirit by speaking it to yourself as Abraham did. Abraham went around calling himself the “father of nations” as his name in Hebrew meant. This seed that was placed in Abraham’s heart developed and grew into a strong belief that God’s word was true despite the outward circumstances and appearances. This is a faith lesson for you in your current circumstances. No matter what it looks like on the outside, you need to look to the picture of a successful outcome on the inside of you. If you are sick, you call yourself well. If you are poor, you call yourself rich. You do what God did for Abraham by saying what God said about you.
Gal 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
Paul of course was a man of God and that means he was a human male. Yet Paul still compares the process taking place inside of him as an internal conception and birth process. There are actually two conceptions being spoken of in this verse. Paul had conceived and Paul was waiting for the people in Galatia to conceive and for Christ to be formed within them. If we are looking at spiritual births, we must back up and see the steps that must have occurred for Paul to give birth spiritually speaking. Paul is using his faith for the good of the people in Galatia. However, this process is referred to in the terms of a child birth. It is not a natural process it is a spiritual process that parallels the natural. The Word of God is sown in the hearts of men and after time it produces the result of the word that was sown. In other words if you need a specific answer to prayer, you better go get the specific promises of God Word that says you have it. You put it into your heart and allow it to conceive there. If you keep it in your heart and do not abort it, it will produce the result that you desired by faith. I’ll give you one more example before I wrap this lesson up today. Here are a couple of verses that demonstrate the spiritual concept of the heart giving birth that I have been teaching on, but in the reverse. You see these are negative things that your heart can also produce:
Isa 59:4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
Jas 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
As you can clearly read God is speaking of a conception in the human spirit again, but this time it is of lust and iniquity. We learn several things from these verses. We learn the spirit of people can conceive either good or evil. Do you remember the lesson that I taught on seeds? One of these lessons I taught on the seed parable that Jesus instructed us about the wheat and the tares. The Wheat was produced by the Word/Seed of God and the tares were produced by an enemy sowing evil seed. You heart is the soil and the words you allow into it are the crops that are producing either the good or the evil in your life. What did God tell Adam in Genesis 2? God said do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or you will surely die. We obviously learn that Adam lusted and ate of the tree of evil and thus conceived and gave birth to death. You see Adam could have chosen life, but his heart caused him to make the wrong choice and die (Gen 2:17). You today have been given a redo opportunity by God. Since Jesus came to the earth and redeemed us from the hand of Satan, we now have the opportunity to conceive life within us. Remember what Jesus taught us? Jesus said in John 10:10 that “I have come that you might have life and that life more abundantly”. Yet here we are still downcast and trodden by the misconceptions of deceit from Satan that it can’t get any better than what we have in our life right now. This is not true however, since God has given us His promises to possess. These promises of God can produce the life that we need today to change our circumstances around. If Abraham would have looked at the circumstances he would have given up. But, since Abraham called himself a father of nations before he was one, he conceived it in his heart by faith and Sarah birthed the promised child. Do you think that God is talking about Abraham and Sarah getting pregnant and having a child by accident or chance? God is making a direct connection between natural pregnancy and that of spiritual pregnancy and you have to learn how to get spiritually pregnant by faith. Let me expound on this point in conclusion. If you understand natural things you know that the human male places literally millions of sperm cells inside of a woman. Why did God do it this way when all it takes is one to get the result you desire? After all there is only one egg and not millions of eggs in the woman. God is giving you a spiritual lesson in this natural information. There is only one spirit inside of your body and if you want to get it pregnant you better bombard it with a lot of the Word of God. God’s Word is God’s Seed and Jesus taught us that from the abundance of the heart, things come out of it (Mat 12:34). Whatever you put abundantly in your hear is what you will get it to produce. If you want to follow after the wrong things in life God will allow this to happen. You can conceive the wrong things in your spirit and die or you can put the Word of God there to give birth to good things. This is how spiritual things work. If you know how to have sex, then you know how to get faith and give birth to the promises of God. Genesis 4:1 says “Adam knew his wife Eve and she conceived…”. Do you know God? Do you know God’s word? Then it will conceive in your heart if you allow it to work and stay there the same way. Get to know the Word of God and see if it will not produce life. We still have a lot more to talk about in this series so come back expecting to learn. God Bless you until next time!
If you would like to continue learning in this series, please continue reading with “Part 11“.
(Ver 1.2) Today is Part 9 in a series of advanced lessons on Understanding Bible Faith. If you have not been reading this series from the beginning I would recommend that you go and start with “Part 1”. Today’s lesson is about having faith when it looks like it is not working. We all struggle in this area at some point of time in our lives. If you think you are different than everybody else, then you are deceived. You can go through the Bible and read over and over about the stories of men who did great things for God and see that God had done great things for them and they all at one time or the other struggled to say, “God where are you?”. One of the greatest prophets of God was Elijah. He called down fire from God to consume the prophets of Baal. Elijah stopped it from raining on the earth for three and half years and then commanded it to rain and it rained. After all of these things, Elijah went into the wilderness downcast and depressed and asked God to kill him. I am always amazed when I read the Gospels about Jesus hanging on the cross (Mat 27:46). Here is the God of my Salvation dying on the cross for me and He says in the Hebrew tongue “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? These words are translated as “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” Wow, I have difficulty comprehending that! You should read through the Psalms of David and see how many times it looks like David is alone and in despair trying to encourage himself in the Lord. David’s confidence level, clearly was feigning and wavering in the face of his circumstances. In fact these words spoken by Jesus on the cross were originally written down by David in Psalm 22:1. Remember David was the one that killed the lion, the bear and then the giant Goliath. But, yet when he was alone in a cave hiding from Saul, he felt despair. We can see that it does not matter how many great things that God has done, we can all feel like we have been left alone. What we learn is that there will always come times when life’s situations will seem overwhelming to us. I have been there and I’m sure you have been there also. Perhaps you are there today and that is why God is using me to write to you. In this world there are events occurring daily that are extremely troubling. Prices are rising, people are losing jobs, there are wars and riots all over the world, and there are earthquakes and death everywhere. It is very easy to get into despair. In the past few weeks, I have been teaching a series of lessons on having Bible faith in God’s Word. As part of the lessons I taught that having confidence in God is an essential element to having success. If the woman with the issue of blood did not have any confidence in what she heard about Jesus, she would not have gone fighting through the crowd to get her healing. If you have no confidence then you have no faith. So you should judge yourself and see where your confidence in God is on a daily basis. You might have great confidence today and no confidence tomorrow. You cannot judge your current confidence level upon your past experiences as you have learned from the examples of David and Elijah. Today I am doing what I am teaching you to do, I am checking up on my confidence level to see if I am where I need to be.
1Jn 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
Here is the first great faith verse to know and to understand about prayer. This verse speaks of you having confidence. This verse is talking about prayer to God and asking for Him to do something for you. But, it qualifies the fact that there is a correct prayer and there is an incorrect prayer. God informs us that you better only ask Him for something that is His will or He will not even hear our prayer. How do we know what to pray for then based upon that? If you recall in my Faith series, I taught you about possessing the Promised Land. We are supposed to go through the Bible and learn what God has promised to us and only then will we know what His will is. God’s will is always based upon God’s word. You see if you are praying for God to heal you today, I’m sorry but you may not have any confidence in God. Are you asking according to His will? If you are what scriptures are you using to base your confidence? What is the will of God for healing you? Do you have any divine promises that says He will heal you? If you can quote the verses to me, then you have a sound foundational basis for having confidence, if you cannot quote them and you have to go look them up, then you have no confidence because you do not know what God has spoken.
It is like a man who prays for salvation from God. He is very sincere and he opens his mouth and says “God please save me” over and over again. What is God’s reaction to that type of prayer? I believe that God will say “I came to the earth, I died on the cross, and I shed my blood for your salvation already, what do you expect me to do now?” God would also say “I already did save you; my part is done now you do your part and receive it”. I heard a story of a man who kept telling a preacher, “When God gets ready he will save me”. This preacher tried to tell the man that God had done His part to save him already. But, the man just kept believing, that God was going to save him some day. When this man was very old lying on his death bed he still believed the same thing and died and went to hell. When people think and believe wrong they do without the blessing of God. If you are waiting on God to do something, you are thinking wrong and you better learn to change to see that God has already given you the Promised Land and He is waiting on you to possess it. These are examples of praying in error, believing in error and doing without. When you pray and ask for something that God says has already been given to you then you are basically saying to God “I don’t believe you Lord”; “Please give me the Promised Land”. God is still going to tell you “It is yours already”. But, you are going to say I’m still in the wilderness and I don’t have it and God is going to say by faith you do. That is one of the primary problems that Christians have today, God says by faith you will possess it and by having no faith you will miss out on it and die in the wilderness.
1Jn 5:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
If you actually know something then you can have great confidence in it happening. However, it depends upon who is speaking to you, doesn’t it? If I told you that I will meet tomorrow in Washington D.C. at the capitol rotunda, would you have any confidence of the meeting happening? Not, if you do not know me. You see you are only going to have confidence in those that you know who are faithful and true. If you do not know that God is faithful and true then you will have no confidence in Him answering your prayer either. So what did we just learn about how to pray with confidence?
- Find the Bible promises that have been given to you.
- Put them into your heart by speaking them to yourself over and over.
- Pray in faith according to the promise that was given to you believing you receive it.
- Since you prayed and asked God knowing His will, you now know the Bible says God heard you.
- Since you know God heard you, you now know that you have what you asked for by faith.
- Therefore, you don’t pray and ask God for it again tomorrow because it looks like it didn’t happen.
- What I like to do is to thank God for giving me the answer, even though I do not see it in the natural yet.
- Then once it does show up in the natural, then I fight to hold on to it so that Satan does not come to try to take it away from me.
It sounds easy until you realize that it takes time for the answer to arrive from God. When Daniel prayed to God and asked for a simple answer, he waited and fasted for three weeks and finally the angel of God arrived with the answer. I do not know how long it would have taken if it was a really big thing that Daniel needed, but it makes me wonder. We like to think that God is omnipotent and can just cause things to happen instantly. But, this is not what the Bible teaches us. The angel told Daniel the very day you prayed I was sent by God, but the prince of Persia withstood me so that I could not come (Dan 10:13). You see there are spiritual forces other than God in the world and these are not on God’s side. These evil spirits are set to destroy you, kill you and steal from you and they are doing everything in their power to cause God’s blessings not to come to you. These are some of the spiritual giants of the Promised Land that will come to try to keep you out. So just because you pray according to the will of God and you know that He heard you, you will be presented a daily challenge for a time to believe that you have what God has given to you. This is why God says for you to Fight the Good Fight of Faith (1 Tim 6:12). Faith is a spiritual fight to possess the Promised Land and you are responsible for this fight. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph 6:12).
When praying and asking God for anything and it does not happen in a reasonable timeframe, learn to recognize where the problem lies. If you have prayed for something for 10 years and God is still silent about it, then God is not the problem you are. I once heard a minister say this; “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. This same minister said if I pray and God does not answer in a short time, then I change and find out what I’m doing wrong. You see God tells us that He is always faithful and God says He does not ever change (Mal 3:6). So if God is not changing where does the change need to occur in order for you to see your miracle? Wow, I said some really important things today, but this is one of the greatest ones that you need to learn quickly. Quit praying for things that God has already said “I’ve done that!”. Quit praying for the same thing over and over. Either get into faith and receive the answer from God or start to realize that you may just be wasting your breath.
Pro 3:26 For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
Pro 14:26 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
Here are just a couple of verses about having confidence in God. It appears to me that having confidence in God helps to save us from trouble. God speaks of a place of refuge which is like a safe house in a major storm. God speaks of not being taken, and that is again speaking of being kept safe. Perhaps I should discuss a little bit about what “confidence” is. If I have confidence in someone, then I can put my trust in them. This is the common bond to a healthy marriage. When each spouse trusts the other, they have confidence in their decisions and actions that they are true. If you spouse is unfaithful you learn very quickly that trust is gone. This is our relationship with God also. We have a covenant with the Most High God. In the eyes of God this is a marriage contract built on mutual trust. I hope you understand these concepts. If you do not, go and read my Bible lessons on “Understanding Covenants”.
Rth 2:12 The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
You see the trust concept plays a huge role in your relationship with God. The better you know Him the more you will learn to trust Him. The less you know Him the minimum amount of confidence you will have in Him. I believe God understands the concept that trust grows. Here in this verse in Ruth, God is saying that the woman Ruth has grown to trust in the God of Israel. After all she was a Gentile who was not in covenant with Him. She had no basis for having any confidence in the God of Israel. Yet she by faith learned to grow in trust of the Lord and became one of the women in the lineage of Jesus.
Pro 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
God is telling you that you can trust His words. You can put your full confidence in what God says. This is a basic model of having faith in a God that you cannot see and cannot prove exists, yet you believe He will do what He said He will do. I will tell you today that God will move heaven and earth for any man or woman on the earth that will believe Him.
2Ch 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.
This verse tells me that God is searching for someone to bless. It clearly tells us the eyes of God are in heavy search mode looking for someone. What have we learned from reading the Bible is the key determining factor to whether God does anything for anybody on the earth? You better say it is because they had faith. You can go and read Hebrews chapter 11 and see that God’s Faith hall of fame encompasses most of the famously named individuals who did great exploits for God in the Old Testament. God lists these people to show you that faith was the determining factor for their success in life. The basis of their success however was also because they had great confidence in their God and His ability to save and deliver them. So we are not putting our confidence in ourselves or our ability to do anything, we are merely exalting God to His rightful place as the source of all of our confidence and trust.
I had a man today, write me and tell me I sounded arrogant in what I teach. This man clearly did not understand the concept of confidence and trust. If I taught things that I learned on my own abilities then I would be having confidence in me and that would be arrogance and foolishness. However, I teach things that God has taught me and therefore I have learned that I can depend upon Him and put all my confidence in Him so sometimes I come across sounding arrogant to narrow minded people, but hopefully to others, they will also see that they can learn to have the same level of confidence that I possess and grow in it to become even greater. I am not talking about me or you being great, I’m talking about our confidence in God being great and growing. You can learn to have confidence in God also and someday you will see that you may also sound a little arrogant. Just do not confuse arrogance with confidence because they both sound very similar to the untrained ear. You can learn to trust Him. But, you are going to have to find out what He said in His word in order to do this. Read the Bible like it is a personal letter written only to you. Claim what you need and then go and possess it. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading in this series of lessons about faith then go to “Part 10“.
(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“.
(Ver 1.2) This is Part 7 in a series of very advanced studies about the subject of Bible Faith. Today’s lesson will be an extended message on a subject that I just barely mentioned briefly in my last lesson. Sometimes you cannot cover everything in one lesson and so you have to spread the information out to give the details in limited proportions. I try not to overwhelm people with too much complex information all at once. Hopefully the way that I teach a subject is in an arrangement of understandable chunks that allows you to learn it a little bit at a time. When I learned computer programming, this is exactly how they taught it in school to me. They taught an introduction to computer programming class first that was the basic concepts of the subject. This introductory class was a prerequisite to the next subject of computer programming and each class became progressively more advanced. If they would have covered the advanced subjects first, they would have had no one graduate or pass, but since they started with the basics and moved to the more complex subjects many more people were able to learn it and become programmers. Well this is the way you should approach your Bible study also. Subjects in the Bible range from basic to expert levels. My Bible studies are generally very advanced complex subject studies. They are intended for people who know the basics of the Bible already. Paul called this teaching the meat of the Word of God and Paul had the same problem that I do sometimes. Paul told the Corinthian church, I could not feed you meat because you were babes in need of milk (1 Cor 3:2). I do teach some milk basics occasionally, but not always. If you do not understand Bible basics you should find a really good Bible teacher who goes over these concepts or you should ask me questions and I will try to answer them so you will be able to better understand the complex things that God wants you to learn and grow in spiritually.
We have been progressively moving through the subject of Bible faith and today I want to teach a lesson on possessing the Promised Land using your faith. Of course this is a strange concept to teach since we are not of the nation of Israel who lived in the Old Testament and many of us therefore think that this Old Testament story does not apply to us. However, God teaches us something very profoundly different in the New Testament and this is what I will cover today. If you have not been reading this series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1” first and work your way forward. Learn to look up the Bible verses that I include in these lessons in your Bible, take notes and learn to make hi-lights and underline important parts that you did not know or have never thought of before. Learn to see what the Bible says while you learn how to study the Bible and that will help you infinitely more than the things that I teach you today. If you can learn how to fish you will be much better off than depending on me to do all of your fishing for you. I hope you understand what I just said.
Heb 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
Here is a very strange verse about faith. God is comparing two groups of people, us and them. But, who is us and who is them? You have to back up and read the context to find the answers to those questions. If you go back and read chapter 3 you will find references to the children of Israel coming out of the nation of Egypt. The entire chapter is focused in on the subject of entering into God’s rest. It is implied that the promise land was the land of God’s rest. But, the rest of chapter 3 informs us that the majority of Israel perished in the wilderness and did not enter into God’s rest. God’s rest is exactly a type of something that we are focused in on today. It says in chapter 3 very clearly that the children of Israel did not enter in because of their unbelief. I have only mentioned this maybe a couple of times in this series, that unbelief is the opposite of faith. Actually unbelief is belief, just wrong belief in the wrong words. You may recall that Israel sent 12 spies into the promise land and ten returned with an evil report saying we are not able to possess it. The majority of Israel believed the evil report and as a result entered into unbelief of what God had said. So the “them” in this verse that I gave you is concretely confirmed to be the children of Israel. Now, if you go to Hebrews 3:1 you will see who it says is the “us”:
Heb 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
Obviously then Christ Jesus is said to be the Apostle and High Priest of the church. The “us” in this verse is referring to those who have believed the Gospel that was preached. These are the Joshua and Caleb type of Christians who will actually get to enter into God’s Promised Land. Is that you also? I know that is me, but you may not know that this is you. Only you can believe for you. I cannot have faith for you to be saved. Everyone is required to have faith for themselves. So that is a basic faith lesson that you should have already learned or understood from the first six lessons in this series about faith. It might have never been taught to you directly, but it was an implied teaching in many of the lessons. Just learn that faith is personal and only your faith will cause things to happen for you. Jesus never looked at anyone and said “Be of good cheer, My Faith has made you whole”. Did Jesus have faith? I believe that He did, but I also believe that Jesus could not force His faith to work for anyone else either.
So we have discovered a concept of us versus them being stated. God says, according to Hebrews 4:2, the gospel was preached to both groups, but only one group called “us” is profiting from it. The concept of mixing faith with the Word of God is what is being taught and many people do not even know this is a requirement. If you think, you can see that there are many people who hear the gospel in churches and on TV and they are never saved. Why is that? God tells us, that it is because they did not mix any faith with what they heard. You can clearly understand that faith is a freewill choice of man and a personal responsibility that God cannot override. Mixing faith with the Word of God is described to be a partnership agreement. Think of it like God gives you some faith ingredients to make a faith cake. You are taking what He has given you and putting all of these faith ingredients for a faith cake into a large bowl and then you are supposed to turn the mixer on to combine the ingredients. This is exactly what God is saying. Bible faith consists of several key ingredients that I have mentioned to you and each of these is supposed to be added in the correct order to get the proper results. Using the analogy of the cake, what if you left out the eggs or the flour? Would the cake turn out? If you have ever cooked before you know that following the recipe is a requirement for repeated results. Well, this is what God is teaching you now. Learn the ingredients of Faith and then mix them together in the correct order to get results. God does His part and you are responsible for doing your part. I have heard numerous ignorant people try to tell me I am wrong, but I ignore them because they lack spiritual knowledge. I have also heard several misinformed preachers try to tell me that God is not a formula. That salvation is not a formula. That faith is not a formula. In their minds they have rejected the truth in the Bible for their own personal interpretation of reality. If God did not want you to learn about this subject, why would God have put so many examples, definitions and scriptures about it in the Bible? You see you can clearly find that it must be very important to learn and to implement if you can actually understand what it all says. So I’m not teaching you a formula for success, I’m just teaching you the Bible and you can do with it whatever you want.
Faith as you recall always starts with hearing the Word of God. Faith then progresses through a series of steps that includes you understanding what you heard and then choosing and deciding to believe it to be the truth. I then taught you that those who believe will speak what they believe and then do what they say. This is just a basic reality of how faith works and today I am going to show you why you still need to mix faith with the Word of God to produce any positive results.
Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
Here is God telling the church that there is still a promise land left to possess. This verse is written to you and you are still required to possess the promises of God with your faith. God taught us that this is entering into His rest. We read verse 2 earlier so let’s skip down to verse 3 and see what God is saying to the church:
Heb 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Wow, this is very difficult to accept. Remember what believing is? Belief is the opposite of unbelief, so we are back to having faith. Remember that belief is accepting the Word of God as fact and that unbelief is rejecting the word of God in favor of someone else’s opinion. We learned this by studying the children of Israel and the 12 spies that they sent into the promise land. This verse in Hebrews 4:3 says those that have faith and believe the Word of God have entered into the rest. Wow, again and double wow! Do you feel like you are in rest? I just watched the evening world news and it is almost scary what is happening in the world. The evening news is reporting riots and people being killed. The price of the world basic necessity of gasoline is going sky high with no end in sight. The news is reporting escalating food prices and food shortages because of weather related catastrophes around the world. The government problems with the out of control economies of the world are in dire straits. There is trouble and confusion in every city and it appears to be getting worse and not better. So are you in rest? After hearing about the trouble it is a very difficult thing to consider. However, God clearly tells us that those who have believed have entered into rest. Rest represents the promises of God and the symbolic Promised Land. I personally believe that God is calling those things that be not as though they were and I’ll talk more about that soon.
If you recall, the children of Israel came out of Egypt by the mighty demonstration of the hand of God. God used His servant Moses to deliver the people of Israel from their bondage of Egyptian slavery that lasted 430 years. It is almost comical to not see the spiritual implications given to us in this natural historical story of deliverance. The children of Adam in the world were in bondage to Satan for 4030 years when the servant of God named, Jesus died on the cross in another mighty demonstration of the hand of God. Therefore, the deliverance from Egypt is a type of the salvation of Jesus from the dominion of Satan. Now, there are vast numbers of Christian churches that only emphasize deliverance from Egypt. They teach salvation like it is going out of style and then neglect to mention what happens in the wilderness? Does the story of the children of Israel stop with salvation? You see the story does not end at deliverance and salvation; it is only there that the beginning of the new story of life after salvation starts to appear and open up. Salvation is not the end all results for Christians in the world. If it were the end results, then we should get people saved and kill them so that they go directly to heaven. Obviously this does not make any sense does it? What we learn in reading about the children of Israel is that God had given to Abraham a land and this land was theirs but yet they did not possess it yet. God called this entering into His rest. That almost sound like an oxymoronic expression since Israel was required to take the promise land by force and to kill all of the giants that were in it. God called this fight a rest and it sounds much more like an extended effort of battle or work. That is the complexity of the Bible, isn’t it? Surely you can still see the parallels being given to us (the church) that we are required to possess the promise land. What exactly is this Promised Land that we are supposed to mix our faith with to possess today?
1Jn 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
Do you understand that God has made you promises in His word? What is the definition of a promise? This Greek word “promised” means the following “to assert something respecting oneself”. A promise is always a word based commitment to do something. If I said I promise to meet you at 3:00 PM in the lobby. I committed to do something to cause the meeting to happen like I said. This is the nature of a promise and it is totally based upon the integrity of the person who spoke the promise. If someone makes you a promise that has no moral character or integrity, then you should know not to count on it happening. This is where the integrity of God comes into play. If you are a Christian then you should know Him well enough to realize that it is impossible for God to lie. Then you must accept that the Bible is God speaking to you personally. Therefore, if it is impossible for God to lie and you can find a promise in the Bible from God, telling you personally that He will do something, then that is your opportunity to go and possess it by mixing faith with it. This is the New Covenant Promised Land which comes from an Old Covenant pattern and I’ll give you another Bible verse to help you begin to see it:
2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
What does God say in this verse? Does He not say that you have been given promises? These are not just any normal promises according to this verse. God calls them exceedingly great and very precious promises. That means that they are free, but they did not cost Him nothing to provide them to you. What God is saying is that they are highly valuable to possess, but yet we do not all possess them do we? This verse says “that you might become partakers”. You could call these people the potential possessors of the Promised Land. But, this promise land is always conditional and it is never dumped into your laps with you doing nothing. You see using the natural nation of Israel as our examples, there were many of them who died in the wilderness and never entered into the best that God had already given to them. This was the land that flowed with milk and honey and many, many never saw it. What can we learn from this lesson? Obviously according to Hebrews 4 we saw that they did not mix any faith and therefore they died without it. They heard that God had given them the land, but refused to believe it. So they did not enter into it and died in their unbelief.
2Co 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
Here is another verse from the mouth of God telling us that He has given to us “Promises”. Is there only one promise? According to these last two verses there are many promises. We obviously do not know very many of them, do we? It would be very much worth our time to go through the Bible to discover what God has promised to give us. Maybe in a future Bible study series I will do this. God definitely tells us that He has given to us promises, but like the children of Israel we are required to mix faith with these promises in order to possess them. Let’s review another Old Testament example of God’s promise and how it was fulfilled to learn some more of the concepts of mixing faith.
Rom 9:9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.
Here in this verse we are told that God made Abram and Sarai a promise to have a son. If you have read this story in Genesis, you know that Sarai was a barren woman unable to have children most of her life. So when God comes to Abram and Sarai they have a great desire for an heir, but did not know how to cause it to happen. God appeared to Abram and told him that his seed would become as the stars of the heaven and the sands of the sea shore (Gen 22:17). Yet, years and years went by and nothing happened. Sarai got desperate and gave Hagar to her husband so that they could have a child this way. We can learn that Abram and Sarai knew how babies were made, so that was not the problem. This turned out to be a huge mistake and we still see the conflict going on in the world today. This was man’s attempt to fulfill the promise of God and this never works. You cannot do by works of the flesh, what God has given to you to possess only by faith. So how did God get Abram into faith? That is a very interesting question to consider. Remember what I taught you about the woman with the issue of blood? “For she said” and then it happened. God tricks Abram into having faith. Before this next verse that I’m going to give you, Abram asks God “what will you give me seeing I go childless?” Abram saw himself as a childless man and this is not faith. What if God in the first chapter of Genesis saw only darkness and He could not envision light? Would light have come? Light came only because God could see the light inside of Him and then He spoke it out and then light was. This is the concept of “calling those things that be not as though they were” that I talked about earlier. Read this next verse that I will give you from the story of Abram:
Gen 17:5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
God tells Abram I have made you a father of many nations even before he has had a child through his wife Sarai. This is God calling Abram a father before he was a father. God tells Abram, “no longer is your name Abram, but it shall be called Abraham”. This is a very tricky way of getting Abram to have faith. If you read my last Bible lesson you understand that almost every Hebrew name has a hidden meaning and the name Abraham is no different. The name Abraham means “a father of a multitude”. Now everywhere Abraham goes and speaks his name, he is calling himself a father of many. Is Abraham speaking what God said? Is Abraham now calling himself the father of many sons? Do you understand that this is the concept that the woman with the issue of blood also did? She called herself healed before she was healed. God told Abraham you are the father of many nations and now Abraham believes God and because he tells everyone his name, he speaks it before it happens. This is an amazing faith lesson and you should pay very close attention to it. Abraham’s faith was based upon the Word of God and your faith must be based upon the Word of God. Abraham had a promise from God; you must have a promise from God also. Abraham believed God and you must believe God before you see the evidence. Remember faith is your only evidence that you possess before it happens. Abraham learned to have confidence in God and you must learn to have confidence in Him. By Abraham speaking his name on a daily basis, he began to expect it to happen and in less than a year, he had the promised son through his wife Sarah. This is how faith works according the Word of God.
So go through the Bible and find your promise that you need and then mix your faith to possess it. If you want to live a full life, then go find the promise that says “With a long life I will satisfy you” (Psalm 91:16). If you want to be healed, the go find the promise of healing that says “By whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24). These are just two of the promises of God and there are hundreds of others. If you want to possess them, do what Abraham did and call yourself with them. If you have no children or are unable to have children and you want children, begin to say I am the father of a son or a daughter. I am the mother of a son or a daughter. When you call yourself one and believe it, God says you will have it. This is how you poses the Promised Land and enter into the rest of God. Do not be naïve to think that it will happen like magic, be prepared for the enemies of this spiritual Promised Land to resist you tooth and nail. There are always spiritual giants that still exist today. However, possessing God’s Promised Land is a spiritual internal battle that will be fought on inside of you mostly in your mind. I believe that it will be worth the effort if you want to possess it. I’m sure that Joshua and Caleb were very glad after they had taken the land that was said by God to be theirs 40 years earlier. I literally poured my heart and my tears into this lesson so that I could help someone that is faced with a challenge today. I pray that you will learn to become a doer of the Word of God and not a hearer only. God Bless you all as we strive to enter into His rest. In the next lesson I will be teaching about the spiritual enemies to your faith fight.
If you like to continue reading this series of lessons about Bible Faith please go to “Part 8“.
Understanding Bible Faith! What Is Bible Faith and What Makes it Different than Other Types of Faith? Part 6
(Ver 1.4) This is Part 6 in a series of very advanced studies about the subject of Bible Faith. Today’s lesson will be a discussion concerning the definition of Bible faith, then we will have a discussion about what faith is and then finally how your Bible faith is different from another person’s faith like those that believe in Islam, Buddha or whoever. If you have been reading this series of lessons, you should know that the subject of faith is a very complex topic to completely understand, like most other subjects found in the Bible. In the last lesson I discussed 8 basic factors that all contributed to you having faith. I also went into the Old Testament and even showed how faith was demonstrated in the life of David and how all of the steps that i listed were still valid for what was written about concerning David’s faith. You should be able to draw out these steps in the lives of anybody in the Bible that is said to have faith. Go through the list of faith heroes found in Hebrews 11 and see who God has inducted into the faith hall of fame and then go read about them again in the Old Testament. See how they heard God say something, see how they received what was spoken, understanding it and then believed it. Then watch and listen to everything that they say and do. See if they expect anything to happen. See if they have any confidence in God coming through for them. Elijah is a great faith man. He called down fire from heanven. He spoke words that caused it not to rain for three and half years. Go and read these stories again and you will see that God honored their faith when nothing else would work. Even though God never mentioned faith as a factor, God always moved the mightiest when a man was established in faith and believed God’s Word. Here are the steps that I have listed for you to review:
- Your Will
- Your Ability to Hear
- Your Understanding of the Word Heard
- Your Beliefs
- Your Confidence
- Your Words
- Your Expectation Level
- Your Actions
These are what I call the Faith Partners that must be present and working in unity to produce results. I hope that you have read all of the previous lessons for I will not be repeating that information in any great detail and it was all very important to know. So if you have not read from the beginning I would suggest that you go back and start reading with “Part 1”.
In speaking of faith it is interesting to note that everyone in the world, saved or unsaved has faith to some degree. That sounds like a contradiction to a statement that I made in an earlier lesson where I told you that the Bible says “For all men do not have faith” (2 Th 3:2). But, what we must realize is that there are different types of faith and God is speaking of Bible faith in 2 Thessalonians 3:2 and not common human faith that everyone possesses. Faith is a basic human characteristic created by God. Faith is based upon ignorance and since every human is ignorant, we all have to have faith. Let me try to explain that last statement in different terms. Since none of us are God, our knowledge is extremely limited; would you agree with that statement? We therefore, on a daily basis accept many things by our faith and we do not even realize that this is what we are doing. For example, the sun rise this morning came by natural human faith. Now just because we have seen thousands of sunrises in the past does not necessarily prove or mean that there will be another one tomorrow. If you believe that there will be one then you are in effect placing your faith in your past experiences. You believe that the sun will rise tomorrow and thus your confidence and expectations are set based upon only on your past experiences or your current knowledge of how the earth rotates around the sun. There is no proof or evidence for the sun coming up tomorrow, because it has not happened yet. After it happens then you have the proof or evidence, but before it happens you can only believe that it will happen. This is common human faith, just not Bible faith. Let me try to give you another different example of having common faith. If you make a date with someone to have dinner at a certain time and place and you show up, then you had faith based upon what? Your faith is based upon the word of agreement from that person that you were supposed to meet with. Now depending upon who that person was, your confidence level and expectation level of them showing up might be great or it might be very small based upon your past experiences with them. This is acting out your faith in the real world, but this is not Bible faith. Showing up at a dinner date is an act of faith, you start with words with a friend, the two of you agree with the words that were heard to make the arrangements, you understand the arrangement, you believe the arrangement and then you wait for the time and go to the restaurant to meet with them. If your confidence level was correct you expect them to show up on time. That is how common faith works and we do it every day. Do you understand how human ignorance plays a role in both of these examples that I just gave you? In both cases you must believe in something that you cannot prove will happen. So let’s discuss what is different about Bible faith. The only difference is God is the one that we are expecting to show up; it is based upon His word that we are putting our confidence in. It is the Word of God that we must hear spoken and we must understand these words. Next we must believe the words and put our full confidence in Him and His Word. That is Bible faith and it is the exact same process that you went through to make a dinner reservation with a friend. Here is the challenge to Bible faith; no one has ever seen God. You cannot prove that God exists. So you take His existence by your faith and this is beginning of Bible faith, but not the end of it. God can then do many great things as your faith progresses upward to greater levels.
Do you realize that the Bible says it is impossible for God to lie? (Heb. 6:18, Tit. 1:2, Rom. 3:4) There are very few things in the Bible that it says that God cannot ever do and lie is definitely one of the few things that God is completely incapable of doing. Why is that important? It is important because it helps establish your confidence level in what the Bible says and the Word of God is the basis for Bible faith. If God says something in the Bible and you can claim it for yourself then God says you can have it (2 Cor 1:20). Many ignorant Christians have derogatorily called this a “name it and claim it” false religion. But, that is their problem and not mine, I’m just studying the Bible and seeing what it says and you can do whatever you like and ignore the parts of the Bible that do not fit your theology, if that is what you want to do. What these Christians do not realize is that faith is how they became a Christian and if they have no faith, then they are not Christians. The word of God is a handbook written to you personally. The words in it are written to you as a personal love letter and this is the basis or the foundation to your house of faith. You are building a faith house and your faith foundation must be the Word of God.
I am trying to teach you that everyone in the world has faith, but few have faith in God and even fewer have actual faith in His Word. Jesus taught us that wide is the path that leads to destruction and many are those that find this path (Mat 7:13). Jesus went on to say that narrow is the path to life and few are those who find it. Since both paths contain people with faith it is extremely sad to me that only a few get to live with God forever. What do the people on the wide path to destruction, have their faith in? They either believe there is no God, no judgment, no hell, no eternity, etc., or they believe in Buddha, Mohammed, Hare Krishna, the Dali Lama or some other false religion. Everyone believes something in the world, even the atheist believes there is no God, and the Hindu believes there is another chance coming in the next life, and on and on. Man was created by God to believe in something and this is what people do every day for good or evil.
That was my introduction to the definition of faith. As you can see it is complex while being based upon simple binary concepts. I learned this approach as a computer programmer. You take the complex system and reduce it to rudimentary understandable pieces and learn those and then as each part works together the complex system works as a whole. A binary concept is one where only two possible answers exist. In the binary world of computers everything is based upon either ones or zeros. That is the basis for the concepts of faith. You either, hear or you don’t hear. You either understand or you don’t understand. You either believe or you don’t believe. Just basic binary choices, yet making the right choices can result in great things and making the wrong choice can lead you down the wide path to destruction. I want to give you the classic Bible definition of what faith is according to the Word of God. This definition is found in the first verse of Hebrews 11 which is the famous “Faith Hall of Fame” chapter found in the Bible:
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
There are many people who have read this verse but do not understand what it means and I was one of those in the past. As you can see this verse contains the classic Bible construction of a definition being revealed to us. Whenever God gives us this information, it is a classic spiritual redefinition of a word that we thought we understood. This verse says “Faith IS” and then goes into what faith should be to us. I will take it word for word and hopefully elaborate on what it actually is saying. The first word in the verse is the word “Now” and this is a reference to time. Time is a concept expressed in three different dimensions. Time can be past, present or future. So we can clearly see that faith is said to be a present tense reality. In other words your faith that you had yesterday is not a factor and your faith that you will have tomorrow is also not a factor. It is only the faith that you have right now that is a factor to what happens to you right now. When people came up to Jesus, He would always rebuke them for having no faith or He would commend them for having great faith. When was their faith important or not important, effective or not effective to Jesus? You can clearly see that faith only mattered at the exact time when Jesus was speaking to them. Jesus never cared if they had faith yesterday and Jesus never cared if they might change and have faith tomorrow. Jesus never told anyone to go get more faith and come back tomorrow. If you had no faith right then and there, you got nothing from Jesus. The woman with the issue of blood got healed because she had right now faith at the instance when she needed it the most. All of the other people in the crowd had no faith while they were touching Him and none of them got healed. Do you understand now how important faith is? The next word in Hebrews 11 is “Faith” and since “Faith” is what we are defining, I will not be discussing that word.
So let’s move to the definition part of the Hebrews 11:1 verse and the words translated as “the substance”. This Greek word translated as “substance” is not easily understood unless you look up the definition in the Strong’s concordance and read what it says. This Greek word translated as “substance” means “confidence”. Here is one of the key 8 faith partners that I gave you earlier. Do you have any cofidence?
- Do you have confidence in the existence of God?
- Do you have confidence in the ability of God?
- Do you have confidence in God’s Word?
- Do you have confidence that God will do what He said?
Confidence is a multi-dimensional critical building block to having faith and I just listed four things that you need to have confidence in. if you have confidence in only 3 out of 4 of those things, then your confidence is lacking and you need to learn more of the Bible. Today, you might have confidence in one area but not every area that I just raised. Only you will be able to evaluate your level of confidence in each of those areas.
What is confidence based on? If you have experience with someone then you base your confidence level upon your experience. So what if you are new to someone? What do you have to base your confidence in? Confidence is a factor of trust. The better you know someone the more you trust them. This is another reason people fail to receive from God. They do not know God. They do not know the character of God. They do not know the integrity of God. They do not know the promises of God. You are going to have to ask yourself, do you trust God?
Psa 115:11 Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
There are too many verses in the Bible for me to give you them all about trusting in God. The word trust also contains multiple concepts. First, it means to have confidence in. Next, it means to be sure of. Next, it means to be certain of. There are a number of synonymous terms like be assured, be confident, be convinced, be firm and to be unquestioning. Trust and confidence go hand and hand and they are both essential partners to your faith.
The next Greek word in this verse is translated as “things hoped for”. This again is a very difficult word to understand unless you look up the definition in the Strong’s. The word translated as “hoped” is actually poorly translated in today’s English language. When we hope for something in the modern world we normally just wish that this was what was happening. I have heard many ministers about to pray for someone and they ask them “will you be healed now when I lay my hands on you?”, and the answer is usually “I sure hope so”. This means the people wished it would happen but that they did not actually have any confidence that it was going to happen. Let’s take this back to the woman with the issue of blood. Remember what she said? She said “If I touch His clothes, I will be made whole”. There is absolutely no doubts in that statement to her not having any confidence that it would not happen. What would have changed if she said “I hope I will be made whole”? You see she would not have been healed. Hope is not having full confidence and this Greek word in Hebrews 11 does not mean to “hope“, it means “to expect” and this is based upon your confidence level. So we are back to having confidence and expecting something to happen as the woman with the issue of blood did. The last part of this definition says this “the evidence of things not seen”. As we come to the conclusion we see that having faith from the Bible definition is our evidence of what we do not see with our physical eyes. What is evidence? In a court of law “evidence” is the “proof” of innocence or guilt. Why is God introducing you to legal terms and court room procedures in this definition? It is because God is the Supreme Judge and His ways are the Spiritual Laws that govern what happens to us. So you better understand that faith is the component that will either exonerate you or your lack of faith will convict you on judgment day. Did you know that Faith was a spiritual Law? This is why God is introducing legal court terms like evidence:
Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
According to the Word of God, Faith is a spiritual law that is the opposite of another spiritual law called the “law of works”. Those in the Old Covenant were trying to achieve salvation by the law of works. Israel was given 5 books of the Law and these contained instructions from God of the does and don’ts of everything that was permissible on a daily basis. Jesus came and changed everything and said “He that believes on me shall have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus came to reveal the law of faith which professes salvation that is based upon believing. This was obviously a radical departure from the law of works. However, the Bible tells us very clearly that Christians have been justified by faith and that no flesh shall be justified by keeping the Law of Moses (Acts 13:39). You see the term “justified” in the Greek language means to be found innocent. Again we see the legal ramification of terms and words that are usually only associated with a court of law.
Let’s take this information and relate it back to the woman with the issue of blood. What evidence did the woman have from the time that she left her house until the time she touched Jesus’ clothes? At no time before touching Jesus did the woman feel differently or feel like she was healed, yet she continued to press through the crowd until she reached Jesus. Technically speaking at no time did the woman have any physical evidence to being healed or that she would be healed. But, by the definition of faith given to us in Hebrews 11:1, we see that her faith must have been her evidence. Because she heard and believed on Jesus and had confidence in what she heard to be the truth, she expected to get healed when she touched Him. Here is the law of faith and how it works. Faith must be present internally to see the external results. Because she believed that she was already healed internally in her spirit, the external manifestation of this reality showed up on the outside. This is still exactly how faith works in the modern world without Jesus being here physically. Like I told you before, you cannot go and touch him physically today, but that does not mean you cannot touch Him spiritually and that He is still looking for your faith to give you what you need.
If you would like to conintue reading in this series about Bible Faith, please continue to “Part 7“.
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 5 in a series of advanced studies about the subject of Bible Faith. Today’s lesson will be a further expansion of the basic foundational truths surrounding faith and a discussion of the differences between having faith today in the modern world versus that of having faith back when Jesus walked the face of the planet. Are there any differences to having faith today to that of when Jesus was walking among us? In the modern world we are faced with an enormous set of challenges. There are the distractions of technology, the media and the internet. We have had numerous natural disasters, economic pressures, threats of violence, wars, riots, terrorism and other things that can consume our focus in recent days. Maybe you have been where I have been and have thought the same things that I have thought. I have personally thought it would have been nice to live in the days when Jesus was physically walking around and living with us. Life was just so much simpler back them and you could have seen the God of creation in the flesh. Wouldn’t it have been nice to see Him physically speaking, healing, walking on water, raising the dead and doing the things that we can only read about today? Sometimes people think that if I had just lived back then, it would have been easy to get healed and I would not have to put up with this disease anymore. I wouldn’t have to put up with this sickness or this disease if I only lived when Jesus was here. If, I could have just gone to see Him and bam I would have been healed like everyone else. However, when you study the Bible you actually come to a much different understanding of reality and that is what I will discuss today. If you have not been reading this series of lesson from the beginning I would suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1”.
I want to start today by turning to the book of Mark chapter 6 and reading a story of Jesus that is often ignored. In this story of Jesus, He is visiting some old friends and relatives and we see a very different reality of how difficult it was back then to get healed even from the Son of God walking among you.
Mar 6:5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
Mar 6:6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
People like to think that Jesus was God in His omnipotent power and that He could do anything that He wanted to on the earth when He was here. However, that is not what the Bible actually teaches us. According to these verses in Mark 6, it says that Jesus wanted to heal them, but He could not. Wow, that is very earth shattering to the theology of many confused Christians. This verse does not say that “He would not heal them”, it says very clearly that “He could not heal them”. That clearly tells us this is not God in His omnipotent power. What would cause God not to be able to do anything? What would limit God’s ability on the earth? You should really think about that before you try to answer. If you have been reading this series of lessons on Bible faith you have learned that Jesus rebuked people for having no faith and praised others for having great faith. Jesus would always emphasize a person’s faith and no other factors were given for anyone getting healed. So if no one gets healed here in this story in Mark 6, why didn’t they? Verse 5 says Jesus tried to do His mighty works there, but was not able to and then in verse 6 it reveals to us why He could not do anything there. In verse 6, it says Jesus marveled at their unbelief. The term “marveled” comes from a Greek root word to “to see” or “to perceive”. Jesus saw that they had no faith and was astonished. If you learned what I taught in the last lesson, you saw that believing was a key factor for having faith that grows and works. You first had to hear, you then had to understand what you heard and next you had to believe what you heard. This was the people’s problem in this chapter of Mark 6. These people heard that He was anointed, understood what it meant, but refused to believe it by a purposeful act of their own freewill. Pay attention to what I just said, it was not Jesus’ choice to not give them faith; it was there choice not to believe that caused them their problems. That is the first thing that you need to know about that I did not cover in the last lesson. You see I could not cover everything in one lesson or I would have overwhelmed you with too much information all at once. What you need to realize is that faith is more complicated than just four simple steps and miraculously you are healed, saved and delivered from every problem. Your “will” is a determining factor to whether or not you believe what you hear. What I am trying to show you is that faith is an internal choice that you make after you hear and understand. You can choose to believe or you can choose not to believe, it is always your choice. You can read in John chapter 5 about a story where Jesus teaches us this lesson about faith and you will see this point being emphasized. In John 5:6 Jesus approaches a lame man at the Pool of Bethesda and says this to him “Will you be made whole”? Why is Jesus asking this man, this question? Apparently it is not all up to God’s will but it was up to this man’s will to whether or not he was to be made whole again. That was a very direct question that reveals the man’s will played a major part in the man getting healed. What we must realize is that Jesus is not diminishing the man’s faith to be a factor; He was only emphasizing the man’s will needed to be adjusted. The man when asked this by Jesus said “I don’t have anyone who will help me”. In other words the man was making an excuse why he was not healed by blaming others that did not help him and this was what Jesus was trying to correct. Jesus was in effect saying to him it is not their fault that you are not healed, it is your own fault and that does not go over well with people who like to blame everyone else and not take any responsibility upon themselves.
Let’s discuss briefly what is your will? Your will is a key part of your internal unseen soul realm. Your soul is made up of your mind (ability to think, reason and your memory), your will (ability to choose and make choices) and your emotions (love, hate, happiness, sadness, etc.). Your will determines what you do today. If you get up in the morning instead of lying in bed all day, then you exercised your will to get out of bed. If you ate breakfast, you exercised your will to determine what to eat and then to eat. Your will is a conscious decision to do something. Jesus is basically informing us that if you are going to get healed then it is up to your will and not God’s will that makes it happen. In other words if you are waiting on God to heal you, you are not going to get healed. Let’s examine the woman with the issue of blood again and see what she did that fits this reality. She heard about Jesus, understood what she heard and believed it and then she did what? She made a decision to go get healed. If she had done nothing or waited for Jesus to come to her she would not be mentioned in the Bible. It was only because of a conscious act of her will that she is found in the Bible at all. So a decision that she made with her will played a huge role in the fact that she got her healing. I wish that was all of the factors, but that is not all of the factors and it gets more complex than this. So hang in there as we learn some more about faith’s prerequisites and partners to get answers using your faith.
Let’s get back to Mark 6 and see why these people did not let Jesus do any mighty works there. These people failed in step 3 of God’s faith building Bible class. Unbelief is a diametrically opposed force to faith. You cannot have faith and unbelief at the same time and get healed; they in effect cancel each other out. There is one story in the Bible that seems to show you can have both, but I believe that faith and doubt can occur in two different realms of reality. Real Faith is of the heart, and doubts can occur in your mind. What you are supposed to learn today is that Bible faith is of the heart or the spirit and it does not occur in your mind. However, to get faith into your heart takes a trip through your mind and I’ll talk more about that soon.
Luk 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
Where does Jesus say you need to believe? You can actually see that Jesus is associating true faith to the spirit of man. To believe with your heart is the goal that you are after. That also implies that you can believe with your head as a mental choice and not with your heart. The mental realm is a doorway to your spirit, but it is not your spirit. In order for God’s word to work you are going to have to get it into your spirit. How do you do this? In elementary school as children, you would say the multiplication tables over and over out loud until you knew them by heart. Guess what that is how you get God’s word into your heart also. When you get something in your heart abundantly you do not have to figure out the answer, it will just automatically come out. In other words when asked what is 6 times 9 you would just say 54 and you do not have to do a calculation to figure out the correct answer. This is what you are after with the word of God also. You should be able to say exactly what the Bible says about your situation without looking it up. You do this by speaking and mediating on it day and night as God told Joshua in Joshua 1:8:
Jos 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
This is God speaking to you today. If you think that this is a private message to Joshua, you do not understand God very much. God is saying that you must keep His words in your mouth all the time. The Hebrew word translated as “meditate” means to “murmur”. To murmur is a term that means to speak under your breath as in to mutter to oneself. God is telling Joshua how to be successful in life and this applies to you also. The net effect of this action is God builds faith in the heart of Joshua and he is able to lead his people into the Promised Land. It is very difficult to explain the difference between head faith and heart faith. If you learn God’s word and say it over and over until you get it inside your spirit, you will know when you have it and I won’t have to explain it to you. There will come a time when it will be obvious to you also. I will talk more about this soon.
What caused these people Mark 6 not to believe? You can obviously learn that believing with your heart is a key component to whether you will get healed or remain the same from this lesson. The people in Mark 6 were the people of Jesus’ hometown where He grew up as a child to become a man. All of these people knew Him intimately and personally, they saw Him physically for many years and yet after being baptized by John and anointed by God, they refused to believe that Jesus was anointed by an act of their will. You see the problem they had was that they could not overcome the mental conflict that was occurring in their minds when they recalled all of the years that He was with them and never did anything extraordinary. They had put Jesus into a box of familiarity and it caused them to miss the great works that He wanted to do. Apparently living back in the days of Jesus is not that much of an advantage to getting healed as I thought originally. It would seem that the more you knew about Jesus the less likely you were to believe that He was anointed and chosen of God. Did you ever think about this? Why did Jesus choose a bunch of strangers to be His disciples? It was simply because they did not know who He was that allowed them to follow Him blindly. It would appear from this information that knowing Jesus would have been a major stumbling block to you getting healed rather than the other way around. So after I read this story, I was glad I did not live back then and see Jesus personally.
In the last lesson on Bible Faith that I did, I gave you one of the greatest faith lessons found in the Bible about the woman with the issue of blood who was sick for 12 years and when she had heard of Jesus she risked public stoning and pressed through the crowd to touch His garment and she was healed. I have been using this story repeatedly because it holds valuable lessons on how faith works that we need to understand. In this lesson I further described that Jesus said it was her faith that had caused her to be made whole. In studying this story you should become aware that it was only this woman who got healed and no one else present was healed who was in the crowd. When Jesus asked “Who touched me”, the disciples told Jesus that everyone is touching you. Why were all of these people touching Jesus? They must have needed something. I do not think that Jesus was seen to be a rock star personality in those days. Jesus did not get up and sing love songs and the women would faint and scream. The crowds of people were there because Jesus had claimed to be anointed by God, but yet none of these people knew that it required more than just a physical touch to get their answer. What we learn from this information is that Jesus does not place any priority on people, but He does place a huge priority on faith. I want to go over another scripture in this story that I intentionally left out of the last lesson to teach you some additional factors about this woman’s faith. I want to show you why this woman had faith and no one else in the crowd did and we will begin reading in verse 27 of Mark 5:
Mar 5:27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
We can clearly assume that everyone that was there to touch Jesus that day was there because they had heard the same thing that this woman had heard and that was He was anointed by God. So hearing was not the issue for anyone present, everyone present must have heard about Him the same way. They all must have understood what an anointed one meant. They all must have believed that He was anointed. They all came to touch Him, but only one woman got healed. It must have been another factor that caused this woman to get healed while others did not and that is why I want to show you what is found in verse 28:
Mar 5:28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
We understand from reading this verse that it is out of sequence in time. In other words these are words spoken by the woman before she got to Jesus. Do you understand that? I want to describe the Greek word translated as “for” first in the verse. You see this word in the Strong’s means “to assign a reason”. In other words God is giving us the reason for this woman’s faith. That means it is important to understand. I alluded to this factor in my last lesson and I talked a little bit about it earlier when I mentioned Joshua, but today I want to emphasize it with some extra teaching on the subject of “speaking your faith”. If you have read my other Bible lessons, you know that I teach a lot about the power of words spoken. Here is another example, of this reality using this lesson in Mark 5. We already saw in verse 31 that Jesus said, “Daughter, thy faith has made you whole”. Therefore, we know that the woman had faith before she got to Jesus. Here is how I know that the woman possessed faith before she ever physically saw Jesus:
Luk 17:6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
Here is God speaking to you right here and right now. God says “if you had faith, you would say”. The opposite truth to this statement is “if you had no faith you would be silent”. Wow, that is really good stuff. Does God say that speaking is doing faith? Remember what step four of my last faith lesson was? God said you must 1) hear, 2) understand, 3) believe and 4) do. Step four is always doing your faith. We can clearly see that based upon God’s word here in Luke 17:6 that this woman had faith and was doing her faith because she has said something positive. Remember earlier I tried to teach you that real faith was of the heart and you get this faith by speaking to yourself over and over. This is what this woman must have done. Jesus taught us that “from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Mat 12:34). So whatever comes out of your mouth is what you have abundantly put into your heart. We can clearly understand that this woman had faith from her heart that God says resulted in her healing and that she possessed this before she arrived to where Jesus was because she was saying something.
However, it was not just saying something that was important; it was really more what she believed and then what said. She said “If I touch His clothes, I will be made whole”. Was this prophetic? Was this an amazing coincidence? You have to understand the power of words to see that she got exactly what she said. We should all learn to watch what we say after reading stories like this in the Bible. The woman is never focused on her sickness; her words are only directed at her being whole. If you walk around talking about how bad you feel and how sick you are, you are probably going to stay that way. God is teaching you a concept found in the Bible that is radically different than any concept you get from your doctor. Thinking positively, believing positively and speaking positively will result in good things happening to you. Do you remember what God says in Joel 3:10 “Let the weak say I am strong”. Why would God almighty teach weak people to say what they are not? Wow that is very strange isn’t it? However, God’s ways are not our ways and if you want the God kind of results you are going to have to change to do it His way. This is the major difference between this woman who got healed and the others who touched Jesus but did not get healed. It is obvious to me that none of the others believed or said that they would be made whole. They were just there to try it out and see if anything happened.
It is virtually impossible to teach about faith and not talk about spoken words. These two subjects are intimately connected to each other. The woman with the issue of blood was in effect calling herself whole before she was whole. This is a Bible faith concept revealed to us in Romans 4:17. In this verse God tells us that He called Abraham a father of many nations before He became the father of many nations. In this story of Abraham God changes the name of Abram to Abraham and this causes him to start saying what God said. Abraham was an old man now, but as soon as he starts saying “I am Abraham” which means “father of nations”, He becomes a father that year. God uses your words to produce the results in your life whether you want to believe it or not that is how it works. This faith concept of calling things that are not as though they are, will also work for you today. If you are sick and you want to get healed, be like this woman and start calling yourself whole before you are whole and don’t stop doing this just because it looks worse tomorrow than it does today. This woman could have given up and said there are just too many people for me to get through to Jesus. It is just too hard and it looks impossible. But, she went and made her way through the crowds of people pushing to get to Jesus and when she made it and touched His clothes and she was healed. Would it have mattered if she said “I might be healed”. I think it would have mattered a lot. You see might is a word that implies “might not”, or “depends upon something” I don’t know or some other factor that demonstrates a lack of confidence. If you have no confidence in the Word of God or the anointing you would say “might” or “maybe”. But, if you have great confidence and expect to get healed when you touch Him, then you would say “I will be made whole”. Because the woman had faith in God’s word and His anointing she could say this the way that she did. So I just introduced you to two new determining factors or faith partners that contribute to you having faith. Your confidence level determines your expectation level and these two factors are essential to receiving anything from God. I further showed you that “saying” is a part of doing and some tines it can be all you need to do.
As you can begin to see, Bible faith is a complex subject that is related to many other subjects. We have seen that being willing to hear something new is the introductory level of obtaining faith. Then we learned that you must hear the Word to get faith started. I then showed you how understanding what you heard is a determining factor to having correct Bible faith. I then showed you how believing is an essential factor to having Bible faith. Today I introduced you to your will playing a role in what you decide to believe. Then I taught you that doing is a part of having your faith work for you. Today I introduced you to “speaking” as being a part of doing and getting faith abundantly in your heart. I also showed you that what you say will be dependent upon your level of confidence in what you believe. Finally, the woman with the issue of blood expected to be healed when she touched Jesus, so expectation is another essential piece of having faith that receives. If you don’t expect to get healed you will not get healed. Bible Faith is complex, like a transmission in a car is complex. If you do not think so, you should go unbolt your transmission off of your car and take it apart and see if you are smart enough to put it back together correctly. It takes a lot of training and experience to be a great transmission mechanic and to rebuild a transmission. This is the same way with faith. There are many cross related subjects that you must study to fully understand this complex Bible subject. I wish I could simplify it more, but I did not write the Bible and I did not invent faith so I must learn to work with God’s definitions and the information given to us in the Bible, just like you must do the same.
When you begin to understand how faith works, you will better understand the examples of faith given to us in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. Take for example, the famous story of David and Goliath. Did faith have anything to do with what happens in this story? You should go back and read it again and see what you see that is different now. David heard there was a giant and asks what will be done for the man who kills this giant. It would appear that hearing was a factor in the story. When you read this story notice what David says very carefully and see if he is not speaking words of faith. It is a very powerful faith filled story with words that come from the mouth of David. David said “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine?” In other words who is this one that is not in covenant with the almighty God of Israel? Then David says to Goliath “this day will I take your head from your shoulders and feed your carcass to the birds of the air”. Before David did anything, he always said what he would do. Then David did it acting out his faith in His God. This story exhibits David’s high confidence level in his God’s ability and thus David expected to win the battle and not to be defeated. There were no doubts in the heart of the future King of Israel. But, also realize that before David killed the giant Goliath, David had faith experiences with a lion and a bear. In other words, faith is a progressive undertaking of experiences and previous victories that causes your confidence level to increase. If you start small, your faith can grow to the giant killing level, but if you start with the giant level, you might be easily defeated. Here is a modified list of faith factors that has increased significantly since the last lesson, but hopefully you can see and understand them better now.
- Bible Faith is based upon truth in the Bible.
- Being open to the truth allows truth the opportunity to come to you.
- Hearing the truth is the beginning of obtaining Bible faith.
- Understanding God’s Word spiritually will open the door to allow it into your heart.
- Believing and speaking the Truth will plant it firmly in your heart in abundance.
- Choosing to decide to believe it and do it are both conscious acts of your will.
- Your confidence in the truth determines your level of effort, your commitment and your expectation level for it coming to pass in your life.
- Expect the answer to occur even when it looks impossible. Expecting is like ordering a package from the internet and knowing it will arrive any day very soon.
- Do what you said and receive the answer.
These are the basic steps and factors to having Bible faith in the modern world. It just so happens to be the same as we found in the days when Jesus was walking the face of the earth that we learned about from the woman with the issue of blood. These faith steps also apply to other Old Testament saints like David and Joshua. Faith has not really changed at all, and Jesus has certainly not changed. So whatever He did back then is what is available to you today. I know you cannot touch His physical garment, but you can do everything else that the woman with the issue of blood did and get healed the same way by touching His Spirit. God still sees your faith today and it will still work the same. The Spirit of God is everywhere all at once and His power is available to you right now, but it is only accessed by your faith. In closing I want to emphasize one point that I have seen in the past. There are some people who believe if they throw away their medicine they will be healed. They look at this as an act of their faith. However, that is usually presumptive foolishness that gets you killed. Taking medicine does not heal you and not taking medicine certainly does not heal you. There are no examples in the Bible of people throwing away medicine and getting healed anywhere, so you cannot base your faith on this. Go to the doctor, take your medicine and believe and say that God has healed you and made you whole anyway. When you are healed you will know when not to take any medicine. Your words are much more important to your healing than you not taking any medicine. You begin to say that you are healed and whole and still take your medicine. “Let the sick say I am whole”, that is what Joel 3:10 could say if you want to see it that way. I also want to say that I write these lessons speaking about sickness because many people need to be healed and that is why I have focused in on only one part of receiving from God. But, I want to emphasize that every part of the steps that I just listed will work for whatever you need from God. Maybe it is a job? Maybe it is some money to help pay your bills? The only things that is going to change on my list is what scriptures you need to hear in order to get faith for your need. The Bible contains God’s promises and the New Covenant is built upon better promises than the Old Covenant. So go find the promises of God written about your need and use those to build your faith for what you need today. The rest of the steps are still the same. I hope that clarified a question that someone might have had about faith and how to make it work for a different need other than healing. Thanks for taking the time to study the Bible with me and to see God’s truth.
If you would like to continue reading in this series of Bible lessons on Faith you can go to “Part 6“.
(Ver 1.1) This will be an extremely advanced Bible study about a subject that many married Christians have thought on at one time or the other. Today, I want to focus in on a challenging question that I had presented to me from a reader. It was an excellent question and I appreciate getting stimulating questions form people. She wondered if her marriage between her and her husband would still be able to continue after this life ends. She told me that they loved each other greatly and did not want the marriage to ever end. She had read some of my other lessons where I taught some potentially troubling things that concerned her future marriage to her husband and thus the reason for the question. I do want to say up front that I admire this couple’s resolve and dedication to each other. It is a highly commendable attitude to take hold of and to keep. Anyone going into a marriage should be fully committed to that marriage for however long it might be and for whatever negative things that might occur. Recently on the national news a very prominent Christian TV personality was caught cheating on his wife. This couple after several years of counseling and help from God has decided to remain together and are attempting to rebuild the trust that was lost. While I do not admire the actions of the man to cheat, I do admire that he sees fit to change and get it right and for his wife’s ability to forgive. So this is a very hard question to answer without potentially offending someone or causing anyone to become discouraged, but I will try to do the best that I know how from my current level of knowledge of the Bible and then I’ll let you decide what you want to believe. Let’s first start talking about what marriage is.
Mal 2:14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
Jer 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
You can surely see from these verses in Malachi and Jeremiah that God says a marriage is defined to be a covenant in His eyes. A Bible blood covenant is a legally binding contract between the husband and the wife based upon the Word of God. God told Israel, that I made a covenant with you when I took you out of Egypt and I was your husband. That would make Israel His wife in covenant with God. These are very clear definitions to what a covenant and a marriage are. A covenant and a marriage are clearly synonymous terms for the same thing. When a Christian couple unites in covenant marriage they become “one flesh” according to the Word of God and the law of marriage. You can read this fact in several places in the Bible, but the first time it is mentioned is when Adam and Eve are created in Genesis 2. The body of the wife was taken from the body of her husband and God says they are one flesh (Gen 2:24). This is God’s natural law of marriage covenant between a male and a female and this law is still in effect in the New Testament (Mat 19:5, Mark 10:8, Rom 7:2, Eph 5:31). You do understand that Adam and Eve were created before the Old Covenant. So anything that happens before the old covenant is still in effect after the old covenant has ended. In the eyes of God if you marry someone and consummate that marriage, you are now one flesh that cannot be legally separated for any reason except two Bible exceptions that are given to us by God. God gives us only one legitimate reason for divorce and this is infidelity (Mat 5:32, Mat 19:9). Divorce is the legal end to a marriage covenant contract and God says that this is only permissible if your spouse is unfaithful. If your spouse is adulterous and sleeps around, you are free to divorce them without fear of punishment, legal recourse or retribution from God. This is what the Bible says, so if you divorced for any other reasons you will have some future issues with God. I’m not going to go there anymore since divorce is not my primary subject. The only other legal end to a marriage covenant is when one spouse dies a physical death. According to God’s word that marriage is over.
Rom 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
According to this verse it is very clear that God says the law of marriage is null and void when death occurs. As long as you both are alive and neither is unfaithful you are bound by the law of marriage and God. But, as soon as your spouse dies, then you are not bound to that legal covenant any more. We can recognize that death is a legal separating force for the termination of covenants. This is actually a very important Bible concept that I might not get into fully in this lesson. This concept is introduced when Ruth says to Naomi I will go where you go and your people will be my people. Then Ruth 1:17 says until death part thee from me. This is a popular wedding vow phrase that many have spoken when they were married. The bride and the groom were promising to be faithful until death do we part. You can read about this in some of my other lessons of why God did this and how He used it to terminate His covenant with Lucifer. I want you to see the Greek definition for the word translated as “loosed” found in Romans 7:2:
From G2596 and G691; to be (render) entirely idle (useless), literally or figuratively: – abolish, cease, cumber, deliver, destroy, do away, become (make) of no (none, without) effect, fail, loose, bring (come) to nought, put away (down), vanish away, make void.
It would seem to me that this word is a very strong definition for the termination of a marriage covenant. You can read in the definition “vanish away”, “make void”, “render idle”, “abolish”, “cease”, “destroy” and you can clearly see that there is really no other way to take these statements other than literally. A death when it occurs in a marriage covenant represents a separating force that renders your previous obligations ineffective, useless and vain. So while you would like to think that your marriage is eternal you must take the words of the most intelligent being (God) to be a greater witness to what actually occurs. If you choose to ignore God’s words for what you want to believe it does not cause God’s words to fail or not to come to pass.
I heard a minister say once that he and his wife had made a covenant to stay together in heaven. They enjoyed each other so much that they could not bear to part like my reader. While he did not give any scriptures to back this promise, I’m totally convinced that it might be a possibility for them in some degree. You see I do not know of any scripture that says you cannot speak to others in heaven and establish relationships or friendships. This would further mean if you can speak with someone then you can do other things with that person as well, like walk the streets of gold, eat, fellowship, or whatever. While Jesus was on the earth, He constantly said “According to your faith…” and “As you have believed…”. Jesus seemed to emphasize the faith and beliefs of the people to be a determining factor to what happened to them on the earth. Is faith still a determining factor in heaven? Is how you believe still a defining influence to what you get throughout eternity? That is an excellent question to consider. I personally believe that God would not have gone to such extensive efforts to produce a people of faith, if faith was not a future eternal gift to possess and use. Here is a Bible verse that tends to give that impression also:
1Co 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
God says that there “abides” faith, hope and love and God seems to indicate that these will continue forever. Faith is mentioned first, but God says Love is the greatest of these three. Since the Bible says that God is Love, we know that love is an eternal concept that will never end. If Love will be a dominant characteristic in heaven then faith will surely be there also. The Greek word translated as “abide” means “to continue”, “to be present”, “to endure” and “to stay in a given place”. This word seems to indicate that faith will be present in heaven and if it is like it was on the earth, what you believe is usually always what you get out of life, good, bad or indifferent.
So I have concluded that it might be entirely possible to remain in a relationship in heaven if that is what you both believed for. Now the complexity factor is increased because of this additional emphasis which you must place on the Bible. Bible faith or beliefs are always based upon what God tells us in the Bible. If God says anything is for you, then you can believe it is yours and possess it. Then there is inverse truth to that law which is that you cannot believe God for something that violates His Word and expect to get it. Therefore, if you believe for something that is sinful, hurtful, harmful, lustful, or a violation of the Word of God you will probably not get what you were expecting. Let’s say a man wants to live with a woman in eternity that was another man’s wife on the earth, would that be permissible or even remotely possible? You can begin to see the complexity that is involved in multiple personalities wanting the same thing and what is the resolution? I guess what we need to do is figure out what the Bible actually says on the subject and then believe for that. In our world, people marry and divorce like it is no big deal. There are many people in the world who have married multiple times. Some have done this because their spouses have all died, but others have done it because they thought the grass was greener on the other side of the hill. What happens when a person in our world is married multiple times and then they are saved and go to be with the Lord? Jesus actually was presented this hypothetical question in the Gospels and here is this story:
Mat 22:24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
It is very interesting to note that the Law of Moses does not tell a woman to remain unmarried if her husband has died and she has had no children. In fact the Law that God gave to Moses actually commands the opposite. It is interesting to note that God is not opposed to being married multiple times and you should think about that. It is more important to God why you have been married multiple times and not if you have been married multiple times. Here in this story the woman’s dead husband’s younger brother is supposed to marry her and raise up children for his dead brother. This means to have sex with her and give her children. So we can clearly see that God is saying something can’t we? Now the additional complexity comes in if they have already had children, then there is not a requirement to remarry and it is permissible for her children to take care of her in her old age. The law was intended to give a childless widow an option that would cause her to not stoop to prostitution to feed herself. I believe that God was looking out for the widow in this law and that it has spiritual meanings attached to it that I cannot get into today.
Mat 22:25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother:
So in the hypothetical question being presented to Jesus there are said to be seven brothers and one woman. The first brother dies and leaves his wife to his brother, like the Law of Moses so states.
Mat 22:26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh.
They continue to go through the list of brothers in ordered succession and each has had their turn to be married to the same woman in this world. This is one woman who had seven different husbands. Surely you have read this in the Bible before? But, did you understand it?
Mat 22:27 And last of all the woman died also.
Finally the woman dies and is buried and then what? This is where we are today in this lesson of what happens next after this life? The men that were standing with Jesus are about to ask him a question. Here is the question finally presented after the long background discourse:
Mat 22:28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.
Jesus was being questioned by a group of Jews who did not believe in the resurrection from the dead. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, so they were trying to get Jesus to see their point of view by asking a hypothetical question about it as a trick. The Pharisees did believe in the resurrection based upon words, from something that they had read in the Old Testament it gave them the impression that death was not the end of the journey. So the Sadducees ask Jesus which husband will this woman belong to since she was “one flesh” with all of them. Wow, that is a tough, tough question to answer unless you are God who knows how to handle hard questions.
Mat 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
So here we go with the response of the creator of the universe and this is a potentially explosive answer that can be interpreted many wrong ways. If you look at just the first part of the entire response you could say that these guys did not understand the scriptures and Jesus was saying there was no resurrection coming. But, that is not what Jesus said at all. Jesus literally said “You are in error not understanding the scriptures or the power of God”. This verse actually gives us some tremendous insight into two things. The answer to their question was clearly found in the Old Testament, if we can see it and understand it. The next item to consider is that the Power of God is involved in the solution to the mystery. Jesus was in effect saying if you understood how powerful God was, you would not be asking such a foolish natural question. Wow, that is tough right there to handle isn’t it? It almost sounds like my reader’s question of can I still be married to my husband in heaven? Would Jesus give the same answer to my reader’s question as He did to the one that these guys asked? I do not know for sure how to answer that. I just know that God says “With Him ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE”. So I’m not sure if I helped or hurt with that last statement. Let’s continue through the answer that Jesus gives us and see what else He has to say:
Mat 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
Here we have a very interesting statement where Jesus continues His answer to the men’s question. Did you see what Jesus said? Jesus definitely said there is a resurrection coming, it has not occurred yet, so it is a future event within God’s calendar. Next, Jesus said after the resurrection that people will neither marry or be given in marriage. Let’s stop there and think about that part of the statement. The Greek word translated as “marry” means to wed and applies to either sex, male or female. God says males and females will not marry after they are raised in the resurrection. Then the Greek word “given in marriage” is a term only for females when a daughter is given to her future husband to become his bride. These are very familiar topics and subjects that we are all familiar with in this world. We see this happening all around us. But, Jesus clearly says that this is not what will happen after the resurrection occurs. The question then shifts to why? Does it mean it is not possible or just not permitted or could it be a third option that you have not considered? You see in the world today you see things from a very narrowly focused point of view. What will change after the resurrection occurs? Is it possible that you will not have the same desires and your focus will experience a transformation which will permit you to see things completely different? Read this verse very carefully:
1Co 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
There seems to be some clues in the Bible that we do not see things very clearly in this world. In other words our spiritual vision is clouded and our perspectives are skewed. I believe what God is saying to us is that what we hold as valuable in this world, when reflected on could become very minor to us when viewed correctly in the next world. Think about this statement very closely and consider the words written there for you. If you can only see a small part of this world and only know a minor slice of the greater truth that will be revealed later, how can you make a determination now what you will want in the next spiritual dimension? Your desire to stay married with your present spouse might just change dramatically once you see the awesome power of God. Your spouse might be the center of your world today, but in the presence of God they could fade and become much less important to you. I do not mean to say that you will not love them, but according to this verse in first Corinthians you will see them more clearly along with God.
I can almost feel the disappointment that my reader no doubt might be feeling right now. But, let’s continue with the answer that Jesus is speaking of in his response to marriage after the resurrection. After Jesus says we will not marry, Jesus says something else that is very profound; he says “we will be as the angels of God”. We can clearly understand from this statement that angels pre-existed man. Angels were not created to look like us; we were created to look like them. But, how are the angels of God? Jesus implies that angels do not marry each other either. The implication is that they could marry but that this is not the design of God for them to marry. You can take this to mean that there must be both male and female angels can’t you? If there were not any female angels then God would not be able to compare us to them. We could never be like them, if there were only males. Do you understand that? You see when I read in Genesis where the “sons of God” (angels) had sex with the daughters of Adam (women) on the earth and created a race of giants, I wondered if there were any female angels. It is clear that God says there are male angels. If God created male angels with male sexual organs and no female angels it would not make any logical sense to me. I guess I’m getting off of the subject somewhat, but it is a very fascinating concept to consider. I have to conclude that if people who are resurrected can become like the angels and female humans are included in this group there has to be female angels that exist or they would not really be like anyone else. The major thing to learn from this statement is that after the resurrection, we will be like the angels of God. Whatever they do, we can do, whatever they are we are very similar, however they live, we will live also. Please remember this and I will try to talk more about the angels later. However, Jesus is not through answering the question and we must see the rest of the answer and put it together correctly:
Mat 22:31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
Here is Jesus beginning to give us another very deep revelation of the spiritual realm. As you can clearly read, Jesus has not finished speaking about the resurrection. This next statement is a direct revelation that is very powerful to know:
Mat 22:32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
Wow, this is a hard saying from God. It will go over your head if you are not careful to observe the words that are being communicated on the subject of the resurrection. What was Jesus saying with this statement? The words of the prophet were written many hundreds of years after the physical deaths of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God is saying that at the time the prophet wrote these words, these three men were not dead. These words confounded the Sadducees who were listening and put them to silence. You see I have had several very ignorant commenters try to teach me about what happens after physical death occurs and they should have noticed what Jesus just said before they try to tell me what they think. Some have said the soul and spirit sleep and do not know anything until the time of resurrection. Some of them have tried to say that the human life is ended when a person dies and there is nothing else for them. But, God Himself says that they did not die and they are alive and the resurrection has not yet occurred. Here is one of the most important things you should learn from today’s lesson about spiritual things. If you are a Christian and your body dies in this world, the Bible says your spirit departs and is present with the Lord (Php 1:23). Jesus is saying that physical death is not the end; it is only a change of address. Death is a departure from the physical realm and an entrance into the spiritual realm. Did you understand what I just said? If you did not you should go and read it until you do understand it or just ask me some questions about the parts that you do not understand. What you need to see is that Jesus when speaking to these men on the earth said God is the God of the living and not the dead. God said Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who had died physically hundreds of years earlier, were not spiritually dead but were called alive. Let me give you a verse that I alluded to earlier about changing your of perspective after you die:
1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
What I see from studying the Bible are people’s desires, viewpoints and perspectives are purely based upon what they know and have experienced up until this point in time. In other words your favorite food might be apple pie on the earth, but who knows what it will be when you get to heaven since God could have things there that you have never experienced. People think that because the love found in their current family has been so special and real to them, that it cannot get any better so I will be happy if I just have this throughout eternity. However, God says in 1 Corinthians 2:9 that we have no idea or clue to the great and awesome things that He has planned for those who love Him. I tried to tell you this before, but when you are standing on the streets of gold surrounded by mansions and an innumerable company of angels with the awesome light coming from the throne of God, if you still think and feel the same way that you do today, then God has failed in you knowing Him.
I heard a minister teach about a vision of heaven that he had once where he appeared there and saw things that were so amazing that they are difficult to describe in human terms. He saw spiritual things and even people he knew and talked to them. One of his relatives a sister was there and he got to speak to her. She had died a number of years earlier and she asked him questions about her family that she left there was doing and I think these questions shocked him. You see she did not know what was happening on the earth in the physical realm so she had to ask questions about it to her brother who had just came from there to visit. Her brother did not tell her that her husband had remarried but, said that they were all doing fine. You see people in heaven do not see things the same way and they do not care about the natural realm in what you ate today and what we are wearing or even who you are married to. People in heaven do not care what kind of car you are driving or what kind of house you are living in. Things in the natural realm are very unimportant to people in the spiritual realm. It is a complete opposite perspective to what people on the earth are focused in on. Those in heaven only care if you know Jesus and are saved and that you are growing up spiritually. The eternal things are so much more important than the natural things of this world, that our perspectives are totally different after we leave here. Here is a verse that certainly applies to what I am trying to say to you today:
1Co 7:34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
God is comparing two women in this verse and it clearly says there is a major difference between them. But, do not take it out of context or try to say that God is saying you should not get married. You see if people did not get married and have children, there would be no harvest for God to come back to get. God is simply showing us how a perspective changes when you are married. You see things differently than someone who is not married. You can also take this into the spiritual realm comparison between someone who is spiritual versus someone who is naturally minded. If you are focused on Jesus, then you want to please Him and if you are married your focus is shifted to your spouse. When you get to heaven, who do you want your focus to be on? What do you think God wants your focus to be on?
So I am not saying today that you will not love your spouse when you get to heaven. I’m not saying you cannot spend a lot of time with your former spouse in heaven. I am just saying that in heaven you will see things more clearly than you do today. You will be able to see God for the first time there and you will know Him better than you have ever known Him. I personally believe that the experience of heaven will truly be overwhelming. I believe God has some awesome things prepared for us and when we begin to see them, the past will become just what it was, a spec of inconsequential meaning that pales to the definition of an eternity with God. The human mind cannot fully comprehend infinite and eternal concepts of time. No doubt we will be able to do things in eternity that we never imagined in our short life span on the earth. So I have much more to say on this subject, but I have gone long enough today. I’ll give you a list of key points from today’s lesson about marriage before and after the resurrection.
- Marriage is a blood covenant union between a man and a woman.
- Divorce is not permitted except for infidelity.
- There is a physical resurrection coming where we get a new glorified body.
- Just because you die physically does not mean you are not alive spiritually. You exist just not here in the physical realm.
- After you die physically, your marriage in the natural realm is over.
- This does not mean Christians will not know each other in the spiritual realm in fact you will definitely carry over your memories and experiences in this life into the next.
- We will see things clearly then and not be limited in our perspective as we are now.
- Jesus said in the next realm we will:
- Not marry
- Not be given in marriage
- Be as the angels in heaven
I see marriage, children and families as natural things that God has created for us to teach us about spiritual things. If we did not have these things we would not be able to understand the future spiritual reality that we will soon all experience with Him. So my reader asked me if her marriage could continue and this is a difficult question to attempt to answer today. I hope I have not disappointed anyone in my answer with what the Bible says. I do not believe that you will be disappointed after you get to heaven in any degree. There are many things that you do not know yet, so keep learning them and you will see things more and more clearly as we approach Him who is calling us to a greater and higher ability to see.