Seeing With Spiritual Eyes…The third component of Faith.
We have been teaching about how to receive from God. We began the series of teachings by explaining God’s delivery system. We learned that most of our prayers are amiss because we ask God to give us things he has already given us. (2Peter1:3…”According as his divine power HATH given us all things that pertain to life and Godliness”.) We learned from Jesus that we are to believe WHEN WE PRAY that we have received what it is that we desire.(Mark11:24).
We discovered that our “New Covenant” with God is that we receive from God by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8and9 and Colossians 2:6.) We learned that grace is God’s willingness, ability and power to do those things for us that we can not or will not do for ourselves. We learned that “It is by grace that we have been saved through faith, and that is not of ourselves, it is a gift from God not of works lest any man should boast.” So that faith is given to us as a gift from God. So we don’t need to do anything to get faith. Faith is a gift from God. All we need to do to receive the gift of faith is to make a decision to accept it. However, it is our choice, it is our decision whether we use the faith that we have been given.
We learned from Jesus that if we had faith as a grain of mustard seed we could command a mountain to be cast into the sea and it would obey us (Matthew 17:20). Jesus was speaking to people to whom he has not yet given the gift of faith. We however have been given the measure of faith (Romans 12:3). We have all of the faith that we need. We must choose to use it if we wish to receive what we have been given and that is nothing more than a decision. Before we can accept the free gift of Faith we must first make a decision to believe. Jesus taught us this in Mark 11:23…”For verily I say unto you that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thy cast into the sea and does not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatever he saith.” We must first believe which is not the same thing as faith. To believe according to Webster is to “accept as true”.
Once these basic concepts were covered we moved to an understanding of what Faith is. We can not choose to operate in something if we do not know what that thing is. We are charged in Romans 1:17 to walk in Faith by Jesus and his spokesman and our appointed teacher the apostle Paul. ” For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first and also to the gentile. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, the just shall live by faith.” Paul explains in the 11th chapter of the book of Hebrews in his dissertation on faith, the 6th verse; “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever comes to him must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him”.
So then it is critical that we know what Faith is and that we operate in the Faith that we have been given so that we receive all of the other things that he has given us.
We learned the three components of faith. (Hebrews 11:1) Component number one is NOW. We learned that according to Ecclesiastes 3:15, there is no other time realm in God’s world. Jesus commanded us to live in this present moment in Matthew 6:34. We learned that the second component of faith is hope (joyful expectation). We learned that the third component of faith is (the unseen). “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” So that people who live by faith live in this present moment with joyful expectation of the things that they have made a decision to believe because God promised them in His Word.” Living by faith is a decision that results in actions. The most important is to Speak and See what we believe rather than what we see.
The topic of this teaching from Jesus is Seeing What You Believe. Do you believe what you see or see what you believe? As I prepared to write this teaching, Jesus through a revelation of The Holy Spirit showed me where most of us miss receiving the things he gave us.
First, we postpone our receipt by believing that our blessings are in the spirit realm and must be appropriated by our having more faith. Second we believe for our blessings instead of believing in them. This permanently postpones receipt. Why would you believe for something that has already been given to you? We miss it by expecting it to happen at some point in the future because our natural carnal eye can not see it right now. We miss it because we believe that it has been given to us in the spiritual but we must maneuver it from the spiritual realm to the natural realm. Jesus made it clear that we have received what it is that we desire when we pray. (Mark 11:24) The fact is that we receive our blessing in the spirit and in the natural at the very moment that we ask and/or believe that we have received it.
The fact of the matter is that we don’t believe because we are waiting on evidence that our natural eye can accept, such as the check in the mail box, the doctorÃŒs report, the call from so and so. Have you ever asked God to give you a sign? Have you asked him for one recently? Come on be honest…we have been taught this. Then when you don’t see the evidence of what you have asked of God you start asking why and someone maybe you start making up excuses for God? You’re going through a process, you need to hear and hear and hear and hear until you get enough faith to believe, God is putting you through a wait to test your faith, it is in God’s time? Ever heard or taught these things which are all non-biblical clichÂ»s? In each case Jesus is about to teach us what we are doing. Clearly we are demanding a sign.
The disciples had lived with Jesus and walked with him and had scene all nature of miracles and wonders. The Pharisees and Sadducees and scribes and all of the people had also scene these wonders and baffling inexplicable miracles. The things that Jesus did and said could only have been by the power of God. No one could possibly doubt who he was or who had sent him. At the time of this teaching a great crowd of at least five thousand men not including women and children were following Jesus. On two separate occasions Jesus had fed them all. On this most recent occasion he had fed approximately seven or eight thousand people with two loaves of bread and three small fishes and had twelve baskets of leftovers. The Pharisees and the Sadducees and the scribes and Jesus’ disciples had all seen the event. Every one of us has seen Jesus perform similar miracles today in our lives and in the lives of others.
Yet some how like us they still insisted on seeing signs from God like we have been taught today. Matthew 12:38 “Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered saying, Master, we wish to see a sign from you. But he answered them saying, “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and none will be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah and behold one greater than Jonah is here”.
Note that Jesus calls those who insist on seeing a sign, refusing to believe what they can not see in their natural eye…a wicked and adulterous generation. Further, he rebukes their unbelief by telling them that they will never see what they refuse to believe.
Matthew 16:1 ” The Pharisees and the Sadducees came, and testing him demanded that he show them a sign from heaven. He answered them saying…”When it is evening, you say, It will be fair weather; for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather today; for the sky is red and lowering. O you hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky; but you can not understand the sign of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign and no sign shall be given unto it except the sign of the prophet Jonah”. And he left them and departed. And when his disciples were come to the other side, (of the sea of Galilee, he had sent them ahead of them) they had forgotten to take bread. (Remember that, that very day they had seen him feed thousands) Then Jesus said unto them, “Take heed and bear of the yeast of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” (The yeast of the Pharisees was to demand a sign, to refuse to believe what they could not see). And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. (In fact, Jesus had perceived that they were concerned about where there food would come from because they had no bread) Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them,” O ye of little faith, why reason you among yourselves, because you have brought no bread? Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? Or the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many baskets you took up? (took up-had left over). How is it that you do not understand that I spoke not to you concerning bread, that you should beware of the yeast of the Pharisees?”
We also know the story of Thomas who refused to believe that Jesus had risen until he could place his fingers in the wounds of Jesus. How that eight days later Jesus walked through a wall and appeared to the disciples and commanded Thomas to place his fingers in his wounds, after which; Thomas said, “My lord and my God”. Jesus said to Thomas…”You believe because you have seen, but I tell you; blessed are those who believe and do not see.”
There are three urgent messages here. First, what does a wicked and adulterous generation mean? In John chapter 2 read about the wedding that happened on the third day at Cana in Galilee. This whole episode is a rhetorical teaching about how Jesus would marry his bride the church on the third day and turn water the old covenant into wind the new covenant. We have been chosen to be the bride of Jesus. To be adulterous is to have an immoral affair with someone else. Wonder who that someone else could be? So Jesus is telling us clearly that when we demand a sign and refuse to believe the unseen that we are having an affair with Satan.
Second, Jesus is telling us that it is more important to understand the signs of the unseen world the world of God than it is to understand the things of the natural world.
When we demand a sign and refuse to make a decision to believe the unseen we will never have either. We will not receive the blessings that he has already given us and we will not see what we demand to see.
The gospel of Jesus is this simple…Loyd Skidmore 101 “believe and receive, doubt and do without”. We make a decision, a choice to believe God and we call those things that God has said true regardless of what we see. We live in this moment with joyful expectation in this present moment that it is true whether we see it or not.
I pray that you will print this teaching out and study it and pass it to your friends, co-workers, family and email partners. With the love of Jesus…Pastor Allen
Yet when Peter, James and John came to report to the other 8 disciples that they had seen the risen savior, Thomas refused to believe. Thomas said to them, “I will not believe he is alive until I can place my fingers in the wounds”. Eight days later, Jesus walks through closed doors and appears to the disciples. He says to Thomas, “Thomas come and place your fingers in my wounds”. I would have dropped dead right then. Or I would have run through the hole that Jesus entered through. Thomas touched the wounds. Then he said, “My Lord and My God”. Jesus said to him…”Thomas, because you have touched me you believe; but I tell you, blessed are those who believe and do not see.”
Here in the 20th chapter of John is to me one of the greatest events in the history of man. Jesus was speaking to Thomas and teaching us. Clearly he is telling us that we are blessed when we believe and do not see.
Will we make a decision to see what we believe, or will we believe what we see? The decision is ours. God has given us free will. Many of you are believing God for great and necessary things. As you meditate on this teaching consider these scriptures. From the 4th chapter of the letter to the church at Philippi…”be anxious for nothing, but in all things through prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving in your heart; let your requests be known to God, and the peace that passes understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus.” Matthew 7:7-11..”Ask and it shall be given you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be opened unto you. For whosoever asks receives. He who seeks finds, and whoever knocks the door will be opened to. Or, what man among you if his son asks for bread would give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish would give him a serpent. (Note the symbolism…the fish represents Jesus. The serpent represents Satan. Jesus is using the opposite ends of a vast spectrum, literally an infinite variance to emphasize the point that God gives us the requests that we make of him without qualification). If you therefore being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things, if you ask?”
I pray that you will print out this teaching and save it. Please study it and pass it to those who are near to you. Pass it to your email list. Share the “Good News”. Help us teach the Word of God which makes men free.
The Love of Our Lord and Savior Jesus to you all…He loves you and so does Pastor Allen