* Note: Added words not in the original speech were surrounded by [square brackets]. In some places words were deleted.
Hello my name is John Foll and I have a ministry called White Raiment Evangelism. My goal is to help as many people as possible break out of the lukewarm state.
The title for tonight’s session is the Prayer of Faith Part 1 Conditions for answered prayer.
We won’t be able to cover everything here. But the main thing is to understand [that there are conditions to answered prayer.] – How many people here want God [to] hear their prayers?How many people here want their prayers to be answered? (Audience: Yea.) There’s a science behind it – we don’t always know every prayer, but there’s some prayers that you can know that God is going to answer them. Did you know that? (Audience: Yes.) Did you know that there are some prayers that God isn’t going to hear?And some of it has to do with our attitudes. We’re not going to go into all that tonight. But there’s a protocol for dealing with God, and if we want answers to our prayers we need to understand. We are not going to go through all of them tonight. But the biggest one of them all is Faith! I mean I had known this for awhile – but it didn’t really sink in. You know I was thinking [about] other things. But when I did this study I realized that the prayer of faith is like the number one condition!
Prayer is the Key to Heaven (John Foll sings)
Prayer is the key to Heaven But faith unlocks the door, Words are so easily spoken, But prayer without faith Is like a boat without an oar! Have faith when you speak to the Master That’s all He asks you for! Prayer is the key to Heaven, But faith unlocks the door!
God’s word is the key to knowledge But faith unlocks the door. If you can believe what is written…. But doubts crowd your mind And it’s too hard to trust His word. Have faith God will show you the answer In time when He sees best God’s word is the key to knowledge And faith unlocks the door.
Prayer is the key to Heaven, But faith unlocks the door!
I just love this song, it’s a sermon by itself. We could go home tonight after this couldn’t we? It really says about what we need to hear.
*Faith Unlocks the Door (Prayer is the Key to Heaven) 1955, by Samuel T. Scott, Robert L. Sande Unknown author of second stanza, which we got from Fountain View Academy’s version of the song on their Step’s to Christ in Song DVD Collection.
How do you get answers to prayer?
Let’s start with a hard one here: “Is there any 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” and what does James say? He says, “the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:14-16 [KJV.]
Wow! There’s a lot in this passage isn’t there? Doesn’t this seem like a hard prayer to answer? You’ve heard of people doing this right? Anointing someone? Does it always work? But we are not really just here to discuss that tonight… But what is the prayer of faith?Because James tells us that the elders of the church when they pray the prayer of faith and anoint the person - it shall save the sick and the Lord shall raise them up and - if they have committed sins they shall be forgiven.Now that’s kind of interesting there:Did you know that you could pray for someone – that God would forgive their sins?Confess your faults one to another and pray for one another that ye may be healed.
When we study righteousness by faith a little farther… [A related topic is the latter rain, which is produced by the teaching of righteousness by faith.] The Latter Rain outpouring starts [to be mentioned]… [the] first time it’s talked about in the Bible is Joel Chapter 2 and it mentions that there would be a confession and repentance - starting with the leadership or the priests on down. And that God would promise the early and latter rain. So this confession is so important.How?It says the fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.Now how many of us are good here? -- No hands? (Audience: Ha ha, ha ha.) How do we become good?Well James tells us here that the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much, or as the New American Standard says – “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” So there must be a way that we can be righteous…
Do you believe that the prayer of faith can heal the sick and cause their sins to be forgiven?
Which is harder? Isn’t that what Jesus said? Which is easier?Say thy sins be forgiven or take up thy pallet and walk?But so that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins on earth, take up your pallet and walk! [Mark 2:8-9.] Which is harder - for someone to be healed or for someone to be forgiven? Aren’t they about the same thing? [Aren’t they both hard?] Would you want to be forgiven, and not healed, or would you rather be healed and not forgiven?Or would you rather have both? (Audience: Both.) Is there anything too hard for God? (Audience: No.) Sometime if you get the chance look up Genesis 18:14 where God tells Abraham, ‘Is anything too hard for Me?’Why are we starting with this promise in James? [Because we need to start right where people seem to have the problem: with faith.We want you to know that with God the impossible is possible!There is nothing too hard for God!] This may sound like a hard prayer - but is anything too hard for God?Why do you need faith? Why do we pray? We have needs?If we are just asking God for something that we can do ourselves how much faith does that take? [You need to believe the promises of God, as in James 5:14-16.]
[You need to believe the Bible as it reads, because God says what He means, and means what he says and can be trusted because He loves you!]
[Without Faith it is Impossible to Please God]
Let’s look at Hebrews 11:6: It says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” So how do we get that faith that we need to please God?When you have that faith in God there is nothing that you need that He cannot provide. We’re only going to be able to scratch the surface of this tonight. But the prayer of faith is something we should all continue to learn.What does John 3:16 say? (Audience: ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son…) For God so loved the world that He gave His only son that whosoever shall believe in Him shall have everlasting life. Can we be saved without believing in Jesus? What are we believing in Him to do for us? (Audience: ‘Forgive us our sins, save us. Help us overcome.) That’s the most important one of them all!So you see how important faith is?Without faith we have nothing right?
Paul tells us in Romans that ‘whatsoever is not of faith is sin.’ Now this is where it starts to get a little serious here!That’s why we need to learn what real faith is! - Because did you know that you could be shut out of Heaven because of unbelief? Says [so] in Revelation [21:8 KJV]. It mentions two groups of people with the wicked: It says the fearful and the unbelieving.We want to believe that God can do what He says He can do and not have an evil heart of unbelief. Hebrews 3:12.
Here’s another one here:We need to understand what the basis of faith is.A lot of people think well, faith – it’s just oh I believe in something – I believe in God, I believe in a God, I believe in this or that.But don’t the devils also believe? What makes us different? [James 2:19 KJV.] What is the true basis of faith? We’re going to get to that.
How do we know that we are to take the Bible as it reads?
Jesus was telling the Jewish lawyer, an expert of the law something here: “And behold a certain lawyer stood up and put Him to the test saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’And He [Jesus] said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?’” [Luke 10:25-26 NASB.] When Jesus told him to read what was written in the Law what was He telling him to do?How does Jesus tell us to interpret the Bible? ‘How does it read to you?’ The first thing to understand in the Bible is trying to go by its apparent meaning, instead of some mystical meaning.This is [so] important, because some people have said some things that were confusing about the Bible.Now what does this have to do with faith? Well we’re going to see in a little bit. I think that Jesus made that pretty plain that we are to take the Bible as it reads. So why are we bringing this up?Oh what did James say?He said that the sick would be healed if they – someone [the elders] prayed the prayer of faith and their sins would be forgiven.So isn’t that what James said? If James said it, isn’t it true?Or do we have to assign some kind of mystical meaning to it?
[All scripture is inspired by God]
“All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching for reproof, for correction for training in righteousness, so that the man of God maybe adequate, equipped for every good work.’ [2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB.] Is the book of James part of the scriptures, all scriptures? (Audience: Yes.) Then it’s also the inspired word of God. So we should… I know this may sound like I am playing word plays here but – it’s a different way of viewing [things]… righteousness by faith, there’s a step above it – it’s called faith.When we read the Bible – we take it for what it says and we believe it without questioning it. And that may sound – There’s a lot of difficulty in the Bible that can be under[stood] - that can be reconciled when we start to see it through the eyes of faith – and your view on the Bible will open up and expand when you simply accept it for what it is without trying to re-explain it to mean something else.
Can we pray for someone and have their sins forgiven?What did we learn from Jesus?That we can understand the Bible by reading it. OK we know that there are conditions for answered prayer and we were discussing one that was called faith. And faith is part of the protocol as we’ll see, because if we want God to hear our prayers, we need to believe.There’s a science behind salvation and getting answers to prayer and we should study the Bible out to see what it has to tell us. And if we love God and believe we will make the word of God our study and delight. And faith is part of the gospel, because how many people can be saved without believing in Jesus?He died on the cross for us, but what happens if we don’t believe Him?So the first condition for answered prayer is faith.
True faith is believing that God will do what He says, by His word alone.
It doesn’t depend on how good you are, or what you’ve done.If you come to God and meet the conditions: if you confess your sins what does 1st John tell us?He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.So what part in that 1 John 1:9 do we have a part to play?Only that we confess.And what happens if we confess? God is going to forgive us isn’t He? Now some people aren’t sure when they read this! But when we understand righteousness by faith: It’s a formula:If the person has confessed, then what happens?They’re forgiven! When the Bible… It’s amazing how many difficulties in the Bible can be straightened out when somebody views it in a simple manner like that!
‘Say the word alone, and my servant will be healed!’ A. T. Jones was commenting on this in one of his discourses. If you get a chance you should read it sometime from the Review and Herald. There’s a series of lectures or articles that he wrote in 1899 or something like that. – I have the reference here in the handout.
In Matthew 8:8, “The centurion answered and said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy that though shouldst come under my roof, [but] speak the word only and my servant will be healed.’” Matthew 8:8 [KJV]. And later on he says, ‘I too am a man under authority’ and what did Jesus say? “I have not found such faith in Israel!” Now what would happen if God’s people actually believed in God and Jesus the way this centurion did? What would happen?If we actually believed that God had authority – Jesus had authority and if we believed in Him that whatever we asked if it was His will it would happen? How much – How much of that healing depended on how good that centurion was? Was that centurion a gentile? (Audience: Yes.) Did he follow the law of Moses? What? I mean by their standards [the standards of the Israelites] how good was he?What claim did he have on Jesus? Could he say well, ‘You have to heal my servant?’His only claim on Jesus was he asked Him, and he knew He [was] a man of authority – his only claim was his faith in believing that Jesus would do that for him. That tells you something about that centurion that he cared that much about his slave-servant doesn’t it?
[So what would happen if Christians actually believed God? What would happen? This is where it gets real serious!If Christians actually believed God, there would be a huge change in their lives that would be impossible to hide - that most people do not have now!And they would be a great force for good, love and obedience in the world and filled with the Holy Spirit, in the same way the early church in the book of Acts was a great force for good, love and obedience to the world, filled with the Holy Spirit! So you should see how important it is to have true faith in God and take Him at His word.So the biggest problem with God’s people today is faith. Hebrews 11:6. “And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now shall not God bring about justice for His elect, who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes,will He find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:6-8 NASB. “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Matthew 17:20 KJV. God forgive us for our lack of faith in Your word! Wonderful things would be happening on this earth right now if there were more Christians who actually believed fully in God and His promises!]
[The True Basis of Faith]
So this is the basis of true faith – believing in the word of God ONLY to do what it says. It’s not believing in yourself to be able to be righteous AND God, it’s believing in God – the word of God ONLY!
How should we expect God to fulfill His promises to us?Through the word only. You might say, ‘I know what that means.’ When we start reading the Bible… [and taking it as it reads – we don’t have to figure it out a lot of the time because it’s meaning is plain]and when God says something - you can know what He’s going to do, because He says it!And faith doesn’t question whether God is going to do it. If He says it – He’s going to do it!God always keeps His promises. How? What would it be like if God hadn’t fulfilled His promise? What would happen if somebody would humble their heart before God and ask Him to forgive them and God didn’t do it?The whole universe depends upon God!What would happen if God removed His power from this universe?We need to depend on God’s promises.[It’s time for God’s people to start believing and living like they believe that God will do what He says He will do, and not something else!] It’s time for us to start living like we believe what God said [in the Bible].And when we start to believe what God said it will revolutionize our life and we will start to see the word of God in a different light.If you expect to get answers to prayer you must believe that God will grant them, and you need to know how He will grant them. See there’s some things we can know. If we’ve confessed our sins what does it say?We will be forgiven?And John wrote in the book of 1st John, I am writing these things to you little children so that you may know you have eternal life. [1 John 5:13 KJV.] So if we want to know if we have eternal life - don’t we want to know how we can know if we have eternal life?It’s not a guessing game! You know it’s not like this person might be saved because he’s destined for salvation and I am destined to be lost because I’m just a hopeless loser. No! We can know how we can be saved! I don’t believe in Calvinism. The most important secret to [getting answers to] prayer and eternal life is believing.
[So how does John say we can know we have eternal life according to 1st John 5:13? “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.’ 1 John 5:10-13 KJV. So to sum it up, if you want to know if you have eternal life you must believe that God gave His son and believe in Jesus His Son, and that God has given you eternal life through Jesus and you must have Jesus the Son. So it’s not a guessing game - to know if you can have eternal life and be saved or not, according to John. So do you have the Son? It’s really just that simple! So this is the ONLY true basis of faith – believing the plain meaning of the word of God.]
Don’t be afraid to pray for big things in your life!
There might be some things that you’d say, ‘Oh I can’t pray for that!’Well if you know the rules for [answered prayer] – that God has promised in the Bible – you might be surprised what you can pray for and what you can’t!Did you know that some of the people in the Bible made big prayers to God?Remember what happened to Daniel and his friends when they heard the king’s edict, they were going to destroy all [the] wise men? So what did they do - pray?Was Daniel a prophet before or after they had their prayer? They asked God to help them and what did He do? He gave Daniel the wisdom to understand the king’s [dream, after He revealed the king’s dream to Daniel. Daniel 2:16-19. Also note this big prayer of faith by Elijah: ‘Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.” James 5:18 NASB. Wow! What faith! See also the prayers of Moses, Job, David, Jonathan and others.]
So is their really something that’s too big?What happens if you decide that you love God and you want to serve Him? Do you think that God will hear your prayer if you ask Him to help you to do it? [But you have to mean it when you say nice things like this to God.] There is nothing really that’s too big as long as it meets God’s requirements.When we understand it in this light we will see that there are many rich promises in the Bible!There’s no reason for any Christian to be depressed or down in the dumps thinking ‘Oh this is real hard, I don’t know how I’m going to be saved! I don’t know how I’m going to do this or that?’None of us should be worrying about things like that because all our guilt and burdens should have been rolled away right? At the cross?And we should know that God loves us, and that He sent His son to save us, and He sent a precious gift of the Holy Spirit to help us to live a righteous life for Him. So gather the promises of God in the Bible and don’t just read them. You know when you see them write them down, make a diary or something and when you pray, if you have a specific prayer, try to find the ones that fit with what you need.
God did not give us His word so that we could fritter away His rich promises.
Many people do not see them [for] what they are. Why is that?Well because they have heard people try to reason them away.They use human reasoning power: ‘Oh maybe God won’t do this? Maybe I’m not good enough?’ There’s any number of reasons why people will say things. But see what they’re doing is they’re going by their own feelings – they’re going by the word of man.But if they go by the word of God – it tells a different story doesn’t it? -- What do we want, a faith based on what so-and-so says, or what I think? Or do we want our faith to be based on the word of God?
John tells us, ‘Behold what manner of love the Father hath given to us that we should be called the sons of God.’ [1 John 3:1.] Did you know that God has put a plan in place so that you and I and all of us could become a son or daughter of God?What does it mean to be a son or daughter of God? Are we gonna be still involved in wickedness and the world, and hurting other people or hurting ourself?[Are] we trapped in sin [and] there’s no way that we can be helped out of it?Or is a son and daughter of God – does that mean God’s going to help us to be a better person?This is a very big promise here – that He has bestowed upon you and I the ability of being His son or daughter!You are an heir to the promise through Jesus.You could become God’s son or daughter! Romans 8:14 to 17; Titus 3:7; Hebrews 6:17; 11:9; James 2:5. The person who believes in faith will read those and take them just as they read!Not try to read [with] human reasoning: ‘Well I think this’ or so-an-so said this.They’ll take it literally as it reads or within [the] spiritual sense.And they’ll see ‘hey, it says here that if I confess my sins that I’ll be forgiven for all my sins.It says here that I can become a son or daughter of God!’ Am I going to believe it?
God doesn’t always answer your prayers in the way or by the means [or methods] that you ask Him to.
But we need to understand what the real basis of faith is. It’s important to know the conditions of the promises.We want to concentrate on this because [the] prayer [of faith] helps you to live a victorious Christian life!
[Faith comes through hearing the word of God]
Now we get to a very, very important text here: Faith comes through the hearing of the word of God.[“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 KJV.]
How do we get faith - what does the Bible tell us?Now what kind of faith do we want?Do we want the kind of faith of human faith or do we want the faith that comes from God?Did you know that the word of God contains the power in it that’s needed?You know the word of God is not just like any book that you can pick up from the library or in a bookstore.The word of God is different isn’t it?When you read the word of God its different, because those books that were written by the world – they have no power to make you a better person. And some of them have power to make you wicked right? But with the word of God, it comes backed up with the power of God. When God says something it’s not like what man speaks!When man speaks he has no ability of making it so, and if He says something that’s wrong what is it?Is it a lie?But when God says something if it’s not so, it’s created when He says it!What happens when God says ‘Let there be light?’ (Audience: There’s light.) What happens when He says, ‘I’ve forgiven you’? (Audience: forgiven?) But God when… The same creative power that created the universe is in the word of God. And if we will just hear it…? And today when we read – once upon a time a lot of people probably couldn’t read and there was a lot of books and so they would go and hear the law read. If we will just listen to it or read it – there’s power that God will impart to us. [See Deuteronomy 31:10-13.]
This is a very important connection here that A. T. Jones made: This is one you may have heard before: ‘There can be no faith without the word of God.’ We’re talking about the faith of the Bible.The faith of the Bible is not based upon what man thinks, or what man has written, it’s based only on the word of God.If it’s based on anything else it’s not real faith.There can be no faith without the word of God!Faith has everything to do with prayer and the promises of God, and we cannot expect to receive any of our answers to prayer without faith. Paul teaches us here in Romans [10:17] that faith is based on the word of God.Its’ not based on hearsay.God promises to give you the power to obey and do whatever He’s asking you to do.The power is there in the word itself. And remember we read – the centurion said, ‘through your word only’. He didn’t need Jesus to come down there and wave His hand over something - ya know. He knew that Jesus had the power – and all He had to do was to say ‘the word only.’ Why did he say that? What happened when Jesus said, ‘let there be light?’ What happened when Jesus said, ‘let the waters separate from the earth and there would be dry ground?’ Did you know that Jesus created the world before He was called Jesus? [Hebrews 1:1-4; John 1:1-5, 9-14.] [What happened when Jesus cursed the fig tree, right before He died on the cross when they came back to see it the next day?It was withered. “On the next day, when they had left Bethany, He [Jesus] became hungry. Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.He said to it, ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again!’And His disciples were listening.” Mark 11:12-14 NASB. “As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. Being reminded, Peter said to Him, ‘Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.’” Mark 11:20-21 NASB.] So what happens when Jesus says something?There’s an active power that takes place, it’s not just words, its creative power! So – I don’t know if the centurion knew this, but it’s so powerful [if] you think about it! Jesus didn’t need to do something, all He had to do was say something and that was going to fix his servant!
What does hearing the word of God mean?
Now we just learned that we can get faith through hearing the word of God. “Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications” Psalms 130:2 [KJV]. Let’s break this down: ‘Hear my voice’ in this text means that [this] person wants God to be attentive to their supplications and prayer requests. Isn’t that what we are trying to do here tonight? To figure out how we can [get] God [to] hear our prayers.Question: If we want God to hear our prayer shouldn’t we listen to Him too? (Audience: Yes.) God wants you to hear His voice too! I was going to put this text there from Exodus 19, its part of the covenant. [Exodus 19:3-6.] God told His people that if they would hear His voice [and obey] that He would save them and [He] would cause them… Go read it! He saved them from Egypt but He wanted them to commit to Him. He said, ‘If you obey my voice…’ Are we still to obey His voice today?God wants us to obey His voice, listen to His voice.So we see here that hearing means more than just hearing.It means wanting to hear.Another words if someone says, ‘please hear me out’, what are they saying?That they got their ears stopped up or are they saying, ‘Oh they’re not paying attention to me, I’m trying to say something, but they’re not listening to me or they don’t believe what I’m saying.’So you see there hearing implies belief.So if we are supposed to hear the word of God that means we’re also to believe it.God wants you to hear His voice, He wants you to be attentive to the voice of His words, He wants you to obey. “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it when ye turn to the right hand and when ye turn to the left.’ How many people want to hear God tell them which way to go? I do! God wants to guide you, He does this by the Holy Spirit and the Bible.
[Isaiah 6:10; Jeremiah 5:21; 25:4-7; Matthew 11:13-15; 13:4-9; Mark 4:3-9; Luke 8:5-8; Acts 28:27-28; Revelation 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22,13:9.]
So faith comes through hearing through the word of God means to read or listen to the Bible and believe it and obey it.True faith only accepts the plain teaching of the Bible because God’s voice tells them ‘this is the way – walk in it.’How many of us need the Holy Spirit to tell us how – what we should do? I mean we can read the Bible, we may not understand it, but without the Holy Spirit how can we possibly know? God will tell us if we’re wanting to listen to Him.He says, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’ And we might try to go over here and He [will] say, ‘No, that’s not the way.’ What did Jesus say? He said, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.’ How many of us are going to come to Heaven except through Jesus’ blood? How many of us are good enough to get to Heaven without Jesus’ blood? (Audience: None?) So Jesus is the way.If we want to be saved we must walk in that way.So true faith does not accept any teachings that are contrary to the plain word of God. And God will tell them, ‘This is not the way don’t walk in it!’ So righteousness by faith means to listen to God’s voice, which teaches them from the Bible, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’ And those who listen to His voice He will help them to obey.
[You must ask in faith without doubting.]
“But we must ask in faith when we are praying without doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.For the man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double minded man, unstable in all His ways.” James 1:6-8. So we find out here that the one who doubts is unstable.Well we have all done doubt, I know I have.Heavenly Father please forgive us for not believing in your word!But God can forgive us for doubting can’t He? (Audience: yea.) So we don’t want to engage in that. It’s actually a criminal thing when you look at what God has done for us.And sometimes we just don’t believe what He said.But if we know that He loves us - then how can we doubt Him? How can we possibly be saved and get answers to prayer while we are doubting that God loves us? Or we’re so bad we can’t be saved? How can we possibly be saved? We need to have God’s grace soften our heart, we need to confess and do what the Holy Spirit is telling us to do.There are reasons why people don’t have faith… And… But God can help us past those… God will help us if we want to know. Hebrews 6:18. Read that one and memorize it!What does it say? “It is impossible for God to lie!” He said, “I act and who reverses it? See if God says something… What happens if an earthly government says something and God comes along and changes His mind, what happens? Can the government do anything about it? He said, “I act and who can reverse it?” [Isaiah 43:12-13.] God has the final say. So let us not be one who has doubts towards God and double minded.God can forgive you for being double minded.It is impossible for God to lie, so let’s take the promises of God and the Bible as it’s written without trying to cavil over it.
How many here want to become a partaker of Christ and become pleasing to God? “We have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end.” [Hebrews 3:14 NASB.] Now here’s one here: Without faith it is impossible to please God. Now what have we been studying so far – about faith? What does the Bible… How does Jesus say we’re to take the Bible?Are we to take the Bible as it reads?What does it say here?Without faith it is impossible to please God! And that… we go back to another verse there… (Where is it?) ‘Let us not have an evil heart of unbelief.’Did you know that it is actually evil to doubt God – once you’ve come to know how good He is and you don’t believe what He has to say?It’s actually evil – that’s what the Bible says!We want to have faith in God – we must believe that He is God and loves us, and that He rewards those who seek after Him.So maybe the reason why some people are doubting is they [haven’t] really haven’t sought after Him with all their heart? And so they are looking for an excuse - to try to doubt Him.If you want to have a better life, God will provide it for [you].If you become a partaker of Christ there will be a big change in you – but that – that faith will help you.But you know what? Does God ask everyone to have a lot of faith? Remember what happened to that paralytic that Jesus healed? Did He ask him to believe before He’d heal him first?He just picked his hands up and said, ‘take up thy pallet and walk.’ [John 5:6-11 NASB.] See God knows that sometimes people are so weak they can’t believe. And I believe that God carries us sometimes. But we need to learn that faith in Him.We need to believe that God loves us.
[Love is greater than faith!]
Another thing too, I know this wasn’t in my script here but – love is greater than faith. Isn’t that what it says in [1st] Corinthians 13?So love is greater than faith.How do we have faith in God?If we don’t believe that He loves us, how can we possibly have faith? Look at the example of the child and their parents: If the parents treat their child good, they take care of ‘em, the child learns to love and trust their parents. But love comes first doesn’t it? (Audience: Um.) If we don’t have faith in God, what is that really saying?We don’t really love God.Or we don’t have enough love for Him.Because if we have the love… If we know that He loves us we can’t help but have faith. So there’s a reason why people have trouble with faith. So if we will confess our sins and get closer to God and ask God to be the Lord of our life – He can remove that criminal doubt, because it really is criminal.But you know what?We don’t always know, so God doesn’t always hold us accountable to it.But as we get closer to God it will become more important to believe in His word.It’s the only way you can have a successful Christian life.Prayer is the key to Heaven – as the song said, but faith unlocks the door.
And there is a relationship between obedience and faith.We saw there that faith produces obedience.Now the only way that true obedience to God can be rendered is through faith.Because the only way we can be righteous - we didn’t talk about this that much but – is if God helps us to be righteous.But the power to obey God is in His law – in His book. He gives you the power.And when we see the light of the Bible through the eyes of faith – it completely changes [things]! When we start to see it – it’s not a book of ‘oh it might be this, and it might be that?’ When we see that it’s the word… It’s not a book like other books!It contains the power of God in it.And it is the revealed will of God.When you see it that way and love God, the Bible will not be just a book of do’s and don’ts, but it will be a book that will delight you… because it will be something that you will want to study, because it’s the revealed will of God. And when you see that… When you love someone, you are going to spend time with them. If you love God, you’re going to spend time in His word. And He will help you.
So have you placed yourself on God’s side?The Bible is an incalculable treasure to those who love God.Because we don’t have to guess.We don’t have to guess when it comes to God’s will on most things – they’re spelled out.Things we need to know the most are already spelled out in the Bible.If you belong to God, the promises of God will be precious to you.We can tell you from experience that the word of God is true, and if you taste and see that God is good… you won’t be disappointed! (Audience: Amen.)
Lessons on Faith in: The Review and Herald: Feb. 21, 1899, Feb. 14, 1899, Feb. 7, 1899, Jan. 31, 1899, Jan. 24, 1899, Jan. 17, 1899, Jan. 10, 1899, Jan. 3, 1899, Dec. 27, 1898 by A. T Jones.
Lessons on Faith in: The Review and Herald: Dec. 27, 1898 by A. T Jones./li>
If you want to receive a blessing, why not come to our Fourth Angel’s Movement Camp Meeting? Are you ready to receive the rich blessings of the Latter Rain? If you long for a closer walk with God, and hunger for Christian fellowship with others who love Him too, come to this camp meeting! We will give some inspirational messages here on Justification by Faith or the Righteousness of Christ - which is the 3rd Angel’s Message in verity, to help you get the Latter Rain! There will be practical breakout sessions on the Medical Missionary work, Evangelism, Media Ministry, Country Living, Health Food Stores, and more!