The seeds to this book were first sewn in 1994. It was in that year that I found and read my first book about a man called Smith Wigglesworth. Wigglesworth (1859-1948) was born in England and found the Lord at about the age of nine and from then on he was a keen evangelist. He married at 23 and had five children with his wife Polly, who was also a keen evangelist. In 1908, at the age of 48, Smith was baptised in the Holy Spirit, as on the day of Pentecost, and from that day forward he stormed the world in the power and might of the Holy Spirit. For 40 years Smith was used by the Lord to heal all kinds of diseases including cancers, tumours and leprosy. The dead were raised to life, the mentally ill were cured and along the way thousands and thousands of souls were won to the Lord. It was an amazing relationship between God and man, and if ever there was a proof that God is the same today as He was in the days of that first Pentecost ( in the book of Acts ), then here it was right before my eyes in the testimony of Smith Wigglesworth.
After reading that first Wigglesworth book I was absolutely awestruck by the reality of Smith’s walk with God. It was the relationship with God that I longed for. And having Wigglesworth’s testimony before me, I saw that today it is 100% possible to walk with God, just as Smith did. I also saw that Smith had learned this skill of walking in the Spirit and that his walk with God was just as amazing and powerful as those of the apostles in the Book of Acts, during that first Holy Spirit outpouring of Pentecost (also known as the early rain).
From that day onward, a great passion began to burn within me to unearth the secrets of this modern day apostle. I knelt before the Lord and I asked Him to make me like Smith, to be able to walk with Him in that same intimacy. I reasoned that if Smith could do these things, then SO CAN WE!!! Immediately, I launched myself into poring over every book on every miracle evangelist that I could find. The evangelists that I concentrated on the most were;
· Maria Woodworth Etter (1844 - 1924),
· John G. Lake (1870 - 1935),
· Smith Wigglesworth (1859 - 1948),
· Aimee Semple McPherson (1890 - 1944) and
· Kathryn Kuhlman (1907 - 1976).
All of these evangelists are included in GOD’S GENERALS by Roberts Liardon (visit www.godsgenerals.com/). And there are many other good testimonial books on these same evangelists.
For six long years (1994-2000) I studied and analysed every facet of those 20th century evangelists and I found that they all followed a common pattern in their walk with God. Virtually all of them had:
1. received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, as in Acts 2:2-4
2. developed an understanding of what FAITH was
3. learned how to hear God’s Holy Spirit’s VOICE
4. developed a full - time, obedient prayer RELATIONSHIP
with the Lord, via His Holy Spirit.
To sum it up, they had all learned how to walk in the Spirit with Jesus, which resulted in the many healings & miracles during their ministries. And because they had learned this skill, they were spectacularly successful in winning souls to the Lord.
Now, during those six long years of constant research I had learned quite a lot about walking in the Spirit. But the two crucial keys that make walking with Jesus possible had still eluded me.
The missing keys were;
1. The understanding of FAITH in its exactness, and
2. Knowing how to hear and discern God’s Spirit Voice.
There were many broad hints mentioned in these evangelists’ testimonies but there was just not enough detailed information in there to really nail the prize. As disappointing as that was, I just kept on praying and researching and somehow during all of that time, I just kept on believing that the answers would come. Then, in the year 2000, there began a new turn of events and in hindsight, it was the Lord who had begun to move.
Early in that year I suddenly developed a great desire to begin evangelizing. It was like I just had to, the urge was that strong. I approached my pastor about heading up an evangelism team within our church and after a number of meetings, we both agreed that I should first run an “Introductory Course” on Evangelism. However, the pastor insisted that the course had to be “bible based”, to which I naturally agreed. We hardly discussed the course content but what I had in mind was to teach ordinary Christians how to walk in the Spirit, in exactly the same way that Jesus and the apostles did.
The next day, as I sat down to begin writing this course (which is now this book) I began to ponder those two missing keys. I had read through the Scriptures but for the life of me I could not recall any real detail that accurately explained what FAITH really was or how anyone actually heard God’s voice. My problem was that in order to teach these things, I had to have the exact explanation but it seemed that it was nowhere to be found. And so with a great desperation I cried out to the Lord, and as I waited on Him something happened! As soon as I began to research this work, I was amazingly led aside to some of the Scripture’s original Greek meanings.
Then, when I applied those original Greek meanings to the Scriptures, I immediately saw that they plainly spelled out what FAITH is. I was flabbergasted! The dam wall had finally cracked.
It was right there before my eyes and it all began to make sense with everything that I had studied on those miracle evangelists. From that lightning bolt onwards, the Scriptures began to open up and the missing keys began to emerge. That tiny trickle turned into a stream of scripture revelation and eventually the exact scriptural understanding of how we are to hear and discern the Lord’s Holy Spirit Voice was also revealed.
To tell you the truth, I was stunned during those first few months. The exact details of those long lost keys are plainly laid out in the Scriptures! They have always been there! And so for months on end, as I pieced the puzzle together, I marvelled at God but I marvelled even more at the many English mistranslations that have denied us all, from so much, for so long.
For the next three years (2000 - 2003) I wrote and edited this course on how to walk in the Spirit with our Lord Jesus. Oh, what a great joy it was and what a wonderful time it was, to have finally unearthed all of those hidden pearls.
I was pumped and ready to launch out into the deep to begin raising up a team of Spirit-led evangelists, but the Lord hadn’t finished with me yet. There was at least one more chapter that had to be researched and written. And this is how it happened.
In 2003, just as I was about to complete the writing of this course, I suddenly realized with a jolt that learning to walk in the Spirit, let alone being led by the Lord’s Spirit, was just not possible in today’s “modern” version of the church. I was aghast, but it was true.
The modern day churches, even the evangelical ones, are structured from top to bottom in a rigid, hierarchical, straight line chain of command. And the only individual who could possibly be accepted by any modern church, to walk in the Spirit with God, is the C.E.O of that church. Otherwise, the whole structure would collapse like a house of cards. For example, how can a brand new Christian, speaking by the Spirit of God, relay anything from God to the C.E.O. without threatening that C.E.O’s position of authority within his church?
I then thought back on all of those evangelists who did walk in the Spirit, and they all (with the exception of Evan Roberts) had no choice but to leave the denominational churches, for only then could they walk intimately with their Jesus via His Spirit. What had gone wrong? Why were the mainstream churches constructed in such a way, so as to actually hinder God’s Holy Spirit amongst the church faithful?
Those were questions of great interest but, in pressing on, I still needed to know how an assembly of Christians could all learn how to walk in the Spirit with God. It was the logical way to go.
And, as you will see, it is the scriptural way to go. So again, I went to the Lord and I asked, “Lord, how can Your saints come together to learn how to walk in the Spirit, as You have intended it?”
In less than two weeks, the answer came literally knocking at my door. In December 2003, one of our church wounded Christian friends (this is very common) dropped by and excitedly talked with my wife and I about some new Christian books that she was reading. The concept of these books seemed to be brand new and way out of left field, but I got the gist that they had something to do with a revival of the original New Testament Ekklesias.
The books that our friend brought over for us to read were;
HOW TO MEET IN HOMES - by Gene Edwards
REVOLUTION - The story of the early church by Gene Edwards
PAGAN CHRISTIANITY - The origins of our modern church
practices – by Frank Viola (an excellent book)
WHO IS YOUR COVERING? - by Frank Viola
Now, during those initial discussions about this revival of the Ekklesia I have to admit that I was a little bit sceptical, but a week later as I flipped through those books I was both stunned and thrilled at what I was reading. I saw before me the exact answer that I needed from God and I also saw why I was not originally sold on the idea of participating in one of those Ekklesias.
The authors of those books have easily exposed the unbiblical structure of our “modern day” churches and they describe the original New Testament Ekklesias fairly well but I saw that they did not yet have the vital missing keys of the exactness of Faith and of How to Hear the Voice of God that enabled the original N. T. Ekklesia to function properly. At that point in time I witnessed a marvellous union of two separate studies. It was like having discovered two relatively inert substances that when mixed together, combine to produce an incredibly powerful dynamite. On the one hand, Gene Edwards and Frank Viola had the fundamentals of the Ekklesia, and on the other hand there I was with the missing pieces that super charges the Ekklesia. When the two are combined you have the makings of a revival of Biblical proportions, which is an exact replica of the ORIGINAL N.T. Ekklesias in the book of Acts.
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE EKKLESIA
It was obvious, if we look into the N.T. Scriptures, the Ekklesias were full of Christians who were all learning to walk in the Spirit with God. You only have to think of Philip being led by the Spirit to witness to the eunuch. Peter, John, Matthew and all of the apostles were led by the Spirit and they taught the others also. Think of all the gifts that were practiced, the commonality of prophesying, the normality of the elders praying the Prayer of Faith that healed the members, the numerous examples of the members hearing the Spirit’s Voice. They all add up to a congregation that was focused on having a real relationship with Jesus via His Holy Spirit. Think of Timothy, Barnabas, Niger, Lucius, Manaen and Agabus who are all mentioned hearing God’s Spirit Voice in the Ekklesia meetings. And then there was Paul the apostle who spent some years in the Ekklesias, learning these same skills, before he was called out by the Spirit. Paul then followed the Spirit’s instructions to accomplish all that God asked him to do.
Paul followed the Lord and he began to teach these same listening skills to the new disciples. There is no question about it, God’s original design of the ekklesia is centred around building up a living RELATIONSHIP with Jesus, via His Spirit, and it is nothing like what we accept as a normal church today.
As I looked into the structure and design of the Ekklesia, I also saw its perfection and how efficiently it builds up every member into a greater Christlikeness. There was the seeking, by every member, for the leading of God’s Spirit. The apostles tutored the whole group until they achieved an acceptable skill level of walking with Jesus via His Spirit, thus linking them all to the Lord Himself, the Head of the group.
God would then call the apostle out of that group to establish another Ekklesia, so that those members could become dependent upon God and not upon the apostle.
I would love to tell you more, but for now I just have to say that we will explore the Ekklesia later on because the basic skills of walking in the Spirit have to be explained first.
THE FINAL GREAT OUTPOURING
What has not escaped my attention, however, is that the N.T. Ekklesias experienced the early rains of the first great Holy Spirit outpouring (Pentecost), which resulted in a fantastic growth of Christianity throughout the world.
Unfortunately, the original design of the Ekklesia was lost to us after the 3rd century but here it is being reborn again. And the upshot of this is, I believe, that the rebirth of God’s Ekklesia will facilitate yet again another great Holy Spirit outpouring (the latter rains) for the final world revival during these end time days.
And so, this work is dedicated to building up your knowledge and understanding of how to walk in the Spirit with Jesus, as He originally taught the first disciples, and as they in turn taught the next generation of disciples.
This book is for you, to help answer all of those questions of the how’s and why’s of walking in the Spirit, and to show you God’s 1st Century original New Testament Ekklesias, so that you can compare what you have now with what you should have, according to God’s original designs.
OF THIS BOOK ARE:
1. To understand the role of the Holy Spirit in
SALVATION and how He works
2. To understand FAITH and HAVING FAITH,
as it is explained in the Scriptures
3. To understand precisely how to hear God’s
‘still small voice’
4. To help every believer build their own personal relationship with Jesus Christ
5. To build and promote the EKKLESIAS,
based on the blueprint of the New Testament,
so that all of these AIMS can be achieved
with a greater efficiency
6. To build a unified and powerful network
team of evangelists, worldwide
7. To help the believer to ‘walk in the Spirit’ with
Jesus - as His servant - for His good purposes
EVANGELISM BY THE BOOK
We will focus first on understanding the role of the Holy Spirit in SALVATION and how He works. When we understand how people are saved and what forces are at work that separate the saved from the unsaved, then we are in a much better position to do something about it.
Most of us at some time have witnessed to and failed to bring our friends or loved ones into the Light of Jesus Christ. It’s an all too common scenario but there is a way (which is God’s Way) to bring them into God’s salvation.
Firstly, salvation has everything to do with seeing “God’s light” via His Holy Spirit. Now, whilst we acknowledge that we have free will to choose our own destiny, it is a very rare case where a person actually sees God’s light and rejects it.
Rather, the real cause of evangelism failure has more to do with the fact that our loved ones are prevented from seeing God’s light, than anything else. The fact is, they never get to see God’s light, let alone reject it.
And so, the primary aim of evangelism is to ENABLE our loved ones to see the light of God, by the Spirit of God.
THE SAVED SOUL vs. THE LOST SOUL
I have been a Christian now for long enough to have a basic understanding of why so many people remain unsaved. Even to this day, I know that I can talk at ease with my unsaved work colleagues about Jesus and they will politely nod and grin while remaining completely oblivious to His existence. You can see it plainly in their faces.
The truth of the matter is that their hearts remain fixed on unbelief.
The reason that the unsaved person’s heart remains fixed on unbelief is because their inward heart is not receiving God’s inner holy Spirit witness (the light) that Jesus is the Son of God.
** Without that inner witness of God’s Spirit in their heart, no amount of logical persuasion or archaeological proof or end times’ discussions will change that person’s belief.
WHAT IS SALVATION THEN ?
SALVATION is simply BELIEVING GOD
(which is Faith or having Faith).
It is believing in my heart (spirit) God’s inner witness given to
me by His Spirit that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
The Scripture explains salvation quite clearly:
1 Cor.12:3 ..and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the
Rom. 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that
we are children of God,
1 John 5:10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in
Eph. 2:8 ....For by grace you have been saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
SALVATION, then, is given and maintained by God’s Holy
Spirit. He enables us to believe that Jesus is the Christ.
Now, it is important to understand that the soul of the believer already has the Holy Spirit deposited in and living in his heart, and that it is God’s indwelling Spirit Who enables us to believe (having faith) that Jesus is the Christ. See 1 Cor. 12:3.
** The Scriptures actually describe God’s ENABLING role in the believer’s salvation.
2 Cor. 1:21-22 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and
has anointed us is God who also has sealed us
and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
Gal. 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit
of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father !”
2 Cor. 4:6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”
made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the
knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (NIV)
That is, the Lord Himself enables the believer to believe.
Therefore, this witnessing by God’s Spirit
* in our hearts is the key to Salvation. *
THE LOST SOUL
It would appear then that we have a conundrum. How can a person be saved when they do not already have that inner deposit of the Holy Spirit? The answer can be found in this question: What is it that prevents the lost soul from hearing God’s inner Holy Spirit witness so that they might receive Him into their heart and believe Him for their salvation?
SCRIPTURE EXPLAINS WHY THE LOST - REMAIN LOST
The hearts and minds of the lost are blinded by the devil. It is his power that prevents the lost from seeing the light of the gospel.
2 Cor.4:3-4 - And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. ( NIV )
This scripture explains that the devil exercises power to spiritually blind the unbelievers’ minds so that they cannot ‘see’ the light of God. The devil covers or veils or cloaks the unbelievers’ hearts, preventing them from hearing God’s Holy Spirit witness.
2 Cor.3:15-16 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless, when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
The important thing to see here is that the lost cannot be won over with just logic or by archaeological proofs or end times discussions nor by well planned church outreach ‘programs’. Rather, there must first be an overthrow of the devil’s blinding power. And this overthrow battle has to be included with every evangelism event, so that the Holy Spirit can move unimpeded upon the lost person’s heart - to draw them to Jesus.
Let’s explore some more scriptures that further reveal the lost person’s predicament.
The Five Bondages that hold our loved ones captive
Ephesians 2:1-3 - And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
God explains here the position we were in before we were saved
which also refers to the present position of the lost.
Therefore, the lost are held in bondage by:
1. the course of this world
2. the prince of the power of the air (Satan’s spirit)
3. the lust of the flesh
4. the lust of the mind
5. by (fallen) nature - children of wrath. See also John 3:36.
God clarifies how Satan works. Satan’s “…spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience…” explains to us the chilling reality that we are fighting an invisible being who has the power to work in the minds and hearts of men. The Scripture also tells me that the wisdom of the unregenerate (unsaved) man comes from below (James 3:15, 1 Cor. 3:19) and not from above. It is Satan’s spirit that supplies man’s earthly wisdom of greed, lust and selfishness.
Conclusion: The unsaved are held in a spiritual bondage according to the above five points. Four of these points relate directly to the power of Satan’s spirit while the last point relates to God’s wrath because of their rebellious nature.
Therefore, successful evangelism has to include spiritual warfare to overthrow Satan’s power grip (points 1-4) as well as intercession prayer for the lost (point 5).
· We can do this by praying the Prayer of Faith (Matt.17:20) which will dissolve the devil’s grip.
· Praying with conviction the things that the Lord gives us to speak out, until His peace informs us that His work is done.
· Then we can witness to the lost whilst being led by the lord.
We have one more Scripture that will help reveal the practical nature of this spiritual (power) war over the souls of men.
Lets’ have a look at it.
Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
God reveals here that the struggles we feel and experience (wrestle against) are the direct onslaught from the spiritual hosts who work in the spirit realm. And within this realm these spiritual hosts have rulers and principalities and powers. Putting these three Scriptures together (2 Cor 4:3-4, Eph. 2:1-3 and Eph. 6:12) we see that Satan’s spiritual beings can attack us directly with worldly thoughts and worldly urges of carnal behaviour.
So then, how do we fight off and overcome the power of these spiritual beings in order to save our loved ones?
God tells us that the only way we can fight off these spiritual beings is to use the weapon of God.
2 Cor 10:3-4 (3) For though we walk in the flesh,
*** we do not war according to the flesh. ***
(4) For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal
But mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
This is as straight forward as you can get. If the weapon that we are to fight with is not carnal, then it must be spiritual.
Also, the weapon that God is talking about here is MIGHTY, and it is - in God - and it can pull down the strongholds of the devil.
The weapon of our warfare is The Lord:
The Spirit of the Lord Himself.
“ how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
Acts 10:38 … healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
This scripture is extremely significant. It tells us that it is the devil himself who oppresses people with disease and sickness.
* But that it is God - by His Spirit - who destroys the Devil’s works which includes every sickness, disease (including cancers), deformities, deafness, muteness and every mental illness which Jesus showed us during His ministry.
When we learn how to become one with the Lord in relationship, the devil’s strongholds can be broken. That is, when we fight the devil - whether it be for the salvation of our loved ones or healing the sick or freeing someone from a Satanic bondage, we call upon the Lord.
* When we call upon Him in the right way, He will go
forward to destroy every satanic bondage in the earth.
You might be tempted, at this stage, to stumble over the fact that Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit (the baptism in the Holy Spirit) which endued Him with power.
Whilst it is God’s ideal that you receive this baptism for full power, and we will discuss this later on, virtually every born again Christian remains ignorant of the fact that they already have a good portion of this anointing (of power) in their souls.
* It is only a matter of learning how to correctly pray the Prayer of Faith, that destroys the devil’s works.
Go to the website www.spiritled.com.au and get to know a man called Stuart Gramenz who, since 1979, has personally prayed the Prayer of Faith for thousands of people and seen miraculous healings in India, Japan, the Philippines and also here in Australia. I also recommend to you his book;
How to Heal the Sick - by Stuart Gramenz.
When we fully understand Faith, and how to pray the Prayer of Faith, then every one of the devil’s strongholds of sickness, disease and spiritual bondages can be broken with ease.
The WEAPON OF GOD is linked directly to the
RHEMA OF GOD
I am going to pre-empt the Sword of the Spirit chapter by introducing you to this next Scripture of Ephesians 6:17, so that you can see how God links all of His spiritual principles together in His Word - and how Jesus obtained God’s power.
2 Cor. 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal
but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
2 Cor. 10:4 - links directly with Eph. 6:17 below.
EPHESIANS 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the
sword of the Spirit, which is the (Rhema) word of God;
In the scriptures, we see that Jesus only spoke out the given
(Rhema) words of God as He heard them from the Father.
In other words, by speaking out God’s spoken words (God’s command) He was able to cast out the demons and heal the sick.
I am also going to say to you that when the apostles worked God’s miracles, they too obeyed and spoke out God’s Rhema words obtaining this same Holy Spirit power – to cast out demons and heal the sick. And so we see that, according to Eph. 6:17;
*** THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT ***
the weapon that we use to destroy Satan’s works is the;
** Rhema of God **
In other words - God’s ‘spoken’ command –
is the weapon that we use to destroy Satan’s power.
God’s Spirit weapon will soon be fully revealed. But first, I want you to see and understand the work of the spiritual hosts that are described in Ephesians 6:12, and the battleground within the souls of men where they do their work. Lets’ have a look.
THE SPIRITUAL BATTLEGROUND
FOR THE SOULS OF MEN
We talked before in the previous chapter about Satan’s spiritual hosts (demons) who blind the lost and keep them in a spiritual bondage to the world and its carnal lusts. The lost are prevented from seeing the “light of the gospel” and because of this, men’s hearts remain fixed on unbelief. Lets’ now look at the role of the Holy Spirit and how He works at winning the lost to Jesus.
IT IS GOD WHO ‘DRAWS’ THE LOST TO JESUS.
To better understand the process of salvation we need to see how the lost are brought to that crucial step of being “ DRAWN TO ” and accepting salvation in Jesus Christ.
* Now, since it is by God’s inward Holy Spirit witness that we
know that Jesus is the Christ;
1 Cor.12:3 …. no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by
the Holy Spirit.
Rom. 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit
that we are children of God,
** Then, it stands to reason that it can only be God’s Holy Spirit who can INVITE the unsaved person to believe in the truth of Christ. And this is true, because Jesus plainly tells us that:
John 6:44 “ No one can come to Me unless the
Father who sent Me draws him ..”
Conclusion. Only God’s Spirit can truly draw the lost to Jesus. Now, does this mean that God selects individuals for salvation? No, the individual decides that for himself. Remember Stephen’s address to the council in Acts 7:51 “You stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit…” But remember also, that it is only the few who see God’s light and reject it because when the apostles preached in the power of the Holy Spirit, souls (who were enabled to see God’s light) were won over to Christ in the thousands.
Acts 2:4…and that day about three thousand souls were added to
A clear picture of the process of salvation should now be emerging.
Satan keeps the lost in spiritual bondage, but when God works through His servant (by His Spirit) He obliterates Satan’s blinding power. He then “DRAWS” the hearts of the lost to Jesus, CALLING THEM to Himself and - as they respond He witnesses to them that Jesus is the Son of God.
Evangelism is very much about wining a spiritual war in the hearts of men and we have to know how to win this war.
So what does this war look like since we cannot see the invisible hosts (demons) who attack our loved ones?
To answer this question and to show you the reality of what the scriptures are saying, I am going to include here three of my own experiences of salvation failures that occurred in my life. If you were saved later on in life, you may well relate to these experiences, but if not, have a look at what is going on inside the unsaved person as this invisible war is being fought.
Salvation attempt No.1
We were not a religious family by any means but during the 1960 s it was not unusual for a mother to have her children baptised. In 1967-8 my brother and I were in the cubs at a local church. My mother became a cub leader and she took a real shine to the lovely Christian couple who were running the group. We went on a few outings with them and I believe that they invited my mother along to the church services. She loved the singing and it was during this time that it was announced that we were going to be baptised. In hindsight I am sure that our Christian couple cub leaders were praying for us during that time.
We were duly baptized in late 1968 with the sprinkling of water on our heads and a big family gathering followed back at our home. A few months later my mother’s church attendance had waned.
But then, early in 1969 as a nine year old, I recall my most unusual experience. I didn’t know anything about God apart from the Lord’s prayer that we would recite at the end of every cub meeting
and that churches held Sunday “services” for God.
Early one Saturday morning, a few months after our baptism, a great desire came into my heart to go to and attend a certain Baptist Church. This wonderful urge was quite strong and I could not think about anything much else that day. A picture of this particular church would also appear in my mind at the same time that this beautiful knowing burned within my heart. With excitement, I told my mother that I was going to go to that church the following morning. Having guessed that the service would probably begin at about 9:00 a.m. I arose the next morning and set off up the main road to walk that mile and a half to church.
It was odd but as I walked I just couldn’t wait to get there because the desire that was upon my heart was so strong and beautiful. It was like a loving, joyous excitement and I remember hurrying along to get there. But as I neared the church I remember looking to see that I was about 100 yards from the church and I could see the faithful gathering toward the entrance. It was at this point that I wish I could go back and re-live the event. Because as I saw those people gathering a totally new and different flash of thought appeared in my mind. It was vivid and strong. There appeared in my mind a picture of being surrounded by all of these big unfamiliar adults and a great fear came upon me. I was intensely shy and so you can guess how this was affecting me.
There I was, 100 yards from that church, overcome with fear. I was stopped in my tracks and, to my regret, I eventually turned around and headed back home. I soon forgot all about that unusual event and so I remained unsaved and vulnerable to the world.
* Wonderfully, the Lord had drawn me to church but a classic counterattack from the devil’s spiritual hosts (demons) spoiled my chance of finding Christ at that time.
Conclusions. This battle for my soul was fought out in my heart and in my mind. The Lord fought for me and Satan fought against me. To this day I do believe that there was much prayer offered on my behalf to affect such a strong move of the Spirit of God. But as a shy nine year old, lacking reassurance from a familiar adult, I was easily dissuaded from my first opportunity of finding Christ.
Note the absence of man in this spiritual fight over my soul.
But note also the role of man in calling up the weapon of God.
Salvation attempt No.2
In 1981 I was attending my final year at Teachers College in Physical Education. And over those few years I had gravitated to and liked very much two peculiar lads who both happened to be born-again Christians. Clem and Pete were two stand out guys for me and Clem in particular was never shy about relating our class discussion topics to the wonderful truths of the scriptures. I admired his boldness and his spirit and I very much liked his company. One day he invited me over to hang out, and it was on that day that Clem had decided to share the wonderful news of his Jesus with me. I arrived in due time and we met outside on the front footpath. I did notice that he was a little bit nervous but I never gave it a second thought.
And then it happened! As he began to talk to me about how he and the guys would meet for a friendly worship time at their house with
songs and guitars playing, a wonderful presence filled and overtook my inner being. I just can’t describe it any other way. At that time, Clem’s voice seemed to trail off in the background and there came alive within me a beautiful scene within that house of singing and praise accompanied by the lovely sound of an acoustic guitar, and I remember looking toward the house as this was happening. During all of this time my inner being was filled with an beautiful peace and joy, and at the same time I felt myself being drawn to that scene.
* Drawn in such a way that I wanted to take part in that worship. *
Suddenly, I began to hear Clem’s anxious words about ‘Jesus’ and as I turned to consider his words for a moment, a cold front in the spiritual weather was forming to hit me. From out of nowhere a strange defiant anger rose up within me and from that moment onwards I really did not want to hear any more about this Jesus. Poor Clem (God bless him) was quite distressed and he tried in vain to tell me more about Jesus but my heart was already hardened against Him (poor me).
My response to Clem was definitely unnatural but I never gave those strange events much thought. I just put it all in the “too hard” basket. A few days later Clem tried again to win my interest with a book called ‘More Than Just a Carpenter’. I politely accepted his offer but, alas, I never got around to reading it.
Years later when I had finally gotten saved, I caught up with Clem to tell him the good news and as we talked he told me how much he and Pete had prayed for me before his witness attempt that day.
Conclusion: Again, the real battle for my soul was fought out within me. The Lord’s Spirit fought for me and Satan’s spiritual hosts fought against me. Clem was definitely right there, beside me, sharing his heart but it was all of those internal events that rang the LOUDEST in my ears. The war within, the spiritual war, was what really buffeted me about during Clem’s witness.
Salvation attempt No. 3
In 1983, at age of 23, I had completed my teaching course and having just gotten married I was working at various part-time jobs whilst waiting for a teaching post. I was out one day on some shopping errands and I happened to bump into an old high school friend. We exchanged pleasantries, and Donna began to tell me in an excited and awkward kind of way about her recent trip to Israel. I remember trying to think of why anyone our age would want to go to Israel and then it dawned on me that Donna must have just become a Christian. Her nervousness and awkwardness, her trying to pluck up the courage to tell me something of why she went to Israel, could only mean one thing. I must stress here that at the time I wasn’t offended by this. On the contrary, I was rather curious to hear more about why someone my age would want to become a Christian. Donna continued to talk and I listened. I was calm and composed and as usual a little bit shy but then “it” happened.
All of a sudden, out of nowhere, I was struck with this inner compulsion to talk. It was as if something just overtook me and it didn’t seem to matter what I would say, I was just compelled to talk. I remember completely overtaking the conversation and I did not let up. It was awful and rude and Donna never had a chance to say anything. And that strange urge within me did not let up until I had said goodbye. I remember walking away wondering what the heck had just happened to me. And as usual I had to put it in the “too hard” basket. It was something that had never happened to me before and it has never happened to me since.
I did find out later that Donna had indeed become a born-again Christian at that time. However, it wasn’t until after I had become a Christian myself that this weird experience began to make sense.
Conclusion: Again, the battle for my soul was fought out within me. Donna was right there trying her best to tell me about Christ, but again, that last inward compulsion rang the loudest in my soul, and ultimately it determined the outcome.
· EVANGELISM is mostly a spiritual war for souls.
· The Holy Spirit fights FOR us and Satan fights AGAINST us.
· The battle is fought out within the souls of men.
In this section we have lifted the lid a little by seeing the internal activities (in the spirit realm) that are played out in the soul of a man during a witness for Christ.
A few observations:
Notice the complete lack of DRAWING by the Holy Spirit upon my soul in that third experience of nearly being introduced to Jesus. Donna had no idea that a witness opportunity was about to come her way and so there was no opportunity to pray and call upon the Lord, for this spiritual fight over my soul.
Also, did you see the power of God’s DRAWING upon my soul when prayer was offered up to God on my behalf? That was when things really began to happen in my soul.
James 5:16 …The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man
To this I add, what might have happened if the Prayer of Faith had been offered up on my behalf? (We will explore this later!)
Admittedly, I was not saved in these contests but I wonder what might have happened if any one of these Christian champions, who lay down their life for my benefit, had learned the skills of being Spirit-led in their attempt to show me Christ.
Now that would have upped the ante somewhat because the Spirit-led Christian operates with a divine advantage and power!
Evangelism requires that we seek and engage with our Lord Jesus -for the salvation of our loved ones by:
A. SEEKING HIS GUIDANCE (spending time with Jesus)
to whom, how, when and where to give our witness; and
B. SHELLING THE ENEMY (spending time with Jesus)
with the Prayer of Faith – that destroys Satan’s power
so that the ‘light of the gospel’ can be heard; and
C. BEING LED BY JESUS’ SPIRIT (the Holy Spirit)
during your face-to-face witnessing.
A. SEEKING HIS GUIDANCE.
God always knows where every human is at in their lives and He knows how they will respond. He can guide us to the right person, at the right time, in the right way for a successful witness. The beauty of this is that we don’t waste our time on anyone who isn’t ready or willing to hear God’s (drawing) calling.
* God shows us when and where to cast our nets.*
A few years ago I heard the personal testimony of a young woman’s salvation. Her mother had prayed for years for her daughter’s salvation. However, the mother kept asking the Lord why nothing was happening. The Lord told her to keep praying because her daughter was not yet ready. In this particular case the daughter was a heavy drug user but the day finally came when she
hit rock bottom.
Now she was ready, and the Lord miraculously saved her.
I will never forget that young woman’s face as she told me her story. She simply beamed with the joy of the Lord and you could see that her salvation was cemented into her soul. You could sense it in the way she related her story that her faith in Jesus was rock solid. It was a story that has always stuck with me. The story of a mother who obeyed God’s leadings in her prayer warfare for the salvation of her daughter.
God’s guidance might be different for every individual, but when you seek Him, He will show you exactly what to do. The Lord will show you how, when and whom to approach, and when you obey Him, His power will accompany your witness.
B. SHELLING THE ENEMY
In the previous chapters we see that Satan is given liberty to bind and blind our loved ones from “seeing” the Light (the Holy Spirit witness) of the Gospel. The truth of this was first shown to me in an article written by Benny Hinn. Benny asked God for the salvation of his family and God showed him the Scriptures of Eph. 2:1-3 and Eph. 6:12. God then instructed Benny to begin praying for them, and pray he did. God showed Benny what to pray, along the lines of breaking each and every bondage that held his loved ones captive. These were the five bondages outlined in Ephesians 2:1-3. Mr. Hinn then obeyed God, and to his surprise his family members began to get miraculously saved. In his mother’s case she saw Jesus in a night vision calling for her, and she was so impacted by it that she immediately gave her life to the Lord. The others also came to the Lord, one by one, but their salvation came
* by Benny’s obedience to God’s instructions on how to pray.
The family already knew about Benny’s salvation and they had rejected his previous witness attempts. What they really needed, was to be able to ‘see’ God’s Light for themselves.
Smith Wigglesworth, in his early days of street evangelising with the Salvation Army prayed all night with the team. They would pray, and believe God for 50 souls to be saved the next day.
* Smith said that they always got those 50 souls.
My mother was quite hardened to the Gospel but there came a season in my prayer life when I was asking the Lord for the salvation of my family members. One afternoon as I prayed, a great burden came upon me to pray for my mother in particular. I looked to the Lord and I sensed that He was telling me that He would save her. I then held on to God’s promise to me and she was miraculously saved in a very short time.
Shelling the enemy is simply going into prayer intercession for the lost and being guided by the Lord on what to pray. It is that pleading and admitting that we cannot do it, that “we need You O’ Lord to move on their behalf”. It is that “what do you want me to do Lord, that they may be saved?” And finally, it is listening to Him - for what He wants you to pray and say and do.
C. LED BY JESUS’ SPIRIT.
The third scenario for successful evangelism is allowing yourself to be led by His Spirit during your witness to the unsaved.
This will involve your continual looking to Him during the witness conversation, and following His leadings as you go.
The beauty of this is that you are not going to make any big mistakes as you follow His leadings.
Also, be aware that the person you are witnessing to can come under attack from Satan and might begin to exhibit an unnatural reaction to your witness. And don’t feel that you have to win their salvation in that first sharing. You are merely watering a seed that God will work on. It is God’s job to woo that person to Jesus and then it is ultimately their choice to accept His calling.
It is simply our job to follow Jesus’ leadings - during a witness.
God will give you His inspirations on what to say, and when to hold your tongue and let the other person talk or think about what is being said. Listen to the Lord and follow His leadings.
That is all you have to do. It is that easy.
Conclusions: We cannot evangelise successfully without the involvement of God’s Spirit. He is our weapon and our guide for reaching our loved ones. God has to lead and we have to follow His instructions. When we do this, we enable God to do His supernatural work. It is His Spirit that breaks the Satanic power. It is His Spirit who woos the lost to Jesus. And it is ultimately His Spirit who convicts and convinces them that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT
= Rhema Word of God (FAITH)
Introduction: Having looked at God’s Word which explains how Satan keeps the lost in spiritual bondage, we will now focus on what the Sword of the Spirit is so that we can use it to destroy Satan’s works, overthrowing his power so that the lost can be saved and the diseased can be cured.
So, how exactly did Jesus and the apostles, and all of those 20th Century evangelists get the Sword of the Spirit?
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the (Rhema) word of God;
Firstly: we know that the Lord, by His Spirit (Acts 10:38), is the absolute Ruler and Power of the Universe. It is by His Spirit that He heals, saves and delivers. The Sword of the Spirit is God.
The Lord Himself is our weapon against Satan.
Now, how is the Sword of the Spirit used?
First, consider this question.
Since it is God who performs the miracles, upon what arrangement has the KING of KINGS set in place - to work His miracles - through us His Christian soldiers?
Does the Lord say to you,
1. “Here I Am at your disposal, tell Me what to do and I will do it”?
or, does He say to you,
2. “Follow Me and My instructions, and give
the Command when I tell you, and I will do it”.
The correct answer is No.2.
Read that again and then we’ll compare it to the Scriptures.
Let’s look at how Jesus walked with the Father and how the Sword of the Spirit was wielded through Him.
HOW JESUS WALKED WITH THE FATHER
John 4:34 “…My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.”
John 5:19 “…Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do: for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.”
See also John 5:30, 6:38, 9:4, 14:31.
Whatever the Father said (Rhema) to do,
Jesus obeyed Him and did it.
John 8:28 “…and that I do nothing of Myself: but as My Father
taught Me, I speak these things.” John 8:38 “ I speak what I have
seen with My Father….”
John 12:49-50 “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. “And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has
told Me, so I speak.” See also John 14:10.
Whatever the Father said (Rhema) to say,
Jesus obeyed Him and spoke it.
Can you see how Jesus walked in the Power of God’s Spirit?
* Jesus humbled Himself to obey the Father’s spoken command in everything that He did.
That is, when Jesus obeyed the Father’s ‘spoken’ Words, the Father then moved in the Supernatural to destroy the devil’s works that were afflicting the people.
Now, let’s look at the scriptures that links obedience to God’s spoken words – to the releasing of God’s Supernatural power.
Ephesians 6:17 tells us that: - the Weapon of God
is the Rhema of God.
Lets’ explore what this means exactly, noting that the original Greek Scripture actually reads the ‘Rhema of God’.
So, why is the ‘Rhema of God’ so significant in the Scriptures?
* What exactly does “RHEMA” mean?
Lets backtrack a little. When the original N.T. Scriptures were penned by the apostles, they were all written in Greek, and down through the centuries they have been perfectly preserved.
But when these original manuscripts were translated into English by the likes of Jerome and King James, some of the exact original Greek meanings were not perfectly preserved.
For example, the two Greek scriptural words that concern us here are RHEMA and LOGOS.
Unfortunately, they have both been translated equally into our English Bibles as “WORD” even though their individual meanings are remarkably different.
When we look for the the original Greek meaning of ‘WORD’ in the N.T. Scriptures, then according to Vine 1 we see that;
LOGOS - refers to bodies of information that are stated,
as in a proclamation or report;
RHEMA - refers to those things that are conveyed to us by
the spoken word, articulated in speaking.
Do you see the difference?
LOGOS - refers to a statement of information (from someone) that is presented to us like the printed word on a page; whereas,
“ RHEMA” - refers to the spoken, articulated word.
1 Vine, W.E. & White, Jr.,W. (1984). An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words. Thomas Nelson: Nashville. pp. 1241-1242.
* That is, if I were to write you a letter, you would be reading my Logos. But if I were to stand before you talking to you, you would be hearing my rhema.
So, when we read the “Rhema of God” in the Scriptures, we can see now that it is actually saying the ‘uttered’ or the ‘spoken’ words of God. You might find this revelation hard to digest but we are about to see that this does in fact harmonize perfectly with the rest of God’s Word. That the “Rhema of God” actually does refer to the spoken (Spirit) voice of God.
Now, here is where we begin to tie in all of the above together.
Whenever we want anything from God we go to Him in prayer. We call out to Him and sometimes we petition Him for years, and we all know that God has indeed responded miraculously to so many of our requests. But this isn’t God’s ideal. He wants us to be able to hear Him! He wants us to respond to His voice !
He tells us plainly in Hebrews 11 that it is by FAITH that we obtain the supernatural promises of God (Heb.11:33) and that it is by the Prayer of FAITH (James 5:15) that the sick are miraculously healed. If this is so, then what is this FAITH that causes God to move in the supernatural?
The Scripture plainly explains what faith is and:
HOW WE RECEIVE THIS FAITH FROM GOD
Rom. 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing,
and hearing by the Rhema of GOD .
Do you see what is being said here? FAITH does not come by hearing the Logos Scriptures being read aloud:
* Faith comes by hearing God’s Spirit Voice. *
Let’s see how this lines up with the Scriptures. That “Faith” is - in actual fact - hearing God’s Spirit Voice in our heart/spirit.
1Cor.12:3 …and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the
Eph. 2:8 .... For by grace you have been saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Rom. 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit
that we are children of God,
1 John 5:10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness
See also: 2 Cor. 1:22, 2 Cor. 4:6, Gal. 4:6.
The Scripture does indeed harmonise in stating that God’s Spirit Voice “bearing witness” with our heart/spirit is the FAITH by which we are saved. That we receive FAITH as we hear God’s Holy Spirit speaking into our heart.
THE ACTION OF – ACTING ON FAITH
Now, Jesus showed us that when the Father spoke to Him, and Jesus obeyed Him, the Father then moved in the supernatural.
Hebrews gives us an account that this is not a new thing with God. In fact, whenever God has spoken to man and they have believed and obeyed His Spoken directives, then the Lord has always responded by moving in the supernatural to produce some of the most amazing, miraculous events in history.
Let’s have a look at a few of these events in Hebrews.
BY FAITH (by the spoken Word of God - to man)
Heb.11 vs.6 By faith Noah being divinely warned… vs.8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called… vs.11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive…. vs.29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land…. vs.30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days… vs.33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, vs.34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. vs.35 Women received their dead raised to life again….
BY FAITH (by God’s spoken words), the men and women of the Old Testament obeyed God and obtained His supernatural miracles.
JESUS EXPLAINS the POWER of HAVING FAITH
* Jesus explains FOUR TIMES the basic POWER principle of having God’s Faith (spoken Word) when we pray the Prayer of Faith which is the commanding of God’s authority into the natural.
(1) Matt. 17:20…I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
* Do you see what Jesus is saying here? If we hear (have) God’s spoken (Rhema) command, then whatever we say when we speak out His command into the natural – will be done.
(2) Matt. 21:21-22 .. “Assuredly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea’, it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
* You have to be mindful here that when Jesus was talking about praying, He was talking about the way He prayed. Jesus did pray by asking but then He LISTENED for God’s spoken RESPONSE.
That is why Jesus’ ministry was so powerful. He did and said everything by FAITH – by every spoken Rhema Word (or Faith) that He heard from the Father.
(3) Luke 17:6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea’, and it would obey you.
(4) Mark 11:22-24 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.” For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Again, Jesus was talking here about the way He prayed. We begin by asking, then we listen and command out loud God’s authority, believing that it will be done. That is the scriptural Prayer of Faith.
The original Greek word RHEMA
is written as ‘word’ in these passages:
Matt. 4:4 , 12:36 , 18:16, 26:75, 27:14. Mark 14:72
Luke 1:38, 2:29 , 3:2 , 4:4, 5:5, 20:26, 24:8, 24:11
John 3:34, 5:47, 6:63, 6:68, 8:20, 8:47, 10:21, 12:47, 12:48,
14:10, 15:7, 17:8
Acts 2:1, 5:2, 6:11, 6:13, 10:22, 10:37, 10:4, 11:14, 11:16, 13:42,
16:38, 26:25, 28:25
Rom. 10:8 (twice), 10:17, 10:18 1 Pet. 1:25 (twice)
2 Cor. 12:4, 13:1 Jude 17,
Eph. 5:26, 6:5 2 Pet. 3:2
Heb. 11:3, 12:19 Rev. 17:17
Rhema as “saying”
Mark 9:32 , Luke 1:65, 2:17, 2:50, 2:51, 7:1, 9:45 (twice), 18:34
Rhema as “thing”; Luke 2:15, 2:19, Acts 5:32
Now that we know what the real meaning of Rhema is and that it is connected to the receiving of God’s faith, have a look at what some of the New Testament Scriptures are really saying.
Matt. 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not
live by bread alone, but by every rhema that proceeds out of the mouth of God’ ”.
That is, we are meant to walk by faith.
John 15:7 “ If you abide in Me, and My rhemas abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you.”
John 15:7 reveals the 2 conditions required for the Prayer of Faith.
That is, if we abide in His Spirit and His spoken Rhema Words abide in us (the obeying of God’s spoken Words), then, as His obedient servant, we can ask what we desire and He will do it.
THE PRAYER OF FAITH
We are slowly building the picture here of how to walk in the Spirit and how the demonic forces of Satan can be overcome by the Finger of God.
It is by an obedient relationship with Jesus, by His indwelling Spirit, that the power of His Holy Spirit is made manifest.
It is by having an intimate relationship with Jesus that FAITH can be born into our hearts and released into the world. It is the pursuing of this relationship with the Lord, that enables the Prayer of Faith that heals, saves souls and delivers the afflicted from sickness and disease.
John 15:7 “ If you abide in Me, and My rhemas abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you.”
It is by constantly abiding in Him, seeking Him and His authority and then believing and obeying His commands as He speaks that causes the Lord to move in the supernatural.
Jesus shows us again how to pray the Prayer of Faith;
Matt. 21:21-22 ..”Assuredly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea’, it will be done. vs.22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
Again, in vs.22 we have to be mindful here that Jesus was talking about the way He prayed.
After Jesus asked God, He then listened within for God’s spoken response (God’s faith). Then, having received God’s faith that His request was granted, HE SPOKE OUT GOD’S COMMAND, believing God. And then God performed Jesus’ request.
Put simply, when we want to pray the Prayer of Faith
We seek the Lord and His Will.
We then SPEAK OUT His spoken command (faith)
with a solid belief that He will do it.
THE PRAYER OF FAITH is also perfectly
demonstrated by Ezekiel in the Old Testament.
In EZEKIEL chapter 37 – the Lord brings Ezekiel to a valley full of very dry bones. God is showing Ezekiel Israel’s destiny.
Ezekiel 37:4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! vs.5 ‘Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. vs.6 “I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”
Vs.7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and bones came together, bone to bone. Vs.8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.
Vs.9 Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breath on these slain, that they may live.”
Vs.10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
The Prayer of Faith wields God’s command into the natural.
For example, when we want to break the satanic bondage blinding our loved ones, we first go directly to the Lord. We seek and we ask and we plead with Him, and as we find His Face we ask Him what to do and what to do. When the Lord speaks into our hearts on what we should pray (or prophesy), we speak out God’s commands believing His (Rhema) Words. And when we do this, as Ezekiel and Jesus have shown us, then God will move and do His part - IN THE SUPERNATURAL.
This is also how we pray an intercessory prayer. We pray on behalf of others according to God’s leadings, believing He will intercede, and then God acts on the belief and obedience of His servant.
* The Prayer of Faith is how the servant of God is used to heal, save and deliver his fellow man from the works of the Devil.
AN INTRODUCTION ON
HOW WE RECEIVE FAITH
Rom. 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing,
and hearing by the Rhema of GOD.
Now that we know what FAITH is, I want to begin demystifying for you how it is that we hear God’s spoken voice (FAITH).
Let’s look again into the Scripture.
Mark 2:8 shows us plainly - how Jesus heard the Father:
Mark 2:8 But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts ?”
* FAITH - comes by hearing God’s Voice in my spirit. *
God can speak to us audibly or by writing on a wall if He wants to.
In fact He can even speak to us through dreams and visions but His preferred way of talking to us is to speak directly into our spirit which is deep in the heart of our soul.
Jesus reveals this fact to His disciples. When the disciples asked Him to “show us the Father”. Jesus answered and showed them how He talks with, and hears, the indwelling Spirit of the Father.
John 14:10-11 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The (rhema) words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me,”
And then, if we look at verses 16-17 below, we can see that it is Jesus intention, that we too will have this same relationship with Him by knowing His indwelling Spirit.
Let’s see Jesus explanation of this:
John 14:16-17 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor Knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. (Pentecost)
Eph. 2:8 ....For by grace you have been saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God
Rom. 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that
we are children of God
1 Cor. 12:3 …and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the
1 John 5:10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in
See also: 2 Cor. 1:22, 2 Cor. 4:6, Gal.4:6.
We cannot deny from these scriptures that Jesus words have come true. We have God’s Spirit in our hearts and we have His inner witness (or faith) that we are saved by Him.
God’s Spirit is in us, and all we have to do now is simply learn how to recognize His voice to receive His Faith Directives.
His spoken Faith (directives) - that can destroy the devil’s work.
His spoken Faith (directives) - that will heal, save and deliver.
We will explore how to hear God’s Rhema Voice (faith) in a later chapter. But let’s look at what faith is and how significant it is one more time.
Me hearing God’s voice in my spirit (faith)
from God’s Spirit here on earth
is the same as me hearing God’s voice
in my ears standing in front of Him in heaven.
That is, because God is omniscient and omnipresent, the Person of
God Himself is just as real and present dwelling and speaking in my spirit here on Earth as He is sitting on His Throne in Heaven.
God dwells in and speaks to me in my heart.
The Sword of the Spirit (our weapon) is God’s spoken command.
The Action of Faith is simply believing God’s spoken command and then relaying His command into the natural.
TO WALK BY FAITH
2 Cor. 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
The Scriptures consistently indicate that we are meant to walk intimately with our Lord, via His indwelling Spirit.
The Lord has not changed, and so He still says in effect;
“Follow Me and My instructions, and give the
command when I tell you, and I will do it”.
This is how Jesus walked with God.
This is how the apostles walked with God.
This is how the 20th century evangelists walked with God.
And this is how we are to walk with Him as well.
Before we were saved, we walked by sight. We led our lives according to what was happening around us, by what other people would say to us, by the “opportunities” that came our way or by the misfortunes that would toss us about in this fallen world.
To walk by faith is a totally new way of living. It is a way of life in which we permanently take Jesus Hand and let Him be our leader, mentor and guide. It is the letting go of that reliance upon self and learning to depend upon Him who is all- knowing and all- seeing, who has all the answers to every life situation. It is the decision by your will, to seek for His leadings every day on what you should do. It is a decision made by you to be led by Him every moment of your life.
Initially, this way of life sounds quite robotic but it is nothing like that at all. Consider the many disasters that have happened in your life, caused by yourself or others. Imagine then, having a perfect Father, who loves you, talks with you and who always guides you toward godliness, into every blessing, and as His servant into blessing many others by His hand. That is the life of walking by faith.
On the practical side of this new way of living, we will rarely see God but we will hear Him, by His deep inward Holy Spirit language in our hearts. We will see His supernatural hand move in many different ways and there will be many a time that we will be in awe of Him. He is there, He is always right there, surrounding us and dwelling within, waiting for us to touch Him.
An Introduction to
GOD’S FAITH PRINCIPLES
We now have a clear picture of how Jesus walked with the Father in an intimate and obedient Father - Son relationship. We also know that Jesus walk with God was perfect in every respect.
* However, when Jesus interacted with the people to heal them, we can see that certain Faith Principles were often applied to those who were being healed.
1. Jesus often asked the sick if they believed that they would
2. Jesus would often say to the healed person; “your faith has
made you well”.
3. Jesus would sometimes separate the sick person from the
crowd for their healing. It seems that unbelieving people,
having no faith, hindered God’s work.
Here are some of those examples in the Scriptures:
1. Matt. 13:58 Now He did not do many mighty works there
because of their unbelief.
Matt. 9:28 And when He had come into the house, the blind
men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that
I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes Lord”.
2. Matt. 9:29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to
your faith let it be to you.”
Matt. 9:22.. “Be of good cheer, daughter, your faith has made
Mark 5:34 … “Daughter, your faith has made you well,..”
Mark 10:52.. “Go your way, your faith has made you well.”
Luke 17:19 “Arise, go your way, your faith has made you well.”
3. Mark 8:23 So He took the blind man by the hand and He led
him out of town…
Matt. 9:24-25 He said to them, “Make room, for the girl is not
dead but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him. But when the
crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand,
and the girl arose.
There are some good reasons why Jesus said and did these things as He walked with God (in obedience). For when a servant of God relays God’s Spoken Words to us, we are not dealing with that servant, we are dealing with God, and the way that we respond to God is very important.
Therefore, it isn’t enough that we know how to obtain the Sword of the Spirit and be able to pray the prayer of faith but we also need to understand God’s faith principles - as we walk with Him.
There are, however some exceptions to these faith principles. The Scriptural exceptions to these faith principles seem to include the people who were either unconscious, already dead or those who were not in their right mind.
Let’s read on and discover what God’s relationship principles are and how they work as we walk with Him in the Spirit.
UNDERSTANDING GOD’S FAITH PRINCIPLES
Having studied this subject for well over 12 years now, I have come to see that God’s faith principles are based on God’s good manners in relationship. And so, for the sake of simplicity and brevity, I am going to explain to you ten principles of God’s faith, within a simple illustration story through which you will be able to see how God’s relationship principles work. I think you will be surprised at how straight forward these relationship principles are.
Within the following illustration story, in order to demonstrate God’s FAITH PRINCIPLES:
Mr. Martin is a School Teacher and he represents GOD.
Mr. Martin’s “Chalkboard Writing” represents the written
LOGOS WORD of God.
Mr. Martin’s “Whispering” represents the
SPOKEN WORDS of God.
Mr. Martin’s “Lesson Plan” represents God’s Faith & His
Mr. Martin’s “Sweets Rewards” represents God’s
The class “Pupils” represent man & their
INTERACTION with God.
The Pupil “Stephen” represents God’s ultimate aim of
CHRIST - LIKENESS.
The “Classroom” situation represents EARTH.
Future “High School” represents HEAVEN.
GOD’S FAITH PRINCIPLES
- as they apply when walking in the Spirit with Him -
1. PRESUMPTION - does not obtain God’s promise.
2. ASKING - is the first step to obtain God’s promise.
3. HEARING - enables the receiving of God’s faith.
4. BELIEVING - God’s Rhema Voice obtains the promise.
5. OBEYING - God’s Rhema Voice obtains the promise.
6. HAVING FAITH - Hears, Believes and Obeys God.
7. FAITH IN GOD = Believing you receive.
8. ABIDING FAITH = Abiding in God’s Love and Humility.
9. GREAT FAITH = ABIDING FAITH and FAITH IN GOD
10. GREAT FAITH - Glorifies and pleases God.
The following illustration story was written to show you the working dynamics of God’s Faith Principles as they apply to Christians and the recipients of God’s supernatural miracles.
Mr. Martin is a teacher and he has brought in a bag of sweets for his pupils. Mr. Martin also has laryngitis and can only manage to whisper very quietly. He wants to give out his sweets to the pupils but he needs someone to faithfully announce for him, his will and his intentions as he gives out the sweets.
His intentions in giving out the sweets are for demonstration, reward and encouragement toward the most important subject that he has diligently tried to teach them this year which is:
“ KINDNESS AND RESPECT FOR OTHERS.”
Mr. Martin smiles and acknowledges his class and begins to write on the chalkboard. “Good morning class, today I have laryngitis and I need a volunteer to announce for me as my representative/ ambassador/servant the recipients for today’s rewards of caramel centred sweets.” Naturally the class becomes eager for sweets upon reading Mr. Martin’s (logos) declaration. Straight away, Shelly turns around to her two friends and she announces out loud “we are all getting some sweets!” She shoots up her hand for selection and begins to become quite a disturbance for the class as she continues to announce out loud her presumption that she and her two friends are getting sweets. Mr. Martin motions for Shelly to sit outside for the rest of this class.
1. PRESUMPTION does not obtain God’s promise.
Mr. Martin surveys his class and writes again on the chalkboard: “Raise your hand if you would like a Caramel Centred sweet?” Only ¾ of the class raise their hands and so Mr. Martin is now unable to work with ¼ of the class. It makes sense that Mr. Martin will only give sweets to those who make it known that they actually want one. (“Kindness and Respect for Others”)
2. ASK , SEEK , and KNOCK ,
are the first steps to obtaining God’s promise.
Mr. Martin now approaches Jill. He bends down to (Rhema) whisper in her ear but she is unable to control her giggling and embarrassment. Mr. Martin gives up on Jill and moves on to Jeremy. Jeremy is also distracted by the giggles and the stares from his classmates and he is unable to focus on and hear Mr. Martin’s whispering.
3. HEARING enables the receiving of God’s Faith.
(Faith comes by hearing God’s Spoken Rhema – Heb 11:1.)
Mr. Martin approaches and whispers in Kelly’s ear. She is neither embarrassed nor distracted and she hears Mr. Martin’s whispered (Rhema) words, “Kelly, please announce to the class that I am giving Sandra a Caramel Centred sweet.” Kelly freezes dumbfounded. Kelly knows that Sandra has done very little to deserve any sweets and cannot believe that Mr. Martin wants to give her one. Kelly just stares at Mr. Martin in disbelief and does not move or say anything.
4. BELIEVING God’s Spoken Rhema words (faith)
obtains the promise.
Mr. Martin moves on and now tries Kye, the class nuisance. “Kye” he whispers, “I want you to announce that I am giving a caramel centred sweet to Sandra.” Kye hears perfectly well and knows Mr. Martin wants to give Sandra the first sweet. Kye stands up to speak, pausing for effect and enjoying the attention, but he continues to pause too long to the annoyance of Mr. Martin who begins to motion to Kye to sit down. But Kye begins to panic and he stammers and blurts out, “Mr. Martin is giving me and Todd (his best friend) some sweets.” Mr. Martin is deeply disappointed by Kye’s disobedience. He motions for Kye to sit down.
5. OBEYING God’s Voice (faith) obtains the promise.
Mr Martin has tried to be impartial with his charges hoping to demonstrate “Kindness and Respect for Others” but the time is getting away. Mr. Martin desperately needs a faithful announcer to complete the day’s lesson. He turns to John, who has not let him down before, and begins the process again. “John” he whispers “I want you to announce to the class that Sandra is receiving the first sweet for best improvement in class.”
* John hears, believes and obeys Mr. Martin, with no doubting, thus beginning at last the handing out of sweets by Mr. Martin.
6. HAVING FAITH - hears, believes and obeys God
and thus obtains the promise.
There were only two more glitches in the afternoon proceedings. Everything was going along fine when Mr. Martin whispered to John “ John, say to Thomasina, “here are three Caramel Centred sweets for being so angelic in my class.” John obediently relayed and spoke out his words but when Mr. Martin presented the sweets to her, she did not look at him and she did not reach out her hand to take the sweets. Thomasina had a terrible self-esteem problem and couldn’t believe that anyone would want to give her anything, let alone Mr. Martin. Mr. Martin was at pains to encourage her to take the sweets that he wanted to give her but her head remained bowed and her hands remained clasped together on her lap. Mr. Martin made a mental note to contact the school councillor on Thomasina’s behalf and he reluctantly moved on to the next child.
7. HAVING FAITH IN GOD - requires believing
that you will receive from God.
By this time John was becoming very proficient and comfortable with his role as Mr. Martin’s servant / announcer and he began to enjoy his position and all the attention that went with it. Mr. Martin was also pleased with John but everything went terribly wrong with the handing out of the next sweet. “John” whispered Mr. Martin, “tell Jeannie that I would like to give her the next sweet for good manners.” John duly responded and he promptly relayed Mr. Martin’s instructions.
“Why, thank you John.” Jeannie replied. Mr. Martin decides to overlook Jeannie’s misdirected gratitude but John goes way too far with his retort as he becomes totally focused on his new position. “Why of course Jeannie,” John gloats. “I’ve got plenty more sweets where they came from and if it wasn’t for me you wouldn’t get any at all.” Mr. Martin gasps for composure and manages not to look noticeable. John has greatly dishonoured Mr. Martin and taken all the credit for himself.
In one stroke John has begun to work against Mr. Martin’s attempt to teach the class the merits of ‘Kindness and Respect for others’. Mr. Martin believes in Kindness and Respect for others with all his heart; I guess you could call this Mr. Martin’s most cherished faith. Mr. Martin motions for John to take his seat.
8. ABIDING FAITH = Abiding in Love & Humility.
Mr. Martin maintains his patience and looks around the room when shy but quiet Stephen raises his hand. Mr. Martin nods for him to speak. “Sir, Mr. Martin, may I be your representative, I would love to help and see the other boys and girls get some sweets”. Mr. Martin was deeply touched. Stephen had not raised his hand for these caramel centred sweets and Mr. Martin could see that Stephen’s heart was in the Spirit of the lesson he was trying to teach – the Godly Spirit of Kindness and Respect for others. - Mr. Martin beamed with joy. Stephen proved faithful to Mr. Martin. He heard, believed and obeyed Mr. Martin obtaining all the promises for the rest of the class.
But what really amazed Mr. Martin was the Spirit in which Stephen served Him and the class. Stephen’s heart was filled with kindness and respect for others, never once thinking of himself or what he could get out of the situation.
Stephen epitomized exactly what Mr. Martin was trying to teach.
Stephen really believed in Mr. Martin’s faith of kindness and respect for others.
Stephen made Mr. Martin’s day, perhaps his week or even his year.
9. – GREAT FAITH = 1. Abiding in God’s faith of love.
+ 2. Having absolute faith in God.
Mr. Martin kept his eye on Stephen and at graduation to High School He promoted him to class Captain, and he gave Stephen a bag of his favourite sweets for being an outstanding example of Kindness and Respect for others. Stephen modelled the
lesson being taught, because he;
1. believed in Mr. Martin’s abiding faith, and he
2. had faith in Mr. Martin as he worked with him in a
Face to face relationship.
Stephen gave great honour to Mr. Martin and especially to Mr.
Martin’s abiding faith.
10. – GREAT FAITH glorifies and pleases God.
God’s FAITH PRINCIPLES
As they apply to WALKING IN THE SPIRIT
Notice the simple dynamics of RELATIONSHIP between our heavenly Father and His children, and between the ‘siblings’.
Our heavenly Father is always striving to teach us His Godly principles of relationship, and they are summed up in the 1st and 2nd Great Commandments (Mat 22:37-40). To love our heavenly Father with all our heart, mind and soul and to likewise love our fellow man with all our heart, mind and soul.
And so it stands to reason that God’s faith Principles of relationship would be based on those two great commandments.
Let’s see how God’s faith principles line up with the scriptures.
Presumption is the assumption of getting something from God without first HEARING His Rhema response to our request.
One of the most obvious presumptive prayer requests is seen in Acts 19:13 – 16 whereby some Jewish itinerant exorcists attempted to use ‘Jesus Name’ to cast out the evil spirits in a possessed man. The result was that they were beaten up by the possessed man.
1John 5:14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. Vs.15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
Presuming upon someone is nearly always an act of bad manners.
And so God goes to a lot of trouble in explaining to us the action of having good manners. Vs.15 ‘AND if we know that He hears us’, that is, if we know that God has confirmed our prayer request, then we will know that we have the petitions that we have asked for.
* We cannot presume to know what God’s will is. And neither can we command the Lord. The prayer of Faith requires that we abide in Him and that His spoken rhemas abide in us. We have to confirm that our request is granted before we can have the petition that we have asked for.
Luke 11:9 “ So I say to you, ask and it will be given to you: seek, and you will find: knock, and it will be opened to you. Vs.10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. See also; Mat.7:7
This principle doesn’t just apply to us when we pray. It also applies to the sick. Jesus would often ask the sick to state their request, if they hadn’t already done so.
Luke 18:40 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, Vs.41 saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.”……..
John 5:6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”……
* God will not force His good will on us (God having good manners toward us) and so He prefers that we ask Him for the things that we want.
Hearing God and listening to what He says is crucially important.
From hearing the witness of His Spirit in my conscience;
John 16:8-9 “ And when He has come , He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; (9) “ of sin, because they do not believe in Me;
Rom 9:1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit,
To hearing His Salvation Faith in my heart;
Rom.8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit
that we are children of God,
And to hearing God’s relayed Spirit Voice in my heart;
Acts 7:51 “You stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears!
You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.
Luke 17:19 “…Arise, go your way, your faith has made you well.”
Mat.11:15 “He who has ears to hear, let him hear !
* Therefore, listening to and hearing God’s inward Spirit voice is vitally important to every man’s relationship with God.
Rom 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the
(rhema) word of God.
Mat.17:19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said. “Why could we not cast it out?” Vs.20 So Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from
here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
Now remember that to have faith is to hear, believe & obey God. So when Jesus referred to the disciple’s unbelief, He was talking about their presumptive command in trying to cast out the devil. Either they did not seek to hear God’s Rhema or they did not believe it when they heard it. Therefore Jesus had to remind them on the importance of hearing and believing God’s spoken Rhema – which enables the Prayer of Faith..
The necessity for belief is also required for those who want to receive something from the Father. God does not enjoy our rejection or disbelief in His offers for help.
Mat. 9:28 ….”Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
Mark 5:36 …”Do not be afraid; only believe.”
Mark 9:23 …”If you can believe, all things are possible to him who
* If you can believe that God has all power and that God is a Person of His word, then all things are possible for you.
For when we believe God personally, we give respect and honour to the Person of God, in that we believe He is an honest and truthful Person and that He is no liar.
5. OBEYING THE FATHER
Jesus set for us the perfect example of obeying the Father;
John 4:34 “…My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” John 5:19 “…Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do: for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.”
See also Jn 5:30, Jn 6:38, Jn 9:4, Jn 14:31
We also see that as Jesus obeyed the Father, the Father responded by working His miracles through Him.
* Obedience to those who are in Authority gives respect to their person and position. Obedience also requires an act of humility, which is also in God’s faith. Also, any person who has authority will gladly work with an obedient servant.
6. HAVING FAITH ** OBTAINS THE PROMISE **
Rom.10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the
word ( rhema) of God .
Mat.17:20 …I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
* Having Faith = hearing, believing and obeying
– The Spirit Voice of God.
7. FAITH IN GOD = BELIEVING YOU RECEIVE
It is up to us to believe God’s Spoken Word or His relayed Word through one of His servants. To believe that He is able, and to believe that he will honour His Word to you.
Mat.8:13 ..”Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.”
Mat.8:2 -3 And behold , a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Vs.3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing: be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
* God is always willing to do you good. And He will always honour His Word.
8. ABIDING FAITH = having His Love & Humility.
God’s abiding FAITH - Jn. 15:4-10, Jn. 4:16- of having a genuine love for others is at the heart of His 1st & 2nd great Commandments;
Mat.22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Vs.37 Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
Vs.38 “ This is the first and great commandment.
Vs.39 “ And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’Vs.40 “ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
1 John 4:16 ….God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
God’s abiding Faith of Humility is also linked to greatness in the kingdom of heaven;
Mat.18:4 “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
* God’s abiding Faith of Love & Humility is more important than working all of His miracles.
9. GREAT FAITH = Abiding Faith + Faith in God.
Jesus only refers to Great Faith occasionally in the scriptures. In each example, we see that the person Jesus is referring to, has both Abiding Faith + Faith in God - in their interaction with Him.
See Mat.8:10, 15:28 & Lk.7:9.
10. GREAT FAITH - Glorifies + pleases God.
It isn’t difficult to see that Jesus epitomised Great Faith and that this was the hallmark of His wonderful Christ Likeness;
God’s ultimate aim for all of us.
THE FAITH MIRACLES OF JESUS
So far, we have studied God’s Spiritual rules of evangelism and we know how the unsaved are held in Satan’s spiritual bondage. We also understand what faith is and why it is so powerful and how it ties in with the principles of walking in the Spirit.
We have looked at God’s Faith Principles and how they apply to God’s servants and to those who are seeking God’s help through His servants.
And so, we now come to the point in this lesson, where we need to become even more familiar with what it is like to walk in the Spirit with God. And so we will now look at Jesus Faith miracles, step by step, to see how Jesus walked with the Father, via His indwelling Spirit.
The following scriptural examples were chosen on the basis that they record the most detailed interaction between Jesus and those who obtained God’s Supernatural favour.
We are going to observe not only what Jesus was doing but we will also see what the recipients were doing as they received God’s Supernatural gifts.
The purpose of the following examples
is to demonstrate;
1. God’s Faith Principles in action &
2. The working relationship between Jesus and the Father.
* Also note that the dialogue between Jesus and the Father is only a representation of Jesus explanation of His relationship with the Father.
See John 5:19, John 6:38, John 14:10, John14:24.
Remember God’s basic Principle of how we are to walk with Him as His obedient servant;
“ Follow Me and My instructions, and give the
Command when I tell you, and I will do it ”.
ILLUSTRATION 1 - Mat 8:1-4
A leprous man is cleansed.
Jesus, as a mortal Man, yields Himself to God by following the instructions of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus has become God’s representative / ambassador / servant. Whatever God says to say - Jesus speaks, and whatever God instructs Him to do - Jesus does.
Matthew 8:1 When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him.
God has just instructed Jesus to ‘come down from the mountain’, and there is a leper there, by God’s appointment, to meet Jesus. Remember that in walking with God, Jesus is following God’s instructions moment by moment.
Vs.2 And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
It is important to note here that this man who wants to be made well takes an active part in this healing miracle. First the leper looks to (God) Jesus for his healing and he honours Jesus by calling Him ‘Lord’ and he worships Him.
Note that the leper already believes that Jesus can make him clean and so for him it is only a matter of Jesus - agreeing to the request.
The leper therefore, is ready to receive his miracle because he is willing to believe God’s Spoken Words (or faith) as they are relayed by Jesus (God’s servant).
Now, Jesus has just been approached by the leper and He hears the request of the leper. Then, according to Jesus, the first thing that He did was to look to the Father on what to do and what the Father wanted Jesus to say to this leper.
Now, in order, these are the continual ACTIONS of Jesus. He;
1. looks to the Father and He then
2. asks the Father in His heart,“ what do You want Me to do
3. Jesus listens to the Spirit within and He hears the Father’s
Command on what to do,
4. He believes that what the Father has just told Him, and then
5. He obeys the Father - in the next verse.
Vs.3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying,
“I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Remember the Faith principles illustration story? Jesus did not perform the actual miracle. God did !
Jesus simply looks, asks, hears, believes + obeys the Father.
And because Jesus had faith in God’s Spoken Rhema words, it was then done by the Father.
But by the same token, in this face to face encounter with the servant of God, the leper also exercises his faith in God. He looks to Jesus, he asks, hears and then believes God’s relayed words (Rhema) through Jesus. The leper;
1. looks to Jesus (God) for his healing,
2. he asks “ Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean”,
( believing already),
3. he hears Jesus say the word ( God’s Rhema ) “ I am willing;
be cleansed ” thus receiving faith from God.
4. and because the leper believes without doubt Jesus relayed
Rhema words from God, he is healed.
ILLUSTRATION 2 - Mat 9:27-30
The blind receive their sight.
The Father says to Jesus “Jesus, I want you to depart from here and go to the house that I am showing you”. Jesus hears and obeys the Father.
Vs.27 When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!”
Jesus can’t but help notice the two blind men crying out to Him. Jesus again looks to the Father, asking in his heart, “Father, what do you want Me to do?”
“Do not answer them yet” the Father replies “Go into the house that I Am showing You, and then I will give to You - what You should say and do”.
“Yes Father” Jesus replied in His heart.
Vs. 28 And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” they said to Him, “Yes Lord”
The Father then says to Jesus “Jesus, now touch their eyes and say ‘according to your faith let it be to you’”
Vs. 29 Then He touched their eyes, saying “According to your faith let it be to you”
Vs. 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, “See that no one knows it.”
The two blind men show their obvious faith;
They look to Jesus who relays the very Words of God
They asked for the favour of God. vs.27
They hear the relayed rhema Words of God vs28-29
They believe by answering “Yes Lord” vs.28
Jesus recognized their faith, by the Spirit, in vs.29.
Jesus, as God’s servant, continually submits to the Father’s Words Spoken in His heart.
Jesus is always 1. looking to the Father
He is always 2. asking in His heart “ Father, what do you want
Me to do?”
He listens and 3. Hears the Father’s words,
and then He 4. believes &
5. obeys God’s Spoken Rhema ( Faith ).
Notice how God works with His servant. In that God depends on His servant to look to Him, to ask, to hear, believe and obey.
When God finds such a servant, then He is free to move in the Supernatural. It isn’t that God can’t do what He pleases but He has chosen how - He wants to work with us.
Also, notice how easily the two blind men received their sight. They didn’t strain or struggle. They just simply accepted and believed God’s Spoken words, relayed by Jesus.
The Servant and the miracle recipients - simply believed God.
ILLUSTRATION 3 - Mat 14:25-33
Peter walks on the water.
The Father has a demonstration for the disciples in mind. “Jesus” the Father says. “Yes Father” replies Jesus. “Send the disciples away to the other side in the boat and stay with Me”. Jesus obeys.
Later on in the night, the Father says to Jesus, “Jesus, I want you to go to the disciples now, You shall walk across on the sea to them, and I will show You what to do and say when you reach them.” “Yes Father” Jesus replies, always - looking to, asking, hearing, believing & obeying - the Father’s rhema instructions.
Vs.25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.
Vs.26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
Vs.27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
It would appear that the Father and Jesus want to deal with the problem of FEAR in the disciples because they are being groomed for a Having Faith Holy Spirit ministry - and God wants the topic recorded in the scriptures for our benefit.
Vs.28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You,
command me to come to You on the water.”
Peter is the first to overcome his initial FEAR and he is inspired to believe as he watches Jesus walk on the water. Perhaps it is a simulation of how Jesus watched the Father and did what He saw His Father do. Anyway, Peter is watching Jesus (God) and ASKS
“ Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You..”.
Notice that Peter cannot obtain the miracle with presumption, he has to first obtain God’s consent/ authority/ faith by - looking to Jesus (God), asking, hearing and then believing & obeying the Spoken Rhema Words of God - as it was relayed by God’s servant.
Vs.29 So He said, “Come”. And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
Peter has looked, asked, heard, believed and obeyed God - and in so doing he obtains the miracle of walking on water. Believing & Obeying the received Faith from God! It is that simple.
But lets have a look at what happened next.
Vs.30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying “Lord save me!”
- fear dislodged Peter’s faith -
Notice how Peter was distracted from the assurance and proof of looking to Jesus. Peter took his eyes off Jesus and he began to look at and focus on the surrounding circumstances instead, which caused him to Fear - and thus he lost his faith in believing God.
This is a very good lesson in that the devil will bring about circumstances of distraction in order to divert our focus away from God so that he can instil his fear and doubt (non faith).
** God never left Peter’s side but Peter lost sight of God. **
Vs.31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Vs.32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
Vs.33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
FEAR & DOUBT came in when Peter focussed on his circumstances instead of God’s Spoken Word. His faith was diminished & then dislodged from believing God’s Spoken Word.
* God’s lesson being taught here is that we must avoid fear and doubt by developing a rock solid focus and trust in God’s Spoken Word.
ILLUSTRATION 4 - Luke 5:4-11
Simon reaps a miraculous catch.
In this example God highlights the simple act of obeying His Spoken Word. The setting is that of Jesus teaching the multitude. In this setting it is more than likely that Simon has been listening to Jesus teaching the people. This, in itself, is significant because the preaching of the Word, often precedes the Miracles of God.
It stands to reason that this focusing on God draws us closer to God thereby increasing our faith.
Jesus has just finished teaching the multitude, He does not take His spiritual eyes off the Father but asks God again “Father, what do You want Me to do? ” “Jesus” replies the Father, “Ask this man to ‘launch out into the deep and let down his nets for a catch’”. “Yes Father” Jesus answers (in His heart) and He obeys the Father.
Vs. 4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
Vs.5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”
Simon looks to Jesus and he hears His request. Simon then makes the decision to obey Jesus (God) even though he has toiled all night in the natural (flesh) and caught nothing.
Vs.6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.
Vs.7 So they signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink.
Take note of the comparison that is being made here, in that when Simon obeys and walks with God a little way - his actions become incredibly successful.
In this ‘having faith’ Holy Spirit demonstration, the Father and Jesus seem to be making a point for the Evangelists to follow, and that is;
1 Toil all night in the flesh and catch nothing, or
2. Follow and obey God’s Rhema and you will fill the boats.
Vs.10 …And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on
you will catch men.”
* Evangelists take note;
- Obey the Lord’s Spirit and you will catch men. –
ILLUSTRATION 5 - Luke 7:2-10
The Centurion’s ‘Great Faith’.
Here is the miracle event in which both the Father and Jesus marvel at the centurion’s great faith.
Vs.2 And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. Vs.3 So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. Vs.4 And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, Vs.5 “for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.” Vs.6 Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof.
This Roman Centurion has great political authority over the Jews and quite apart from abusing his position of authority over the ‘conquered’ people, this centurion proves to be the great exception.
He is amazingly humble (see vs.6-7), desiring only the well being of someone else and he does not think himself worthy enough to stand in front of Jesus or that He should come under his roof.
Rising to the station of centurion ought to rule out any issues of low self esteem. The Jewish elders also give Jesus their testimony as to his great love for God and for the people of Israel. He even built a synagogue for the people to worship the Father.
Summary 1. The centurion believes in
- God’s abiding faith of love - with all his heart.
Vs.7 “Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to
You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.
* The centurions faith in Jesus Authority and Power (in the supernatural) is so great that he simply asks Jesus to just ‘say the word, and my servant will be healed’. * And then the centurion explains to Jesus - his understanding of Jesus position with God.
Vs.8 “For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘come’, and he comes; and to my servant,‘Do this’, and he does it.”
Summary 2. The centurion’s trust in
- God’s Spoken Word - (having faith) is absolute.
Vs.9 When Jesus heard these things, He marvelled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “ I say to you. I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel !”
Jesus marvels at the centurion’s Great Faith because;
1. he really believes in God’s abiding faith &
( of Godly love + humility)
2. his trust in God’s ‘spoken word’ is absolute.
Vs.10 And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the
servant well who had been sick.
GREAT FAITH - SUMMARY
I do believe that the great faith that Jesus refers to is worth exploring here because not only does God highly commend it when He sees it but it is significant that Jesus Himself practiced this same great faith. That it is this same GREAT FAITH that is the embodiment of what it is to be CHRIST LIKE.
Lets briefly summarise what this great faith is.
Firstly, from the above example we can see that there are 2 types of faith that go together to make up God’s great faith, as it is referred to in the scriptures.
1. God’s Abiding Faith.
God’s Abiding Faith is summed up in Mat 7:22 – which is the 1st and 2nd great commandments of the New Testament. It is the abiding in the Holy Spirit whereby our heart motive abides in the Spirit ( the Love of God for others) as opposed to the spirit of the world ( which are the carnal desires of self ).
When our heart abides in the Holy Spirit, we live in relationship with God as we abide in Him.
2. Having Faith.
The second type of faith is found in a working face to Face relationship with God whereby the Supernatural promises of God are obtained by Having Faith.
Having Faith - requires hearing, believing and obeying the
Spoken Rhema Words of God.
Having Faith is achieved by;
Looking to him &
Asking Him for your request or instruction & then
Hearing His reply, ( imparted faith )
within your heart & then
+ Obeying God’s spoken command.
- which sees God move in the Supernatural,
to do those things - that He said He would do.
When we interact with the very Person of God and submit to Him and His faith principles, we can then build a having faith working relationship with Him. To walk with Him, by faith
Great Faith is that unique combination of abiding wholly in the fruit of the Spirit whilst having a 100%, trusting belief - in the Spoken Words of God.
PRAYER OF FAITH
Jesus tells us that there are - 2 conditions - that have to be met
for the successful Prayer of Faith.
John 15:7 “ If you abide in Me, and My (rhemas) words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
John 15:7, describes in a nutshell, the two basic essentials that God requires from us, to pray the Prayer of Faith.
They are that God requires us to become united with Him in heart and in mind. In that;
our hearts desire becomes aligned to His Spirit. Gal.5:22
and that our will becomes aligned to His will via His Spoken rhema Words.
1. To pray the Prayer of Faith it is necessary that the believer’s heart - abides in the Holy Spirit of God.
Jesus first referred to this reciprocal relationship when He said;
John14:10 “ I am in the Father and the Father in Me.”
John 10:38 “ The Father in Me and I in Him ”.
In the same way, Jesus again referred to the necessity of this same relationship between Himself and us by saying;
John 6:56 “ He that eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, dwells in
Me, and I in Him.”
John 15:5 “ I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in
Me, and I in Him, bears much fruit; for without Me
you can do nothing.
That is, the prayer of faith is dependent on having God’s godly desires in our heart. Gal 5:22. Being filled with Him.
2. To pray the Pray of Faith it is also necessary that our will - is aligned to God’s will. This is achieved when God’s spoken Words abide and remains in us. When we are submitted to His rhema.
See Jesus obedience to God’s rhema. Jn. 4:34, 5:19, 8:28, 12:49
See Jesus explanation on the Prayer of faith. Mat.17:20, 21:21.
IN ACCORDANCE WITH HIS WILL
Now, it is important that we have the fullest understanding of what is happening here in the prayer of faith.
Let’s look again at the scripture.
1 John 5:14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. Vs.15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
The apostle John, who knew how to walk in the Spirit, tells us that if we ask God for anything that is ‘ACCORDING TO HIS WILL’ He hears us.
This next scripture shows us how we are to determine exactly what is according to God’s will.
Rom.8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Vs.27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
That is, as we seek and ask God and tarry there with Him, God’s Spirit helps us in our weakness and He intercedes for us, the saints, guiding us into exactly what we should pray.
Then, having prayed or asked that which is ‘according to His will’, we will know that He has heard us. And thus we will also know that we have the petition that we have asked of Him.