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Because You Believe

December 27th, 2011

Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.

Mark 11:23

Faith preaching gets a bad name these days.  Somewhere along the line, in the culture of today, in a large degree the church in the West, the church has taken up the concept of a supernatural faith as almost a negative thing.  It is not a surprise, really, for the carnal mind will always be at war against true spirituality.  And hence faith, because faith does not align with the carnal intellect but with the spirit of a man, seems peculiar.

Jesus’ words are clear, however.  The disciples were rebuked time and again for their unbelief, their lack of faith.  This word, unbelief, is simply anti-faith.  It is the same word, unbelief, doubt, lack of faith, that is simply the Greek word for faith (some form of the word “pistis”) with the prefix “a-”  attached.  Where all the variants of the words translated “faith”, “believe”, or “trust” all come from the same Greek word.  The Greek word for unbelief, transliterated into English, is “apistis”.

Simply put, whether you’re talking about faith, belief, or trust, you’re talking about the same thing, Scripturally, and whether you’re mentioning unbelief, doubt, or lack of trusting, you’re talking about either the absence of faith or a counterpart that actually is the opposite faith, a “negative faith”, if you suppose, or a “faith” in the wrong thing, such as the natural.

But, Jesus’ words lay out a clear line.  It is never primarily the amount of faith that is required, it is merely its purity.

Take the well known scriptures about faith of a mustard seed and moving a mountain.  As has been explained elsewhere, only someone looking for something “easier to believe in”, aka, less faith, would ever dare translate this to be anything other than the hardest case possible.  Since the whole point of the statement is to prove the case for faith and that this IS what is required, unless you make the statement out to be a lie (exaggerations are lies), it must mean a literal, not a figurative mountain.  Jesus proved the moderate to mundane by stating the extreme.  Not that any mountain is the limit, but if we are praying for a kidney to be transported from the storehouses of heaven to a body, it certainly would take less faith for that, seemingly to our minds, than for a mountain to move from here to there.  If we know we have SOME faith, let us simply throw the doubt out, and Simply Believe.

But, some have used faith for material ends.  Faith will always have a result in the natural, as faith without works is dead, but there is something of a perversion of gifts when the mundane and temporal becomes the final end of the supernatural and eternal realm of Faith.  Something is greatly lacking if, in our pursuit of the heavenly things, our greatest practical outcome (where our heart is so our heart will be also) is something that moth and rust will corrupt, and thieves will break in and steal.  The Lord Jesus NEVER said that they will know we are Christians because we are blessed financially, but by our Love.  If ever a teacher of righteousness needed to hear this message, it is today.  God is not after our possessions, but after our hearts.

Further still, we come a generation after a move of healing revivalists, many of whom had no heart of the Father present in their ministry.  Some were sheer charlatans, but many had legitimate gifts.  There were many imposters and pretenders, who wanted to turn the Gospel into something for financial gain, but there was the real as well.  But, among the midst, a mindset of not having enough faith to be healed became branded as a stigma, and sticks in the spirit of many in the church today.  Instead of being willing to humble ourselves when we do not see the results we have wanted as ministers or people being served, many have simply thrown out the idea of faith altogether.

But, like the mountain that hasn’t moved, because we either have given up believing and never spoke in the first place, or because we did not have more faith than doubt, so remains the simple statement that it would move, if you told it to.

Think on that.  Take any mountain in Colorado.  If you had any faith with no doubt, and spoke, it would move.  Remember also that Jesus never did anything but what He saw His Father do.  He has no recorded mountains moved in His earthly ministry, and we may never either, if the Father doesn’t want, but, in the end, let God be true and every man a liar.  One day, the Mount of Olives will split in two, with half going to the north, and half going to the south.  Perhaps there were just two zealous believers in their midst, both speaking to the mountain at the same time.  And, because they both had faith, and they both spoke, the mountain decided it would be best to obey them both, split in half, and divide down the middle.  Thus, opening a way of escape.  Perhaps, that is all God is waiting for.

It is interesting that one of the open ended statements in the New Testament is this.

However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?

Luke 18:8 (portion)

I have resolved in my heart that, so long as I am still on this Earth, there will be.  Salvation happens because you believe it, plain and simple.  The blood is applied and sins are removed simply and only because of simple trusting, simple faith.  When a man meets Jesus, and faith comes alive, the True seed of life enters in, and, though it may take a little while to come to full fruition, if you have good soil, fruit will come.

There is simply no excuse.  Jesus said that these signs would follow those who believe.  They happen because you believe.  If they are not happening, hands down, the reason is simply because you do not believe.

It is not our job to critique the Word, simply to read it, and believe it.

In my mind, Cessationism came about when sincere men who thought they were where God wanted them to be because they understood a portion of doctrine.  Then came across parts that challenged where they were.  Instead of humbling themselves, acknowledging that they had missed portions, or simply because there was more, and that for generations past, that portion had yet been misunderstood as well, they chose to invent doctrine that is not found in Scripture.

Thoughts that the signs and wonders passed with the last apostle fail every test of scrutiny other than the blindly ignorant, simply because the smallest violation of it should be enough to disprove the whole.  A single sign gift is sufficient to destroy the Cessationist argument, and yet, because of this, an even less defendable position of partial cessationism abounds, which stands so preposterously on not a single scripture that it is anti-christ to the core.

The Word says, because we believe, these signs follow.  Nothing less, nothing more.  If we are found in lack of it, let us fall on the mercy of Heaven, and seek Him until He comes.

Only one seed of faith is required.

And one believing heart can change a nation!