by Fred Hoehn, copyright 2011.
Along the road of life, I've learned some valuable lessons. It would be wrong of me not to share them with people. Thus, this book.
But then, too, I'm a priest, so I really have no choice but to teach people. No choice, that is, if I want to wind up in heaven, and, of course, I do want that.
Only a fool would choose to go to hell instead of heaven. More often, people go to hell because they neglected to make the arrangements to go to heaven, and everyone goes either to heaven or hell, according to the teachings of The Lord Jesus Christ, and I know that Jesus is right.
As a priest, I'm also a teacher. You've probably seen in the Bible, "And he gave some...teachers..." (Ephesians 4:11) I'm one of those teachers it's talking about there.
The Bible is, among other things, a book of history. An enemy army of ancient Israel had besieged a city of Israel, such that food became very scarce and expensive. But God made arrangements for the opposing army to depart suddenly, and in their haste they left a lot of food behind.
The citizens of the city, however, were not aware of this new development. But some lepers living outside the city discovered this new supply of food. So they ate. Then they said, "If we keep this a secret, something bad will happen to us." So they went near the city, called to the gatekeepers, and shared the news. The starving citizens got fed.
Something bad would happen to me if I didn't share what I've learned. The Lord will bless me for doing so.
I've studied success since my youth. I've read Dale Carnegie books and books on positive mental attitude. After a while, I came to the conclusion that if there was anything of value in those books, it could also be found in the Bible, so that the Bible was really the best success handbook.
I'll be giving you the tools for success from the Bible. You ought to look them up in the Bible and follow them.
You might say, if you're a priest, what denomination? O.K., I'm protestant, Pentecostal, full-gospel, charismatic, unknown tongue-talking. I'm a priest because the Lord has called me to be a priest. "The gifts and calling of God are without repentance." So then, God's not going to change his mind about it.
I had a career in electronics. Now I'm a teacher for God. Thus far, I haven't spoken to a lot of large crowds of people, but the Lord will make that happen, and by faith I've spoken that into existence. More on this later in the article.
I'm very blessed to have had a Christian mother. She took us children to Sunday School and church about every Sunday. My Sunday School teacher, Amanda Rediger, taught me good teachings from the Holy Bible, as did my mother. The Holy Bible is the most important book in the world.
But don't get the wrong Bible. There is a counterfeit bible called "The New World Translation." They've removed things from the Bible, which is forbidden by God in the book of Revelation. I have mostly used the King James Version, but now there's "The New Testament, Hoehn Version," copyright 2012. It uses plainer English than the King James. Although men have been called the authors of various books in the Bible, it was God that inspired those men to write what they wrote. "Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." So then God is actually the author of the Holy Bible.
In middle school, I took typewriting class, and learned to type. If I sit down to a typewriter, type a letter, and mail it to my friend, would you then say, "Oh, Fred's typewriter wrote a letter?" That would be incorrect. The typewriter didn't write a letter, I wrote the letter. The typewriter just put what I wrote on the paper. Similarly, men were just the typewriters God used to write the Bible.
It has been said that when a baby is born, the baby doesn't come with a handbook on how to raise babies. Wrong. The Bible is that handbook, and a handbook on success, and a handbook on how to solve the problems of life. "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he won't depart from it," the Bible says.
The world today has many problems, and those problems will continue to get worse. God has the solution to all our problems, and he's already given us a book of solutions, the Bible.
My mother lived to age 99, and then went to heaven. How do I know she went to heaven? Because I know she was born again, according to John chapter 3, and lived for the Lord. "He that does righteousness is righteous." (from 1 Jhn ) My mother made a serious mistake, however, by marrying an unbeliever. "Don't be unequally yoked together with unbelievers." (2 Corinthians 6:14)
My Dad was a man who became successful by earthly standards, but he didn't find lasting success. "What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul, or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
Who said that? Jesus. Who is Jesus? Jesus is the greatest man who ever walked the face of the earth. He is a co-creator of the universe with God his Father, and of the birds and animals, and of man and woman.
But though I've referred to Jesus as a man, he wasn't exactly a man like all other men. He had a man's body, of course, including beard. But every man after Adam had a man as his father. Jesus was born of a virgin, and had no man as his father.
The father of Jesus is God. Did God have sex with a woman? No. God's spirit came on the virgin Mary and made her pregnant with Jesus. After the birth of Jesus, Mary lost her virginity to her husband Joseph, and they had at least six children the normal way, boys and girls.
The Bible doesn't tell us the names of Jesus' half-sisters, but his half-brothers were James, Joses, Simon, and Judas. (Simon not Peter, and Judas not Iscariot.)
Someone might say, "But if Jesus was born 2000 years ago, how could he be co-creator of the universe." Jesus didn't originate 2000 years ago. He was the Son of God before the creation. What happened 2000 years ago is that God sent his Son Jesus down to earth to live like a man, to teach the people, to heal people, and to die for our sins.
If you were only able to obtain just part of the Bible, it would be best to get the part that has the words of Jesus. Those words are mostly in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. A red-letter edition of the Bible has the words of Jesus in red ink. You'll see a lot of red ink in a red-letter edition in those four books of the New Testament part of the Bible.
Of course you can probably get the whole Bible. I'm just saying Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are the most important because they are so full of the words Jesus spoke while on earth.
Beside the New Testament, with its 27 books from Matthew to Revelation, there is also the Old Testament, with its 39 books from Genesis to Malachi. So the Bible has 39 plus 27 equals 66 books.
But my Dad had a somewhat difficult childhood, growing up as an orphan and living in an orphanage. But things got better for him, and he became financially prosperous. He was a smarter than average guy, and did well on I.Q. tests administered by his employer. Not smart enough though.
Not smart enough to fear God. "The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom." My Dad didn't have the fear of God. Dad said he was an Atheist. What's an Atheist? It's a person who says there's no God.
God has something to say about Atheists. God says, "The fool has said in his heart 'There is no God.'" So then God says my Dad was a fool. You don't have to have a high I.Q., just make the choice that you're going to fear God, and what he will do to you if you don't get right with him.
Dad died at age 91 and went to hell. How do I know he went to hell? Because hell is the default destination. If you know anything about computers, you know that computers come with default settings. Once you get the computer, you can begin to change some settings from the default settings to your preferences.
I had a cell phone that once in a while would go crazy, and not work right. But then I could choose "Restore Factory Settings," and it would return to the default settings. After that, I could choose my preferences.
A fiery hell is the default destination for everyone. You have to make other arrangements not to go to hell. If you don't make those other arrangements, then you go to hell.
In hell, "There's crying and gnashing of teeth, where their worms don’t die, and where the fire is not quenched," says Jesus. If you go to hell, you won't like it, and there's no getting back out, so you'd better get born again, as in John chapter 3, and as per Romans 10:9,10.
And how do we know there's a heaven and a hell? Because Jesus said so during his life on earth, about two thousand years ago. Many, but not all of his words are recorded on paper in the Bible. (Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John.)
And how does someone get born again? Step 1: By hearing or reading the gospel message that all of us are sinners, but that we can get our sins forgiven by believing in Jesus, who died on the cross for our sins. Back then they executed criminals by hanging them on a wooden cross until dead. By Jesus was not a criminal. He had done nothing wrong. He died for your sins and mine. Step 2: Believe the gospel message. Step 3: Pray a simple prayer asking Jesus to be your savior. "All that call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
If you do that, he will accept you as one of his, and forgive your sins, and you'll be on the road to heaven. Then what? Then read the Bible, and do what God tells you to do in the Bible. A new Christian ought to start reading the Bible in the New Testament, then the Old Testament.
After you become a Christian, Jesus wants you to be baptized in water, and also Jesus has something else he wants you to have called the Baptism with the Holy Ghost with the speaking in unknown tongues. See Acts, chapters 1 & 2, Acts chapter 10, and Acts chapter 19.
I know a big name preacher on TV who says the Baptism with the Holy Ghost has been done away with. He's dead wrong. If the Baptism with the Holy Ghost has been done away with, how did I get it when I was about 13 or 14? No, it hasn't been done away with, and he's teaching false doctrine.
What is the evidence that a Christian has been baptized with the Holy Ghost? The evidence is that he or she will speak in unknown tongues. That is, they will speak in a language they've never learned.
Perhaps you have a lot of education and you know five languages. When Jesus baptizes you with the Holy Ghost (or, Holy Spirit, or Comforter) you'll speak in a language that is none of the five that you've learned. It's an unknown tongue (or, language) because the person speaking it doesn't understand what he is saying.
How can a person speak in a language that he doesn't know? Because the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit gives you words to speak in that language, and then you raise your voice and speak those words aloud.
I use the example of a word in a foreign language, kamsahamnida. Do you know that word? Probably most Americans don't know that word. But if you heard me speak the word kamsahamnida, you could repeat it, even without understanding what it meant.
In fact, that's how little children learn how to talk. They hear people speaking words, and then they repeat the words. The little child doesn't first read a book about where to position the tongue and lips to make certain sounds, he just tries to make the same sounds he has heard.
The word kamsahamnida means "Thank you" in Korean. But my point is, you speak out the words that the Holy Ghost gives you to speak. God doesn't take control of your lips and tongue, and make you talk. He gives you words to speak, and then you use your voice and speak them aloud.
And when you speak those words in the unknown tongue, what are you saying? You're praying to God, and worshiping God.
In Matthew, Mark, Luke, and in John, John the Baptist says that Jesus is the baptizer with the Holy Ghost. You get it from Jesus. To get it from Jesus, ask him for it. "Ask, and you'll receive." (Matt chapt 7)
And remember that Jesus said, "When you pray, believe that you receive the things you ask for, and you shall have them." (Mark chapter 11) But what if you pray, and don't believe? Then you don't receive. You can choose to believe, and you must.
You might say, "What do you mean 'You must,' you don't really have the right to make me do something." No, I'm not trying to make you do something, and God won't force you to choose to believe, either. But I can inform you what you need to do.
You need to choose to believe because we all need to choose to believe. "Without faith it's impossible to please God, for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him." (Heb. 11:6)
Let me give you another scripture, "Kiss the Son, so that he won't be angry, and you perish from the way when his anger is kindled just a little." Who is the Son? Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16)
The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. He that fears God shall come forth from them all. This is a book on success. Do you want to stand out from the crowd? Do you want to excel in everything you do? Then choose the fear of God. The first Psalm, Psalm 1 tells you how to prosper in whatever you do. The book of Psalms is about in middle of the Bible.
There are very destructive things in the world these days that can ruin people, such as pornography. Jesus said, "He that looks at a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart." Pornography is about lust, and is sin in the sight of God. In First John we read, "Don't love the things of the world...the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life..."
I said to a young man, "Pornography kills people." He was already a Christian. He said, "I don't see how pornography kills people." I told him that people who mess with pornography are allowing demons to come into them, and those demons aren't there to do you any good.
Jesus said, "The thief doesn't come but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy" (John 10:10) That's what the demons are there to do. So don't let them in. Don't mess with porn or other sins.
But I have some good news. Jesus gave us Christians to cast out demons from people. In Luke 10:19, Jesus said, "See, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you." This power over all the power of the enemy is your authority from Jesus to cast out demons.
There is an unfortunate use of the word demon in recent years. I've heard the expression, "He was wrestling with his personal demons." The person who said that really meant "He was wrestling with his personal problems."
The person who spoke those words probably didn't know much about demons, and maybe didn't even believe in demons. It was a figure of speech. Your English teacher might give you a good grade for using figures of speech, but it doesn't necessarily mean you know anything about demons.
So what is a demon? A demon, or devil, is a spirit being and is a fallen angel. When God created angels, He didn't make any bad angels. But Satan was corrupted by reason of his brightness, and wanted to be like God.
He wanted to be worshiped. When Satan rebelled against God, some of the angels followed him. They became demons, fallen angels, also called unclean spirits.
Demons don't have flesh and blood bodies like people do. They are spirit beings that would like to come and get into you. They find an open door if people commit sins.
I mentioned our authority to cast out demons in Luke 10:19.
But how does a Christian use that authority to cast out demons? The same way Jesus did. Jesus "cast out the spirits with his word." You speak words out of your mouth commanding them to go, in Jesus' name.
But don't do that while wondering if anything's going to happen. If you're wondering, you're not in faith. Look up Luke 10:19 for yourself. Look up Mark chapter 16 where Jesus said that one of the signs that follow believers is casting out demons.
When you see that as a Christian, you do have authority from Jesus, begin to use it to cast demons out of people. The Lord wants Christians to do that (Mark chapter 16).
Now for a long time, I was a Christian unaware that Christians could have demons. But in my late thirties I met Pastor Win Worley who said, "At our church in Indiana, we cast a lot of demons out of people, and most of the people we cast demons out of are Christians."
I said to myself, "What? I never heard that a Christian might have a demon," and I didn't buy it right away just because he said it. But he was right. Christians need to know that it's possible for a Christian to have a demon.
Demons who are in people can cause health problems, such as cancer, and mental and emotional problems, like schizophrenia, kleptomania, and many of the mental diseases.
That's why it's so hard for Psychiatrists and Psychologists to cure their patients, if those doctors aren't even aware they're dealing with demons.
It is likely that in their years of study to get their credentials, demons were not even mentioned in most of their textbooks.
Fortunately, there's another textbook that covers the subject, the Holy Bible. Those doctors need to get a copy and study it. They would have a higher cure rate.
You know, it looks like people 2,000 years ago might have been smarter than people today, at least in this one area. When Jesus asked the people who were trying to kill him, "Why are you going around trying to kill me?", they answered, "You have a devil, who's trying to kill you?"
But these days, they would have said, "You're paranoid, who's trying to kill you," without realizing that the mental disease paranoia is mostly demonic in origin.
But people today have various problems. Some have health problems. Older people sometimes have difficulty hearing or seeing. Some people get around in wheelchairs. Or, there are many kinds of health problems.
Everyone needs to eat. Food costs money. Some people are short of cash, and have difficulty getting satisfactory nutrition. Not far from where I'm living now, there's a sort of plaza, a grassy area with some trees where homeless people hang around.
Are people homeless and poor and sick because that's the will of God for them? No. Jesus said, "I have come so they can have life, and so they can have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) Homeless people are not enjoying abundant life.
God doesn't want people to be homeless or poor or sick or demon-possessed. And God has the cure for those problems, and for every other problem.
But if the cure is available, then why are there so many with the problems? Well, you see, people have to take the cure.
What if someone has a health problem, and it's something that the doctor knows can be cured by a certain medicine, then he writes the prescription.
Is the patient cured simply because the doctor wrote a prescription? No. That prescription is of no value unless someone goes and gets the prescription filled at the pharmacy.
But now that the afflicted has in his possession the bottle of medicine, does that automatically mean he's cured? No, not if he hasn't yet taken the medicine.
What were the instructions given? Two tablets three times a day? The patient could say, "Well, I'm smarter than that doctor, I'll take one tablet every two days."
Why go to a doctor if the patient won't follow the doctor's instructions?
Am I saying that when people have a health problem, they ought to go see a doctor? No, I'm simply saying that many people are not getting better because they won't take the cure.
And the Bible has the cure for everything. However, it is possible, and some people have gotten so far into sin and unbelief that they won't get out of it. (reprobate mind, Romans chapter 1, & Hebrews chapter 6, "impossible to renew to repentance") ("Remember now your creator in the days of your youth, while the evil days don't come, nor the years draw near when you'll say 'I have no pleasure in them' " Ecclesiastes)
There is also an unforgivable sin, Jesus said. The unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. Don't ever bad mouth the Holy Ghost (also called the Holy Spirit, and the Comforter.)
Speaking Things Into Existence
I mentioned earlier about speaking things into existence. What scripture is that based on? In Genesis God said, "Let us make man in our image." We are made in the image of God. The God who spoke the worlds into existence. The God who said, "Let there be light, and the sun came into existence, and the stars, and the moon for light at night.
So then you and I also have some power to speak things into existence, since we're made in the image of God. With that in mind, people need to be careful not to speak the wrong things into existence. Don't say, "I'm coming down with a cold." Don't say it, even if you think so. You could get a cold when you wouldn't have, simply because you said you would, and I'm sure that has happened to people.
Have you read in Mark chapter 11 where you can move a mountain? Jesus said so. You can command the mountain to go, and it will go, if you believe what you say will happen, and don't doubt in your heart.
I agree with the Bible teacher who said, "If you have a problem, that's your mountain. Tell it to go."
Of course, your results will be according to your faith. Jesus said, "According to your faith, have what you're believing for."
That same Bible teacher was on TV, on the Direct TV GTV channel. He told one evening about a student he had with something wrong with her legs. She could walk with the help of crutches.
He told her she needed to command her legs to be well and normal every day. (She was already a Christian.)
She started doing what the teacher said to do. Months later, she was shopping her friends. She felt God's power come on her. She threw down the crutches, and walked off with normal legs.
God wants to do that for all of his people that have health problems, so do like that young woman did.
People have mistakenly said, "Well, if God wants to heal me, he knows where I live." No. Jesus said, "Ask and you'll receive, seek and you'll find, knock and it shall be open to you." (Matt. chapt 7)
God wants to see your faith in operation. If the young woman hadn't commanded her legs to be well and normal for those months, then at the end of that time, she'd still have been on crutches.
Jesus said you can move a mountain. You move the mountain, whatever the problem is, with spoken words coupled with faith. You command the mountain to go, and believe that what you say will happen, and don't doubt in your heart, Jesus said. (Mark 11:23)
But there's more to success than just healing for your body. Perhaps you have financial debt that you need to get out of. If so, that's your mountain. Tell it to go. And tell it to go every day until it's gone, and expect what you say to happen, and don't doubt in your heart.
Why am I telling you to do that? Because Jesus said to do that, and Jesus is the greatest teacher there ever was.
Now someone said you should command just once, and then stay in faith. O.K., if your faith is up to that level. I've heard it taught both ways. Another Bible teacher said he had something wrong with his knee. He commanded it to be well like a thousand times, probably over several months. And then the problem went away.
Anyone who thinks they have a better idea than Jesus is mistaken. If your computer is not performing the way you expected, don't you seek out someone who knows more about computers?
For best results, follow the expert. Jesus is the expert. He is the author and finisher of our faith.
Some might say, "Yes, I've heard before about faith preachers." But did you know that without faith it's impossible to please God. (Heb 11:6) "The just shall live by his faith." The "just" here means righteous people, the right kind of people. God's people. The Christians.
You might achieve a few things without putting much faith to work for you, but long-term you won't find lasting success if you're going to try to get there without faith. Learn to put your faith to work. It's how God wants us to live.
I mentioned Win Worley from whom I learned something. He has passed on now. I don't want to say bad things about people, but I believe there's a lesson to be learned from this. Worley apparently tried to do a long fast, and stopped eating, but he was very fat. He put himself in the hospital and then died of medical complications.
But I think he need not have died when he did. I believe he could have had years more of ministry. But why didn't he?
There is a scripture that says, "Cast out the scorner..." Win Worley, unfortunately was a little scornful of "faith preachers," and felt he was right up there with them, status-wise.
And I would say it's true that Worley was something of a pioneer in casting out demons. But the knowledge of the things faith preachers preach, I believe would have kept Worley alive, and brought him back to health if he had known them, and put them into practice.
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hosea 4:6)
From the book of Hebrews, "Without faith, it's impossible to please God." Someone might ask, "Do I need to please God?" Well, you want to go to heaven, don't you? God is our judge. In school your teachers gave you a grade depending on how well you did. A student can get an "A" for doing very well, or an "F" for doing badly.
You might be through with school, but God is scoring you. "The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom." If you're a God-fearing person, you'll try to please him. But you can't please God if you won't put your faith to work.
You have to use faith to become a Christian. You hear the gospel message that Jesus died for our sins. You believe it. You tell God you accept his offer of salvation through Jesus. After doing that, you don't retire your faith. No, you're supposed to keep using faith.
I happened to meet a man in Los Angeles. He had been in another religion most of his life, but then became a Christian. He was well off financially, and I heard him say, "I never ask God for anything." I didn't respond to that the first time.
But when he said it again later, I said, "Brother, if you're not asking God for anything, you're walking in disobedience. Jesus said, 'Ask and you'll receive.'" (Matt chapt 7)
Maybe the man didn't need much from God for himself, but he was a teacher of a Bible class. I'm sure he could have been asking God to help his students understand the Bible, and be prosperous, etc.
Also, that man seemed to often have a special shoe on one foot, the kind they give out at the hospital. It would have been good for him to ask the Lord for the healing he needed.
I know Jesus said, "Don't judge so you won't be judged." But I'm just using this as an example.
If you're already enjoying perfect health, you can be praying and believing, and speaking into existence better prosperity for yourself and your family, and many other things that people need that don't just automatically fall into their laps without their doing something about it.
You say, "But I have been doing something about it." Of course you have. And you probably know the Bible tells us to be diligent in business. But are you aware that the Bible also says, "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal..." (2 Cor. 10:4).
Yes, God wants you to do a good job at whatever you do, but for success that lasts, speak faith-filled words to go along with your best efforts with your hands. Talk like this: "I call myself expert at what I do. People come to me to ask how to do it and I show them. I'm in great demand for the expertise God helps me to have. Wisdom, you're my sister, understanding you're my kinswoman."
Talk like that. Put faith with your words. Quote Gods promises out loud, such as Psalm 1:3 ("whatever he does will prosper")
There's a companion book to this book titled, "A Collection of Promises from God for his People from the Bible," by Frederick Hoehn.
Those are promises I quote over myself. I quote promises every day. There are so many, I don't get through them all each day. Some today, some tomorrow, etc.
You don't necessarily have to have that book--you can compile your own lists from the Bible, as I have done, but every day, quote promises out loud with your mouth from God, for yourself and your family.
In doing so, you'll be obeying Joshua 1:8, "This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth (speak it), but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you'll do what it says, for then you'll make your way prosperous, and then, you'll have good success."
Here's another promise to be quoted out loud from the Bible, "I'm the head and not the tail, above and not beneath..." from Deuteronomy.
Jesus said you can bind and loose. Are you binding and loosing? Perhaps you say, "Do I really need to?" Yes, sir, you do. Yes, ma'am, you do. Let me give you an example. I was walking down the sidewalk and came to an intersection. A picture came to me of getting run over by a car. I said out loud, "I bind this spirit of fear in Jesus name." "I command you to go and don't return."
There was an excellent woman servant of the Lord who helped a lot of people. But she had a fear of crossing the street. She should have said, "I bind this fear in Jesus' name. I rebuke you in Jesus' name. Go from me and don't return, in Jesus' name. The Bible says, "Resist the devil, and he'll flee from you," (book of James)
Christianity is really the only life. People who don't have Jesus don't have lasting success. The storms of life will come and they'll crash. Jesus said, "If you hear these sayings of mine & do them, you're like a man who built his house on a rock..."
You can read all the success books you want, but long-term, it won't work unless you're a partner with God, unless you're a Christian. Jesus said, "Without me, you can do nothing." Let's face that fact and not waste time ignoring that fact.
But as you live the Christian life, you have an adversary, the devil. He wants to hold you back. He wants to defeat you. He wants to discourage you. But Jesus gave us binding and loosing. "Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven," Jesus said.
You bind and loose with words spoken out of your mouth.
But if you won't use binding and loosing, then the enemy has more power to hinder you. No, you have to stop the enemy by saying out loud, "Satan take your hands off my finances, and my health, and my family, and everything that pertains to us, in Jesus' name."
Can people go to heaven without doing that? I'm sure some have. God is merciful. Some have just not had that teaching. Maybe they saw about binding and loosing in the Bible, but didn't quite see how it applied to them, or how to perform it.
I've been very fortunate to have found some good teachers. One of them is Kenneth E. Hagin. His books are available at www.Rhema.org
Did you know the Bible tells us to "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."? But why with fear and trembling? Doesn't the Bible say that perfect love casts out fear? Yes, but until our love becomes perfect, some fear and trembling will help to overcome the natural human tendency to neglect spiritual matters.
And there's another scripture, "Happy is the man that fears always." There is a healthy kind of fear, such as fear of God, and there's an unhealthy kind of fear, such as fear that bad things are going to happen to us. That kind of fear is from the enemy, and is to be resisted.
And the enemy wants to push us in the direction of neglecting Bible study and prayer and the things God tells us to do in the Bible.
But we're told to "Resist the devil and he will flee from you." (Jas ) But what if we don't resist him. Then he'll hang around and try to see how much damage he can do.
Some might be tempted to say it's a lot of work to be a Christian. No, Jesus said, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." Long-term, it's harder to be a sinner than to be a Christian, and their benefits are not nearly as good. And at the end, they go to hell, and we go to heaven.
Their storms will come and they'll crash. The storms come to us, and we survive the storms.
Unfortunately, some Christians are not using weapons available to them. Haven't you seen about weapons we have in Ephesians chapter 6. AND "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal..."
13 So, take to yourselves the whole armor of God, so you'll be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins clothed with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 And for shoes, the preparation of the gospel of peace, 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you'll be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and staying awake regarding that with all perseverance and supplication for all saints,
In Ephesians chapter 6, Paul the Apostle is comparing our Christian life to that of a soldier, because we are, in fact, involved in spiritual warfare whether we realize it or not.
It would be hard to find a better teacher than the Apostle Paul. But I do know of one, and that's the Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
I was in the U.S. military myself. You go to boot camp. They issue you items of clothing, and boots, and things you'll need.
No soldier in his right mind would go out to battle barefoot. The boots that were issued to him protect his feet. He could become wounded without taking a bullet merely because he stepped on some glass, or a sharp rock, and get himself court-martialed for wrongfully endangering himself. Nor does he go out to war leaving his rifle back in the barracks.
Yet some Christians go to war lacking one or more pieces of their armor. If your level of success is not all that you hoped for, check up on your weapons that you've been using. Are you missing any weapons available to you?
"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God," Jesus said. Is there a part of the Bible you've been neglecting?
Jesus gave us binding and loosing. If we're smart we will submit to Jesus and do the binding and loosing as a matter of normal Christian living. Not to do so would be displeasing to God, and God knows how to spank his people if they need a spanking. Personally, I'd like to avoid God spanking me.
Look again at this scripture from the Old Testament, in Joshua 1:8. God is talking to Joshua, the new leader of Israel after the death of Moses, the man of God. "This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth..." That means we're supposed to be speaking the word of God.
If it looks a lot like you're not very prosperous, you speak to the situation like this, "Praise God, whatever I do prospers"(Ps 1:3) "The blessing of Abraham is on me, whom God made rich." (Gal chapter 3) Just keep on speaking the word of God today, and tomorrow, and every day remaining to you during your life on earth. You'll be blessed and prosperous and healthy.
I heard a teacher also tell how the Lord spoke to him words like this: "If there's anyone out there with anything wrong with their bodies, they're not worshiping me enough." Yes, I believe Jesus said that. You'll find words of worship and praise in the book of Psalms, in the Old Testament.
God wants us to speak out of our mouths the words he has put in the Bible for our benefit so that we can obtain the blessings he has promised.
I was not taught this as a young Christian. But, thank God, I finally did find the teaching that "The just shall live by his faith" and that one way that we are supposed to be doing that, as a normal, natural part of living our lives, is to quote out of our mouths the promises of God from the Bible, in response to situations we encounter in living our lives.
I was in the lobby of the building I live in, and a man came in and started talking about people losing their benefits. I answered him, "The Lord's not going to let that happen to me." That was my faith speaking.
If the rent or mortgage payment is coming due, and it looks like there might not be enough money, YOU DON'T SAY, "We'll never make it." No, that's what the enemy wanted you to say so that you would speak into existence the wrong thing. INSTEAD, YOU SAY, "My God shall supply all my needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:19)
You say that, you put your faith with your words, you don't doubt in your heart. You put your trust in the Lord.
Kenneth E. Hagin used to say: God's word says it. I believe it. That settles it. The Bible says to "Rest in the Lord"
Smith Wigglesworth was an important man of God. He said sometimes we must voice things to make them happen. Wigglesworth helped a lot of people. I'm sure he has a very good name in heaven.
But I would say it even stronger, We should be like God, binding and loosing, and speaking things into existence just pretty much all the time, as normal, natural part of living our lives.
Of course, we are also told in Thessalonians to pray without ceasing. But I think most Christians already know they're supposed to pray. But many have not been told to put Joshua 1:8 to work and speak God's promises. Doing so will strengthen your faith, and without faith we can't please God.(Heb 11:6)
Here is another way to build up yourself on your most holy faith: "but ye, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost..." (Jude vs. 20) How do you pray in the Holy Ghost? First, you must be a Christian. Then, you must have received from the Lord Jesus the baptism with the Holy Ghost. Then, you pray in unknown tongues, which is available to you all the time, after you've been baptized with the Holy Ghost.
"The spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet."
Paul says, "I will pray with the understanding, I will pray in the spirit, I will sing with the understanding, I will sing in the spirit."
When Paul says he will do that, it means we should, too. "Be followers of me, as I also am of Christ." (1 Cor 11:1)
God says in his book, "See, I set before you life and death. Choose life." I choose life. I believe most of my readers will, too. Father in heaven, please make it so, in Jesus' name. Amen. I bind all powers of the enemy that would hinder that, in Jesus' name. I loose ministering spirits to cause it to happen, in Jesus' name.
I have lived more than six decades. I've heard many teachers and preachers. There is no better way than what I'm telling you in this book. This book describes a way of living that is what God wants for his people. Don't resist God. Get with the program. You'll achieve things you never thought possible by quoting out loud promises from the Bible every day, in addition, of course to your prayer life.
Another Bible said the Lord told him, "I've told my people they can have what they say, but instead, they are saying what they have."
Jesus wants us to STOP SAYING WHAT WE HAVE & START SAYING HOW IT NEEDS TO BE. In other words, "Calling those thing that are not as though they were." (as though they are)
Don't gripe about how it is, speak into existence how you need it to be, and then just stay in faith; rest in faith. The children of Israel got into a lot of trouble for griping and moaning and complaining and grumbling. That's saying what you have. No, you're supposed to speak into existence how it needs to be for yourself and your family, my friend. (But first, make sure you're a Christian.)
And what is praying? The Bible says, "Pour out your heart to God." It means with words spoken as prayer. Talk to the Lord as you would your best friend, since in fact, He is your best friend. "There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother."
The Bible says we should lift up holy hands without anger or doubting. Approach God in prayer, respectfully. Give him the honor due his name.
The daily confessing of God's promises strengthens your faith that you'll need when it's time to move a mountain, and when it's time to speak something into existence that you or your family needs.
Jesus said, "I have come so they can have life, and so they can have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) You get there by speaking God's word and by using your faith.
Be always ready to give an answer to everyone who asks a reason of the hope that is in you.
Please see companion article, "A Collection of Promises from God for his People, from the Holy Bible."
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