Category Archives: Faith

Understanding Bible Faith! Part 18 –- Righteous Faith Speaks

faith speaks2(Ver 1.1) This is now Part 18 in the advanced study series of Bible lessons on the very valuable subject of “Understanding Bible Faith”.  This is one of my favorite Bible subjects to learn, to study and to teach from the entire Bible.  If you know anything about this subject then you should already understand why this is such an important focus to learn intimately.  I want to stop and reemphasize the opening statement that this is an advanced Bible study series about one of the most important subjects concerning believing God’s spoken and written Holy Word and how to receive whatever He has promised or given to us by His sovereign grace either spiritually, mentally or physically.  I have already covered a lot of information on this subject in this series that will not be repeated.  Therefore, if you have not read this entire series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you begin at “Part 1” and then read through the series in the order presented for the greatest level of understanding and retention of this complex Bible subject.  It would also be recommended that you reread the entire series more than once.  The more you study a Bible subject the more you will grow in spiritual maturity in that area of God’s given knowledge.  Let’s get started with learning a few new things about the subject Bible Faith.

INTRODUCTION TO SPEAKING THE WORD OF FAITH

Today my subject concerns “Righteous Faith Speaks” and “Speaking the Word of Faith”.  What is Righteous Faith and why does it speak?  What is the “Word of Faith” and why do we need to hear it, know it, understand it or even to speak it?  We will be attempting to learn some fresh verses on faith as well as reviewing some standard faith verses that we have previously seen in this Bible study series.  However, I will hopefully be providing you some new perspectives to any of these repeated verses.  Some statements that I make today may be a review of what I have referred to before but I will place a new angle upon them because God wants to remind us of what He has already said.  Often times we read a Bible verse and think that we have it completely understood knowing everything about it but yet God can bring out something brand new that we have never seen before because all of His words are layered so deeply with both natural and supernatural knowledge much like an onion is designed to be peeled layer by layer and used in each succeeding deepening cover.  If you have studied the Bible very long you know exactly what I am saying.  Let’s read three verses to begin in Romans the 10th chapter to get us familiarized with the foundation scriptures for today’s entire lesson:

Rom 10:6  But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

Rom 10:7  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

Rom 10:8  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

The end of verse 8 introduces us to one of today’s focused concepts called the “word of faith”.  There are many churches in the world today that have taken this name and there are equally as many people in the world that consider all these word of faith churches to present a less than an accurate representation of the Bible.  However this modern church title did not originate from a contemporary false idea.  The Word of Faith title was only adopted today because of verses like this one.  Paul claimed to be one of the first preachers of the “Word of Faith” and I strongly believe that we should all be following Paul’s example at doing exactly what Paul did, can you agree?

If you do not yet understand what the “Word of Faith” is, I will tell you plainly up front that this Word of Faith mentioned in Romans 10:8 is the written and spoken Word of God.  To help confirm this statement we will begin this study by looking up the definitions of the Greek words translated as “the Word of Faith”.  We will first focus on the Greek word translated as “faith”.  This Greek word is G4102 and it is used by God 244 times in 228 N.T. verses.  In my view this Greek word is one of the most important subjects found in the N.T. Bible.  Let’s review the Strong’s definition to help build and refresh our understanding of this word again.

G4102

From G3982; persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: – assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

The Greek word translated as faith is defined by Strong’s to be a “persuasion”.  The English word “persuasion” represents “the act of convincing someone to believe”.  Your beliefs are the basis for your faith, good, bad, right or wrong.   This Greekword also means “credence” which is defined as “the belief in or acceptance that something is true”.  These are exactly what God is teaching us through Paul in Romans 10:8.  Real Bible faith is accepting, being fully persuaded and convinced of what God has said, promised or spoken to us in His Word is the truth.   This process of accepting, believing and being persuaded is done without proof or evidence of it being true other than knowing the revealed character of God that it is impossible for Him to lie (Heb 6:18).

Before I move to the next Greek word translated as “word” let’s talk briefly about the English word “of”.  Sometimes it is very beneficial to go over the basics to enforce what God was speaking to us.  The word “of” is a very basic concept in the English language and it is often ignored.  The word “of” directly connects the word “faith” with the Greek word translated as “word” in Romans 10:8.  “Of” is a preposition.  In the application usage within this phrase “of” is used by God to indicate that the source of our words come from our faith (beliefs) as well as it meaning the source of our faith can come from our words.  Both of these are true statements.  Remember what Jesus said to us in Matthew.  Let’s review these words quickly:

Mat 12:34  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Jesus very clearly tells us that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak.  Jesus in this case is speaking of evil words coming from the heart that is filled with evil.  But the antithesis truth is also true that good words will come from the same source of good being in the heart.  Now consider and ask yourself where the source of “good” comes from?  If you do not understand that it is from God then I would suggest that you go read some more basic concepts of good versus evil in the Bible.  God is always the source of good words because His heart is filled with Love.  Satan is the source of evil words because his heart is filled with evil intents, thoughts and ways.  Now if God is the source of good as He certainly is, then His spoken and written words should also be for our good and be good for us.  We will see more of this truth as we continue.

The second Greek word that I wanted to focus upon was translated as “Word” in this Romans 10:8.  This Greek word translated as the English word “word” is G4487.  This Greek word literally means an “utterance”.  An utterance carries the definition of a spoken word, phrase or literally an audible vocal sound.  This Greek word is the word “rhema” and this is a very specific type of “word” that means someone has spoken, said or declared.  This Greek word “rhema” comes from the Greek word G4483 which is defined as “pour forth” also meaning to utter, to speak or to say.  Consider this root Greek word G4483 definition to be like a natural pitcher of water that is poured out into a glass for someone to drink.  This pouring out of this water pitcher is the symbolic representation of God or us speaking words of faith.  This is a very important Bible concept that needs to be grasped by Christians.   Do you remember again what Jesus said to us?  Look at this verse and consider the implications:

Joh 7:38  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

What an outstanding and easily misunderstood statement being made by the Creator of the universe.  Do you believe on Jesus?  If you do then Jesus said you should be pouring out from your internal belly, rivers of life producing water.  Is this literal or figurative speaking?  Of course it has to be figurative symbolic information.  Jesus is teaching us spiritual concepts by using naturally created concepts.  Jesus says that we are living pitchers that pour forth waters of life if we believe on Him, do you understand this? But, what are these rivers of living waters being spoken of?  This river of life that pours out of us must originates from the “Rhema” spoken Word of God.  God is the source of all good, and life is good.  I will give you a couple of quick verses to confirm this:

2Co 4:6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2Co 4:7  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Here we have two verifications to what I just taught.  We are very clearly called “vessels” with treasure in it in verse 7.   This earthen vessel is our created human body.  The body is the container of our spirit as well as for God’s Word as inferred in verse 6.  God has shined his “knowledge” inside of us and this is clearly His Word.  It is these words of light inside that will be poured out of us (the earthen vessels) to help others to see and receive the same internal light and eternal life being mentioned in John 7:38.  Let’s see another quick statement that helps to confirm for us that the internal waters of life that must come from our mouths cannot be anything but the spoken Words of God:

Joh 4:14  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Again Jesus is talking about symbolic waters that quench our spiritual thirst and bring us life and this water can only come from what God gives to us by His spoken Word.  The location of this life source of water we are expressly told must be “in us” and this also corresponds to what Jesus was talking of in John 7:38.  “In us” and “our belly” are synonymous positions for the location of our spirit.  Jesus directly says that out of this internal spirit location will come a well of water (river) that will spring up (flow out, stream out, be poured out). Jesus is teaching us a concept of pouring water out from one vessel to another  Jesus was clearly a vessel used to speak words of life producing waters to others that would receive them.  These waters could then be inside of them and are able to flow from their vessel to still another.  Why don’t Christians take this seriously?  I really think it is because they have not been taught it.  However, Jesus was not teaching any new ideas to us but rather He was teaching concepts found in the O.T.   He is then applying them to us in the N.T.  Let’s review some of these O.T. verses quickly that Jesus is referring to:

Pro 18:4  The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.

Pro 10:11  The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

The words of a man’s mouth are defined by God to be symbolic deep waters in the first mentioned verse found in Proverbs 18.  In this verse the human mouth is also called a “wellspring”.   A wellspring is a place that is dug into the ground as a source of fresh pure drinking water.   Drinking water is a basic necessity for natural life.  This is the symbolic nature of the human mouth by God’s design.  You should be clever enough to understand the human body was made from the dust of the ground.  And it is in this ground that God put a spiritual well of life.  It is a very simple concept but hut yet not widely taught.  Then in Proverbs 10 the mouth of the righteous man is again called a “well of life”.  Here we again have an implied source of life coming from our mouths.  Both of these verses directly correspond to the teachings of Jesus found in John.   The wells of life will spring from the mouth of the righteous and this is the critical nature leads us to ask what is this water that must come from our mouth to give us life?

INTRODUCTION TO THE RHEMA WORD OF GOD

The first section was a simple and quick introduction to speaking the rhema words of life and faith.  But I believe that we still need to learn more about what God is trying to say to us by telling us to speak the word (rhema) of faith in Romans chapter 10 and verse 8?  The answer to our questions was certainly implied in that verse in Romans but it was indirectly mentioned so this makes it easily mistaken for something else.  Paul says that he preached (proclaimed, spoke and said) the Word (rhema) of Faith.  Through this implied statement Paul was stating indirectly that he preached the spoken and written Words of God.  Paul was also indirectly claiming that he preached words that produced faith.   What are these faith producing words being preached?  Perhaps you can remember this answer to where our faith originates from a previous faith lesson on how Bible faith comes and this was where we should have learned that Bible faith comes ONLY by us hearing the Bible preached.  Let’s review the key verse from that Bible lesson:

Rom 10:17  So then faith (G4102) cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word (G4487) of God.

God says in Romans 10:17 that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”.  There is a very specific connection found with our lesson’s focused verse of Roman 10:8 by direct contextual association and by God’s direct word selection by using the exact same Greek words G4102 and G4487 which were translated as “faith” and “word” respectfully in both verses.  I hope and pray that you know that valid interpretation of God’s word is always based upon rules.  Two of these rules are 1) direct verse to verse context and 2) by finding other verse word usages of the word(s) being studied.  In Romans 10:17 the Spirit of God through Paul is explaining and defining what the “Word (Rhema) of Faith” represents.  We can logically correlate by the laws of mathematics that the “Word of Faith” is equivalent to “the Word of God” and I will give further verse confirmation for this as I continue.

There are generally two different noun types used in the N.T. to describe God’s spoken word.  “Logos” G3056 generally refers to the spoken words of God written in book form and is what I will call reference type 1 and then “Rhema” G4487 is also a type of the spoken word of God referring to God directly speaking His word to anyone by audible sound. But this type of word (rhema) can also refer to God’s spoken word being spoken by an angel or even by us as believers speaking His written word (logos). The “Rhema” word is what I will call reference type 2.  Both Logos and Rhema are used by God in reference to God’s spoken word.  I am only going to focus on type 2 Rhema since this is the key word selected and used by God in Romans 10:8 and 10:17 to describe the substance that produces faith that was being preached by Paul.

You should be familiar with this verse in Romans 10:17 already.  God gives us a direct formula for how Bible faith comes through hearing God’s spoken Word.  God very clearly says that it is this Rhema word of God that must be heard in order to produce faith.  Therefore we must have those that speak God’s Word and those that hear God’s word for any faith to be produced.  It is also interesting to note that these words pour forth from one spirit (heart) to enter into another heart and that is the process of the pitcher and water vessel giving drink to the thirsty empty man vessel we looked at earlier.  I’ll give you another couple of verses quickly to help us confirm “Rhema” is the Word of God being spoken:

1Pe 1:25  But the word (rhema) of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word (Rhema) which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Rhema (word) is associated to be both the spoken words of Jesus as well as the Gospel that was preached verbally to the people.  After the people heard this spoken word it was the same as if they had heard it directly from the lips of Jesus.  There is really no difference between me preaching the Word of God and the Words of Jesus as if Jesus was here personally preaching to you in the flesh.  We are both proclaiming the same “Rhema” words of God.  It is this same Rhema Word of God that will produce the faith in the dry hearts of the people to believe and to receive salvation.   What did I just say?  Some will probably call me a heretic for comparing my spoken words preached with the spoken Words of Jesus but if I say what God says then you need to see how this changes things dramatically.  I’m simply a pitcher of water container and representative of God on this planet.  I am called by God to teach His Word.  I am anointed by God to teach His Word.  Therefore it is technically not me teaching but rather the anointing of God in me that speaks using His Words not mine.  Do you understand what I’m saying?  It is not me that has the power to produce faith or save you, it is the Word in me that has this power.  I do nothing but pour it out and if you drink from it the water of the Word of God will be what causes anything good to happen.  This same principle applies to many other water pitcher vessels and not just to me.  It applies to anyone else that is called by God and anointed by God and is filled with His Word to preach.  It can apply to you if you fill your pitcher with His water.  God uses so many people in this way and I do not want you to think that I am saying I am anybody special because I am not.  I’m going to end this section with another verse that Peter wrote by the inspiration of God:

2Pe 3:2  That ye may be mindful of the words (Rhema) which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

Here is another confirmation that people can legally speak the Words of God and that these words carry the same effect if God said them to each of the people that heard them personally.  Here Peter is speaking of men in the Old Testament saying they gave them Rhema from God.  In other words God gave Rhema to the Prophet and the prophet in turn passed this Rhema to the people and now the people were held responsible for the message give to them by God as if they heard it from God directly with their own ears.    What we are seeing is that when we speak the Word (Rhema) of God we are representing God with the same power and authority.  But I know that will not be easily received by many of my readers because of their feelings of their own weaknesses, insecurity and inadequacies. I guess we still have a lot to learn to overcome these incorrect feelings.

RIGHTEOUS FAITH SPEAKS

Before we go further into this subject of speaking the Word (Rhema) of Faith let’s back up and study the first two foundational verses of Romans 10:6-7 in some depth.  I know that we read them but then we had no discussion on them since I jumped into verse 8 and taught for a long time on the subject “the Word of Faith” being preached.  Because it has been a little while since we read these verses please reread them again to refresh your memory:

Rom 10:6  But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

Rom 10:7  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

There are at least 5 central themes found in the 10th chapter of Romans. These central themes are 1) the Lord Jesus, 2) faith, 3) righteousness, 4) salvation and 5) speaking.  For right now I only want you to focus in on three of the lesser primary themes found in these two verses to see how they relate to the most important primary themed subject as being the Lord Jesus.  These three lesser themes needing our attention concern our “righteousness, our “spoken words” and our “faith” in Christ.  These three subjects were directly joined together in these verses and in this chapter by divine providence.   “Divine Providence” simply means that they were given to us by the caring plan of a guiding and loving intelligent God for our benefit and for His purpose.  God begins the discourse in verse 6 by saying there is a “righteousness” which comes only through faith and this is a very important description found in the New Testament for learning how we become “right” in the eyes of God.  Being right in the eyes of God only means that you are now converted from being a stranger to God (Eph 2:19) to being in the household of faith (Gal 6:10) also called the family of God (Eph 3:15).  We will see other verses in this lesson that will help confirm this but begin to agree that it is only by your faith in Jesus Christ that makes you righteous (right) to God and not your good works.

Now that we know the intended target audience was stated to be those that have been “made righteous by and through faith in Jesus” we are then informed what they (the righteous) should be doing.  Did you see it?  First let me ask you “Are you one of these righteous ones that these verses were written to?”  I know they were written to me personally but only you and God can determine if you qualify.  Satan would like you to think that you are unworthy to qualify but it was because of what Jesus did and not our works that have made us righteous by believing in Him (Rom 3:22).  If you are not taking the Bible personally like it was a love letter written directly from God to you then you really do not understand God or the Bible very much.  If you can say you are one of the righteous ones being described because of your faith then please continue reading otherwise you may be wasting your time continuing to read this lesson.  Let’s see what “we” (the righteous) were told to do next.

Continuing in verse 6 of Romans 10 God says that the righteous (anyone that has believed in Christ Jesus and confessed Him as Lord according Romans 10:9-10) are told to “speak”.  In fact I believe that we were directly commanded to speak.  This means it is not a recommended suggestion but rather an instruction and expectation from the Lord.  Then following this command to speak we are told very clearly exactly what NOT to say first.  Uh oh?  This is the introduction to the hotly debated subject of right and wrong speaking.  Many Christians do not understand that there is such a thing as wrong speaking.  Too many Christians think that it is OK for anything to come out of their mouths but this is clearly not what the Bible teaches us.  Sure most Christians believe that profanity and cursing is a wrong type of speaking.  But that is not all that God declares to be wrong words spoken.

God describes right and wrong speaking to us plainly in Romans 10:6-8 by teaching us examples of what not to say first.  The command of right speaking is a part of faith that many Christians ignore or simply do not understand exists because of a lack of teaching in this area.  This will be a potentially controversial subject and I may lose some readers simply because they are not mature enough spiritually to receive it. I hope and pray that you will do your best to accept what God is saying today and we will soon see and learn what is right to say/speak and what is wrong to say/speak as we continue through the study with the rest of the faith study verses.   But before we move on let me establish a new rule for having effective faith.  God clearly says that the “righteousness which is of faith speaks”.  I will reemphasize this more than once in this lesson and it would benefit you if you just went ahead and write it down as a note for future reference.

In order to understand this command found in Romans 10:6 to speak more clearly we need to examine the Greek word G3004 translated as “speaketh”.  This Greek word is very interesting.  It means to “break silence and say something verbally and audibly” that can be heard by someone/anyone directly listening. Wow, that is some really good information for those of us with righteous faith to learn.  Not only is it wrong to speak wrong words as we will soon see, but it is also very wrong to stay silent and say nothing when you are in faith.  I hope you will take hold of this and believe what God just said and please don’t throw any stones at me because it was not me that said it or wrote in the Bible.  I’m just a messenger delivery service sent from God to teach.  You can accept it or reject it but it is only God’s Word that you are rejecting.  Just please read and study all of the verses that I’m giving to you for yourself.  I want to give you some additional confirming verses for what God wants you to know about faith speaking and we will continue with Galatians the 4th chapter:

Gal 4:1  Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

Gal 4:2  But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.

Gal 4:3  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

After reading these verses you may just ask me “What do these verses have to do with us speaking?”  You may not see it yet because you have not studied the original Greek words spoken by God but they do apply directly to our subject study.  It is so easy to miss the deep things of God by reading the verses only.  I want you to understand that the deep things of God are never found by just reading the Bible.   According to 1 Timothy 2:15, God tells us to “study” in order to be approved.  The Greek word translated as study means to labor and to extend great effort.  This is an essential part of growing spiritually.  Learn to move beyond surface reading to enter the realm of deep study.

To speak to Galatians 4, I will start with the question “Are you an heir?”  Those that think that they are not righteous will also generally think and believe that they are not an heir of God either but this verse is speaking of you and I, if we are born again by our faith in Jesus Christ.  Let’ verify this reality of being an heir of God by God’s Word using a new verse:

Rom 4:13  For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Here is a quick verse to help us learn more about the “righteousness of faith”.  God directly connects Romans 4:13 with Romans 10:6 by using the exact same Greek words G1343 and G4102 which were translated as “righteousness” and “faith”.  These two words were also joined together in proper sequence.   Here in Romans 4 we are told that those that were made righteous by their faith were also made an heir.  An heir means we have an inheritance after someone has died.  The person that died to give us this inheritance was “Jesus Christ” on the cross (Romans 5:8) but He was also the first one to be raised from the dead in order to become the chief heir of God (Col 1:18).  You see in the Bible the first born was supposed to obtain the greater blessing from their father.  You can find that Jesus was called the “first-born” from the dead in Hebrews 12:23 and Revelation 1:5.  Please understand that Jesus was the only one that could die to give us an eternal inheritance and be capable of being raised from the dead to enforce the inheritance.

I don’t have time to explain all of these verses that I just passed on to you in those last paragraph statements fully but you can find more information on these subjects in other lessons that I have published.  Just please understand what God says in Romans 8:17 that we are called and made the “joint-heirs” with Jesus Christ meaning we have obtained the same level of benefits from God through the death of Jesus as Jesus obtained for Himself.  Right now, you should be saying that you are “righteous” and an “heir” of God because of your faith in Jesus.  I’ve given you more than sufficient scriptural evidence to establish this belief foundation.

Let’s get back to Galatians 4:1 to discover the hidden reference to us speaking.  The Greek word G3516 which was translated as “child” in Galatians 4 verse 1 and “children” in verse 3 contains the secret hidden message that I am referring to.   This Greek word means not only a general child but more specifically an “infant” baby.  To be even more specific this Greek word literally means a “non-speaking human baby”.  Every natural child born into this world must acquire the skill of speech over the course of time through physical and mental growth and experiences.  No one is born with this magnificent gift of speaking automatically.  A new born child produces only audible cries.  A one year old is beginning to understand very simple words and may begin to form very simple words like “mama” or “dada”.  But this ability to grasp words and speaking them increases more and more as the months and years progress.  By the time a child reaches the age of 3 to 4 years the words, phrases and sentences usually become better formed, structured and more complete.  Even though the comprehension of what all the words mean can still be incomplete at this early childhood age.

The process of learning to speak is quite miraculous.  But, new born infants obtain this gift through a maturing process of hearing and listening to their parents speaking to them and from mimicking the sounds observed from others around them.  This process of learning to speak is exactly what God is teaching us in the beginning of this chapter 4 found in Galatians.  God is saying to us that this natural process reoccurs in the spiritual realm after we are spiritually new born (born again) into the Kingdom of God.   God is teaching us that even an infant heir to the throne of rule is not able to take control of it and exercise their given authority until they first learn to speak intelligently and confidently learning wisdom from their teachers.

Do you now understand that when a Christian is born again in the spiritual realm that this same natural infant growth and maturing process of learning to speak correctly is repeated in this spiritual realm by God’s design?   If you analyze the first 3 verses in Galatians 4 you should find an analogy comparison being given between two realms of existence with the first being the natural and the greater being the spiritual application of the natural.  The Greek word being used to speak to us of an immature non-speaking child implies someone that is very simple minded or unlearned in the spiritual realm.  God is teaching us that we all start out by not knowing or understanding how spiritual things work like the significance of speaking right words but that He expects us to learn these.  If you are still reading this Bible lesson then you are potentially growing and maturing spiritually by learning these concepts.  More pastors and teachers should teach their people this subject of right and wrong speaking because it is a very important and true reality based upon the proper understanding of scripture.  God expects His spiritually new born infant children to grow up and learn how to speak appropriately in order to rule over their spiritual enemies.

I do not really have the time to teach the importance of the spoken word subject fully today but I do have a much longer series of Bible lessons on the significance of your spoken words on my website and you can go and read those to help you learn more on this critical subject.  If you are interested in learning you can start with “Part 1 – Speak to your Rock”.  This Bible lesson has been the most prevalent viewed lesson of all the Bible lessons on this website.

We could spend a lot more time on studying Galatians 4 about growing out of an immature spiritual state of spiritual babbling but we really need to get back to Romans 10.  Do you remember where we were in verse 6? We had just been introduced to the commandment that “righteous faith speaks”.  I’m going to say this at least one more time for even greater emphasis because this is the foundation for this faith lesson given to us by God and it was directly stated by God that “Righteous Faith Speaks”.  We should begin to understand that Christians should be at the very least learning to speak correctly and that they should also not stay silent after they mature spiritually.  Let’s move to what is found next in verse 6 concerning God’s specific instructions.  After the initial statement in Romans 10:6 God then informs us exactly what not to say/speak in verses 6 and 7 followed by what to say in verse 8.   This is some very essential and valuable information and instructions for learning how God’s divinely designed force of faith should be operating and working in us and through us.

I am going to stop here and make a strong suggestion to you before we look at the sub-category study of wrong words.  Please create a big sign on a piece of plain white paper and in big bold letters write what you have just learned.  Print in large letters “Righteous Faith Speaks” and place this sign on your refrigerator or your bathroom mirror or on any other place where you can see it more than once a day.  This sign will help us all to learn and remind us to put God’s Word into practice.  God has designed and established a law of faith (Rom 3:27) to live in our everyday Christian lives.  But God is not going to make you do it.  You must be the one that applies what you learn.  Hopefully you remember that faith is a law based upon the Word of God given from the previous faith lessons.  Reading this printed note daily will cause this lesson to remain fresh in your mind and help you to become a doer of the Word of God and not a hearer only (James 1:22).  Doing this for at least 30 days will help to build a brand new spiritual habit for living life in a new way as a mature spiritual Christian and I will be talking about this even more as we continue through the rest of the lesson.

LEARNING WHAT NOT TO SAY FIRST

….Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

Let’s talk briefly about what real mature Christians are not supposed to pray or say.  God only gives us two short examples in Romans 10:6-7 of wrong words but this should provide enough of a pattern that we can extend those two to other areas of words that should not be spoken if we can understand why they are not wise to speak.  The first statement of what not to speak tells us not to say “who will go up to heaven to bring Christ down”.  Why would anyone want to say this?  What kind of wrong thinking would cause someone to speak this way?  Someone could be thinking that if Jesus was only here on the earth that they would not be going through what they are going through right here in this natural realm.  In other words they could be thinking very naturally and not spiritually.  Someone could be thinking that if they could just bring the Lord Jesus who is sitting on the throne in the spiritual realm back to this natural realm that all of their natural problems would be solved.  But that type of thinking is very simple minded and is certainly not of faith.  We must realize that God’s power extends beyond His present location in Jesus Christ.  We must consider that the Spirit of God is already here right now living and abiding in us having been poured out from heaven to be our comforter (John 14:16), our helper (Heb 13:6) and our guide (John 16:13).

Therefore we do not need for Jesus to come back to the earth to fix anything.  The Holy Spirit is here and He is God omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent to solve whatever we are facing.  What God is trying to say is that simple naturally thinking people generally gravitate towards natural solutions without considering the spiritual presence and ability of God that is ever present and all-knowing and all powerful.

….Or say, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

Now consider the second statement of what not to say and this will help us understand the first statement much clearer.  In verse 7 God says for us not say “Who will descend into the lower parts of the earth to raise Christ again from the dead.  Why would God recommend that we not say this?   Perhaps you will recall reading the Gospels that after Jesus was resurrected from the dead He walked the face of the earth for 40 days.  During this time He met with many men and women followers.  Since they had all seen Jesus personally there was no need for any of them to have faith in His resurrection.  However, do you think that any of these eyewitness followers would dare say what God said not to say in Romans 10:7?  I personally do not believe they would.  Remember they were told by angels in Acts 1 that this same Jesus that went up into the clouds out of their sight would come back in the exact same way.  So this promise from God required their faith if they believed the message and I think they believed.

There is something so very profound found in this statement that was not directly stated.  God is saying that “we do not need to think or say that Jesus should die again or be raised again from the dead”; but rather we only need to understand that He did do these and then find out what was accomplished by these finished and completed acts of God.  I am a firm believer that not knowing what was given to us by His shed blood in His death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus is why we pray and say some very ignorant things like this.  If we would only come to understand that Christ gave to us His authority (Luke 10:19) on the earth we would not need to ask Jesus to come back to the earth or to be raised again to solve anything.

What God is teaching us is not to say things that are contradictory to His written report in the Bible. In other words have faith and believe and then have confidence in what He has spoken to you.  Both of these stated examples of what not to say were spoken words not based upon scripture or faith in God’s Word.  They are literally the opposite of what someone who had faith in God’s Word would say.   Do you understand this?  I know that some people will not comprehend what God just said.  God says the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God (1 Cor 2:14).  But these concepts should help many that will receive it and apply it to other things that they like to say.  I believe that we should think before we speak.  Think about what God’s Word says and then see if what you are going to say aligns with His Words.  This will become clearer as we continue learning.  Let’s move to what we should say next to see the contrasted difference from what we should not be saying.

CONFIRMING AND LEARNING WHAT TO SAY

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

I began the lesson talking about the last part of this verse.  But now we will back up to the first part of God’s statement to confirm what God is trying to teach us.  I have started and ended with the most important verse to learn today.  Paul starts writing “But what does it say” (NKJV).  Paul is of course talking about God’s word.  The “it” in this statement represents the spoken recorded words of the living God.  If you have not realized it yet these three verses of Romans 6, 7 and 8 contain partial quotations of verses found in the Old Testament.  In Romans 10:6-8, God is quoting in a paraphrased form, portions of some very obscure verses found in Deuteronomy 30:11-14.  We could learn a tremendous amount of information if I had the time to go talk about these original verses.  But I do not have the time today to talk about them.

However, I still want to emphasize that “it” was the recorded words (Rhema) of God and Paul takes these words that did not directly mention Christ and teaches us that they directly apply to Christ.  Wow, that is a powerful degree of knowledge if you want to do the study for yourself.  You go and read Deuteronomy and you see if you can find Christ plainly?  He is there but only if you see the commentary of the New Testament to help you explain them.  That is just how the Bible was written by God.  I call it “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight” and if you have not read that series of Bible lessons I would strongly recommend that you do that soon.

Now we should realize from the opening statement that the next coming statement was given from God through His prophet Moses and it was written down in the Old Testament for all of us in the here and now in the New Covenant.  God’s next statement says “The Word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart”.  The Word is referring to the Word of God.  This Greek word is again “Rhema” and that is important. Where is the “Word” (Rhema) of God supposed to be?  There are two place mentioned directly by God, one is a natural external location that God referred to earlier as the wellspring of life and the other is the origination point from where these words spring up from in the internal spiritual location figuratively called the heart of man.  God is teaching us how spiritual things are supposed to operate.   Hear and get the Word in your heart and then learn to speak it out of your mouth.  This is the reason why we do not need Christ to be raised from the dead or come back to earth from heaven.  The word of God is the power of God (Heb 1:3).  This power should be resident in your heart.  You should place the Word of God in your heart daily to reinforce its firm foundation.  Otherwise Satan can come and steal this Word (seed) from your life if you let him.

The Word of God represents the “what” that is “right” or “correct” to speak as a mature Christian.  A new born Christian is incapable of speaking the Word of God because they haven’t heard it, don’t know it, don’t believe it or don’t understand it.  All of these conditions will cause the Word of God to be unfruitful in their lives.

CONCLUSION

Is the Word of God coming out of your mouth?  If it is then you are probably in faith and if it is not then you are probably not in faith.  I could give you many Bible examples of this but in conclusion I will tell you of one when God had instructed Joshua how to have good success in this life.  Are you interested in being a winner?  Are you interested in being victorious?  Are you interested in being an overcomer?  God told Joshua how to do it and Joshua did it and possessed the land that God gave to them.   Here is the key verse:

Jos 1:8  This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Wow, what an awesome set of instructions for our success in this life.  God told Joshua to put the Word of God in his mouth and then to meditate on it day and night.  This would build the Words of God into his heart.  God was telling Joshua what He said through Moses, “My Word is very near you, even in your heart and in your mouth”.  Joshua became the leader of the people of God after the passing of Moses and He was responsible for the law passed down from Moses to the nation.  Joshua had this Word and filled his mouth with it.  Filling his mouth with God’s Word gave Joshua faith in God.  We learned this from Romans 10:17.  Remember?  It is almost impossible for anyone to say the Word of God if they understand it and not have faith and success in this life.

Well we could talk for hours and hours on this subject of faith speaks but that is the end of this Bible lesson.  We were told by Jesus that out of our bellies would flow rivers of life producing water and this symbolic water can only be the Word of God.  We are told to speak the Rhema Word of God and this was just the words that were spoken from the mouth of God and recorded in His Precious Holy Word.   It is only the Word of God that will produce life.  Speaking the word of God are the right words to be speaking in every adversarial situation and circumstance.  I’ll just give you a couple more verse to help you see more right things to say:

Psa 107:2  Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,

Joe 3:10  Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’ “

These were just two verses that teach us God wants us to say positive things from His Word.  How can anyone say things that are not overwhelming real and apparent in the 5 physical sense realm?  This type of logic will contradict normal human reasoning, doesn’t it?  When faced with great weakness in your life how can we say “I’m strong”?  When faced with negative circumstances from and in the world, how can we say “I’m redeemed?”  These types of positive words are only possible if you believe God’s Word instead of your circumstances that you are facing.   So infant baby Christians stay silent or cry for their milk but mature Christians will speak to their mountain and cause it to flee before them (Mk 11:23).

This was an advanced Bible lesson on righteous faith speaks.   I hope you enjoyed this Bible lesson and learned a great deal.  But I desire more that you start applying what you learned to your life.  Make a sign like I said to do earlier and read the sign on the wall daily multiple times out loud saying “Righteous Faith Speaks” and don’t let this truth slip from the forefront of your mind.  Share the Gospel with your friends and recommend that they go read and study the Bible with me.  I appreciate your time extended to read and study the Bible and for any comments or testimonies of how God is working in your life that you would care to share with me.  Until next time may God continue to bless you with everything that you require to grow in spiritual maturity.

Understanding Bible Faith. A Healing from Cancer Testimony! Part 17

(Ver 1.3)  Today’s lesson is Part 17 in one of the most important Bible study series that I have ever given to you about the subject of “Understanding Bible Faith”.  If you have not read all of the lessons I would strongly recommend that you go and start reading with “Part 1” first and then continue through the series.  Today is going to be a really different kind of post in this series.   The Spirit of God led me in a way this week that I really did not expect to go.  This week I was spending some time on Facebook and I was led to talk to a friend and the conversation went in a direction that only God could have orchestrated.  Today I am going to share my friend’s testimony that I received this week about her mother’s miracle of healing.  Hopefully you will read this testimony with an open mind and will learn something from it while being also encouraged that no matter what the diagnosis is from the doctor, that nothing is impossible or too difficult for God to solve and help you through.  I will let you read the entire testimony that she wrote and then I will comment on it at the end and help you to understand what happened and why her mother has lived past the age of 80 after being given a near death sentence by the doctors at a young age.  This testimony is from over 25 years ago.  Here is what she sent to me and I want you to know that it was her anointed writing that produced this:

HEALING FROM CANCER TESTIMONY

My senior year in high school was Straight A’s, Dean’s List, Honor Roll, National Honor Society, Best Writer Award on the school newspaper and a small scholarship to help pay for college.  Just when things seemed to be turning out pretty good for me, things got pretty shaken up.

Found out my dad was sneaking around with a young gal from his college classes. My mom found out the lump in her breast was cancer & decided she didn’t want to put up with both my dad & the cancer, so after 28 (not so happy years) of marriage, they split up.

My mom went into the hospital at the Air Force Base, and had a Bi-lateral, Radical Mastectomy – both breasts removed, and most of the lymph nodes from under the arms too.

With my dad out of the house, this left me and my older brother Tony on our own. The task of calling family, friends & church people to give them the news about Mama’s diagnosis, fell to me, because Tony thought it sounded better if I the person giving the info was crying and emotional (rather than him, in his ever monotone, emotionless way).

Mama was in the hospital 18 days – she was afraid to come home because she feared the dog might jump on her & hurt her, but she did finally come home. That was hard. Moms aren’t supposed to get sick. At least not that sick. And with chemotherapy treatments, she got pretty darned sick. Kids aren’t supposed to have to deal with that kind of stuff – they’re just not equipped for it. Teen-agers are still quite self-centered, at least I was, and so looking back at this time is hard, because I just wasn’t there for Mama like I would be today. This was a battle that she fought on her own, just her & God.

Because she was now separated (not divorced, because then she would lose her medical coverage from the military), she was on her own financially… with two teenagers at home. Tony did move out around this time. And the house had to be sold as part of the divorce settlement. I was not emotionally equipped for college, so I dropped out after the 1st semester. I had never had a job, so I wasn’t equipped for that either. I was pretty lost and self-absorbed. Mama, endured 9 months of awful chemotherapy while still driving 20+ miles each way to work & back; often driving with a bucket on her lap, because she was so sick from the chemo.

Somehow God brought her through all of this by His grace and a series of miracles.

Back when she first found the lump, a friend asked her what she would do if the doctor told her it was cancer. Mama said, “I’ll just tell him to sew me up & let me go home to die.”

But when the doctor gave her the news, he took her to the room of another patient. In that room, she saw a lady lying in the bed, one side of her chest flat and with stitches, and her husband standing next to her. First Mama saw the surgical wound, but then their eyes met. She said it was like the lady was saying, “But I’m alive!”  Mama then felt “billows of peace” rolling over her with each breath she took. Instantly she did the first three steps of AA: 1) Admit there’s a problem too big to handle; 2) Admit there is a God that can restore her; 3) Turn her life, will & problem over to God.

She told the doctor to schedule the surgery, and then she went to bed. Sometimes, in the midst of a battle, the best thing you can do is rest and sleep, and let God take over.

The surgery was done. She was bandaged up and mostly alone in her hospital room. Mama, was always one to have her hair and make-up done up nice before going anywhere, so these endless days in the hospital were challenging in that respect as well. Wanting to try to regain some normalcy, she asked a nurse if someone could come wash her hair for her – apparently not! So Mama went in her bathroom, bent over the sink and washed her hair herself. Of course it hurt, but it had to be done. The next step was to pin her hair up. Pinning up her hair was a ritual Mama had done every night since she was 13 years old. It consisted of methodically taking very small sections of her hair, wrapping the hair around her finger, sliding that bit off her finger to lay flat on her scalp, and securing it in place with two bobby pins. This would cause the hair to dry in with a curl in it, rather than the pin-straight style that came naturally to it. This process of pinning up her hair required both hands working on top and above her head.

When the nurse walked in on her, she gasped, turned around and left. Nurse number two came in and did the same. Apparently, in the course of the surgery, the muscles needed to raise the arms are cut, so that movement is not possible… or is very painful. As they say, where there’s a will, there’s a way! Some days or perhaps weeks later a volunteer from “Reach to Recovery” came in to teach Mama how to walk her fingers up the wall, to exercise her arms and regain that movement. Well, Mama was way ahead because of her hair pinning chores.

Somehow life did go on. The house sold. Mama found an apartment for her and me. Although I don’t remember packing, I know we must have. Then somewhere along the way, sometime after the 9 months of chemo, Mama had another divine intervention.

Battling with pain in her liver as well as depression, one morning it was just too much to face. Mama lay in bed, and told God, “You gave me a job to do, if you want me there, you’re going to have to do something.” And then she pressed her head even deeper into the pillow. Before she knew what happened, she found herself sitting on the edge of the bed, with her feet on the floor, and no idea how she got there!

She made her way to the bathroom, where the orange glow of the countertop made her look even worse as she stared at herself in the mirror. Her response was only, “Unh–uh, God!” Out of the corner of her eye, she saw this small, brilliantly colored rainbow with block lettering. The message read “I HAVE HEALED YOU”. She closed her eyes, yet still she saw it. “Great, now I’m hallucinating!” She thought.

The rainbow went with her as she got in the shower, and with her eyes closed, she kept reading it. Every time she read it, it moved, like it was dancing and it was progressively moving closer to her. “I HAVE HEALED YOU”. “I HAVE HEALED YOU”. “I HAVE HEALED YOU”. “I HAVE HEALED YOU”. “I HAVE HEALED YOU”. “I HAVE HEALED YOU”. “I HAVE HEALED YOU”. Until it went inside her mouth and exploded! She said it felt like the explosion shook and vibrated all through her. As she stepped out of the shower, she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God had healed her.

As she walked through the doorway from the bathroom to the bedroom, she saw something above her, shine down on her, and she said it “Tattooed” on her brain: “It doesn’t matter what it looks like, I Have Healed You.”. She said it was so real that she answered aloud, “Okay”.

She had not gotten a doctor’s report or diagnosis back yet, so she didn’t know what she was healed of, but she knew she was healed.

On the way to work that morning, Mama told me this whole story. And she said that she had been so sick with chemo that she would not go back on it. She said we serve a God who heals. I agreed (I did not know about the prayer of agreement: Matthew 18:19 “Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven.”). When she got to work, she shared her story with her co-workers; Christian counselors, who prayed over her.

By the time she went to see the Oncologist to get the news of the liver scan that had been done, the doctor was quite upset by the many new spots he saw. He motioned for Mama to look at the slides hanging on the light boxes. As she turned to look, all she could see was a hand, with fingers grasping a round pull ring, and a white shade pulled down preventing her from seeing the slides. At the same time she heard again, “It doesn’t matter what it looks like, I HAVE HEALED YOU!”

She left that doctor’s office without a prescription or a treatment plan; after all, she was healed.

That was more than 25 years ago. Mama is now 80 years old and is still healthy & well. Every now and then a pain will trigger a fear, but as she shares her story of God’s power, faithfulness and love, she is reminded of God’s word to her, that she was healed…. and still is, no matter what it looks like!

LEARNING THE FAITH LESSONS REVEALED IN THIS TESTIMONY!

I can possibly understand different things from reading this testimony of deliverance than you can see right now.  I can see many hidden faith lessons presented to us that I feel are valuable for us to understand in this story.  But, I also believe that I understand the subject of faith now much better than when I first started to study this subject of faith extensively well over 20+ years ago.  Too often people do not understand that their current level of spiritual knowledge places limitations upon the things that they can receive from God’s Word.  God tells the Corinthian church in 1 Cor 3:1 they are still carnal and unable to receive the spiritual things of depth and substance.  Thus their spiritual maturity level placed severe limitations on what could be taught to them by Paul.    Everything that is being taught by me or any other real Bible teacher is relative to two realities.  What I teach you is totally relative to what I know on the subject and what you can understand about the subject is also totally relative to what you already know on the subject and the basics found in the Bible.   I could easily go over your head with deep information, but I try very hard not to do that.  That is why I teach using a series of lessons style of progressive information with limited content in each lesson.  I try to go with the basics of a subject first, introducing you to progressively more complex parts of the subject in succession like they do in school with math for example.  Therefore as you progress in this knowledge of God you should be able to grow into more complex sections of the information presented.  I recommend that you go back and reread all the lessons more than once.  This way you will catch new things that you did not see or understand before.

I am going to go through the testimony and give you some new perspectives to look at on the subject of faith.   For example, many times we get the wrong idea from reading the Bible that a miracle of God is only an instantaneous spectacular phenomenon of the power of God and does not fit with a slower extended over time process like this testimony speaks of.   Clearly this testimony was a new extension of the miracle working power of God over time.  God was certainly involved in her deliverance even though it took an extended duration of time to fully manifest.  Perhaps the reason why this detail took time will become clearer as I continue to go through the analysis of what was said and make some direct comparisons of this modern life experience with another Old Testament example that God gave to us as an example of faith to follow and to learn from.  I will be teaching you using the story of Joshua and how they took the Promised Land as you will see soon.

Satan is definitely an equal opportunity oppressor, destroyer and murderer.  He comes at anyone, anywhere and at any time that they will let him.  The Bible says that “Your adversary the devil goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).  That is exactly what is occurring in this testimony.  I believe that is one of the first things to learn from this testimony.  The origination of the cancer was not from God.  God did not send the cancer and then deliver her from it for that would be idiotic.  The next lesson to learn is that sometimes bad things happen to good people and we can understand that this occurs because of what Adam chose in the garden.  After Adam sinned God said “The man has become as one of us, knowing good and evil” (Gen 3:22).  Therefore Adam allowed all evil to cross the threshold into the world because of his sin.  When Adam let evil into the world he also let sickness come in the same door.  I have a Bible lesson series on the specific subject of “Understanding Healing, Sickness and Disease” if you would like a more complete definition for why sickness is an evil and why it exists in our world.   You need to settle in your mind and your heart today and determine who your God is.  Is your God good or is your God evil or perhaps you are really confused and think that your God is both simultaneously?  As long as this is not established in your heart it will cause you to doubt.  This is exactly what Satan wants, since doubt will defeat you from receiving healing.  Let me ask you again?  Where does cancer come from?  Is it from God or is it from Satan?  Jesus gave us the answer and He taught us something very important in the Gospels and gave us some direct clues to that question.  In the book of John Jesus informed us that it was not God who performs the evil in the world.  Jesus said “the thief has come only to steal, kill and destroy but I have come that you might have life” (John 10:10).  Jesus said very clearly that “I am not the thief”.  Jesus said I have come to give to you, life abundantly.  This was God in the flesh telling you He does not do anything evil to hurt you.  Is cancer a good thing or a blessing?  If you think it is good then you are cleverly deceived by Satan the thief.  Cancer steals your health, your time, your ability, your strength, your money and your life if you let it.  But Jesus said I am here to give you life and not to give you cancer.  This is really not rocket science but you need to settle it.

Jesus revealed in John 10:10, that there exists two opposing forces; one of evil versus one of good and He attributes death and doing evil to you as being from Satan and life and doing good to you as being from God.  Therefore, if any evil is working in your life it was Satan that was behind it and not God.  Acts 10:38 teaches us that Jesus went about DOING GOOD, healing all those that were “oppressed” of the devil.  That verse clearly teaches us that all sickness is the opposite of good and is an evil satanic oppression.  Therefore, cancer is also a part of this unified set of evil oppression brought to people by Satan.  Consider the synonyms of “oppression” because they are fascinating to learn.  Oppression means “domination”, “coercions”, “cruelty”, “tyranny”, “subjugation”, “persecution”, and “harassment”.  None of these describe God at any time or under any circumstances.  These words are the antithesis of God and His goodness (Rom 2:4).

Here is another interesting bit of factual information that I learned from studying this information in the Bible.  Satan can cause physical diseases, illnesses and symptoms to manifest in your external natural physical body.  I really do not have time to fully elaborate why this is possible or what gives Satan access, but know that there was something that you did that opened the door for him.  I know this because of the verse that I gave you earlier about “Satan goes about as a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour”.  We can clearly read that Satan is not able to devour just anyone that he wishes or he would not need to seek.  To seek means to look for something like a hidden door or search for something like a hidden passage that will allow him access to devour you.  What is it that you do that opens the door for him?  I really can’t explain it completely here, but if you want to know you can begin to read my series of Bible lessons on the power of your tongue and gain many clues to how this is possible.  You see the Bible says “Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those that love it will eat the fruit thereof” (Prov 18:21).  Did you notice that this verse in Proverbs repeats the same two elements described by Jesus in John 10:10?  Here we have two opposing forces of life versus death and good versus evil.  Therefore, life must be produced by us choosing to speak God’s good Words and death must be produced by us choosing to speak satanic evil words.  This is more relevant and important than you can imagine right now.  Your words got you into this mess, and your words can be changed to get you out of this mess.  Let’s go back and read Deuteronomy 30:

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:

You see your life is more in your hands than it is in God’s hands.  People want to abdicate and relieve themselves of any personal responsibility for what happens to them.  However, God says that I have given to you the choice, and therefore choose wisely and select to live.  If Satan puts cancer upon you based upon something you said to open the door, then you can begin to reverse that curse that you initiated by speaking life.  How do you do this?  Jesus said “the words that I speak they are Spirit and they are life” (John 6:63).  Therefore you need to find out what God says and speak that.  I think I’m getting ahead of myself but I just said some very important things.  Let’s go back and verify using the Bible that God is not the initiator of sickness and that Satan is.  Let me give you a verse that links evil spirits with the subject of sickness:

Mat 10:1  And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

I want you to understand that whenever God mentions two or more subjects in a one verse statement that there is an undeviating connection between them by direct word association.  Clearly power was given by God to do two things; to cast out unclean spirits and to heal. This word “power” means “delegated influence” within a realm of jurisdiction or authority.  It is a legal term indicating a transferred right of legal supremacy.  Why does Jesus give His disciples power to cast out unclean spirits and was this, the same as healing someone?  In other words is casting out unclean spirits equivalent to healing or are they potentially two separate spiritual activities of God’s power.  You do understand the implications given here, don’t you?  I believe what is being revealed is a cause and effect relationship between demons causing the sickness and then when you get rid of these causes then you have eliminated the effects of sickness.  I hope that you understand these concepts of physics.  I believe that this is all very significant information and you need to pay close attention to what is revealed.  First do you know what an unclean spirit is?  How do we define that and what is different between a clean spirit and an unclean spirit?  What makes a spirit unclean?     Perhaps it would be helpful to study the definition in the Strong’s of the Greek word translated as “unclean”:

G169

From G1 (as a negative particle) and a presumed derivative of G2508 (meaning cleansed); impure (ceremonially, morally (lewd) or specifically (demonic)): – foul, unclean.

We can see that this word is associated with the demonic by Strong.  It means something that is foul and impure.  The opposite of pure is impure.  A pure substance like gold is the most valuable in the pure form and the value decreases as you mix more filler elements with it.   The concept of water is best as pure H2O and adding other elements soon makes it undrinkable.  This is clearly a difficult concept to grasp until we search and find God’s use of this word in the Old Testament.  God uses “unclean” to describe a  leprous man in the natural realm.  A leprous man was one with his flesh in a state of rot and decay.  A leprous man was required to be separate from the non-leprous people so that they would not be infected.  Any time a leprous man came near clean people they were required by law to yell out “unclean” so that everyone would be warned  (Lev 13:45).  I believe that God is using this natural example of sickness to demonstrate a spiritual truth about the angels that have fallen with Lucifer.  They have left their state of perfection to become imperfection by their own sinful choice.  Therefore sin is again a cause for spiritual imperfection making a clean spirit one without sin.

To be an unclean spirit is never mentioned in conjunction with a man’s human spirit in the New Testament.  23 verses in the N.T. mention unclean spirits and they are directly associated with spiritual beings that inhabit people.  We can learn this a little more clearly by reading what Jesus speaks of in Matthew 12:43.

Mat 12:43  When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

Mat 12:44  Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.

Mat 12:45  Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

An unclean spirit is revealed to us in this discourse as a spiritual being that enters into and exits from a man’s house.  However this is not a physical dwelling like a brick, mortar or wood building construction.  These are all symbolic expressions of a much greater truth. The man’s house in this explanation is his symbolic natural body.  A clean house or body is one that is free from evil influence or inhabitation and an unclean house is a man with one or more evil spirits living within. The real man is a spirit that lives in a physical body.  The unclean spirits that are coming into the man’s house (body) were those spiritual beings that followed Lucifer from heaven.  We can understand this concept of the human body house better by reading other verses in the N.T. like when Paul writes this:

2Co 5:6  Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

Clearly the body of a Christian man is his temporary dwelling place while still being present here on the earth.  It is self-evident to me that this verse is speaking of an implied house being called a home to the spirit of man.  The contrasted antithesis truth found in this verse is to be with the Lord in heaven when we are found apart from this physical body.  What I just said is more clearly stated in verse 8:

2Co 5:8  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

To be absent from the body is to no longer be at home in the natural body.   To be “present” with the Lord is defined as our spirits having left our body after death here on the earth and going to be with Jesus.  This is called rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15).  Did you notice that the unclean spirits mentioned in Matthew were there for the purpose of the destruction of the natural house?  The implied part of the story is that they were cast out and that the man was able to get his house back into the physical order of health.  Let’s call this being physically healed since Jesus is describing his body and not a house that we live in.  Jesus is describing spirits that cause havoc to a man’s body.  Jesus says if you get rid of them and then let them back in they will bring 7 more with them the next time and it will be worse than the previous time.

Do you recall reading about the demon possessed man that Jesus ran into at Gadara?  This man was described as a madman that could not be chained and Jesus came to him and commanded the “unclean spirit” to come out of him and they had a conversation first.  Jesus asked for the name of the “unclean spirit” and they said “We are legion for we are many” (Mk 5:9).  Here was a clear example of many evil spirits being present in the body of a single man.  It does not say that this man had a physical illness, but it does say that he had a great mental illness.  Therefore, mental illness is also demonically inspired manifestations of “unclean spirits”. That is exactly what Jesus was teaching in Matthew could occur.  No doubt the man in Mark 5 had cleaned house before but has let the same spirits return with many more until now he has enough unclean spirits to be called a great army of them.

“Unclean spirits” are the evil spirits that inhabited the bodies of men and women on the earth that cause physical disease and mental illness and I could give you many more scriptures that help to support this evidence if I need to.  Going back now to Matthew 10:1 do you better understand why Jesus connected the “authority” to cast out unclean spirits with the ability to heal ALL manner of sicknesses and diseases?  According to the Bible when you get rid of the cause the resulting affects also has to go.  What am I saying?  I am saying cancer is caused by evil spirits.  If you don’t understand that or believe that then you will not know to resist it and you will let it come in stay and live, run its course and kill you.  You are going to have to take the authority that Jesus gave to you over your house that you live in.  Just because Jesus gave His disciples this authority does not mean that it was not also transferred to you.  You are the same body of Christ as they were.  I do not have time to teach the subject of Bible Authority completely.  I did one lesson on the subject of authority and great faith in this series, but I should probably do more just on this subject soon.

One seminary graduate man that I worked with many years ago told me once that God had given his wife cancer, yet they still went to the doctor to try to get out of the perfect will of God.  That really did not make any sense to me.  He desired his wife to live but then he had to believe that he was fighting against God to get her healed by a doctor.  He was mixing up who was the oppressor and who was the healer ignoring the Bible while attempting to put God in both roles in his mind.  Why pray to God and ask for healing if God sent you the sickness in the first place?  Whatever God sends to you are we supposed to refuse it?  Clearly that is illogical human reasoning and turns God into a liar when Jesus said “a house divided against itself will not stand” (Mark 3:25).  If God is sending you the sickness and then healing the sickness, His house is a mixed up divided kingdom about to perish.  I alluded to this statement earlier, but you MUST believe that Satan is the oppressor and that he has brought you the sickness or disease to kill you or you will not resist it like God says in His Word (James 4:7).  Physical and spiritual resistances are both absolute requirements for any faith victory.  The ultimate faith battle is on the inside, but the ultimate victory result is only seen by others on the outside in the natural.  However, victory always starts on the inside and then this will works its way to the outside and I’ll talk about this more later.

I cried when I read this testimony.  It touched my heart how much this lady endured in her life.  I felt great compassion for what she went through.  However, I also saw several things that developed in her over time that God used to deliver her.  At first she did not want to fight the cancer, but then the doctor showed her another lady that was still alive and that seemed to make a difference in her to give her a fighting spirit.  God can use anyone to try to change your heart.  You need a fighting spirit within you or you will be easily defeated before you start the first battle.  The Bible clearly teaches us that we are to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim 6:12).  This clearly implies to us that there will be a series of faith battles that will occur in your life for your life.  No fight is over instantly.  In fact a fight further implies endurance is necessary.  Natural fighters train for months before they go and fight one event.  During this time they are strengthening their bodies to be an overcomer.  This is a physical quality that can be transferred into the spiritual arena.    If you go into this faith fight unprepared and passively expecting to automatically win, then again you are going to be defeated.  I have never seen any fight with a passive winner natural or spiritual.  If you think that you have automatically won the fight because of what Jesus has done for you, then again you will be defeated.  There is nothing in the Bible that teaches us what God has given to us is automatically transferred to anyone without them believing, receiving and fighting to keep it.   This pattern was first introduced with Adam when God told him to hedge the garden.  Sure God gave Adam the garden without a fight, but to keep it safe was not God’s responsibility because God had given it to him to rule over.  Threfore Adam held responsibility to keep every enemy out of the garden, but failed.

The children of Israel learned this lesson the hard way in the wilderness.  When they finally decided to take their Promised Land, they still had the exact same enemies as before but now there were probably many more of them than there was 40 years earlier.   The children of Israel had to couple a physical external fight with their internal spiritual faith fight in order to produce an external physical victory for the possession of the land.   That is really no different than what we go through as revealed by this great testimony.  Taking the Promised Land is really no different for us than what Israel endured.  I would recommend that you go and read the book of Joshua.  The entire book of Joshua is only 24 chapters and can be divided into three sections of information.  The first 5 chapters represent the preparation part before the actual battle occurs.  In these chapters God taught Joshua and Israel to start by being strong and courageous.  This is a basic of any spiritual fight using your faith.  God then told Joshua to not let the book of the law depart from his mouth, but to speak it day and night (Joshua 1:8).  How does faith come?  Surely you understand from the previous lessons that faith comes by hearing and that this act of Joshua speaking God’s word was God’s way of giving His people faith.  This is exactly where you must start your faith fight also.  If you are not getting prepared correctly you are already in trouble.  Learn to be strong and then learn to speak God’s Word day and night.

The second part of the book of Joshua is chapters 6-12 where they actually take the Promised Land in phases.   During these chapters the nation of Israel has multiple encounters with their enemies.  God gives specific instructions for each encounter that must be believed and obeyed in order to be victorious.  So far we have 5 chapters of preparation and 7 chapters of battles.  The rest of the book of Joshua is Israel settling in the land.  It is important to note that the conquest of the Promised Land is a duration of time of nearly seven years.  What we learn from this is that just because God gives you something does not mean it does not take time to possess it.  Clearly this was not an instantaneous miracle of God.  But yet it was still clearly the power of God at work throughout the battles.  Are you seeing any parallels with this information to the testimony yet?

Take the battlefield of Jericho in the O.T. as being no different than the battlefield of cancer for this lady in the testimony.  The battle is not all yours, but yet you still have a major role to play in producing the victory.  For example in the battle for Jericho, the children of Israel were given specific instructions from God and they were required to believe them by faith alone without proof or evidence, obey them and then expect God to do His part.  They were required to march around the walls for 7 days.  On the seventh day God told them to march around the wall 7 times and then have 7 priests blow their 7 horns and God brought the walls down so that they could take the city.  That was an O.T. typology picture of a N.T. spiritual faith battle.  They had to believe what God said and then become obedient to what God said or God was not going to help them win or make it happen for them. This is still true today.  If you expect God to do everything, you are going to be defeated and the walls you are told to march around will remain upright.

Let’s compare what is different between this woman’s testimony and the fight of Israel to take the Promised Land.  In the testimony, she did not believe in divine healing at first because of her ignorance of God’s word.  Therefore she completely lacked faith to receive anything from God.  Before this she did not have any courage to even continue to fight and thus she has failed to prepare as Joshua did.   Thank God for His mercy.  If you do not know what you are lacking, God will help you to get there.   God ended up giving the woman courage to begin the fight by showing her another woman that had done the same.  Later in the testimony God shows her a Bible verse and this is for the advancement of her faith in God’s word to allow her to believe what He has said.  God sent His word to the prophet Moses and it was recorded bevore the battle can be fought.  This written word of God was the faith source for Joshua’s fight.  Are you seeing how God achieved what He taught Joshua in the first 5 chapters as this testimony unfolds?

It is very difficult to believe in the truth, if you do not know the truth or have never heard the truth.  God did eventually show this woman a portion of a Bible verse found in 1 Peter 2:24 that states we were healed.  We should be able to understand that this was God’s attempt at building her faith since faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom 10:17).  In the testimony did you notice what God said to her?  Maybe I should ask, did you notice what God did not say to her?  God did not say “I am going to heal you”.  God looked past her current physical condition where it did not yet look like she was healed and He called those things that be not as though they were (Rom 4:17) and said to her in the testimony “I have healed you”.  God is never going to change what He says today and make it something different than what He has already said to you yesterday in His Word (Mal 3:6).  That is why many of your prayers probably do not work, you are asking God to heal you someday and He has already said to you “I have healed you” (1 Peter 2:24).  You are therefore, not in agreement with God.   If you do not know what He has said, then that is your number one weakness and why you believe wrong.   If you believe wrong then your faith is not based upon the Word of God but rather your misconception of the truth.   When the answer to your prayer doesn’t come you will let your circumstances and your symptoms dictate the final outcome.  If you learn to change your perspective and start believing “I am healed” simply because that is what God says I am, then you are now in full agreement with His Word and not your symptoms (Amos 3:3).

Physical symptoms of sickness, disease, and cancer are very real just like the giants were very real in the Promised Land to the children of Israel.  Both are parallel manifestations of the same enemy.  Both the natural giants and the physical symptoms are designed by Satan to put fear into your heart in order to take away any faith, hope or expectation in what God has spoken to you.  The spoken Words of God were designed to give you faith (Psa 107:20).   This is exactly what Jesus described would happen in the battle of the field also known as the Parable of the Sower (Mat 13:18).  Jesus taught us that the seed sown was the Word of God (Mk 4:14) into the hearts of people.  But then Jesus said the birds of the air came immediately to steal the word (seed) that was sown (Mat 13:4).  The birds of the air were the symbolic demons (unclean spirits) that come bringing to you the symptoms.  According to Jesus what was one of the key factors that keeps the spiritual seed from being stolen from us?   It was the understanding (Mat 13:19) and the believing it that allowed the seed to remain and not to be stolen which produced the spiritual fruit that God desired.  Producing spiritual fruit represents you obtaining the victory over your spiritual enemies in this spiritual battle for your faith beliefs.  Jesus said this parable was the most important one for you to know and if you could understand this one you could understand them all (Mk 4:13).  Take time to study the Parable of the Sower in the Gospels.  It clearly reveals the spiritual battle that you are in now for the control of your belief in the Word of God.  Satan is trying everything he can do to steal the Word from your heart and God is trying to help you to produce fruit.  Let me show you some important faith scriptures on external symptoms and circumstances:

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.

Rom 4:19  And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb:

Rom 4:20  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

Rom 4:21  And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

Read these verses very carefully.  These verses are describing the God kind of faith that Abraham and Sarah possessed.  God had spoken and given to them a promise concerning a coming son that would come from their bodies and yet at near the age of 99 and 90 years of age it looked so really bad that it was not going to happen.  Anyone can easily get into discouragement looking at the circumstances.  But this is not what Abraham ended up doing according to these verses.  Verse 20 says Abraham staggered not at the promise of God meaning he did not waiver because of the external circumstances or the wait for the promise to be fulfilled.  In verse 21 it goes on to say that Abraham was fully convinced that what God had declared was not impossible for God to perform.  Wow, that was an awesome revelation of truth.  No matter what the circumstances or the symptoms of the lady with cancer in this testimony God still came and said “I have healed you”.  She took hold of that truth and staggered not at what her body looked like.

The Promised Land was not all taken by Israel in one day.  Neither did this woman in the testimony possess her healing in one day.  Sometimes taking back physical health is a series of smaller miracle victories and not one giant miraculous event.  For example the woman in the testimony continued traveling on her pathway to victory, by simply fighting to wash her own hair.  Perhaps you do not understand the significance in this simple action.  According to the doctors and the nurses, she did what she was unable to do physically and thus she achieved a major victory without even knowing it was a victory.  If you listen to what the doctors say you cannot do then you are defeated.  Fortunately for her she had not been told that she could not move her arms this way and she did it without being discouraged by the doctors negative words.  If the doctors would have been there first and told her this, she might have been defeated.  But this simple effort on her part of doing something so basic was a very significant victory on the road to recovery.  That was a classic type of faith without understanding what faith is.  Doctors do the best that they know from a natural perspective.  They do not mean to be faith killers but many times they are.  If you listen to them and believe them they can and will many times cause you to remain as you are instead of trying to encourage you to fight to get better.  Your will is a major factor in your ability to receive a miracle from God as I have already taught in this series.  This lady ignored the pain and washed her hair anyway.  She then spent time with her arms raised and fixing her hair.  That represents faith whether you understand it or not.  Begin to do what you can’t do.  Begin to do what they said you could not do.  Begin to fight and take back one inch of ground at a time.  Don’t give up, don’t quit and do not get discouraged that you did not take a mile today.  Every inch will matter over time.

Reread this testimony now and compare it to the Children of Israel’s experience with taking the Promised Land:

  1. Israel had just gotten delivered (saved) from Egypt by a great display of God’s power and things are looking really positive as they walk out.  Everyone is well, strong and wealthy with the riches of Egypt being transferred to them as they left.  Pharaoh has second thoughts after letting them go and decides to pursue them only to be destroyed in the sea.  Wow, can it get any better for God’s people?  I think they even have a scholarship to get into a really nice college promised land.
  2. They then go from what appears as God’s great blessings to a wilderness experience even asking God, why did you bring us out here to die?  Were there not enough graves in Egypt?  The family situation was certainly starting to look very bleak, negative and cursed in this wilderness and even divorce could be splitting the family up.
  3. Just when it couldn’t look any worse they send 12 spies into Canaan land and get a really bad doctor’s report back.  The report says that there are cancer giants in the land?  10 spies say we can’t overcome these cancer giants so let’s just die and only 2 said “It’s not a problem”.  This is when the patient people are faced with a decision.  Whose report are we to believe?  The 10 in the majority or the 2 men of God?  Fortunately, one doctor shows the patient a vision of a survivor and she chooses to become a Joshua who is willing to fight for the victory.
  4. For forty years the Joshua patient endures a fight of faith in the wilderness while everyone else around her dies one by one.  Time in the wilderness has to take a toll mentally, emotionally and physically, but Joshua holds on to what God says still believing that he can take the land and overcome the cancer giants.
  5. Finally, it’s time to enter into the Promises of God.  I can’t stand my dirty hair anymore so I’m going to make it clean all by myself.  It’s not easy to do, it might even hurt, and the nurse looks at her and says you can’t do that.  But that didn’t stop the Joshua Christian from doing it anyway.  You see the 10 spies said we can’t, but the 2 said we can.  Doing what others say you can’t proves that you can do it in spite of their weak opinion.
  6. The battle was won and the hair was clean, now it needs to be put up on the top of her head again something that no one said she could do.  People this is called faith, if you did not know it.  Are you learning anything?
  7. Every little battle and every little victory matters.  With each time of victory new confidence grows and faith increases.   The next battle is easier to win because of the previous victory and the display of faithfulness from God.

That was my quick comparison of the parallels between two victorious accomplishments by faith.  Did you learn anything from it?  I know it helped me and I pray that you received from it also.  Let me conclude with a list of things that I took away from the testimony and reading in the book of Joshua today.

  1. Go to a doctor and get natural help especially if you do not know what the Bible says.  There is no lack of faith in fighting a physical battle using a doctor as long you do not neglect the spiritual enemy that has caused it.  Do not fight a spiritual or physical battle without God on your side.
  2. Sometimes not knowing what is wrong with you is worse than knowing who your enemy is.  Joshua saw the enemies the same as the 10 spies, but Joshua did not let the knowledge of the enemies deter him from defeating them.  Joshua knew the names of the people and you need to find out what you are facing.
  3. When you have a medical diagnosis you now have a natural enemy with a name.  We know that Satan also has a name.  So both of these are the names of your enemy that you are facing.
  4. The Bible says that every knee must bow to the name of Jesus because the name of Jesus is above every other name (Php 2:9).
  5. Therefore, use the Name of Jesus to stand against your named disease and Satan and command them both to bow to the greater name of Jesus.
  6. Remain as positive and optimistic as you can be, despite the diagnosis, prognosis, symptoms or circumstances because your faith is in the Word of God and what He has said to you like the believing Joshua.  Focus on who your God is and the promise not the giants in your body.
  7. Prepare for battle.  Feed daily and even hourly speaking God’s Word to help build your faith and keep it ever before your eyes and ears again as God instructed Joshua to do (Joshua 1:8).  Time spent in preparation for battle is more important than the battle itself.
  8. Get a hold of a fighting spirit and do not ever bend or waiver to become passive allowing your surroundings, feelings, emotions or symptoms to dominate you or your thoughts.  Cast down every thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God’s Word (2 Cor 10:5).
  9. One of the primary spiritual battles that will occur is ultimately in your mind for the control of your beliefs.  As long as you believe God instead of your circumstances you will win!
  10. Fight the good fight of faith and take back small chunks of the Promised Land daily.  Don’t attempt to win the entire war in one day.   Look at the war as a series of smaller battles to overcome one enemy at a time.
  11. Let each small past victory help to build you up and raise you to a new faith level of greater confidence for the next victory (Rom 1:17).  For the Bible says clearly that the JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.  Do you want to live?  If yes, then you need to get FAITH and increase it (2 Cor 10:15).
  12. You never ignore the giants or pretend like they are not present; you look each giant in the face and defeat them with the Sword of the Spirit like David did to Goliath.  Giant symptoms are very real.  We do not deny the symptoms; we do however deny their right to exist in our land.
  13. Like I said, your faith fight is probably not going to be a one victory or one battle experience, just like the taking of the Promised Land was not one battle and one victory for Israel. 
  14. Faith is more like a marathon race event and not a fast sprint type of race.  The taking of the Promised Land took nearly 7 years to possess.  Do not get discouraged how long it takes, just keep believing it is yours.
  15. Joshua and Caleb saw themselves as ultimate winners and victorious long before they ever achieved the final victory outcome.  That is having great faith before you see the result.  That is what I am trying to tell you to do right now.  Get a vision of victory and then expect it to come to pass.

Do you see yourself as a winner?  Can you see the vision of victory?  Do you expect to win because of who your God is or are the giants bigger than your God?  Begin to change to see yourself as God has said and this will make the difference for the outcome in your life.  I hope and pray that this testimony that I gave to you provided some encouragement on how to fight your coming battles.  In this world we will all be faced with the same enemies in some form.  Your vision and your beliefs will determine God’s ability to fight these battles for you.  I thank my Facebook friend for sharing her story with you.  I thank you for taking the time to read it and for allowing God to speak to your heart.  If you have a testimony that you would like to share with everyone I would be very happy to hear it.  God Bless you as we all grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

If you would like to continue reading in this series of Bible lessons please continue to “Part 18“.

Understanding Bible Faith. Receiving Faith is Aggressive Faith! Part 16

(Ver 1.1)  Today’s lesson is Part 16 in one of the most important Bible study series that I have ever shared with you about the subject of “Understanding Bible Faith”.  If you have not read all of the lessons I would strongly recommend that you go and start reading with “Part 1” first and then continue through the series.  I have been working on another subject entirely when suddenly the Holy Spirit woke me up early this morning and gave me the title to this lesson for me to share with someone that needs to read it.  After the title was given to me, God then shared the scriptures to use in this teaching.  So I am typing as fast as I can and I am hoping, praying and believing that I can write down everything that He said for you to read.   I have touched on this specific subject in several other lessons, but this lesson will be much more direct about this specific revealed characteristic of faith in the Gospels and how that having aggressive faith is the same as having receiving faith.  I’ll start by addressing what is aggression?   Aggression can be viewed as a negative quality when misdirected for evil.  But as I taught you before on the subject of “deception” that any negative quality can be turned to a positive for a good use or purpose.  Aggression or aggressive behavior is one of these qualities that can be used for evil or for good.  For example, if you know of people in the world that are starving it would be good for you to become aggressive to get them some food.   That would be a pro-active pursuit of spreading a positive aggression.  Negative aggression would be beating someone over the head to steal their money.  Let’s start today by researching one of the definitions of “aggression”. 

Aggression:
Pursuing one’s aims and interests forcefully, sometime unduly so.

Aggression of course can be taken to an extreme with violent disregard for anyone else and that is not what I am attempting to teach you.  Pursuing a goal and being forceful to achieve it is not always a negative unless it is directed for an evil purpose or plan.  Every Bible subject must be balanced with every other Bible subject.  For example, aggression is one of those Bible subjects that we must balance with the subject of “Love”.   We are never aggressive towards our neighbors or our brothers or sisters.  But as you will learn from what God said to me, we must learn to have aggressive faith in order to receive anything from God.  I am going to give you several examples of people in the Bible that had direct aggressive faith and these should become the models for your faith that you possess.  

What is the opposite of being aggressive?  I believe that being passive is one possible way to define someone as not being aggressive.  I have learned that when studying the Bible it is always very wise to review the unstated antithesis truth from any verse of truth that you are reading.  In other words I am saying that when God gives us a direct stated truth in a verse, He also always gives us an unstated antithesis or opposite truth that we can learn from.  That is why I asked you to think about the opposite of being aggressive.  As we read through my scriptural examples today, observe who is passive and who is aggressive.  You see I read the Gospels very closely and I could find no reference to anyone that was passive of ever receiving anything from God.  Let’s quickly review a definition being passive:

Passive: 
Accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance.

This is an amazing definition.  Can you begin to see the difference between being passive and being aggressive?  Aggression is a show of force and being passive is a show of inactivity.  The synonyms for being passive are “inert”, “inactive”, “submissive”, or being “flaccid”.  Being flaccid is an interesting word that means that you have no firmness and you are like a Jell-O Christian.    Therefore being aggressive is the active pursuit of one’s goals or desires with firmness.  Being passive is the acceptance of whatever has happened to you without any response or resistance.  Wow, the difference between those two realities speaks volumes to me knowing what I know about the subject of Bible faith.

When you read the Gospels closely and carefully you will discover a repetitious pattern for receiving faith.  The majority of the people that received a miracle from God were never passive.   Most of the time, they did not sit back and wait for anything to happen or come to them, but they were rather direct and forward, going to Jesus and taking what God was giving to them.  I’m going to go through a story in the Bible that the Holy Spirit pointed me to and attempt to give you a different new perspective to what was happening and being taught so that you can learn what God was teaching us about being aggressive.  We will read today starting in verse 2 of John chapter 5:

Joh 5:2  Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.

Joh 5:3  In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

This is the beginning of the story in John about the pool of Bethesda.  I want to first draw your attention to the fact that this was called a sheep pool.  If you have read my other Bible lessons you might remember a lesson I did on symbolic sheep.  Symbolically in the Bible sheep are a representation for the people of God.  Goats are a symbolic representation of those that are not the children of God.  Therefore we can understand immediately that this story here in John is relevant by indirect symbolic reference to be something that is needed by the church.   Next, if you look up the definition of the word Bethesda it means the “house of kindness”.  How should we view God’s extension of saving and healing Grace to the human race?  I believe God’s Grace to heal and to save is a display of His great mercy and His loving kindness.  Right from the start of this story in John we can see that this story is about the saving and healing grace of our God.  Therefore we can apply our knowledge from this series and say this story is about two related factors working together for good.  One factor was the grace of God to heal and save and the other factor we will soon see was the aggressive faith of the people that were present to receive their healing.  Let me try to bring you up to speed by reading the next verse:

Joh 5:4  For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

Verse 3 of John 5 informed us that there was a great multitude of sick, lame and diseased people that were present at the pool.  Why were they all there?  The Bible says here in verse 4 that God sent an angel occasionally to stir the water and the first one in the water got healed no matter what was wrong with them.  Do you understand the reasoning behind what is happening here?  It sounds like a race to me with a starter gun signal to begin.  The winner was the first one in the water and they took the whole prize for that day’s race.  All of the other people were losers and they went home with nothing.  Think with me for a moment and help me determine who got healed when the angel stirred the water?  It sounds like it was more than just luck or a random chance that determined who got healed.  The water was not healing when still but when stirred it would heal only one person.  I believe sincerely that this one healing that occurred was placed upon the one who wanted it the most.  It would only make sense that only the most observant and most aggressive person present would be the most likely one that got healed.  Did you know that your aggressive desire was a factor for your receiving anything from God?  Are you beginning to learn that your passive attitude is probably why you are not healed or receiving what you asked God for?  This lesson of aggressive faith is definitely still true for us today.  For example, in Matthew 7:7 Jesus implied that if you were not seeking that you were not finding anything.  What does it take to seek something?  Seeking is never sitting and doing nothing.  Therefore seeking is an act of aggression and effort to search.  Certainly the one that got healed in the pool made extraordinary effort to be the first one in the water.  Therefore, God was teaching the people that being passive is never a good quality to possess for receiving from God by faith.

After this point in time when someone had just gotten healed in the pool, for those that remained waiting at the porches it is both good news and bad news.  The good news after someone is healed is that one of the competitors for next time to be healed was eliminated but the bad news was that they are still not healed because they were not aggressive enough to get in first.  I believe that every winner of the race that gets there first teaches all of those that were left that they better increase their aggression level the next time.  Do you see what God was teaching the people by only healing one?  You see once someone was healed the word will spread about this miracle occurring again and the next time the water is stirred there might just be more sick people present waiting to receive.  God said in verse 3 that there were five porches of people that were all seeking to obtain the prize and that really sounds like a lot of competition to me.

I do not want you to misunderstand what I am teaching.  You are not competing today to be healed with anyone else.  That is not what God is doing.  Today there is no pool, no angel and no water to stir or get in.  You do not have to wait for healing; God only has to wait on your aggression to receive.  I am teaching a concept today from a Bible pattern.  I am not teaching you a natural formula to receive in a pool of stirred water.  Quit thinking naturally and step beyond what you see with your eyes to understand the spiritual application.  Step out of the natural story and look at this story from an applied aggressive spiritual viewpoint.  Later in this lesson I will attempt to transfer the natural pattern to a spiritual way to receive, but I’m not ready to go there yet.

Let’s take this part of the story and apply what we have learned about Bible faith so far in this series to verify God is speaking about faith in this lesson.  In one previous faith lesson I told you that having faith was like a woman being pregnant and expecting something to come to pass.  Wasn’t that exactly what these five porches of sick people were doing there?  If they were not expecting the angel to come and stir the water again why are they even present?  Does misery just love company?  Perhaps someone in town called a meeting for sick people and they were just there to stand up for sickness rights.  I really do not think that is the case although some people feel better if they are not the only one that is suffering.   Others in the world today want you to believe they have a right to be the way they are but that is just passive lack of faith to change.  I often asked myself, how did this pool dip race get started?  Why was there so many present on this day and who was the very first one that ever got healed to start the people coming to this location?  I mean this race must have been going on for a long time if they had the time to build five porches to sit under.  I do not really think that we are given all of the direct answers to those questions in the Bible.   However we can still learn what is happening and why God is doing this by applying what we have learned about faith so far.

Do you remember how faith comes?  Romans 10:17 says Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.  The presence of a great number of people proved that they heard something and believed what they heard thus they had the foundational basis for having faith even though it was not faith in God’s Word that I know of right now.  Can you understand that everyone present at the pool must have heard the same report of previous healings that had occurred before?  Can you also understand that in order to have faith they must also have believed what they heard and thus establishing their reason for being there?  They no doubt had heard before that whenever the water had been stirred that someone had gotten healed before and believed it.  Having a right belief in what God says or does is the classic foundation for having sound faith by definition.  Since this was an angel sent by God, there is still an opportunity for the people to believe or doubt and do without. 

How about this new question; what makes sick people stay around without any proof or evidence that the water will ever be troubled again?  I believe that is an important question to ask and to answer.  The answer to that question is called faith and faith is always based upon the concept of Bible hope.  Do you remember what Bible Hope was?  Bible hope is not a wishing that something might happen.  Bible hope is defined as an “expectation” knowing that something is certainly coming.  Bible hope goes back to the pregnant woman example.  If you are expecting something to happen then you are aggressively preparing for it to occur.  A pregnant woman doesn’t wait until after she has the baby to get the baby’s room ready to receive it?  Wow, did you understand what I just said.  If you are not making plans for after you are healed you are not aggressively in preparation with any Godly expectation.  I believe that I just said something very valuable, so take hold of it and don’t let it go.

The people at the pool certainly had expecting aggressive faith by just being present and not sitting at home.  But they also exhibited patience for the appearance of an unseen angel and the moving of the water was then their trigger for an even more aggressive action.  Having patience is certainly a factor being taught in this story.  No stirring of the water meant no action was necessary, if stirring of water is present then I better do something fast.  This stirring was called a point of contact and this just gets into some more basic faith concepts that I have taught on before.  Do you remember the contact point example that I talked about before.  I tried to teach you to release your faith by your actions up until you know that you have made contact with the power of God.  For example, the woman with the issue of blood did this by physically touching the hem of the garment of Jesus.   Her physical touch of His garment was her pre-established contact point and the exact moment in time where she stopped being aggressive in her faith having believed that she had now received what she desired.  Did you understand that statement?  The woman with the issue of blood was totally aggressive to receive right up until the point that she touched Him and received what she said.  What she said was “If I touch His garment I will be healed”.  Therefore she aggressively fought her way through the crowd of the other people that were also trying to touch Him but because only she had faith attached with her extreme aggression did she receive her healing when they did not.  The entire crowd was aggressively touching Jesus but the others only had aggression lacking any faith.  Aggression is worthless without faith and faith is worthless without aggression.  The woman after touching Jesus turned and stopped being aggressive.  Do you understand what I am saying?  The woman with the issue of blood can now go home knowing she is healed and she hasn’t even talked to Jesus or asked for anything.  Of course Jesus felt the power leave Him and He immediately turned to see who had this kind of faith that takes without asking.  Only this single woman in the whole crowd of people exhibited the aggressive take it faith that receives without asking or without praying.  She was the only one in the crowd that believed what she heard about Jesus and came for it.  This kind of receiving is still available from God today no matter what it is that you need from God.  Let me teach you something new about the woman with the issue of blood story that I have not mentioned before.   The woman with the issue of blood was healed in chapter 5 of Mark.  But, wait and see what happens in chapter 6 of Mark a little while after this news spread about the woman getting healed:

Mar 6:56  And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.

Suddenly everyone that touches Jesus is healed but in one chapter earlier it was only one woman that received.  What changed from chapter 5 to chapter 6?  People heard that touching Him works and they all believed it now.  Now they could come in chapter 6 with the same level of aggressive expecting to receive faith as the woman in chapter 5 and they all received their healing.  From this information we can learn that the aggressive faith of one woman can produce aggressive faith in many others by them observing what had happened.  Before in chapter 5, the people had inadequate information and lacked expecting aggression.  But, now they have overcome their ignorance and achieved a new level of aggression to receive because they learned some new valuable information and believed it.   What you do not know is usually what is keeping you from receiving from God.  In Hosea 4:6 God says “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge..”.  The only way to overcome this insufficient knowing is for you to learn.  That is why I teach on this subject a lot.  I hope you are learning it.

Let us go back to the person that was healed at the pool.  It was only the first person with this aggressive expecting type of faith that received their healing at the pool and this type of aggressive expecting faith will still receive today.  As soon as the first one was in the water they were done.  They got up, got out and walked home just like the woman with the issue of blood would have done.  Learn the lesson that is being presented to us from the Word of God and then apply the concepts to your faith walk with God’s Word.  Whatever you need from God if you have found the scriptural promises that say that you can have it, and if you believe them without wavering it is your time to go and get it.  Be aggressive and take; do not sit passively waiting to receive anything.  Keep the woman with the issue of blood and the one that was healed first at the pool in the forefront of your mind as your examples to follow.  Do not let the others around you keep you from being the one that receives.  I’m again not talking of natural physical aggression but of a spiritual aggression since there is no physical Jesus present and no natural competition to contend with.  However, the Spirit of God is present and the devils are present and this is the spiritual atmosphere realm that you are in now to receive.  Let’s look at some more examples in the Bible of aggressive faith to insure that this is a valid pattern found to learn from:

Mat 20:30  And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.

Mat 20:31  And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.

See the two blind men in Matthew 20:30 and 31 and how when they heard that it was Jesus, they cried out loudly (aggressively) ignoring the opposing multitudes of people that were rebuking them for shouting.  They immediately had aggressive faith because they heard.  These two blind men received from God what they desired because of their faithful acts of aggression.  Clearly the two blind men had faith in something that they had previously heard about Jesus otherwise they would not have known who He was.  No one said it was the Son of David but they called Him by this respectful title.  Clearly they had great opposition but they were not going to let anyone around them talk them out of what they knew they could have.  Clearly this is another example of not being passive and allowing what has happened to them to stay as it was.  They heard who it was, they believed in Jesus as Messiah, they took action, they cried out loudly, they expected to receive, Jesus heard them and they received their sight.  This is exactly how receiving faith works.  Let’s move to another story of a lame man that received:

Mar 2:3  And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

Mar 2:4  And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

Mar 2:5  When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

Review this lesson of the lame man brought to the house by his four friends where Jesus was teaching in Mark 2:4.   The crowd present was so large that they could not get anywhere near to where Jesus was, but did they let that stop them from receiving?  Clearly they were faced with great opposition, obstacles and challenges to overcome.  No one was present yelling at them to leave but yet they still could not get near to Jesus because the people were not going to move and let them in.  What did they do, did they give up?  No, they went up to the roof top and made a large hole and dropped their friend down to where Jesus was.  Wasn’t that another example of creative positive aggression?  Weren’t these men thinking outside the box of limitations?   If they would have been discouraged by the size of the crowd they would have went away without receiving anything, but since they made a way where there was no way they got exactly what they needed.  This verse says that Jesus saw their faith.  This type of aggressive faith caused them to go away victorious.  I have just given to you 4 great examples of aggressive expecting faith.  All of them were presented with challenges to overcome.  No one in the Bible ever said that you will not have any opposition.  No one in the Bible said it will be easy to receive a miracle from God.  But, persistent aggression overcomes the enemy every time and receives.

CHANGING OUR PERSPECTIVE FROM THE NATURAL TO THE SPIRITUAL

Let’s put this Gospel information into a spiritual context with spiritual opposition rather than a natural opposition story with a physical Jesus.  You see these Gospel stories were only given to you in the Bible in order to teach you about the reality of the coming spiritual things that you would be faced with in the right now.   There are several scriptures that inform us of things in the Old Testament were given to us as patterns for coming unseen spiritual realities.  If you do not understand this you will be mostly confused with reading the Old Testament.  You do understand that everything in the Gospels prior to the resurrection of Jesus was nothing but Old Testament examples, don’t you?   In lessons 7 and 8 in this series I talked about the concept of taking the Promised Land.  God’s stated Bible promises are representative of the symbolic Promised Land that the natural nation of Israel was told to take (receive).  This clearly was described to be a fight for the land between opposing aggression.  That was a physical natural reality and we in the church are not them and we do not fight like they fought:

2Co 10:3  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

To war after the flesh is a concept that too many churches today are promoting in their ignorance.  One recent unnamed ignorant pastor made the national news by preaching we need to lock up all the gays and just let them die off.  Wow, how stupid can one man be and be called a preacher of God’s Word.  Does he not know how to read his Bible?  We are not wrestling against flesh and blood (Eph 6:12) therefore people are not our problem?  If you lock up people without addressing the real spiritual force controlling the people you have solved nothing.  Homosexuality has been around since the days of Lot.  Did the death of the gays in Sodom solve the problem of homosexuality?  No, obviously not.  The spirits that were in them are now in others in the modern world.   We are not in a physical conflict.  Let’s get back to the subject of faith and our spiritual war:

1Ti 6:12  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

Faith is defined to be and described to us as a spiritual contest very much like the race to get into the pool first that we read about today in the Gospel of Matthew.    In every fight there is one winner and a loser.  Therefore a fight is a competition of opposing aggression and the winner is usually the one that wants it the most.  However, we have a problem now.  How do you fight in the spiritual realm?  Who is your spiritual opposition that you are fighting against and what causes you to win or overcome in this fight?   These are very relevant questions.  In lesson 8 on faith I went into some of the answers to these questions.  I listed 4 spiritual enemies that you are presented with.  Do you remember what these 4 spiritual enemies were?

  1. Ignorance
  2. Fear
  3. Doubt
  4. Worry

These were four revealed internal spiritual enemy conflicts that you can control and fix.  If you do not understand that you were born ignorant on the subject of faith and that you needed knowledge to overcome this ignorance, then why are reading my Bible lessons?  Next, I talked about fear being an opposing force to faith.  If you are controlled by what it looks like on the outside rather than what God said to you on the inside you are probably going to die or loose.  The children of Israel let their fears, worries and doubts keep them from their possession.  I’m not going to go through all of that information again, but I thought that you should familiarize yourself with those subjects again as being potential enemies to receiving from God.  I sometimes go back and reread all of my Bible lessons on a subject to remind myself what I said.  It refreshes my memory and puts it in the forefront of my mind like God told Joshua to do in Joshua 1:8.  I would recommend that just because you have read these lessons once that you go back and reread them again and again because there is no way that can remember everything and you should review them periodically as a fresh meal from God.   Just because I ate steak yesterday does not mean I do not like to eat steak again.

What is Spiritual Warfare?  I did a lesson on this subject a long time ago and it might help you to go and review it, to learn about what other spiritual enemies there are that you are faced with and how you can fight them.  In that lesson I talked about how our weapons of war are not flesh based.  But, God has given to us spiritual weapons of war to fight a spiritual battle.  I’m going to take one of those weapons and discuss it here again today for you to connect it with your spiritual faith fight and how it works to defeat your enemy.  This weapon of war is called the sword of the Spirit and it is described to us as being the Word of God (Eph 6:17).  This Sword of Spirit is just one part of the six piece complete armor package of God that we are commanded to put on.  Have you put on your armor?  If not you are about to lose before the fight even begins.  Prior to the verses describing the six piece armor of God, God reveals to you who you are fighting:

Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Why would it be necessary to fight a defeated foe?  If Satan has been rendered totally defeated why are we putting on any armor?  You really need to ask God some hard questions in order to understand the whole truth.  What God has given to us by His Grace can only be received by your faith.  Thus the good fight of faith is now still on with Satan.  Satan is your number one enemy and he is at the top of the food chain in this category of spiritual oppostion.  Every other enemy that you are faced with is a direct result of something that Satan is using to try to defeat you.  For example, fear is a spiritual force produced by Satan’s words.

Therefore we are in a spiritual war or fight concerning our faith and belief in God’s Word.  How do you fight this unseen spiritual enemy?  We can directly learn how to fight by observing from how Jesus fought Satan and then apply this knowledge to how we must fight him.   When did Jesus fight Satan?  It was actually a continual fight all the way to the cross, but there was one specific written example of this fight and that is what we are going to study next.  This spiritual fight is popularly called the Temptation of Christ.  Turn with me in your Bible and follow along in the battle:

Mat 4:1  Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

Here in this chapter of Matthew we can read about Jesus being led by the Spirit of God.  One of the key words in this verse is given to us as “tempted” in this translated version of the KJV.  However, this Greek word means significantly more than that narrow definition.  This Greek word represents a “test”.  A test is normally a measure of a person’s knowledge, skill or endurance.  A test in school provides instructors with evidence or proof that you know the material taught to you in their class.  If you pass the test you are good to move on, but if you fail the test you better go and study the material again.  That is a descriptive example of the fight of faith that you are probably in right now.  God is not the tester or the test giver.  It is unnecessary for God to test you since He already knows the results.  Do you understand God’s omniscient quality and why He does not to test you?  God provides the material and Satan is the one that attacks you to see if you know it, understand it and can use it against him.  That is what is happening in this “temptation of Jesus” story.  Satan comes to Jesus and speaks 3 different things to him in sequence.  This represented a three part test with each part of the test being graded separately with a pending sudden death failure penalty if one test is not passed.  The one being tested is only passed to the higher level in the test if they got the previous part of the test correct.  To me it sounds like a progressive test of endurance with progressive skill levels from basic to advanced levels.    Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Ok, let’s go through the test that Jesus endured and learn from it:

Mat 4:3  And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

What was the first level of test brought before Jesus?  Jesus had just fasted and not eaten for 40 days and the Bible says he was hungry.  Satan came to Jesus with a basic flesh test.  Satan gave Jesus the thought to turn the stones around Him into bread.   This thought of food appealed to His flesh.  His flesh was very hungry and would have loved to eat some physical food.  Being in the wilderness there was no physical food present, so Satan tells Jesus to turn stones into bread.  But, Jesus responded with the Word of God.

Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Do you understand that in this faith fight that Jesus also had on the armor of God?  You do understand that this is a spiritual fight that is occurring, don’t you?  This fight example describes how Satan will attack you.  It also describes how Jesus countered the attack of Satan.  The only key offensive piece in the armor of God is the sword of the Spirit.  The sword of the Spirit is the written Word of God (Eph 617).  Jesus aggressively quoted a written verse of God’s Word speaking it with His mouth to counter Satan’s thought and because He believed it He passed this phase of the test.

Mat 4:5  Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

Mat 4:6  And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Now we are seeing more of the intelligence of your enemy in test number 2.   Just because you can quote the scripture does not mean that Satan cannot do the same right back at you.  Satan is taking a small part of the Sword of the Spirit and attempting to use it to test Jesus on a higher level of spiritual conflict.  It has now become a battle of wits, wisdom and Bible knowledge and not just a battle of the flesh that we observed in test number 1.  Satan has just progressed up to a higher test level from the flesh to the realm of the mind.  You see man is a spirit being that has a mind and he lives in a body.  The progressive levels of testing go from the exterior to the interior and these are your body or flesh first on the outside followed by your soul or your mind in the middle layer in between your body and your spirit.  And then finally the real you on the inside called your spirit is the ultimate realm of testing that can occur.  Satan is moving from the easier levels to the more difficult levels using progression steps.   I hope you are learning something new today and that it will make a change in what you see that is happening to you and how to fight Satan.

Mat 4:7  Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Jesus just quotes the Sword of the Spirit to Satan and once again passes the test.  Jesus did not debate the Bible with Satan, but also Jesus did not ignore the verse that Satan quoted either.  Jesus quoted a higher truth that takes precedence over what Satan has said to Him.  You see you cannot take one verse in the Bible out of context, misapply it and then think that this is all of the truth there is or is necessary to understand.  This battle of the mind that is occurring proves to us that not all scripture is equal.  We must balance and weigh each verse against each other verse to see if any of them are greater in importance.  Just because Satan said you can jump and the Bible says that God will save you, Jesus was smarted than Satan and understood first the Bible doesn’t tell us to jump.  Then Jesus understood that if I obeyed this suggestion He would be testing God’s ability to save.  Therefore, Jesus said it is also written “Don’t test God”.  Do you understand how the second verse that Jesus just quoted helps to interpret what the first verse that Satan just tried to use against Jesus meant?  Therefore, the second verse represents a greater truth to know and Satan did not dispute it anymore and moved to the next level.   This brings up a very important point.  If you do not know what God says in His word how can you fight against your adversary Satan?  Wow, that is probably why and how Satan is using your ignorance to defeat you.  You need to spend a lot of time in the Word of God and get it into your spirit so that is what automatically comes out of your mouth in abundance when you are under pressure.  Jesus did not have time to say to Satan wait a minute and let me look up that verse.  I know it is here somewhere.  No Jesus’ response was built into His Spirit and this is what you need to do quickly.

Mat 4:8  Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

Mat 4:9  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

Now we can see the final temptation is on a spiritual level.  Worship is only what a spirit being can do to another spirit being.  No other mammal on the earth worships anything or anyone?  None of them set up shrines or temples to bow down to their gods.  Only ignorant men have the opportunity to worship the wrong god and they have created many of them in the last several thousand years.   This is an amazing set of illustrated steps of progressive levels of testing.  Clearly Satan started at the flesh exterior level of the man and then worked his way into the spirit going through the mind.  I believe that this is exactly what will occur with you in your faith fight.

Mat 4:10  Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Here we have the final example of how to counter every level of attack and to overcome each progressive step of the test.  In every case given the only weapon mentioned was the Sword of the Spirit when Jesus quoted what was written in God’s Word.  I certainly do believe that the rest of the armor was present and a factor, but they were not what were emphasized in the lesson of how to overcome a test.  Every other part of the armor of God is designed as a defensive part of the battle gear to keep you safe from the aggressive attack blows of your enemy, but only the Sword of the Spirit was designed to be a weapon that can be used to aggressively counter the attacks.  After these three tests Satan really has no choice but to go away and try to fight another day with Jesus.  I really hope that you understand how to better fight your faith fight.   When Satan comes to you and says look at your symptoms of illness and that you are not healed, you can simply quote God’s Word and tell Him “By His stripes I was healed”.  That is an example of the good fight of faith. 

Possessing the promises of God is a spiritual battle with spiritual enemies.  To win the battle you must get the Word of God built on the inside of you in your spirit and believe it with your whole heart.  Your salvation was the greatest spiritual battle that required your fight of faith to posses.  Let’s reveiw a verse in the N.T. and see how you fought this fight and won:

Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Here is a single verse that describes the entire spiritual battle using one statement.  This verse refers to the heart of man so that takes us into the spiritual realm immediately.  This verse speaks of spiritual beliefs and that takes us into the faith fight.  There are implied enemies, there are implied failures, there are implied weapons and there is a literal stated victory that can be achieved.  Do you see it?  It is amazing what God can put in one verse when you understand a few other verses.  The confession of the words of your mouth is your sword of the Spirit in your armor.  If you are not speaking out loud you are not fighting to win.  If you want to be defeated don’t say anything.  That is called being a passive Christian and just letting whatever happens, happen.  No, confession is an aggressive use of your mouth to get what you desire.  This verse is about the subject of desiring salvation, but that is a much broader subject and it includes much more than us just going to heaven some day in the future.  Did you notice that this verse started out with “belief”.  We are back to having faith in God’s word.  Therefore we must have heard God’s Word, believed God’s Word and then spoke God’s Word.  If your beliefs are not based solidly upon the Word of God then your spiritual fight is already lost.   Let’s stop and look up the word “salvation” in the Strong’s dictionary to see what else this includes or applies to in your faith fight.

G4991 – σωτηρία sōtēria

Feminine of a derivative of G4990 as (properly abstract) noun; rescue or safety (physically or morally): – deliver, health, salvation, save, saving.

This Greek word can legally be translated as “delivered’ or “saved” or even “healed”.  Therefore it is an all-inclusive statement including our physical wellbeing, our mental wellbeing as well as for our spiritual wellbeing and deliverance.  You see God’s salvation does not exclude any area of your life only you do that by your unbelief in that area.   Remember what I said earlier of the three levels of human existence?  You are a spirit which possesses a mind that lives in a body.  Therefore God provided “salvation” and “deliverance” to save from each realm of existence.  No that does not mean that you will be problem free in life, we already know that is not the full truth.  You still have an enemy that is alive and well trying to “kill, steal from and destroy” you (John 10:10).  In this same verse in John, Jesus said “BUT I HAVE COME so that you might have life and that life more abundantly”.  Did Jesus mean that life was later in the future or here available for us in the right now?  I personally believe that He meant it for right now in this world.  Later when we get to heaven there will be no need for salvation from anyone, or any need to overcome because there will be no more enemies present there.  However, there are other truths written in the Bible that must be balanced that say “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33).  But in this same verse, Jesus also said be of good cheer because I have overcome the world.  If you do not understand that Jesus set an example of how to overcome in the world for us to follow, then we would have a legitimate expectation to think that there is nothing for us to overcome.  However that is not what the Bible teaches us.  The Bible tells us that we also must overcome our adversities and our adversaries?  At least 10 times in the New Testament we are commanded to be overcomers.  Why would Jesus make this stipulation if Satan was already completely defeated and a non-factor? 

Satan’s future is sealed in a gloom of darkness, but he is still trying to take down as many people as he can with him now.  That makes him a significant angry aggressive spiritual force for you to overcome here and now.  This enemy is trying to keep you from experiencing the abundant life that Jesus said was given to you in John 10:10.  This life of abundance was much more than physical prosperity, but I believe that was included.    I believe that our mental and spiritual health is much more important features to focus on instead of us getting rich or getting healed.  However I did not say you cannot have it all if you that is what God says you can have.  I’ll end this Bible study with this statement written from John and God to the church:

3Jn 1:2  Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

John prayed that the people would prosper financially and have good health but he placed the final greater emphasis upon their minds and spirits as being the determining factor for both of these other benefits to occur.  There is an implied association that if your soul and your spirit are prospering, then your health and your finances are also prospering.  I am not a health and wealth preacher, but I do preach the Bible and I do not ignore one part of the Bible to remain pious to believe a selective spirit only salvation theology teaching.  If Jesus only saved our spirits why is there so many other references taught on so many other subjects in the Bible?   You have to completely ignore verses like this one in 3 John if you want to believe in a sickness and poverty bad news type of gospel.  Why would John pray for something for others that was not the will of God for all?

My emphasis in whatever I teach is always for you to seek the God of creation and His Word to prosper you spiritually and mentally and the other parts of your life will come almost automatically after you do this.  There is not a valid reverse order or approach to finding God or getting God to answer your prayer.  You do not seek healing or prosperity and think that God will give them to you just because you need them.  God does not consistently respond to needs, but God does consistently respond to faith.  I learned this over and over in the Gospels and many other examples in the Bible.  When you find out what God says in His word the needs will become insignificantly minor.  I could give you many more Bible examples that prove this point but I will only quickly focus on one. For example Solomon asked God for only His wisdom and this wisdom made him one of the richest men of all of the men on the planet.  That was how prosperity was supposed to work doing it God’s way.  You need to change your focused approach to God today.  Quit seeking healing or prosperity without first seeking the divine wisdom from the God who blesses and heals. 

Start right now and pray “God help me to see me as you see me”.  Then pray and ask God to bring correction and direction into your life and tell Him that you will change.  Then pray and ask God for revelation knowledge of what His word declares.  Ask God to open the eyes of your understanding and to enlighten your mind and spirit with His Great Wisdom.  However, like anything that you pray for you must use the prayer of faith and believe that you received what you asked for when you prayed and before you see the answer.  I did a whole lesson in this series on the Prayer of Faith.  This means when it does not look like that you have any wisdom from God, this is the perfect time to believe God heard and answered your prayer and for you to say “I have the mind of Christ today”.  “The wisdom of God is formed in my spirit”.   “I hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and the voice of a stranger I do not follow”.  After you do that you will soon see that God honors your request and has given to your mind new insight that you never had before.  Before too long you will be teaching others God’s word on your own being healed and blessed.   Thank you for your time and I pray that you have been blessed by what God gave me to say in the early morning hours to teach you.  Alyaws remember that an aggressive faith is a receiving faith and a receiving faith is always an aggressive faith.  I’ll try to move back to some other subjects that I have left before, but I do want to be led by the Spirit of God so that I can help someone to receive.  So as long as the Spirit of God does not wake me with a specific lesson topic I will be going back to a recent study subject.  God Bless!

If you would like to continue in this Bible study reading the next lesson please go to “Part 17” now.

Understanding Bible Faith! The Hidden Aspect of Authority for Having Great Faith! Part 15

(ver 1.0) This is now Part 15 in a series of very important advanced Christian Bible lessons on the subject of Understanding Bible Faith.  I have covered a tremendous amount of information in this series that will not be repeated so if you have not read it from the beginning I would suggest that you go and start with “Part 1” first.  I dealt with the subject of Great Faith in one other lesson directly and several other lessons indirectly.  In the direct lesson on Great Faith about the woman from Canaan we discovered the importance of how we view the problem versus how we view the power of God to solve the problem matters.  I attempted to teach you that no matter how big the problem may appear, the power of God to solve it is so much significantly greater that it only takes a crumb of His power to change it.  This principle was an awesome revelation that combines two stated truths found in the Bible concerning faith.  First there is “All things are possible with God” and second that “all things are possible to those that believe” (Mat 19:26, Mark 9:23).   You see many Christians have no problem believing that God can do anything because He is omnipotent, but then they fail to realize that they have any part to play in getting this reality from God to occur in the natural realm.  It is a combined effort of agreement between God and you and you cannot ignore the fact Jesus taught that people must believe in order for the humanly impossible to transpire.  This is why Jesus told us that all things are possible to us “IF WE CAN BELIEVE”.  So our faith is again mentioned as the final determining factor for what is possible for us or what happens to us.  I hope that you understand what faith is by now.  Faith is a belief based spiritual system that comes from hearing His written Word about what God has already accomplished in the Spiritual realm.  It is this Bible faith that becomes the literal substance of those things that we cannot or have not seen in the natural realm (Heb 11:1).

Today I am going to focus in on the only other illustrated example given to us in the Bible of explicitly stated great faith.  Jesus only looked at two different Gentiles and said that they had great faith beyond what he could find in all of Israel.  Jesus revealed to us that he was looking for people with faith in this statement and He marveled at only two things; those in Israel that had no faith and those outside of Israel that had great over the top faith.  So I have already addressed the woman of Canaan that was rewarded for her great faith by Jesus casting the devils out of her daughter.  Today I am going to look at the story of the Roman Centurion that introduces us to a brand new perspective on the subject of faith.  How did this non-Jewish man obtain such great faith when Jesus was not even sent to anyone except to those in Israel?  I believe that this is an excellent question to answer and that will be my goal.   We will start reading in our Bibles in Matthew chapter 8 and verse 5:

Mat 8:5  And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,

Here is the beginning of the great faith story.  Notice how the story begins.  The Roman Centurion is coming to Jesus and it was not Jesus coming to the Roman Centurion.  Recognize today where the source of your answer will originate and then start out to get it from Him the same way.  I know today that Jesus is not physically on the earth, but He is here spiritually and His written word is ever present here for you to still seek out.  God, His Spirit and His Word are all inseparable realities called three in one (1 Jn 5:7).  So come to the Bible and start to learn what you are missing and then pray and He will answer.  Also recognize that if you are waiting on God to show up you are out of the designed process of God’s flow and you are doing it all wrong.  If you want an answer to a problem in the world today you are going to have to go and figure out how to receive it.  This is exactly what the Roman Centurion is doing in this example.  The Roman Centurion was not sitting back passively but was taking steps and being aggressively active to seek God for the answer.  I hope you have gotten that concept from the previous lessons, but I restated it again for those that need to hear it.

Mat 8:6  And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.

Here is the stated great problem that the Centurion is seeking Jesus to solve.  The servant of the Centurion appears to be too “grievously” sick to come to Jesus himself.  We can understand that the servant is suffering greatly and in tremendous pain.  The Centurion obviously has great compassion in his heart to do something for someone else to try to help them.  Having compassion is a Godly quality that is highly desirable.  Here we must stop and understand why is the Centurion coming to Jesus?  At this point he must have either seen Jesus heal personally before or at the very least heard of Jesus healing someone by word of mouth from a witness.  Hearing is a requirement to having Bible faith.  As we continue in this lesson you will definitely learn that it was the Centurion’s faith that causes the positive results to occur.

This also introduces us to an interesting concept and a fascinating question that comes up when discussing this subject of faith.  Can my faith or your faith be used to help someone else get their answer?  Clearly in this example given to us from God in Matthew 8 we are going to see that the Centurion’s individual faith definitely helped a servant without the servant’s faith being involved.  Part of the reasoning that needs to be taken into account is that a servant is a delegated household subordinate or individual.  In other words the servant was part of the household of the Centurion and under his roof.   However, it is more complicated than that statement.  You see in the example of the Centurion the fact that the servant is so sick that it would be impossible for him to seek out Jesus personally for himself must also be taken into account.  Plus the fact that the servant was the property of the Centurion means whatever happens to the servant is up to the owner in charge.  Both of these factors play a role in determining whether your faith can be used to help for others.   It is a great mistake to automatically assume that you can force your faith upon anyone or that you can override the will of another individual to get them saved, healed or delivered from anything that they do not want to be free from. 

Let me go into some examples of when your faith can and cannot work for others.  For example, if you have young children living at your home and they get sick, it is going to be your faith that gets them well until they get to the age of accountability to have faith for themselves.  This is the repeated reality found in the terms of the Roman Centurion who is the head of the house and the servant being a subordinate figure.  Children are always subordinate to the parent.  This same natural example crosses over into the spiritual realm also.  You see if a Christian is new to the faith, they are a spiritual child in the Lord too young and immature spiritually to have faith for most difficult things.  That is kind of an oxymoronic statement, since nothing is too hard for God and if they believed for their salvation that was probably the greatest obstacle that they will ever face.  Technically a saved person has already achieved great faith in one area for their salvation.  But, that is the problem it takes more faith in other areas like being filled with the Spirit, or healing, or finances to solve those different inadequacies.  I guess what I am trying to say is that your faith can be accessed to work for many new Christians at least once.  However, as they grow, spiritually mature and see how it works they will learn that they will be required by God to have faith for themselves.  Just like kids today in the natural are required to grow up and take responsibility for their own lives, so it is in the spiritual realm.

Next if a person is unconscious or unable to come or ask for their own healing then many times your faith can be used to help them also.  It is not always the case however.  For example, when my father was unconscious in a comma in the hospital after a stroke the entire local church body prayed and sought God for the answer in faith, but the answer did not come.  Was it our lack of faith that caused us to fail or were there other factors?  You see there were several other factors that hindered the healing.  The spiritual maturity of my father played a very significant role.  The previous actions of my father were also pivotal in determining whether our faith could work for him to be healed.  Also our will could not override his will and we do not actually know what he desired or thought about staying and being healed or going to see Jesus.  First off consider this; my father was not a baby Christian.  He had been a Christian for over 25 years.  Next consider that my father had been to two Bible schools and was a pastor of a church.  Then consider the fact that he ignored certain warnings from God about what was about to happen months earlier and the instructions given to him by God that showed him what he needed to do to fix the situation and it was all of these things that allowed death to dominate him and win.  Do you remember the story of the prophet coming to the king and telling him that he would surely die and to get his house in order (2 Kings 20:1)?   What did the king do and what result did it cause to change?  Surely you remember, the king repents before God and God sent the prophet back to tell him that God had lengthened the king’s days on the earth considerably.  So what people do on the earth, how they react to bad news, their ability to repent and change or not to change must matter if they want to live on the earth a long time.   Do you understand this?  What if the king did nothing?  God said that he would die and he would have died just as it was spoken.  This same thing happened to my father, God sent him a Prophet warning him of his death and he ignored it and guess what happened?  These are very powerful lessons to understand about when your faith will work for someone else and when it will not.  God says in the Bible “I am not mocked, whatever a man sows that will he also reap” (Gal 6:7).  This is a basic statement of truth that sometimes what we pray for some men may not matter if they have sown the wrong crop and refused to repent for it. 

Let me give you another example of when faith worked for an unconscious man.  A pastor of a small church in Texas once had a member of his church fall off of an oil well platform from a great distance and he was very near death.  He was unconscious in the hospital and the doctors said it was just a matter of time and he would be gone.  His pastor was a believer in faith and he did not accept that report.  This pastor went before God in faith and prayed and the man eventually fully recovered and came back to church well.  So what is the difference here?  The man was a member of the church of the pastor.  This means the member was under the jurisdiction of the pastor being a spiritual subordinate and I’m going to talk about this more in a little while.  What I am saying is that the pastor had a right to pray for his own member because he was not a fully grown mature Christian and the fact that the member could not pray for himself and ask God for healing since he was totally unconscious.  The church member had not been warned by God of impending disaster and he just fell into it.  Thus the factors were dramatically different between this man and my father’s example.  So the subject of faith and healing is a very complex one that has many factors involved in it and sometimes it is extremely difficult to determine when your faith will work for someone and when it will not.  Let’s continue with the Centurion:

Mat 8:7  And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.

Jesus replies to the Centurion that He will come with him so that his servant will be healed.  However, I want you to think and understand why Jesus said that He would do this.  It has to be the man’s faith being visibly seen that causes Jesus to go where he was needed.  I can find no other reason that caused Jesus ever to do anything for anyone just because they asked.  I guess I should qualify that statement, because there were times when Jesus did things through a manifested gift of the Holy Spirit’s working.   A gift of healing or a gift of miracles is a different type of the work of God that takes place by God’s divine choice and does not involve the faith of the individual to receive it.  God will sometimes heal someone as a sign or as a confirmation of the Word preached that will not involve a man’s faith as a great gift.  Just do not count on the gifts of God to heal you, this is a great mistake.  You do not control the gift giver; gifts are only given according to God the administrator by His divine sovereign choice.  This would be like if you heard of me giving away a present to someone that you really liked or needed.  Even if you came to me personally and asked me for one, does not mean I will give it to you?  That is presumptive thinking to assume someone will give you anything when you do not know the circumstances to why the other one got what they received.  Conversely your faith can be used to take hold of God’s power at any time as we discovered studying about the woman with the issue of blood that just came and took her healing without praying or asking God for it.  Next, I want to explore the scriptures that record the Centurion’s response to Jesus’ confirmation that He will come and heal.  Here is the beginning of the statement:

Mat 8:8  The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.

One of the first factors that I notice about the Centurion is that this man of great human power in the Roman army has great humility.  It takes great humility to even ask anyone for help.  Do you understand that?  The soldier could have demanded Jesus to come, but instead tells Jesus he is not even worthy for Him to come under his roof.  If you feel like you are worthy of Jesus coming to do anything for you then you are not in the right attitude of respect and humility for the all-powerful God.  You do not deserve the answer and there is nothing that you can do or to offer to make yourself deserving.  Anything that you obtain from God is solely based upon God’s Grace to give it.  Your position of wealth, fame, power and influence on the earth will not cause you to receive anything from God.  Then the next thing that I want to point out is the Centurion’s ability to perceive spiritual things.  This Centurion could see when Jesus spoke that things happened.  He simply asks Jesus to speak the Word and his servant would be healed/saved.  Wow, that is an awesome display of ultimate faith.  I can see why Jesus was so focused on this Gentile man entirely.  You see if the Centurion had no faith he would have not come to Jesus at all.  If the Centurion had only average faith he would have been very glad for Jesus to come to his house.  But because he understood spiritual things greater than any other, he asked Jesus to just give the command and it will be done.   You may not yet understand what is happening in this story and why this man has this kind of faith, but you are about to learn the key found in the Centurion’s next statement:

Mat 8:9  For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

The Centurion says “I am a man under authority”.  Wow again and double wow!   The Centurion just revealed one secret to having great faith and this is where we are going to spend the rest of the lesson.  The Centurion tells Jesus, “I speak commands and they are obeyed”.  The centurion says “I tell this one to go and he goes, I tell this other one to do this and it is done”.  In other words this is a military man who understands authority.  Everyone in an army has an assigned rank of authority.  Anyone new to the army is at the bottom of the authority food chain.  Anyone with extended experience and maturity is at the upper echelons of the authority ladder by their years of experience and wisdom.  There is literally no one in the army that is not under the authority of someone else.  Even the chief leader is under the lordship of the ruler of the country.  There are vast numbers of lessons to learn from the military but I will not attempt to give you very many.  Just understand that orders are given and orders are obeyed.  If orders are not given, nothing is done.  If orders are not obeyed then severe consequences are delivered.  All of the army is a word based command structure system of authorities.  No one shoots their gun without someone in charge telling them to shot, where to shoot and how often to shoot.  If you don’t understand this I’m sorry, but that is generally how life works in the army.

Mat 8:10  When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

Jesus’ responses to the Centurion’s words are very revealing.  As you can see Jesus is clearly looking for faith in Israel and has found it to be a scarcity.   If you do not understand that Jesus is still looking for faith today then you are not in touch with reality.  God has not changed, is not changing and will not change.  So this is the key factor for what is happening in this story.  Jesus stood in astonishment with the words spoken to Him by a man outside of the Old Covenant.  This wisdom that came from the Centurion’s mouth demonstrated his ability to recognize things that others ignored around him.  Do not think that Jesus did things in isolation or in private always.  When Jesus cast out a demon with His Word, the demon was gone and people could see the result immediately.  Many people in Israel recognized this to be authority in demonstration, but only the centurion used this knowledge of spiritual authority to set his servant free from his pain, torment and impending death.  Let me show you some other scriptures found in the Gospel about Jesus’ authority quickly:

Mat 7:29  For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Mar 1:27  And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.

You see the authority that Jesus carried with Him on the earth was clearly evident so that everyone could see it to be different than all the other teachers in Israel.  This is what the Centurion also observed and only he understood how it worked.  You can clearly see that men of Israel questioned Jesus in Mark 1:27 saying He speaks and the demons obey Him.  These are military realities.  They were very self-evident but yet some saw them and questioned them, others saw them and accepted them.  Where are you today on this authority revelation?  That is exactly why I am teaching on this subject to help your faith.  Let me show you another verse on this subject of Jesus’ authority:

Mat 21:23  And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?

Here we have the Jewish leaders in the synagogue questioning the obvious display of authority from Jesus to teach, to heal or to do anything.  You can tell these leaders recognized what authority was, but yet they did not accept it to be a legitimate authority since it was not given to Him by them or by any other established human organization, government, etc.  The things in their minds were not right.  They saw Jesus as a mere man from an insignificant city called Nazareth and not the God man sent from heaven born in Bethlehem.  Uh Oh?  That was a major stumbling block of offense to them and they allowed their ignorance of the truth to stop them from seeking the truth.  That was not very good news for any of them at all.  You see these men were very closed minded locked into a false knowledge of the truth.  When confronted with truth they closed their eyes because of His overwhelming brightness, even though truth was standing right in front of them.   To be closed minded is a state of mental and spiritual blindness that is used by Satan to keep people from knowing the truth (2 Cor 4:4).  I pray that you will always be open to learning more from God, because He certainly has more that He can teach you.

In Matthew 8 we have discovered a new factor for having great faith.  This factor for having great faith is called “authority”.  Both the Centurion and Jesus walked in authority, understood authority, recognized authority and used authority to produce positive results.  The Centurion’s authority was natural and Jesus’ authority was clearly spiritual.  Both men knew what authority was and both men understood how authority worked completely.  Both men recognized the power of spoken words and this is the basis of ALL authority.  That is where we are in this lesson.  Perhaps we need to research what authority is and how it affects our faith next?  We still have a lot to learn on the subject of authority so let’s explore deeper.

People today in the modern world still question authority and do not understand the importance of its existence.  They typically disrespect those that are in authority and they do not understand the chaos that would exist without any organized structural authority.  We like to live in a free country and enjoy all of these freedoms offered, but these are only made possible because there are established laws under authority.  In this country that I live in we have an organized system of hierarchical layers of authorities.  Let’s quickly look at a definition that I found on the internet for the word authority:

  1. The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience:
  2. The right to act in a specified way, delegated from one person or organization to another.

Authority involves power, but authority does not mean you are all powerful.  Being the strongest man in the world does not make you the one in charge.  This is true in every realm of government, sports, corporations, organizations, families, etc.  Many times the shortest weakest men or women are the ones with the most authority.  Understand the difference between power and authority.  For example, a policeman carries a gun that gives him power, but he also has been given delegated rights of authority by the badge that he wears.  Both of these are separate distinct factors that combine for either positive or negative results.  Look at the definition of authority; this word means a delegated right to give orders and to enforce their obedience.  These orders given are expected to be carried out or there are major consequences.  Having rights is a key part of the definition to having legitimate authority.  This is why Jesus was questioned by Satan asking what right do you have to do these things on the earth?  Satan did not realize how smart God was and that God does not do anything that is illegal.  God certainly had a right by all of His past previous divine acts.  But, I do not have time to fully elaborate on all of these today.

Using these definitions of authority we can easily understand that our God holds all authority by preeminence and power.  But, can we also find the transference of rights and authority from the most High God to us or anyone else here on the earth?  You must realize that God is sovereign and being sovereign God has the explicit right to delegate authority to whoever He wishes.  Does God do that and why would God do that?  Certainly God has the right to do that, but many do not understand why God would do anything to relinquish any control.  To surrender control would violate their idea of an omnipotent God in sovereign control of everything that occurs.  Delegation of authority would allow others to make independent choices, laws, rules and commands and thus things on the earth would no longer be in God’s full control.  That concept boggles the mind of many religious people endlessly.  That is really very unfortunate that people do not just read their Bibles and actually see what God has said in His word and then believe that.  Read this verse carefully and observe the transfer of authority from God to man:

Gen 1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Man being made in the image and likeness of God dictates “that what God is capable of man is also capable of” on a lesser scale.  You see I once had an educated seminary man try to tell me this verse does not mean what it literally says.  If that was true then no verse in the Bible could be taken as truth either.  Anyone could easily dismiss the virgin birth, the existence of the man Jesus Christ or His death on the cross and his subsequent resurrection from the dead as all being invalid occurrences.  This verse in Genesis clearly from God says man/Adam has been given “dominion” over all of the earth.  Did God have the right to do this, certainly He did.  Perhaps it is the word dominion that you are having problem with.  This word has a very different meaning than what may come to your mind at first.  Let me give you the Strong’s definition of the word to investigate what God intended to happen with His created man Adam:

A primitive root; to tread down, that is, subjugate; specifically to crumble off: – (come to, make to) have dominion, prevail against, reign, (bear, make to) rule, (-r, over), take.

Interesting Hebrew word definition, isn’t it?  To “tread down” is a very familiar term if you have read many of my other Bible studies.  You see this word “dominion” corresponds to an impending prophecy after the fall of man found in Genesis 3:15 where Gods says that the “seed of the woman” would bruise the head of the serpent.  The confusion arises because people do not understand who the woman is or what the seed is either.  Genesis 3:15 has not been fulfilled yet even though many teach that it has.  To those that teach that it has been fulfilled show me the Bible verses that declares this.  You are going to have to show me where Jesus is called the seed of the woman and then show me where he bruised the head of the serpent.  Since you cannot find these verses, you have to make other verses try to fit your beliefs and that is a dangerous approach to Bible interpretation. What we must first understand is that “dominion” to God means to “tread under foot”.  Then we can try to figure out why Adam did not do this and what the consequences were for not following God’s orders.

What God is teaching us is that how the world began with man in authority will be how the world will end.  This word definition for “dominion” conveys delegated authority and at the very least the right of man to have limited human sovereignty over the earth.  This would give Adam the right to make independent decisions apart from God.  For Adam to rule and to reign on the earth represents the delegated right of power and authority given from the highest authority in the universe and that was God.  Was Adam the strongest and most powerful being on the earth at this point of assignment?  As of Genesis 1, he probably was, but as of Genesis 3 we see the entry of another spiritual being called the serpent coming onto the scene that at the very least God says in the Bible also has great power but yet no authority on the earth.  Let me ask you at the point of the entry of the serpent on the earth, who had authority?  Was it God, Adam or Satan?  Adam of course had been given full authority by God to kick Satan out.  Therefore, God did not have the responsibility to do it.  Satan comes into the world and causes sin and death to reign.  Now authority has been transferred to Satan.  God gave it to man and the man gave it to Satan.  Probably not the best choice Adam could have made.  But nevertheless all of this was legally transferred authority based upon God’s Word.   

You see when Jesus came into the world Satan took Him up to a high place and showed Him all of the kingdoms of the world and said I will give these to you if you worship me (Mat 4:8-9).  Satan declared with this statement that the rights and authority of the world had been given to him.   Where did Satan get this if not from Adam since it was first given to Adam by God in Genesis 1:26?    I find things like this written in the Bible to be fascinating.  Why would God put such detailed information of events if they were not significant things that we needed to know about and to understand?  Also these related subjects would not be understood if they were not properly connected in some way.  God is teaching us that authority matters and that was one reason that Jesus came into the world to reverse the works of Satan (1 Jn 3:8).   You see after the resurrection of Jesus from the dead He makes another radical statement about a transfer of authority that is often ignored:

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Do you see what Jesus the risen Savior has just declared?  Is Jesus a liar?  Is this not omnipotent God in the flesh?  What a new radical statement.  Here God is telling us of another transfer of all authority that has just taken place.  Jesus Christ informs us clearly that not all power was His before, but now is in two different dimensional realms.  Power in both the spiritual dimension and the natural dimension has again been transferred back into the hands of God.  Wow, is that a tough concept to comprehend?   Do not forget these words, because they are very important.  This Greek Word translated as “power” does not mean God lost His omnipotent ability of force at any time.  This Greek word translated as power actually means “Authority” has been transferred again back from Satan and returned to God on the earth.   Uh oh?  That means Satan no longer has any authority again on the earth as before Adam sinned.  Do not confuse power and authority.  Satan still has power, but he has no authority to use his power unless a Christian gives him the ability to use it.  Let me show you the very next statement that Jesus makes to the church after saying all authority has been returned to Him:

Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Can you see that Jesus after saying that all authority has just been transferred to Him, immediately He transfers that authority back to the church, His body on the earth?  That is why this verse 19 starts with the conjunctive “therefore” which connects the previous statement to the current statement.  You see Jesus immediately delegates responsibility again to His people on the earth to do something in the power of His name.  Do you understand this?  These concepts are very important to embrace as a Christian.  You again have delegated rights and authority from the Most High God to do things.  What Satan took from Adam and lost, you have gained back from God through Jesus Christ.  The only difference is we are not working independently from God because God is joined with us working together in us to bring about the final victory over Satan.  Now we need to go back and determine what do all of these transfers of authority have to do with faith and more correctly us having great faith? 

This is where the rubber meets the road so to speak.  We are going to make a practical application of how to possess the greatest kind of faith using our newly found knowledge of how authority was transferred from God to Adam, Adam to Satan, back to Jesus and finally to the church and how this type of authority works from a military perspective.  Recall what the Centurion said to Jesus.  He told Jesus to “Speak the Word” only and my servant will be healed.  Did Jesus do this and what happened to the Centurion’s servant after Jesus spoke?

Mat 8:13  And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

Jesus speaks several things but I skipped down to verse 13 to shorten the lesson for now.  Jesus says to the Centurion to go your way and that as you have believed (past tense) it has been done to you exactly that way.  Ok, that was my paraphrase of the words of Jesus, but surely you can see what Jesus has declared.  Why did Jesus emphasize that the Centurion had already believed and did not currently believe (present tense)?  Do you think this make any difference?  I believe that it does make a huge difference.  If you believe that God will heal you someday in the future then that is not real great faith.  Maybe it will help if we review what just happened to the Centurion and the servant.  Here is a synopsis of what the Centurion did and what happened:

  1. The Centurion heard of Jesus and had faith in His Word.
  2. The Centurion initiates the exchange and does not wait passively for Jesus.
  3. The Centurion was very humble in his approach to God.
  4. The Centurion had great compassion for another to seek God to help.
  5. The Centurion recognized the Authority that Jesus possessed.
  6. The Centurion understood Authority involved only Giving Orders.
  7. The Centurion believed that he only needed Jesus to Give the Order.
  8. And finally the Centurion believed it was done when the Order was given.
  9. The Bible then said after the word was spoken, the servant was healed.
  10. Therefore, by the time everyone was back at home everything was back to normal.
  11. Understand that at no time on the way home did the Centurion doubt that it was not done.
  12. Therefore, the Centurion had great confidence in the Word of God that was spoken to him.

These are all factors of having great faith today.  In other words all of this happened exactly like it was previously believed and spoken by the Centurion first.  Did you notice I did not say spoken by Jesus first?  Yes I did mean it that way.   Yes Jesus did say it was done according to the way the Centurion believed, but Jesus didn’t tell the Centurion to believe this way or what to say.  The Centurion made the choice what to believe and knew based upon his knowledge of authority that it would be done if Jesus would agree.  This was the greatest faith example in the entire Bible of an unsaved Gentile man that was never in covenant with the almighty God because he understood authority.  Clearly we can see that it was only because the Centurion believed in authority and spoke humbly with authority that caused him to have such noted declared great faith that caused even God to stand in awe and marvel.  Do you want to amaze God?  Here is how you do it.  You believe He has given you the same authority that He possessed “to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19) and you speak with this delegated authority of God’s Word in your mouth declaring what has been already established in the spiritual realm and God will then say to you “be it unto even as you have believed today”.  You see I just quoted you a part of Luke 10:19 and you need to go and read this verse closely and study it:

Luk 10:19  Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

This verse confirms your authority over Satan.  God says that you will “tread on” the power of serpents.  Isn’t that a full circle back to what God said to you in Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 3:15?  To “tread on” again means that you have been given transferred rights of authority to demonstrate Satan’s defeat on the earth personally.   You will need to look up the definitions of the words “power” in this verse in Luke 10:19 in order to fully confirm what I am telling you.  The first word translated as power in this verse means “Authority” and the second word translated as “power” means force.  So they are two different Greek words concerning two different spiritual beings.  We have God’s “Authority” over Satan’s force of power.  Both of us are in the world but light overcomes darkness every time.   However, if we do not exercise our authority, Satan will dominate us with his illegal power.

I guess I have been going a long time in this lesson.  I have many more things that we could talk about concerning using your authority.  Perhaps I need to do a series of lessons just on the subject of authority.   This is truly a great revelation that every Christian needs to understand.  Jesus has come into the world to restore the right order to man and has given to us His newly transferred authority for a purpose.  We are going out of this world a victorious church and not a defeated church.  We can only be victorious if we learn that we have authority and then learn how to use it with our faith.  This information will change your life and your attitude.  When Satan attacks with his power, you can fight back with your authority and he will flee in terror.  Satan will not like me teaching you this authority, but that is just too bad.  If you will grasp these concepts and take hold of them firmly and believe what God has told me to tell you, you too will become an over comer for God.  God bless you until next time and please leave me a comment about how this is helping you to learn and grow in the knowledge Jesus Christ.

If you would like to continue to read in this series on the subject of Bible Faith you may now go to “Part 16“.

Understanding Bible Faith! Real Faith Always Receives from God! Part 14

(Ver 1.2)  Today is Part 14 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 back and start with “Part 1”.   Faith is by far one of the most significant subjects found in the Bible for every Christian to know.  This subject has far reaching applications that crosses into everything else found in the Bible.  The Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God.  The Bible says that whatever is not of faith is sin.   Without faith it is impossible to be saved.  Without faith you will remain where you are today and fail to achieve what God has called you to do.  These are radical concepts that few Christians attempt to understand and they have therefore, failed to recognize why they are in the situations that have arisen in their lives.  God many times gets blamed in error for these conditions of mankind.  But, it is far more likely that it was the people’s own ignorance of the subject of faith that has caused them to be facing what they think that they are unable to overcome.

What have we learned from this series of Bible lessons on faith?  We should have learned that anything that happened to anyone in the Bible that was ever positive occurred only because someone had faith in God and His Word.  Even in the majority of the cases observed in the Gospels, Jesus only acknowledged a person’s faith as being the key factor for them being saved, healed or delivered.  At no time did Jesus take credit and say that it was His power alone that delivered anyone.  This is why this subject is so critical to learn about right now.  What applies to the people in the Bible applies directly to you and me today.   Faith is the human factor that causes God’s power to be made manifest in the natural world.  This could be the Power of God for spiritual salvation, physical healing, emotional restoration, marital reconciliation, child relationship and development or financial blessings.  God cares about every area in your life, but God is not going to get involved just because He can or just because you need Him to.   God will however, respond to your faith and move heaven and earth to get you the answer when you learn to do your part and believe.

I once heard a preacher man on TV say that faith does not move God.  His point was that faith moved you to be in the right place to receive and that is really my subject today.  But, I also wondered after hearing him, what Bible he was reading.  I just had to disagree with that statement whole heartedly.  You see I learned that the Bible says God is no respecter of people in the world (Acts 10:34, Rom 2:11).  However, reading in the Gospels I learned that if people had faith God would do some extraordinary things to help them and not having faith mostly caused people not to obtain what God wanted to give to them.  I read in the Matthew that when the centurion came to Jesus and asked for Jesus to heal his servant that Jesus said I will come (Mat 8:7).  Why would Jesus have made such an effort to go out of his way for a Gentile that was never in covenant with God in order to go to his house personally to heal his servant?  People really need to read the Gospels with more attention to the details.  The centurion tells Jesus you do not even need to come to my house, just speak the word only and my servant will be healed.  Jesus is again marveled and said I have not found so great a faith no not in Israel (Mat 8:10).  Why was Jesus willing to go?  Is this not an example of God in the flesh being moved?  According to Jesus it was the centurion’s faith that caused Him to even be willing to travel and go where He was needed to go.  Go read the story and see if it is not true.  Jesus was moved by faith to go many places and this is still true today, because the Bible clearly says that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb 13:8).  Let’s talk about faith today and learn some new things on this very important subject.  Let me give you one of my foundational verses today:

Mat 11:5  The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

Who gave the blind their sight?  It was God of course.  Who caused the lame to walk?  Again it was God.  Who cleansed the lepers?  It could be no one else but God.  Who can only raise the dead?  No one but God can raise the dead.  Finally who preached Gospel to the poor?  It was Jesus.   But, notice the emphasis is not ever upon God or His power in this verse anywhere.  The emphasis is placed upon people receiving these things from God and that is a completely different perspective to that of God just giving them to everyone.  While faith is not directly mentioned in this verse, I understand that this is the implied subject that causes people to receive, but you may not know that yet and that is why I am teaching this new part of the subject today.  It is only because the blind has any faith that they are able to receive what God has given to them for free.  What is receiving and what does it mean to receive something?  Let’s do a quick review of the definition from the dictionary:

  1.  To take or acquire (something given, offered, or transmitted); get.

This is an interesting concept that is easily overlooked by Christians?  This word conveys personal responsibility to do something.  This something requires individual action in order to be made effective.  There are many things that come to my mind when reading this definition.  If someone takes something that was not given to them, this is called theft or stealing.  But, since we are talking about God’s gifts that have been given through His promised Word we are going to have to figure out how to reach into the spiritual realm to take what we cannot see or touch with our physical senses.  Think of it this way, what if God has given to us in the spiritual realm, but no one has come from the natural realm to take what He has offered to us all freely?  Is God going to come into the natural realm and force you to receive (take) it?  That would certainly change the definition of receive, wouldn’t it?  That is the religious idea of election or predestination and that is not in the Bible.  God will never force His will or His gift of salvation upon anyone who does not take it freely.  People in the natural realm are always required to take by Faith what God has given freely by Grace in the spiritual realm.  Think with me in terms of natural Israel as being our example.  They sat in the wilderness dying because they did not want to go into the Promised Land to take by faith what God had freely given to them by Grace.  The Promised Land represents the spiritual dimension of your faith fight and obtaining God’s blessings.  The wilderness represented the natural realm where if you remained you do without God’s blessings.  Do you understand the analogy that God has given to us from this very clear Bible example?

Let me give you some more Bible examples of receiving to help teach you that I am not making this stuff up.  Read with me in the book of Luke and see that Jesus is speaking to a blind man in another marvelous faith lesson:

Luk 18:41  Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.

Jesus asks the blind man what do you want from me and the blind man demonstrates his faith by his actions and his spoken words.  The answer given to Jesus question was “I want to receive my sight”.  Why didn’t the blind man just ask for Jesus to give him his sight?  Wow, that is a really great question.  Sight is definitely what the blind man was after from Jesus, yes?  Did you know that it matters what you ask for and how you answer when God comes to you?  If the blind man’s words did not matter then why did Jesus even ask the question?  Jesus is obviously well aware of the situation and the need and yet the man is not yet healed.  What is Jesus waiting for?  The problem was standing right in front of Jesus and Jesus could have just reached out and said “Be Healed” if it was all up to the power of God.  Please think when you read the Bible.  Jesus never does anything like you would do normally.  If you were God standing before a blind man you would have probably just said “Your healed” and kept walking.  But, Jesus stops and asks this man a question and that has meaning and his answer must matter.  Everything that Jesus did was on purpose.  I personally believe that it was only because of the blind man’s great answer that allows Jesus to continue.  Can Jesus just heal everyone in the Gospels?  Unfortunately, you do not find that is true if you observe what it really says.  We learned from the woman with the issue of blood that she was the only one that got healed in a massive crowd of people that were all trying to touch Jesus.   Jesus turned and looked at her and said your faith has saved you.  Getting back to the blind man’s answer, why does he ask to receive his sight from Jesus?  Do you understand that these words put the responsibility upon the blind man to receive and not Jesus to give?  Do you understand the difference?   That is a very new radical approach to take with an omnipotent God that is always capable of giving to us anything.  God is teaching you that the way you think and speak is going to matter if you want to get your answer from Him.

So I’m going to introduce you to a brand new concept about faith and this will be a little bit different than anything that I have said before.  True faith concludes that God is not only capable of giving, but that He has already given and I just need to learn how to receive it.  The blind man never asked for Jesus to give him anything or to heal him, he only asks to receive his sight.  Sight represents the answer to the man’s problem blindness.  It is clearly stated from the blind man’s perspective and his request that Jesus has already given this and he just needed to take it.  That is what faith is from a new Bible perspective.  Let me help you see something else new in the Bible:

2Pe 1:3  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

God is stated to have power and through this power God has already given to us what?   Is this not “ALL THINGS” that pertain to life?   If God has given to you ALL THINGS that pertain to life why don’t you have it?   It comes back to you not knowing how to receive it again.  If you do not take from the spiritual realm what God has given, you will do without it in the natural realm.  That is just the way it is and that is why people do without in many cases.  What is your problem today, you only need to learn how to have faith to receive to get your answer also.  Faith reaches out to receive or take and that is the foundational basis for my entire Bible lesson today.  If you are receiving then you are in faith.  If you are not receiving then you are not in faith.  Your faith will receive the answer.  Wow, again that is great information to learn.  Notice the response of the creator God to this man’s request to receive:

Luk 18:42  And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.

Jesus clearly associates the blind man’s faith to be the determining factor for him being able to receive his sight and it was also his “receiving” that permitted the anointed power of God on Jesus to flow and to manifest in the natural realm.  You may recall that when the woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus, immediately Jesus felt virtue (power) flow from Him.  Jesus stops and turns to see who accessed this power to flow and then tells the woman your faith has saved you.  I always find it very interesting what Jesus says to people.  Jesus does not say I have healed you even though it was clearly the power that He was anointed with that did the work in everyone.  To the blind man, Jesus said “take your sight, your faith has saved you” and this caused power to be transferred from the spiritual dimension into the physical dimension.  I may have implied this before, but I want to reemphasize the fact that faith is a spiritual force that you possess and not a natural feeling that you can work or sense and we will talk about that more in second.   Clearly in Luke 18:42, Jesus again places the emphasis on the man’s taking with his faith and not upon God’s giving of the power.

Luk 18:43  And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.

I like the term “immediately”.  This man is instantly healed by God and received what he requested without delay.  However, this is not the only blind man healed by Jesus in the Bible.  Why does God not treat every similar problem the exact same way?  Did you ever notice that?  There are several different blind men healed by Jesus in the Gospels and they are all different.  It is actually a great lesson to go and read them all to determine the differences, but I will not do that for them all to limit the size of this lesson.  I technically believe that God does treat every identical problem the same, but that it is the human contribution or factor that causes the variableness to occur.  It is only because every person does not have the same level of faith that things appear different in the natural realm.  For example, there is a blind man found in John chapter 9.  This man encounters Jesus in a much different setting.  If you do not recall this story please stop now and go read John 9 and then continue with this lesson so that we can compare the two similar problems and the healing examples.  In John 9, the disciples point the blind man out to Jesus and ask Him a question about who sinned to cause his blindness.  Let’s skip the answer to concentrate on what Jesus did different for the blind man and then let’s compare what this blind man did that was different to the blind man in Luke.  In John 9, Jesus spits on the ground and makes mud and puts it on the man’s eyes and then tells him to go and wash it off.  Why didn’t Jesus do this in Luke 18?  The blind man in John 9 goes and does what Jesus asked him to do and comes back seeing.  Why didn’t Jesus just look at the blind man in John 9 and say “Receive your sight your faith has saved you” like he did in Luke 18?   Both are clear miracles of receiving sight, but they are completely different examples of the variable of human faith required to receive.  It is clear to me that the blind man in John 9 had no faith at least at first.  Let’s back up in the story of the blind man in Luke 18 to learn a few new things that I did not include to compare the differences.

Luk 18:37  And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

Notice that this verse says that Jesus was passing by.  Did you notice that?  Jesus was not there to heal, and He would have just passed by if no one had any faith to stop Him.  Do you understand that?  Jesus was also passing by the blind man in John 9, but this time the disciples stop Him.  Faith always gets God’s attention.  I have given you examples of this several times.  In the Gospels, clearly God was moved when He encountered the Faith of people and even at times marveled at their faith.  What caused almighty God to go out of His way to deliver the child of a gentile woman in Tyre that you read about in an earlier lesson?  Was it not her great faith?  If you want to get God’s attention so that He marvels at your great faith you are going to have to learn how that works.  This blind man in Luke 18 heard a commotion and demanded to know what was happening and he was told that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.  Obviously this was at least a key part to him getting faith but it could not have been the entire story.  He must have heard at some time in the past who Jesus was and that Jesus had said that He was anointed by God to heal and to give the recovering of sight to the blind and he must have believed in Him because of what he did next:

Luk 18:38  And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

Who is the blind man in Luke calling for?   He had just heard that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by, but he calls out for Jesus the Son of David.  This was a covenant term of recognition or a covenant Title of respect and honor.  Clearly this blind man understood more than many that were in the Jewish temple.  The fact that the blind man calls Him the Son of David reflects that he knew who He was.  The Messiah was prophesied to come from the seed of David.  According to prophecy David’s son would forever sit on the throne of His father David.  These are natural descriptions as well as spiritual terms being related.  Take notice, who the blind man is calling out for.  Could it be these covenant words that got Jesus attention to stop and not to just pass him by?   Also note the man’s acknowledgment of God’s mercy.  Love, mercy and compassion are all spiritual partners of God’s Grace.   You can call them synonymous terms or you can see them as related intertwined subjects like a divine chord of character.  Grace, mercy, compassion and love caused God to give to the world what they did not deserve.  Nevertheless the blind man directly sought for Jesus and this must have been based upon him hearing His Word in order to already have faith when Jesus had not said anything to him up until this point.  Therefore the man had faith and chose to do something to receive.  Doing nothing would have resulted in Jesus passing by.  Doing nothing would have resulted in him not receiving.   The blind man could have had faith after hearing, but kept silent and not activated it and he would have done without.

Why is Luke 18 so much different than John 9?  Both are blind men.  The blind man in John 9 never calls out for Jesus to do anything.  The blind man in John 9 does not ask for mercy, does not call Jesus the son of David, does not ask to receive anything and therefore Jesus has do some things differently because this man had no faith at this time.  The John 9 blind man either does not know who Jesus is or has just never heard of him before now as being the anointed one sent from God.  Luke 18 clearly is radically different.  The blind mind initiates the contact after hearing the crowd passing.  The John 9 blind man is passive and the Luke 18 blind man is totally aggressive taking the initiative.  The blind man in John 9, Jesus initiates the conversation.  The blind man in Luke 18 even the people can’t shut him up.  One man has faith and corresponding works and the other man has neither at first.  Let me introduce another complex factor that I have addressed only in passing.  There is another faith factor or partner given to us in James that is applicable to what is occurring both in Luke and in John.  Please allow me to take a side trip into teaching you about faith and works and how they are displayed in each Bible story from Luke 18 and John 9.

Jas 2:26  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Why are faith and works even mentioned together in the same verse?  These two forces are diametrically opposed to each other in many other verses found in the Bible.  For example, Galatians 2:16 says no man is justified by works, but by faith in Jesus Christ.  What we learn from studying this subject is that faith alone in Jesus does not save anyone.  Conversely works alone never saves anyone either.  However, these two factors working in harmony together cause’s salvation to manifest.  Why is faith dead without works?  You could also ask; why is works dead without faith?  Ok, why is that?   We are born into the natural world as hidden spiritual beings.  God is a Spirit, yet we do not come to know Him spiritually first except through hearing about Him in the natural realm and believing in Him by faith.  When we choose to hear and learn about God and decide to believe in Him that is the initial stages of having saving internal spiritual faith.  But, yet you are not saved until you acknowledge Him with your external works of your spoken words that He is your Lord.  Those two factors together are the external corresponding work based actions working in conjunction with your internal spiritual faith based believing to cause a union of the physical and the spiritual resulting in the manifestation or receiving of an already accomplished God given reality.  This is an example of faith and works coexisting and cooperating in harmony to produce salvation.  Let me show you in the Bible:

Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Roman’s 10:9 demonstrates how faith and works go together and tells us that we must first believe that Jesus was raised from the dead.  The only way you are going to believe this is if someone comes and tells you about Him first.  How does faith come?  According to the Bible faith comes by hearing the Word of God, therefore believing comes by you first hearing.  Then Roman’s 10:9 tells you that if you confess Him as Lord with your mouth then you are saved.  This is the external works part of the internal spiritual faith belief.  This verse is actually given to us in reverse order of occurrence and it does not directly mention the preaching part of the process, but yet everything can be confirmed by reading the next verse.  Notice that true Bible believing only occurs in the heart of men and women on the earth in Romans 10:10.

Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

It is with the heart (spirit) that the Bible says that people believe anything.  What we discover is that there are two realms to the completed process of salvation.  The natural realm requires your works of confession while the spiritual realm requires your heartfelt beliefs to be established on God’s Words given to us by His Grace.  All of this is dependent upon you first hearing the truth of the Gospel and then receiving it like we saw in the story of the blind man in Luke 18 or the woman with the issue of blood In Mark 5.   Why did the blind man not ask Jesus to give him sight?  Why did the blind man only ask to receive?  This is the most important part of Bible faith.  God had already given Jesus and the Messiah was present in the flesh standing right before this blind man.  The blind man does not need to ask for Him to come and heal because God has already come and He was already anointed by God with healing power (Acts 10:38).  The Bible said in Psalms 107:20 “God sent his word and healed them and delivered them from their destructions”.  Do you suppose the man understood what the Bible said?   Jesus the Word of God made flesh was given and present.  God says in Psalms 107:20 that this sent Word “healed” them, as in past tense, done.  Why do you need to ask for anything that was already done?  That is the problem of most people’s prayer in the world today.  They pray for salvation for a friend and salvation was given already and the friend now just needs to receive what God has given.  Pray for your friend to receive, pray for God to send laborers across their path to preach but do not pray for God to save them.  God will simply say to you I have done that if you were truly listening when you read my word you would have seen where I told you that I saved them.  You can find this truth in many verses but one of these is where God says that we have been given the ministry of “reconciliation”.

2Co 5:19  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

This is a radical concept and this verse has some great information within it.  The statement that God was in Christ informs us that Jesus was much more than just an ordinary man.  He was God in the flesh and why did God come in the flesh?  This verse says that God came to reconcile us (the world) to Himself.  The world was everyone that was unsaved, an all inclusive scope of reality.  This is again past tense terminology given to us as the completed action of God.  These are specified things that God has already given and already accomplished.  This verse ends with a message of direction for us today.  We are to go and tell everyone what God has done.  This is called the ministry of reconciliation.  Reconciliation is the great exchange.  God has given to us His life and in exchange we are to receive this eternal life by giving to Him our lives.  What God has already given to us in the spiritual realm, we now must receive in the physical realm through our faith and works.

What we discover from understanding about faith and works in James is why there is such a difference between the Luke 18 and John 9 blind men.   The Luke 18 man had heard of Jesus, had faith and released his faith in his words and his actions to receive.  The John 9 man had not heard of Jesus, had no faith at this time and could not release his faith in anything to receive.  What does Jesus do for the man in John 9 to cause him to have faith?  If you read the chapter you know that Jesus is said to have made mud from the ground and He then “anointed” his eyes with it.  We can understand from reading Acts 10:38 that it was the anointing that healed those that were oppressed of the devil.  However, the blind man’s faith in John 9 was still required to receive.  The anointing still healed both men, but in John 9 God could not heal until the blind man in John 9 believed and did something first.  So Jesus speaks instructions for the blind man to believe and then tells him something for him to obey (do).  The man in John 9 had to go to a very specific pool and wash.  What if the man never went to the pool because he did not believe what was happening to him was real?  What if the man left Jesus but did not go to the right pool?  What if there was a closer pool and the man went to that one instead?  What if the man did not believe Jesus at all and he was not obedient and just went home?  Hasn’t Jesus already anointed his eyes with the Power of God?  I believe that he would not have received his sight.  Being obedient to the voice of God is the acknowledged action of your beliefs.  If God tells you to do something it is wise to do it no matter how crazy it sounds.  Both men from Luke 18 and John 9 exhibit faith and works in action working together to produce positive results.  One did not have to go and wash, the other did.  However, both received their sight in the end.  So that is more important than not receiving.  Let me teach you another factor that is also revealed in these lessons:

Luk 18:39  And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

Here is a man that is blind, he hears a commotion and asks what is happening and people tell him about Jesus of Nazareth passing by.  As the man calls out for the Son of David and for mercy others around him rebuked him to stay silent.  What spiritual application can we learn from this new information that applies to us today?  We learn that not everyone in the world is on your side and is willing to help you get your answer.  We learn about the concept of the opposing forces of evil that will try to stop you from receiving.   In other lessons I talked about these being like faith giants in the spiritual battle of your faith.  While you are seeking for God’s mercy, you will encounter a spiritual force of opposition that will attempt to shut you up and stop you.  Do not think that all of the things of God will be so easy to access?  Do you think that you have no enemies and that God has no enemies?  Where do you find that in the Bible?  Do not assume everyone is on your side.  Truly the opposition in Luke 18 came from ignorant people who knew not the heart of God to save this blind man.  These people understood little to nothing of how God worked and why.   These are examples of people that you will run into everywhere still today, on the internet, in your church, in your Christian book store and at your work or in your family.  These people will discourage you from seeking to be healed, saved and delivered.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say that you will not be persecuted for doing the right things and for seeking God’s help.  What made this blind man in Luke 18 ignore all of his critics and continue to shout louder for the Son of David’s mercy?   It is called the determination factor.  If you are determined to receive from God then you will receive from God no matter what comes against you to stop you.  Determination can mean when it looks like it is not working you remain confident that it is working.  Determination can mean that when someone tells you the Bible is full of lies and errors that you just ignore them.  The blind man in Luke 18 could have given up and given in to the opposition and then he would have remained blind.  The blind man in Luke 18 could have listened to fools and stayed blind.  If the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5 had not been determined to fight through the large crowd of people to touch Jesus then she would have not been healed either.  She showed her determination by not giving up or quitting despite not feeling well and all of the people that were in her way.  The blind man in John 9 could have given up on the way to the pool.  He was still blind the whole way there.  Jesus didn’t go with him and encourage him the whole trip to make sure he did what he was told either.  Do you think that it was easy for him to get there?  Have you ever been blind?  I think it was not easy for him to do anything that Jesus said to do.  You are going to have to make a conscious decision to become determined after you learn about faith.  You will have many enemies both spiritually and naturally that will counter your beliefs to get you to fail.

Let me stop here and review the list of faith partners that I have been teaching on with the new additions to what you shoud have learned today on the subject.  So far today we have discussed two new faith examples of Jesus healing blind men from Luke 18 and John 9 and I also mentioned the famous faith lesson of the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5.  God says let everything be established by the words of two or three witnesses and that is what I have done today.  I have given you three witnesses to faith.  I will now give you a list of faith characteristics that we have talked about in this series and you should be able to identify these in every story that I have included in some form of words or displayed actions:

The success of your faith depends upon:

  1. Your Humility.
  2. Your Will/Desire to Get the Answer.
  3. Your Aggressive Actions to Participate in the Process.
  4. Your Ability to Hear.
  5. Your Understanding of the Word Heard.
  6. Your View of the Importance of the Word of God Heard.
  7. Your Belief in His Anointing Power.
  8. Your Belief in the Truth of the Word of God.
  9. Your Confidence Level in God’s Ability to do what He has Promised.
  10. Your Confidence Level in God’s Willingness to do what He has Promised to do.
  11. Your Overall Trust in God.
  12. Your Continued Determination Level Despite Major Opposition.
  13. Your Reaction to the Opposition.
  14. Your Words Spoken.
  15. Your Positive Expectation Level.
  16. Your Actions of Obedience.
  17. Your Receiving the Answer.

You should be able to find these faith qualities demonstrated in the life examples of everyone to some extent.   Not everyone of them is obviously stated in every story, but yet they play a role in them receiving from God their answer to their problem.   Today’s lesson was primarily about Faith Receives in the natural realm what God Grace has given to us in the Spiritual Realm.  I then taught you that this was a combined effort of both the natural and the spiritual realms of man working in harmony.  The human spiritual realm is where we believe and the natural physical realm is where we do the corresponding works.  The realm of the human soul also plays a role in my list of factors but I have never spoken of this realm directly before just now.   The soul realm of man is where our mind is, where our will originates and where our emotions play major factors into the faith fight.  I talked about your will in other lessons being a factor to receiving.  Today I talked about your determination being a factor and again this comes from your soul or your will.  Your emotions will play a factor and cause you to want to give up.  These are some of the very complex factors involved in Bible faith.  We could probably add many more to the list and potentially we may do that in future lessons on this subject.  I hope and pray that you learned something today about faith that will help you in your relationship with God.  Until next time, may God bless you and keep you as you walk by faith.  God Bless.

If you would like to continue reading in this series on Bible Faith please go to “Part 15“.

Understanding Bible Faith! Do I Have All the Faith I Need For Right Now? Part 13

(Ver 1.2)  This is Part 13 in a series of Bible studies answering the questions about the Reality of Bible Faith.  What it is, where it came from, how I get it, why it is important and how you can use it.  I have taught many things in this series so I will not attempt to repeat them all again today.  If you have not read this series from the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back to Part 1 and start reading there first.  In previous lessons I taught that faith was measurable meaning every Christian believer does not possess the same amount of faith.   That teaching raised the question that many people have; does that mean I need more faith if the situation that I am facing is greater or more severe?  Well I listened to a TV preacher this week that said that every Christian already had all of the faith of Jesus available to them right now.  This preacher then implied that the only problem that a Christian possessed was simply that they did not know how to use the faith that they already had.  In a way I agree with those statements and when I heard only his Bible verses that he gave he made a very convincing lesson.  But he also failed to mention or take into account all of the other scriptures that I have given you that contradicts what he was teaching.  The Bible is way too complicated for us to take one set of truths and attempt to make them the entire truth.  If we do this then we are claiming to be smarter than God and choosing to ignore what else God says on the subject.  There are over 220 verses in the New Testament alone that directly mention the word “faith” and then there are many other indirect related verses that must also be considered on the related dependent subjects of believing, beliefs, confidence, expectation, fear, doubt, unbelief and worry to name a few.  In order to confidently teach any subject we are going to have to know the majority if not all of the verses that are related to the subject of faith.  For example here is one verse that my TV preacher brother must have ignored on the subject of faith:

2Co 10:15  Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,

Paul in writing to the Corinthian church and is looking down the road to the future when their faith would be increased in order that they can become a greater blessing to others.  Wow, I do not know if you heard what I just said.  Paul does not tell the Corinthians that they already have ALL FAITH and that they just need to learn how to use it.  Paul clearly says your faith is growing and you need to continue to allow it to grow.   The Greek word translated as “increased” means to grow, increase or enlarge.  If you can enlarge your faith, then you do not have all of the faith that you could have.  There is a definite statement of conditionality placed upon their faith increasing.  It is very clear to me that they do not possess enough faith to accomplish what Paul is looking for or expecting for them to use right now.  Do you understand this?  Faith is like a growing plant or even the fruit on a tree.  Spiritual growth is like natural growth.  When you are born again as a spiritual child you do not yet possess the fullness of all love, joy, peace or any other fruit of the spirit.  Spiritual fruit grows on spiritual trees and it is not something that just magically appears and is there instantly.  People are the spiritual trees that will produce the spiritual fruit, if they feed their spirits and water their spirits with the word of God to allow this fruit to grow.  The word “faith” is included as one of the nine fruits of the spirit found in Galatians 5.  Planting seeds and getting harvests is how practically everything in the spiritual realm works.  The concept of planting seeds and growing fruit is a natural concept that applies directly to the spiritual realm.  Faith is a fruit of the Spirit and not something that you have all of the moment you become a Christian.

Rom 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

In an earlier Bible lesson on faith I taught you about how faith comes.  Reading in Romans 10:17, we know that Bible Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.  Therefore Bible faith has a staring origination point that is totally dependent upon you first hearing God’s Word.  If there is no hearing, then there is no ability to have faith in God.   When you were saved it was because you heard a preacher tell you the truth about Jesus Christ and you believed it and you accepted and confessed Him as your Lord.  Does this concept of hearing God’s Word and getting faith carry forward beyond salvation or does it end at salvation?  In other words is a Christian when they are born again automatically given all the faith that they will ever need as my Christian brother was teaching?  Or is faith still based upon the foundational principle found in Romans’ 10:17 of hearing God’s Word and getting faith?   According to my TV preacher friend, you already have all of the faith given to you by God and you just need to learn how to use it or to apply it.  If that was true, ignoring Romans 10:17 Christians would never need to hear the Word of God again after they were saved.  There would be no need to go to church, no need to study the Bible and no requirement to listen to another preacher.  Just go get saved and you got it made.  Unfortunately this is not how I have discovered that spiritual things work.

The problem with this philosophical doctrine of automatic faith maximization is that it relieves Christians of any further responsibility to learn more about faith and it reduces or oversimplifies the truth that you only need to learn to use what you have already been given by God.  Think with me about the children of Israel looking into the Promised Land of God.  Did God not say I have given you the land?  Did they automatically possess this land?  Obviously they did not and they still had personal responsibilities to perform in order to possess what was clearly given to them by God.  My point is that just because God has given you something does not mean that you have it in your possession and can use it.  One of the verses that my TV preacher brother used was the one that I already addressed in this series so I will not repeat all of that information again.  This verse was found in Romans 12:3 and it is one that many preachers like to jump onto and claim that every Christian has been given the same exact measure of faith by God and they therefore reason that there is no need to try to increase it, just use it.   What we need to understand is that the Bible holds more than one truth on any given subject.  We are therefore required to learn them all and then to balance each of them to become aware of the actual overall truth.  I keep saying this and I will continue to say it, the Bible is much more complex than you think.  Let me show you another verse in the Bible about faith and then you tell me how this verse conflicts directly with what the unnamed TV preacher said:

Rom 12:6  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

Can you read?  Can you understand the words written in this verse?  If God had given to everyman the Measure of Faith why is there differing proportions of faith that is required to prophesy?   The Greek word translated as “proportion” means a piece or a part and not the whole amount.  I guess you could reason away this verse by saying that you have all faith, but that it only requires a small part of the whole to prophesy.  That is certainly one way to look at.  However, I do not believe that is what God is saying.  If it was, then you should stand up in church next Sunday and start to prophesy and see exactly what comes out of your mouth and if any of it actually comes to pass.  If it does not happen like you said then you are a false prophet.  I personally believe whatever we do for God is done by our faith in Him.  But that does not mean that we already have all of His faith.  It means we need to learn to use the small part that we do possess and then allow it to grow into a greater quantity.  The usage of the word proportion clearly implies growth potential to me.  I guess you could choose to look at it differently if you want to.   Let me show you another potential set of conflicting verses with contradictory information for my TV preacher brother:

1Co 12:8  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

1Co 12:9  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

1Co 12:10  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

1Co 12:11  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

Paul is writing about spiritual gifts that come from the Spirit of God that have been given to different men and women in the church.  It is very clear that some have some of these gifts and probably many others do not.  The Word of Wisdom and the Word of Knowledge are two impartations of the Spirit of God that I have seen demonstrated by only a very few preachers.  These are very clearly not spiritual gifts that everyone possesses, only a very few.  Now we continue to the next verse 9 and it says to another meaning not the same one as before God has been given the gift of Faith.  Uh oh?  That seems to be a major problem for my TV preacher brother.  This verse is NOT saying that God has given to every man this gift, is it?  Why is it even necessary for God to give any man this spiritual gift of faith if God has already given to EVERY man “the measure of faith” as the TV preacher has claimed?  I think that is a very excellent question to try to figure out the answer to.  My TV preacher brother probably could not answer this question or didn’t think of this question, so he must have just ignored this information.    What is the gift of faith?  For that matter what are any of the gifts that are mentioned in these verses referring to?  If you do not know what they are then you are certainly going to write them off as being unrelated or unimportant.  Every spiritual gift mentioned in these verses is a SUPERNATURAL manifestation of the Spirit of God through a human being to accomplish a divine purpose on the earth.  Why is this necessary?   Wow that is another excellent question we need to answer today.  I believe it is necessary because God can only accomplish things that we cannot in our own ability or power if we cooperate and believe.  God occasionally gives to us spiritual gifts such as the working of miracles to confirm His word that has been taught.   God will also use the Word of Wisdom or the Word of Knowledge for a sign to help those present.  God will use other of the spiritual gifts as ways to strengthen, build up and to edify the body of Christ.

Let’s go back to faith and leave the other spiritual gifts alone for now.  Why if a Christian already has all the faith of Jesus would it be necessary for God to give them this spiritual gift of faith?  In one of my faith lessons I taught that Jesus always claimed that it was the individual faith of the person receiving that was the determining factor mentioned for anything supernatural that occurred on the earth.  If you do not understand this concept you better go back and reread that lesson again.  This meant that nothing happened supernaturally on the earth unless a man or a woman believed God and His word and placed their faith in only those factors.  This is why everything in the Old Testament occurred.  This is why everything in the Gospels occurred.  This is why everything in the modern church still occurs today.   For example in the O.T., the deliverance of Israel from Egypt was based upon the faith and obedience of Moses.  If Moses did not have any faith in God and would not have believed what was spoken to him then the children of Israel would still be in captivity or God would have had to find another deliverer who did believe Him.  What about Noah and the great flood of the planet?  Could God have saved Noah anyway, the animals and the blood line of Christ if Noah had not believed God and obediently built the boat instructed by God by faith?  You see it was only Noah’s faith and obedience in God’s word that caused the supernatural power of God to manifest.  I probably will get some people, who disagree with me, but you go through the Bible and you see the involvement of the partnership of man with any major event of supernatural demonstration of the power of God and then you tell me one (other than creation before there was a man) that God did independently from man.  Even the virgin birth required Mary to believe in the words of an angel sent by God.  It was clearly her faith that allowed God to come into the world in the flesh.  What I’m getting at is that faith allows God access into the world and the lack of faith prohibits or reduces His ability to do anything.  I know I’m going to get a lot of religious commenters from these statements that try to tell me that God is sovereign and that He can do whatever He desires at any time.  Ignorant people often say things that are problematic to others who actually know more about the subject under discussion.

Understand what the gift of faith is.  The gift of faith is the supernatural faith of God present inside a man to accomplish something that a man would not normally be able to accomplish without it.  Also note that none of these spiritual gifts are resident full time in anyone.  They are there temporarily as the Spirit wills to accomplish a single goal and never given at the will of the man or woman using them.  They are given by God for a short time and they are then dormant.  Even Jesus Christ who was God in the flesh and had the Spirit of God without measure could not operate in all of the spiritual gifts all the time.  You go through the Gospels and read them very closely.  You will see every manifestation of the spiritual gifts (except tongues and interpretation) mentioned in the ministry of Jesus Christ at one time or the other.  But at other times Jesus could not do any miracles because of the unbelief of the people present (Mark 6:5) and then other times Jesus did not even know who it was that touched his garment and got healed (Mark 5:30).  The presence of Jesus at the porches healed only one man and there were probably hundreds of others who did not get healed (John 5:2-3).   It clearly shows the manifestation of the Spirit of God was totally dependent upon the Spirit of God and not the man that was given the gifts.  I hope you understand these concepts.  If not, please ask me questions and I’ll try to answer them more clearly.

Heb 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I’ll wrap this lesson up with this verse for today.  I find this verse very interesting in the chosen phrasing of the translators.  Jesus Christ is called the “Author” of our faith.  Clearly this implies to us that our faith has a starting or originating point.  The Greek word “author” technically means a chief leader.  However I love the use of the word “author” in this verse.  In the English language the term author means the writer of words.  Since we learned that faith comes by hearing God’s Words earlier we know that faith is a spiritual word based system given to us from God.  Without God’s words there would be no Bible faith on the earth.  In the context within this verse Jesus is also called the “finisher” or “completer” of our faith.  It sounds like a man writing a book.  It sounds like the book was started at some point in time and then progressively grown through phases or chapters to an ultimate end of completion.  Writing a book is like growing a garden of words.  This is what God is doing whether you realize it or not.  That is how I view our faith and God’s Word.  I believe that the hearts of men and women are the new writing tablets of God’s divine authorship and I can give you Bible verses to back that belief:

Heb 8:10  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

Did you see what God says in Hebrews 8:10?  God says I will put my laws into their minds and write them on their spirits.  How does God get His words into or onto your spirit?   Is that an automatic one time occurrence or is that an ongoing continual process?  My personal faith in God had a starting point and my faith is now increasing based upon my knowledge of God’s word and it will eventually be completed because of the continuing work of the Spirit of Christ within me.  This is the continuing ever increasing faith and that represents a state of transitional passage from faith to ever increasing faith (Rom 1:17).  This tells me that we are responsible for participating in the spiritual growing process of our faith.  This tells me that it is not automatic or that we have already been given all of the faith that we need.  If our faith was already complete, we would no longer need a Jesus to be our finisher.  Wow, I hope you understood what I just said.  I am still awaiting a completed work of my savior Jesus Christ and I hope you are also.  But, I also have a role to play.  It is only with my involvement that God will continue to write on my heart His Word.  Jesus is the Author, His word is the spiritual ink, my heart represents His blank pages and I get them written onto my heart by hearing them over and over.  This is how things work and when you understand that you will be on the path to growing up into a faith giant killer like David.

I have attempted to teach you another basic faith lesson today.  No you do not have all of the faith that you need to do everything that you need to do for God.  If you did, then we would all be in heaven right now.  Ask yourself this question, do I know and understand the entire Bible?  If you answered no, then you do not have all of the faith that you could have.  We are all still growing in the knowledge of Him and we better all be building our faith in increasing stages.  I really did not talk directly about how much faith you need for each situation.  I believe that it takes greater faith for bigger situations.  In other words there are people today that have faith for millions of dollars that at one time they did not have faith for even two dollars’ worth of food.  My TV preacher friend was one of those individuals.  His testimony was that he and his wife went a long time without food because they had no money when they first started in the ministry.  Now he teaches on TV and it costs him literally millions of dollar to pay the costs of TV time.  Truly it is self-evident that his faith has increased over the years because his knowledge of God’s word also increased over the years at the same time.  So if you want to be a TV preacher and think it is automatic success, just try it and we will watch you fail.  I have seen many preachers on TV fail and they are no longer around.  It is very clear to me that those who succeed are those that believe God will supply the need and those that fail are those that ask for donations from people.  Faith is always the factor for success.  But faith as we saw in Romans 12:6 is proportional.  God said for us to do thing according the proportion of our faith.  It was implied that we could overextend our faith and fail.  If you want to start a TV ministry, first start with a group in your house and build your faith to grow to the millions of viewer level.  If you fail with 4 in your house then you will fail even more with 4 million on TV.  So faith is a factor and faith grows but there is also another matter that needs to be taken into account.  Jesus taught us that even with a mustard seed size of faith we could move a mountain (Mat 17:20).  A mountain represents a symbolic great obstacle or problem.   So we must balance the fact that we do not have all of the faith that we could have with the fact that we just might have enough faith to solve at least some of our problems we are facing right now.  What I recommend is that you prioritize your problems.  Maybe they are financial, marital, children, or job related, emotional or even physical health related.  Then go find all of the scriptures you can find on that subject that you deem to be your greatest need.  Finally, feed your spirit on them daily speaking them out loud to yourself so that you can hear them to cause faith to come.  There will come a time very soon after you do this continually that faith will become resident in our heart to solve your problem in that area.  I also recommend that you do not start with the greatest most severe problem and combine every related need at the same time.  To overwhelm your faith can be disastrous.  It is usually best to start with the smaller things first and then work to the larger things like my TV minister example.  Get faith for your daily natural food needs and then grow your faith to the millions of dollars of TV time costs.  My TV preacher brother did not start on TV, he spent many, many years not on TV learning God’s word and growing in faith.  It is like David in the Old Testament.  He started watching sheep and grew to be King of Israel.  David killed lions and bears before he ever tried to take down the giant facing Israel.  Grow in faith and learn how faithful God is with your small successes and then greater things will come to allow you to have larger victories.

I hope and pray that you have learned more about the subject of Bible faith than you knew before.  This is always my goal.  I want to provide spiritual knowledge and insight to help you to grow spiritually.  Thanks for taking the time to study the Bible with me today on the subject of faith.  My guess is that I’m not even close to being finished with this topic but it will help me to know if you have any specific questions in any area.  So drop me a comment and share anything that you might be struggling with and I will do my best to try to be a blessing to you.  So until next time, may God continue to bless you with all the knowledge and spiritual wisdom of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

If you would like to continue to study in this series you may go to “Part 14“.

Understanding Bible Faith! The Prayer of Faith! Part 12

(Ver 1.2)  This is the continuation of a series that I have been doing on the subject of Understanding Bible Faith.   What is it?  Where does it come from?  How do we get it?  What good is it?  How do we use it and on and on I could go.  These are a few of the subjects that I have attempted to cover in this series at least in part.  Everything that I have covered on the subject of Bible faith is applicable to today’s subject of the Prayer of Faith.  However, today’s lesson is actually a new perspective of three related subjects and these are faith, prayer and healing combined into one lesson.  I will have to touch a little bit on each of these subjects in order to teach about the “Prayer of Faith”.  I have been trying to answer questions about some very complex subjects found in the Bible by simplifying them to the best of my ability.  If you have not read this Faith series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start reading with “Part 1” and continue through the lessons sequentially so that you do not miss out on any of the important points that I have already covered.  In the world that we live in, we all are faced with challenges that at times seem insurmountable and even overwhelming to us.   This is when most Christians fall on their faces and begin to pray asking God for help.  Now, if this is the only time that you pray when you are in a major crisis, then your current situation was probably caused by your own poor judgment or past decision making failures.   I know we have all been there before and have fallen short of the best that we could have done in every situation.  Human nature normally likes to think that we have everything under control despite the actual circumstances of life that we are faced with.  But, when the doctor comes to you and tells you that you have stage four cancer, then all of sudden people think it is time to pray.  Please do not believe that I am making light of your situation and please do not think that I am saying it is too late to change it, because with God all things are possible (Mat 19:26).  But, you need to realize that just because everything is possible with God does not mean that you can have it fall upon you automatically without learning what God wants you to do to obtain it.  However, you also need to realize that no matter what the report is today, that does not have to be the final report on the matter.  The first report never has to be the last report if you learn how to change your situation around by using your faith.  I have already tried to teach you that your faith is the determining factor for your final outcome, either positive or negative and this is why you need to continue to change and grow up spiritually to begin to believe the right things based upon the Word of God to cause a positive outcome.

Do not get me wrong when I say that any prayer is better than no prayer, but people need to realize that there are several different kinds of prayer mentioned in the Bible and that each of them have specific purposes, instructions and rules associated with them for the correct way to use them effectively.   This is why many Christians pray and nothing happens, because sometimes they are using the wrong type of prayer or the wrong rules for the prayer that they are trying to pray.  Today’s subject is a “single” very specific type of unique prayer called the “prayer of faith” and this is a radical new approach to asking God for anything that no other religion in the world follows or even understands how to do.  You see too many people believe that all prayer has great power and therefore, all you need to do is to pray and then you will see the hand of God at work.  But, that is actually a fantasy type of prayer that is not based upon what the Bible says.  Most types of prayer that religious people in the world pray have ABSOLUTELY NO POWER whatsoever associated with them!  I know I just shocked a lot of people with that statement, but you find the scripture that says “Prayer” changes things just because you prayed.   Please know that Jesus taught us that there is a right way to pray and a wrong way to pray and this is a new concept to many Christians who do not know the difference.  Here is an example of what I am telling you:

Mat 6:5  And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Here is Jesus teaching us a specific way NOT to pray.  Jesus says the hypocrites love to pray and Jesus clearly says this is not how we should pray.  I will be very plain and tell you if there is one wrong way to pray there are implied multitudes of wrong ways to pray.   Perhaps one day I will do a series on what the Bible says about prayer.  There are over 165 verses in the New Testament that mention prayer directly and many others that mention it indirectly.  Therefore, there is a lot on the subject for us to learn and then we need to apply what we learn to find the correct way to pray to our Heavenly Father.  Take a look around the world and see how many religious people are praying every day.  You see all you have to do is to look at how many Jewish people are standing at the western wall in Jerusalem that are religiously lifting up baseless empty words to a God who is not interested in them.  Wow, I know I am just about to lose a lot of readers with these statements.  Please think with me, if prayer was all that was necessary for God to move, then the Islamic faithful who bow towards Mecca and pray 5 times a day would certainly be the most blessed by God.   But, I will also tell you plainly that God is not interested in their prayers either.  You see the problem with most of these prayers is the fact that Jesus taught us that He was the only way to the Father (John 14:6).  Jesus also taught us if you ask the Father anything in my name, that is what He will hear and do (John 14:13).  Do either Jewish or Islamic prayers ever acknowledge Jesus as the mediator and go between to God (1 Tim 2:5).  I do not believe either of these world religions acknowledge the fact that God had a Son who came to the earth in the flesh.  To me, that is a major problem isn’t it?  That clearly teaches us that not every prayer that someone says is going to change anything so we better find out what to do to make it work.

So I guess we have a major problem, either prayer works or it doesn’t work, or perhaps there is a greater truth called faith that supersedes prayer that God is requiring us to learn in order to get our prayers heard and answered.  I have said this repeatedly in my Bible lessons, there is more than one truth in the Bible and you need to learn all of the factors that are related in order to understand if what you are doing is correct.  Let me be very frank again, if you have been praying to God to heal you for ten years and nothing happened then you have been praying 9 years 11 months and 30 days too long.  Please get a clue and see when your prayer is not working, you need to do something different to cause it to happen.  Too many times people look at God as being the problem, when prayer is not answered and this is never the case.   The Bible says God does not change (Mal 3:6), with Him is not even a shadow of turning (James 1:17) that is going to occur.  Therefore, where does that leave for the change that needs to occur in order for the prayer to be answered?   This is not a trick question, if you have been praying to God and that leaves only two choices, you or God.  If God is not the problem then you must be the problem that needs to change!   Every Christian should be an ever changing individual, always moving from faith to faith, growing in knowledge and producing new fruit unto God.  If you are not a changing Christian then you are dead Christian and that is not good.  If you are a Christian and you are not willing to change, you are just in big trouble.  Please learn that the problem with unanswered prayer is not His fault nor is God saying NO!  God is normally just waiting for you to change and conform to His word so that you will get your answer on His terms and the correct way.  This is why you need to learn about the prayer of faith and what it is and how it works.  This is the beginning of the lesson on the prayer of faith and this is my foundational scripture found in the book of James:

Jas 5:14  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

Jas 5:15  And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

This is a much ignored passage of scriptures in many churches in the modern world.  Too many modern progressive churches think that the original letters written to the churches do not suddenly apply anymore and that is simply not true.  We have some people that go to churches where they teach God moves and heals people only through doctors, modern medicine and hospitals today.   They have reduced the power of God and in effect limited Him to a very narrow minded perspective that says God is incapable of doing anything supernatural in the world.   To view things from a natural perspective only is to deny God’s supernatural power and this is foolish.   As you can read in these verses in James, God is talking about people who are sick in the church.  So what are they supposed to do?  According to God and the Bible one thing that they can do is to call upon the elders of the church so that they can pray for them.  Of course this is not all that it says is it?  It actually takes much more than just prayer according to these verses.  There is a factor given that the elders should anoint the sick person with oil and I have seen this done in churches and I feel like it is scriptural to do this.  However, it is not the oil that heals people.   It is not the elders that heal people. The implication is clearly given to us that the elders better be spiritually mature enough to understand how to pray a very specific type of prayer called the “prayer of faith”.  You see this is the greatest problem with prayer for the sick that ministers in the church will come and pray for you, but since they know nothing about faith they pray wrong and get no results.  When people come to your house and anoint you with oil and then say a quick prayer and leave, too many thinks they have fulfilled the requirements for what God said to do, but then when the sick person does not get better or even die, no one wants to think it was their fault or even attempt to take any responsibility for what just happened.  Instead people reason in their minds that it was just not the will of God to heal Sister Jones or whoever.  When it actually boils down to the fact that no one prayed the prayer of faith and God says very clearly that it is this prayer of faith that will heal them.  When God says the prayer of faith will save the sick, the Greek word is “sozo” that means to deliver or to make whole.

No the problem is normally caused because God says ONLY the “prayer of faith” will heal the sick and everyone thinks they prayed this way correctly when in reality they do not have a clue what the prayer of faith really is.  So we need to learn about what the prayer of faith is and how to pray it correctly or you will never see anyone get healed.  That seems to put the responsibility of healing back upon people and not God, doesn’t it?

What I have discovered is that God is never moved by needs.  You see there are a lot of people in the world who are sick or diseased who even die every day and God did nothing to stop this from occurring.  I guess I should rephrase that statement because that made it sound like God is responsible for not healing and this is just not the case.   You see healing was a very specific part of the atonement work of Jesus Christ on the cross.  Salvation was an all-inclusive work of God that included your spirit, your soul and your body.  God saved you spiritually, mentally and physically as a complete work of the shed blood on the  cross.   Therefore, if you need physical healing, then you are a candidate for what the Bible says God has already provided for you.  If you do not do what the Bible says for you to do, then what do you expect God to do, make you do it?  That would make God an unjust God who forced someone into doing the right things and God is not this way.  God says in Hosea 4:6 my people are destroyed (killed, robbed, made sick) by a lack of knowledge of God.  Insufficient knowledge is one of your greatest enemies to you receiving healing.  So that is why I am here to try to teach you.  Since I’m not God, I will warn you that I do not know everything and therefore I need to learn more also, but I will tell you what I have learned up to this point in time.

Faith as we have already learned comes by hearing the Word of God.  Therefore, your personal measure of Bible faith is based upon your knowledge of God’s Word that you have heard.  We can also conclude that the “prayer of faith” is also based upon this same personal knowledge of the Word of God.   It comes down to this fact.  Before you pray you better find out what the Bible says about what you are praying for and then you can base your prayer upon those specific scriptures.  This gives your prayer a firm foundation to stand upon.  This is what I have been taught to do.  Go to your Bible and search the scriptures for verses on your subject that you are about to ask God for and see what He has promised you.  Then study these for several days, mediating on them over and over until they become a part of your spirit and then go to God and pray.  This means you should be able to quote them out of your spirit without reading them.  You should know every word and every reference for every scripture.  Now you have a firm foundation for the “prayer of faith” and you will be able to fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim 6:12).  If you need healing then look up healing scriptures and find out what God said about it.  You can look in Isaiah 53 at the atonement scriptures.  But, these are also quoted in the New Testament more clearly in Matthew 8:17 and 1 Peter 2:24.  There are many other healing scriptures that are also good to know, like Psalm 91:16 and Psalm 107:20, to name a couple.   Study the Bible and find out the promises of God and these are what you will stand upon for the basis of your faith to expect God to fulfill them in your life.  What I am trying to tell you is that the “prayer of faith” is always based upon your knowledge of the Word of God.  Therefore, if you do not know the Word of God, you do not have any faith to pray.  Uh oh?  That doesn’t sound good for a lot of people who pray!  Jesus actually teaches us some very specific things about the prayer of faith in Mark 11 and that is where I am going next.  Please read this verse very carefully:

Mar 11:24  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

If you read the context of this scripture you should be able to see from verse 22 that Jesus says “Have faith in God”.  There is actually a better translation of these Greek words which say “Have the God kind of faith”.  Jesus was telling us we could have the same kind of faith that God has and this is hard to accept for many people.  Jesus is definitely teaching us a faith lesson in this chapter so the subject of faith is the dominant themed subject.   So when Jesus gets to teaching us on prayer in verse 24, He is associating a very specific type of prayer by discussing only the “prayer of faith” that we read about in James.  What does this verse say?  Jesus acknowledges that people have desires and these are some of the primary reasons why a lot of people pray.  In other words people who do not desire to be healed and who want to remain sick will not ever pray and ask God to intervene.  One of the first things you need to figure out is, do you desire to be well and healed?  You may recall in an earlier faith lesson that I taught on the man at the pool who Jesus came up to and asked “will you be made whole”.  The man’s will and desire played a role in whether he was going to be healed that day.  If you have the same desire to be healed then continue reading else stop reading here now!   Next it says to pray and ask for it.   This is where it begins to get more complex.  You see you cannot ask wrongly and expect to get it answered just because you desire it to happen.  In other words, if you desire another man’s wife, you are not asking according to the will of God or the Word of God and you can count on your prayer not being answered or even just plainly ignored by God.   So find out if what you are praying for is the will of God first by looking in His word and if you can find at least two scriptures that say that you can have it, then you have a firm foundation for your request to God.

Mark 11:24 then changes prayer things up dramatically when it says that when you pray you must also believe.   This is another key factor for why many prayers go unanswered.   People pray and never believe anything happened or they believe wrongly like things will happen some day.   You see that is not the prayer of faith if you do not believe anything or believe things correctly.  What I am trying to teach you right now, is that it matters what you believe when you pray.   In fact God tells us in Hebrews some important stuff that we need to believe:

Heb 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Praying the prayer of faith without first possessing faith it is impossible for God to honor this prayer without Him violating His word.  You see if God says it is impossible to please Him without faith and you think you can pray and get an answer anyway who is right, you or God?   If you do not please God with your prayer, do you think it will be answered anyway?  I personally do not believe this.   God very specifically says you need faith to be pleasing to Him.  Then it says you must believe that God exists.  Wow, why would anyone pray if they did not believe this first?   Next you must believe that God rewards you because you prayed.  This is where it begins to get more complex again.  You see Jesus taught us in Mark 11:24 that when you pray you must believe that you receive and that goes along with the fact that you must understand and know that God heard you.  You see I already showed you that God does not hear every prayer.  If you do not believe in Jesus when you are praying to God, you are being ignored because only Jesus is the way to the Father now.  Here is a good time to introduce you to a verse that I talked about earlier but did not give it to you directly:

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:

As you can clearly see God says He only hears people when they pray according to His Word.  This means if you are not praying according to His will your words of prayer are ignored.  So one of the most important factors in any prayer of faith is for you to find out what the Word of God says is the Will of God for your situation.  It is not hard to do this, if you know how to use a computer search program to look up the scriptures.  As I taught you before, this means that you must spend time preparing to pray before you ever attempt to pray the “prayer of faith”.  The more time that you spend in preparing to pray the prayer of faith will cause your prayer to be more likely to succeed.   Do not rush into prayer, review the scriptures that you are going to use for several days and then finally pray.

Here is where I am going to differentiate with the KJV translation a little bit.  I believe that Jesus said in Mark 11:24 that when you pray, you must believe that you received (past tense) what you have prayed for before you ever have them in the natural physical realm.  The KJV translation is “receive” but this Greek word seems to be past tense and that makes a huge difference in what you believe and when.  If you pray and believe that God heard you and that He will heal you some day, that is not past tense and that is NOT faith.  This is probably the greatest challenge to why your prayers never worked before.  You see it is because you did not believe that anything changed that is one of the key factors to why nothing did change so you kept praying and asking for God to do what He said He had already done.  This is why the prayer of faith is only prayed one time and never repeated.  In future prayers you can remind God and yourself about what you already asked for and thank Him for giving you the answer, but you are in error if you ever ask Him for it again.  I wish I could say this is easy to do, but that would be an untruthful statement.  Nobody that I know of ever said that walking by faith and not by sight was easy to do.  Faith goes against all human reasoning and logic.  People like to see the healing and then believe that they have it and this is putting the cart before the horse in the Bible reality of how God says to do things.  You see the world says “seeing is believing” and this is the opposite to what God says “believing is seeing”.   Since many humans are flesh dominated we tend to look at the circumstances and they many times take priority over what we just prayed for and what the Bible said to us.  In other words if you are worse tomorrow than you were yesterday after you prayed and asked God for healing, you must not automatically fall into a sense realm reality that God did not answer your prayer.  When you do this you are basing your faith on your circumstances and ignoring what God’s Word is saying to you and this is failure to please God.  This is the opposite of what God tells us to do in the Bible:

2Co 5:7  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

To walk by sight is to chart your course based upon what you see in the world with your 5 physical senses.   But, to walk by faith this is where you find out what God said and then you fight to believe that over what the doctor has said.  If God said you “were healed” and the doctor says you are “sick” do not chastise the doctor or sound like a fool in denial, you just thank the doctor and do what he says to do, but you choose to believe what God says the outcome is over the doctors report.  The last report from the doctor is never the final report unless you give into it and believe it.

In closing today, let me reemphasize one major point.  One of the most important things that you need to learn today, is the fact that when you pray the prayer of faith you must begin to believe that you have the answer at that very moment that you prayed or you are not following the Word of God or being obedient to how God taught you to pray.  The concept of having to believe that you have something before you actually have it is a Bible faith concept that is found throughout the Bible from cover to cover.  For example, God told Israel after they had left Egypt and they were in the wilderness, “I have given you the Promise Land”.  So according to God it was a done deal, but to Israel they did not have it yet.  So they were required to believe something that God said before it actually occurred and they possessed it.  This is the same thing that happened with Abraham.  God told Abraham your seed shall be as the stars of heaven.  God told Abraham “I have made you a father of many nations”.  Before Abraham was a father God said he was, so Abraham had to believe this before it happened and it eventually came to pass.  This is the concept of faith that is essential to see before the promise has been fulfilled in your life in the natural you must accept it done in the spiritual realm.  You must believe that it is true before you can actually prove that it is true in the natural realm.  Here is another New Testament statement that Jesus makes:

Joh 5:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Jesus gives us a basic nutshell faith lesson in one verse.   Jesus says you must hear the Word of God to get faith and then you must believe what you heard.  If you do these two things then you have the basis for Bible Faith.   In Jesus’ example, you must believe on Jesus being sent by God and then Jesus says you will have eternal life.  How many of you that believe in Jesus as being sent by God today, actually feel like you have this eternal life?  Can you prove it?  How do you know you have it?  I rarely feel like it and I cannot prove it to anyone, but yet Jesus says I have it so that is what I will stand on with my faith.  Jesus is basically saying you will have eternal life whether you feel like it, whether you look like it or regardless of the proof that you possess.  This is Bible faith, having what the word says even though you have no physical evidence for what it says.  I hope this lesson helps you in your walk with God and I expect to hear about many answered prayers from this lesson.  Thanks for taking the time to study the Bible with me and spread the word to a friend.  God Bless!

If you would like to read the next lesson in this series you may continue to “Part 13“.

Understanding Bible Faith! Great Faith? Even Dogs Eat the Crumbs from the Masters’ Table! Part 11

(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:

  1. Humility, Stay Humble to Receive God’s Grace.
  2. Persistence, don’t give up even if it looks worse.
  3. Not being offended when you are called a dog.
  4. Worship the God who can solve your problem.
  5. See your problem as being small and insignificant.
  6. See the Word of God as Powerful and capable of solving any problem.
  7. 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“.

Understanding Bible Faith! Are You Expecting? How Far Along Are You? Part 10

(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“.

Understanding Bible Faith! My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me? Part 9

(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? 

  1. Find the Bible promises that have been given to you.
  2. Put them into your heart by speaking them to yourself over and over.
  3. Pray in faith according to the promise that was given to you believing you receive it.
  4. Since you prayed and asked God knowing His will, you now know the Bible says God heard you.
  5. Since you know God heard you, you now know that you have what you asked for by faith.
  6. Therefore, you don’t pray and ask God for it again tomorrow because it looks like it didn’t happen.
  7. 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.
  8. 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“.

Understanding Bible Faith! The Spiritual Enemies to Your Faith? Part 8

(Ver 1.3)  This is now Part 8 in a series of very advanced studies about the subject of Bible Faith.  Today’s lesson will be a continuation of the lesson that I taught on last time about Using Your Faith to Possess the Promised Land.  In this lesson the Promised Land was described to us to be entering God’s Rest found in Hebrews 3 and 4.  What we discovered was that the children of Israel coming out of Egypt represented a natural type of the spiriutal church and God’s salvation from Satan and the world of darkness.  We definitely learn from this type that salvation was not the end of the Christian journey, but rather the beginning of our spiritual walk through the wilderness where we hear and learn the Word of God personally.  You might recall that after the children of Israel left Egypt they had to go through the Red Sea that was parted for them by the hand of God.  We are taught in the N.T. that this was a type of natural baptism into Moses that corresponds to Christians that are now spiritually baptized into Christ during salvation (1 Cor 10:2).  The symbolism in this O.T. story is quite extensive and has many applications and lessons for the church.  The Red Sea is really a type of the Blood of Christ that we have been baptized into.  The cloud by day and the fire by night is a type of the leading of the Holy Spirit today in the church.  The Bible tells us that those who are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God (Rom 8:14).  Just as the cloud led the children of Israel through the wilderness, so the Holy Spirit leads us today.  The Promised Land in the story of the children of Israel represents the promises of God that God has given to the church to possess today.  You see, the truth of Christianity is not about the promises that we make to God, it is really much more about the promises that God has already made to us.  Just as God told Israel “I have given you the land”, God is saying to the church “I have given you the victory over poverty, sickness, emotional despair, distress and the other things that He has given to us as promises in His Word” and we are to go into the this spiritual land and take them by our faith.  Here is another interesting parallel.  The children of Israel wandered for 40 years into the wilderness until finally a generation came along to possess the promise land. If you consider the church age has been going on for approximately 40 Jubilees then you will realize that we are the spiritual generation prophesied to take the Promised Land. A Jubilee is a 50 year period where God’s plan has recorded many secret parallels. If you multiply 40 x 50 you get 2000 years.   All of these are amazing parallels that speak that we are God’s people that will take the land already given to us.  Here are just a few of the promises of God found in the Old Testament.  I will give you these as examples so that you know what to look for.

Pro 1:23 “I will make known my words unto you”.

Joel 2:25 “I will restore to you the years..”

Joel 2:28 “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh…”

Jer 30:17 “I will restore health to you and I will heal thee of your wounds…”

Jer 33:6  “I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth”.

Nah 1:13 “For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder”.

Zec 3:4 “I will clothe thee with a change of raiment”.

Whenever God tells you that He will do something, these represent God’s promises that have been given to you and He is committed to fulfill them.  These are just a few of the promises of God found in His Word that can be possessed by men and women in the earth, if they mix their faith with them.  Just as we learned that Israel was given the Promised Land, they did not possess it because God says they did not mix any faith with the Gospel that was spoken to them (Heb 4:2); this still applies to you today also.  The only way to possess the promises of God that have already been given to you is by you mixing your faith to possess them.   I’m sorry I sometimes repeat myself, but I want you to get it.  Hopefully you have read all of these faith lessons in the series and you have been taking notes so that you can learn this important subject.  In my opinion, Faith is one of the top three subjects that every Christian should know completely.  We have found that faith is more complex than just simply believing in something or someone.  We have seen that faith involves several independent subjects working together in harmony to produce a positive result.   If you have not read this series from the beginning I would suggest that you go back and start reading with “Part 1”.

Just as the children of Israel sent spies into the Promised Land to investigate their possession, we can do the same still today using God’s word.  You see the spies of Israel went in and found giants and these are a type of something in our Promised Land.  There are still many spiritual enemies trying to intimidate you and to try to keep you from walking in the victory that God has already given to you.  Today I will be the spy that gives you the report of these enemies and what you do with this information is up to you, just like it was up to the children of Israel what they did.  I plan on being a type of Joshua and not a type of the ten spies with the evil report, but hopefully you will learn what to do.  The first spiritual enemy that I want to discuss is the giant of ignorance.  Here is one of my favorite Bible verses because of what God teaches us:

Hos 4:6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

To be destroyed is the opposite of being victorious so this sound like it applies to our story of the children of Israel and why they died in the wilderness.  Ignorance is the opposite of possessing knowledge.  What we have here is one of the primary reasons that God’s people are defeated easily.  God reveals to us (His New Covenant People) that we will also be destroyed if we remain ignorant and unlearned.   Therefore, the knowledge of God should be the number one goal for the people of God.  Let’s put this into context with the subject of having faith.  We learned that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom 10:17).  So if we have not heard the Word of God it is impossible to have any faith.   If you have not heard the Word of God, then you are ignorant of the Word of God and therefore you are easily defeated.  In order to not be ignorant you are going to have to hear from God and this involves Him teaching you His knowledge.

Pro 11:9  An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.

God gives us clues in the Bible and here is one of them that I am attempting to teach you about today.  God is saying that “knowledge” will cause His people to be delivered from their adversary.   It is very obvious to me that the lack of knowledge is being stated as one of the key factors to why you are defeated.  Because you never knew or understood what faith was, you were constantly defeated.  But, now that you are learning about faith you are a potential threat to the enemy of ignorance and Satan.  You see Satan wants you ignorant.  He is doing all that he can to keep you from knowing the truth.  As long as you are ignorant of the truth you are no threat of taking the Promised Land.  Knowing this fact alone should cause you to become a more diligent Bible student.  You should try to do what I do and spend hours a day in the Word of God.  I know in today’s busy world this is almost impossible, but learn what God said in Proverbs “The knowledge of God is greater than obtaining gold” (Prov 8:10).  You see God is saying knowing His word should be your number one priority above you working to get rich.  Please understand that God does not care if you are rich, but know this that He does cares if you are ignorant.  One of the wealthiest men in the entire Bible was Solomon.  His wealth is still spoken of today.  However please note how Solomon got this way.  Solomon wrote some of the greatest wisdom books found in the Bible.  Therefore, Solomon had the wisdom of God and this caused him to be rich mentally and physically.  This ought to tell you something about you knowing the ways of God that it will cause you to become wealthy.  Israel was primarily defeated in the wilderness because of their ignorance.  So ignorance is the first giant of faith land that is attempting to defeat you.  Let’s move on to the next giant in the land.

The next spiritual giant that will come against you is the giant of “fear”.  The ten spies of Israel brought back an evil report and their words caused fear to spread throughout the people.  It was this fear that caused the majority of the people of God to die in the wilderness never to see the good land that God had already given to them.  Over the course of 40 years the children of Israel died one by one and were defeated, except for Joshua and Caleb.  You see Joshua and Caleb said they were well able to take the land and they were never afraid.  Joshua and Caleb did not allow fear to rule their lives or their outcome.  Let’s look at a verse of scripture that Jesus is teaching us about the giant of fear:

Luk 8:50  But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.

If you read the context of this verse you will discover that this is another faith lesson within a faith lesson from the Lord God.  A man comes up to Jesus and he asks Jesus to come to his house to heal his only daughter because she is dying.   While Jesus is on the way to his house, the woman with the issue of blood comes and touches His clothes and gets healed as we have already talked a lot about her faith.  Before Jesus could finish with the woman with the issue of blood, some messengers come to the man with the sick daughter and informs him it is too late, your daughter is dead.  However, death is not the end of the story, is it?  Jesus only looks at the man and says “Fear not, only believe and she will be made whole”.  Do you see what is happening here?  Here is a faith choice between two reports being given to a man in a highly pressure filled moment of time.  One report is very evil and the other is a good report from God and the man has a critical internal decision to make in a split second.  This man could get into fear and believe the evil report or stay in faith and believe the report of the Lord.  Jesus heard the same report as the man did, but it did not affect Jesus in the least.  If you go and continue reading this story Jesus does make it to the man’s house and Jesus makes everyone leave except for the parents.  Jesus speaks to the daughter and she arises from the bed healed.  Which report did the father believe?  Do you think it mattered?  I know that it mattered and he believed the words of God.  This is again the story of the children of Israel who had a choice to make and they chose fear and death in the wilderness.  This man chose faith and saw his daughter raised from the dead.  That is pretty awesome if you ask me.  Let us look at another faith story about the giant of fear in faith land:

Mar 4:40  And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

If you read the context of this verse you will see that Jesus is asleep in the boat and the disciples are trying to sail across a large body of water and suddenly a storm arises.  Now, Jesus had already said they were going to the other side so these were the faith filled words of God already spoken informing the disciples of the outcome before it happens.  Just as God had told the children of Israel “I have given you the land” they let their fear of the inhabitants of the land conquer them without a battle or a fight.  So when the disciples looked at their enemy of the wind and the waves, like the children of Israel in the wilderness they caved to the fear and were easily defeated also without a battle or a fight.  They ignored Jesus’ words for the sight of the physical surroundings and circumstances and Jesus is awaken and was not happy at all with them.  Jesus stills the winds and the waves with His words and then turns to the disciples and declares there is a major problem here.   “Why are you so fearful?”   Fear is always the opposite of having any faith.  So when you see your situation to be unwinnable or insurmountable and you get into fear, you are about to sink your boat.   Jesus was the only one on the boat that had any faith and fortunately for them He was there.  What were the disciples expected to do differently?  That is a really good question to consider.  I personally believe that if they would have believed the words of Jesus, they might have gone to lay down with Jesus and gone to sleep also.  I do not recall Jesus telling them they had to sail the boat to get across the body of water.  Maybe you and they assumed this, but that is not always good to assume what Jesus wants you to do.  Regardless of what they did or didn’t do, I do not believe that they would have drowned or that their boat would have been lost if they would have stayed in faith.  Of course what the disciples really should have done was what Jesus did; get up and speak to the problem to cause it to stop.  I never think it is wrong to do what Jesus did.  Oh, yea they are not God, how can they do this?   You see the problem with people is that they think that they cannot do what Jesus did because they think He is God in His omnipotent power.  But, that is just not true.  Jesus was God, but God had become a man just like you and me and if He could do something, then we can do the same thing.  What Jesus did was to set us an example that we can do the exact same things that He did.  Do you recall what Jesus said?  Jesus said in John 14:12 “The works that I do, shall you do and greater works shall you do because I go to my Father”.  Was Jesus telling us that we could do what He did?  I believe that is exactly what He was saying to me, you can decide to do with it what you want to and even ignore it if you like.   I believe that Jesus expected them to do what He did and they chose to believe the circumstances instead.  The spiritual giants of fear, panic, dread, fright, and being afraid are all still very real and they exist today.  Satan will cause the circumstances to look just as formidable as the children of Israel were facing and he will even cause people to come to you and tell you how bad it is, to get you into fear.  This could be a doctor’s report that says you only have a short time to live.  It could be many different things, but yet Jesus taught us that it will come and you will have to choose not to believe it.  Let us move on to another faith land giant that is trying to defeat you:

Mat 14:31  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Here is another faith lesson from the God of creation.  Jesus is walking on the water and the disciples are in a boat and Jesus is about to pass them by when they see Him and they think it is a spirit or a ghost.  After all men can’t walk on water so they thought.  Anyway Peter suddenly gets faith and thinks if Jesus can walk on water then I can do this also.  Peter is beginning to catch on to what Jesus was teaching.  Peter saw that Jesus was setting them an example showing them what they could do.  So Peter says to Jesus “If it is you, bid me to come”.  Of course Jesus had no choice but to say “Come” because it was Him.  Peter steps out of the boat onto the water and he begins to walk to Jesus and this is a really amazing feat and I’ll tell you why.  Peter was walking on the water by his own faith and not the faith of Jesus.  He based his faith on the Words of God, but it was his faith that kept him from sinking, until he started thinking about what he was doing.  You see the Bible says that Peter began to observe the wind and the waves and this caused something to change in his previous water walking faith level.  This is an important faith lesson for you to learn today.  It concerns the circumstances that you will also be faced with.  If you begin to believe today that you are healed and tomorrow things look worse than they did today, what will your reaction be?   You can clearly see by Jesus’s words that He told Peter you should not doubt.  He asked Peter “Why did you doubt”.  By Jesus asking this question it is obvious that it was Peter’s doubt that caused him to begin to sink, so it had to be Peter’s faith that caused him to walk on the water.   What is doubt?  Here is a definition from the Strong’s concordance of this word:

From G1364 properly to duplicate, that is, (mentally) to waver (in opinion): – doubt.

This word comes from a root word meaning twice.  It is basically saying to us that those who are double minded are those who are in doubt.   We can quickly learn that being single minded and focused is the state of faith and being double minded is the state of doubt.  This word can mean to waver and this means to hesitate or change your confidence.   It is sometimes difficult to understand when we are double minded and when we have thoughts from Satan that are contrary to having faith but we will have to learn the difference.  Remember an earlier faith lessons I taught about the factor of having “confidence”?  Having confidence today and not tomorrow is being double minded and allowing doubt to rule your life and your spirit.  If you believe today that God has done what he has promised and tomorrow when it looks worse you no longer have the same confidence then you are in doubt.  The Bible teaches us this that “We walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7).  This means that we do not observe our surroundings with your physical senses and allow them to control us.  What if Peter would have ignored the environmental circumstances while he was walking on the water and not looked at the wind and the waves, what would have happened?  This is actually a very good faith lesson to learn and it teaches us to ignore the circumstances of life and to only focus on the rpomise of the Word of God.  Keep your eyes on Jesus and the Word of God and ignore your external circumstances.  Of course I’m not saying for you to stop taking your medicine or to do something stupid.  I’m just saying keep your eyes on Jesus no matter what is happening around you.  I believe that if Peter would have only looked at Jesus, they could have walked to the other side together.   So this is the giant of doubt that will come to try to keep you out of possessing the Promised Land.  I can almost guarantee you that all of these enemies will show up to fight against you.  Even Jesus had opportunities to get into fear, to doubt, or to become worried, to waver or to allow the circumstance to overwhelm Him.  But, He set the example for us to follow and we need to learn to follow Him and all of His ways.  These are probably not all of the enemies in your faith battle, but they are some of the most important ones for you to learn about that I know of.  Overcome the giant of ignorance by gaining the knowledge of God.  Overcome the spirit of fear by resisting it.  When the giant of doubt comes, keep your eyes focused on Jesus and He will see you through to victory.  I hope that you enjoyed my Bible faith lesson about Possessing the Promised Land and that you can take away something that will cause you to become victorious.  I still have a lot to talk about on understanding this subject of Bible faith, so please continue studying the Bible with me.  God Bless.

If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons about Bible faith you can continue to “Part 9“.

Understanding Bible Faith! How to Use Your Faith to Possess the Promised Land! Part 7

(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:

  1. Your Will
  2. Your Ability to Hear
  3. Your Understanding of the Word Heard
  4. Your Beliefs
  5. Your Confidence
  6. Your Words
  7. Your Expectation Level
  8. 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? 

  1. Do you have confidence in the existence of God? 
  2. Do you have confidence in the ability of God?   
  3. Do you have confidence in God’s Word?  
  4. 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“.

Understanding Bible Faith! Having Faith While Living in the Modern World? Part 5

(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.

  1. Bible Faith is based upon truth in the Bible.
  2. Being open to the truth allows truth the opportunity to come to you.
  3. Hearing the truth is the beginning of obtaining Bible faith.
  4. Understanding God’s Word spiritually will open the door to allow it into your heart.
  5. Believing and speaking the Truth will plant it firmly in your heart in abundance.
  6. Choosing to decide to believe it and do it are both conscious acts of your will.
  7. Your confidence in the truth determines your level of effort, your commitment and your expectation level for it coming to pass in your life.
  8. 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.
  9. 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“.

Understanding Bible Faith! How Faith Comes? Part 4

(Ver 1.2)  This is Part 4 in a series of advanced Bible studies about the subject of Bible Faith.  Today’s lesson will be a basic foundational definition to how to get Faith.  There are many people in the world who claim to have faith and yet when pressed for a definition of what faith is to them, they cannot tell you.  Then if you asked them how did you get this faith, again they cannot tell you.  Therefore, we are going to explore the basic Bible subject of faith to help people understand what faith is and where faith comes from.  Technically speaking you do not have to know how transmissions work, to drive a car and faith is the same way to some extent.   You can drive a car by just automatically learning which gear to be in and press the gas and you are off and running.  Salvation can be this way also.  You do not have to know that it takes faith to use your faith to be saved, yet your faith is still the determining factor to whether you are saved or not.  So we could liken your faith to be your spiritual transmission and God and His power and Grace to be the spiritual engine to the car.  Without both of these two key components working flawlessly together in harmony, your spiritual car is not going to move.  Hopefully you will understand this analogy better as we continue through this lesson.  If you have not read this series of lessons from the beginning, I would recommend that you go back and read starting at “Part 1”.

In order to understand what faith is, let’s first find out how faith comes.  If you did not know that faith comes then you did not read my first lessons very closely.  In a previous lesson I described a verse found in Romans 12:3 that said that all Bible faith comes from God.  This verse told us that God has dealt to every man (among you) faith.  I explained that verse in that lesson, so I will not repeat the explanation here.  Just read it and recognize that God has faith to give, so we as men and women must receive it.  Also, in a previous lesson I taught that faith is measurable and quantifiable ranging anywhere from zero or none upwards to full of faith, the maximum that you can have.    Remember that your faith can vary in that range of measurable numbers based upon something.  Jesus would look at His disciples and rebuke them for having “no faith” and then for a few people that Jesus ran into, He would praise them for having “great faith”.  Obviously there is a great deal of difference between those two ranges found on the faith value chart.  We can conclude based upon the information that we learned in lesson 3 that faith comes in stages and can grow or increase up the chart to the highest levels.  But, how do you get faith and how do you increase your faith that you already have.  If you were a car, and your gas tank was empty you would simply go and fill it, does this simple concept also apply to faith?   Can I go to the Faith station and fill my Faith tank?  That is where we are at in the lesson today so let’s go to the Bible and see what God has to say to us.

Rom 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

God gives us a major revelation concerning faith in this verse of Romans.  God ties the amount of faith that you possess to the amount of Words of God that you hear.  Of course, it is much more complicated than that simple statement.  If you could get faith by just hearing God’s Word, then you would just need to go buy the Bible on CD and play it all the time and you should have faith to move mountains left and right.  Obviously it takes more than just hearing to get faith.  But, hearing is where you faith lesson begins today to teach you about how to get more faith.    Let me teach you the progressive steps to getting faith and then we will look at this in the scriptures to find if we can prove what I just said.  Faith depends upon you doing the following steps and there are 4 possible reasons why faith does not come and only 1 instance where your faith actually grows.  Read these 5 examples very carefully and see if you can see what God is teaching you:

Faith Comes by Hearing, but they:

  1.  Don’t Listen or Refuse to Hear!
  2. Listen but don’t understand what is Said.
  3. Hear, Understand but don’t believe it.
  4. Hear, Understand, Believe and then don’t do it.
  5. Hear, Understand, Believe and then do it and finally they have faith that grows.

Wow, I do not know if you understood what I just said but it was good.  These same concepts are how you learn things in school.  You go to class, you either choose to hear your teacher or reject her words by closing your mind to them.  Then you can hear her words, but not understand what was being taught.  Right there is your opportunity to ask questions or remain ignorant.  Next you can hear your teacher teach you about history and then not believe that it happened.  Next, you hear your teacher teach you about algebra, understand it, believe it but just not do the work and you will fail that class.  Finally, when you achieve to all of the first four requirements, hearing, understanding, believing and doing is when your faith will grow and increase and you can move to the next higher faith grade level.  That was how faith works in a nutshell.  It is the basis of how faith comes and how you put it to work for you.  Let’s examine if we can find faith demonstrated to us in a Bible example that we are given and see if this is how it really works:

Mar 5:25  And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,

Mar 5:26  And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,

Mar 5:27  When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.

Mar 5:28  For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.

Mar 5:29  And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

Here is story of a woman who was diseased for 12 years.  But, did you notice what the Bible says happened to this woman?  I tried to underline some of the important parts for your careful consideration.  It says in verse 27 that she had “heard” of Jesus.  How does faith come?  According to Romans 10:17 faith comes by hearing.  So right there we know that this is the first requirement for having faith.  She obviously heard something that gave her faith and it must have been the Word of God according to Romans 10:17.  What did she hear?  While we are not told what she heard directly, we can make an assumption based upon other scriptures that it had to be something from the Old Testament.  Remember what Jesus did after being baptized by John?   Jesus went into the synagogue one day and open the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and read from it “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me and He has anointed me” and then he continues to say “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:18-21).  If you think that Jesus did this only one time, you would probably be making a wrong assumption.  I personally believe that Jesus read this verse of Isaiah everywhere He went to build the people’s faith.   So I believe that this woman with the issue of blood had heard what Jesus had said.  Now right there she must have understood what was spoken and you clearly see that she believed it by what these verses in Mark 5 say that she does after hearing.   Here is a woman that should not be out in public, but she has heard of Jesus and decides to get healed.  She does not ask Jesus or anyone else if it is permissible to do anything; she simply presses through the crowds that were also touching Jesus, sneaks up on the back of Jesus and touches His garment surreptitiously.  The Bible says that instantly she felt in her body the disease was gone.  Immediately, Jesus felt power had flowed from Him and he turned to ask “Who touched me”.  Wow, this is one of the best faith lessons in the Bible that I know of and it clearly demonstrates the principles that I have outlined.  A woman hears about Jesus, understands what she heard, chooses to believe it and then acts upon her faith and goes and gets healed and Jesus did not know it was happening until after it happened.

Mar 5:31  And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

The disciples look at Jesus like He is crazy and say to Him, Master everyone is touching you.   Here is a definitive clue to the difference between a physical touch and a spiritual touch.  The crowd was touching Jesus physically, but this woman with faith touched Him spiritually and there is a major difference between those two realities.   That is why I get some critics who write me and tell me how wrong I am and I get some people who have spiritual eyes to tell me “Wow that was good”.   If I could make everyone see things the way God sees them, I would certainly do that, but I can’t and God won’t so we have what we have in the world today.  Faith is a spiritual force and not a physical feeling.

Mar 5:33  But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.

The woman was caught, but now that she is healed it is legal for her to be in public again, so she goes to Jesus and falls down before Him.  She is obviously grateful and thankful and she tells him the truth. 

Mar 5:34  And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

Jesus confirms to everyone present and to us His readers that it was the woman’s faith that made her whole.  You see if it was only up to God’s power, everyone would be falling down before Him thanking Him for their healing, but no one else present got healed.  Jesus clearly tells us that it was her faith that was the determining factor for her healing.  It was her faith that made her whole.  The Greek word for “whole” is the word “sozo” and it means to “save” or to “deliver”.  This is the word that is translated many times as “saved” or “salvation”.  Faith as you can see was the cause for her salvation.   People, who do not want to see this, claim that everything that happens to them is what God has caused to happen.  If is funny that God does not say this in the Bible anywhere.    Jesus could have told the woman with the issue of blood “Be of good cheer, my power has saved you”, but God does not say this.  Are you able to see the truth?  I pray that you do.  So what does this story in Mark reveal to us that the woman did:

  1. She heard the truth.
  2. She understood the truth.
  3. She believed the truth.
  4. She acted on the truth.
  5. She was saved because of her faith.

That was faith in a nutshell again and it confirms what God taught you earlier.  So did you hear it?  Did you understand it?  Do you believe it?  What will you do with it?   Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God.  So if you want to increase your faith that is what you need to do.  It technically means that you have to be an open and receptive type of vessel in order to hear.  If you are not being open to the Word of God you will not hear it to begin with.   So decide in your heart to be a vessel that is willing to change and then go and hear the word of God until you understand it.  Next, if you believe what you have heard is the truth, then you are ready to take hold of the hem of His garment and receive the power of God for your answer.  Your faith is the transmission that causes your spiritual car to accelerate and to go places.  God’s Grace is the Motor that supplies the power to your spiritual car to change your location.  You can keep your car in the garage and never use it to go anywhere in the world or you can do what Jesus taught “If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you would say…”.   I hope that you enjoyed this basic Bible faith lesson and that you learned something that can be useful with your walk with God.  Until next time, I will let you go and review this lesson and see if you truly understood it and then you can write me and tell me about how it worked for you.  God Bless.

If you would like to continue reading in this series of lessons on faith, you can go to “Part 5“.

Understanding Bible Faith! Your Faith is Measureable! Part 3

(Ver 1.3)  This is Part 3 in an advanced series of lessons on understanding the basic concepts of faith found in the Bible.  To have basic and advanced in the same sentence is almost an oxymoronic expression, but I am attempting to simplify a very complex subject so that anyone who wants to can understand it.   In the first lesson I gave you an overview of the origin of faith and how that God had faith when He created the world so therefore I taught you that faith was not a brand new concept found only in the New Testament.  I further showed you definitive scriptures from Hebrews 11 that described Old Testament faith examples even though God never emphasized or taught this to be a required quality to possess.  However, you can clearly see that many people are included in the Bible simply because of their faith.  For example, we are told that Rahab the harlot had faith and then we are told in Matthew that she becomes a key figure in the life and genealogy of Jesus (Mat 1:5) because of her faith (Heb 11:31).   I taught you that faith is a rudimentary subject of Bible theology which is foundational to you being a real Christian.  I also showed you that faith was an essential element for your salvation.  Many people want to emphasize God’s sovereignty and ignore man’s faith.  I had a commenter like that yesterday.  He blasted me pretty well with his religious rhetoric and I’m just going to smile and ignore it.  When you discover the balance in the Bible of putting things together correctly you learn to ignore unbalanced ignorant people who know about God but, who do not know God personally. 

We have not yet technically defined what faith is, or determined where faith comes from fully, or how you get faith to grow or described how faith works, but we will eventually get there, but probably not today.  Today I want to show you some more very important foundational Bible concepts about faith that God reveals to us from a series of scriptures that describes to us, that the amount of faith that we possess is quantifiable or measureable.  In other words not everyone has the same amount of faith and that is going to upset some people’s theology greatly.  You see I have heard it taught in some churches that God gives everyone the same amount of faith and that all faith comes from God.  However, both of those statements are only partially true or I should say just a part of the complete truth.  When people teach things like this, they claim that it is not up to us to do anything to have faith and they alleviate us from having any responsibility or accountability for our actions.  They in effect seem to place all of the responsibility upon God and that relieves them from having to do anything.  This is what I call the “Blameless Christian” theology; a theory of which some confused men on the earth teach.  They believe that whatever happens to them in the world, it was just not their fault and therefore they could have done nothing to change it from happening, whether it was good, bad or indifferent.  Wow, someday these men and women are going to be very disappointed when God begins to ask them some very basic direct questions about what they were thinking.  If you have not read this series of lesson from the beginning I would suggest that you go back and start reading with “Part 1”.

What do I mean when I say that faith is measureable or quantifiable?  Here in the U.S. we have a set of standards that may be different than you are used to in your country.   However, the concepts are identical regardless of the standard being utilized.  We measure the size of boards when building a house and precise calculations are made to keep the house level, plumb and square.  Then here in the U.S., almost everything in the grocery store is sold by weight, volume or some other identifiable and quantifiable quality that makes them more fairly priced.  If you go to the market and buy some grapes, they are normally weighed and then the price is calculated from that.  This is the only fair way of buying and selling grapes since grapes can vary in size and the number of grapes on each vine differs.   This is what I am trying to teach you today, that faith even though you cannot see it, it is also a measureable spiritual substance according to God and He is able to tell how much that you possess, even if you can’t.  Like buying grapes, God is also able to measure your faith to determine how much you enjoy.  In the natural realm, this would normally involve a measuring device like a scale along with a computation or calculation for the total amount found, but since we are discussing a spiritual reality this is going to be a little bit more complex than that.  I think I want to start this lesson with a Bible verse that is widely taught that confuses people.  Here in this verse it would at first seem to imply that faith is a substance that God has given to everyone in equal amounts, but upon closer examination, I believe it says something much different:

Rom 12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Here is God teaching us where Bible faith ultimately comes from.  If God can give faith to a man, then all Bible faith must ultimately come from God.  This is a further confirmation that faith existed with God before God created man.   I mean it only makes since that if He can give something away, then He must first possess it before He can hand it to you.   I certainly believe this statement that Bible faith comes from God and the Bible.  That is the first key element to note in this verse.   However, just because God has given you something, does not mean that you have possessed it or that is all there is to give.  In other words I could give you a drink of water in a cup, but you only took a sip and threw the rest away.  Did you possess everything that I gave you?   Was it up to me to make you drink the water?  Do you think that I had any more water or was that all of the water that I had?  Do you understand the complexity of spiritual things based upon a simple example of a glass of natural water?  There is absolutely no way that I can make you have all of the water that I have and drink it.  I could have another pitcher of water to refill your cup after you drank that one.  I could have a well of water that is able to refill that pitcher after you drink that much.  It could be a never ending supply of water.  So to say that God gave faith to every man and that they all received the same amount is pretty crazy using my cup of water example.

Bible faith is clearly a spiritual substance given to us by a spiritual God.  Then it says that God has given every man “the measure of faith” and this is where the controversy begins to get deeper.  This verse cannot be talking about every human on the earth or it would contradict what the Bible says in other places and God’s Word does not contradict itself ever when interpreted correctly.  You see the Bible clearly tells us in other places that every man does not have faith and if you look in 2 Thessalonians 3:2 you will see this is true.   Therefore, we have a potential scripture conflict that needs resolution.  The way to resolve this conflict is to note the context of the given verses.  If you read the entire chapter in 2 Thessalonians you will see that God is speaking about unsaved wicked and evil men not having faith and in Romans 12:3 the context is clearly written about men who are Christians because God says “to every man among you”.  Romans 12:3 is written to church members who have to possess faith to be a Christian.   So we can conclude that even if God has given faith to every man (saved or unsaved), that everyone does not possess it because they have not received the free full gift from God.   This is like if you have a party and invited 12 people and you put out 12 pieces of cake for them and say come and get it.  Whose responsibility is it now to take the cake and enjoy it?  The host of the party is not responsible to make you take your cake and eat it, so if you choose not to come and get it, you lose out and the host of the party has done their job.  This is how salvation works, God is not responsible to make you take your salvation cake and eat it.  It is totally up to you to partake of Christ by faith and taste and see that He is good.  You see you may not know that you like cake, until you try it by faith.  I guess I got off the main subject of did God give to every man “faith” and the same amount.  Here is where the controversy continues.  I have heard several preachers say that this verse in Romans 12:3, proves that we all have the same amount of faith, but in actuality that is not what God is saying and if you teach it that way you contradict several other scriptures that clearly teach a radically different truth.  Let’s start by analyzing the word translated as “dealt”.  If you were playing a card game you would normally deal out the cards equally to every participant and this is where people probably get the initial idea or concept of everyone having the same amount or an equal distribution of faith cards, but here is the actual definition for this word from Strong’s:

From G3313; to part, that is, (literally) to apportion, bestow, share, or (figuratively) to disunite, differ: – deal, be difference between, distribute, divide, give part.

Nowhere in this definition does it ever say or even imply that the portions divided are equal.  In fact I get the opposite inference from reading this definition that the portions are greatly varying from each other.  Do you see this when you read it?  But then I have heard that it is the words “the measure” given in this verse that implies everyone is given the identical portion of faith.  However, let’s look at the definition of the word “measure” also from the Strong’s:

An apparently primary word; a measure (“metre”), literally or figuratively; by implication a limited portion (degree): – measure.

Here in this definition it does not say “the” measure it says “a” measure and that changes it dramatically.  When you read all of the definition it says that out of all of the faith that is possible we have been given a very limited portion of it and if you try to say that means we are all equal you would be assuming incorrectly.  The translators of the KJV Bible obviously thought wrong and put the word “the” in their translation instead of the word “a” and came up with this incorrect wording.  If you like you can check other translations like the NASB and Young’s Literal Translation and see that they translated it correctly to say “as to each God did deal a measure of faith”.  What I will do now is try to show you this position of everyone possessing differing amounts of faith using the Bible to help us establish this truth.   Let me give you some Bible examples of this in order to make my point more clear.

Mar 4:40  And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

Here is a verse of scripture where Jesus and the disciples are crossing over a large body of water which appears to be the Sea of Galilee and a storm arises that appears to be their demise.  However, Jesus is asleep in the back of the boat and the disciple have to wake him up and after Jesus calms the sea and winds, He looks at them and rebukes them for having no faith.  The state of “No Faith” would have to represent a complete absence of the spiritual substance of faith from them.  If you had a scale that weighed grapes, this would be zero or the state of having no grapes.  If you had a bucket this would be the state of it being empty or void of any substance.  You do understand this don’t you?  If Jesus is saying “where is your faith”, then Jesus is clearly expecting them to have faith and they do not.  Why is Jesus looking for faith?  You should ask yourself that question and try to come up with the correct answer.  In reading this story it would appear to me that Jesus is not a happy faith leader and He clearly tells them they better get with the God faith program.  I also believe that He is talking to you and I right now also.

Mat 17:17  Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.

Here we can read another rebuke from the God of creation to His followers.  I have only noticed one thing in the Gospels that Jesus ever rebuked His followers for, maybe you can find something I did not and if so please let me know.  But, it appears to me that Jesus is blaming the disciple’s lack of faith for their inability to cast out the devil from this man’s son.  This is a further confirmation that faith represents the power to remove an evil spiritual force or enemy.  So clearly faith is a number one priority to Jesus and these are two examples where Jesus declares that He expected His followers to have some faith and He could not find any when He looked at them.  So this is two examples of where people had no faith.  Now let us go up the spiritual faith scale to where Jesus said someone had just a little bit of faith.

Mat 6:30  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Here is the first occurrence of the word “faith” in the New Testament.  Jesus is speaking and it is clear to me that Jesus has some inside information that we do not normally possess.   Jesus is comparing some natural things that God accomplishes by clothing the grass of the field and He compares this to clothing people who He says are much more valuable than grass.  Then Jesus says something very profound.  Jesus said these people that he was speaking to had “little” faith.   The word “little” here means “puny” or an “insignificant” amount of faith.  If I had a 5 liter bucket and I poured a couple of drops of milk into it that is what Jesus is talking about here in this statement.  Jesus is clearly saying that faith is a measureable substance and that you can have just a very tiny portion of it.  Do you understand this?  There are five times found in the Bible that Jesus refers to people having “little faith” and these can be found in Matthew 6:30, 8:26, 14:31, 16:8 and Luke 12:28.  Let’s move on to another very different example of contrasting faith that Jesus gives us from that of no faith or little faith:

Mat 8:10  When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

Here is the second time faith is mentioned in the New Testament and this time it is dramatically different than the first time.  Jesus is speaking about a Roman centurion here in this verse.  A Roman centurion was a military man that Jesus said had “great” faith.  The term “great” means a very large amount in quantity.  You can clearly see that this is the complete opposite of the term “little” faith.  In my bucket analogy it would be like pouring in milk to reach almost the top.  These verses fascinate me tremendously.  They clearly tell me that Jesus was looking for faith by His reaction to when He found it and didn’t find it.  It also clearly tells me that the amount of faith that people possessed was not up to God or Jesus.  Otherwise Jesus would have not been surprised to find a Roman centurion with great faith and the children of Israel with little faith to no faith.  If it was God who was dealing out the faith and He wanted Israel to have great faith, then they would have clearly had it.  Do you see my logic here?  This tells me that “faith” while it comes from God it does not depend upon God solely and completely for how much we have.  In other words we have a major part and role to play in the situation and we will definitely talk more about this in other lessons.  Let me give you another example of great faith:

Mat 15:28  Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

There are only a very few number of people in the Bible that Jesus ever commended for having “great” faith and this woman in this chapter of Matthew is certainly one of them.  Later in these lessons on faith we will discuss why some had great faith and why some had little faith but that is not my subject today.  What I want to demonstrate to you is the fact that Jesus said “faith” was measurable and that the amount that a person had was not dependent upon God’s actions alone.  It is very interesting to note in this story that this woman is another example of a Gentile being ministered to by the King of the Jews who clearly said that He was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  Yet Jesus ministered to her and the Roman centurion and Jesus said both of them had “great” faith.  It is very clear to me that great “faith” gets God’s attention no matter who possesses it.    I firmly believe that we as Christians should be doing whatever it takes to achieve to this level of great faith so that we can be praised by God.  Did that sound arrogant?  Do you want God to say to you “well done thou good and faithful servant”?  If you do then I believe it is going to take you having great faith.

Mat 9:2  And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

Here is a scripture that I have touched on some before, but I will give you another perspective on this verse given what we have learned.  We have clearly seen that Jesus rebuked his disciples for having no faith.  Jesus also said of others that they had little faith.  Then we saw that Jesus clearly said some had great faith.  Because, Jesus does not appear to measure or qualify the amount of faith that is being observed, I make the logical conclusion from that information that Jesus puts their faith somewhere in the middle of the scale.  In other words their faith was not just a little bit and it was not a huge great amount, I believe that it was just right faith for the situation they were in.  I’ll call this the Goldilocks Faith, just for the sake of argument.   In the Goldilocks story she is always looking for the just right fit for her size.   It is an interesting concept to consider, if you can have varying degrees of faith from zero to a whole bunch, then you should be able to evaluate your faith and measure what you can and cannot do with it.  Many times people want to have million dollar faith when they don’t have the faith for 50 cents.   This is where faith gets a bad rap in churches and people begin to teach this faith stuff doesn’t work.  You should read the life story of a man named Smith Wigglesworth and learn that he did not start out raising people from the dead and that this only came after years of developing his faith to this level.  Smith Wigglesworth also started an orphanage that when he began he had nothing with little faith to even get it going.  But, by the time of the end of his life came he ran a home for hundreds of orphan children that cost big bucks to sustain.  Smith Wigglesworth learned the conepts of faith from God and learned how to grow his faith.  He wrote a book about this called “Ever Increasing Faith” teaching us that faith grows.  Let’s think briefly about the men who carried the lame man up on the roof, if they had no faith or little faith, they would not have gone through such extraordinary ways to get to Jesus.  However, if they had possessed great faith, they would not have had to go through such extraordinary efforts to get to Jesus.  It is a complex paradox of how faith works.  The Roman centurion told Jesus “You do not have to come to my house to heal my servant, just speak the word only and he will be healed”.  You see if the Roman centurion had middle of the road faith, he would have had Jesus come and lay hands on him.  If the Roman centurion had no faith or little faith he would have not even come to Jesus and his servant would have probably died.  Wow, I just gave you a quick introduction to how faith works and what faith does depending upon the amount of faith that you possess.  That was an introduction to stuff to come.

It is also imperative to make another observation from these few verses that we have read in Matthew.  Jesus has not died on the cross, been raised from the dead nor ascended back into heaven and yet Jesus is speaking of “faith” as being a critical element to who receives a miracle from Him and who does not.  This fact further proves the existence of faith as being an essential and present factor in the Old Testament even though it has not technically been revealed in the Word of God up until this point in time of the physical ministry of Jesus.  Let’s move on to another quantifiable measure of faith found in the Bible.

Act 6:5  And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

Here we have a measurement of faith that should be the ultimate goal of every Christian.  Here in this verse of Acts God describes a man named Stephen.  In this verse God says that Stephen was “full” of faith.  Using my bucket analogy again, that would mean a bucket that overflowed with milk; in other words a bucket that you could not put any more faith into.  This was the condition of this man and this concept is totally difficult for me to even comprehend.   God is clearly contrasting the amounts of faith in at least five different levels.  We had no faith, little faith, just right faith, great faith and full of faith and we could logically assume that there are varying ranges of faith in between these levels given to us like a gas gauge.  In fact using my bucket analogy we could have a totally empty bucket all the way to the overflowing bucket level. 

We have learned a lot about faith today.  Faith is a measureable and quantifiable spiritual substance that the total amount of faith contained in every human can vary dramatically from none to overflowing amounts.  We have seen repeatedly that faith was a substance that God expected to be present in every person that was ministered to by Jesus and we can conclude that God expects this in us Christians the same way.   Here are some other facts about faith that we have discovered today:

  1. Bible faith ultimately comes from God.
  2. However Jesus and the Bible said some had No Faith.
  3. Jesus taught us that some people had only Little Faith.
  4. Jesus taught us that some people had “Just Right” Faith to be made whole.
  5. Jesus also taught us that a few people had Great Faith that exceeded His expectations.
  6. Later in Acts we saw Stephen being described as being Full of Faith.
  7. All of these are differing levels of the same spiritual substance from Zero to Maximum.
  8. We again saw that Jesus was looking for faith in everyone that He encountered.
  9. People were praised by God for having faith and rebuked by Him for not having any or just having a little bit.
  10. Finally, we can logically conclude from all of this infrmation given to us today that since faith is measureable that the current level of our faith can be increased no matter where we currently are at on the faith scale.

Do you understand the importance of studying this subject of Bible Faith?  Are you beginning to see the significance that God put on this subject of faith in the Bible?  I hope you have learned something that will help you in your walk with God and that this new knowledge will be put to use to help further the Kingdom of God.  God Bless you until next time.

If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons on Bible faith you can go to “Part 4“.

Understanding Bible Faith! Your Faith is the Determining Factor to You Being Made Whole! Part 2

(Ver 1.3)  This is Part 2 in a series of lessons on understanding the basic concepts of faith found in the Bible.   In the first lesson I gave you the overview of the origin of faith and how that God used faith to create the world; so therefore I taught you that faith was not a new concept found only in the New Testament.  I showed you conclusive scriptures from Hebrews 11 that described Old Testament faith examples even though God never emphasized or taught this to be a requirement.  In reading Hebrews 11 you can clearly see that there were many people included in the Bible because of their faith.   I told you that Faith is a rudimentary subject of Bible theology which is foundational to being a real Christian.  I also showed you that faith was an essential element to become saved.  I then taught you that “Salvation” is a word than means to make whole the spirit, the soul and the body.  We have not yet fully defined what faith is, where it comes from or how it works, but we will eventually get there just probably not today.   Today I want to talk about faith being the critical factor for anything that you receive from God.   I want to reemphasize the importance of you having faith so that you can begin to understand why you need it.  This of course means that you must understand that just because God has given you something like salvation for free, that you must do something to receive it.  There are many Christians who do not understand that concept who have obviously never had anything in the world given to them.    However, in the Bible you can read story after story of how God gave man something by His grace and how that man was required to receive it by his faith.  What we see is a spiritual partnership being established between God and man.  God is trying to give you something by His grace and teach you how to receive it by your faith.  If you have not read from the beginning of this series I would highly recommend that you go and start reading with “Part 1”.  Otherwise turn to your Bible and read with me:

Mat 9:2  And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

Here in this story of the lame man is revealed a lot of profound spiritual truths.  Jesus is teaching a large group of people in a house that will not permit the lame man to get to Jesus.  So the lame man’s friends take him onto the roof top and they cut a large hole in the roof so that they can lower him down to Jesus.  The Bible says something very amazing here and if you are not careful you miss it.  The Bible tells us that Jesus saw their faith; the faith of the friends to help and the faith of the lame man to get up on top of the roof to get to Jesus.  This revelation clearly tells us that faith is visible and observable externally in our actions.  You need to remember that as we go through this lesson on Bible faith.  The next thing you need to take note of is that faith is the only thing that Jesus observed, so it must have been a very important part of determining if this man would get healed or not.  Do you see anything else mentioned in this verse?  Why can’t people just read scriptures and see what they say?   There are certainly other things to learn in this verse, but I will skip them to move on with our subject of faith today and give you another example of Jesus and the faith of people to receive:

Mat 9:22  But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

Here in this chapter of Matthew is the woman with the issue of blood who has been sick for many years.  But the Bible says that she pressed through the crowd in order to touch Jesus and she got healed.   Nowhere does it say that Jesus knew this was going to happen or that He caused it to happen.  So even though it was God’s power that healed the woman Jesus reveals to us the determining factor that caused it to occur.  Jesus makes another statement that is essential to our subject today.  Jesus turns to the woman and tells her that it was “her faith” that made her whole.    “Made whole” is the Greek word “sozo” and this is the same word translated as “saved”.  So Jesus clearly tells us again that faith was a determining factor for her salvation.  What we can observe from this story is her faith was set in motion by her actions and the two of these caused her to become healed.  You can clearly see that in the context of this story that the disciples say the crowd was touching Jesus on every side.  But, the Bible does not say that any of them got healed.  So it was not because she touched Jesus like the others did that got her healed.  It was because she touched Jesus in faith that caused the healing to come from Jesus.  Of course it was the power of God that was on Jesus that healed her, but it was received by her faith and that is how Bible faith works.  It is a joint partnership between God’s grace and man’s faith.   Let’s look at another example of this in the Bible:

Mat 15:28  Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy  faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Here is another example of a verse that Jesus directly mentions a woman’s faith to be the key factor of her receiving her daughter’s salvation and deliverance.  Jesus does not mention anything else, so I conclude that this is the only reason that she got her answer from Jesus.  Why was Jesus so obsessed with only faith?  Why didn’t Jesus ever say anything else?  Jesus never looked at anyone and told them “It was my power that healed you” as most confused Christian in the world think.  You need to understand that faith is being emphasized more than anything else and that this is by God’s design and purpose to teach you that faith is the important part to learn about.  There are many Christian who believe that God has the power to heal, but do not understand how to get God’s healing power to work for them.  They want to pray and leave it all up to God and that is not what we find in the Bible that actually happens in the majority of the cases being presented to us as examples:

Mar 10:52  And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

This is now the fourth example found in the Bible of a blind man who Jesus said “his faith” made him whole, saved him, healed him and delivered him from blindness.  Jesus never took the credit for it being His power alone.  In fact Jesus never mentions His power as being a factor to whether people got healed ever.  Again we see the same Greek word being translated as “made whole” which is later used for our salvation.  Therefore we understand again that it is our faith that is the determining factor for if we receive from God what God has given to us by His grace.  I’ll give you one more example found in the Bible, even though this is not the last example that I could give you of faith being mentioned:

Luk 17:19  And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Here in this chapter of Luke Jesus is on the way to Jerusalem and is passing through a village where he is met by ten lepers.  These men ask for Jesus to heal them and Jesus tells them to go and show themselves to the priest.  As they were going one of them notices that he has been made whole and comes back to Jesus to worship and thank Him.  Jesus again mentions that it was “his faith” that made him whole.  Every time Jesus only mentions one thing and every time it is the same thing.  Jesus never commends anyone for anything else other than when they had faith.   What you should do is go through and reread all of the Gospels and see if you can find anything else that Jesus ever emphasized to be a determining factor for anyone being saved, healed or delivered?  I know there are times in the Bible that Jesus does not mention anything as being a factor, but every time that I saw Jesus mention anything, it was always the faith of the people that was the determining factor to if they got healed or not.  This is the way the Bible was written and it gives man the choice to believe it or to reject it.  But, if you can see it and understand it, I believe that it will dramatically change your perspective on what God thinks is important.  If Jesus who was God in the flesh says that faith is a critical spiritual reality to possess, then I believe that we need to study the subject to find out what it is that we are missing.  I’ll end this lesson with one more scripture found in the New Testament that is very revealing.

Luk 18:8  I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Here is a key verse that describes to us about when Jesus comes back to the earth, what exactly He will be looking for in His people.   You can again see how faith is being emphasized as being a critical factor to possess.  It also seems to put the responsibility in our court to whether we have it or not.  Why would God be looking for something that He knew we already had?  It really does not make any sense, if it is not our responsibility to get this faith before He returns for us then Jesus would not need to look to see if we have it.  If it is not up to us to get it, then Jesus does not need to check for something called faith to exist when he returns.  I hope that you understand this logic.

Let me end this lesson by giving you some more scriptures where Jesus emphasized faith to be the determining factor for man to receive from God:

Mat 9:2  And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

Mat 9:22  But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

Mat 9:29  Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

Mat 15:28  Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Luk 7:50  And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

Luk 18:42  And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.

These are some of the major scriptures found in the Gospels that reveal faith to be the determining factor for receiving from God.  It is very clearly the only thing that God was looking for and it is the only thing that pleased Him to allow the people to receive.  Reread these verses very carefully and you will begin to understand the importance of faith today to receive from God.  The Bible instructs us to let every word be established in the mouth of two or three witnessess (2 Cor 13:1).  I have just given you two different writers and six different verses and that satisfies the requirement exclusively.  If you choose not to beleive them then that is your problem and not mine.

Here are the key points from today’s very important faith lesson so that you can go back and review:

  1.  Faith is visible and observable in the actions of people.
  2. Faith is the determining factor for salvation, healing and deliverance.
  3. Jesus never mentions any other factor for a person being made whole, other than their faith.
  4. Jesus is expecting to find faith when He returns for us very soon.
  5. Do you have the faith that Jesus is looking for?

Faith appears to be a critically important subject in the New Testament and it is certainly taught to be the determining factor of whether or not you are a Christian and whether or not you are ever to be made whole.  Jesus rebuked his disciple constantly for having no faith or little faith.  Then Jesus would look at people who got healed and tell them that it was their faith that caused it to come into reality.  Jesus obviously thought faith was important and you need to understand this importance in order to figure out what Bible faith is.  We will discuss more about Bible faith in the next lesson, so please continue to grow in the knowledge of God.  God Bless.

If you would like to continue reading about Bible Faith, you may continue to “Part 3“.

Understanding Bible Faith! The Genesis of Faith! Part 1

(Ver 1.3)  This is Part 1 in a series of lessons on understanding the basic concepts of faith found in the Bible.   Faith is of course a rudimentary subject of Bible theology which is foundational to being a real Christian.  According to the Bible, without faith it is not possible to even be a Christian.  However, you do not technically have to know how you became a Christian to be a Christian.  In other words you do not have to understand that it took your faith to become a Christian to have the faith to be a Christian.  I know that was a complex statement that I just made.  But think about it logically for a second, it is very much like a new born little baby does not have to know or understand how they got to be here to be a real baby in our world.  But, any Christian who doesn’t know how they became a Christian is practically incapable of knowing how to get others to become a Christian with them.  That is why so many people join a church and they think they are Christians, but are not.  It is like a natural child cannot have another child.  It requires a maturing physical process of the human body to be able to have children, so it is within the spiritual realm also.  You need to learn to grow up spiritually in order to know how to have spiritual children.   One of the basics of the spiritual birth process is found in the concept of “faith”.  Having faith in Jesus Christ allows God to come into your heart to abide.  Today’s lesson title is called the “Genesis of Faith”.  Genesis is a word that means “beginnings”.  So we will attempt to learn where faith came from and when it started to be important from a spiritual Bible perspective.  The Bible says a lot about this subject, but most of the direct references of the subject are only found in the New Testament.  Why is that?  I believe that is a very good question to understand and I will attempt to start to explain it today using several Bible verses.  Is faith something new to the New Testament?  I’m going to start by explaining why faith is important to know and then we will get to where faith came from and when it came into existence and finally we will touch on a small portion of what Bible faith is.

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Here we have a popular verse that is widely taught and greatly misunderstood.  The primary subject of the verse is “salvation” and that is what you should see first.  The next thing you should understand is that salvation is the gift that is given to us from God.  God is directly teaching us two key factors about the gift of salvation.  Salvation is a term that means to be completely delivered, physically, mentally and spiritually.  The word “saved” actually means to be made whole.  This definition informs us that unsaved people in the world are clearly missing key factors that cause them to be incomplete beings.  A human being is a spirit that lives in a body and that has as soul.  So God’s salvation must address all three of these human dimensions in order for us to be made whole.  Therefore, God’s salvation is an all-inclusive work.  In other words God did not save a small part of you and leave the rest of you out in the cold.  Of course it is much more complex than that and I cannot get into that level of detail in this blog.  Just keep in mind that salvation is a gift from God.  Meaning we did not buy it, earn it or even deserved it, yet He gave it to us freely.   But, like any gift salvation can be rejected, lost, thrown away or discarded if not cared for, esteemed and held as valuable.  There is nothing that I could give you that you could not completely disdain and treat with contempt.  So it is with God’s gift of salvation, we can understand that we must value this gift and take care of it in order for it to remain in our life.  The first of the two predetermining factors to salvation mentioned in the verse is “grace”.  Grace is of course what God has given, extended and done for us even though we did not deserve it or could do anything to earn it.  The grace of God is often associated with two other deity qualities called mercy and compassion.  God exhibited His mercy and compassion by extending us His grace.  To allow a guilty man to go free instead of being put to death is an act of either stupidity or great mercy depending upon what that free man does with his new freedoms.   This is the state of the human race today.  They have been granted God’s clemency and God is watching to see what man will do with it.  The next key factor in the verse is of course my main subject today and it is called “faith”.  So we understand that in order for anyone to be saved, it at the least takes these two given factors to be working together in harmony.  Of course this subject is vastly more complex than that and I cannot get into all of the other related things all at once, so you will have to exercise your patience and bear with me as I try to teach a very complex set of truths.  Just take away from this verse the fact that “faith” is a requirement in order to be saved and we will learn more later the why, how and where it came from as we go through the series.

If you search your KJV Bible for the word “faith” you will discover that the word is only found two times in the Old Testament and well over 200 times in the New Testament.  One time in the O.T. is in Deuteronomy and the other is in the prophet Habakkuk which is later quoted for us in Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38 saying “the just shall live by faith”.   So we can clearly see a direct imbalance to the distribution of the subject of faith, with it being totally under emphasized or hidden in the Old Covenant while seemingly being revealed to us in the New Covenant.  Again I’ll ask you, why is this?  Is faith something new to us?  This of course is by God’s design and I will hopefully explain why as we go.  In order to understand why faith is not mentioned directly in the O.T., we need to read some more Bible verses and learn what God says about the subject of faith in the N.T.:

Gal 3:23  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

If you just read the first part of this verse you might begin to think that “faith” is something new in the New Testament.  The first part of the first seems to imply that faith originated at some point in time and before this there was no faith.  However, that is not what this verse is actually saying if you read the entire statement correctly.  Too many people only read a part of a verse and walk away from the Bible with thinking or assuming they know what it said; when in fact they did not see the real meaning that God had given to them.

What we should be able to see clearly in this verse if we look closely in Galatians 3:23 is the fact that faith is not new and preexisted before the New Covenant in a hidden state.  Hidden simply means covered or concealed.  God tells us  in the end of the verse that faith was later uncovered and revealed after Jesus died and was resurrected.   Why do you hide anything?  That is a very good question to consider.  To hide something is often an act of someone trying to protect it or keep it from being stolen, lost or damaged.  My mother use to hide her silverware thinking no one would break into her house and find it and of course no one did, including her because she forgot where she hid it and never knew what happened to it.  Why was it necessary for God to hide faith from the Old Testament readers? Who is God trying to keep from this hidden information?  To answer this question you must understand that too much information can be a very dangerous weapon in the wrong hands and since we are talking about spiritual realities that are much greater than natural things.  Who is this spiritual enemy that would benefit from this information?  Let’s think naturally for a second.  I believe that it is very much like knowing how to build a nuclear bomb today in our world.  To those peaceful nations who know how to make one, it is a deterrent to keep others from attacking them, but to a terrorist it is the ultimate weapon of destruction.  This is why Iran wants this weapon of mass destruction right now!  So what I am trying to do is to show you that faith involves revealed spiritual power and ability and that this is equivalent to knowing how to build a nuclear bomb in our natural world.   You still may not understand these statements, but I’m not finished, so hang in there.

Heb 11:3  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Here is another widely misunderstood Bible verse about faith and words.  Here is a verse of scripture that basically reveals how the world was created.  God says that everything that we can see came from two spiritual power factors that God possessed.  Did you see what they were?  The two factors were God’s faith and God’s words.   Too many people read this verse and think that it is talking about our faith and that we have to believe in order to understand, but that is just a lack of understanding of the wording of the statement to causes many to think wrong.  The main problem with the Greek language is the lack of punctuation such as a comma.  The presence of a comma can change the meaning of a verse dramatically and this verse is an example of this.  Take the words “we understand that” and put them at the first of the sentence and reread the statement:

Heb 11:3  We understand that through faith the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

We can basically get the same statement meaning by simply adding the appropriate comma after “By Faith, we understand,” in the original version.  Hopefully you can begin to understand that God has faith and God used His faith to create the world that we live in.  If God has faith, let me ask you this question “God has existed for how long?”  I guess I’m getting ahead of myself somewhat by teaching you that faith was a spiritual force that has always existed with God.  But I want us to learn in this lesson that faith was definitely not something that was new and only came to exist in the New Testament.   We will verify this further as we continue.

For example, this chapter 11 of Hebrews is commonly referred to as the “faith” hall of fame.  This is because the chapter is dominated by the subject of “faith” and it reveals to us the names of individuals throughout the Old Testament who exhibited faith even though they did not understand that this is what they were doing.   According to Hebrews 11, the first mention of anyone with faith in the Bible was the firstborn son of Adan and Eve named Abel who was slain by his younger brother Cain.  In verse 4 of Hebrews 11 it says “by faith” Abel offered unto God a far better sacrifice than his brother Cain.  So it was the existence of Abel’s “faith” that caused his sacrifice to be accepted by God and not so much of what was sacrificed or given.  According to the Bible “without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Heb 11:6).  According to this statement whatever we do or say in this world it is imperative for us to do it in faith in order to be considered pleasing to God.  That could have been the most important thing that I said in this entire lesson and it reveals to us the great significance that God places upon the spiritual factor of “faith”.  There are very few things in the Bible that God says are impossible and this is a prime example of one of the most important lessons about spiritual impossibilities.

You can continue reading in Hebrews 11 and see time after time God mentioning and commending the faith of these Old Testament saints.  If you did not understand it, Faith is one of the central themes of the entire chapter.  The word faith occurs over 23 times in this chapter proveing God is making a point on the subject.   Verse 5, “by faith Enoch…”   Verse 7, “by faith Noah…”   Verse 8, “by faith Abraham…”  Verse 11, “through faith Sarah…”  I could go on, but you get the point, I hope and pray?  You see the faith of a man or a womean was the key factor for everything positive that happened in the Old Testament and why their names even appear in the Bible at all.   We can clearly learn by reading just Hebrews 11 that faith existed in the Old Testament even though it was never revealed directly to anyone.  God just wrote about them in ways that taught these Bible concepts without telling us what those concepts were called.  That was very tricky if you ask me!

Earlier I spoke of faith as being a powerful spiritual force that helped to create our world.  This of course is probably a new concept to you that you do not yet understand.   So I will attempt to give you another Bible verse that exhibits this reality to us in the words of God written to the church.  In this way, we will hopefully see that we have this power within us right now and that we should learn how to use it.

1Co 13:2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

Here in this chapter of 1 Corinthians God is saying some things about the spiritual reality of faith from a God perspective.  I am not going to go through the entire verse and try to teach everything that it says in order to shorten this lesson.  I want to focus in on the words in the middle of the verse about faith.  God says that we can possess this force of “faith” that is able to move mountains. But, then He says without us having any love we are still nothing.  That is an amazing statement of potential power without us even realizing its full impact.   You see what does it take to move a real physical mountain?  Since I live close to the mountains I know that this task takes some dynamite and some really big equipment.  I’m talking about big trucks, bull dozers, scoops and on and on we could go.  All of these things are natural examples of physical power.  These natural examples are what God is saying faith represents in the spiritual realm.  Do you understand this?  You can either use your faith to move a physical mountain or a spiritual symbolic mountain and both are valid in this verse since God does not qualify the noun with an adjective limitation.  This is called a double reference, where a scripture crosses the natural boundary to apply even to a spiritual domain equally and simultaneously.

We can understand natural mountains, but what is a spiritual mountain?  A spiritual mountain can be any spiritual obstacle or obstruction that is in your spiritual way to any spiritual success.   In the eleventh chapter of Mark we see Jesus himself speaking to His disciples in the 22nd verse He tells them to “Have faith in God”.  Another very legitimate translation of this verse is “Have the faith of God”.  Young’s literal translation reads this way and Young was a Greek expert more than I am.   If you look at the context you will see that Jesus had just cursed a fig tree and the disciples were pointing this out to Him and God says to them you are capable of doing this also.  Jesus who was God tells His followers if they would have the God kind of faith they would be able to speak to the mountain in verse 23 and say to it be removed and not doubt it in their heart but believe what they say would come to pass, Jesus said they would have whatever they said.  Jesus was describing how He created the world to them and telling them they could do what He did and remove the obstacles that were hindering them.  This is why Paul could write the same in 1 Corinthians 13:2 to us the church.  Both of these represent two witnesses to the fact that faith embodies God’s powerful spiritual force.  We need to read Mark 11:23 over and over and decide if we are a “whosoever” that God was speaking to.

So faith is a spiritual force, but that is not the only way that it is described to us in the Bible.  You see faith is a multifaceted spiritual reality that can be used for offensive or defensive actions.  We can read in Ephesians 6 where God is describing the spiritual armor of the church which consists of a number of spiritual entities and one of these is called the “shield of faith” and this is clearly a defensive weapon of force.

Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

The verse starts by saying “above all” meaning there are other parts but this one is one of the greatest that is an essential necessary part to possess.   What God is doing in this chapter is describing the spiritual warfare components that are essential to know and understand.  First off you need to know you are in a spiritual war and if you do not know this you are already defeated.  The Bible says for us to “submit to God and to resist the devil” (James 4:7).  What does it mean to resist?  That is not a passive verb, if anything it is an aggressive verb of action.  To resist is when you are in a war with an opposing occupying force and you choose not to submit to them.  You do know that Satan is the occupying force that we are now in resistance to, yes?   God gave man the earth and put Adam in charge, but Satan came and took it from him and has been occupying the earth illegally for the past approximate 6000 years.  His time of occupation is growing significantly shorter now and it is time to demonstrate his defeat and he is not happy about this at all.

God says to take the shield of faith so that we might quench all of the fiery darts of the enemy.  What is a fiery dart of the enemy Satan?  Satan is a spiritual being so a fiery dart is a spiritual weapon thrown at the unseen part of you and this is your mind.  You are to use faith to counter these offensive weapons of Satan.  What we have not done is to talk about everything that faith is, how you get it so that you can know and understand how to use it as a defensive or offensive weapon.  Perhaps in a future lesson on this subject we will see how to go about increasing our faith.  For example, did you know you cannot find anywhere in the Bible that God says for us to pray for Him to give us faith?  That is probably the second most important thing that I said today but you might have blown it off as a non- important or trivial statement.  This could be because you just do not understand very much about faith yet.  Let me review some of the things that I have taught you today so that you can go back into your Bible and review them:

  1. Faith is one of the requirements for Salvation.
  2. Faith was a hidden spiritual concept until revealed by God.
  3. Faith is the spiritual power to move physical or spiritual obstacles or obstructions.
  4. Faith is a spiritual defense against the spiritual power of your enemy Satan.
  5. Faith pre-existed the New Testament but was only formally revealed to us after Jesus died on the cross.
  6. Faith was active in the Old Testament but never directly identified to be faith.
  7. God used faith to create the world so God had faith before time existed.
  8. Therefore faith existed with God eternally.

I just taught you several very key basic elements that are essential to understanding the spiritual subject of faith found in the Bible.  This was just a basic introduction to the subject of faith so I hope you can continue to read and study this subject as I am able to continue it with God’s help.  God Bless!

If you would like to continue reading in this series, you can continue to “Part 2“.