Category: Teaching Articles

Is It Really Possible to KNOW the Things of God?

Dr. Bill Bailey

Can we KNOW the will of God? Can we KNOW anything about God? Most folks would say, “Well, we can’t KNOW, we can BELIEVE what we think is right, but to KNOW implies settled fact… and isn’t everything that applies to God done by faith?” Well, we certainly approach God by faith in His Son, Jesus, and we have faith toward God. However, does the Bible teach us that we can KNOW?

Yes, it does! Let’s look at some scriptures and see what they say about knowing spiritual truths. Can we KNOW? (By the way, to emphasize the word “KNOW,” I am intentionally bolding and capitalizing “KNOW” for emphasis.)

1 John 5:13 “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 5:14 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”
1 John 5:15 “And if we KNOW that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we KNOW that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (Emphasis is mine.)

Look at these three “KNOWs.” We can KNOW that we have eternal life, not just guess, or hope, or even just believe, we can KNOW!

We can KNOW that God hears us when we pray to Him!

We can KNOW that we have what we have prayed for and received by faith!

And that is just one of many places that says that we can KNOW! For instance, Luke, when he was explaining why he was writing the book that bears his name says:

Luke 1:3 “It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,”
Luke 1:4 “That thou mightest KNOW the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.” (Again, the emphasis here is mine.)

You can KNOW the certainty of the things that you have been instructed in from the Word of God as well! Notice, not just KNOW, but KNOW the CERTAINTY! That seems to be the very opposite to, “Well, we can’t really KNOW…” or, “Well, you might BELIEVE that is so, but…” No, we can KNOW the CERTAINTY!

Let’s look at other examples:

John 8:32 “And ye shall KNOW the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Emphasis mine.)

Do we KNOW OF the truth, or does it say that we KNOW the truth? Notice that we KNOW the truth, and KNOWING the truth makes us free!

In the parable of the shepherd Jesus said:

John 10:4 “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they KNOW his voice.” (Emphasis mine.)

“His sheep (followers) KNOW His voice. We KNOW the voice of God! “But, Brother Bill,” you might say, “surely we can’t KNOW that we KNOW the voice of God!” What does the Bible teach us here? If we are His sheep, then we KNOW His voice, and verse five continues, “And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they KNOW not the voice of strangers.” So, if we are His sheep, we KNOW His voice, and we can distinguish His voice from a stranger’s voice!

The bottom line to all this is that we do KNOW the Spirit of Truth:

Joh 14:17 “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye KNOW him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (Emphasis mine.)

We KNOW the Spirit of Truth, for He dwells IN us! God’s Spirit, the teacher of the church (John 14:26) lives within us as believers! How much do we KNOW?

1 John 2:20 “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye KNOW all things.” (Emphasis mine.)

Because of the anointing of the Holy Spirit (the “unction”) we KNOW ALL THINGS! Now THAT is powerful! Don’t sell short what we KNOW as believers! (Emphasis mine.)

1 Corinthians 2:12 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might KNOW the things that are freely given to us of God.” (Emphasis mine.)

1 Corinthians 2:13 “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (Emphasis mine.)

1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he KNOW them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (Emphasis mine.)

Because we are believers, because we have the Spirit of truth on the inside of us, we can KNOW the things that are freely given to us by God! The world can’t understand these things, but we can! That is plain from these scriptures!

BUT BROTHER BILL! What about scriptures like:

1 Corinthians 8:2 “And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to KNOW.” (Emphasis mine.)


1 Corinthians 13:9 “For we KNOW in part, and we prophesy in part.” (Emphasis mine.)

What do you say to those scriptures? Well, the Word is true…and we don’t KNOW everything that we are going to KNOW when we are in our glorified bodies after the resurrection. We DO now, in this dispensation, only KNOW in part. And we will KNOW more in that day…but, let’s look at it this way, we KNOW enough about some things scientifically to use them effectively, but we don’t KNOW their full depths as of yet. Scientists can split the atom and produce electricity, or make an atom bomb, but they would be the first to say that they don’t understand and KNOW all that there is to KNOW about atomic energy. But, what they KNOW, they KNOW! The part they have learned and can use, they can use. It is the same way with us and spiritual things. What we KNOW, we KNOW! We will learn more, we can KNOW more…but what we KNOW, is still true!

The bottom line is that we have been dwelling too long on “we can’t KNOW the things of God.” When, in fact, He tells us we CAN KNOW the things of God! We won’t KNOW them all in this life necessarily, but what we do KNOW, we KNOW!

One thing we KNOW is His grace:

2 Corinthians 8:9 “For ye KNOW the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” (Emphasis mine.)

We KNOW His grace (unmerited favor!) We can rest in that!

Paul prayed that the believers in Ephesus would KNOW the love of Christ:

Ephesians 3:19 “And to KNOW the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Emphasis mine.)

Even though this Love passes nature knowledge, we can KNOW this Love and be filled with all the fullness of God! Paul goes on to say:

Phillipians 3:10a “That I may KNOW him, and the power of his resurrection…” (Emphasis mine.)

We can KNOW God, we can KNOW the power of His resurrection! We can KNOW how to answer every man that we deal with (Col. 4:6) and we are to KNOW those that labor over us, such as pastors and teachers (1 Thess. 5:12) and that are “over us in the Lord” (that is, have authority over us.) Therefore, don’t confess, “I don’t KNOW what church I am to attend!” Rather, confess, “The scripture says that I am to KNOW those that have authority over me, therefore I KNOW what pastor and church I am to join, support, and submit to!”

1 John 2:3 “And hereby we do KNOW that we KNOW him, if we keep his commandments.” (Emphasis mine.)

So, we “KNOW that we KNOW Him,” if we keep His commandments! If we KNOW His Word, and if we keep His Word, then we can KNOW that we KNOW!

1 John 2:5 “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby KNOW we that we are in him.” (Emphasis mine.)

We can KNOW that we are in Him…but notice the key: “Keep His Word! Let the Love of God be perfected in you!”

1 John 3:14 “We KNOW that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” (Emphasis mine.)

We KNOW we have passed from death unto life…not guess, not hope, but KNOW!

Now, here’s the bottom line scripture:

1 John 4:6 “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby KNOW we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (Emphasis mine.)

It is possible, and in fact, the norm, for us, as children of God, is to KNOW the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error. To KNOW the difference between them. To hear God’s Voice, but discern the devil’s voice. To KNOW what is right and what is wrong. Yes, we can and do KNOW! So, don’t let anyone tell you that the things of the spirit are “wishy washy,” uncertain, or unknowable. In fact, we CAN and DO KNOW the things that pertain to the Spirit! We CAN and DO KNOW right and wrong, and we do KNOW the things of God, and can, in confidence proclaim them!

Once Saved, Are We Always Saved?

Dr. Bill BaileyCan I lose my salvation? Is the doctrine of “once saved always saved” true? Every young Christian has had that twinge of questioning, “Did I ‘blow it’ with God? Am I STILL saved?” Salvation is such a precious gift, and, truth be known, we, as fallible humans DON’T “deserve” such an amazing gift! To realize that is to just be honest with ourselves once we know the awesomeness and wonder of a truly Holy God! And, of course, the amazing LACK of holiness we have as mere humans. Thank God, our righteousness is not in ourselves, it is Jesus’ righteousness that we stand in! (2 Cor. 5:21) However, it is no wonder that young Christians are perplexed by these concerns! The bottom line is this: no, we DON’T deserve what God has provided to us through His Son, Jesus! But, thank God, we don’t go by what we deserve, we go by His Word! God’s Word tells us that it was God’s own decision to send His Son to redeem us, and that salvation is a free gift that He gives to us… all we need do is receive that gift. He evens gives us the faith as a gift to receive Him by hearing the Word preached to us:

Eph 2:8, 9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Rom 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

We hear the Gospel preached, faith comes (from God as a gift to us) and we accept His Son as our Lord and Savior.

Rom 10:9, 10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

This word “saved” is “soteria” in the Greek, and means “saved, delivered, healed, protected and made whole spirit, soul, body, financially and socially!” Salavation is powerful and all encompassing! We are “saved to the uttermost!”

Heb 7:25 “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

The Greek word translated “uttermost” here is “panteles” which literally means “full ended, that is, entire!” So we have a powerful, God given salvation, that He has provided the means to receive that salvation. So, back to our question, is this salvation powerful enough to “stick?” That is, can we lose our salvation easily, can it just “slide away?” I would say no, we can’t lose it easily, or it wouldn’t be all encompassing, powerful and “full ended,” however, choosing to receive salvation is just that, a choice. Can someone or something “rip away” our salvation? No! Check this scripture out:

Rom 8:35 – 39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Who can separate us from the Love of God? (And, God IS Love according to 1 John 4:8) So, we could say it this way… who can separate us from God? No outside power can! No force… “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” No creature… certainly not satan! No one outside of us can separate us from God. BUT, we CAN separate ourselves from God. It is still our decision. We decided to love Him, and follow Him, and we COULD decide to leave Him, and forsake Him. It would be the most mind bogglingly stupid decision we could make, but we could. Now, would we? Could we, really do that? Again, what does the Bible have to say?

Heb 6:4 – 6 “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

This passage would seem to indicate that one COULD make this decision, and that once having done so, one could NEVER come again to repentance. That would be it, “send your saddle home, you are done.” But, before you get too excited… let’s look at the whole passage, in context!

Heb 6:1 – 9 “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.”

Notice what He says, (paraphrasing) “Let us as believers leave behind the first principles of the basic teachings we have all already learned, which are: the doctrine of repentance, all the teaching concerning faith and how it works, the doctrines involving all the types of baptisms (into the Body of Christ, water baptism, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, baptism by fire, etc.), all the teachings concerning what occurs when we lay hands on people (in ordination, laying on of hands for healing, ordination, etc.,) and all the teachings surrounding the resurrection of the dead, eternal judgment, the end times, etc. Let’s leave ALL THAT aside since it is basic teaching and proceed to “advanced teaching.” Think about it folks! What else is there that is not covered in that list that “typical” church folks are hearing? Is ANYONE teaching anything beyond the “first principles?” Even Paul, (yes, I believe Paul wrote the Book of Hebrews) says here that “this we do…” meaning leaving behind these first principles to proceed to advanced teaching… “IF GOD PERMIT.” Am I just “making this up?” Let’s look at this verse from the Amplified Bible:

Heb 6:1 “THEREFORE LET us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ (the Messiah), advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belong to spiritual maturity. Let us not again be laying the foundation of repentance and abandonment of dead works (dead formalism) and of the faith [by which you turned] to God, With teachings about purifying, the laying on of hands, the resurrection from the dead, and eternal judgment and punishment. [These are all matters of which you should have been fully aware long, long ago.] If indeed God permits, we will [now] proceed [to advanced teaching].”

“If indeed God permits, we will now proceed to advanced teaching.” So, most of what we know, are the first principles, NOT advanced teaching. Why is this important? Well, notice what the next verse says in the Amplified:

Heb 6:4 – 6 “For it is impossible [to restore and bring again to repentance] those who have been once for all enlightened, who have consciously tasted the heavenly gift and have become sharers of the Holy Spirit, And have felt how good the Word of God is and the mighty powers of the age and world to come, If they then deviate from the faith and turn away from their allegiance–[it is impossible] to bring them back to repentance, for (because, while, as long as) they nail upon the cross the Son of God afresh [as far as they are concerned] and are holding [Him] up to contempt and shame and public disgrace.”

The bottom line is… one who is not a babe in Christ, one who is mature, one who has left the basic teachings of Christ and has proceeded on to advanced teaching, one who has “tasted the heavenly gift, and become sharers in the Holy Spirit;” they have “have felt how good the Word of God is and the mighty powers of the age and world to come.” basically, they have operated proficiently in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, they are personally led by the Spirit… if THEY THEN “turn away their allegiance” and reject God at this level… then it is impossible for them to come back. But it is not something done when they are not in their right mind, nor when they are deceived, it is when they make a clear, conscious, choice to reject their salvation, by decision, on purpose… clear of mind and fully knowing what it means to do so. These can not return!

Have any done so? I would say, yes, or God wouldn’t have mentioned it in His Word. Does it happen often? No! I do not believe so. No, God’s salvation is not “wishy-washy,” or that easy to reject and “throw off.” We are not talking about something a young Christian could do… remember, it is only possible for one who is mature in the faith, who understands all the ramifications in doing this.

But, the bottom line is, if God provides freedom of choice to receive, He must also provide freedom of choice to reject. That is tough… but it is true.

So, back to our young Christian asking this question… “Did I “blow it?” I had a mentor as a young Christian that gave me this answer to that question: “Do you still care if you are saved?” “Of course,” I said, “Yes; that is why I am asking!” “Then,” he said, “you ARE still saved, because if you understood all the things in that list (after showing me the scriptures I have shown you) and if you had experienced all the powers of the world to come, and had rejected God by decision… you wouldn’t care about the things of God… you wouldn’t ‘wonder,’ you would KNOW that you were no longer saved.” Wow. The wisdom of that, the simplicity of it, it just “seemeth right unto me.” So, do YOU still care? Then, the Holy Spirit is still in there, dealing with you! You are a child of God! Now, as Brother Kenneth Copeland says, “Don’t run away from God when you sin, run TO Him!” Repeat, and confess your sin, as the Word of God says:

1 John 1:9 – 10 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

He will cleanse us from all unrighteousness! Our close fellowship with Him can be restored! You have not “fallen from grace!” G-R-A-C-E is “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense!” We have Grace, we have Favor with God… we are saved to the uttermost!!!

Should We Speak As God Spoke?

Dr. Bill BaileyOur “Speak Faith” project is creating a lot of interest across the Internet, and around the world! I get questions, folks ask for advice, it has been a great “magnet” for interest in faith, and God’s Power applied to everyday life! This is a question off our “Speak Faith” website, from a minister:

“With regard to Romans 4:17, As I read this passage it is describing two attributes (or, if you will, proofs) of GOD, when it says “…God…who quickeneth the dead; and calleth those things that are not, as those that are… Most “Word of Faith” evangelists use this verse as though it is meant to describe something that WE are being told to do – or being told that we CAN do.

My question is: How do you arrive at such an interpretation from verse 17? I am NOT being sarcastic or confrontational – I sincerely seek to understand this way of looking at Romans 4:17.”

Here’s the answer I sent to him:

Well, Romans 4, begins by saying: “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”

The subject, it seems to me, is Abraham, and the fact of his believing God. His belief, and the fact that he believed God’s Word to him (His promise to Abraham) rather than his natural circumstance is the subject of the chapter, to my way of thinking.

Then, in verse 16: “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham…”

Again, note, “the faith of Abraham” I point out not to “elevate” Abraham, but to note that the subject again returns to the faith used by Abraham. It was God’s faith that Abraham was using. One rendering of Mark 11:22 where Jesus said to “Have faith in God” is, “have God’s kind of faith,” or “use the faith of God.” then Jesus went on to explain how to use God’s faith… by “saying.”

Back to Romans 4… “…who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.”

Abraham is “the father of us all” in that he was justified by his faith in God. Verse 11 says, “he might be the father of all them that believe.” I am a believer, so Abraham is “my father in faith.” The promise was to “the Seed” that is, Jesus, through Abraham. Gal. 3:16 says, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” So, our “heritage of faith” through Jesus is to use the faith of God as Abraham did, and notice how Abraham used this faith:

“And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.”

He was not “feeble” (GK: “astheneo“) in the use of faith, but was “strong” (GK: “endunamo“) meaning “empowered.” He gave glory to God, because the faith came from God, “faith comes by more than the mere sense of hearing, but by hearing and receiving the Word of God.” (Transliteration of the Greek in Romans 10:17.) Abraham believed that what God had promised him in his Word spoken to him, God was able also to perform for him. Abraham was not moved by natural circumstances, which he did see, and recognize, around him, but he was moved only by God’s Word to him and his situation.

Verse 22: “And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”

Notice, it was his obedience to God and his faith that God recognized and said that “it was imputed” to him for righteousness. The meaning of “imputed” here in Greek is to “take an inventory, or estimate” based on that inventory. God saw his use of faith, and imputed it to Abraham as right standing before him. BUT, it was not just for him, “but for us also” to whom it shall be accounted IF WE BELIEVE on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead. If we believe, as Abraham did, in God’s ability to perform His promises.

So, bottom line, I see this chapter as indicative of “acting like” Abraham, who acted like God, in that he used God’s kind of faith. Again, Jesus said, in Mark 11:22, “Have the God kind of faith” (Greek rendering.) He went on to say that like God, we should “say.” God said, “Light be” and light was, in Genesis. He used the creative power of His words. Jesus said to use God’s kind of faith, and “say” to the mountain. Abraham, like God, “called those things that be not, as though they were.” As light was “not yet” until God spoke it into existence, so Sarah’s womb was not fruitful until Abraham got his mouth in line with God’s Word to him. Calling himself “Abraham,”or “father of a multitude” brought his mouth in line with God’s Word. He “called things that be not (yet) as though they were.” Now, it is important to note that he did not have the power to bring words to pass inherently in himself… only GOD has the power to bring his words to pass… but, we have been “given power of attorney” so to speak, to say God’s Words and and God will back up His own Word!

In this sense, he was “imitating God” … which is in line with Ephesians 5:1, “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children…” The term “follower” is the word “mimitace” or, “imitator” in the Greek. As a child imitates his parents, we imitate God. I realize that in this verse, he is speaking specifically of the Love of God, but my point is that he expects us to imitate God. And, faith does WORK by love! (Gal. 5:6) Now, we can’t expect ANYTHING we say to simply come to pass, we have to say what God says, as Abraham did. We speak what God’s Word says about a situation, and we bring God’s ability to bear against the situation. It is not “our faith” or “our power” it is God’s Words and God’s power that gets the job done. As with Abraham, we are “fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” What God says, He is able to perform in our lives. All we need do is, as an imitator of God, speak what He would have us speak, do what He would have us do… and leave the rest to Him!

Don’t Let “Paul’s Thorn” “Stick it” to Receiving Your Healing!

Dr. Bill BaileyThere are a number of “old standard” excuses put forward by people that don’t believe that is for today, or that want to somehow restrict it. One of these “old standbys” is “Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh.”

As the excuse goes, Paul was “struck down” by God to keep him humble because of the abundance of his revelations. That is, God “put it on him” to keep him humble. And, folks say, “I’m just like Paul… God put this affliction on me to teach me something.” Well, this is so wrong in so many ways, we need to “peel back” the layers and look at each one!

The original premise is based on the following scriptures:

2 Corinthians 12:5-10 “Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Now, let’s look first at the assumption that the “thorn” was from God. Does he say that it was? No. He says, “… there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of satan.” The “thorn” was:

A) a messenger, and
B) it was sent by satan.

What is a “messenger” here? Well, the Greek says, “aggleos,” or “angel,” or a spiritual (that is, a “non-corporeal”) creature. We know that there are “good” angels sent by God, and there are “bad” beings sent by satan called “demons.” Both types of creatures are spiritual beings. And, we know that satan was, at one time, an angelic being that sinned and fell. (Isaiah 14:12-15) So, the best way to know if this spiritual creature was a demonic spirit or an angel was to see what the source was. The scripture plainly says that it was a spirit sent from satan. So, again:

A) it was a being of some kind, and
B) it was sent by satan, not God.

Next, we need to know who sent the revelations that Paul said was the reason for the attack. The “abundance” of revelations were from God. This is evidenced by the fact that the “Pauline revelation” that Paul received and conveyed in his letters make up tech bulk of the New Testament! So, GOD sent the revelation… now, if God was the source of the revelations, would He also be the source of the “problem/attack?” Does that really sound like our Father God? Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” God does not intend evil toward us, but peace and good. Would it be right to give someone a gift that resulted in their destruction or pain? No, we wouldn’t see it that way if a man did that, much less God! It is MUCH more likely, isn’t it, that God gave Paul the revelation for his, and our, good, and satan gave Paul the “thorn” to try and stop that revelation from getting out! Doesn’t that make more sense? It certainly does to me!

Now, let’s break down this issue further. The story that is preached by some concerning “Paul’s Thorn” is that the “thorn” was not a being, or spirit (despite that being specifically what the Bible says that it is!) They teach that it was a disease. In fact, they teach that it was a specific disease called “opthalmalia,” a terrible disease in which puss comes from the eyes. It was supposed to bee nasty and disfiguring. And, God was supposed to have visited it upon Paul because of the revelations that God himself was bringing! Well, first of all, God is “Jehovah-Rapha,” the God that Healeth Thee, not the God that maketh thee sick! Secondly, as I pointed out, God brought about the issue (the “revelations”) that He was supposedly “punishing,” that makes no sense! The idea that the “thorn” was opthamalia comes about because of a strange reading by these folks of Galatians 4:13, “Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. ” They take this reference out of context and proclaim, “Why the Galatians were so repulsed by Paul’s visage, and so sympathetic of his plight, that they would have plucked out their own eyes for him!” What?!?! Is this what this reference says? Let’s look at the actual context…

Galatians 4:9-20:
“But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all. Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them. But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.”

Paul’s issue with them was that they (the Galatians) were “observing days, and months, and times, and years,” which, he says, were, “the weak and beggarly elements.” In short, they had left the revelation of our new covenant in Jesus, and had returned to pagan rituals, even observing holidays, festivals, and partaking in activities that were not Christian in nature. He said of them, “I am afraid of you.” Or, as some translations put it, “I am afraid FOR you!” In fact the “Literal Translation of the Bible” says, “I fear for you, lest somehow I have labored among you in vain.” Paul was concerned that after teaching them the truth of the Word they had returned to their “old ways” and that what he had shared with them was in vain..

What does this have to do with “Paul’s Thorn?” Well, hang in there, and bear with me! Paul continues to says, “Ye (Galatians) know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.” The teachers of “Paul’s Thorn” doctrine say, “See! It was something in his flesh!” Well, consider this scripture:

1 Corinthians 2:1-5, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

Was the “weakness, and fear and much trembling” because of physical deformity, or the fact that it was not his own “excellency of speech or of wisdom” but rather his total reliance on the power of God?” I believe the latter! In other words, “in the flesh” didn’t mean an infirmity in his physical body. It meant that though he was a flesh and blood human, he was teaching things by the power and demonstration of God! He, Paul, was “in his flesh,” but the revelation was from “on High!” The word used for “infirmity” in Galatians 4: 13 is “astheneia” which means “feebleness, or frailty.” Paul felt frail in his natural man, but strong in the spirit! He exorted the Corinthians, “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” It was not Paul’s great natural education and wisdom that he was relying upon, it was God’s supernatural power and revelation! In a similar way, he was reminding the Galatians that he didn’t impress them with natural “presence” or man’s oratory, but by supernatural revelation!

Now as to his comment about “plucking out their eyes,” notice what he says in Galatians 4:15. “Where is then the blessedness ye spake of?” What is the “blessedness” he refers to? The Greek here is, “makirismos” which Strong’s Concordance says is, “From G3106; beatification, that is, attribution of good fortune: – blessedness.” This word “beatification” is usually referring to something or someone that someone has been called a blessing. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says, “to declare to have attained the blessedness of heaven.” So, we are led to assume that the Galatians had told Paul of some doctrine, or revelation that they believed to be a “blessing from heaven.” Bottom-line, they thought they had a “blessed revelation” that they had shared with Paul, and he didn’t agree. In other words, he “didn’t see it.” When we speak about something that we don’t agree with, we sometimes use the phrase, “I just don’t see it that way.” Do we mean that we actually, physically do not see something that someone else does? No, we mean that we do not understand the facts that they are presenting in tech same way… we don’t “see it.” We don’t “get it!” Well, neither did Paul. The “times and seasons” and rituals they they were so excited about, that they thought were such blessings… he didn’t “see them” the same way that they did. And, again, speaking metaphorically, he was saying, “Not only do I not see it that way, but I know that you wanted me to so badly, you would have ‘pulled out your own eyes’ so that I could see it from your perspective.” Was Paul prone to use metaphor in this way? Well, in the mouth of two or three witnesses, let’s establish that he did…

Example 1:
1 Corinthians 15:31 ” Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed…” Was he taking about literal “sleep” here, as we do at night, or did he mean “the death of a saint in God.”

Example 2:
1 Corinthians 12:14-15 “For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?” We we, as Christians, literally a hand or a foot? Does a hand have a mouth that it can use to talk and say something? No, it is a spiritual metaphor to get across and idea. We are members of Christ’s body… and this helps us understand or functions.

Example 3:
Ephesians 5:30-32 “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” So, are we literally pieces of Jesus’ flesh and bone? Paul even had to say, “I speak of Christ and His Church.” to make clear that this was a physical allusion to a spiritual truth… in other words, a metaphor! It is a good representation… but it is used to make a point in teaching.

As my point here in this teaching is, that Paul was subject, quite often, to use metaphors to convey his meaning! Therefore, his saying, in effect, “I just don’t see it your way, but I am sure that you folks would have pulled out your eyes and let me see through them to ‘get it!'” does make sense here.

To establish this further, let’s go back to our reference in Galatians…

“Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.”

Notice, “am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” He was telling them something that they weren’t agreeing with. A “truth” that was not what they currently believed. and what does he mean when he says, “They zealously affect you, but not well.” “They,” here, are teachers other than Paul that have taught the Galatians something that Paul “doesn’t see.” These teachers were “zealously affecting” the Galatians with their false doctrine of “times and seasons.” The bottom line is, this had nothing to do with opthamalia!

So, back to our original reference… we have seen that “Paul’s Thorn” came from satan, and that it was a result of Paul receiving from God an abundance of revelation knowledge. Now, for you, or anyone else, to claim that you are “just like Paul” you would have to be indicating that you are the level of apostle that he was, and, I guess, are planning on writing YOUR revelation to share with the rest of the Body of Christ! (I don’t think so!)

No… this whole story is just a lie of the devil, that, unfortunately, has been used by satan to hold people back from receiving their healing from God! Don’t let satan’s lies stop you from receiving what God has provided!

Why Speak Your Faith?

Dr. Bill BaileyThere has been a lot of discussion in recent years about the “Word of Faith Message”, or “The Power of Confession”, or maybe you’ve heard the term, “Name it and Claim it!” The question at hand is as to whether it is Biblical to teach that “profession brings possession” is a simple matter of checking the Bible, the Word of God, to see if the scriptures lend credence to this teaching.

An often quoted scripture is Romans 4:17, “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.” Note that God, it says, “makes alive the dead, and calls those things that be not, (are not in existence yet,) as though they were already in existence. This is the essence of what God did in Genesis when He said (in the Hebrew) “Light be!” and, light came into being! Before He said it, light “was not yet”, but once He said it, light sprang into being. “Well, yes,” you might say, “but, Dr. Bill, that was God!” True! I will give you no argument there! The question becomes then, does God want US to “call those things that be not as though they are?” Let’s look at what Jesus taught the disciples in Mark Chapter 11.

“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mark 11:22-24) Now this is the King James Version, and I know that it can be a little “blind” to us sometimes, so let’s look at the same scripture in the “Bible in Basic English” translation, “And Jesus, answering, said to them, Have God’s faith. Truly I say to you, Whoever says to this mountain, Be taken up and be put into the sea; and has no doubt in his heart, but has faith that what he says will come about, he will have his desire. For this reason I say to you, Whatever you make a request for in prayer, have faith that it has been given to you, and you will have it.” Notice it says, “Have God’s faith…” The Greek meaning here can be expressed, “have the God kind of faith,” or “use God’s kind of faith.” Now if Jesus is teaching us that we should actually use God’s Faith… which make no mistake, He is saying to do that… then, we should use God’s faith in the same way that God uses it…. by speaking! Let’s look at the rest of the verse… notice He says, “whoever will say.” The promise here is not to EVERYONE, no indeed! It IS to anyone that will “say!” The qualifier is that you be willing to speak God’s Word over the situation! And, note, He is not saying talk ABOUT the situation, He is saying rather to talk TO the situation, or thing! You must be willing to “say to the mountain” what you want it to do! A lot of people are simply not willing to “say!” They won’t speak their faith! But, notice, as Dr. Kenneth E. Hagin has pointed out so many times in teaching about these verses, there are three “sayings,” to one “believing!” Once you believe, you have to speak! 2 Corinthians 4:13 makes this clear as well, “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.” We believe, therefore we speak!

Over and over again, the Bible makes it clear that once you believe, you must confess, or speak, the thing that you believe. Even in being saved, we follow the process of believing in our heart, and confessing with our mouth. Notice Romans 10:8-10, “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” The Word is near you, it is in your heart, and in your mouth! You must, it says, “confess with the mouth!” Notice, it is not enough to “think with the mind,” you MUST “confess WITH THE MOUTH!” This follows the method that God used, He spoke, and it came to pass! We speak His Word, and it comes to pass! Whether it is in salvation, or, as the Greek makes clear in the translation of this word “salvation” used in this verse, “saved, healed, and made whole spirit, soul, body, financially and socially!” The word used here means all these things! It is literally “wholeness,” or “complete restoration!” This Biblical principle of confessing God’s Word to bring to pass what is true in the spiritual realm into manifestation in the natural realm is a key Biblical principle!

Speaking the Word brings God’s power and authority to bear on a physical problem! Consider the fact that the centurion that Jesus marveled at (because of his faith) understood this principle. Matthew 8:8 says, “The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.” Note, that he “was not worthy” because he understood that he had no covenant with God at that time, as he was not of Jewish heritage in the natural, but he understood that Jesus was walking in covenant, and in authority, with God. He said, “Speak the word only… and my servant shall be healed!” Then notice what Jesus said about him in verse 10, “When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” Not even the Israelites of that day, though they DID have a covenant with God, had the faith of this centurion! Why? The centurion understood the principle of speaking the Word of God in faith! He understood that there is authority in God’s Word! Beyond that, God’s Word has the power within itself, to cause the Word to come to pass! This is a direct translation of the scripture in the Greek translated as, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37) Mary had asked the angel in effect, “How shall I conceive a child since I am a virgin?” The angel responded with the phrase above. Now, “with God all things shall be possible,” is certainly true, but reading the King James translation, we don’t get the full meaning! In the Greek, the angel was explaining to Mary the “how” of the situation, which is what she originally asked! “God’s Word contains the power within itself to cause what it says to come to pass.” Because God has spoken that she, as a virgin, would conceive a child, that Word spoken by God, alone, had the power within it, to cause it to become a material reality!

Jesus went on to explain the importance of words on another occasion. In Matthew 12:34-37, He said, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” He said this to the Scribes and Pharisees, who were supposed to be experts in the Word of God, yet He says they were evil. How can they, being evil, speak good things? Notice, He says that one speaks, “out of the treasure of one’s heart.” The word “treasure” used here, means “deposit.” So, out of what you have “deposited” in your heart, or spirit, you will speak out of your mouth! Notice that Jesus says that we will be judged for EVERY “idle word,” again, the Greek rendering helps us understand, “every idle, inoperative, non-productive word that we shall speak” is what we will be judged for! We should use words carefully, as we would power tools! You don’t haphazardly use a power tool, or you could get seriously hurt! In the same way, you shouldn’t misuse, or take for granted, the power of your words!

You might ask, “If words are so powerful, then why aren’t they coming to pass instantly all the time?” You might say, “That scared me to death!” But, you don’t drop over literally dead! True! Thank God! If so, we would have a lot of dead Christians to bury! No, the Bible teaches that the mouth, or the tongue, “sets in motion the cycle of natural events.” It is, therefore, a process! What the Bible says in James 3:6 is, “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” The phrase “setteth on fire the course of nature” in the original Greek, translates, “sets in motion the cycle of natural events.” Satan therefore, tries to get you to speak contrary to God’s Word, and set in motion a chain of natural events, or a cycle, that will lead to destruction. No, you may not die immediately by saying, “That scared me to death!” But, you ARE setting in motion a cycle of events that enforces fear (“scared me”) and death in your life! In this way, satan can attempt to shorten your life! He uses the very power of your own words against you! The thoughts and temptations to speak those words of death and fear are the methods satan attempts to use to “set our tongue on fire of hell.” Ephesians 6:16 says, “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” The “fiery darts” are designed to set your mouth against you!

What should we do, then? Whatever we want to come out of our mouth, we should deposit in our heart! Psalms 119:11 says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Hide the Word of God in your heart! Store it up there! Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” If you want to be “prosperous,” and “have good success,” then you should meditate on God’s Word! Then, what you have stored in your heart will come out of your mouth… and that word, God’s Word, will have the power within itself to cause itself to come to pass!

Speak FAITH!

How Many is “ALL?”

Dr. Bill BaileyWhether you study it out in the Hebrew (Old Testament) or the Greek (New Testament) you will find that the word translated “all” in the Bible means “all!” Now, ALL is 100%… it is “all” there is, there isn’t anything left over, or left out. “All” is “all!” You may say, “So what?” Well, the Bible says, “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases…” (Psalms 103:1-3) Many folks are very comfortable with God forgiving ALL our inquities (or sins.) Why is that? Because they have heard it taught that way for years. Many folks that have grown up in denominational churches have heard that God saves us from sin to the uttermost! Since faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17), our having heard the truth that God removes ALL our sin is solid in our thinking, and in our spirit man. However, the same Bible, in fact, the same scripture, says that the SAME God heals ALL our diseases! God is just as much a “healer” and He is a “saver”… or, Saviour! In fact, the word that is used in the Bible in the New Testament with regard to salvation is “sozo” in the Greek, which means, “saved, healed, delivered, protected and made whole, spirit, soul, body, financially and socially.”

So the same Jesus who is Saviour is Healer! This is exactly in line with Isaiah 53:4 and Matthew 8:17 which indicates that what Jesus accomplished on the Cross and through His sacrifice bought us both salvation… spiritually, and healing… physically.

So, all sin is covered by Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection… the plan of salvation covered it all! Is there ANY sin that wasn’t covered? Maybe, say, murder? NO! How about homosexuality? NO! His plan covered them ALL! Even so, God’s plan of salvation covered healing of EVERY sickness, and EVERY disease! Was AIDS left out? NO! Was cancer left out? NO! “All” means ALL! You can stand in faith that every sickness that may confront you is “covered!” You can believe that every sin that you may have committed is “covered!” God is the God of the ALL! His Plan covers it ALL!

So, how many is “All? ALL is ALL!

What Does it Really Mean to be “Non-Violent?”

Dr. Bill BaileyThe media today is fond of telling us that Islam is a nice, wholesome, religion that is “non-violent,” while we hear every day that Islamic extremists are killing people, cutting off heads, etc., all in the name of their god, “Allah.” Even governments based on Islamic law talk calmly about executing people that have converted from Islam to Christianity. Non-violent? I don’t think so! Meanwhile, we have “non-violent Christian” ministers and groups coming out against capital punishment, saying that “Thou shalt not kill,” means that ANY execution is against the laws of God. What are we to think about these issues? What HAS God called us to do? Well, first of all, it IS true that Romans 12:18 says, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” And, 1 Thess. 5:13b says, “…be at peace among yourselves.” We are called upon by God to be, by nature, peaceful people and walk peacefully among men. Unlike Islam, Christianity does not say that if you don’t believe, you should be killed! However, notice that it does say… “If it be possible…” The implication is that sometimes it is NOT possible!

I guarantee you, if someone is trying to harm my wife, Belinda, or my son, Ben, I am gonna be putting “a ‘hurtin’ on ’em!” Also, with regard to the phrase “be at peace among yourselves,” sometimes there are times that people “outside” our group, country, or way of life, declares total war on us (as Islamic terrorists have) and we then have no Biblical compunction to “be at peace” with them… if they are sworn to destroy us!

What about “Thou shalt not kill?” (Exodus 20:19) That is certainly scripture. It is certainly the law of God. And, this scripture is used by many “Christian Anti-War Groups” to say that there is NEVER a time to kill under any circumstances. However, the confusion here comes from a reading of the old English translation of this scripture, NOT the meaning of the original text. The original Hebrew text in Exodus 20:19 is better translated, “Do not take innocent life.” That is, do not commit murder. The use of capital punishment is not the taking of “innocent life.” However, the very best example of taking innocent life that I can think of is to murder an innocent child in an abortion. It is amazing to me that the very same people that claim to be so “enlightened” and “peace loving” and quote Exodus 20:19 to say that condemned murders should not be executed, are the SAME people that say that abortion is simply, “… a women’s choice for her own body.” Taking of innocent life is EXACTLY what God was condemning! The government using it’s authority to punish murder by executing the person, or persons, responsible for the taking of an innocent life, is not. In fact, the scripture says that the police officer, or court official, is a “minister of God” that “beareth not the sword in vain.” (Romans 13:4)

People today are confused about what is, and is not, “peaceful” and “Godly.” The scriptures, however, make it plain. We are to live a quiet and peaceable life in all honesty. (1 Timothy 2:2) But we are not to let the evildoers of this world just walk all over us in the process. We need to stand up for what is right, and good, and true!

Why Do People Blame God?

Dr. Bill BaileyHave you noticed today that God seems to get blamed for just about everything that He DOESN’T do, but no credit for what He DOES do? What do I mean by that? Well, God is the Creator of the Universe, He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, He is the ALMIGHTY GOD! He is only good, and there is nothing evil that He has ever done! Yet, we have insurance policies that call hurricanes, floods and destruction “acts of God!” These destructive events CAN NOT be “acts of God!” At least, not God the Father! They are, rather, the acts of the “little” g-o-d of this world system. (2 Cor. 4:4) Jesus said that satan is the one that has come to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10), He went on to say that He (Jesus) is come to “give life, and that more abundantly!” (John 10:10) So, if an event deals with stealing from anyone, whether it is stealing things, stealing health, or whatever… then it must be satan! It most certainly is not my Father, God! If something kills… like disease, war, famine… it has to be satan! It is not God! If something destroys… like Hurricane Katrina, or the tsunami that occurred earlier this past year… it was satan! IT WAS NOT GOD!

People that blame God for these kinds of things simply don’t know Him! Now, you may say, “But I know Christians that believe that God did these things!” Yes, I am sure that you do. And they may even be actually, factually, born again. However, I can assure you that they don’t have a CLOSE relationship with God. Here’s what I mean. You can be a child of someone and not know them very well. Their are people that have not even known their fathers since they were very young! They are in every way children of their fathers, they are related to them, but they don’t have a close RELATIONSHIP with them. They don’t know how they think, what their opinions are, how they are likely to react in a given situation. BUT… they are their children! So it is with some Christians… they have trusted God with their eternal salvation. They have received Jesus as their Lord, but they have not drawn close to God, they haven’t gotten to KNOW Him! If they had, they would know that God doesn’t kill, steal, or destroy! They simply don’t know him that well.

But if you will drawn nigh to God, He will draw nigh to you! (James 4:8) You CAN get to know Him that well. You can develop a close, personal relationship with Him. Then when you hear people malign God’s character, you will feel about it the way you would feel if they were saying those things about your earthly father (if you have a good relationship with him.) God is a friend that sticks closer than a brother… or earthly father! (Prob. 18:24)

What About Other’s Unbelief?

Dr. Bill BaileyFor what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” (Romans 3:2-3, emphasis mine.)

There are many that denigrate the message of faith from God’s Word. They call teachers of faith heretics, and say that we are teaching “name it and claim it” and “blab it and grab” messages. My pastor, Ed Taylor, once was confronted by a local minister that said, “All you Faith Preachers (saying it disdainfully) I just call ‘faith peddlers!'” Well, my friend, if you aren’t “peddling faith,” what, may I ask, are you peddling? Are we to teach unbelief and doubt? There are apparently those that believe so! Let me state categorically that I do “peddle faith!” I do “name it and claim it” and I “blab and grab” everything that God’s Word promises I can have! To do otherwise would be ungrateful to God for His magnificent provisions! There are many that say that faith teachers are arrogant and prideful.

That is because they don’t understand “where we are coming from.” What do I mean? Well, these ministers might say, “Oh, I am unworthy of this, and I am unworthy of that.” Well, in our own position outside of God, I would agree… indeed, I am unworthy in that regard. BUT, I am not outside of God! I am the righteousness of God, in Him! (1 Corinthians 5:17-21) In whom? In Jesus! I am righteous with His righteousness! For me to say I am now unworthy, or unrighteous, is to diminish what God has, through Jesus, done for me! What is a greater indication of pride? To graciously accept all that Jesus has done for me and “brag” on His righteousness, or to exalt and revel in my personal baseness and unrighteousness? To, in effect, say that what Jesus did by His death on the cross, burial, and resurrection is of NO effect. I say with Paul, “God forbid!”

No, pride is to take any stand OTHER than what God says about us! I humbly state what God says about us as believers:

I am the righteousness of God in Christ! (1 Corinthians 5:17-21)

I am more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus! (Romans 8:37)

I always triumph in Christ Jesus! (2 Corinthians 2:14)

He (Jesus) became poor that I might be rich! (2 Corinthians 8:9)

I am the healed of the Lord!
(1 Peter 2:24)

And I could continue… but the important point is that if God says it about me, then THAT’S the way it is, whether is suits anyone else or not. Let God be true, and every man a liar! (Romans 3:4)

Your Church: A Matter of Life and Death!

Dr. Bill BaileyAre you aware that where you go to church is a matter of life and death? Do you think that is a shocking statement? Think about it. The scripture tells us that we should take heed what we hear, and that we should take heed how we hear. (Mark 4:24, Luke 8:18) Why did Jesus consider what, and how, we are hearing so important? Because “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17) If you study this scripture out in the Greek, you will find that a “concordant literal” rendering of this scripture could be: “Faith comes to you by more than the mere sense of hearing, but by hearing and receiving teaching from the Word of God.” Thus the need for a preacher to teach the Word as Paul speaks of in that same chapter, “How shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14) God has chosen the “foolishness” (to the world) method of preaching the Gospel, or the Word of God, as the means to convey faith and understanding of His Word. (1 Corinthians 1:21) In fact, hearing is the entrance to the human spirit. What we hear repeatedly, and continually, becomes what is in our hearts (human spirits) in abundance. You may say, “Well, OK, Brother Bill, let’s say I accept that… why does that have bearing on matters of life and death?” Hang in there! We are about to see it in the scripture!

Take a look at Luke 6:45, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” The word translated “treasure” here, can also be translated “deposit”… so what you have “deposited” in your heart, is what you will speak!

I shouldn’t have to tell you the importance of speaking… but in case I do, let’s consider a few examples of scripture:

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21

“How forcible are right words!” Job 6:25

“For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matthew 12:37

“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” James 3:6

Let’s review these scriptures. God has told us that He (God) has put before us a choice; life or death. (Deuteronomy 30:19) He has even given us a strong hint: “Choose Life!” Look at the scripture: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” Deuteronomy 30:19 How do we choose life? By speaking words! Proverbs 18:21 just said so! Right words are forcible! Unfortunately, so are wrong words. Words of life can heal, and set in motion good things in your life. However, words of death and doubt can kill, and set in motion evil things in your life. Matthew 12:37 reminds us that we are therefore condemned or justified by our words! And, James 3:6, in the Greek speaks of, “setting in motion the cycle of natural events” by the use of our tongue!

So, why do I say that where you go to church is a matter of life and death? Because what you hear, consistently, and regularly at church, is what you will come to believe. And what you believe and is in abundance in your heart, is what you will say out of your mouth. And what you say out of your mouth, and is in your heart in abundance is what will come to pass in your life! Choose wisely where you attend church! Get into a faith teaching, faith believing church and hear the uncompromised Word of Faith message!