KINGDOMS

20110721  Through Faith Subdued Kingdoms

By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.

By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets:  who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,  quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Hebrews 11:30-34

God did not give men faith to be religious but rather that through faith they would subdue kingdoms, work righteousness, obtain promises, stop the mouths of lions, quench the violence of fire, escape the edge of the sword, out of weakness be made strong, become valiant in battle, and turn to flight the armies of the aliens.  For God’s word is unchanging:

So Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples.  And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment.  For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.”

But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour. Matthew 9:19-22

And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” Mark 5:34

Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road. Mark 10:52

Yes, the use of our faith makes us well spiritually, physically and financially. Yes, the use of our faith helps us to overcome the world and gives us the victory.  For God’s word is true:

And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”

So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

“And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’?  “But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’?  “Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.

“So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ” Luke 17:5-10

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. John 14:12

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith. 1 John 5:4

Jesus Christ the author and finisher of our faith taught and anticipated that His true disciples  would use their faith, even a mustard size of faith,  to do greater works than He did in the current time of life  and then say  when you have ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ Yet  God’s word is unchanging:

Therefore the LORD heard this and was furious;  So a fire was kindled against Jacob,  And anger also came up against Israel,  Because they did not believe in God,  And did not trust in His salvation. Psalm 78:21

Unbelief is not faith and it’s not a friend but an enemy of God’s people that robs them of many things including mighty works, miracles and the moving of mountains. For God’s word is true:

Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:58

So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20

Jesus did some miracles for some despite people’s unbelief but not as much as He would have loved to do:

Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching. Mark 6:5-6

Jesus, Himself, taught that If one could can believe, all things were possible to him who believed. He even helped those who asked for help in this area:

Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit.  “And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”  He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.”

Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.  So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood.  “And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”  Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!”  Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.”

But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.  And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting. ” Mark 9:17-29

Jesus, Himself, was exasperated with what He called a faithless generation. But He who is the Lord of all is more than capable of handling any situation and problem that is brought to Him in faith. Casting out demons in Jesus name is an authority that God has given to all His true ones and is in the great commission Jesus gave to His people.

Mind you some things do not come out except by prayer and fasting. Not so much because God’s power is limited but that men are so full of unbelief that they need to change so that they can be full of faith and power. For unbelief short circuits the power of God.

Unbelief and hardness of heart is something that God in Jesus Christ rebuked His disciples for. It is definitely not something that God approves from His disciples. God’s word records:

Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. Mark 16:14

But God is faithful, even when others do not believe:

For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect?  Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. Romans 3:3-4

Nevertheless God’s people are to beware for there is an evil heart of unbelief which willfully makes a person depart from the living God through the deceitfulness of sin. For God’s word tells His people:

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,  while it is said:  “Today, if you will hear His voice,  Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses?  Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness?  And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?   So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:12-19

Unbelief even causes God’s people to harden their hearts and rebel against God and as a result incur His judgments instead of His blessings. It results in the inability of God people to inherit or enter into the promises of God receive its blessings and gifts and callings. We see this in the life of a a priest named Zacharias, whose  wife was Elizabeth. They were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless and had prayed for years for a son. God’s word records:

But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.  So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division,  according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.  And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.  And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and  your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.  “And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. “And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.  “He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”

And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings.  “But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”

And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple.  But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless. Luke 1:7-22

It is interesting that the angel had brought good news to Zacharias to tell him that his prayer was  heard  and his wife Elizabeth would  bear him a son. A son who would go who the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

But Zacharias did not believe the words of the angel, as he looked to his circumstance and situation. Hence, the same angel pronounced judgment on him.  As a result Zacharias would be mute and not able to speak until the day these things took place, because he did not believe the words of the angel, which would be fulfilled in their own time.

It’s very interesting that God brought judgment upon once of His servants, a priest, who did not believe his words. Just like He brought judgment on the children of Israel when they came out Egypt for their unbelief in believing the negative reports of the cowardly ten spies. As a result of their sin the children of Israel never went into the promised land but died in the wilderness. For God does these kind of things even in the current time of life.

But Zacharias’ story did not end there. For on the eighth day when they came to circumcise the child, Zacharias wrote on a tablet, “His name is John.” God’s word records:

Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God.

Then fear came on all who dwelt around them; and all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea.  And all those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, “What kind of child will this be?” And the hand of the Lord was with him.

Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:  “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel,  For He has visited and redeemed His people, And has raised up a horn of salvation for us  In the house of His servant David,  As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,  Who have been since the world began,  That we should be saved from our enemies  And from the hand of all who hate us,  To perform the mercy promised to our fathers  And to remember His holy covenant,  The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:  To grant us that we,  Being delivered from the hand of our enemies,  Might serve Him without fear,  In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.

“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest;  For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, To give knowledge of salvation to His people  By the remission of their sins,  Through the tender mercy of our God,  With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;  To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,  To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel. Luke 1:64-69

Zacharias filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied about the plans and purposes of God for His people that most people have not appreciated nor claimed. That the Lord God of Israel, not only has visited and redeemed His people and has raised up a horn of salvation for them in the house of His servant David.

As a result now they would be saved from their enemies and from the hand of all those who hate them. For God had come to deliver them from the hand of their enemies – so that they might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life.  Deliverance from enemies and all those who hate them is in the Covenant which God has with His people.  This is something that  many have not accepted and as a result is not real to them because of unbelief.

But God has come in Christ Jesus to deliver His people from all kinds of enemies and to give them victory over them. For His word is true:

“When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.

“So it shall be, when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people.  “And he shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them;  ‘for the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.'( to give you victory) Deuteronomy 20:1-4

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

EXTRACT FROM Be Filled With All The Fullness Of God
http://walthope.tripod.com/befilled.htm

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