DOCTRINES

FAITH ISóPart-1

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(Subjects in this Section)
(What Is Faith?)
(Degrees Of Faith)
(Faith Comes From Godís Word Only)
(The Teachings In Todayís Churches)
(How Satan Deceives Regarding Faith)

1-BEFORE FAITH
2-STATISTICS
3-THE WEIGHTIER MATTERS OF THE LAW
4-INTRODUCTION
5-WHAT IS FAITH?
6-DEFINITION
7-DEGREES OF FAITH
8-NO FAITH, DEAD FAITH, OR VAIN FAITH
    LITTLE FAITH OR WEAK FAITH
9-TAKE NO THOUGHT
10-THE SHIP THAT SEEMED LIKE IT WOULD SINK
11-WALKING ON THE WATER
12-THE WITHERED FIG TREE
13-THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES
14-FAITH IS NOT TO BE A WAVE OR DOUBLE-MINDED
     GREAT FAITH, FULL OF FAITH, SOUND IN FAITH, AND OTHERS
15-THE WOMAN OF CANAAN
16-THE CENTURION
17-ABRAHAM
18-GREAT FAITH IS
19-FAITH IS TO BE IN WHOM? ALSO FALSE FAITH
20-WHAT FAITH?
21-WHERE DOES FAITH COME FROM?
22-DOES HEARING AND STUDYING GODíS WORD ALWAYS PRODUCE FAITH?
23-THE TEACHINGS IN TODAYíS CHURCHES
24-PREACH THE WORD
25-SATAN IS SUCCEEDING FOR THE MOMENT
26-SATAN TRIES TO KEEP YOU FROM GROWING IN FAITH
27-AN EXAMPLE OF FAITH

1-BEFORE FAITH

    Gal 3:23-27-BUT BEFORE FAITH CAME, WE WERE KEPT UNDER THE LAW, SHUT UP UNTO THE FAITH WHICH SHOULD AFTERWARDS BE REVEALED.
  
WHEREFORE THE LAW WAS OUR SCHOOLMASTER TO BRING US UNTO CHRIST, THAT WE MIGHT BE JUSTIFIED BY FAITH.
  
BUT AFTER THAT FAITH IS COME, WE ARE NO LONGER UNDER A SCHOOLMASTER (or the Law).
  
FOR YE ARE ALL THE CHILDREN OF GOD BY FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS.
  
FOR AS MANY OF YOU AS HAVE BEEN BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST HAVE PUT ON CHRIST.
  
The Law was until John.
  
With the coming of John the Baptist and the revealing of Jesus Christ (the Messiah), Who came in the flesh, came faith. Jesus is the Messiah, Who came to this earth in human form. A person that came to faith in Jesus Christ was no longer under the Law.
  
It is written, Mt 11:13-FOR ALL THE PROPHETS AND THE LAW PROPHESIED UNTIL JOHN.
  
Lk 16:16-THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS WERE UNTIL JOHN: SINCE THAT TIME THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS PREACHED, AND EVERY MAN PRESSETH INTO IT. The mystery and revealing of faith in Jesus Christ is now evident from the time of John.
    The mystery (the revelation of Jesus Christ) was kept secret since the world began; Ro 16:26-BUT NOW IS MADE MANIFEST (or revealed)ÖBY THE SCRIPTURES OF THE PROPHETS, ACCORDING TO (or by) THE COMMANDMENT OF THE EVERLASTING GOD, MADE KNOWN TO ALL NATIONS FOR THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH (or that all nations might believe and obey-NIV).

    Ro 3:31-DO WE THEN MAKE VOID THE LAW THROUGH FAITH? GOD FORBID: YEA, WE ESTABLISH THE LAW.
  
Though faith is come, yet some still try to be saved by the Law. They perish. Those that seek to be made righteous will not attain it, if they seek it through the Law.
  
Ro 9:32-WHEREFORE? BECAUSE THEY SOUGHT IT NOT BY FAITH, BUT AS IT WERE BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW. FOR THEY STUMBLED AT THAT STUMBLINGSTONE. The stumbling stone is Jesus.

    From the time that Adam sinned, the coming of the Messiah had been promised-ref Gen 3:15. Enoch, who lived before the flood, ALSO, THE SEVENTH FROM ADAM, PROPHESIED OF THESE, SAYING, BEHOLD, THE LORD COMETH WITH TEN THOUSANDS OF HIS SAINTS-Jude 14.

    Up to the time of John and the revealing of Jesus Christ, the "just" lived by faith-ref Hab 2:4. They looked forward to the coming of the promised One, the Messiah.
  
Since the Messiah has come, has died, has risen from the dead, and now sits at the right hand of God the Father; the just also now SHALL LIVE BY FAITH-Heb 10:38. A person now looks back and knows that Jesus came. He receives Jesus Christ by faith as his only hope of salvation. The person now also looks forward, knowing that this same Jesus shall return.

2-STATISTICS

    In the Old Testament, the word "faith" only appears two times. In Deut 32:20, it relates to prophecy during the Tribulation period; as it is written, THEY ARE A VERY FROWARD GENERATION, CHILDREN IN WHOM IS NO FAITH.
  
The other verse is in Hab 2:4-BUT THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY HIS FAITH.
  
The word "faith" appears in the New Testament approximately 243 times.

3-THE WEIGHTIER MATTERS OF THE LAW

    Faith is called a "weightier matter of the Law."
  
Mt 23:23-WOE UNTO YOU, SCRIBES AND PHARISEES, HYPOCRITES! FOR YE PAY TITHE OF MINT AND ANISE AND CUMMIN, AND HAVE OMITTED THE WEIGHTIER MATTERS OF THE LAW, JUDGMENT, MERCY, AND FAITH: THESE OUGHT YE TO HAVE DONE.

4-INTRODUCTION

    Godís Word tells us in Eph 2:8,9-FOR BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED THROUGH FAITH; AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES: IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD: NOT OF WORKS, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST. The subject of this message is "Faith." Note Godís Word, BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED; then we are told by what means this comes about, THROUGH FAITH. We need to examine what faith is, and what grace is.
  
We read in 1 Jn 5:4-FOR WHATSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD OVERCOMETH THE WORLD (then we are told in the same verse how we overcome): AND THIS IS THE VICTORY THAT OVERCOMETH THE WORLD, EVEN OUR FAITH.
  
Heb 10:38-tells us, NOW THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.
  
Ro 1:17-AS IT IS WRITTEN, THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.
  
Gal 3:11-FOR, THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.
  
2 Cor 5:7-(FOR WE WALK BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT.)
  
Ro 14:23-WHATSOEVER IS NOT OF FAITH IS SIN.

5-WHAT IS FAITH?

    The words THE LAW OF FAITH, are used in Ro 3:27. Thus, faith is an absolute. It is a law, not a theory.

    Thus we ask the question: What is faith?
  
What is this that gives us the victory?
  
What is this that enables us to overcome the world?
  
What is this that through it, or as a result of it, we are saved by grace?
  
What is this in which we are to live by?
  
What is this that we are to walk by?
  
What is this that whatsoever is not of faith is sin?

6-DEFINITION

   Faith can be termed as trust.
  
Faith can be termed as reliance.
  
Faith can be termed as being fully persuaded.
  
Faith can be termed as being fully confident.
  
Faith can be termed as believing so deeply that it causes or forces a person to do something. True faith will have evidence.
  
Faith can be termed as being fully persuaded, relying, and trusting in God without hesitation even to the death of the cross.
  
Faith can be termed as a total, unwavering trust in Jesus, in the truth of all the Bible and its promises; even when every possible circumstance and evidence appears to be contrary to what is written in Godís Word or even when brutally tortured.
  
Faith can be termed as a comforting hope even when there appears to be no hope, but only darkness or death.
  
Faith can be termed as being fully persuaded that God works right now.
  
Faith can be termed as fully believing Godís Word as it is written.
  
Faith is that which can say with total confidence, "I forsake everything for Jesus."
  
A person can have a wealth of money and friends, yet be miserable. A person can have faith in Jesus with few friends and possessions, yet have joy.
   On his death bed, the man with everything but Jesus can expect to be afraid within himself; no matter how many may try to comfort him.
  
The man with total confidence in Jesus as his only hope can be on his bed dying, yet have joy.
  
Faith in Jesus Christ is our anchor that sustains us no matter how great the stormóif we keep our eyes on Jesus and if we hold on to our faith without wavering.

    We are told in Heb 11:1-NOW FAITH (or trusting) IS THE SUBSTANCE (or assurance, or being confident, or being sure) OF THINGS HOPED FOR, THE EVIDENCE (or the conviction, or being certain, or convinced) OF THINGS NOT SEEN.
  
Faith is SUBSTANCE. Godís Word tells us, all things are possible to them that believe-ref Mk 9:23. The Bible shows us that mountains can be moved by faith-ref Mt 17:20.
  
The next words tell us, FAITHÖTHE SUBSTANCE - of what? - OF THINGS HOPED FOR.
  
And then the verse continues to tell us that, FAITH ISÖTHE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN. Faith is substance and evidence.
  
Faith is a shield. You have a shield as the result of faith.
  
Faith and love is a breastplate. You have a breastplate as a result of faith and love.
  
Eph 6:16-THE SHIELD OF FAITH, WHEREWITH YE SHALL BE ABLE TO QUENCH ALL THE FIERY DARTS OF THE WICKED.

    1 Thes 5:8 tells us, BUT LET US, WHO ARE OF THE DAY, BE SOBER, PUTTING ON THE BREASTPLATE OF FAITH AND LOVE.

7-DEGREES OF FAITH

   The Scriptures show that people have various types of faith, which include: no faith, little faith, and great faith.                                        
   There is also faith that is false.

8-NO FAITH, DEAD FAITH, OR VAIN FAITH

    Some have no faith. It is written, 2 Thes 3:2-FOR ALL MEN HAVE NOT FAITH.
  
Others deny the faith by what they do or not do. It is written, 1 Tim 5:8-BUT IF ANY PROVIDE NOT FOR HIS OWN, AND SPECIALLY FOR THOSE OF HIS OWN HOUSE, HE HATH DENIED THE FAITH, AND IS WORSE THAN AN INFIDEL.
  
Some are reprobate concerning the faith. It is written, 2 Tim 3:8-NOW AS JANNES AND JAMBRES WITHSTOOD MOSES, SO DO THESE ALSO RESIST THE TRUTH: MEN OF CORRUPT MINDS, REPROBATE CONCERNING THE FAITH.

    1 Cor 15:14-AND IF CHRIST BE NOT RISEN, THEN IS OUR PREACHING VAIN, AND YOUR FAITH IS ALSO VAIN (or useless).

    Regarding the incident in Mt 8:23-27, where the boat that the disciples were in was about to sink, it is written, Mk 4:40-AND HE (Jesus) SAID UNTO THEM, WHY ARE YE SO FEARFUL? HOW IS IT THAT YE HAVE NO FAITH? Here "no faith" can be termed as having so much fearfulness that it overwhelms the faith that a person has. It may be said that a person has one measure of faith, but also one measure of fear. One minus one, equals "zero" faith.

    Deut 32:20-FOR THEY ARE A VERY FROWARD GENERATION, CHILDREN IN WHOM IS NO FAITH.

    Ja 2:20,26-BUT WILT THOU KNOW, O VAIN MAN, THAT FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD? Note the wording, in that it asks the question, WILT THOU KNOW? It asks the question, "Are you willing to recognize?"-NASB. The question is asked of the "vain man." It is asked of the "foolish fellow" in the NAS. Is the vain or foolish man able or willing to recognize that faith without works is dead?
  
FOR AS THE BODY WITHOUT THE SPIRIT IS DEAD, SO FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD ALSO. These words are addressed to believers.
  
Many people claim they have faith, but there is neither any evidence, fruit or works to demonstrate the existence of faith. Their faith is dead, as it is not accompanied by works.
  
It is written, Ja 2:14-26-WHAT DOTH IT PROFIT, MY BRETHREN, THOUGH A MAN SAY HE HATH FAITH, AND HAVE NOT WORKS? CAN FAITH SAVE HIM?
  
IF A BROTHER OR SISTER BE NAKED, AND DESTITUTE OF DAILY FOOD,
  
AND ONE OF YOU SAY UNTO THEM, DEPART IN PEACE, BE YE WARMED AND FILLED; NOTWITHSTANDING YE GIVE THEM NOT THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE NEEDFUL TO THE BODY; WHAT DOTH IT PROFIT?
  
EVEN SO FAITH, IF IT HATH NOT WORKS, IS DEAD, BEING ALONE.
  
YEA, A MAN MAY SAY, THOU HAST FAITH, AND I HAVE WORKS: SHEW ME THY FAITH WITHOUT THY WORKS, AND I WILL SHEW THEE MY FAITH BY MY WORKS (or by what I do).
  
THOU BELIEVEST THAT THERE IS ONE GOD; THOU DOEST WELL: THE DEVILS ALSO BELIEVE, AND TREMBLE.
  
BUT WILT THOU KNOW, O VAIN MAN, THAT FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD?
  
WAS NOT ABRAHAM OUR FATHER JUSTIFIED BY WORKS, WHEN HE HAD OFFERED ISAAC HIS SON UPON THE ALTAR?
  
SEEST THOU HOW FAITH WROUGHT WITH HIS WORKS, AND BY WORKS WAS FAITH MADE PERFECT?
  
AND THE SCRIPTURE WAS FULFILLED WHICH SAITH, ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS IMPUTED UNTO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS: AND HE WAS CALLED THE FRIEND OF GOD.
  
YE SEE THEN HOW THAT BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, AND NOT BY FAITH ONLY.
  
LIKEWISE ALSO WAS NOT RAHAB THE HARLOT JUSTIFIED BY WORKS, WHEN SHE HAD RECEIVED THE MESSENGERS, AND HAD SENT THEM OUT ANOTHER WAY?
  
FOR AS THE BODY WITHOUT THE SPIRIT IS DEAD, SO FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD ALSO.
  
Thus, there are people that have no faith, and there are people that have dead faith.
  
The message is clear. It is written, Heb 11:6-BUT WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM: FOR HE THAT COMETH TO GOD MUST BELIEVE THAT HE IS, AND THAT HE IS A REWARDER OF THEM THAT DILIGENTLY SEEK HIM.
  
The Scriptures show us many ways that we can please God; however, every single one of them must be built upon one single word. That word is "faith." That faith must be in the Jesus of the Bible, revealed from Genesis to the Revelation.

LITTLE FAITH OR WEAK FAITH
9-TAKE NO THOUGHT

    Regarding little faith, it is written, Mt 6:30-WHEREFORE, IF GOD SO CLOTHE THE GRASS OF THE FIELD, WHICH TO DAY IS, AND TO MORROW IS CAST INTO THE OVEN, SHALL HE NOT MUCH MORE CLOTHE YOU, O YE OF LITTLE FAITH? Here "little faith" is portrayed in relation to doubting, worrying, or wondering if God will provide those things which are needful, such as food, drink, and clothing.
  
Godís answer for this is,
  Mt 6:31-34-THEREFORE TAKE NO THOUGHT, SAYING, WHAT SHALL WE EAT? OR, WHAT SHALL WE DRINK? OR, WHEREWITHAL SHALL WE BE CLOTHED?
  
(FOR AFTER ALL THESE THINGS DO THE GENTILES SEEK:) FOR YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER KNOWETH THAT YE HAVE NEED OF ALL THESE THINGS.
  
BUT SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU.
  
TAKE THEREFORE NO THOUGHT FOR THE MORROW: FOR THE MORROW SHALL TAKE THOUGHT FOR THE THINGS OF ITSELF. SUFFICIENT UNTO THE DAY IS THE EVIL THEREOF.
  
Lk 12:32-FEAR NOT, LITTLE FLOCK; FOR IT IS YOUR FATHER'S GOOD PLEASURE TO GIVE YOU THE KINGDOM. (Ref Lk 12:22-32.)
  
Godís remedy is clear.
  
1. First seek the kingdom of God.
  
2. Trust completely in God to provide.
  
3. Do not even think about the situation of food, drink, and clothing.
  
4. Take no thought for tomorrow.
  
5. Get rid of fear.
  
Various situations will come upon the Christian to test or prove their faith, to see if it is genuine.

10-THE SHIP THAT SEEMED LIKE IT WOULD SINK

    Regarding "little faith," it is also written:
  
Mt 8:23-27-AND WHEN HE (Jesus) WAS ENTERED INTO A SHIP, HIS DISCIPLES FOLLOWED HIM.
  
AND, BEHOLD, THERE AROSE A GREAT TEMPEST IN THE SEA, INSOMUCH THAT THE SHIP WAS COVERED WITH THE WAVES: BUT HE WAS ASLEEP.
  
AND HIS DISCIPLES CAME TO HIM, AND AWOKE HIM, SAYING, LORD, SAVE US: WE PERISH.
  
AND HE SAITH UNTO THEM, WHY ARE YE FEARFUL, O YE OF LITTLE FAITH? THEN HE AROSE, AND REBUKED THE WINDS AND THE SEA; AND THERE WAS A GREAT CALM.
  
BUT THE MEN MARVELLED, SAYING, WHAT MANNER OF MAN IS THIS, THAT EVEN THE WINDS AND THE SEA OBEY HIM!
  
Lk 8:25-AND HE SAID UNTO THEM, WHERE IS YOUR FAITH? AND THEY BEING AFRAID WONDERED, SAYING ONE TO ANOTHER, WHAT MANNER OF MAN IS THIS! FOR HE COMMANDETH EVEN THE WINDS AND WATER, AND THEY OBEY HIM.
  
The disciples were afraid that their ship would sink because of the wind and waves. This is symbolic of the many things that the Christian goes through or that come against the Christian. Sometimes these seem to cover the Christian, and it seems as if there is no hope. Here "little faith" is shown to be the same as doubting, because of fearfulness.
  
Jesus was in control all along. Their faith was being tested to see how they would react. No matter what difficulty or problem comes against a Christian, Jesus is in control and can rebuke the most difficult situations or problems, or provide a way to escape-ref 1 Cor 10:13. Sometimes it may be the Lordís will that we go through a very difficult experience, but He promises to be with us in trouble-ref Ps 66:11,12; Ps 91:15; Isa 43:2.
  
Some in the boat appear to have had "little faith" while others may have had "no faith"-ref Mk 4:40.

11-WALKING ON THE WATER

    Regarding "little faith," it is also written:
  
Mt 14:29-32-AND HE (Jesus) SAID, COME. AND WHEN PETER WAS COME DOWN OUT OF THE SHIP, HE WALKED ON THE WATER, TO GO TO JESUS.
  
BUT WHEN HE SAW THE WIND BOISTEROUS, HE WAS AFRAID; AND BEGINNING TO SINK, HE CRIED, SAYING, LORD, SAVE ME.
  
AND IMMEDIATELY JESUS STRETCHED FORTH HIS HAND, AND CAUGHT HIM, AND SAID UNTO HIM, O THOU OF LITTLE FAITH, WHEREFORE DIDST THOU DOUBT?
  
AND WHEN THEY WERE COME INTO THE SHIP, THE WIND CEASED.
  
Peter trusted in Jesus. He walked on the water. But then he got his eyes off Jesus and began to look at the wind, or we may say, he began to look at his circumstances rather than at Jesus. Because he got his eyes off Jesus, fear set in. He began to be afraid. He began to doubt. Because he began to be afraid, and doubt, and got his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink. Nevertheless, he called out to Jesus, and Jesus saved him. Jesus told him, "O thou of little faith."
  
When a Christian has his eyes fixed on Jesus, he walks in faith. But when he begins to look at the difficult situations and gets his eyes off Jesus, fear and doubt can set in. His faith can begin to be like a wave. Because of the fear and doubt, his faith can be called "little." But when he again fixed his eyes back on Jesus alone as his only hope, Jesus saved him from drowning. When a person calls on Jesus in faith, Jesus can be expected to help no matter what the problem.

12-THE WITHERED FIG TREE

    Mt 21:18-21-NOW IN THE MORNING AS HE RETURNED INTO THE CITY, HE HUNGERED.
  
AND WHEN HE SAW A FIG TREE IN THE WAY, HE CAME TO IT, AND FOUND NOTHING THEREON, BUT LEAVES ONLY, AND SAID UNTO IT, LET NO FRUIT GROW ON THEE HENCEFORWARD FOR EVER. AND PRESENTLY THE FIG TREE WITHERED AWAY.
  
AND WHEN THE DISCIPLES SAW IT, THEY MARVELLED, SAYING, HOW SOON IS THE FIG TREE WITHERED AWAY!
  
JESUS ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO THEM, VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, IF YE HAVE FAITH, AND DOUBT NOT, YE SHALL NOT ONLY DO THIS WHICH IS DONE TO THE FIG TREE, BUT ALSO IF YE SHALL SAY UNTO THIS MOUNTAIN, BE THOU REMOVED, AND BE THOU CAST INTO THE SEA; IT SHALL BE DONE.
  
Again, doubt is related to having weak or little faith. Therefore, doubt may be said to be the enemy of strong faith, and strong faith may be said to be faith without any doubt.

13-THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES

    Regarding "little faith," it is also written:
  
Mt 16:6-12-THEN JESUS SAID UNTO THEM, TAKE HEED AND BEWARE OF THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES AND OF THE SADDUCEES.
  
AND THEY REASONED AMONG THEMSELVES, SAYING, IT IS BECAUSE WE HAVE TAKEN NO BREAD.
  
WHICH WHEN JESUS PERCEIVED, HE SAID UNTO THEM, O YE OF LITTLE FAITH, WHY REASON YE AMONG YOURSELVES, BECAUSE YE HAVE BROUGHT NO BREAD?
  
DO YE NOT YET UNDERSTAND, NEITHER REMEMBER THE FIVE LOAVES OF THE FIVE THOUSAND, AND HOW MANY BASKETS YE TOOK UP?
  
NEITHER THE SEVEN LOAVES OF THE FOUR THOUSAND, AND HOW MANY BASKETS YE TOOK UP?
  
HOW IS IT THAT YE DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT I SPAKE IT NOT TO YOU CONCERNING BREAD, THAT YE SHOULD BEWARE OF THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES AND OF THE SADDUCEES?
  
THEN UNDERSTOOD THEY HOW THAT HE BADE THEM NOT BEWARE OF THE LEAVEN OF BREAD, BUT OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE PHARISEES AND OF THE SADDUCEES.
  
Little faith here is related to several things.
  
1. They did not understand. They had a lack of understanding.
  
2. They had wrong thoughts.
  
3. They were reasoning among themselves as a result.
  
4. They forgot certain things.
  
They did not understand that Jesus did not speak to them concerning the bread, but that the bread was used to convey another message. That other message was that they should be on their guard against the spread of the false teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees, which can spread like leaven or yeast.
  
Thus we may say, little understanding equals little faith.

    The words "weak in faith" are used in the following verses:
  
Ro 14:1-HIM THAT IS WEAK IN THE FAITH RECEIVE YE, BUT NOT TO DOUBTFUL DISPUTATIONS.
  
Ro 4:19-AND BEING NOT WEAK IN FAITH, HE CONSIDERED NOT HIS OWN BODY NOW DEAD, WHEN HE WAS ABOUT AN HUNDRED YEARS OLD, NEITHER YET THE DEADNESS OF SARAH'S WOMB.

14-FAITH IS NOT TO BE A WAVE OR  DOUBLE-MINDED

    Some people have faith that is like a wave. It goes in and out. One moment they are fully persuaded; and the next moment they doubt. One moment they are committed to obeying God; and the next moment they are unsure. One moment they have enough faith in Jesus to go overseas to become a missionary. Then the next moment, they do not have enough faith to witness to their neighbor. One moment they have faith enough in Jesus to serve God fulltime; but then the problems set in, and their faith becomes like a wave. Their faith fails. They shrink back.
  
Their faith is like a wave that is driven with the wind. One moment they believe this way, but then they change their mind and do not believe. As the rains descend, and the floods come, and the winds blow against them, they fall-ref Mt 7:26,27. Their faith fails as problems, persecutions, false doctrines, deceptions, unbiblical desires, cares of this world, the pleasures of this world, the lusts of other things, the deception of riches and other things come against them.
  
God wants us to be a person that is Heb 10:23-WITHOUT WAVERING; and Ja 1:6-NOTHING WAVERING.
  
Ja 1:6-8-FOR HE THAT WAVERETH IS LIKE A WAVE OF THE SEA DRIVEN WITH THE WIND AND TOSSED. FOR LET NOT THAT MAN THINK THAT HE SHALL RECEIVE ANY THING OF THE LORD. A DOUBLE MINDED MAN IS UNSTABLE IN ALL HIS WAYS.
  
The message is clear. A person with faith like a wave is not pleasing to God.

    Heb 10:23-LET US HOLD FAST THE PROFESSION OF OUR FAITH WITHOUT WAVERING; (FOR HE IS FAITHFUL THAT PROMISED;).

GREAT FAITH, FULL OF FAITH, SOUND IN FAITH, AND OTHERS
15-THE WOMAN OF CANAAN

    Mt 15:22-28-AND, BEHOLD, A WOMAN OF CANAAN CAME OUT OF THE SAME COASTS, AND CRIED UNTO HIM, SAYING, HAVE MERCY ON ME, O LORD, THOU SON OF DAVID; MY DAUGHTER IS GRIEVOUSLY VEXED WITH A DEVIL.
  
BUT HE ANSWERED HER NOT A WORD. AND HIS DISCIPLES CAME AND BESOUGHT HIM, SAYING, SEND HER AWAY; FOR SHE CRIETH AFTER US.
  
BUT HE ANSWERED AND SAID, I AM NOT SENT BUT UNTO THE LOST SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL.
  
THEN CAME SHE AND WORSHIPPED HIM, SAYING, LORD, HELP ME.
  
BUT HE ANSWERED AND SAID, IT IS NOT MEET TO TAKE THE CHILDREN'S BREAD, AND TO CAST IT TO DOGS.
  
AND SHE SAID, TRUTH, LORD: YET THE DOGS EAT OF THE CRUMBS WHICH FALL FROM THEIR MASTERS' TABLE.
  
THEN JESUS ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO HER, O WOMAN, GREAT IS THY FAITH: BE IT UNTO THEE EVEN AS THOU WILT. AND HER DAUGHTER WAS MADE WHOLE FROM THAT VERY HOUR.
  
A woman of Canaan came to Jesus asking for mercy and help for her daughter. She acknowledged that He is the Christ, by saying, "Thou son of David."
   At first, Jesus ignored her.
  
The disciples told Jesus to send her away.
  
Jesus told her that He was sent unto the lost sheep of Israel.
  
What did she do? Did she leave, being discouraged and bitter? Did she get angry? No. She did not give up. She worshipped Him and again asked for help. Her faith was being tested.
  
Jesus then told her that it was not right to take the childrenís bread and cast it to the dogs. In essence, Jesus was calling her a dog.
  
What did she do? Did she leave, being discouraged and bitter? Did she get angry? No. She did not give up. She replied back to Jesus that what He said was true. She admitted she was a dog. Then she replied that even the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from their masterís table.
  
Her faith had been proven to be strong and sincere. She had a right attitude. Jesus then replied to her, "O WOMAN, GREAT IS THY FAITH." He then told her that her request is granted.
  
It may be noted that "great faith" is credited to her as she did not become easily offended, bitter, or discouraged at what other people said or with what Jesus said. She was persistent in believing that Jesus would grant her what she requested.

16-THE CENTURION

    Regarding "the greatest faith," it is written:
  
Lk 7:2-10-AND A CERTAIN CENTURION'S SERVANT, WHO WAS DEAR UNTO HIM, WAS SICK, AND READY TO DIE.
  
AND WHEN HE HEARD OF JESUS, HE SENT UNTO HIM THE ELDERS OF THE JEWS, BESEECHING HIM THAT HE WOULD COME AND HEAL HIS SERVANT.
  
AND WHEN THEY CAME TO JESUS, THEY BESOUGHT HIM INSTANTLY, SAYING, THAT HE WAS WORTHY FOR WHOM HE SHOULD DO THIS:
  
FOR HE LOVETH OUR NATION, AND HE HATH BUILT US A SYNAGOGUE.
  
THEN JESUS WENT WITH THEM. AND WHEN HE WAS NOW NOT FAR FROM THE HOUSE, THE CENTURION SENT FRIENDS TO HIM, SAYING UNTO HIM, LORD, TROUBLE NOT THYSELF: FOR I AM NOT WORTHY THAT THOU SHOULDEST ENTER UNDER MY ROOF:
  
WHEREFORE NEITHER THOUGHT I MYSELF WORTHY TO COME UNTO THEE: BUT SAY IN A WORD, AND MY SERVANT SHALL BE HEALED.
  
FOR I ALSO AM A MAN SET UNDER AUTHORITY, HAVING UNDER ME SOLDIERS, AND I SAY UNTO ONE, GO, AND HE GOETH; AND TO ANOTHER, COME, AND HE COMETH; AND TO MY SERVANT, DO THIS, AND HE DOETH IT.
  
WHEN JESUS HEARD THESE THINGS, HE MARVELLED AT HIM, AND TURNED HIM ABOUT, AND SAID UNTO THE PEOPLE THAT FOLLOWED HIM, I SAY UNTO YOU, I HAVE NOT FOUND SO GREAT FAITH, NO, NOT IN ISRAEL.
  
AND THEY THAT WERE SENT, RETURNING TO THE HOUSE, FOUND THE SERVANT WHOLE THAT HAD BEEN SICK. (Also ref Mt 8:5-10.)
  
This "greatest" faith is related to this centurion. Certain things are evident here in relation to this "greatest" faith.
  
1. He had shown that he loved Israel beforehand by what he did.
  
2. He was humble. He did not consider himself worthy.
  
3. He totally trusted that Jesus would heal his servant.
  
4. He totally trusted and was fully persuaded that Jesus could do it simply by speaking it.
  
5. He understood the subject of authority and recognized the authority that Jesus had and was under. (Note: this subject is not understood by many people.)

    It was this man that had the "greatest faith."
  
Mt 21:21 tells us, IF YE HAVE FAITH, AND DOUBT NOT, the result is, you have:
  
Mt 8:10-GREAT FAITH.
  
Now, faith without doubt is Acts 11:24-FULL OFÖFAITH.
  
Acts 6:5,8 tells us of Stephen, a man FULL OF FAITH. (Also ref Acts 11:24.)
  
Faith that does not go back and forth as a wave, is being Ro 4:20-STRONG IN FAITH.
  
God wants you to be Titus 1:13-SOUND IN THE FAITH, and Titus 2:2-SOUND IN FAITH.
  
Heb 10:22, speaks of the FULL ASSURANCE OF FAITH.
  
Ja 2:5, speaks of God choosing the poor of the world being RICH IN FAITH, AND HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM WHICH HE HATH PROMISED TO THEM THAT LOVE HIM?
  
Col 2:5-THE STEDFASTNESS OF YOUR FAITH IN CHRIST.
  
2 Pe 1:1-TO THEM THAT HAVE OBTAINED LIKE PRECIOUS FAITH WITH US.
  
1 Tim 1:5-AND OF A GOOD CONSCIENCE, AND OF FAITH UNFEIGNED (or sincere faith).
  
2 Tim 1:5-WHEN I CALL TO REMEMBRANCE THE UNFEIGNED FAITH (or sincere trust) THAT IS IN THEE.
  
Jude 20-BUT YE, BELOVED, BUILDING UP YOURSELVES ON YOUR MOST HOLY FAITH.

17-ABRAHAM

    Abraham was "not weak in faith." It is written:
  
Ro 4:19-AND BEING NOT WEAK IN FAITH, HE CONSIDERED NOT HIS OWN BODY NOW DEAD, WHEN HE WAS ABOUT AN HUNDRED YEARS OLD, NEITHER YET THE DEADNESS OF SARAH'S WOMB.
  
And Ro 4:21-Abraham, BEING FULLY PERSUADED THAT, WHAT HE (God) HAD PROMISED, HE WAS ABLE ALSO TO PERFORM.
  
Is your faith strong enough to motivate you to serve God? Are you fully persuaded as Abraham was?
  
It was said of Abraham in Ro 4:20-HE STAGGERED NOT AT THE PROMISE OF GOD THROUGH UNBELIEF; BUT WAS STRONG IN FAITH, GIVING GLORY TO GOD.

18-GREAT FAITH IS

    All of these combined give us a good definition of "great faith."

19-FAITH IS TO BE IN WHOM? ALSO FALSE FAITH

    There is much confusion regarding faith in this latter day generation. Some regard faith as a tool or a formula one follows to get whatever they want from God. Some think using faith will get them a thirty, sixty or hundred fold return.
  
Some think that they can speak whatever they will, and it will come to pass because of faith. They base this on Mk 11:23.
  
Some think they can control God and persuade Him to do "their" will by applying the principle of faith.
  
Some put their faith in what they say, or in a preacher or denomination, or in themselves, or their government, or their doctor, or other things.
  
The list could go on and on.
  
The power, the confidence, and the blessing that comes from "faith" is not in the faith itself, as some would have you to believe. Rather, it is in the divine object of our faith.
  
There is only one faith.
  
We read, in Eph 4:5, that there is ONE FAITH. Faith that is centered on anything or anyone other than Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone is false faith.
  
We are to Gal 2:20-LIVE BY THE FAITH.
  
One might therefore ask, "What faith are we to live by?" Please note the list of study verses below:

20-WHAT FAITH?

    Rev 14:12-THE FAITH OF JESUS
  
Acts 3:16-FAITH IN HIS NAME
  
Acts 20:21-FAITH TOWARD OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
  
Acts 24:24-FAITH IN CHRIST
  
Eph 1:15-FAITH IN THE LORD
  
Eph 3:12-FAITH OF HIM
  
Gal 2:16-FAITH OF CHRIST
  
Gal 2:16-FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST
  
Gal 2:20-FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD
  
Gal 3:22-FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST
  
Heb 6:1-FAITH TOWARD GOD
  
Ja 2:1-THE FAITH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
  
Mk 11:22-FAITH IN GOD
  
Ro 3:3-FAITH OF GOD
  
Phili 1:27 THE FAITH OF THE GOSPEL
  
Phili 3:9-FAITH OF CHRIST
  
Rev 14:12-THE FAITH OF JESUS
  
1 Tim 3:13-FAITH WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS
  
A personís faith is to be centered in the person of Jesus Christ. It is not to be centered in our own words, in the words of others, or in so many other things that are preached. In Jesus alone is where our total faith is to be centered. Beware of anyone that tries to make up new, unscriptural doctrines that would in any way be contrary to this teaching. Many have taken one or two verses of Scripture and created entire, unbiblical doctrines that sound good, if many other verses are ignored. God forbid, these mislead multitudes. The whole counsel of God needs to be considered, not just one or two verses taken out of context.
  
This is the "only" faith. Any faith in any other is false faith. Some put their faith in the Catholic Church or some other denomination. Some put their faith in unbiblical teachings. Some put their faith in "so-called" prophets or apostles of this generation. Some put their faith in people that do miracles or healings. Some put their faith in people that say, "God spoke to me or gave me a dream." Some put their faith in people that give them items or money. The list seems almost endless.
  
Again, there is only one place to put your faith. That is in the Person of Jesus Christ, Godís only begotten Son.
  
Jesus said, Jn 14:6-I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE: NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME.

21-WHERE DOES FAITH COME FROM?

    Where does this faith come from? The answer is in Ro 10:17-SO THEN FAITH COMETH BY HEARING, AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD. In other words, faith comes by hearing Godís Word, the Bible. Let this be said again. FAITH COMES ONLY FROM GODíS WORD, THE BIBLE.
  
While stories may sound nice, it is Godís Word that builds faith. It is Godís Word that we build our hope upon. It is written, 2 Tim 3:15-THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, WHICH ARE ABLE TO MAKE THEE WISE UNTO SALVATION. We read in:
  
Gal 3:2-THE HEARING OF FAITH
  
Gal 3:5-THE HEARING OF FAITH
  
Ro 10:8-THE WORD OF FAITH (or the Word about trust)
  
1 Tim 4:6-WORDS OF FAITH
  
Heb 12:2-JESUS THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH
  
Col 2:12-BURIED WITH HIM (with Jesus) IN BAPTISM, WHEREIN ALSO YE ARE RISEN WITH HIM THROUGH THE FAITH OF THE OPERATION OF GOD, WHO HATH RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD.

   Faith comes by hearing and from reading and studying Godís Word.
  
Faith also comes from understanding and understanding from faith-ref Mt 13:19; Lk 8:10; Isa 6:10; Mk 4:12.
  
1 Tim 4:13-GIVE ATTENDANCE TO READING. To put it plainly, "Read your Bible."

    A PERSONíS FAITH CANNOT EXCEED THE KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING HE HAS OF GODíS WORD. FAITH IS BUILT UPON GODíS WORD. IT IS BUILT UPON THE ACTUAL AMOUNT OF GODíS WORD HE HAS HEARD OR READ, COMBINED WITH THE CORRECT UNDERSTANDING HE HAS OF THAT WORD.
  
Often-times, a preacher will give "his" understanding of certain passages in the Bible, and they are incorrect. When this happens, other people can be deceived.

22-DOES HEARING AND STUDYING GODíS WORD ALWAYS PRODUCE FAITH?

    Does hearing and studying Godís Word always produce faith? The answer is, no. Faith must come forth from Godís Word; however, in many cases, the person has a wayside heart. When Godís Word comes forth, the type of heart the person has will affect how he reacts to the Bible.
  
It is written, Mk 4:15-AND THESE ARE THEY BY THE WAY SIDE, WHERE THE WORD IS SOWN; BUT WHEN THEY HAVE HEARD, SATAN COMETH IMMEDIATELY, AND TAKETH AWAY THE WORD THAT WAS SOWN IN THEIR HEARTS. In this situation, Satan can take the Word out of a personís heart as fast as it goes in. Thus, no faith is produced. The person does not believe in his heart. Note, there are also other kinds of hearts.

    Does hearing and studying Godís Word always profit a person? The answer is, no. The Word needs to be mixed with faith in order to be profitable.
  
It is written, Heb 4:2-FOR UNTO US WAS THE GOSPEL PREACHED, AS WELL AS UNTO THEM: BUT THE WORD PREACHED DID NOT PROFIT THEM, NOT BEING MIXED WITH FAITH IN THEM THAT HEARD IT.

    When a person hears or studies Godís Word, does he always understand it? The answer is, no.
  
It is written, Lk 10:21-IN THAT HOUR JESUS REJOICED IN SPIRIT, AND SAID, I THANK THEE, O FATHER, LORD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, THAT THOU HAST HID THESE THINGS FROM THE WISE AND PRUDENT, AND HAST REVEALED THEM UNTO BABES: EVEN SO, FATHER; FOR SO IT SEEMED GOOD IN THY SIGHT. (Also ref Mt 11:25,26.)
  
Regarding Godís children, understanding comes forth according to many factors. A person that studies diligently should gain much more understanding from God than a person that does not.
  
Many factors can hinder a personís understanding. Pride; greed; covetousness; unrepentant sin; a personís emotions; personal desires; lusts; a personís heart; wrong traditions of the people, the church, and nations; and many other things can hamper a personís understanding.

    In addition, faith could be present, but the person may be so full of hate, bitterness, and unforgiveness that no love comes forth. Thus, his faith means nothing.
  
It is written, Gal 5:6-FOR IN JESUS CHRIST NEITHER CIRCUMCISION AVAILETH ANY THING, NOR UNCIRCUMCISION; BUT FAITH WHICH WORKETH BY LOVE. Faith and love need to go hand in hand. If a person does not have love, they are nothing. It is written, 1 Cor 13:2-AND THOUGH I HAVE ALL FAITHÖAND HAVE NOT CHARITY (or love), I AM NOTHING.

23-THE TEACHINGS IN TODAYíS CHURCHES

    Some people call themselves "faith preachers." Such a term is not used in the Bible. It can be very misleading.
  
Many preachers in todayís generation are superb storytellers. They tell stories about their families, what happened to themselves, their relatives, their friends, their possessions, and other stories that they have heard. It is very common in this generation for a person to know far more about their preacher than they know about God. This is because the preacher spends more time telling stories in the pulpit, as well as a lack of personal Bible study on the part of the people.
  
The Scriptures tell us to, 2 Tim 4:2-PREACH THE WORD; BE INSTANT IN SEASON, OUT OF SEASON.
  
Stories can be very entertaining and can attract the carnally-minded person; however, a personís faith cannot stand on such things. A personís faith can only stand on Godís pure Word.
  
The entire Bible should be preached. How many churches can say they have taught every single verse from the entire Bible over the last 15 years?
  
How many churches can say they teach 50 to 150 verses of Scripture in each service?
  
God forbid, todayís churches are filled with stories that the preacher gives. He may justify this as the right thing to do, because he feels it relates to this or that Scripture.
  
In addition, many the churches of this generation tell jokes. They get the people laughing. They do all sorts of foolishness to attract attention. Some of the worldís best comedians are in the pulpits of the churches; yet, it is written, Pv 24:9-THE THOUGHT OF FOOLISHNESS IS SIN.
  
Many of these churches claim to be "Spirit led." To be led of the Spirit of God is to OBEY THE GOSPEL.

24-
PREACH
THE WORD
THE WORD
THE WORD

    By not teaching Godís Word as they ought, they do great harm to the people of the congregation.
  
A PERSONíS FAITH CANNOT EXCEED HIS UNDERSTANDING AND KNOWLEDGE OF GODíS WORD.
  
Most people throughout the world are biblically illiterate, even though they may go to church two or three times a week.
  
Consider the following. The "MILK OF THE WORD" is basic doctrines. It is not stories. It is not jokes. It is not political affairs. It is the actual words of the Bible, and only the words of the Bible.
  
Consider, a newborn baby requires milk. What if a mother took one part of milk and mixed with it one part of water; and then fed the baby this diet day after day? Soon the baby would begin to get sick. Let us say, that the mother took one part of milk and mixed it with five parts of water. Day after day she fed this to her baby. Soon the baby would get sick and begin to die. A baby needs good, pure milk. It cannot survive long on a diet of a small amount of milk mixed with a lot of water.
  
So it is with Christians. They need the pure milk of Godís Word. Yet what are many churches teaching? They are teaching community affairs, political affairs, all sorts of stories, and also teach from other books. God forbid!
  
Some will take two or three or five verses of Scripture and read them. Then they will put the Bible down and begin telling stories about themselves that may or may not relate to the verses. Thus, they give one part of milk and perhaps five or ten parts of water. The new Christians begin to die, because they are not receiving good nourishment from Godís Word.
  
Unfortunately, many peopleís faith stands in the "wisdom of this world which men teach." It is written, 1 Cor 2:5-THAT YOUR FAITH SHOULD NOT STAND IN THE WISDOM OF MEN, BUT IN THE POWER OF GOD.

    Why is this done? Why do preachers seem to preach about everything imaginable, except Godís Word? Why do they water-down Godís Word so much? Why do some preach only certain books of the Bible and leave out others? Why do some churches sing and sing, but teach very little of Godís Word? Why are so many people in the churches biblically illiterate, yet the preacher walks away and, in a manner of speaking, wipes his mouth, saying, "Iíve done no wrong?" Why are so many preachers biblically illiterate when it comes to Bible prophecy? Why do some people pray and pray, but spend very little time studying Godís Word? The answer is, of course, that Satan deceives people, and they are not aware they are deceived.

    The problem of deception starts with many Bible schools. This is the way the Bible schools often train people. It is unbiblical, yet it still goes on.
  
Should a preacher wish to convey a story dealing with a certain subject, the story should be the actual verses of a story from Godís Word; not some watered-down paraphrasing about a Bible story. It is written, 1 Cor 2:13-WHICH THINGS ALSO WE SPEAK, NOT IN THE WORDS WHICH MAN'S WISDOM TEACHETH, BUT WHICH THE HOLY GHOST TEACHETH; COMPARING SPIRITUAL THINGS WITH SPIRITUAL. We teach comparing or combining the WORD with the WORD.
  
Neither should a person listen to a minister that goes on and on with fables. Neither is a preacher to teach these things. It is written, 1 Tim 1:4-NEITHER GIVE HEED TO FABLES.

    Faith can only be built on Godís pure Word. This is one of the reasons peopleís faith in this generation is lacking or nonexistent. This is the reason Satan does everything possible to deceive the preacher into teaching a compromising message. He does everything possible to put the emphasis on things other than lots of Scripture. This is one reason some churches sing and sing, but are very ignorant of what Godís Word says.

    Another reason preacherís teach stories with only a small amount of the actual Word, is because it is easier. To teach Godís pure Word is going to require much time and study. As it is written, 2 Tim 2:15-STUDY TO SHEW THYSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD, A WORKMAN THAT NEEDETH NOT TO BE ASHAMED, RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH.
  
1 Tim 5:17-LET THE ELDERS THAT RULE WELL BE COUNTED WORTHY OF DOUBLE HONOUR, ESPECIALLY THEY WHO LABOUR IN THE WORD AND DOCTRINE. Preachers are not willing to spend hours and hours daily to learn as God would have them do. Many have allowed their "pastoral duties" to take priority over their personal Bible study time.

    Another reason preachers teach lots of stories, but very little of Godís Word, is that many people prefer and want deception rather than truth. People of this generation do not want sound doctrine. People do not like to hear about sin, repentance, eternal damnation in the lake of fire, that the Rapture is coming very soon, followed by the Tribulation, and that Jesus will return. People want to do "their own will" and think that they will inherit eternal life. Most preachers will gladly preach what the worldly people want to hear so that they might get more people. God forbid. For many preachers, this is their idea of a successful church. Their main concern is toward finances and how to boost their attendance, rather than truth and righteousness before a holy God.
  
Certainly, most preachers do not want to drive church members away by preaching a lot of Godís Word, which would make them feel uncomfortable. Very few preachers have an overwhelming desire to bring forth Godís complete Word with the authority, power, and conviction that Jesus did. Heb 4:12-FOR THE WORD OF GOD IS QUICK, AND POWERFUL, AND SHARPER THAN ANY TWOEDGED SWORD, PIERCING EVEN TO THE DIVIDING ASUNDER OF SOUL AND SPIRIT, AND OF THE JOINTS AND MARROW, AND IS A DISCERNER OF THE THOUGHTS AND INTENTS OF THE HEART.

25-SATAN IS SUCCEEDING FOR THE MOMENT

    Thus, because the actual Word of God is not coming forth from most churches as it ought, Godís people are dying spiritually. They are falling. They are biblically illiterate. They are LUKEWARM. They are WRETCHED, AND MISERABLE, AND POOR, AND BLIND, AND NAKED; yet they do not know their condition-Rev 3:16-17. What will happen to these people? Godís Word tells us, I WILL SPUE THEE OUT OF MY MOUTH-Rev 3:16.
  
Godís Word tells this church age, I COUNSEL THEE TO BUY OF ME GOLD TRIED IN THE FIRE, THAT THOU MAYEST BE RICH; AND WHITE RAIMENT, THAT THOU MAYEST BE CLOTHED, AND THAT THE SHAME OF THY NAKEDNESS DO NOT APPEAR; AND ANOINT THINE EYES WITH EYESALVE, THAT THOU MAYEST SEE-Rev 3:18.
  
Satan has deceived the church of this generation, and they are so blind that they do not realize it. These Scriptures had to be fulfilled, or we would not be looking for the soon return of Jesus.
  
Thus, by Satan successfully keeping the people from hearing good, sound doctrine from Godís pure Word, he has been successful in deceiving and destroying many. In addition, this is the generation of which it is written:
  
2 Tim 4:3,4 NIV-FOR THE TIME WILL COME (which is now) WHEN MEN WILL NOT PUT UP WITH SOUND DOCTRINE. INSTEAD, TO SUIT THEIR OWN DESIRES, THEY WILL GATHER AROUND THEM A GREAT NUMBER OF TEACHERS TO SAY WHAT THEIR ITCHING EARS WANT TO HEAR.
  
THEY WILL TURN THEIR EARS AWAY FROM THE TRUTH AND TURN ASIDE TO MYTHS.
  
For the few people that can rightly divide Godís Word, the Scriptures are crystal clear. This is a fact that the Bible clearly teaches. When the Rapture of the church comes, only a very few people that are claiming they are born-again will be taken. Most will be left behind.

26-SATAN TRIES TO KEEP YOU FROM GROWING IN FAITH

    Now we know from the Bible that faith comes from hearing and reading the Word of God. By faith ye stand firm. Thus, Satan will do everything possible to separate you from your faith. Now how can he do this?
  
Satan accomplishes this by stopping you from reading your Bible and stopping you from going to a church that correctly teaches a lot of Scripture. Satan uses cares of this world. A person may say, "Oh, we've got to do something else." Satan uses deceitfulness of riches, telling us we have to work so much to make a living. He also uses pleasures of this life. A person may say, "Oh, I want to go to the beach or to the mountains. Church? we can do that another time. We can read our Bible another time. Letís have fun and enjoy the pleasures of this life." Satan uses the lusts of other things. Perhaps you want to go on a date with a girl, or you lust after certain things. These draw you away from the Word of God. Satan also uses persecutions. Satan often works through other people to accomplish what he has set out to do. The Scriptures tell us that Satan GOES ABOUT AS A ROARING LION, SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR-1 Pe 5:8.

27-AN EXAMPLE OF FAITH

    We have examined the Scriptures for the answers to what faith is. Let us conclude with this account of the apostle Paul.
  
The year is around 68 A.D. There is a cell in the city of Rome. Upon entering it, we realize there is another cell beneath the one that we are in, and only a small hole in the floor allows one to enter. It is dark and foreboding. This is where Paul spent the last two years of his life, yet he was possibly the greatest example of Christ ever produced by Christianity. He was brilliant, yet he called himself a slave of Jesus. From here, Paul wrote 1st & 2nd Timothy.

    A guard lowers a rope through the hole. Paul is told to tie it around himself. Someone says he is about 68 years old. He is called "Paul the aged." His hair is white. His back is bowed and bent. His life has been hard, all for preaching the Gospel.
  
Paul is thin and emaciated. He is pulled up easily. As he comes out of the hole, his eyes squint in the sunlight. His clothes are rags. The Holy Spirit did not tell us many of these last moments, but it is not difficult to picture in our minds. There was no splendor, riches, or glory. Oh, there were riches and glory, but inwardly. We can almost hear him say, as they walk out into the courtyard, "I AM NOW READY TO BE OFFEREDÖI HAVE FOUGHT A GOOD FIGHT, I HAVE FINISHED MY COURSE, I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH"-2 Tim 4:6,7. A few minutes later, he is told to drop to his knees. The frail body is stretched over the chopping block. The ax flashes; and his head rolls in the dust. That sir, is faith.
   (Please note: this excellent article about Paul was written mostly by Jimmy Swaggart.)

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