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Faith Toward God (19)

So far, in our discussion on doubt as a faith killer, we have seen that a person who, having first received Gods word, or even believed it, then turns around to believe someone elses word, which is contrary to the word of God, is a person who doubts God and His word. In most cases, this someone else whose word is believed contrary to Gods, is the devil; whose goal is to turn adherents of the word of God away from continuing therein. The devils approach, as we have seen from the temptation of Adam and Eve, is to create doubt in the heart of a believer in Christ, as to the veracity and inerrancy of the word of God, as well as the sincerity and integrity of God Himself. In so doing, an unsuspecting or gullible believer in Christ, is turned away from continuing in the Gods word and following after God; and, turned on to following some high sounding opinion or suggestion from the devilwhat the bible calls in 2 Corinthians 10:5 imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God. In the end, the gullible believer is deceived into disbelieving God and His word, and, he disobeys God and lives contrary to Gods word. In so doing, he turns away from God, on to fables, which do nothing but raise questions, rather than godly edifying (1 Timothy 1:4), and which bring believers to confusion. For this reason, if you are a believer in Christ, you must devote and dedicate yourself to the study of the word of God, and to knowing God personally; something that is missing in the ministry of many churches today. Those who have been called to the ministry of the word of God, should devote themselves to the faithful teaching of the undiluted word of God, instead of motivational messages that is thriving in our churches, if we are to stem the rapid and unprecedented growth of ignorant and gullible Christians. So great is the level of ignorance and gullibility among many Christians today, that it is very easy for them to be deceived and misled by unscrupulous men and women who are either core agents of the devil, or whose belly is their god! Also, we find today, a fear of men of God so called, rather than a fear of God among Gods people, and this has accentuated their ignorance and gullibility, because they are afraid to question whatever a man of God says. But the bible tells us, in Acts 17:10-12, of the people whom Paul, a foremost apostle, preached to in Berea; that they not only received the word which was preached to them, but they also searched the scriptures daily to see if what they were being told was soevery believer in Christ ought to do this daily; every believer in Christ ought to do likewise. In 1 John 4:1, the bible admonishes us not to believe every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Beloved, many false prophets, many false pastors, many false preachers, many false bishops, many false ministers of the gospel, and many false churches are in the world today; therefore you must subject every message you hear to the test of the Spirit of God, including the one you are listening to now. The Holy Spirit makes no exception! So, friend, the next time someone says to you, Thus says the Lord, please go to God and ask Him if indeed, He said thus; instead of swallowing the message hook-line-and-sinker! Had Eve gone back to God to discuss what the serpent was telling her about the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, she would have saved herself, her husband, and the rest of humanity, the heartache that we are now going through.

Every time God speaks a word to anyone, doubt will seek to arise in the heart of that man; being propelled by the devil tricking men to question the veracity and inerrancy of the word of God, and even the sincerity and integrity of God Himself. But besides the devil creating doubt in the hearts of men, doubt can also arise in the hearts of men who have heard the word of God, when they witness events or hear news that seem to contradict what God has said. A classic example of a situation that would raise doubt in the heart of any believer in Christ, is the event that preceded the raising back to life of Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha. In John 11, when the Lord Jesus was first informed about Lazarus sickness, and was asked to come and heal him, the Lord told His disciples that the sickness of Lazarus was not unto death, but for the glory of God, and He remained where He was for two more days. The bible, however, reveals that Lazarus actually died! For many a believer, this would have been devastating, and would even make them doubt God and His word, saying that God had lied! But not the Lord JesusHe believed, with every fibre in Him, what His heavenly Father had told Him concerning Lazarus. So that, even though Lazarus had actually died and was buried, Jesus went ahead to raise Lazarus back to life, four days after he had died! This is how faith counters doubt when doubt seeks to raise its head. You see, the Lord Jesus was confident that what His heavenly Father had told Him about Lazarus sickness was infallible, so much so that Lazarus death could not make Gods word about Lazarus sickness false in His heart! Such confidence gives rise to a resolute faith toward God and His word, which crushes every element of doubt that may seek to rear its head, regardless of what may be happening to the contrary. The bible makes it clear that God cannot lie! It is not in Gods nature to lie! Indeed, it is impossible for God to lie! (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18). So, when God says anything, whether it was written by Moses or written in the New Testament, it remains valid; except of course, God Himself amends it, as in the case of the Old Covenant, which He replaced with the New Covenant! Please note that we said Old Covenant, not Old Testamentthe point we are making here is that the Old Testament of the bible is very much relevant; but the Old Covenants sacrificial system and tabernacle is no longer relevant, though we can learn from it. This notwithstanding, the Ten Commandments remain valid today! For example, Thou shalt not kill remains in force; as does, Thou shalt not commit adultery; as does, Thou shalt not covet ; as does, Honour thy father and thy mother ; as does, Thou shalt have none other gods before me; as does, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them, and so on!

And because God cannot lie, you know you are saved because God said so; not because you feel saved! You cannot judge your salvation based on whether or not you feel saved. Indeed, anyone who feels saved, may in fact, not be saved! The bible says in Romans 8:16, The Spirit itself [that is, the Spirit of God] beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. What this verse of scripture is saying to you is that if you have been saved through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary, there will be a witness within you that you are indeed a child of Godyou may not become wealthy, and you may not feel any different physically, but you will surely have within you a witness, which the bible calls joy unspeakable or joy in the Holy Ghost in your spirit. Brethren, our faith toward God is the confidence that we have that what God says is true, even though circumstances or a prevailing situation may seem to be contrary to the word of God. Are you one of those who only believe God, when what God says agrees with what you see? And when what God says does not agree with what you see, you begin to doubt what God said? Friend, I have news for you: faith towards God is about believing the word of God; it is not believing what you see, neither is it believing what you hear contrary to the word of God, nor, is it believing the circumstance that arises contrary to what God had said, like how you feel. Beloved, what you see, and, how you feel, can be a mirage. A mirage is an illusion, but appears to a person as though it is real, even though, it is false. One dictionary describes a mirage as an optical phenomenon that results in a false or deceptive visual impression. If you are travelling on a straight and lonely road, on a hot day, you will see in the distance, what looks like a body of water that has covered a portion of the road, or cut the road in two. Now, if you believe what you are seeing with your eyes, you will turn back and return home; but if you continue on your journey, you will discover, that it was only a miragefor a river did not overflow the road; it was an illusion; a false or deceptive visual impression! Friend, you cannot, and should not, believe what you see, or how you feel, over the word of God!

Is there something which God has spoken to you either in time past, or at this present time, and it appears that it is not going to happen because the conditions which you are seeing or how you feel, do not support the word of God? Beloved, do not doubt God, for you are in good company! When God gave Joseph two dreams that indicated Gods plan for him, what happened soon afterward, would never have suggested that such a future was possible for Joseph. This story of Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob, can be found from Genesis 37 through to Genesis 50, excluding Genesis 38. In the 37th Chapter, God gave Joseph two dreams; in the first dream, Joseph saw the sheaves of his eleven brothers, all of whom were older than him, except one, bowing down to his sheaf; and in the second dream, he saw the sun, the moon, and eleven stars bowing down to him. But soon after these dreams, Josephs brothers (except Benjamin, his youngest brother) plotted against himat first, it was to kill him; but then, they decided to sell him off as a slave, all in an effort to thwart Gods plan, not just for Joseph, but also for their own collective salvation [something, which they knew nothing about at that time]. Not only was Joseph sold as a slave by his brothers; he was transported to Egypt, and bought by one Potiphar, in whose house he served as a slave, rising to be the chief slave in the house. In the course of time, his masters wife cast her eyes on him and wanted him to have sex with her, but he refused. As a result, she lied against him, and he ended up in prison for refusing her advances. While in prison, he continued to serve, and was brought in contact with two important ministers of the king of Egypt. One day, Joseph interpreted their dreams, which promptly came to pass. Two years later, Pharaoh himself had two dreams, which no one could interpret. Then, one of the officials of Pharaoh who was released in confirmation of Josephs interpretation of his dream, remembered Joseph, and told Pharaoh, about him. As a result, Joseph was brought before Pharaoh, and Pharaohs dreams were interpreted by Joseph. In addition, Joseph gave counsel on what should be done as a result of the interpretation of Pharaohs dreams. So, Pharaoh made Joseph, who was a slave and a prisoner, the highest official in the land! Years later, Josephs brothers came to Egypt, to buy grain, and bowed down to Joseph (of course, without realizing that they were bowing down to their younger brother); thus fulfilling Gods word to Joseph. Psalm 105:16-22 summarizes Josephs story: Moreover he [that is, God] called for a famine upon the land [all the lands within the sphere of influence of Egypt]: he brake the whole staff of bread. He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him. The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free. He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance: To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom. A very critical verse in these verses, is v.19, which reads, Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him. This verse is telling us that until the time that the word of God (or dreams through which God had communicated His plans to Joseph) came to pass, the same word of God tested Josephs faith in God. It is interesting to hear preachers speak of a Joseph Generation, and all they seem to talk about is the glory of reigning over the world; they never teach about the testing of the Lord through the word of the Lord. The test of the Lord in Josephs case was to prove whether or not he would be resolute in his belief of Gods word, in spite of the events to the contrary that were happening to him. Beloved, if Joseph had not believed that God had given him those dreams, and that they would surely come to pass, he would have turned away from continuing in the word of the Lord, when events to the contrary began to occur in his life. He would have doubted and questioned the word of God, and would have looked for an alternative to ease his hardship and suffering. And even though Joseph did not have the bible which we now have, he nonetheless knew God, possibly through his fathers testimonies (something all his brothers also would have heard of). Josephs knowledge of God made him to know that to sleep with another mans wife, is a sin against GodJoseph had said to Potiphars wife when she made advances at him in Genesis 39:9, how can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? Beloved, when a person resolutely believes God and His word, no situation will give impetus to him to sin against God.

We shall continue from here in our next broadcast, but let us state categorically, that except you are resolved in your heart to believe and heed the word of God, without seeking to twist it to agree with your carnal desires, you will certainly doubt God, and unfortunately, live contrary to His word. It is therefore our prayer that as many of you, as have listened in to this broadcast, who are in the habit of justifying sin by twisting the word of God; will repent genuinely before God of this wickedness, and will henceforth, turn and heed the unadulterated word of God, without doubting, in Jesus name, Amen!