THE BEST OF FAITH TEACHING FROM GOD’S WORD
Getting Offended Hinders Your Miracle
The apostle Paul made an interesting statement when writing to Titus, whom he called his "partner and fellow worker" (2 Cor. 8:23), and "a true son in our common faith" (Titus 1:40).
In the first sentence of his letter, Paul said that God cannot lie. (Titus 1:2.) This one statement alone is the most important statement in the Bible. Without this one truth, everything we believe -- all our hope, all of our faith -- would be useless. Let me explain.
Everything in the Word of God is based on belief. But belief in what? Belief in God and belief that He has not lied and will not lie. God expects us to believe Him. He expects us to place our entire existence, every thing we are and everything we have, on the line. He wants us to have total faith in Him. In fact, He not only expects it, but He requires it.
When Jesus went to His own town of Nazareth, He taught in the synagogue. Many people heard him and were astonished. In fact, they were so amazed at His teachings that some even wondered where He got all His knowledge. But then something happened. Some of the people realized that this Jesus was the same Jesus that had grown up in the town of Nazareth, and this offended them. When they became offended, they quit believing what He was saying and as a result, Jesus could not do many mighty works in that town.
"Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid Hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching" (Mark 6:5,6).
The Bible says He could not do many mighty works, not that He would not do many mighty works. How can this be? Well, God has always been moved by belief. He has always responded to faith. When man believes that God will do His Word in their lives, God moves to perform it.
God promises salvation, healing, and prosperity in His Word, but it is only for those who believe. It is only for those who have faith in His Word. It is only for those who believe that He did not lie and then they act on that belief.
Jesus died for the sins of the world, but only those who believe in Him will reap the benefits of His death and resurrection. God only responds to faith. Doubt and unbelief do not move Him. That's why Satan continually tries to put doubt in the minds of people.
Where there is doubt, there is no faith. And, according to the Bible, where there is no faith, even the Word does not work. Hebrews 4:2 says that there were two groups of people. Both groups had the same gospel preached to them. But the gospel that one group heard did not profit them because they did not mix it with faith in their hearts.
There is much power in the Word, but only for those who have faith. Faith believes God. Faith knows God does not lie and places everything on that belief.
Remember when Paul was in Lystra and a certain man who could not walk and was crippled from birth was sitting by the road?
"This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, 'Stand up straight on your feet!' And he leaped and walked" (Acts 14:9,10).
When Paul looked at him, what was he looking for? He was looking for faith. Is faith important? According to Scripture, it is.
Breaking the Spirit of Control
Control and manipulation are tools of the devil. Freedom and guidance are tools of the Spirit of God. Jesus said that if we would abide in His Word, we would know the truth and that the truth would set us free. (John 8:31-32.) God is a God of freedom and the devil is the god of bondage.
I've heard people try to manipulate God with their prayers and it may sound strange, but there are those who try to apply the world's methods to their communication with God.
Several years ago, I was talking with a man who knew that God had instructed him specifically on something he was to do in his life. Not only did this man know this in his heart, but it was also confirmed by the Holy Scriptures. However, he refused to do what he knew was right.
When I asked him why he was rebelling against God's command, he made a very astonishing statement. He said, "I'm believing that if I hold off long enough that eventually God will see that I don't want to do it and He will change His mind." God does not respond to picketing, protest marches, or sit down strikes. And we cannot manipulate God or control Him by these socially-accepted, politically-correct methods.
Another man told me that he did not agree with one of the current theological teachings. He went on to make a very ludicrous statement. He said, "If I can get enough people to believe the way I believe, then certainly God will agree with me." Wrong! As Christians, we live in a kingdom and not in a democracy. Only what the King of kings decides becomes our way of life. (Rev. 19:16.)
I knew of another gentleman who believed if he could publicly prophecy something in church, then certainly God would cause it to come to pass because God would not allow Himself to be embarrassed. God doesn't get embarrassed. He knows the truth and you cannot control or manipulate Him.
Control and manipulation are spirits associated with the spirit of fear. (1 Tim. 1:7.) Yes, in the Book of Galatians we are told that a part of the fruit of the spirit is self-control. (Gal. 5:23.) Self-discipline is of God, but attempting to manipulate or control God or any other person by your words or deeds is witchcraft and is not of God.
Your Broken Heart Can Be Healed
Many people are walking through life with a broken heart. Although they hide it well, behind the smiles and social activities, deep inside there are open wounds and pain from the past.
When Jesus was in Nazareth, He said that God had sent Him to heal the brokenhearted and to proclaim liberty to the captives. (Luke 4:18.) If this is true, then why are there so many Christians living with broken hearts?
Everything in the Word of God must be received by faith. Faith is simply believing that God has done everything He said He would do and believing it so completely that everything we say and everything we do is based upon that belief. According to the Bible, we only receive what we believe.
Many retain their broken heart because they have given up hope that their heart could ever be healed, or they have tried using the world's methods with negative results. Psychology in its proper perspective can help, but only the power of God can completely cure.
The truth is, Jesus has already paid the price. He has already done everything that needs to be done for your heart to be healed. It doesn't matter who has wronged you. It doesn't matter who has lied to you. Regardless of the physical, verbal, or emotional abuse that you have received in your life, the good news is that Jesus has paid the price for your freedom. Jesus has done everything that needs to be done for your broken heart to be healed and for you to no longer be held captive by the problems of the past, but to walk free, from this day forward, in victory.
How can this happen? Actually, it is so simple that most people miss it. In the same way that Jesus paid the price for our salvation, Jesus paid the price for our emotional freedom. In order for you to have everlasting life, there is nothing that you need to do except to receive the gift that He has already paid for. He died on the cross. God raised Him from the dead. And when you believe that, speak it, receive it, and confess Him publicly, you have been born again. In the same way, He has paid the price for your broken heart to be healed.
Satan's Words Have No Power
Man was created as a speaking spirit in the image and in the likeness of God. Man was created to look like God and to act like God. No other creation was created in His image and likeness - only man.
God is a three-part being. The Bible tells us in 1 John 5:7 that "The Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, these three are one." Jesus said, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9), and "I and My Father are one" (John 10:30). Man is a three-part being. He is spirit, soul, and body (1 Thess. 5:23). So God is a three-part being, man is a three-part being, and man was created in the image and likeness of God.
Ephesians 5:1 says that we are to act like God. While we are not God and will never be God, God did create us in His image and likeness, so obviously, He wants us not only to look like Him, but to act like Him. Simply put, God wants us to love what He loves and to dislike what He dislikes. And we also must remember that God has not changed and does not change.
The Bible tells us in the Old Testament that God the Father does not change and in the New Testament, Hebrews 13:8 tells us that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." So we can say with confidence that the things God liked 5,000 years ago, He liked 2,000 years ago at the time of Jesus and He still likes them today. Likewise, the things God disliked 5,000 years ago, He disliked at the time of Jesus and He still dislikes them today. God is not politically correct, nor does God's plan change with society.
God created man as a speaking spirit so that we would have the authority to speak His Word on the earth and take authority over all the power of the enemy. (Luke 10:19.) The life you are living today was framed by the words that you spoke yesterday. And the life you will be living tomorrow is being framed by the words you speak today. Quite literally, your life and your death are in the power of your tongue. (Prov. 18:21.)
When someone believes in their heart the truth of God's Word and they speak that truth, it comes to pass because their faith activates the Word. The words of Satan have no power unless you repeat them. If you listen to the lie of the enemy and speak the lie, it activates the opposing spiritual force of fear and enables the enemy to do his work. We could say that repeating his lie is aiding and abetting the enemy because it enables him with power and gives him permission to destroy.
Faith and fear are the two spiritual forces that activate power and release angelic spirits to do their work. When faith is spoken, according to Psalm 103:20, it activates the angels of God to bring His Word to pass. We know that angelic spirits are on the earth for the purpose of ministering to the children of God. But they can only do this as they are instructed by the voice of His Word and Christians are the only ones authorized to speak His Word in faith. We have been given that authority.
As a speaking spirit, you choose to release the Word of God into the earth or you choose to release the words of the enemy into the earth. Either way, it's your choice. And your harvest in life will depend upon your choice. Jesus said in Mark 11:23 that if we believe in our heart that what we say will come to pass, we will have what we say.
Are your words important? Yes, they are vitally important! Not only do they bring death or life (Prov. 18:21), but according to Jesus, we will be justified or condemned by the words we speak, even the words that we consider trivial or pointless because they contain the power of their meaning. (Matt. 12:37.)
As you live your life, never forget you are a speaking spirit created in the likeness and image of God. You are His voice and you are to let your light shine for Him. The enemy is frantically trying to get you to say what he wants done. He wants you to prophesy his fear into the earth. He knows that without your voice, he has no power. So as you speak, give no place to the devil (Eph. 4:27), but instead let your faith-filled words empower God's grace to work for your good.
Living in Constant Conflict
Some people live in constant conflict. They move from emotional crisis to emotional crisis and from conflict with one person to another throughout their lives. They are in constant conflict with themselves and continually try to pull others into the conflict. They say they desire peace, but because of the years of continual strife and confusion, they have become fearful of peace and a type of codependency develops with the conflict. Friends and family who are drawn into these conflicts unknowingly become enablers and with each conflict, the pattern of destruction becomes more entrenched.
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 14:33 that God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. God's plan is for every Christian to live their life peaceably without conflict. That does not mean that we will never be in conflict with the devil. The enemy will always look for opportunities to attack God's people physically, financially, and emotionally. We are to fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim. 6:12), which is simply to believe God's Word is true and act on what God says.
However, there should never be conflict and fighting between the children of God. God's family should always dwell in harmony, contentment, and peace. Of course, this does not mean that we should ignore discipline and allow others to abuse us. We must stand up for what is right, but there are those within the body who seem to be in constant turmoil and who appear to not want to change.
The question is, how do we deal with those fellow Christians who live in constant conflict with others - people who continually stir up strife in their own life and in the lives of others?
The first thing a person must do in answering any question is go to the Word of God and see what He says to do. First and foremost, God's Word teaches that we must love and forgive. Love is not an emotion, but a fruit of the Spirit and the way we love each other is the way that the world will know we are Christians. (John 13:35.) Love establishes who we are and forgiveness establishes our relationship with God. In Mark 11:25-26, we are told that if we have anything against anyone, we are to forgive them. If we don't, God will not forgive us and our relationship with Him will be broken.
Now, with this foundation of love and forgiveness firmly established, we find Romans 16:17 says, "I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them." The next verse tells us that these people who cause divisions and offenses can have flattering words and appear to be righteous.
Naturally, as Christians, we are to love and forgive. But there are those who seem to never change, even though they have been loved and forgiven over and over again. They never repent but continue to cause division and strife everywhere they go. Interestingly, this division and strife is not centralized. Like a cancer, it spreads through their families, the workplace, and the church. Because they won't repent, nothing ever changes and life becomes miserable for them and everyone around them.
Over the years, I have known many critical and offensive people. Some of them have repented and gone on to live lives that were full of joy and peace. Others refuse correction. Because of their pride, and their belief that they were not the problem, they have continued to live sad lives in constant conflict. They are full of misery and hurt, believing that everyone else has caused them to not fulfill their own potential and dreams in life.
So we are brought back to our original question. How do you deal with offended people living in constant conflict?
Of course, we love and minister to them as we are guided by the Holy Spirit. And for the ones who come to their senses and repent, who turn away from strife, conflict, bickering, and murmuring, you receive them into fellowship.
According to the Word, however, those who will not submit to the ministry of peace and continue to create turmoil should be avoided. There are many issues that will determine the degree to which you can do this. Working conditions or family associations all factor into it. Still, to the degree that you can, you should do your best to associate with wise people who walk in sound doctrine and love, and avoid those who don't.
How can you tell if a person in conflict has repented? The answer to that is quite simple. The conflict will have ceased. Jesus said that a tree would be known by its fruit. (Luke 6:44.)
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. (Romans 12:18)
A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:24-26)
He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed. (Proverbs 13:20)
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12)
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
The True Cost of Unbelief
"But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14).
One of the greatest hindrances to the manifestation of the power of God is unbelief. When Jesus could not do many mighty works in his hometown of Nazareth, the Bible says that He marveled at their unbelief. He strongly implied that their unbelief itself was the hindrance to the manifestation of the healing and delivering power of God. (Mark 6:5-6.)
There are several kinds of unbelief. Some people have unbelief because they don't know the truth. They have never been exposed to the truth of God's Word and simply do not believe because they've never heard the truth.
Then there are those who believe in God and they believe in His power for deliverance, but because of incorrect teaching, they believe that sometimes God allows people to be sick, diseased, and in poverty for a purpose. The result of this incorrect teaching is that many times those who need to be healed and delivered will not experience deliverance because of the uncertainty in their mind. The enemy puts this continual thought in their mind: "Maybe I'm the one who is called to bear this burden. Maybe I'm the one that God has chosen to not receive His power so that somehow someone else can be delivered. Or possibly God is trying to teach me something. After all, Jesus did say we have to bear our cross!"
Years ago a gentleman told me that he knew that God had put him in the hospital and had brought about his pain and suffering so that he could witness to someone who worked at the hospital. That is ridiculous! Certainly the God of the universe who spoke creation out of nothing could create a circumstance by which he could witness to the hospital worker without having to be made sick and diseased in the process. However, many people are taught this by well-meaning teachers who are trying to give God an excuse and to explain away why some Christians are sick. Spiritual laziness is the result.
Although the price has been paid for our deliverance, the action of faith requires confession and receiving of the gift. There are those who simply don't want the hassle that comes with receiving because we have the responsibility to act on our belief. This results in misguided priorities and opens the door for deception in our thinking and actions.
Once I went to purchase an automobile. I knew the exact brand, model, and color that I wanted. So I went to a dealership to make my purchase. I walked around the showroom for fifteen or twenty minutes and couldn't seem to find a salesman. When I asked the receptionist if I could speak to a salesman, her response was, "I'm sorry, they can't speak to you right now. They're in the boardroom receiving instruction on how to make more sales." I walked out of the showroom and drove a quarter of a mile down the road and purchased a different car.
In the same way that the salesman lost the sale and his commission because he was in a meeting learning how to make sales, many Christians miss their healing because they feel they're too sick to call for the elders, or to go to church, or to feed on healing scriptures and teachings.
Sometimes doubt is a result of intellectual thinking and being led by logic instead of being led by the spirit. Belief requires humility and submission to God, realizing that the price has been paid, the work has been done, and that the gift of deliverance is ours.
Many times unbelief comes from what we perceive through our physical senses. When the prayer of faith has been prayed and it is not physically obvious that things have changed, we have to consciously choose to override the unbelief that naturally comes from what we can physically see with the faith we have in God and what He has said.
Faith comes through hearing God's Word and the mental decision to believe what we hear. But when our faith is put into action and we don't immediately see the manifestation of our faith, then we must move out of the realm of our mental thinking and reasoning and submit completely to the spirit. Man cannot naturally discern (through the five senses) what is taking place in the spirit. Everything that manifests itself naturally must first come from the spirit realm. It is possible to over think and reason and calculate in the natural so much that it hinders the flow of the spirit.
I have always liked professional baseball. It is a well-known fact that batters and pitchers can get into a slump. The slump usually continues because the player interrupts the natural flow of his skills and abilities by over thinking everything he does. A well-known manager instructed a well-known professional baseball player who hadn't had a hit in many games to "just walk up to the plate and don't think. Just relax and play the game."
As Christians, once we've made the decision to believe, we should just relax, let go, and trust God and allow the natural flow of the spirit to work through us and the supernatural will come to pass. Remember, believing is a choice. Choose to believe and receive.
As a minister of the gospel, my responsibility is to repeat what God says in His word. I must do what He says to do, and I must say what He says to say.
His Word is His will. Look at the confidence God allows us to have in what we say when we speak His Word. First John 5:14 says, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us."
We must be word-minded people. Word-minded people are steady because the Word of God is steady. Sense-minded people are ruled by how they feel as perceived by the five senses - what they taste, touch, hear, smell, and see. Sense-minded people are up and down emotionally. I call them "roller coaster" or "yo-yo" Christians because they are driven by their senses and what we sense constantly changes.
If the Word of God is what you believe, you'll be steady because the Word of God doesn't vary. God doesn't say that one day He'll bless you and the next day He'll curse you. The Word of God says it is His will to heal you. Therefore, if you're attacked with sickness in your body, you're going to be steady because you know it's God's will that you be healed, set free, and live a wonderful life. You're going to be steady in your mind regardless of how you feel in your body if you are word-minded.
People who are driven by their senses say what they see. When they feel good, they say they feel good. When they feel bad, they say they feel bad. Why? Because sense-minded people only speak what they see.
Jesus said in Mark 11:23 that we get what we say. That means that if we keep saying what we see, then we will keep seeing the same thing. Let's get real! Nothing is going to change until something changes! And if we keep doing what we have always done then we will always have what we have always had!
When sense-minded people see nothing changing in their lives, they believe nothing will ever change, and they continue to speak that nothing will ever change and the result is - nothing changes.
Once I was counseling with a person who was full of doubt and unbelief. He thought he was worthless and his life was a mess, and he spoke that he was worthless and his life was beyond repair. After much teaching and explaining to him about how he would get what he spoke, his comment was this, " That may work for some people, but it won't work for me. I've tried to understand God's Word, but I haven't been able to, and I don't think I ever will." In the years since this counseling session, I must confess, he was right. He received what he believed.
Choose to speak the Word of God out of the abundance of your heart and not what your five senses tell you, and you will begin to see victory in your life.
Understanding the New Covenant
The Word of God shows us how the new covenant differs from the old covenant.
In the Old Testament the Israelites understood that killing an animal and applying the blood was the way God ratified covenants.
But in the New Testament, we are under a different set of rules. Hebrews 8:6 says the new covenant is a better covenant. That doesn’t mean the old covenant is gone. Jesus said He didn’t come to destroy the law, but instead He came to fulfill it. Through fulfilling it, He redeemed us from the curse of it.
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matt. 5:17).
Any time you enter into a contract, for example the selling of a house, both the buyer and the seller sign the contract. The contract is not binding and valid until both parties involved have signed and completed the transaction.
It’s the same way concerning the promises of the new covenant. God has already ratified the contract with the blood of Jesus. The only ones left to sign the contract are those who choose to believe and accept the offer of salvation.
Under the new covenant we do not use the blood of bulls or goats to ratify the covenant. The way we ratify our part of the covenant is with the words of our mouth spoken in faith. Romans 10:9 says, “…If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Jesus has already signed His portion of the new covenant with His blood. He is waiting for you to believe in Him and sign your portion with a confession of faith.
Do You Need a Miracle Today?
As I travel around the world, it doesn't matter what state or country I am in, it seems there is one thing that I find everywhere. There are people who need a miracle. They need it desperately. They need it today.
So what is it that activates the miracle in your life? What is it that can turn everything around? What is it that can turn desperation into a joyful celebration?
When you can't think of a way out of your impending disaster, you must know this. God can make a way where there is no way. God doesn't just find a way of escape that you couldn't find. He creates one that you would never find, because it didn't exist. God is a creative miracle God. So, when your back is against the wall, quit looking for a way out and start looking to the Source of your deliverance.
The enemy has an agenda. His desire is to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10). If you are a born again believer, then you carry within you the Spirit of God on this earth and you become the target for the attacks of the enemy. But the truth is the Spirit that is possessing you is greater than the spirit attacking you. (1 John 4:4). And when all the spiritual dust settles, the Spirit within you will be standing and the spirit attacking you will be fleeing.
It's time to choose sides. It's time to decide who you are going to believe and swear your allegiance to. Are you going to believe the words of the One who is victorious or are you going to believe the words of the one who will be fleeing? The words you agree with will determine the outcome of your situation.
You may be wanting a miracle, deliverance, and victory in your life. God's Word has promised you these things. But these promises are conditional. They are activated by faith. Faith is not just knowing that God can deliver you, but faith is hearing God's promise of deliverance, deciding to believe it, speaking it until it becomes so embedded in your heart that everything you do is based on that belief.
So, it comes down to this. Unless you know God's promise, you will not know what to believe in. Where are His promises? They are found in His Word, the Holy Bible. And unless we hear His promise, we have no foundation for our faith.
So, what is the practical application of all of this? If the miracle you need is healing for your body, then you must find God's promises in His Word and hear them, either from someone else or from your own voice. Quote God's healing promise everyday. And eventually it will get into your heart and the miracle of healing will take place. To help you on this, here are a couple of healing promises from God.
"... By His stripes you were healed" (1 Pet. 2:24).
"... Forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases" (Ps. 103:2-3).
If the miracle you need is a financial miracle, then do the same thing. Find verses in God's Word that tell what God wants for you in the area of finances. Some good verses are:
"... For your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich" (2 Cor. 8:9).
"Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers" (3 John 2).
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matt. 6:33).
"Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine" (Prov. 3:9-10).
If your heart is broken because someone has betrayed you or because of the disappointments of life, then you must know that Jesus said in Luke 4 that He came to heal the brokenhearted.
"... He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted" (Luke 4:18).
Yes, All Things Are Possible
In Mark 9:23, Jesus said, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." If you have a physical ailment, is it possible that the sickness that has plagued you could be gone tomorrow? Could you wake up tomorrow and all of this trial with your body just be like a bad dream? Is it possible?
If you are struggling in your finances, is it possible that the financial problem you have could be resolved? Is it possible that somehow you could come up with all the money needed to pay your bills and have some left over to buy some new clothes? Is it possible that the relationships that have been destroyed over the years could be somehow knitted back together? Is it possible? Yes. Is it possible for everyone? No. It's only a possibility to those who believes. Remember, Jesus said, "All things are possible to him who believes."
Too many people are waiting for God to do something in their lives, when in reality, He has already completed everything that needs to be done. Let me explain.
When you become a Christian, you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. He, in the form of His Holy Spirit, resides within you. You become a new creation. You become what Jesus called "born again." (John 3:3,7.) But let me ask you this. Does Jesus have to come to earth again and die again and be raised again from the dead so that you can be saved? No, of course not.
Jesus has already paid the full price for your salvation, once and for all, two thousand years ago. He paid the price. He doesn't have to do it again. He has already done it. So, if Jesus has already paid the price for the salvation of the world, is every one saved? No. Only those who believe will be saved.
John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Is everlasting life possible? Yes, but only if you believe. Jesus said, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."
First Peter 2:24, says, "Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed." What this means is that not only did Jesus pay the price once and for all for our sins, but He also paid the price for our healing. This verse tells us that Jesus bore stripes on His body for our healing.
In the same way that He died for our sins, He took stripes for our deliverance from sickness and disease. In the same way we become Christians through faith, we are healed through faith. We must believe God's Word and act on it without doubt.
Once I was talking with a man who said that he didn't believe that Jesus really died for his sins. He went on to say that He really didn't believe that God could have loved him so much that He would have sent Jesus here to die and raise Him from the dead, just for him.
With that one statement, he eliminated supernatural possibilities in his life. Everlasting life is possible, but only for those who believe. Is everlasting life possible? Is healing possible? Is prosperity possible? Is peace and joy possible? Jesus said in Mark 9:23, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."
When You Work the Word, the Word Works
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)
God's Word is powerful. God's Word contains everything you need for health and healing, prosperity, and emotional soundness. There is no counsel on earth as great as the counsel that can be found in the scriptures.
Jesus overcame the temptation of Satan by the power of the written Word, spoken with faith. (Luke 4:1-13.) The same life-changing power that healed the sick, raised the dead, and allowed Jesus and Peter to walk on the Sea of Galilee is available today. (Matt. 14:29.) That power is the Word of God.
However, according to the Bible, the Word of God in all of its strength is not always active. (Mark 7:13.) Actually, it is possible to hear the Good News of the Word of God and know of its power and still not have the power function in your life.
So, what separates the people who see and experience miracle power from those who don't? Actually, the answer is quite simple. The Word always works for those who work the Word. But how do we work the Word of God?
The disciples asked Jesus what they needed to do in order that they could work the works of God. "Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.'" The word "believe" in John 6:29 is pisteuo, which translates as "commit to (one's) trust," or to have faith. In order for the Word to work, faith in God and His Word must be present. (Heb. 4:2.)
The Word of God is full of promises to the believer. These promises will move mountains, change lives, and bring deliverance from every form of captivity. This power in the Word will work in your life if you will work the Word. You work the Word with faith.
Remember this -- living faith hears the Word, believes the Word, speaks the Word, and does the Word. That's faith.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." (John 6:29)
Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." (Mark 9:23)
For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them,not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. (Hebrews 4:2)
Pressing Past the Need into Possession
"When Jesus heard it, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance'" (Mark 2:17).
Jesus made a very profound statement in this verse. He said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician." That may sound simple, but actually it has great spiritual depth. Many people I have met over the years are in great need. They need finances, they need friendship, they need healing, and they need love. They always seem to need something.
However, it's never been God's plan for His children to live in need of anything. If we need money, then we are not prosperous. If we need healing, then we are not walking in health. If we need hope, then we are not in faith. And if we need love, we are admitting that we do not have love.
God wants us to move from wanting and needing into having and possessing. God is complete in all things. He has no lack and He has no need. Ephesians 5:1 says that we are to be like God. We are to be complete and without need. Even though the Scriptures tell us that God knows our needs before we ask (Matt. 6:8), after the asking, the need should be gone. Here's why.
Revelation 21:23 tells us that the New Jerusalem has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it because the glory of God illuminates it. Then that verse goes on to say that the Lamb is its light. This statement may sound elementary, but it is true – where there is light and illumination, there is no need for an object that gives light.
In the same way, if we are like God, we will be walking in completeness. Our lives will be shalom -- everything will be whole, peaceful, healthy, safe, sound, tranquil, prosperous, perfect, full, restful, and in harmony. There will be no agitation and there will be no discord. God's plan is for us to walk past our needs and to be complete in Him.
Freedom From Disease & Poverty
Galatians 3:13 says, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law." But what does it mean to be redeemed from the curse of the law?
By the death and resurrection of Jesus, He paid the price for you and for me. He became the sacrifice for our sins. He died so that we could live. He bore our sicknesses so we could have health. He redeemed us from the curse of the law of sin and death.
The law as described in the New Testament is usually considered to be the Pentateuch, or more clearly the first five books of the Bible. In these first five books -- Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy -- the curse or punishment for breaking God's law is broken down into three basic categories.
1) The curse of spiritual death
2) The curse of sickness and disease
3) The curse of poverty
In Deuteronomy 28:15, the Bible tells us about these curses, saying, "It shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you."
Then it lists curses all the way to verse 60 -- forty-five verses of sicknesses and financial disasters that would happen if the law was not kept. In verse 61, the list concludes by saying that not only would these things that were listed happen, but any sickness, disease, or catastrophe that was not listed would happen also.
In other words, not keeping the law was disastrous. But even worse, it was nearly impossible to keep the law. So, poverty, sickness, and spiritual death were virtually assured.
But today, I have good news. When it seemed like there was no hope, God made a way. And that's just like God. He always makes a way of escape for those who seek Him.
Jesus became our Redeemer. He made a way of escape from poverty, sickness, and spiritual death. However, some Christians do not understand that we have been redeemed from the curse of the law. They accept sickness and poverty as part of the Christian lifestyle. This should not be. We have been set free from the curse of the law. We need to start acting like it.
When you take a coupon to the grocery store, you use it instead of using money. In other words, you redeem the coupon. It takes the place of your money. Your money becomes redeemed because the coupon was the redeemer. Well, that's what Jesus did.
We had a debt. That debt was the curse of the law. But the problem was that we could not pay the debt. It required a perfect sacrifice. It required a sacrifice that was pure before God. We were not pure. Our debt was impossible to pay.
But then Jesus came to earth as a man and died in our place. He took stripes on His body for our sicknesses. He redeemed us. He paid the debt we could not pay.
When we become a Christian, we have health and prosperity available. We don't have to be diseased and in poverty. Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law.
God's Promise of Prosperity
God’s plan for each and every believer is prosperity. Even though there are those who are opposed to the prosperity message, it still does not deny the reality of God’s Word. Let’s look at some basic biblical truths concerning prosperity.
1) God desires for us to prosper.
Let them shout for joy and be glad, who favor my righteous cause; and let them say continually, “Let the LORD be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant” (Psalm 35:27).
2) God teaches us to profit.
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go” (Isaiah 48:17).
3) Receiving is the result of giving and God wants us to give.
Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you (Luke 6:38).
4) God adds things to us when we seek first His kingdom.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33).
5) We are commanded to tithe on our increase. Therefore, increase must be of God.
Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine (Proverbs 3:9,10).
6) God empowers us to get wealth.
And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day (Deuteronomy 8:18).
7) God gives us all things that pertain to life.
As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (2 Peter 1:3,4).
8) God’s blessing is riches without sorrow.
The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22).
9) God supplies all my needs according to His riches.
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
10) Jesus delivered us from poverty.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).
There are hundreds of references in the Word of God that clearly tell us that prosperity should be the lifestyle of every believer. Just like salvation, we receive prosperity by grace, the awesome power of God. But it is through faith that it is activated. Faith is the catalyst that activates the promise of prosperity in God’s Word in your life.
Remember faith is hearing, believing, speaking, and acting on God’s promises.
"Lord, If It Be Thy Will"
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. (2 Corinthians 12:7)
For the first few years as a Christian, I believed that if you were sick, or if you were praying for someone who had a sickness, the proper way to pray would be to say this. "Lord, if it be Thy will..." The reason I prayed this way was because I was taught to pray that way.
While it is true that we must ask for His will to be done when we pray, we must not use the phrase, "If it be Thy will" as a substitute for knowing His will. God’s Word is His will and as a believer we have a responsibility to know what the Father loves and what He hates. There is no reason why a Christian should not know God’s will concerning health, prosperity, and relationships. All of these areas are addressed clearly in His Word.
When man bases His beliefs on what he sees or on his experiences, his beliefs will not always line up with the Word of God. At that point, a decision must be made. Either beliefs must be changed to match the Word, or the Word is altered to match our predetermined beliefs. Because of pride, insecurities, and the unwillingness to change, all too often man attempts to change the Word of God. Actually, the Word will always change the heart of the hearer if the hearer has a submissive heart for God. Only a hardened heart resists God’s Word and refuses to believe what God’s Word says.
"Paul’s thorn" is a perfect example of what I am talking about. Over the years I have heard countless ministers explain that sometimes God heals and sometimes He doesn’t. Some have even been so bold as to say that there are times when it is God’s will that you be sick and diseased. Nothing could be further from the truth.
All through God’s Word His desire has been that His children experience health and healing. When the Hebrews left Egypt, God healed them all. When Jesus entered towns and villages, He healed all who were sick and oppressed. Jesus said that He only did what the Father told Him to do and we never find one instance where Jesus commanded sickness. Jesus healed eyes and never made anyone blind. He touched deaf ears and people could hear. He caused the lame to walk but never made anyone lame. Jesus told the woman with the issue of blood, "Your faith has healed you." A touch from Jesus always brought deliverance, healing, and removed pain.
Jesus said that one of the signs of those who follow Him would be this. They would lay hands on the sick and the sick would recover. There is not one place where Jesus ever commanded believers to lay hands on the well and make them sick.
In the Book of James, the church is given instructions on what a sick believer should do. A sick believer is commanded to go to the elders and upon being anointed with oil, the prayer of faith would bring healing. There is no record in the scriptures anywhere of believers being instructed to go to the church and have hands laid on them in order to receive sickness and disease.
Likewise, the church was given nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts are listed in 1 Corinthians chapter 12. One of the gifts is called "gifts of healings," implying that within that one gift are many gifts and all the gifts contain healing. You will find in this listing of nine gifts that there is not a gift called the gift of sickness, there is not a gift called the gift of disease, nor is there a gift called the gift of pain.
That’s because God is the giver of good gifts. James 1:17 says that every good gift comes from the Father and then it goes on to say that God never changes. God’s gifts are good, they have always been good, and they will always be good because God does not change.
Cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes, tumors, disease, and pain are not good gifts. Therefore, they must not be from God.
Now back to Paul’s thorn. There should be no debate on what Paul’s thorn was. Why? Because as soon as Paul said that he had a thorn in the flesh, he immediately said what it was. Paul said his thorn was a messenger (angel) from Satan sent to buffet (torment) him. "And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure." (2 Corinthians 12:7) This demonic spirit had an assignment and this assignment was to create havoc in Paul’s life.
In Chapter eleven Paul lists all the things that the enemy did to him, trying to take his life. Paul said he had been put in jail, whipped, faced death, been beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, put in prison, left for dead, received forty stripes minus one from the Jews, faced danger from robbers, flooded rivers, the Jews and Gentiles. He faced danger in the cities, in the deserts and on stormy seas, and from men who claimed to be Christians, but were not. He had lived with sleepless nights, been hungry and thirsty, faced cold without enough clothing to keep warm, had been in hunger and thirst, and in cold and nakedness.
There is not a sickness nor a disease in Paul’s list of attacks against him. Rather, he lists the attacks from the angel sent by Satan that was assigned to him to destroy his ministry. Make no mistake about it. The devil is a bad devil whose mission statement is to steal from you, to kill you, and to destroy your life and ministry. On the other hand, God is a good God Who is using every available method to get blessings and goodness to you.
So the next time you hear someone say, "I wonder what God’s will is?" or "I wonder if God wants to heal me?" then open the Word and show them God’s will in His own words. God’s will is healing.
Reject the Curse of Debt
I have exciting news for you. Jesus has redeemed us from the full curse of the law – not just part of it, but all of it! Let me explain.
The curse of the law, as described in Deuteronomy chapter 28, involved three things: 1) death, 2) sickness and disease, and 3) poverty. Jesus paid the price in full so that we could exchange the curse for the Blessing. Instead of 1) death, 2) sickness and disease, and 3) poverty, He wants us to have 1) life, 2) health and healing, and 3) prosperity. Of course, the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), but that is totally irrelevant. It doesn't matter. The price has been paid. We have been redeemed from the curse.
We were redeemed by Jesus taking on the fullness of the curse so that we could walk in the fullness of the Blessing. He substituted Himself for each of the three parts of the curse and through His substitution He became our propitiation and redeemed us from the curse. He paid the price we could not pay. He did what we could not do. He completed what we could not complete.
But how did He do this? He became our substitute for the first third of the curse. He died so that we could live. He took on death on the cross so that we could take on life for eternity. When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, death is no longer in our future, because our old man was crucified on the cross with Jesus.
Jesus also substituted Himself for the second third of the curse. According to Isaiah 53 and 1 Peter 2:24, He sacrificed His body, He took on our infirmities, He took on our pain so that we could walk in the fullness of health and healing. By the stripes He received on His back we were healed.
Likewise, Jesus took on the last one third of the curse. According to 2 Corinthians 8:9, even though He was rich, He became poor so that we, through His poverty, might become rich. Jesus, the King of Kings, was the one who had gold and precious spices delivered to Him as a child, the one who had a treasurer, and the one who owned clothing so valuable it was not divided at His death. This same Jesus was stripped of all His earthly wealth, hung naked on a cross in poverty, and buried in a borrowed grave. This same Jesus took on the curse of poverty that paid the price for our prosperity.
I am always amused when someone asks me if I am one of those "health and wealth" preachers. What is the alternative? Do they really want to follow and listen to a "sickness and poverty" preacher? Or do they want to receive the Blessing of God? Of course, we all want the Blessing!
While I do not feel that borrowing money is a sin, it is definitely under the curse. The Word says that we are to be the lenders and we shall not borrow. We are to be above and not beneath. We are to be the head and not the tail.
When you return from a few days away from home and your little dog runs into the yard to greet you at your car, what do you do? I have seen people pick up their little dogs and rub their faces together, letting the little puppy lick them over and over. Have you noticed that when the dog is picked up it is always the head that gets all the attention? The tail goes unnoticed. In fact it is completely avoided. No one wants to have a relationship with the tail. It is the head that is honored. We are to be the head and not the tail. We are to be the lenders and not the borrowers. We are children of the King, and heirs of His promise. We are not beggars. We must walk in the Blessing.
Every Christian believes that Jesus died for their sins and they walk in the Blessing of eternal life. Some believe that He bore our sicknesses for our healing, but sadly even fewer believe that He became poor so we could be rich.
Once I heard a preacher say that Jesus became poor spiritually. How absurd! Jesus said, "If you have seen Me you have seen the Father for the Father and I are one." God, who spoke the universes into existence, has never been, is not, and will never be poor spiritually. That is impossible. Jesus became poor financially and paid the price to redeem us from poverty and by faith we can receive prosperity.
The Bible tells us that as a man thinks, so is he. God wants us to think the fullness of the Blessing. He wants us to quit thinking the curse (death, sickness, and poverty) and start thinking the Blessing (life, health, and prosperity). When your back is against the wall financially, don't think "borrow." You can not borrow your way out of debt. It only takes you deeper into the snare of the curse. However, you can give yourself into the Blessing.
All through the Bible we see this theme. If you take care of God's house, He will take care of your house. Your road to prosperity and out of the bondage of the curse of poverty and debt is through seeking His kingdom first. Only when we believe His Word and act on what we believe will the curse of poverty be broken.
Statistics tell us that 97% of all Christians are in debt. The first step in getting out of the pit of debt is to quit digging. When a person digs with a shovel, they are constantly looking down. God will take you out of the pit, but first you must put away the shovel, and start looking up.
Satan is a liar and sadly, too many Christians have believed his lie instead of the truth. Satan says, "If you don't borrow, you'll never have a house." Satan says, "The only way you can own a car is through debt." Many Christians buy their food with a credit card. All the while Satan tightens the noose bringing them further into bondage. The truth is, you can have a better house, a better car, and a better life by not paying the usury of the Babylonian system.
Jesus paid the price, but our receiving is directly connected to our actions that result from the belief in our heart. In your thinking, get debt and borrowing moved to the curse side of the ledger. Quit rejoicing when you get a loan. Recognize the curse for what it is. Reject what Jesus defeated. Walk in the victory of the Blessing. You are the head and not the tail.
The Covenant Blood of Jesus
There is a power in the spirit realm we must understand and access, and that is the covenant blood of Jesus. As you learn about the blood and begin to act on all you know, then you must trust God enough to act on what you don't completely understand. If it's in the Word, believe it by faith. Once you can do that, you will find that the blood will start doing things in your life just like it did in the lives of the people in the Bible. When you start seeing what the blood did for the people in the Bible, it will bless your socks off. And the first time you see it work for you, it will change your thinking.
Have you ever gone to a car dealership and spotted a new car you liked? You think it's special and unique because it's not like anything you've ever seen before. But when you drive out of the dealership, all of a sudden you begin to notice there are cars like it everywhere. Once you become aware and your eyes are opened, it becomes obvious what you had previously overlooked.
That's the way it is with the Word of God. As you study about the blood, you may not think the blood has too much prominence in the Word of God. But once you start seeing it, you'll find the blood is throughout the scriptures.
There are three things we must establish before we dig deeper into the mysteries of the blood:
1) Life is in the blood. Now if life is in the blood, then death must be in the absence of the blood. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood…" (Leviticus 17:11)
2) Everlasting life is in the blood of Jesus. Jesus said, "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:54) Jesus is not talking about His physical flesh and blood. This scripture has a spiritual connotation. We commemorate the blood of Jesus by acknowledging His blood when we take communion.
3) We access the blood of Jesus by faith. In the Old Testament, the priest would sacrifice animals to cover sin. Those who came to be cleansed saw the blood. It didn't take faith to know the blood was there. It took faith to know what the blood did. Hebrews 9:12 tells us Jesus entered into the Holy of Holies in heaven and put His blood on the mercy seat once and for all to pay the price for our sin. We receive the blood of Jesus by faith without seeing it.
Romans 5:8,9 says, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him."
We need to realize we are saved from destruction because of the blood of Jesus. It's not your good works that save you from destruction. There are Christians having disasters happen to them all the time. However, the protective power is available for a Christian just by accessing the blood of Jesus that has already been shed.
The Protective Power of the Blood
by Dr. Larry Ollison
Let me show you how the blood of the lamb protected the Hebrews before Jesus came to earth. It is found in Exodus 12:21.
Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you." (Exodus 12:21-23)
That was the protective power of the lamb. Everything that happened in the Old Testament was a foreshadow of what was to come for us under the New Covenant. "And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever." (Exodus 12:24)
The God-fearing Jews of today still observe the Passover. They commemorate the Passover because the death angel passed over their ancestors.
Would you like to have the destroyer stay outside the walls of your home? The blood of Jesus protects the Christian today. Jesus said He didn't come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. (Matthew 5:17) God has not changed. (Malachi 3:6) Jesus has not changed. (Hebrews 3:18) The same things He did then, He does now. It's just better now because we have a new and better covenant.
"But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second." (Hebrews 8:6,7)
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." (Matthew 5:17)
"For I am the LORD, I do not change." (Malachi 3:6)
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)
The Scarlet Cord
Once you understand the blood covenant, you will see it throughout the Word of God. There is an excellent example in Joshua chapter 2.
"Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, ‘Go, view the land, especially Jericho.' So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there. And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, ‘Behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country.' So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, ‘Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the country.' Then the woman took the two men and hid them…." (Joshua 2:1-4)
Remember, the people of Jericho were in terror because they knew what God had done for the Hebrews already. The scripture tells us that Rahab had also heard and believed in her heart that God had given the land to the Israelites.
Starting in verse ten, she said: "For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of Jordan, Sihon and Og whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father's house, and give me a true token, and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death." (Joshua 2:10-13)
"So the men said to her: ‘We will be blameless of this oath of yours which you have made us swear, unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father's household to your own home. So it shall be that whoever goes outside the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we will be guiltless. And whoever is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him.' Then she said, ‘According to your words, so be it.' And she sent them away, and they departed. And she bound the scarlet cord in the window." (Joshua 2:17-19,21)
If you look closely, you will notice several key things that are significant to know about applying the blood of the covenant.
In verse 11, Rahab acknowledged that God was God. Because of this, she told the spies that she wanted to make a covenant with them concerning her household. The Hebrews understood covenant, but there wasn't time to sacrifice a lamb, so they took a scarlet cord, which represented the blood of the lamb, and told Rahab to put it in the window.
In Chapter 6, we read the conclusion of the story: "Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.... And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father's household, and all that she had." (Joshua 6:17, 25)
When the two spies came back with the army to utterly destroy the city of Jericho, they were looking for the scarlet cord in the window. Therefore, death passed over Rahab and all of her household. Rahab had faith in the covenant and acted upon it by putting the scarlet cord in the window. Therefore, she, and all who were with her, lived.
There were certain requirements her family had to fulfill before they were saved. First, they had to believe Rahab; and second, they had to act on their belief, or the scripture said they would die. (Joshua 2:19) Those in the family were saved because they believed. Look also in Joshua 6:25. The scripture says the covenant not only protected her and her family but, "...and all that she had…."
Do you see what this says? God is not only interested in sparing our lives, but by the blood, it says our possessions are included also! When you leave town, you can apply the blood covenant of Jesus as protection over your household. You can plead the blood of Jesus! Don't listen to the words of doubt and skepticism. Satan is a liar. There is a real bloodline you can place around your home that Satan has no authority to cross. This isn't just an Old Testament story. In Hebrews 11:31, it says: "By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace."
Did you catch that? By faith she didn't perish with those who did not have faith. The ones who believed God would protect them by a promised covenant did not perish like those who did not believe. Do you see how important faith is?
A Health and Wealth Christian
by Dr. Larry Ollison
"And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day." (Deuteronomy 8:18)
I have been accused of being a "health and wealth" preacher. My response is, "Guilty as charged!" God's Word is full of His goodness. In fact, God's goodness is in His glory. James 1:17 says that good gifts come from God and that God doesn't change. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that health and prosperity are good and sickness and poverty are bad. Health and prosperity are a part of the Blessing and sickness and disease are a part of the curse.
Galatians 3:13 says that Jesus came to earth to redeem us from the curse of the law. In other words, part of His mission and goal was to make a way for those who would receive Him to walk in life, health, and prosperity.
Did Jesus accomplish on the earth what He was sent to accomplish? Did Jesus complete the task that His Father sent Him to do? Did Jesus make a way for mankind to be redeemed from the curse of the law? Of course He did! Jesus did not fail in any part of the mission He was sent to do. Upon returning to the Father after His ascension, I guarantee you that Jesus did not have to make up an excuse or give a reason why He didn't do everything He was sent to do. He completed everything. He was the perfect sacrifice and paid in full everything that was to be paid for man's redemption.
The curse of the law, as described in Deuteronomy chapter 28 involved three parts: 1) death, 2) sickness and disease, and 3) poverty. Jesus paid the price in full for our complete redemption – not just a third, not two-thirds, but completely in full. When Jesus said, "It is finished," it was finished. God's plan is for us to replace the curse in our life with the Blessing. We replace death with life. We replace sickness with health. And we replace poverty with prosperity.
If it is true, and it is, that Jesus redeemed us from the complete curse, then how do we walk in the Blessing that He has paid for? Quite simply, a biblical principle is that we only receive what we believe. If we believe He died for our sins, we receive everlasting life. Does everyone on earth receive everlasting life? No. Even though it is available to everyone and even though Jesus paid the price in full so that the whole world could be saved, only those who believe in Him and receive Him as their Lord and Savior actually acquire everlasting life.
But everlasting life is only one-third of the blessing. What about health and prosperity?
A Bible word we rarely used is propitiation. The simplest definition for this word is substitute. First John 2:2 says, "And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world." Jesus paid the price we could not pay. He died for our sins so that we could live. He substituted His death for ours. Because He died, we who receive Him will never die.
About seven hundred years before Jesus was born on the earth, Isaiah prophesied that a Messiah was coming who would be bruised for us. Jesus is the fulfillment of that prophesy and in First Peter 2:24 we are told that by His stripes we have been healed. He paid the price for our healing. He took pain upon His body so that we could live free from pain. He was our propitiation. He was our substitute.
The third part of the curse was poverty. In the same way that Jesus died so that we can live and in the same way that He took on sickness so we could be well, He also took on poverty so we could live in prosperity. In 2 Corinthians 8:9, the Bible says, "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich."
Although the prosperity message may not always be taught properly, and sometimes is even taught with the wrong motive, the truth is prosperity is a part of the Blessing and God fully expects us to receive completely all that He has sent Jesus to accomplish.
Recently, I heard a sermon about how heaven rejoices when someone receives eternal life. That is very true. "Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." (Luke 15:10) But also there is great joy in heaven when a saint becomes prosperous. "...Let the LORD be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant." (Psalm 35:27)
Do not be deceived. God is the God of completeness. He doesn't do things halfway. So when He sent Jesus to redeem us from the curse of the law, He redeemed us from all of it. And we receive that blessing according to our faith.
So, the next time somebody asks you, "Are you a health and wealth Christian?" you should stand up straight and boldly say, "Yes, I am, because I am a child of God, the God of the Blessing!"
"A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous." (Proverbs 13:22)
"I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the LORD, Who call you by your name, am the God of Israel." (Isaiah 45:3)
"Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘ I am the LORD your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.'" (Isaiah 48:17)
"For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to him who is good before God...." (Ecclesiastes 2:26)
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)
Don't Limit God to What You Understand
The scripture tells us in Acts chapter 2 that we can receive the Spirit of God, through a second infilling. We receive it in the same way we received salvation. We must believe the Holy Spirit is here for us in order to be filled but nothing new has to take place in the spirit realm for us to access that power.
If someone says he doesn't want to operate in the gifts of the Spirit, He will not access the power even though it is available to him. Many places in the Word of God we find it clearly stated that what we believe is what we receive. If you believe what the Word of God says concerning the things God has already done, then you receive the things God has made available to every believer. There is untold power available to those who believe. It is one thing to know the power exists. It is another to know how to apply that power in our lives. When we become Christians, our lives should be changed in such a way that the world will see our good works and be drawn to our heavenly Father.
Jesus said to let our lives shine before men. (Matthew 5:16) To put it another way, we are to let our light shine in such a way that when other people see the light, they know it's really the power of God embedded in us. They should recognize it to the point that they look to the Source of the power and glorify the God Who put the power in us. If God has provided this great power, should we ignore it out of ignorance or tradition just because we don't understand it?
There are a lot of things we don't understand that we get ourselves involved in. How many people understood what marriage was about when they first got married? It is doubtful that single people really understand the full impact of what they have just committed themselves to on their wedding day. They are taking a step of faith. You might say a leap of faith.
When people get saved, they know very little about what has happened. They just knew something was missing in their life and what they learned about Jesus made them understand He was the missing part. After they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they start to work out their salvation. (Philippians 2:12)
Well, it's the same way with the blood. There is just no way we can understand everything there is to understand about the blood of Jesus. We can't stand back and say, "Okay, when I understand everything there is to know about Jesus' blood, I'm going to apply the blood of Jesus to my life. But until then I'm going to study diligently."
We must study and understand all we can, but we cannot limit the power of God to what we understand.
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)
"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." (Philippians 2:12)
No place in the scriptures does it say believers are angels. Believers have never been angels, nor will they become angels when they die. When you die, you're not going to be like Jimmy Stewart in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life," dealing with somebody that's trying to get their wings by doing something good.
This is Hollywood theology. You are not an angel and you never will be an angel.
Likewise, God is not an angel. The Holy Spirit is not an angel. Jesus is not an angel. Jesus is not related to the devil. The devil is nothing more than a created angel who rose up and attempted to be like God and was cast out of heaven to earth just as the scripture said.
Satan and his band of renegade angels will all be cast into hell. Hell was not created for sinners although lost people will go there. Hell was created for fallen angels including the devil.
"Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'" (Matt. 25:41)
We have something that angels don't have. We have blood. Not only do we have our blood, we have access to the blood of Jesus who cleansed us from all unrighteousness. Angels cannot be where we are.
The Scripture says they look on and want to be where we are. "To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven – things which angels desire to look into." (1 Peter 1:12).
But they can't be because we have been created in the likeness of God
Developing a Relationship with the Father
We need to develop a relationship with God. We must have prayer, study, and conversation with Him so we can say the things He says.
Anytime you have a poor confession, anytime you say something that is contrary to the Word of God, you are calling God a liar. Anytime that you say, "I don't think it's God's will that I be healed," you are calling Him a liar. Anytime you say, "I don't think it's God's will that I be prosperous," you are calling God a liar.
If God says something and you say something that is different, one of you has got to be a liar. Do you understand that? If you say something and God says something and they don't line up, one is telling the truth and one is telling a lie. Who do you think is lying? Either God tells the truth and we say what God says and we are truth tellers too, or God tells the truth and we don't agree with him and we are liars. Those are the only two options.
It is impossible for God to lie. God does not change. If He says He's the Lord our God who heals us, then He is the source of our healing. If He says He takes pleasure in the prosperity of the saints, then He wants us to be prosperous. If He says to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and He'll supply all our needs, then He will supply all our needs if we seek Him and His righteousness first. Anything else is a lie. We must make our confession align with His confession.
If our words do not align with His Word, then we will never unlock revelation knowledge, we will never get delivered and we'll never get our prayers answered.
We must expect the same results in our lives as they had in the Book of Acts. In the Book of Acts they were doing something that a lot of people aren't doing today. They repented. Repentance involves renunciation of evil and a reversal. You've got to renounce the things of evil and turn around 180 degrees and start moving the other direction.
There must be submission in your life. You must be submissive to God and have a teachable spirit. Christians must be teachable. You will receive revelation knowledge of the Word of God if you have a teachable spirit or a submissive heart.
God wants to have a relationship with us. For our relationship with Him to grow, we must not call Him a liar. We must be like Jesus and only say and do what the Father speaks.
Remember, faith is: Hearing God's Word, believing God's Word, speaking God's Word, and doing God's Word.
"He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." (John 14:21)
Have you ever been discouraged? I mean really discouraged. So discouraged that you felt like giving up? Let me ask you this. Are you discouraged today? Do you feel like giving up? Well, if you answered yes, I have good news for you today. You do not have to be discouraged, because God has a plan in His Word, the Holy Bible, that tells us how to defeat discouragement.
Discouragement is a combination of fear, depression, and a lack of hope. We could almost call it “anti-faith.” Discouragement is not from God and He does not want you to have it. When we are discouraged we do not function in the spirit realm the way God wants us to. When we are discouraged, it becomes difficult to hear God and easier to listen to the discouraging words of the world.
The Bible tells us that when the Hebrews went out of Egypt, they wandered in the wilderness. Although they were under the leadership of Moses, they did not enter into the Promised Land for 40 years because they did not believe God. What did God say that they didn't believe?
Listen to this. God told them that if they would go into the Promised Land, He would fight all their battles for them. Now, also keep in mind that this is after they had crossed the Red Sea on dry ground and when the enemy tried to follow, God closed the waters and the enemy was completely destroyed. God had already proven His ability to fight. All the Israelites had to do was let Him.
Before making the decision to listen to God and enter the Promised Land, the Israelites sent twelve spies ahead. When they returned, they all gave their reports. The spies did not all agree. Two of the spies gave a positive, encouraging report and ten gave a negative, discouraging report.
The ten negative speaking spies said the land was full of giants. In fact, they said the giants were so large that the Israelites were like grasshoppers to them. This was an obvious exaggeration, but the people believed the negative report of the ten spies instead of the positive report of the two. The Bible says the people then became discouraged and decided not to enter into the land God had for them.
Thousands of years have passed, but people still are the same. When they hear a negative report they get discouraged.
The world is full of negative reports. It seems that everywhere you go there is someone telling you, “You won't make it,” “You can't win,” “God doesn't want to heal you,” “Faith doesn't work,” and so on and so on. The world does not want you to make it. But here's the good news. God does!
God's words are positive. God's words are full of faith. His Word says in Psalm 103:3 that He heals all our diseases and in Psalm 34:19 it says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” And in Romans 8:28 God's Word says, “that all things work together for good to those who love God.”
Well let me ask you this. Whose report will you believe? Will you go with the majority and believe that all is lost? Or will you go with God and let Him fight your battles for you?
Be encouraged. God does not lie. Believe His Word and act on it. Then discouragement will flee.
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." (Hebrews 10:23)
God's Word tells us that we are to hold tightly and not release the confession of our hope. We must believe that God is willing and able to meet our every need. We must never doubt His promises and we must never doubt that His promises are for us.
A lady in my church approached me with a problem. She wanted prayer. She wanted deliverance from the problem that had entangled her for years. After explaining the problem to me in great detail, she looked at me and said, "Do you think there is any possibility that God can solve this problem?"
At that point I showed her a promise in God's Word that pertained to her situation. When she saw God's promise in His Word, I could see her countenance change. All of a sudden, she had hope that help was on its way.
When the world approaches us with a problem, we must give them hope. We must instill in them God's answer to their problem. And God's answer is found in His Word. When we speak His Word and give them hope, then they will feel like help is on its way. They may not be in faith, but they have hope and if they continue in their belief and confession of hope without wavering, then their confession of hope will become rhema in their heart and faith will be born.
Romans 5:5 tells us that hope does not disappoint. This is a principle in God's Word that we must remember as we witness to the world. Hope brings peace and is an anticipation of the deliverance that is on its way. Hope will encourage and give joy and strength to the oppressed.
When someone's back is against the wall and it looks like there is no way out, hope delivered by a man or woman of God will bring freshness and peace to the heart of the oppressed. We must always remember that hope is a godly quality and is a result of His promise spoken to the hopeless.
How to Gain Access to the Promises of God
How do you put the power of the blood covenant to work so it can impact your life and change the things you need changed around you? The blood of Jesus can change your life. The Word of God brings life to your flesh.
My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them [His words] depart from your eyes; keep them [His words] in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health [which means medicine or strength] to all their flesh. Proverbs 4:20-22
If we can take the Word of God and move it from our minds into our hearts, it not only moves things in the spirit realm, but it will manifest things in the physical realm also. God’s Word is life to your spirit, and according to His Word, it can also be life to all your flesh.
Remember, the scripture that tells us the way to overcome is in Revelation 12:11. “And they overcame him [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.” God wants your words to be a repeat of what He says. He knows if your words are a repeat of what He says, then you will be able to live and enjoy the promises He wants to give you with those words.
But, the devil wants you to repeat what he says. John 8:44 says Satan is a liar and the father of lies. He will try to get you to say what he wants. He’s smart enough to know that what you say is what you will eventually believe. The devil knows you will get what you say because that is the way God planned it. God wants the best for you. He wants you to speak the promises that are built upon the blood covenant. When you speak those promises, you access the abundant life God planned for you to enjoy.
There’s a difference between the promises of God and the covenant of God. Some people think the promises are the covenant. Actually, the promises are built on the covenant. When you sign the covenant with your words, you become a born-again believer. That means you have the foundation to access all the promises of God. The promises are not automatic. You can ratify the covenant and still not enjoy all the promises.
The promises found in the Word include health, prosperity, proper relationships and every other good thing. But we don’t start out with all these promises working in our lives even though we’re born-again believers. Why? Because God planned for us to access them as we believe in the Word. It’s up to each Christian to take the steps of applying God’s Word so it will take root in his heart.
We have the One living on the inside of us Who knows everything that is happening on the outside of us. Doesn’t it make sense for us to get in fellowship with Him, to get in His presence, so we can know those mysteries?
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual
"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory (1 Corinthians 2:7-8).
Why didn’t they know? Because it was a mystery to them.
He is using our vocal chords, but He is praying the perfect will of God. When you pray in the Holy Ghost, it is a mystery to you, but you can pray for an interpretation. When the interpretation comes, you can deposit that in your heart and act on it because now it is in your comprehension. You now know the answer.
When we speak in an unknown tongue, we are speaking mysteries, we are speaking answers, we are speaking wisdom, and we are speaking the hidden wisdom that God has hidden for us in this day and time. It flows out of us when we get in the presence of God, in the secret place, and we begin to worship Him. When we begin to speak in an unknown tongue, the Spirit of God is speaking through us. He is using our voice.
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory. (1 Corinthians 2:7)
How do we speak the wisdom of God? How do we speak answers to the mysteries? For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries (1 Corinthians 14:2).
How is it that good people that start out right get over into the ditch of deception? What is it that happens to them? Why the spiritual instability: the fruits, flakes and nuts? Where did they come from? Why are there so many unstable believers? Why so many others that are religious, self-righteous and legalistic? Could it be that they have heard the truth but don’t love it enough to fully embrace it?
HOLY SPIRIT never brings confusion and wondering, but an assured knowing that you are doing the right thing. Neither does God release a prophetic word to get into your pocketbook. The Holy Spirit is not a merchandiser. You will never see God hold up and envelope and say, “Anybody that has a hundred dollars, I will give you a prophetic word or pray for your healing.”
God will never do that – that’s witchcraft!
Your Broken Heart Can Be Healed
Many people are walking through life with a broken heart. Although they hide it well, behind the smiles and social activities, deep inside there are open wounds and pain from the past.
What causes a heart to be broken? What causes a person to hide the pain deep within? The answer to this question is both simple and complex at the same time, but usually involves rejection, unfaithfulness, lies, and betrayal with a trusted friend or love.
Years ago a young couple was separated because their parents felt they were not good for each other, and through the years the pain of the separation never went away.
Another lady discovered that her husband was living with another woman on his sales trips.
A young girl, sexually abused by a family member, kept that secret through decades. As an adult she was not able to respond to her husband correctly because of the abuse that she kept hidden away in her heart.
All of these people and others like them are living their lives each day hiding the hurt, masking the pain, and not living life to its fullest because of a broken, hurting, abused heart.
When Jesus was in Nazareth, He said that God had sent Him to heal the brokenhearted and to proclaim liberty to the captives. (Luke 4:18) If this is true, then why are there so many Christians living with broken hearts?
Everything in the Word of God must be received by faith. Faith is simply believing that God will do what He said He would do and believing it so completely that everything you say and everything you do is based upon that belief. According to the Bible, we only receive what we believe.
Many retain their broken heart because they have given up hope that their heart could ever be healed, or they have tried using the world's methods with negative results. Psychology in its proper perspective can help, but only the power of God can completely cure.
The truth is, Jesus has already paid the price. He has already done everything that needs to be done for your heart to be healed. It doesn't matter who has wronged you. It doesn't matter who has lied to you. Regardless of the physical, verbal, or emotional abuse that you have received in your life, the good news is this. Jesus has paid the price for your freedom. Jesus has done everything that needs to be done for your broken heart to be healed and for you to no longer be held captive by the problems of the past, but to walk free, from this day forward, in victory.
How can this happen? Actually, it is so simple that most people miss it. In the same way that Jesus paid the price for our salvation, He paid the price for our emotional freedom. In order for you to have everlasting life, there is nothing that you need to do except to receive the gift that He has already paid for. He died on the cross. God raised Him from the dead. And when you believe that, speak it, receive it, and confess Him publically, you become "born again." In the same way, He has paid the price for your broken heart to be healed. It is received by grace through faith.
When Jesus was talking to His disciples, He told them that if they would continue in His teachings and believe them that they would come to a knowledge of the truth and when they received this truth, they would be set free. (John 8:31-32) The truth is this. You can have a heart full of joy and happiness. You can live in peace without regret or feeling the pain of the past. You can awake every day knowing that the freshness of life is before you and the blessing of God is on your life.
You may say, "Is this possible for me?" The answer is yes, it is possible, but it's not possible for everyone. It's only possible for those who will believe and receive.
So today I have this good news for you. If you woke up today with a heart that was broken, you can go to sleep tonight with a heart that is healed. The decision is yours. Believe and receive what Jesus has done for you. Confess it and it's yours.
Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." (Mark 9:23)
Living the God Life
We were designed and created by God to walk in all the fruit of the Holy Spirit. That’s right! God created us to be masters at walking in love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control.
We were not created to handle stress, anxiety, worry and strife. That’s why negative emotions and feelings have such damaging effects on our physical bodies.
Medical research is discovering that love, joy, peace, and all the other parts of the fruit of the Spirit, actually have beneficial effects on our bodies.
The Bible says in Proverbs 17:22 that, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” Laughter and joy actually have medicinal, healing effects on our bodies.
When Adam fell in the Garden of Eden, the whole human race fell with him. Now that Jesus has redeemed mankind from the curse of sin, we are free to begin exploring and experiencing life as God originally designed us to live it! It was never the will of God for us to live bitter, oppressed, joyless lives. That’s not what we were created for. But, mankind has become so used to living that way, that most people are experts at it.
Too many people are professionals at walking in unforgiveness and anger. Some are so developed at walking in depression and insecurity that it has become second nature to them. Others are actually artists at dwelling on wounds and hurts from the past. Did you know that it is unnatural for people to live this way? That’s right! The world wants you to think that it is perfectly normal to be miserable, and that there isn’t any other way - but there is!
In John 10:10 Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to kill, to steal and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Jesus wants us to live the way God originally designed for us to live – that’s why He died on the cross for you and me.
God wants us to experience this abundant life, and the Holy Spirit is standing by ready to show you what this life is all about. The Holy Spirit wants you to know the difference between life and death. He wants you to be able to discern the difference between what is truth and what is a lie. He wants to show you how to recognize what is good and what is evil.
If you want to live this life, you must maintain constant awareness of the Holy Spirit. You must be willing to obey God at all times. If you are willing to obey and honor God in every thought and deed, you will experience a beautiful time of renewal and transformation. Things may not be easy at first, but you will be pleased with the results. It takes a lot of trust in God to live this way, but living for God is the most beautiful way to live.
Agreeing With the Word of God
As a minister of the gospel, my responsibility is to repeat what God says in His Word. I must do what He says to do and I must say what He says to say.
His Word is His will. Look at the confidence God allows us to have in what we say when we speak His Word. First John 5:14 says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”
We must be Word-minded people. Word-minded people are steady because the Word of God is steady. Sense-minded people are ruled by how they feel as perceived by the five senses – what they taste, touch, hear, smell, and see. Sense-minded people are up and down emotionally. I call them “roller coaster” or “yo-yo” Christians because they are driven by their senses and what we sense constantly changes.
If the Word of God is what you believe, you’ll be steady because the Word of God doesn’t vary. God doesn’t say that one day He’ll bless you and the next day He’ll curse you. The Word of God says it is His will to heal you. Therefore, if you’re attacked with sickness in your body, you’re going to be steady because you know it’s God’s will that you be healed, set free, and live a wonderful life. You’re going to be steady in your mind regardless of how you feel in your body if you are Word-minded.
People who are driven by their senses say what they see. When they feel good, they say they feel good. When they feel bad they say they feel bad. Why? Because sense-minded people only speak what they see.
Jesus said in Mark 11:23 that we get what we say. That means that if we keep saying what we see, then we will keep seeing the same thing. Let’s get real! Nothing is going to change until something changes! And if we keep doing what we have always done then we will always have what we have always had! If we want change in our lives….. something must change.
When sense-minded people see nothing changing in their lives, they believe nothing will ever change, and they continue to speak that nothing will ever change and the result is – nothing changes.
Once I was counseling with a person who was full of doubt and unbelief. He thought he was worthless and his life was a mess and he spoke that he was worthless and his life was beyond repair. After much teaching and explaining to him about how he would get what he spoke, his comment was this, “That may work for some people, but it won’t work for me. I’ve tried to understand God’s Word, but I haven’t been able to and I don’t think I ever will.” In the years since this counseling session, I must confess, he was right. He received what he believed.
Choose to speak the Word of God out of the abundance of your heart and not what your five senses tell you and you will begin to see victory in your life.
“A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.” (Proverbs 18:7)
The Author of the Bad Report
Last week a man wrote and asked this question. He said, "Why did Jesus come to earth? What was He really trying to do?"
It's amazing to me, but some people still don't understand why Jesus did what He did. Well, here's the answer.
First John 3:8 says, "He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil."
Here we are clearly told why Jesus came to earth. He came to destroy the works of the devil. But, what are the works of the devil? To get this answer let's look at what Jesus did.
In every town and village Jesus entered, He preached the gospel, the good news, He healed the sick and He set free those who were in bondage. So, if Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, then the works of the devil must be sickness, bondage and bad news.
Jesus has not changed. Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." But, neither has the devil. In John 8:44 Jesus was talking to the religious leaders of the day. He said, "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it."
Satan still tries to put us in bondage and Jesus still wants to set us free.
In John 8:31-32, Jesus said, "If you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
So, here's the point. If you have something that binds you, you must remember this. Jesus came to set you free.
Unfortunately, many people are confused about who does what to whom. In order to be set free, we must know the truth. And here's the truth. All good comes from God the Father. He sent His Son to preach the gospel, the good news. He didn't send Him to bring bad news. When Jesus went into a town or village, He spoke words that brought hope to the hopeless. He spoke health to the sick. He spoke liberty to those in bondage. He also came to heal the brokenhearted.
I receive many letters. When I read these letters, one thing is evident. There are many people in bondage and there are many people with broken hearts.
If your heart is hurting, then today let me propose this. Recognize that it is not Jesus who hurts you to teach you something. It's Jesus who loves you and wants to heal your broken heart. God loved you enough to send His Son. Jesus loved you enough to die for you.
Satan has never loved you and his desire is to destroy you. In order to be set free, in order to have your broken heart mended, you must know the truth.
Remember what Jesus said in John 10:10. "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."
The Goodness of God's Glory
"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man." (Ephesians 3:14-16)
There is a key to the glory of God that we so often miss. The key is this. The glory of God is the goodness of God.
When Moses wanted to see the glory of God, God said, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you." (Exodus 33:19) The scripture says that Moses saw the goodness of God. Then later we read where Moses says he saw the glory of God. That lets us know something. The goodness of God is the glory of God.
All the good things that God has for you is in His glory. When a king walks out in his kingly robe with his jewels and crown, surrounded by his servants, people say, "Here comes the king in all of his glory." What do they mean? They are referring to his abundance.
The Hebrew word for glory is kabowd. The word kabowd means weightiness; that which is substantial or heavy; glory; honor; splendor; power; wealth; authority; magnificence; fame; dignity; riches and excellency. The glory of God is goodness. What did Moses see go by? He saw the glory of God go by. He saw God in all of His goodness.
The devil is a liar. In John 8:44 Jesus said the devil is a liar. He always has been and always will be. He has lied to the church. If Satan can get you to believe his lie, he can destroy God's work in you. Much of the church has believed that in order to be holy, glorious, and sanctified, we must be poor. We may not say it like that, but that is the mentality that has been in many people of the church.
That thought is not true! That thought is from the devil, who is a liar! God wants to give you abundance. "Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, ‘Let the LORD be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.'" (Psalm 35:27)
When we think about the things that God has for us, we don't want to limit God. It's time for no more limits. It's time to take away the bondage that we have had.
God is the God who prospers us. He's not the one who makes you poor. Satan is the one who makes you poor. Jesus says in John 10:10, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." God is not the one who makes you sick. He says in Psalm 103:3 that it is the Lord Who heals all your diseases. He's not the one who beats you down. Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted, to restore sight to the blind and to preach the good news to the poor (Luke 4:18).
What is good news to somebody who is poor? It is that you don't have to stay poor!
God is the God of abundance. He's the God of prosperity. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and God will impart His will for your life. Submit to Him and His plan. His plan is abundance for you.
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