by Frederick Hoehn, copyright 2013. |
Let me show you a scripture verse: Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please him, for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he's a rewarder of those who diligently seek him."
But someone might say, "How important is it that we please God?"
In answer to that, consider another scripture: Matthew chapter 10 verse 28 And don't fear those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul, but rather, fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
So who is that who can not only kill you, but also send you to hell also? Well, God, of course.
We're dealing with a God who can kill and send to hell. And Jesus said most people go to hell. (Matt 7:13,14)
So is it better to be with the majority that go to hell, or with the minority that goes to heaven? Jesus said that in hell, there's weeping and gnashing of teeth, where there worms don't die, and where the fire is not quenched.
So, clearly, it's better to be with the minority that goes to heaven, since hell is a place of torment forever.
But someone might say, but Fred, don't you teach that if we become Christians, we'll go to heaven? Yes, I teach that. But I also teach that Jesus said, "Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and not do the things I say?" (Luke 6:46)
And that Jesus said, "If you love me keep my commandments." (Jhn 14:15)
These last two scriptures show us it's not enough to once become a Christian, and then sort-of just go on auto-pilot.
If you're driving down the freeway and your engine stops running, you can put the transmission into neutral and coast a while.
But you can't coast into heaven. There are steps to be taken. There are decisions to make. The Lord will know whether we are doing the things that he said to do.
Have you noticed in the Book of Revelation how on Judgment Day, the books will be opened, and another book, which is the Lamb's book of Life. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. (see Rev chapter 20)
You have to have your name in the Lamb's book of life to go to heaven. The angels write your name in that book when you become a born-again Christian. Names can also be blotted out of that book, as in a discussion between God and Moses.
The other books are records of what we've said, and what we've done on earth. We'll be judged by what we've said and done.
The Bible teaches that you can't earn your way into heaven, you get salvation by faith. (Romans 10:9,10)
But another scripture says "faith without works is dead." (Jas 2:20) You get salvation by faith, but if you don't follow through with corresponding works, there's something seriously wrong with your faith.
Jesus taught faith during his earthly ministry. He told the woman who had been always bleeding that it was her faith that had healed her. (Luk 8:48)
Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." (Matt 4:4)
All of the words of God that we have in the Bible came through men of God, who put God's words down on paper for us. Hebrews chapter 11 is called the "faith chapter."
___Hebrews chapter 11 1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things that are seen were not made from things that appear. 4 By faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts, and by it he, being dead, spoke anyway. 5 By faith Enoch was translated so that he didn't see death, and was not found, because God had translated him, for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please him, for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he's a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God of things not seen as yet, moved by fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his family, by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness that is by faith. 8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place that he would afterward receive for an inheritance, obeyed, and he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he was a visitor in the land of promise, like in a strange country, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise, 10 For he looked for a city that has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 11 Through faith also, Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and received deliverance from a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore there sprang from one, and him as good as dead, as many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and like the sand that is by the sea shore uncountable. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country that they had come out of, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly, so then God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 About whom it had been said, "In Isaac shall your descendants be called," 19 Counting that God was able to raise him up even from the dead, from where he'd also received him, sort-of. 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. 21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. 22 By faith, Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel, and gave commandment concerning his bones. 23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a proper child, and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt, for he had respect to the payment of the reward. 27 By faith, he forsook Egypt, not fearing the anger of the king, for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 28 Through faith, he kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood, so that he that destroyed the firstborn wouldn't touch them. 29 By faith, they passed through the Red sea on dry land, which the Egyptians trying to do were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were surrounded seven days. 31 By faith, the prostitute Rahab didn't die with those who didn't believe, when she had received the spies with peace. 32 And what shall I say more? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthah, of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets, 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again, and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, so that they'd obtain a better resurrection, 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yes, also of bonds and imprisonment, 37 They were stoned, they were sawed in pieces, were tempted, were killed by the sword, they wandered around in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented, 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy,) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, didn't receive the promise, 40 God having provided some better thing for us, so that they without us wouldn't be made perfect.
Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Jacob (or, Israel), Moses. It's a long list of people of faith in Hebrews chapter 11.
We are supposed to be like these people of faith if we are in the will of God. It is fair to say that so-called Christians not using their faith in their daily lives are out of the will of God. And further, they will not be obtaining the best results in their lives that they are hoping for. Disappointment will come.
___Romans chapter 12 1 Therefore, I ask you please, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you'll prove what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.
There is always the temptation for Christians to try to live by their wits, like people try to do before they become Christians.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight.)
Christians are supposed to be different from the world. The world walks by sight. If they can't see it, they don't believe it. But the Bible shows us there are angels, even though we don't see them, and demons.
The Bible says there's a God in heaven, even though we don't yet see him.
Science has taught that there are atoms, but who has ever seen one? If we accept the teaching of science that there are atoms that can't be seen, shouldn't we much more accept the teachings from God in the Bible? Yes, we should.
You accepted the teachings of the Bible to become a Christian, didn't you? Now follow on to the deeper things of Christianity.
Are you a smarter than average person? So am I. Do you have high test scores? So do I.
I got a perfect score on the U.S. Navy General Classification Test, and also their ARI (math) test.
I scored 160 on the U.S. Army GT test.
I scored in the 99th percentile in the Iowa Tests of Educational Development.
But though I have above average brainpower, I would be displeasing to God if I tried to live by my wits.
The fact is, life is too complicated, anyway.
Jesus said, "Without me, you can do nothing." (Jhn 15:5) The only way we can accomplish anything is with the Lord's help.
It's not a bad thing to have brainpower. Use it to get a good grasp of the scriptures, the word of God.
Use it in making good prayers to God. But if you want to receive what you're asking for, put your faith with your prayers. It may take some practice. (Mark 11:24)
I have been young, now I'm an senior. I've learned some things along the road of life. One of the main things I've learned is that I would be very foolish to try to live by my wits rather than by faith.
Proverbs chapter 3, verses 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don't lean to your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he'll direct your paths. In John 16:24, Jesus said, "Ask, and you'll receive." In another scripture, Jesus said, "Men ought always to pray and not faint." (Luke 18:1)
1Thes 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
God wants us to be praying people.
However, it's no good praying without putting our faith with our prayers. In Mark 11:24, Jesus said, "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them."
But living by faith goes farther than just using faith in our prayer life. Have you used your faith to get the Baptism with the Holy Ghost that Jesus wants all Christians to have?
The evidence that a Christian has received the Baptism with the Holy Ghost is that they pray in an unknown tongue, that is, in a language that they've never learned. Thus, they pray speaking words that the speaker doesn't understand. But God understands all languages.
Some might say, "Well, my church doesn't believe in that." Oh, it doesn't? But the Bible teaches that Christians are supposed to have it.
I don't like to be the bearer of bad news, but if your church doesn't believe in the Baptism with the Holy Ghost with the speaking in unknown tongues, then there's something seriously wrong with your church.
John Osteen was pastor of a church where they didn't believe in the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. But as he studied the Bible, he said, "Well, what's wrong with it? It's scriptural." So Osteen got the Baptism with the Holy Ghost with the speaking in unknown tongues from Jesus.
As Osteen began to share about it with some of his congregation, his church kicked him out as pastor. What kind of church is that that kicks you out because you get what God wants every Christian to have?
But some of his people went with John Osteen, and they started Lakewood Church in Houston, TX. Osteen's new church became much larger than his previous church, and Osteen had what God wants every Christian to have, while that other church remained out of the will of God.
It is not good for people to be out of the will of God, and they will harvest as they have planted, says the Bible.
Jesus is the baptizer with the Holy Ghost. If you're a Christian who has not yet received the Baptism with the Holy Ghost with the speaking in unknown tongues, ask Jesus for it. But when you pray, believe that you receive what you're asking for. (Mark 11:24)
But living by faith goes farther than just faith with prayer and the Baptism with the Holy Ghost.
In Mark 16:17,18, Jesus said, "These signs shall follow those who believe. In my name they'll cast out devils, they'll speak with new languages, They shall pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it won't hurt them. They'll lay hands on the sick, and they'll recover."
You pick up serpents the same way Paul did--unintentionally--in the book of Acts after the shipwreck. It was cold, so they made a fire. Paul picked up a bundle of sticks to put on the fire, and a poisonous snake fastened itself on his hand.
He wasn't intentionally playing with snakes. The poisonous snake bite had no effect on Paul.
You don't intentionally drink a deadly thing, for it is written, "You shall not tempt the Lord your God," as Jesus said to Satan when Jesus was tempted.
Are you a Christian? If you're a Christian, your leader, teacher, shepherd, Savior, and King, Jesus, wants you to be casting out devils from people, he wants you to speak in unknown tongues because you've received the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, and he wants you to lay hands on the sick for their healing.
I heard a Bible teacher say the Lord told him, "Now these are the most important words that ever came out of my mouth." Which words? Those words in Mark 16:17,18.
I believe the Lord said that to the man.
Our authority for casting out demons is Luke 10:19, "See, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall in any way hurt you."
You have authority over all the power of the enemy, and your main enemy is the devil and his demons, as we learn from Ephesians chapter six.
And also Mark 16:17,18, as above, shows we have authority over demons.
You command the demons to go in Jesus' name, believing Luke 10:19, and Mark chapter 16. You put your faith with your words. The demons have to go because Jesus gave you authority as a Christian. There is a kind of demon, however, that doesn't go out except by prayer and fasting, Jesus said.
There's more on healing in James chapter 5, verses 14 Is anyone sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up, and if he has committed sins, he'll be forgiven.
I know it says elders there, but in Mark chapter 16, Jesus said ordinary believers should also be healing people. In the church, call for the elders. Outside of church, you have hands, don't you? Lay them on people for their healing. As you do, pray a short prayer asking God to heal the person.
Believe you receive, according to Mark 11:24. There may be some, however, who, because of sin in their lives, are not proper candidates for healing until that's taken care of.
Jesus did say we shouldn't cast pearls before swine. Here is where we should be asking for the leading of the Holy Spirit (or, Holy Ghost), and God's leading is important for every area of our lives.
It would help, though, if the person needing healing had some faith to add to your faith. You can help them with that by first quoting scriptures on the subject of healing.
And by the way, one of the people that you can be laying hands on for healing is yourself, if the need arises. People were doing that effectively under the ministry of Smith Wigglesworth.
And one of the people you can be casting demons out of is yourself, if you have any of them.
I had not been taught that a Christian could have a demon until I heard Win Worley teach that. He was a pastor in Highland, IN.
Using that information, I've cast some demons out of myself.
Living by faith includes other things, too. There is binding and loosing. There is speaking into existence. Jesus spoke of binding and loosing. Matt 16:19, "...whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
You can bind evil spirits (demons) that are trying to hurt your finances or your health, etc. You say, "I bind all evil spirits that would come against me and my family in Jesus' name. Cease in your operations and desist in your maneuvers, in Jesus' name."
You can loose ministering spirits (angels). Say out loud along these lines, "I loose ministering spirits to fight for my finances and everything else that I and my family need."
In the book of Genesis, before there was Adam, the first man, God said, "Let us make man in our image." So here we are, created in the image of God. In the image of the God who spoke the worlds into existence.
God said, "Let there be light." And there was light. The Sun, the Moon, and the stars.
Since we are made in the image of God, we also have some ability to speak things into existence.
Do you need a job? Speak like this, "I call there a good job, well-suited to me, and the Lord will put me in it, a good job at a good rate of pay. I have it, in Jesus' name. Ministering spirits go and get it for me. I bind all evil spirits that would hinder it, in Jesus' name."
Charles Capps is a teacher for the Lord. The book of his that I recommend is, "God's Creative Power will work for you." I've seen it in Christian book stores, or go to www.CharlesCapps.com.
In the book, Capps tells how we should confess every day over ourselves and our families the promises of God from the Bible.
There's an important revelation from God in that book. Mark 11:23 says we can speak and move mountains. Putting it more generally, we can have what we say. The Lord told Capps, "I've told my people they can have what they say, but instead, they are saying what they have."
Don't say what you have. Have what you say, by speaking it into existence with your spoken words coupled with your faith.
Kenneth E. Hagin wrote an excellent little book, "How God Taught Me about Prosperity." (go to www.Rhema.org.)
The Lord gave him a plan that all Christians can use. The Lord told Hagin, 1) Claim whatever you want or need. 2) Say "Satan, take your hands off my finances. 3) Say, "Go, ministering spirits and cause the money to come.
Hagin answered the Lord, "What do you mean go ministering spirits..."
The Lord said, "Haven't you read in the book of Hebrews that the angels are ministering spirits, sent out to minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation?" So Hagin saw that he could give his angels assignments.
Hagin started following that plan, and started to prosper.
But the Lord told Hagin, after you follow those three steps, just stay in faith, and don't even think about it. Or, if you do think about it, say, "Thank God for it, it's working."
Hagin, a teacher from God, has used the expression, "Keep the switch of faith turned on."
In Ezekiel 3:20, God tells Ezekiel that when a righteous man turns from his righteousness to sin, his righteousness shall be forgotten.
In Matthew chapter 7, verses 22 Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, haven't we prophesied in your name? And in your name have cast out devils? And in your name done many wonderful works? 23 And then I will tell them, I never knew you, go away from me, you sinners.
Notice that they had cast out demons, therefore they had been Christians, but they wound up in hell, anyway. Why? Because they turned from righteousness to sin, and their righteousness that they once had was forgotten.
But if a Christian stumbles and commits a sin, then they should apply 1 Jhn 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Then go right back to walking with the Lord.
When we say confess our sins, I don't go, like Catholics do, and confess to a priest, I confess to the Lord my sin as a prayer. I don't say that Catholics can't be saved.
If they're born again according to Rom 10:9,10 and working out their own salvation with fear and trembling (like we all should) they can go to heaven.
I do believe it's wrong to pray the Rosary, and there's no scripture for doing so. If you've made a good start with Christianity, it won't count unless you continue on with Christianity.
A man who had been a close friend of mine, and a Christian told me not long ago that he had stopped being a Christian. As he was talking that way, sitting in a restaurant, I said, "You're talking like a man on his way to hell."
And the man had had a good heart, and a giving spirit in years gone by. He has been a help in times past. But he got into some things he shouldn't have gotten into.
As a professing Christian, it seemed that most of his friends were unbelievers. There is a scripture about, "Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man you shall not go, so that you don't learn his ways, and get a snare to your soul."
Snares to your soul can result in your going to hell. It says don't be friends with the angry. But also, we should not have close friends who are adulterers, or thieves, or blasphemers, or idolaters. With whomever you are close friends, you'll tend to become more like them.
Generally speaking, Christians ought not to be close friends with unbelievers. I don't mean you can't be co-workers with them and somewhat friendly to keep the peace.
But you don't have to go and get drunk with them, etc., and the Bible teaches against drunkenness.
There's a scripture about don't bring a cursed thing to your home lest you become a cursed thing like it. That man took a pornographic book home to his apartment. Years later, after he moved into a house, I saw the same book on his bookshelf.
Someone might say, "Well, Fred, did you warn him about that?" Not about that specific book, but I warned him a dozen times about going down the wrong road, trying to get him to turn back on to the road to heaven. But I guess he thought he was smarter than me.
And maybe he is smarter about some things, but not about theology, spiritual matters, and the Bible. In those departments, I'm smarter than he is. And I'll get to heaven. Looks like he won't.
He seemed to have achieved more financial success that I had achieved. So, when I tried to advise him, perhaps he thought, "Who is this that wants to give me advice? I'm more successful than he is."
But Jesus said, "A man's life doesn't consist in the abundance of the things that he possesses."
Measuring success by earthly possessions will yield false results. You can't take your possessions with you when you die. Jesus said, "Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven rather than on earth."
The man made a mistake by going to a fortune teller. Christians have no business going to fortune tellers, or Tarot card readers, or crystal ball gazers, or astrologers, or anything else involving the occult. Christians should not use Ouija boards.
When I reminded the man he had gone to a fortune teller, he answered, "Well, I was with some people." Yes, some non-Christians, who were probably not aware that God doesn't want people to go to fortune tellers.
But the excuse that he was with some people doesn't make it O.K. Who knows how many demons got into the man on that occasion?
And why is it undesirable that demons get in? Because the demons want to get you to hell instead of heaven.
I believe that man who was once a Christian became "hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." (Heb 3:13)
Someone said to me, "Well, you should pray for him." No, I believe the Lord has shown me that man can't be saved.
A scripture in 1 John talks about not praying for someone who has sinned a sin "unto death." (1 Jhn 5:16)
Another good book from Kenneth E. Hagin is "How to Write Your Own Ticket with God."
This book came to Hagin by revelation from the Lord Jesus. The Lord gave Hagin four steps: 1) Say it. 2) Do it. 3) Receive it. 4) Tell it, so others will benefit.
One example is the woman that had had the bleeding all the time. She said in her heart, "If I can just touch the border of his garment, I'll be healed."
But step 2 was "Do it," so she made her way through the crowd and touched Jesus garment. When she did, she received it.
Then she told how she had been healed.
The Lord said to Hagin that any Christian can use this four step plan to get what they want from God, but remember not to leave out faith as you follow these steps.
In Joshua 1:8, God tells Joshua, "This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, so that you'll observe to do according to all that is written in it, for then you'll make your way prosperous, and then you'll have good success."
The word of God, the Bible, is to be spoken out loud with our mouths. It is to be meditated on. It is to be performed by the Lord's people. And then what is the result? Good success.
Is there anyone that doesn't want success? But if you want success, do Joshua 1:8.
Charles Capps has taught that we should be quoting God's promises from the Bible. There are lists of Bible promises on various subjects in my book, "Your Abundant Success Lasting Forever." Or, you can look up scriptures on subjects of interest using a concordance.
Is your main area of emphasis at this time the area of finances? Quote promises on finances. Is it healing for the body? Quote promises on healing.
Doing so strengthens our faith in the areas we're quoting on. And you get things from God with your faith.
In Matt 9:29, Jesus touched their eyes, saying, "Have what you're believing for." You get what you believe for with your faith.
We should build up ourselves on our most holy faith by praying in the Holy Ghost. (Jude 20) In other words, praying in unknown tongues, which a Christian will able to do after getting the Baptism with the Holy Ghost from the Lord Jesus.
It would be a mistake to think that when the Lord baptizes you with the Holy Ghost, he takes control of your mouth and tongue. He doesn't. No, the Holy Ghost gives you words to speak in a strange language that you never learned, and then you add your voice to them and speak out those words.
When you ask him for that, believe that you receive what you're asking for, according to Mark 11:24. Kenneth E. Hagin believed when he asked God to heal his body. The healing didn't come until after a year and four months, but he got his healing. Why would God make him wait that long?
No, God didn't make Hagin wait. It took Hagin that long for his faith to get up to the level where he could receive the healing.
Perhaps you'll get there a lot faster. And there are things you can do to strengthen your faith. "Faith comes by hearing the word of God." (Rom 10:17)
You can build up your faith by praying in unknown tongues (Jude 20).
In Galatians, "faith works by love," so get your love and compassion for others working.
A fourth way to increase faith is prayer and fasting. In fact prayer and fasting is necessary for casting out some kinds of demons, Jesus said.
Mark 11:23 tells us we can move mountains with our faith. But in our ordinary lives, how often do we need a mountain to change its location? No, I don't think this passage is mainly about the kind of mountains that have grass and trees and animals or snow.
If you have a problem, that's your mountain. Command that mountain to go, according to Mark 11:23, and it will go, if you don't doubt in your heart, and believe that what you say will happen.
There was a commercial airplane flight that took off from the departing city and came near the destination city. But at the destination city, it started circling in the sky over the destination city.
After a while, the pilot got on the public address system and informed the passengers that the reason they weren't landing was that one of the landing gear wasn't coming down.
The airplane crew had not been able to solve the problem. But there was a faith solution to the problem. A Christian lady on the plane had just recently read a book about the authority of the believer.
Upon hearing that the problem was with the landing gear, she stood up, stomped her foot, and commanded out loud the landing gear to come down. It did, and the plane landed safely.
But the crew in the cockpit knew before the lady did that there was a problem with the landing gear. Why hadn't they commanded it to come down in Jesus' name?
One possible explanation was that they weren't Christians. Or, maybe they were Christians, but just hadn't been taught about taking authority over situations in Jesus' name.
Maybe they weren't "working out their own salvation with fear and trembling." (Phil 2:12) That can be hazardous to your health, your physical health, and the health of your soul.
It was in the news lately about a tornado that did a lot of damage in a town not far from Fort Worth, Texas. I think they said six people were killed.
I heard of another Christian lady with a house being approached by a tornado. She stood right there in her bay window and said, "The tornado won't hurt me."
When the tornado was very close to her house, it split into two parts and went past on both sides of her house, and did her no damage. There was a faith solution to the problem. I guess the folks in that town near Fort Worth hadn't been taught much about faith.
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hosea 4:6)
I heard of a Christian missionary who was arrested and put in prison. The tied him in a position and used a water torture, a continuous drip, drip, dripping of water down on him.
But he got tired of that, and looked up at a drop of water just starting down, and commanded it to go back up, and it did, and the rest of the water went somewhere else.
Smith Wigglesworth was a man of faith. His wife, Polly, died. Wigglesworth came home and they told him Polly had died. He said, "Where's the body?" They said upstairs in the bedroom. He went upstairs to the dead body of his wife. He picked up her dead body and stood it up against the wall, and commanded her to walk.
And she walked. Then she talked. She said, "Smith, why have you done this?"
He said, "I need you in my ministry."
She said, "My work on earth is done."
They argued for a little while.
Then the Lord said to Wigglesworth, "She's mine." So Wigglesworth let her die the second time.
Wigglesworth has quoted that scripture, Matt 11:12, "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force."
Ecclesiastes tells us there is a time for all things. There is a time to employ a little violence as Wigglesworth did when he wasn't ready to accept the death of his wife.
At about age 70, Wigglesworth felt that the Lord was showing him that he would die soon. He asked the Lord for longer life, and the Lord gave him another fifteen years, like the Lord had done for King Hezekiah in the Bible.
There is a faith solution for every problem. There is no such thing as a problem that God can't solve.
George Mueller had orphanages in England. Mueller said that in the early days, it took about all the faith he had just to pray in enough food for the children to eat.
But he said after decades, he could easily ask the Lord for a million pounds (about two million dollars), and get it, because his faith had grown over those years.
Faith is like a muscle. If we exercise it, it grows stronger.
But if you're putting your faith to work, one thing to guard against is wrong confession out of your mouth. Wrong confession of doubt and unbelief from your mouth can stop what you had set in motion with your faith.
In the book of James it says the tongue is the hardest thing to control. If you can control your tongue, you can control your whole body.
Charles Capps in his book that I mentioned told how, as a farmer, he had been doing very poorly financially. A Christian man came by and brought some books. One of them was, "Right and Wrong Thinking," by Kenneth E. Hagin.
As Capps thumbed through the book, he saw what he had been doing wrong. He had been speaking doubt and unbelief. When he stopped doing that, and started confessing God's promises in faith, he started prospering.
Norvel Hayes was having trouble with one of his businesses. The Lord told him his problem was that he wasn't laughing at the Devil. Without very much enthusiasm, Hayes drove over to the business one night and forced himself to laugh at the Devil.
His business turned around and became successful.
I had a job as an Engineer for a Christian TV station in Southern California. A problem developed where the transmitter was blowing out expensive "doorbell diodes," so called because they were shaped like doorbells.
If you opened them up there were lots of little diodes connected in series to increase their effective peak inverse voltage rating, since it was a high voltage power supply.
In one of the meetings at the headquarters, a TV station official said, "We may have to go dark, until the problem is solved." I answered with some words of faith, "That can't be the will of God."
When my duties took me up to the transmitter on the mountain, the Lord helped me to fix the problem. But if I hadn't spoken words of faith, they might have gone dark.
The U.S. Army sent me to Korea. When I got to Direct Support Detachment, I learned that a certain radar over in the corner had a problem that no one could fix for three months.
I wasn't assigned to work on it, but in my off-duty time I worked on that radar. The Lord helped me to find and fix the problem.
The Lord wants to help every Christian with their jobs and careers and marriages and children and health and finances. But if they're leaning to their own understanding, the results will not be as good as if they are living by faith and confessing the promises of God and resisting doubt and unbelief.
I knew a Christian man in San Diego, Calif. who regularly had pain in his body. Though he was a Christian, he had some bad theology. Bad theology can hurt you.
The man thought that he was suffering for Jesus. I tried to explain to the man, "No, you're not suffering for Jesus, because Jesus doesn't want you suffering, he wants you to be healed from your suffering."
"Father in heaven, please give us deliverance from bad theology, in Jesus' name."
Haven't you read that scripture in Hebrews 12:13, "And make straight paths for your feet, so that which is lame isn't turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed."
This scripture tells us we're not supposed to accept afflictions that might come our way.
Don't ever say, "Well, I'm a diabetic, and I will be for the rest of my life." Wrong thing to say. No, call yourself healed. Say, "Praise God, I'm healed of everything that I could have used healing for, in Jesus' name."
Faith calls those things that are not as though they were. (Rom 4:17)
In Mark 11:24 first you believe, present tense, then you shall have, future tense. But if you leave out the present tense believing, then forget about the shall having.
Maybe some doctor told you that you'd have a certain affliction for the rest of your life. That's what five doctors said to Kenneth E. Hagin. They told him the affliction he had wouldn't let him grow as old as 21.
But, you see, those doctors forgot about Jesus.
Hagin got his healing from Jesus, and lived to about 87.
If a doctor talks like that to you, tell him he forgot about Jesus. And you can also say, "I bind those words in Jesus' name."
What about the man who was born blind? He didn't get healed until he was 40. But what if he had said, "Well, I was born blind, it's the will of God for me to be blind. I'll be blind all my life and then I'll die blind."
If he had talked like that, he could have talked himself right out of the receiving of his sight that was really the will of God.
Sometimes people talk themselves out of the good things God has for them. Don't talk yourself out of the good that God has for you. Talk yourself into receiving the good things God wants you to have. Speak words of faith not of unbelief and doubt.
Keep the switch of faith turned on.
The Bible says we should "Bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." (2 Cor 10:5) That means we're supposed to rule over our thoughts. We don't just let our minds run wild.
It is in our thinking that the enemy tries to interject unclean thoughts of anger, of vengeance, of lust, etc. When a thought like that comes, command it to go, and the demon behind that thought also, to go and not return, in Jesus' name.
We know that the Bible says to pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17), but did you know that there's a wrong time to pray?
You might say, "I don't remember Jesus talking about a wrong time to pray." No, Jesus didn't talk about that in the Bible. He said it to Kenneth E. Hagin. I think it was in one of Hagin's visions. It was probably in the book, "I believe in visions," by K.E. Hagin.
The Lord told Hagin, "People who are praying for me to do something about the devil are wasting their time. I gave you (the Christians) authority over the devil, and if you don't use it, the job won't get done."
So then, the time that it's wrong to pray about something is when it's time for us to take authority over the enemy, using our words and our faith, and the authority that the Lord gave us over the enemy in Luke 10:19 and Mark 16:17,18.
I want to give you a statement to use against the enemy. Here it is: "The Lord's not going to let that happen."
And when would you use that statement, "The Lord's not going to let that happen?" You use it when a demon brings fear to you about something bad happening.
Some people are more visual. They see images or pictures of things. Some people are more verbal. The mostly think in words. A demon might bring a picture, or a demon might bring some words. Or, with some people, a demon might bring an emotion of fear or anger or other strong emotion.
It tells us in the book of James, "...resist the devil and he'll run away from you." (Jas 4:7)
If a fear comes to you, say, "The Lord's not going to let that happen," and command the demon that brought that fear to you to go and not return, in Jesus' name.
There was a lady a couple decades ago who did a lot of important work for the Lord. I'm sure she went to heaven. But I heard she had a fear of crossing the street in her later years.
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hos 4:6)
That lady needed to know that when it came time to cross the street, it was time to resist that spirit of fear, and say word's like, "The Lord's not going to let anything bad happen to me," and to command that demon to go and not return, in Jesus' name.
Did you know there's a scripture that says, "Say to the righteous it shall be well with him."
According to the Bible, I'm made righteous by the blood of Jesus. So, from time to time, I say to myself, "It shall be well with you, Fred, for it is written, say to the righteous it shall be well with him." You can borrow that from me if you want. It won't hurt you.
Every day of our lives we should be speaking out loud words of faith. I don't mean you have to blab to everyone at your place of work. But don't you have some quiet time for yourself? Or even sitting on a bus, you can speak words not so loud that your neighbors understand, but loud enough to be pleasing to God.
If you can't find words of faith to speak, be silent rather than speaking doubt and unbelief. But there are always good scriptures that we can quote out loud, such as Psalm 1:3, "Whatever I do will prosper."
Psalm 1:3 actually says, "whatever he does will prosper," but since I'm one of those he's that it's talking about there, I've personalized it by saying, "Whatever I do will prosper." I don't think the Lord will mind.
In the book of James, it says the tongue is the hardest thing to control. If we control our tongues, we can control our whole bodies. Let's ask the Lord's help, and control our tongues and bodies.
You can pray the prayer that David prayed, "Set a watch, O lord, before my mouth. Keep the door of my lips." (Psa 141:3)
In 2nd Chronicles 7:14, "If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
But you already knew that Christians are supposed to pray. But notice that it says, "shall humble themselves and pray..."
We have to approach God in prayer with the right attitude. Don't ever approach God with anger. That gets you nothing. And God's not going to agree that he's done something wrong.
When Kenneth E. Hagin saw that things weren't going the way he expected, he used wisdom, and didn't get angry with God. He talked like this, "Now Lord, I know you didn't miss it, so I must have missed it. Where did I go wrong in this matter?"
Now there's an attitude God can work with. It's no use blaming God, because God didn't mess up.
Put some humility with your praying for best results.
God says to us in Deuteronomy 30:19 "...I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life, so that both you and your descendants will live..."
Every day we have choices. God tells us we can choose life or death. If you're following the Lord Jesus, you're choosing life. If you think you have a better plan than the Lord, you're mistaken, and you've taken a wrong turn.
To please God, we must live by faith (Heb 11:6). And not only to please God, but to live overcoming and successful lives, we must live by faith. Keep the switch of faith turned on.
Kenneth E. Hagin is one of God's teachers, and so am I. Ephesians tells us God has put teachers in the church. (Eph 4:11) But there are false teachers. If you study the Bible for yourself, then when a false teacher says something wrong, you'll know, "My Bible doesn't say that." Don't listen to the false teachers. Listen to the good teachers.
Here is a revelation the Lord gave to one of his teachers. The Lord said, "Son, my people don't worship me enough, and you don't either, son. You tell the people that if they'll spend time worshiping me, they can have anything they want."
Anything you want. Does that interest you? Spend time worshiping the Lord. If you need some worship words to use, the book of Psalms is full of them.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 12, there are nine gifts of the Spirit. We are told to earnestly desire the best gifts. Personally, I've asked the Lord for all nine gifts of the Spirit to work through me and through the Fred Hoehn Ministries.
One of the nine gifts is the discerning of spirits. That gift will be very helpful to Christians casting out demons from people.
But I would like to say this to you. If you're a Christian, you can cast out demons even if you haven't yet gotten the discerning of spirits.
Generally, any kind of obsessive or compulsive behavior is demonic. All kinds of sexual perversion are demonic in origin. Addiction to alcohol or drugs or tobacco is demonic.
But K.E. Hagin has shown that you can't cast out demons from someone if that person wants to keep their demons. Ask the Lord for the best gifts of the Spirit, and ask the Lord for his guidance.
Look at this: Let's say you don't yet have the discerning of spirits, but you see in someone behavior (perhaps even yourself) that seems to be demonic. If you go ahead and cast out that demon, and if possibly later it turns out not to have been demonic, you've lost nothing.
And we certainly need not be worried about offending demons. They don't worry about offending us, and they've already gone afoul of God when they followed Satan instead of God, when Satan rebelled against God.
So if you think something is probably demonic, go ahead and cast out that demon. If you were mistaken, nothing is lost.
Most of the time, when I cast out a demon, I see a dark, shadowy image of a demon being thrown off to a distance by an angel rather like a basketball player throws a basketball. Not a color picture, but a shadowy picture. Perhaps the Lord will do that with you, when you cast out demons.
But in any case, it's the will of God for us to be casing out demons.
Scriptures quoted here are from the Holy Bible, Hoehn Version, and New Testament, Hoehn Version, both available at Amazon.com as ebooks for the Kindle readers.
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