Faith and Unbelief

There have been so many prophecies over Perth from all over the world yet nothing is coming to pass. What is happening?

Mark 11:20,23 20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.

The mountain would seem to be the Temple mount. If you ask “What is the principal obstacle to the Kingdom of God coming with power in the time of Jesus?” it is the religious system, the temple.

Psalm 46:2 2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,

This would indicate that for a mountain to be cast into the heart of the sea is only something God could do. To have faith in God is to believe for something that only God could do.

Mark 10:27 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”

Mark 9:29 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”

Mark 9:30-32 30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.

Matthew 7:20 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Matthew 7:21 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

(John 18:10 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)

The reason why some manuscripts have “this kind comes out only by prayer and fasting” is that the scribes, like all of us, seek for a human contribution to the work of God. Wherever God is aware that we consider our human contribution indispensable to His work he will not act in impossible power. Jesus’ faith in his resurrection is the foundation for all His miracles and explains why the disciples could not cast out the spirit in the boy because they did not understand what He meant by being raised from the dead. When Jesus personally commanded the disciples, as in Lk 10, they were able to do miracles because of His Word resident in them as a command. When they were alone they lacked His presence by his Word and so necessarily attempted to deal with evil by their own strength. Pre-eminently we see this in Peter’s violent response to the arrest of Jesus

Luke 1:37 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”

“No word of God shall be void of power” “word can also mean ‘matter’ or ‘thing’. This text reminds us of the creation story in Gen 1. We see from the creation story that the whole possibility of anything outside of God lies in the Word of God. Therefore nothing in creation is impossible for God. We see other parallels here in the creation story as the Holy Spirit hovered over the face of the waters, so it will come over Mary; and as the creative power of God fashioned the world, so the power of the Most High will fashion the child in the womb of Mary.

Luke 1:34 34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

We see from Mary’s response “I do not know a man” that she knew in herself that no effort of hers (unlike the vain and futile efforts of the disciples) could bring about what God was saying. We often lack the discernment of Mary in this particular case and try to achieve what is only possible for God through our faith.

Luke 1:45 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Mary was able to discern the word of God because of her purity, ie holiness. The disciples in their confusion about faith showed themselves to be lacking in holiness. We think there are many things spoken about this city from the Lord by an endless stream of prophets, yet we still seem to be lacking the faith that Mary had that the things which had been spoken by the Lord would be fulfilled. There are two things here, (i) what God does and (ii) believing it.

Luke 24:25 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!

We recognise that we are like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, “foolish and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken”.

Hebrews 5:11 11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

“dull of hearing”

Romans 1:20 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

God’s eternal and divine nature have been clearly perceived by everybody so they must know that nothing is impossible for God. However, vs. 21 teaches that the hearts of people have become foolish and without discernment because, in vs. 22 they claimed a wisdom in themselves.

Ephesians 4:17-19 17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

ignorance is a characteristic of a heart that is hardened

Romans 1:22-23 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

“images resembling” echoes “image and likeness of God” in Gen 1:26. The birds, animals and reptiles reminds us of Gen 1:20, 24. The punishment for trying to change the theatre of the glory of God for the theatre of the glory of humanity is a foolish and dark heart

Romans 1:16 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

If everything was created for the glory of God, then the purpose of divine acts of power in this city must be the for the glory of God and what is presently prohibiting this must be a desire for human glory apart from God.

Luke 9:43 43 And all were astonished at the majesty of God.

“all were astonished at the majesty of God” after Jesus cast out the demon from the boy with convulsions. How long is it since the whole congregation of a Church has been astonished and given glory to God for something He has done in their midst?

Genesis 1:22,24,25 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

The possibility for the animals to fulfil the divine command to multiply etc lies in the divine command.

Genesis 1:28 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Adam and Eve did not seem to have a consciousness of faith to fulfill this command however

Genesis 2:16-17 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

They required faith not to eat of the tree. Unlike Gen 1:28 and 2:15, this command is a prohibition. It seemed that this prohibition was in contradiction to the command to have dominion and that Adam and Eve were seeking dominion over their own mortality by eating from the tree of knowledge.

Romans 1:23 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

Jeremiah 2:11 11 Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit.

Psalm 138:2 2 I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.

If God exalts above all things his Name and Word, the Word He spoke to Ada and Eve in Gen 2:17 has more glory than that which it creates. Adam and Eve refused to submit to the glory of God in His Word.

Genesis 3:6 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her

husband who was with her, and he ate

The tree was good for food and a delight to the eyes These two points are already in Gen 2:9.

The new thing was that the tree was to be desired to make one wise.

1 John 2:15-16 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.

Eve believed that through eating the tree and sharing the fruit with Adam they would become like the serpent with insight into the Word of “God”, ie, into the Word of God as represented by the serpent because that which discerns is always greater in its own understanding than that which is discerned. If the pastors in churches reckon they know what it is the people need, as per a theatrical performance, then they are taking a higher position than the people which is pride. We need to make a distinction between a gift which operates through a person and the person. If Adam and Eve had remained dependant on God they would have discerned the character of the snake – recognising his cunning was above and beyond their unaided human abilities – and as such would not have fallen.

Isaiah 55:10-11 10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Adam and Eve were given the gift of the warning of God. This warning was not a property of their person it was a property of God, of the immortal God, whose Word cannot die, ie, His Word will necessarily bring forth what it says.

Deuteronomy 8:3 3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

Matthew 4:4 4 But he answered, “It is written, “ ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”

Man does not live by bread alone. The essence of idolatry is the heart belief that the word a creature utters about another creature is true of itself. So that Adam and Eve, when they believed the word of the snake, gave a creature the status of the truth of the Word of God, ie, the word of the snake was essentially true. An example today is that in our hearts we believe Australians are essentially incapacitated to receive the Word and Spirit of God, This is unbelief because God has not told us this. We have spoken this ourselves therefore to believe that this land cannot be revived is idolatry. We perpetually elevate the experience of other times and nations above our own and we also do this from the Bible. The failure of the church to make preparation by prayer and fasting shows that it does not believe the Word concerning this nation.

Daniel 9:2-6 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. 3 Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

This passage from Daniel reflects the national resurrection of Ezek 37. Daniel has faith for a national resurrection as well as the prophetic word of Jeremiah. He cries out for mercy. In the present situation of the drought in WA, few seem to be recognising that this is a result of the Word of God, ie, God has spoken the drought into being (2 Chron 7:14). Why do we not want to believe that it is the Word of God that is bringing these disasters? It is because, if we can find a “natural explanation” we believe we can find a natural solution and control that which we discern.

2 Timothy 2:15 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

If we rightly discern this verse, “Cut straight the word of truth”, we would discern in the word that God has brought judgment and hope for restoration. This is the biblical pattern, first judgment then restoration. When JY met the Rwandan who had experienced seven attempts on his life, the Rwandan said “it is such a terrible thing that has happened to Rwanda that God must have something wonderful to happen”.

Habakkuk 3:2 2 O Lord, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O Lord, do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.

Romans 1:16 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Romans 1:18 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

The power of God to salvation, which is the power of his Word, is set against the wrath of God following. ie, God’s own Word of grace undoes the effect of his own Word of wrath. Wrath and judgment are what God does – not what creatures do to themselves or to other creatures. This includes the entry of Satan into Eden. It is a function of God’s wrath upon a rebel.

Ezekiel 33:11 11 Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

We evidently believe that God has some pleasure in the death of the wicked which is greater than the pleasure of restoring His children.

2 Corinthians 7:10 10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

God’s greatest pleasure in His creatures is when they turn from their wickedness, seek his ways and live. On the cross Jesus is turning from the sin of the world and propitiating the Father by his death. What we discern is that between the Word and us is the blood, and the blood means that the Word to us is always conveying the heart pleasure of the Father in His children. God’s purposes in droughts and killings have to be good, unlike the purposes of fallen preachers and the difference is the blood. The blood of Christ covers our unbelief concerning God’s Word about the present circumstances in Australia. We fear to believe lest our belief prove to be presumptuous and we become judged. However we are not commanded to believe our own thoughts but what God Himself has spoken. This is not presumption but faith and there are many promises both in Scripture and in contemporary prophecy to this effect. What happens is that we become spectators, ie, hearers of the Word of God and not doers. The Words of scripture and prophecy become objects of fascination, observation and entertainment because they are conglomerated and aggregated into the theatre of the glory of humanity, ie, we treat them as though they existed for our glory rather than the glory of God. To experience this was the anguish of Jesus on the Cross, ie, in the depth of the atonement He could no longer discern the favour and glory of the father. This was all that mattered to Him.

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