Eight Topics of Faith
Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God
must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
1. A GREATER FAITH 5
Faith that gets results. There are two kinds of faith: head-faith and heart faith. It is
very important to know the difference.
2. LYING VANITY OPPOSES FAITH 19
Don’t let Satan rob you of God’s best. In this chapter, you will learn how Satan
tries to undermine your faith and keep you from receiving God’s best. (Jonah 2:8)
3. THE POWER OF THE TONGUE IN FAITH 34
The importance of saying the right thing. This explores the many scriptures that
show the importance of saying the right thing. (Romans 10:9, 10)
4. HOW TO CONFESS YOUR FAITH WITHOUT TELLING A LIE 43
The difference between admitting, advertising and accepting. Here Joe Jordan
helps you to see why this very timely message brings much needed instruction to
responsible Christians on a very controversial subject.
5. THE TWO SIDES OF HEALING 51
The gifts of healing and healing through faith. Some see only one side of healing
and they become confused. In this chapter, Joe Jordan will endeavor to show both
sides of healing.
6. PRESCRIPTION FOR HEALING IN FAITH
Taking God’s Word as medicine. In this chapter, you will learn how to utilize
more effectively a well-known but little understood principle used by every great
achiever in faith. (Proverbs 4:22)
7. HOW TO WITNESS REGARDING THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT 64
Answers to questions concerning this experience. This chapter will help you
understand what the Word of God says about this subject. It is a must for every
person who knows Jesus Christ.
8. THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BY FAITH 97
How to receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit. The Bible shows the different
terminologies in regard to this experience. This has been one of the most popular
topics. It’s a how-to lesson straight from God’s Word.
WHAT IS THE ENCYCLOPEDIA
Without faith, it is impossible to please God,” (Hebrews 11:6).
Old Testament heroes knew this.
So did the early church Christians. Their overcoming faith literally turned the world
upside-down for the Kingdom of Christ. Each generation of Christians must learn how to
put the same principles of faith into action.
Never before have Christian individuals and families been under such severe Satanic
attack. Believers are being buffeted from all sides and only those whose faith is deeply
rooted and grounded in the Word of God will have the necessary power to win the
spiritual battles of our time.
This power-packed manual will equip you to face the worst the enemy can bring against
you –and win. It is your key to coping with the problems of life.
AN INVESTMENT IN YOUR FUTURE
This simple but profound teaching series will:
• teach you how to learn and live the principles of faith.
• help you identify the two kinds of faith –and understand why it is important to
know the difference.
• give you God’s prescription for healing so you can have and maintain good
• show you how to change damaging negative attitudes into vibrant spiritual
power to overcome.
• transform your faith into life-changing results.
WHY IS THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FAITH IMPORTANT?
The Encyclopedia of Faith is a solid spiritual resource help you stand on God’s Word for
every need of your life. Companion tapes on each vital subject, plus an introductory
overview on how to get the most results from this balanced faith training material is also
included –eight cassette tapes in all.
The Encyclopedia of Faith is an exciting reference and training tool you will want to
share with friends in your home. It is one of the best investments for spiritual growth and
wellbeing you will ever make. It crosses denominational lines, giving strong counsel and
solid teaching to help you become the person you want to be in Christ Jesus.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – JOE L. JORDAN
Joe Jordan, creator, author and narrator of the Encyclopedia of Faith, is a nationally-
recognized authority on high-level personal faith development. He has taught in excess of
250,000 persons through 4,000 seminars in 300 cities across America. Joe Jordan has
personally counseled and ministered on a one-to-one basis with more than 96,000
individuals during that time.
Formerly national coordinator and teacher for the Institute of Christian Living Seminars,
Joe Jordan has written numerous faith-building books. He has shared the platform with
notable faith leaders including Harald Bredesen, Demos Shakarian, Father Dwain
Stenzel, Kenneth Hagin, Father Dennis Bennet, Judson Cornwall and others.
WHAT YOU DO
The Encyclopedia of Faith is an intensive “basic training” course designed to help you
claim your rightful position in God’s army of believers across America. The
Encyclopedia of Faith will force you to confront old ideas and replace them with these
dynamic concepts of faith.
Joe Jordan recommends that you spend each day reviewing your encyclopedia. Build
your daily devotions around the Scripture lessons of the eight faith subjects. The
continuing reinforcement of what you have learned will build and strengthen your
You’ll be amazed at how many rich truths you’ll uncover that you may have overlooked
before. Pick out at least one idea and share it with a friend.
A GREATER FAITH
QUEST FOR FAITH
A majority of Christians are looking for a Greater Faith, but have not yet found it. They
are walking in an inferior type of faith and consequently missing out on many of God’s
blessings. Not only have I observed this in others but know from my own past experience
that it’s true.
There was a time in which I admired the strong faith of others, yet I knew I didn’t operate
in faith. I wondered how they arrived in such a walk of faith, but assumed that a like
blessing for me was unobtainable.
A time of crisis came which proved to be a motivating force. In desperation I began an
intensive search for the Greater Faith I saw in others. From the testimonies of those who
attributed great personal answers in prayer to their faith, I knew that surely this Greater
Faith was the key.
In a short while, God enabled me to hear teaching of His Word which opened up the
avenue to the faith I had been seeking. In Romans 10:17 it says that faith comes by
hearing and hearing by the Word of God. This was certainly true in my case.
As I listened with such an open heart, I increasingly became aware of the fact that the
strong, effective faith of others was also mine to possess. I then forsook an inferior type
of faith for a Greater Faith.
TWO TYPES OF FAITH
We’ve mentioned an inferior type of faith and a superior type. We can label them very
simply –head-faith and heart faith. Head-faith is the inferior kind and heart faith the
Head-faith is that which is based on the senses and circumstances. Heart faith is based
strictly on the Word of God, regardless of what senses and circumstances would
The Scripture definitely shows heart faith to be the preferable one with God. In Romans
10:9, 10 it says, “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.” And in Proverbs 3:5 the whole thing is wrapped up in one sentence:
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
This clearly shows that trust or believing in our heart is not the same as believing with
our understanding. The command is very definitely to believe with our heart and lean not
to our understanding.
There are many times when our mind (the understanding) will say, “Look at the
circumstances and what they dictate.” Yet if those circumstances dictate something which
does not agree with God’s Word, we must cast them aside and purpose to stand only on
the Word of God. If God’s Word becomes the basis of our actions and belief, we are in
The Bible says in II Corinthians 5:7 that we “walk by faith and not by sight.” This is in
our dealings with God as we endeavor to appropriate His promises. In our natural
everyday life there are many times when it is necessary and appropriate to walk by sight
rather than faith. For example, if we are crossing a busy thoroughfare in a city, we should
not close our eyes and say, “God, I’m going to cross this street by faith and not by sight,
and therefore I will keep my eyes closed and expect you to protect me as I walk to the
other side.” God has given us our five senses and expects us to use them.
The crossing of the street is not in the same realm as the healing of our bodies or the
salvation of our soul. If we depend on our senses and understanding in the crossing of the
street, we should make it safely to the other side. But the promises of God in salvation,
healing, etc., are appropriated in faith, the heart kind.
It’s our choice. We can either lean to our understanding or believe from our heart. And I
know from my own experience that believing from the heart produces many more
EXAMPLES OF HEAD FAITH
There’s a graphic example of head-faith in the account of Thomas. It’s recorded in John
20:24-29. It reads as follows:
Verse 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus
Verse 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said
unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the
print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
Verse 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them:
then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto
Verse 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and
reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
Verse 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord my God.
Verse 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed:
blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
We’ll go through this example of head-faith verse by verse. Someone might wonder why
we would even study head-faith since it’s the inferior one. The reason is simple. If a
person is in this wrong kind of faith, he needs to see himself and know that he is missing
out on the Greater Faith. If you are in head-faith, I believe this passage of Scripture will
expose the fact.
In verses 24 and 25 we read that Thomas was not with the other disciples when Jesus had
appeared unto them. This was His first appearance to them since the resurrection and
therefore very significant. When the other disciples joyfully shared with Thomas the fact
that they had seen the risen Lord, he began to voice doubts.
To paraphrase his answer to them, he said, “Fellows, you can believe it if you want to,
but I personally can’t believe unless I actually see the print of the nails, put my finger into
them, and thrust my hand into His side.” In essence he was saying that his senses would
have to be satisfied before he could believe. I find many Christians like that today.
They say that they could believe in their healing if the pain would only leave or if the
growth would disappear. Their faith is dictated by sense knowledge. If you say, “I’m
waiting until the doctor’s report is good before I will believe in my healing,” you are no
closer to heart faith than Thomas was.
Eight days after Thomas made his statements of doubt, Jesus appeared again to the
disciples, and this time Thomas was with them. Incidentally, Thomas became world
famous for his statements of doubt. There are those who use the term “doubting Thomas”
and don’t even know the origin of it. But despite his current notoriety as a doubter, we
should learn how to avoid duplicating his example.
Jesus came through the doors that were shut and said to the group, “Peace be unto you”
(verse 26). And then He said to Thomas, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands;
and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing.” I
believe the command to be not faithless but believing is significant.
Christ was telling Thomas to at least believe now that he had seen. You say, “Well,
anyone would believe with that kind of evidence.” Not necessarily. There are those who
say they would believe if they could see a miracle, yet when they come face to face with
a miracle, they refuse to believe it. Many of the unsaved are like that. Not all are, but
quite a few fit the category.
I’ve had people come to me and say, “My son is unsaved and I just know if he could see
a certain one of our relatives healed, he would believe.” Maybe so, maybe not. One
woman said that her son-in-law was getting bald and she felt if prayer was offered and
God would grow hair on his head, he would surely get saved. I thought, “It’s possible, but
he would probably just end up an unbeliever with a full head of hair, even if God caused
the hair to grow.”
I prayed for a lady and a number of miraculous healings occurred, some of them quite
obvious. Someone remarked to her husband after the service that God had miraculously
met his wife’s needs, and the husband replied, “Well, if God would do one more thing,
then I could believe.” I believe that man was completely faithless at that moment.
One woman was healed as I prayed for her of an enlarged heart, which she said was the
size of a watermelon. After the healing, the doctor said, “It’s the first time in over 20,000
cases that I’ve misread the x-rays.” That man was staring at a miracle and refusing to
believe it. He was completely void of faith. He was faithless!
Evidently that’s the reason Jesus said to Thomas, “Don’t be like some in the world who,
even though they see a miracle, won’t yet believe. But instead, now that you have seen,
believe.” He allowed Thomas to satisfy his senses and then commanded him to believe.
In John 20:28 we read that Thomas became a believer. He says, “My Lord and my God.”
Apparently there were no reservations. He was fully believing. This is faith in a measure.
Otherwise, why would Jesus say, “Be not faithless, but believing?” Christ was saying, “If
you believe now that you have seen, you will not be without faith (faithless) but in faith.”
The Scripture doesn’t say, but I would surmise that Thomas probably became a believer
when he saw Jesus come through the doors that were shut. Probably before he ever saw
the print of the nails, etc., he was saying to himself, “This has to be the Lord. No one else
could come through locked doors.” But whether he believed then or only when he saw
the print of the nails, he became a believer.
Jesus’ statement to Thomas in John 20:29 is our whole lesson summarized in a few
words. It is so important that you should underline it in your Bible. Christ said, “Thomas,
because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and
yet have believed.” Had Jesus stopped after the statement “Thomas, because thou hast
seen me, thou hast believed,” it might appear that He was endorsing Thomas’ kind of
faith as that which is all right. But He didn’t stop there. The rest of the statement shows a
Greater Faith. He said, “Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed!”
He was teaching heart faith. He implied that it was definitely preferable. And it still is.
To believe before you see is the very essence of faith, In Hebrews 11:6 we read, “But
without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that
he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him,” To have faith at all, we
must believe that He is, or, in other words, that he exists.
I was ministering in a seminar in the Midwest a few years ago, and that night we had two
healing lines. I had invite a minister friend of mine who also had a healing ministry to
join me in praying for the sick. He ministered. to people on one side of the auditorium
and I ministered on the other.
A woman watched as my friend prayed for a young lady who had flat feet. The arches
raised and the older woman got excited. She took the younger woman by the arm and led
her over to where I was. “Look at her arches,” she exclaimed. The young woman still had
her shoes in her hand, and I noticed that the arches were raised. The older woman
continued: “Oh, it’s so wonderful! I wish I could have that much faith.”
“You can,” I said.
“No I can’t either,” she said. “You prayed for me the other night and my knee is still
“Would you believe that your knee was healed,” I asked, “if it was loose and free?”
“Oh, yes, I could believe it then.”
I then asked, “Do you believe in God?”
This sounded like a very absurd question. She had just been praising God for the healing
of the younger woman and now I was asking if she even believed in God. But I had a
reason for this line of questioning.
She hesitated a moment, and then said, “Well, yes I believe in God.”
“But have you ever seen Him?” I asked.
“Do you mean to tell me,” I said, “that you believe in a God you haven’t seen?”
She looked at me rather strangely, as if to say, “Don’t we all.” I let her meditate on my
question for a few moments, and then she smiled.
“You’re catching on,” I said, “aren’t you?”
“All right, you believe in a God you haven’t seen. And now you had better believe in a
healing you haven’t seen.”
We do not say, “When I get to Heaven and am able to see God face to face, then I will
believe in Him.” But instead, we embrace Him now as very real, even though we don’t
Head-faith is strong if everything is favorable. Heart faith is just as strong in the time of
adversity as His in the time of victory, because it’s based on the Word of God. Head-faith
rises tremendously when the doctor’s report is favorable. But it plunges just as quickly
when the report is bad. It’s what I call the stock-market kind of faith. Up and down with a
If you listen to the news on television regularly, you can hear the newscaster say that the
stock market rose by so many points because of a favorable report on the economy by an
expert. But then, even the next day, if another report comes with any kind of bad news,
the stock market will lose all of its previous gain. Head-faith is just as fickle.
It can happen even in a church service. The minister can give a report regarding one of
the members. He can say simply, “I was by to see our brother yesterday and they don’t
expect him to live.” ‘When he says that, there are those in the congregation who begin to
wonder when the funeral is going to be. The man isn’t even dead yet, but they’re
wondering about the funeral. But then the next Sunday the pastor reports that a miracle
has taken place and their brother is so much better that they are planning to send him
home in a day or so. Some of the same ones who thought he was dead the week before
are ready to praise God immediately. Then the next week, though, the pastor reports that
complications have set in and that again he is not expected to live. And again they begin
to wonder when the funeral is going to be. This is head-faith. It rises and falls by the
Someone might say, “That sounds exactly like my kind of faith, but I just can’t help it.
When I hear a good report my faith automatically rises and when I hear a bad report it
automatically plunges. What can I do about it?” Just simply base your faith on another
report. What report? The Word of God!
The beautiful thing about the Word is that it will read the same tomorrow morning as it
does now. God will back it up just as much next week as He did last week, and just as
much next month as last month. In fact, Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away,
but my words shall not pass away.” God’s Word shall endure forever! This should give
us a consistent faith.
A mother I know was faced with a bad doctor’s report shortly after the birth of her baby
daughter. The child was born with an open spine –spina bifada. The doctor performed an
operation to close up the spine, but the child still had much deformity in the lower part of
her body. There was such deformity of the legs and feet that the doctor predicted the
child would not walk until about seventeen or eighteen years of age and only then
because of casts and braces used through the years to straighten the limbs.
The parents began to believe God. The mother said there were times when the doctor
would be trying to explain something to her about the child’s problem and he would say,
“I’m a busy man and don’t have time to explain fully about it, but I’ll write down on a
piece of paper the condition and you can look it up in your encyclopedia when you get
home and read more about it.”
“When I would get home,” she said, “there was a set of encyclopedias, one of the best
that money could buy, staring me in the face. And there was a strong temptation to go
over and read what was wrong with my baby. But I refused to do it, and instead, I would
go deliberately to the Bible and read God’s report.” She said this action enabled her
faith to remain strong.
I saw this little girl (the same baby) at age six and she had been walking for three years,
and I would estimate that at least 85 to 90 percent of the deformity was gone. It would
have been easy for that mother to have centered in on the doctor’s report, but she chose to
remain in heart faith by sticking with God’s Word.
EXAMPLE OF HEART FAITH
Abraham is one of the outstanding examples from God’s Word of real heart faith. It is
well worth our time to investigate the account in Romans 4:16-22.
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; who is the father of us all.
Verse 17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom
he believed, even God, who quickenth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as
though they were.
Verse 18 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.
Verse 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he
was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:
Verse 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in
faith, giving glory to God;
Verse 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to
Verse 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
What a beautiful passage! There is so much here on the subject of heart faith. Abraham
certainly exercised a Greater Faith. Verse 16 in our text tells us that it’s Abraham and his
faith about which Paul is writing. In verse 17 some astounding statements are recorded.
Paul quotes from the Old Testament when he says, “As it is written, I have made thee a
father of many nations.” This was God’s statement to Abraham. The story is simply this:
God promises Abraham that he and his wife, Sarah, would have a child even though he
was about a hundred years of age and she about ninety.
Then God said to Abraham, “I have made thee a father of many nations.” Do you realize
that God said this before He had even started on the project? The phrase “have made”
speaks of completed action. God was saying, “I have already done it.” If God cannot lie
(and we know the Bible says He can’t), how then could He truthfully say, “I have made
thee a father of many nations”?
The last of the verse shows us how or why. It says that God “calleth those things which
be not as though they were.” God calls things which are not as though they are. You say,
“I’m still confused. If God cannot lie, how can He say something is, when it is not?” I
believe He does it in a particular attitude.
I have had people make promises to me and then later, in the same conversation, they
would say, “Joe, if I have said it, it’s as good as done. Just consider it accomplished.”
Why did they say it that way? Because they had confidence in his word, how much more
does God have confidence in His Word!
Even though man would desire to perform his own word, he might fail in the attempt. But
God does not fail in an attempt to perform His Word. In Jeremiah 1:12 it says, “I will
hasten my Word to perform it.” That is God talking about His Word. In fact, they say that
a more expanded translation of it could read, “I will marshal all of the forces at my
disposal to see that my Word is performed.” If necessary, then, God can send legions of
angels to see that His Word is performed! No wonder then that He would call some
things which are not, as though they are accomplished.
You say, “Well, I see then why God calls those things which be not as though they are,
but He surely doesn’t want me to do the same.” That thinking is wrong. He does want us
to operate in a similar manner. There’s an interesting marginal reading of the middle of
verse 17. (The marginal reading to which we refer is in the Cambridge Bible, KJV.)
Where it says, “before him whom he believed, even God,” the marginal reading says,
“like unto him whom he believed, even God.” “Like unto Him”: God evidently expected
Abraham to follow in His footsteps and call those things which are not as though they
were. Would he expect less of us today? I think not.
Start claiming that healing before you see it manifested. Speak of it in the present tense.
Don’t be afraid to do it. Just decide if Abraham could do it and be pleasing to God, you
also can do it with God’s favor. Abraham could have said, “I will wait until Sarah is
expectant with child, and then believe.” But if he had, he would not have been following
God’s example of calling things which are not as though they are.
Romans 4:18 is again referring to Abraham, and it says, “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.” To become the father of many nations, Abraham had to
believe according to that which was spoken. He had something to believe. God had
spoken. If God had not spoken, then it would have been a different matter.
I hear people talk about “blind faith.” I don’t like that term because I think it gives a
wrong connotation. It makes it seem as though faith is a leap into darkness. Actually,
faith is a leap into light –the light of God’s Word! The Psalmist said, “The entrance of thy
words giveth light (Psalms 119:130).” Heart faith is always based on God’s Word.
Abraham was not off on a tangent when he chose to believe God because God had
spoken. Where people miss faith is in not appropriating God’s Word fully. They believe
in their theories and ignore God’s Word. If we do not use the Word as our foundation of
faith, any action in supposed faith will be “blind” –a leap into darkness. Satan has won
many victories over those who have failed to stand on God’s Word.
Romans 4; 19 tells us that he considered his own body not to be dead... nor Sarah’s
womb to be dead. He believed that God could give life to a body otherwise dead in child-
bearing capacities. And the same for Sarah, his wife. I’ve ministered to those for healing
who would say, “But I’m old and I don’t know whether I can be healed or not.” Or
another might say, “But I’ve had this condition so long.” They are weak in faith. But
Abraham wasn’t. His age and Sarah’s age made no difference to him. If God had spoken,
that was sufficient.
In Romans 4:20 we read that Abraham “staggered not at the promise of God through
unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.” He staggered not at the promise of
God. There are so many who stagger at God’s promises. People will believe their best
friend before they will believe God. The friend calls one day and invites the couple for a
dinner meal the next day. When the phone conversation is ended, all the invited party has
to go on is the word of their friend. Yet they begin to believe in a meal and time of
fellowship that they have neither seen nor experienced. They believe firmly even though
there is nothing in evidence but the spoken word of the friend. They are believing in the
word of a friend who could fail to perform. Yet they continue to believe.
How it must grieve God for us to stagger at His promises. He will not fail to perform His
Word, but we fail in faith. I recently saw a motto on a pastor’s desk. I can’t forget what it
said. It read, “Worry slanders every promise of the Word of God.” Think about that.
Since then, every time there is a temptation to worry, I think about that motto.
How was Abraham able to stay strong in faith? The last of verse 20 tells us: By giving
glory to God! Or by praising the Lord. He undoubtedly praised God many times before
the child came. I’m sure it wasn’t easy each time to praise God. I’m sure the enemy
probably said many times, “You’re a fool for believing God. It’s been years now and
nothing has happened. You thought you heard God, but it’s obvious you didn’t. Why
don’t you just give up and quit praising God?”
Praising the Lord in advance is one of the great ingredients of heart faith. I’ve had to do it
many times. One such time was when I had just concluded a revival meeting. When I
received the check for the two weeks of offerings, I quickly realized that I would need
more than that to tide me over until the next meeting, which was not scheduled for two
weeks. I began to praise God for meeting the need, even though nothing had happened.
Many doubts came. It took a sacrifice of praise almost every time I lifted my voice. And
then one day I went to the post office and there was a letter from the church where I had
closed the meeting about a week before. The pastor wrote, “Brother, the church board
and I felt that the offerings we gave you were not in the measure they should have been,
in light of the blessings we received from your ministry. Therefore, they (the church
board) instructed me to send you this check.” I held that letter and check in my hand and
tears rolled down my cheeks. An automatic praise came forth from my lips. It was easy to
praise God, since the answer had come. Yet I believe the sacrifices of praise before that
had triggered the answer to prayer. Give glory to God before you see
Romans 4:21 states that Abraham was “fully persuaded that, what God had promised, he
was able also to perform.” He was fully persuaded! I find a lot of people who are partly
persuaded. Some of them five percent, some ten percent, and maybe some are twenty or
thirty percent persuaded. But very few are fully persuaded.
Some people are so unpersuaded that they will not even go forward for prayer. One such
case was that of a woman who informed me at the end of a Sunday morning service in
her church that she would not be able to be in the rest of the meeting. She then explained
that she was checking into the hospital that afternoon at three o’clock and would have an
operation the next morning for the removal of her gall bladder.
I asked her if she would like for me to pray for her healing. She looked at me rather
strangely, and if I could read her thoughts by the expression on her face, she was
thinking, “Brother, it’s only a gall bladder operation and I have a good doctor.” It’s
obvious she wasn’t even thinking about prayer for healing. She finally answered by
saying, “Well, you can pray for me if you wish.”
I prayed for her and all the pain left her body. But I sensed as she left the building that
she was still going to check into the hospital that afternoon and have the operation. She
did, and the next morning after the operation, the doctor just shook his head and said to
her husband, “I really wouldn’t have had to operate. The stones were ready to pass.” God
had healed the woman despite her unbelief. She certainly was not fully persuaded though,
After praying for one woman in a healing line, I said, Let’s just believe that you’re
healed.” She crossed her fingers and said, “Oh, I hope so.” I thought, “Lady, you don’t
cross your fingers and hope that it comes to pass. That’s not the way it works. There are
probably many who would not cross their fingers, but yet would go away just hoping that
somehow their healing would come to pass. They might as well cross their fingers,
because they are certainly not believing. They are not fully persuaded. There is proof in
Romans 4:22 that Abraham was exercising heart faith. Even though heart faith is not
mentioned, a careful study of the verse brings it out. Let’s analyze it. It says, “And
therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.” The word “therefore” means “for
these reasons,” and whatever those reasons were, it was because of them that it was
imputed to him for righteousness. What were the reasons?
Verse 18 says that Abraham believed “according to that which was spoken. . .
Verse 19 –Abraham “considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a
hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb.”
Verse 20 —Abraham “staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was
strong in faith, giving glory to God.”
Verse 21 –Abraham “was fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also
For the above four reasons and perhaps others which are not recorded, it was imputed to
Abraham for righteousness. And it says in Romans 10:10 that it is with the heart that
man believes unto righteousness!
Abraham had heart faith. What an outstanding example of the Greater Faith. Each of us
should be continually challenged by the example of Abraham to believe from the heart.
I would like to share some testimonies which I believe are modem day examples of heart
faith. One concerns a friend of mine who is a charismatic Catholic. Tom has a strong
faith, one which would put some Protestants to shame. He said that he had a mole on his
body which, as he described it, was “angry looking.” One evening as he was preparing to
shower, he noticed it and became temporarily concerned, but then he said, “Whatever it
is, it’s taken care of in Jesus.” He then prayed along these lines, “God I thank you that
you have taken it away, and by the stripes of Jesus I am healed.” But the mole remained.
How could he say truthfully, “God you have taken it away”? He was calling something
which was not as though it were. The next night as he again prepared to shower, he
prayed the same prayer, and again nothing happened. The next night the same prayer
again, and again nothing happened. He continued this every night for almost three
months without any tangible results.
But then after almost three months of praying the same prayer and believing the same
truth, something happened. He prayed the same prayer that night, and when he took his
thumb away from the spot, the mole had stuck lightly to his thumb and he just flicked it
off on the floor. He looked down and there wasn’t even a scar on his side. That is heart
faith. Head-faith would have given up after only a few days, but heart faith plunged on,
not knowing how long it would take, but yet in persistent belief.
An evangelist gave the following testimony. At the time of the happening the evangelist
was then pastoring a Pentecostal church. He said some young people from his church
went visiting on a Sunday afternoon, inviting people to church. They apparently were just
going to homes at random. At one home, a very gracious lady invited them in.
They found out that she had a baby who was existing “as a vegetable.” They said, “Bring
the baby to the church and the pastor will pray for him and God will heal him.”
“Oh, I would love to,” she said, “but I can’t. I’m Catholic, and we’re not allowed to
attend Protestant services.” That was in the days when Catholics were not allowed to
attend Protestant services. They are, of course, today.
One of the young people came up with a compromise. He said, “The pastor is beginning a
tent revival next week. So why don’t you come and just sit in the car and listen over the
loudspeakers. And then after the service we will have him come to the car and pray for
your baby. You won’t have to go under the tent.”
The mother agreed to this and came the next week.
The pastor said, “I went out to that car, prayed for the baby and handed him back to the
mother apparently in the same condition.” Perhaps we should add another couple of
details. The child was about 1½ years of age, couldn’t stiffen his body, and apparently
had no mind.
The next morning nothing had happened. But the mother began to exercise a real heart
faith. She said, “I believe that God has healed my baby, and since he’s healed, he’s going
to walk, and since he’s going to walk, he needs shoes. Therefore, I shall go to the store
and purchase shoes.” She purchased the shoes, came home, and put them on the child.
She then stood him up and the child fell to the floor.
The majority of people would have backed off at a time like this. But that mother’s faith
was undaunted! She picked the child up, holding him under the arm with one hand, and
then pointing her finger at his face, said, “Now, Jesus has healed you and you stand
there!” They say the child stood and came into complete healing.
The evangelist said that he moved from the city shortly after that and did not get the full
story for a number of years. Several years later, he was back in the city visiting. He said
that he and his wife were grocery shopping when a little boy wheeled past them, riding
on the back of a grocery cart. His wife asked him if he knew who the child was.
“No,” he said.
“That was the little Catholic boy you prayed for,” she said. He said the child was as
normal as any child in the community.
How could that mother say to her child that Jesus had healed him before there was any
evidence? Again, we repeat, she followed the example of God by “calling those things
which be not as though they were.”
An outstanding example of heart faith began to produce results recently with a woman in
Georgia. I know this lady and observed her part of the time she was exercising heart faith.
This is quite a story! For twenty years this lady was completely blind. She said it was as
black as midnight. There was no light perception whatsoever.
The condition was due to the fact that the sockets of her eyes had not developed since
birth. The eyes developed, but not the sockets. This caused the sight to be squeezed from
the optic nerve. She said, “For about sixteen years I begged and pleaded with God to heal
me.” Then she came into some teaching on faith that enabled her to move from head-faith
to heart faith.
She began to claim her healing and praise God accordingly. For four years she continued
this without any tangible results. Can you imagine the temptations towards
discouragement? Yet she persisted in the Greater Faith. Then, very recently, as I
conducted a healing service in a neighboring town, she attended and was again thrilled at
the message of faith and what was happening to others. But she had no way of knowing
what would happen on the way home that night.
She had attended many of my services before without anything taking place. But that
night on the way home as she was riding with others in a church van, she noticed two car
lights following the bus. She had assumed that the back of the van was solid and did not
therefore realize it had a back window.
She studied this phenomenon for a while, thinking that her eyes were playing tricks on
her. Then, after a while longer, she asked the woman next to her if there was a window in
the back of the van and, if so, were those car lights following them. The friend said,
“Yes.” And she said, “I’m seeing them.” Needless to say, the driver stopped the van and
they had a praise meeting. He would put his hand over the dome light and then take it
away, and she could tell each time what he was doing.
That morning she saw the sun rise for the first time in twenty years. She could tell the
color of her refrigerator the next day. She had somehow assumed that it was green but
discovered it was white instead. The next night she didn’t attend church because of
tiredness in her body. She had been unable to sleep for two nights because of the
excitement. But victory had begun its manifestation in her eyesight.
For sixteen years she was in head-faith, but for four years she had exercised heart faith.
Why did it take four years? I don’t have the answer and she probably doesn’t either.
Heart faith persisted for four long years. If God had said to her, “It will take four years,”
it would have been easier.
There are probably those who thought during the four years that she was foolish for
believing in a healing that so obviously had not manifested itself. When you’re in heart
faith, there will be plenty of people around trying to discourage you. They do not
understand the nature of heart faith.
But the Bible says in Romans 3:3,4 “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.” Hold fast to your faith.
Head-faith fails when the answer is delayed, but heart faith remains strong because it
says, “The answer is surely coming and I shall be rewarded eventually.”
Head-faith leans to the understanding and tries to figure out the whole thing. That’s the
problem with the atheist. He tried to figure out everything and came to the absurd
conclusion that there is no God. God has told him in His Word to “confess with his
mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in his heart that God has raised him from the dead, and
then he will be saved.” Don’t ask for proof of Jesus’ being raised from the dead; just
believe it in your heart.
Thomas voiced his doubts and only believed when he saw. That was no great feat. Was
that the Greater Faith? No, certainly not. But Abraham believed God when there was
nothing in evidence. He chose to trust in God with all his heart and lean not to his own
understanding. Was that the Greater Faith? Undoubtedly, it was. Such faith still is the
Remember the words of Jesus: “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed:
blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Blessed are they that have
not seen and yet have believed!
We should memorize that statement and purpose at all times to believe before we see if
we have God’s Word on the subject.
You can be another Thomas if you wish, voicing doubts, and living a defeated life; or you
can be another Abraham, voicing praise, and living in the realm of victory. The choice is
But let’s be challenged by the Word to live in a Greater Faith, the heart kind!
LYING VANITIES OPPOSE FAITH
HEALED BY TRUTH
In a recent meeting, before the service began, a lady asked if she could talk with me for a
moment. She said, “I have had an incurable condition for a number of years. I know that
you will probably not agree with me, but I believe it’s God’s will for me to have the
I assured her that I did not believe it was God’s will for her to be sick.
She replied, “The reason I believe it’s God’s will for me to have the disease is because I
feel closer to God as a result.”
I said, “You need to hear the sermon tonight.”
She laughed and said, “I told a friend that last night’s sermon was for her, so I guess
tonight’s sermon is for me.”
I suggested that she listen attentively and she promised to do so. Later that evening, as I
neared the end of the sermon, she began to cry uncontrollably. She was attracting so
much attention that I stopped preaching.
I assumed that the Word was opening up God’s will to her and I explained to the
congregation that I felt she was being blessed by the truth of the Word because of a
She said, “Oh, it’s more than that. I felt the healing taking place in my body.”
The enemy had lied to that woman and God’s Word exposed the lie and even brought the
manifestation of the healing.
The sermon I preached that night is the same message I desire to convey in this booklet.
It’s taken from texts in Jonah 2:8-10 and II Corinthians 10:4, 5. Let’s consider first the
passage in Jonah 2:8-10:
Verse 8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
Verse 9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I
have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.
Verse 10 And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
WHAT IS A LYING VANITY?
The verse in Jonah 2:8 first came to my attention when a pastor suggested that I use it as
a text for a sermon. He shared a testimony which went along with it. Although the verse
was interesting, I didn’t give it much more thought at the time. I saw the pastor again
after about two years, and he asked if I had ever preached from the text.
When I answered that I hadn’t, he asked if I remembered the testimony which
accompanied it. I replied that it was just vague in my mind and he then shared it with me
again. Then he said, “I seriously think you ought to preach from that text.” I realize now
that God was leading him to say those things to me, because it spurred me to study the
verse and then preach it.
The accompanying testimony was that of a woman who was dying of cancer. She was
very spiritual and had enjoyed a very effective ministry among many. She had prayed for
the sick and had seen God perform many miracles. Yet she was in a dying condition
according to the doctors. Someone might ask, “Why was she so ill if she had a ministry in
praying for others to be healed?”
The fact is that regardless of how much God uses a particular vessel, they have to fight
their own battles in faith. This was certainly true in this case. God was merciful, however.
One day, he spoke to an evangelist who was over a thousand miles away at the time. The
evangelist was mowing his lawn when God said to him, “Shut off the lawn mower, go
call that woman, and tell her to read Jonah 2:8 and if she will take care of the problem, I
will heal her.”
The evangelist obeyed and the lady believed it was God’s message to her. She took care
of the problem and was completely healed. What was the problem? According to the
verse, she had been “observing Lying Vanities and thereby forsaking her own mercy.”
What are these Lying Vanities? Most of the scholars agree that they were specifically the
idols which the heathen nations worshipped and even sometimes Israel, too. You might
ask, “Was this lady worshipping idols?” No, but I believe there is a greater meaning to
this verse, applicable to us today.
Even though the idol was just so much wood or stone, it represented a lie of the enemy
and definitely an effrontery to God. God had commanded them to worship Him and Him
only, yet a lying spirit from the enemy would entice them to erect another “God” and
worship it. But how does that apply to someone today who is not worshipping an idol?
Because there are many lies the enemy tells us which are also an effrontery to God and
In a broader sense and in line with our present culture, a Lying Vanity becomes a lying,
vain, evil spirit which comes with a message purported to be truth, but one which is an
absolute lie. The suggestion to worship an idol in Israel’s day was a lie but paraded as a
truth. A similar thing happens today as a suggestion comes to us which seems logical, but
which does not agree with the Word.
These lying spirits will parade themselves even above God Himself, and say, “This is the
message of truth. It is God’s will for you be sick of this disease, etc.” Then people
embrace the lie as truth and believe it firmly. The question then becomes, “Why would a
Christian believe the lie of the enemy, realizing it is the enemy?” Oh, but the problem is,
they don’t know it is the enemy speaking to them.
The Lying Vanity does not introduce himself and say, “This is a lying spirit sent from the
Devil himself, and I have a pack of lies for you. If you believe what I have to say, you
will be utterly defeated. Therefore, I would advise you to• resist me and I will flee from
before you.” It would be so much easier if they did it that way. Instead, the lying spirit
will come as an “angel of light” and claim that his message is truth from God, when it
actually is a lie. His purpose is to undermine your faith.
This fact may frighten some Christians as they perceive how easy it is for the lying spirit
to deceive them. Then the question becomes, “How can I know whether the message is
from God or not, if the lying spirit pretends to be from God and purports his. message to
be from God?” The answer is found in the words of Jesus as recorded in John 8:32:
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
To the degree that we know the Word, we can go free from the lie and bondage of the
enemy. Anything or any message that disagrees with the Word of God should be rejected.
HOW TO FIGHT
The passage in II Corinthians 10:4, 5 is very important to this study. It reads as follows:
Verse 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the
pulling down of strong holds;
Verse 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the
knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
The apostle Paul is referring here to the spiritual war which we wage against the evil one.
He says, “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal,” or in other words, not in the
natural. We should remember that we cannot defeat the enemy by any natural means, but
instead that our weapons are “mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.”
There are many times in which the enemy builds a stronghold and we have to tear it
down. How can we do it? The next verse (5) gives us the answer. The first portion says to
“cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of
God.” The word “imaginations” is better translated “reasonings,” or we could say
“logical things.” Some arguments of the enemy are very logical in light of present
circumstances, such as symptoms of a particular disease. But we are to cast down even
reasonable and logical things if they do not agree with God’s Word.
It says to “cast down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.”
What are these high things? They are the lying, vain, evil spirits, or in other words, Lying
Vanities. They are so vain that they parade their message even above God’s Word. We
are to cast aside any thing like this and its message if it exalts itself against the
knowledge of God.
What is the knowledge of God? The Word of God. God has revealed Himself and His
will for us through His Word. It is through the Word that we have learned that God is
manifested in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is through the
Word that we know that the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.
Therefore, we can definitely say that the knowledge of God is in the Word of God.
Then it should be clear from this scripture that we are to cast down any message and any
thing that exalts itself against the Word of God. More than ever, then, we should
remember to check every message against the Word of God, regardless of how
reasonable or logical it might seem.
DEFEATED BY A LIE
A few years ago I was conducting a meeting in which many had been experiencing the
baptism in the Holy Spirit. A man who had been attending was inspired to tell a friend of
his about the results. The friend had been seeking the experience for a long time. The two
men came to the service and it seemed that God fashioned the sermon that night for the
man who had been seeking.
I did not realize that the man was there as a candidate for the experience, but I was led of
the Holy Spirit to preach on the subject of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. After the
sermon I gave an invitation for those desiring this experience to come forward. I assured
the congregation that it was easy for anyone to receive this precious gift from God and
that a high percentage of those who had come forward in past services had received. But
no one responded.
After I had dismissed the congregation, the man who had brought his friend came to talk
with me. He said, “I brought a friend of mine who has been seeking the baptism in the
Holy Spirit for a long time with me tonight.” He continued, “I thought he would come
forward to receive, because he was excited about the prospect of receiving when we came
tonight, but when you gave the invitation, I couldn’t get him to go forward.” He then
asked, “Would you please go back and talk with him?”
I talked with him and asked, “Is it true that you’ve been seeking a long time for the
experience of the baptism in the Holy Spirit?”
He replied, “Yes, that’s right.”
I then asked, “Is it also true that you came tonight expecting to receive?”
He answered, “Yes.”
I said, “Well, praise the Lord. I can give you some scriptural instructions and then you
His answer surprised me. He said, “No I can’t either.”
I asked, “Why do you say that?’
He said, “Because God spoke to me in the middle of the sermon and said, ‘Tonight is not
I tried to convince him that God could not have spoken that to him because it did not
agree with the accounts in the Bible, in which it says that if any received they all did
(Acts 2:4; 8:17; 10:46; 19:6). Evidently, God was ready at any time to fill believers with
His Spirit. However, despite my efforts to persuade the man of this fact, he steadfastly
remained convinced that God had said, “Tonight is not your night.”
People like this are the hardest to deal with. They think that God has spoken and,
therefore, would not want to do anything to change it. They forget that God does not ever
speak or act contrary to His Word. They become perfect targets for Lying Vanities.
Many healings are either lost or missed through people listening to Lying Vanities. Faith
is undermined through the lie and the person then assumes that it is not God’s will to heal
them or for them to stay healed.
This was almost true with a woman to whom I ministered a few years ago. She came to a
morning teaching session I was conducting in a church. As we were entering the building,
I was just a few steps behind her. I noticed that she had a very pronounced limp. I thought
to myself, “If she wants to be healed, she can be.” I didn’t realize how significant this
thought was. You might question, “Why would anyone in such a condition not want to be
healed?” Because in many cases the enemy has talked them out of it.
I then began the teaching session, which was on the subject of the fruit of the Spirit.
During the time of teaching, I forgot about the woman’s condition and to me she was just
another face in the congregation. At the end of the lesson, I asked for questions. The
woman raised her hand and mentioned that her question was not on the subject which I
had taught, but instead on the subject of healing. She asked if it would be all right to ask
it and I assured her that it would be.
She then explained her condition. She said, “I was born with a deformed hip and slowly
through the years it has been deteriorating, and my leg is about 2½ inches shorter than the
other. The hip is arthritic and in constant pain.” She then asked, “Do you think since God
created me in this condition that it would be His will to heal me?” 51. I didn’t believe that
God had created her in that condition, but I knew that she believed it, and that to argue
the matter with her would probably not change her thinking. I was groping for an answer
when the Holy Spirit prompted me to say the following. I said, “I will answer your
question with a question.”
“Do you believe that Jesus Christ did the complete will of the Heavenly Father in every
word or deed when He was here on the earth?” I asked.
She answered, “Yes, I do.”
I then asked, “Did you ever read that he healed a man who was blind from birth?”
“Yes, I have,” she said.
I continued by asking, “Do you then believe that it was God’s will to heal that man even
though he was blind from birth?”
Without hesitation she answered, “Yes, I do.”
My question then became, “Do you believe then that it is God’s will to heal you?”
This time she hesitated a short while before answering. Then she said, “Yes, I do.”
I said, “Come forward then; I want to pray for you.”
She came forward and I had her sit in a chair and extend her legs out in front of her on a
level with her hips. As I held her feet in my hands, it was obvious that where as an
approximate difference of about 2½ inches in the length of her legs. I prayed, believing
and thanking God for the miracle, and in about five seconds the leg had lengthened the
She felt the leg lengthening and began to cry like a baby. I asked her to stand and begin to
walk. She did and the pronounced limp was gone. There was a very slight hitch to her
step, but if you compared it to that which had been there previously, you would have to
say that at least 99 percent of it was gone.
She took about five steps and turned to the woman who had come with her and said,
“Jessie, I don’t limp any more!”
Jessie replied, “I know it, honey.”
She took a few more steps and said again, “Jessie, I don’t limp any more!”
She may have repeated that statement five or six times in the next few minutes. I doubt if
there was a dry eye among the congregation. We had witnessed a miracle. It was evident
that it was God’s will to heal her. Yet a Lying Vanity had logically suggested that maybe
it wasn’t God’s will to heal her since she was “created that way.” Do you see how close
the enemy came to defeating her through reasoning? Satan doesn’t want us healed and
will do anything possible to undermine our faith. Thank God in that case we were able to
expose the lie of the enemy and cause the person to see the truth in God’s Word.
However, in another instance a person was defeated as she observed the lie of the enemy.
had just finished a service when a woman came to me and said, “Brother Jordan, I just
know that it’s God’s will for me to die of this cancer.” I looked at her and thought, “How
can you be deceived by the enemy that way?” I knew that she had been attending many
faith classes in which I had been instructing, and also that she had been listening to some
tapes on faith by a teacher who was among the best.
I was convinced that it was God’s will to heal her of the condition, but to convince her of
it was impossible. She was unwittingly believing the lie of the enemy and thinking it was
God’s message to her. Sometimes people will question our believing in a case such as
this, by saying, “Well, Paul had a thorn in the flesh and maybe that’s the reason in this
case that the person has to suffer and even die.” They are majoring on Paul’s “thorn in the
flesh” and minoring on the ministry of Jesus in trying to determine God’s will in the
It is true that Paul had a “thorn in the flesh” (II Corinthians 12:7). All we know for sure
about it is the fact that it was a “messenger sent from the enemy to buffet him.” We
cannot prove that it was a physical infirmity. Yet the enemy, who does not want people
healed, will say to a person that his illness is the will of God because of the fact that Paul
had the “thorn in the flesh.” He doesn’t bother to remind him that he cannot prove that
Paul’s problem was even physical. Also, Paul said that the “thorn in the flesh” was
allowed to remain there because of the abundant revelation he had experienced. Until you
have had similar abundant revelations, don’t even consider that you have a “thorn in the
But if you want to know whether it is God’s will to heal everyone or not, look at the
ministry of Jesus. As we stated previously, every action, word, or deed of Jesus Christ
was the will of the Heavenly Father. We do not read that he went about afflicting people
with cancer, etc., but instead that He “went about doing good, and healing all that were
oppressed of the devil” (Acts 10:38). Oh, surely there were those He passed by at times,
whom He didn’t heal. But they didn’t reach out to Him asking for mercy. Yet when
people would reach out to Him for healing, He would not turn them down nor afflict
them further, but instead He healed them. Perhaps you can understand now why I
suggest, don’t major on Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” and minor on the ministry of Jesus in
trying to determine God’s will in healing.
A coed at a large state university was walking across the campus, thinking about the joy
and peace she had in Jesus Christ. She had a foot that had turned in since childhood and
even made rapid walking or running difficult at times. She looked up at the sky and said,
“God, I know that You’re alive and that Jesus is my Lord. And I also know that by Your
power You can now straighten my foot.” She looked down at her foot and it was straight!
It stayed straight for two days and then turned in again. The enemy told her that a two-
day healing was all she could have.
He didn’t tell her that her foot had not been straight, because she had seen it. But he
endeavored to talk her out of anything more than a two-day healing. She accepted the fact
of nothing more than a two-day healing, not realizing she was observing the lie of the
enemy. She wrote her parents, telling of this glorious short-term healing, saying that she
realized it was all God meant her to have. Her father had been attending some services in
which I had been teaching on faith, and he realized that his daughter had been listening to
a lie of the enemy without knowing it. He wrote her and said, “It’s a lie of the enemy that
you can only have a two-day healing. Get down to business in faith, resist the devil, and
claim a permanent healing.”
She resisted the devil and the foot straightened. It was straight for a day or so and then
turned in again. She resisted the enemy again and the foot straightened. In a short time it
turned in again. To sum it up, the foot turned in and straightened seven times before it
This was over a period of about a week and a half. I saw her father several years later and
he said that his daughter’s foot had been straight ever since. It was God’s will for her foot
to be straight, but a Lying Vanity had another message and almost kept her from a
The second half of the fifth verse of II Corinthians 10 is also worthy of careful study. It
says, “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” Why are
thoughts mentioned here? Because it is in our thought life that the enemy chiefly works.
Our mind is the battlefield with these Lying Vanities. It is rare when the enemy speaks to
a person in an audible voice, but it is common when he suggests a thought. Therefore,
God has said to bring every thought into captivity.
In other words, have a roundup of your thoughts. Corral them! Take an inventory and
cast out every thought that disagrees with the Word. It says to bring them into captivity
for what purpose? To the “obedience of Christ.” That is equal to the Word. Jesus is the
living Word. Therefore, if we bring thoughts into captivity to the obedience of the written
Word, it is equivalent to the obedience of the living Word, Jesus.
If a thought is in agreement with the Word of God, entertain it, believe it, embrace it, and
know that it will do you good. But if a thought is in disagreement with the Word, cast it
out no matter how reasonable or logical it might seem in light of circumstances. It is of
the enemy if it does not agree with God’s message, the Word. This action will bring
victory every time.
FORSAKING OUR MERCY
Although we have covered the meaning of the term Lying Vanity, we should take another
look at Jonah 2:8 for an additional lesson. It says, “They that observe lying vanities
forsake their own mercy.” What does “forsake their own mercy” mean? Apparently the
fact is that we are keeping God’s extension of mercy from reaching us personally when
we observe the lies of the enemy.
We know that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). If this is true, then why do
some receive so much more from God than others? I can answer from my own
experience. There was a time in my life in which I was very weak in faith and was surely
listening to frequent lies of the enemy. I wondered why some people received so much
from God and why so many times I was seemingly passed by. I know now that in
observing the Lying Vanities, I was forsaking my own mercy, or in other words, the
mercy of God meant for me personally. When I learned some necessary lessons in faith
and began to believe God’s Word more than the lies of the enemy, I found that God’s
extension of mercy in healing, etc., was abundant toward me.
This is especially true with the unsaved. In II Peter 3:9 God says that he is “not willing
that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Yet we see more around
us perishing than coming to repentance. The vast majority of the world is unsaved, and
even in America where the gospel is preached many times daily on radio, frequently on
television, and available abundantly in printed form, there is a majority still unsaved.
Why? Because God is not willing to save them? No, definitely not. He is willing to save,
but they do not will to be saved.
They are listening to lies of the enemy, and even though the mercy of God tries to reach
them, it surges and flows against a barrier of unbelief. Some of the lies of the evil one are
very common. One of them is, “There is no God.” He gets some people to believe that
lie. According to Hebrews 11:6 it is impossible for God to extend His mercy to a person
as long as he is believing that lie. The verse says, “Without faith it is impossible to please
Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of
them that diligently seek Him.” We must believe that He is, or in other words, that He
does exist. Without that kind of faith, it is impossible to please Him.
We can easily see then why the enemy tries to get people to believe that lie, for he knows
that as long as they believe it, it is impossible to please God. However, there are many
who won’t listen to a lie that absurd. So he tries another approach. He says, “There may
be some kind of a God or supreme being up there somewhere, but He is not interested in
you and there is no life after death.” That seems reasonable to some and they go through
life assuming that there is probably no life after death, so why make any preparation?
They figure there is no heaven to gain and no hell to shun. It’s a lie of the enemy, but
they don’t realize it.
Others say, “Yes, there is a God and a life after death, but the proper way to prepare is
just to live a good moral life.” Again, it’s a lie of the enemy. They do not know that
“there is no other name given among men, whereby they must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The
only name, of course, is Jesus. They fail to accept Christ as Lord and remain in sin,
thinking their good moral life is sufficient. Their sin is their failure to accept Christ.
Then there are some who firmly believe that God exists, that Christ is the only means of
salvation, and that they need to accept Him as Lord. But a Lying Vanity tells them, “You
couldn’t live the life of a Christian if you tried, and you would just be a hypocrite.” Not
once does the lying spirit inform them that the Bible says, “Therefore if any man be in
Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become
new” (II Corinthians 5:17). Also, they are not informed by the evil spirit of the verse in
John 1:12 where it says, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to
become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.”
There are many thousand who now know that is a lie of the enemy to tell them that they
couldn’t live the life. Why? Because they are living it. It has been estimated that there
were hundreds of thousands of young people saved in the Jesus movement. Talk to some
of them who were delivered from a heroin habit about living the life. They know they are
delivered, that they can live a consistent Christian life. They know they are “new
creatures” in Jesus, that they have “power to be sons of God.” Yet the enemy continues to
successfully lie to others with far lesser problems than a heroin habit, telling if they
accepted Christ. As long as they listen to his lies, they are “forsaking their own mercy.”
THE EXPERIENCE OF JONAH
We can learn from Jonah’s predicament and subsequent prayer as he was in the fish’s
belly. The account is in Jonah 2:1-7,
Verse 1 Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly,
Verse 2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and He heard me;
out of the belly of hell cried I, and Thou heardest my voice.
Verse 3 For Thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods
compassed me about: all Thy billows and Thy waves passed over me.
Verse 4 Then I said, I am cast out of Thy sight; yet I will look again toward Thy holy
Verse 5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round
about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.
Verse 6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about
me for ever: yet hast Thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.
Verse 7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in
unto Thee, into Thine holy temple.
93. This was Jonah’s prayer while still in the belly of the fish. However, before we take a
further look at the prayer, perhaps we should recap the story of Jonah as to why he was in
the belly of the fish. There might be a few readers who would not know otherwise.
94. Jonah was commanded of God to go to a city named Nineveh and prophesy that God
would destroy it. Jonah refused to go and God caused him to be swept overboard at sea,
and to be swallowed by a giant fish. And so it is Jonah’s prayer while in the belly of the
fish which we will study.
Jonah describes how bad it is. Some of his statements are “out of the belly of hell cried
I ... all Thy billows and Thy waves passed over me ... I am cast out of Thy sight ... the
waters compassed me about... I went down to the bottoms of the mountains... the earth
with her bars was about me forever.”
Obviously, Jonah is despairing for his life. Circumstances dictated this was the end. It
would be most difficult at a time such as this to maintain faith. Yet in verse 7 we read,
“When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto
Thee, into Thine holy temple.” Evidently Jonah came very close to death before he
remembered God’s mercy. When his soul “fainted within him” he remembered the Lord.
Then in verse 8 he makes sort of a parenthetical statement when he says, “They that
observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.” He is suddenly aware that by observing
the lies of the enemy, he could be forsaking the mercy of God. He refuses to listen any
more to the lies of the enemy. What had the enemy told him? We don’t know for sure but
probably something along this line: “You’ve disobeyed God and you’re going to die.”
It is a favorite trick of the enemy to take advantage of a time in which we have disobeyed
God and use it as a means of condemnation against us forever if we let him. I have talked
with people who were condemned for something they had done, perhaps 30 years before,
and were afraid that God had not forgiven them even though they had asked for
forgiveness. It’s a lie of the enemy, but they don’t realize it.
Not once would any lying spirit dealing with Jonah remind him of the mercy of God, but
he remembered anyway. Jonah rejects all lies of the enemy, reminding himself that “they
that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy” (verse 8), and then makes his
decision to overcome by saying, “But I will sacrifice unto Thee with the voice of
thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9).
Notice that Jonah lifts his voice in a sacrifice of praise while still in the belly of the fish.
This is significant. If he had waited until he was on the beach delivered, it would not have
meant as much. It’s easy for a person after the prayer has been answered to offer a praise
unto God. It is almost automatic after the deliverance is manifested. If a person who has
had cancer is leaving the doctor’s office with proof from x-rays that the cancer has
miraculously disappeared, it is easy to praise God. It is difficult, though, before those x-
rays give proof. Jonah praised God before the proof.
I remember a time in my early ministry in which there were severe financial problems. I
was conducting a Sunday night service in a church and God was blessing. The enemy
spoke to me and said, “Here you are praising God for those things and you have unpaid
bills at home.” That was true, but only because not enough money had come in through
offerings to pay them. I said to the enemy, “Satan, I don’t work for you, and I don’t work
for man. I work for God; therefore it’s his responsibility.” When I got home the next day
there was a letter from a man I had not met who said that God had told him to send me
$150. There were tears in my eyes and an automatic praise on my lips. You would think
after that that the enemy would never be able to tempt me with another doubt. Yet, just
about two years after that, I had completed a two weeks’ meeting in a church and when
they gave me the check, representing the offerings, I knew that the amount was far less
than what I needed for the next few weeks.
The enemy told me we wouldn’t make it until the next scheduled meeting. I had to
sacrifice praise each day. It wasn’t easy. One day a letter came from the church where I
had just conducted the meeting. They had decided to send an extra amount of money,
feeling that the offerings had not been what they should. It was easy then to praise God
with the check in my hand.
Jonah praised God, promised to pay that which he had vowed, and said, “Salvation is of
the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). Note that he said, “Salvation is of the Lord” while still in the fish.
Verse 10 then tells of Jonah’s deliverance. Undoubtedly, it makes a difference with God
when we refuse the lies of the enemy and instead offer a praise to our Lord.
THE POWER OF THE TONGUE
MORE THAN POSITIVE SPEAKING
This lesson on the power of the tongue contains probably the most dynamic truth of any
in our Encyclopedia of Faith. There certainly is power in our tongue, or, in other words,
in what we say with our mouth. Because I place such a strong emphasis on the
importance of a proper confession when I teach this lesson publicly, some misunderstand
and think it’s nothing more than a lecture on the power of positive thinking or positive
speaking. It’s far more than that.
Salesmen are motivated to think positively regarding their product and their ability to
sell. Many of them experience a definite increase as they adopt a positive attitude and
approach. Some sales companies even hire a special speaker to come for the purpose of
motivating their men. It produces results because of certain natural laws which affect
people positively when observed. Yet this falls far short of faith in God. The reason is,
the salesman is motivated to believe in himself and his ability.
This is not true as we align with God through His Word, and speak in faith that which He
has decreed, because God is supernatural and there is no limit to His ability. The
salesman is limited, if nothing else, by 24 hours a day, or a certain number of people he
can possibly contact, or by a certain amount of territory humanly possible to cover. God
is limited by none of these since He is supernatural and can do more in a split second than
man can do in a lifetime. Therefore, the truths we are going to share with you will
produce supernatural results because they are scriptural, and consequently backed by a
God who sits on His throne in the heavens.
Our primary base of Scripture for this lesson is found in Proverbs 18:14, 20, 21. We’ll
examine these verses one at a time.
SUSTAINING THE WRONG THING
Proverbs 18:14 says:
Verse 14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity, but a wounded spirit who can
“The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity.” What does that mean? Well, it means just
what it says, that within our spirit we can sustain the wrong things. Now remember this –
we are a triune being; we’re made up of not only a body, and not even just a soul... we
have a spirit, too! Spirit, soul and body. This is important to realize. There are a lot of
people who don’t know this. They assume the soul and the spirit are the same thing. They
can’t be the same because there’s a division in the scripture. In Hebrews 4:12 it says that
“the Word is quick and powerful, sharper even than a two-edged sword, piercing even to
the dividing asunder of the soul and the spirit.” There has to be some division between
the two for the Word of God to be able to divide between them.
In Proverbs 18:14, it states that the spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity. It makes a
difference what gets down into our spirit. I believe the spirit of a man is that which is
down on the inside of him, the real man, the real him, and consequently we can get things
down into our spirit or heart that are wrong, and we can sustain, or harbor, or hold onto
these things and continue to be defeated because of the wrong things in our hearts or in
our spirits. Remember the scripture, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not
to thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).
The heart cannot be understanding, then... they are not the same thing. I believe the heart
of a man is the spirit of man, the real man, down on the inside of him. That’s where we
are to trust in the Lord. Praise the Lord, it’s marvelous and wonderful as we get the right
things in our spirit. But it says, “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity,” or in his
heart he can sustain the wrong things. He can sustain a weakness.
There are people who have great faith in the wrong things. For example, there are those
who have great faith in their ulcer. They even refer to it as my ulcer. They go around
talking about my ulcer, and if you want to know about their ulcer, just ask them how they
are. You don’t even have to ask how their ulcer is. You just ask how they are, meaning in
general, and you will see that the ulcer is the dominant thing about them, for it isn’t long
until they be’ gin to converse about their ulcer. They’ll tell you how the doctor says it’s
the worst ulcer he’s ever seen. They add that he had never had a case quite like it, or it’s
one of the worse cases he’s ever seen. They thrive on talking about their ulcer, and the
ulcer thrives as they talk about it. The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity or his
weakness. Some people like that don’t want to be free of their ulcer. This man has faith
in his ulcer.
As one evangelist said, “You’ve got to be sick and tired of being sick and tired before
you make any progress.” A lot of people are not. They thrive on sickness. They thrive on
talking about their sickness –how tired they are, and how much their ulcer or how much
their allergy is bothering them, etc. But there are other people who’d really like to be
free. They come up for prayer, and I believe they are sincere and they want me to lay
hands on them for healing of the ulcer or whatever ... and of course I’m using an ulcer
just as an illustration. You could extend this to any condition. But they come up for
prayer, and yet go away talking more about the condition, whatever it might be, than they
do about God’s ability to heal. They keep harboring this thing on the inside of them.
SNARED BY WORDS
I know what I’m talking about, because it came home to us in our family. When our boy
was about three weeks of age, my wife had been in the bedroom holding the baby and
heard him wheezing. She came into the living room and said, “I think Keith has asthma
and is filled with allergies.” I thought, “Well, she should know the symptoms because her
father was a victim of asthma.” Now I didn’t want asthma for my child. I would have
been glad for him to be free from asthma, but I didn’t know what to do. I thought, “Well,
we have to accept it. The symptoms are there.” Of course, we weren’t absolutely positive,
but we were building a strong case, thinking quite positively that he had asthma. It wasn’t
long, however, until the doctor confirmed our fears. We had invited asthma into our
You say, “Brother Jordan, that’s absurd. What do you mean, you had invited it into your
home?” We had, unknowingly, because we didn’t know what to do. Asthma had invaded
our home. What I should have realized was this –that I had authority over the enemy, and
when those first wheezing symptoms of asthma came, I should have recognized it was
Satan knocking at the door, and I should have said, “Satan, I am not going to have asthma
in my home.” As head of the home I should have said, “1 don’t want asthma for my
child. Jesus Christ took it on Himself for a purpose, that Keith could go free. Therefore, I
claim Keith’s freedom and victory right now.” Now, you see, we had to do that for him if
we wanted him to have victory, since he was only a baby. He couldn’t believe for
himself; we had to believe for him.
But it so happened we believed the wrong way. We had great faith in asthma; in a short
while we had believed for it. We weren’t too sure of it at the beginning, but after the
doctor gave us the report, we believed in it. You know, as far as I can remember, we
didn’t even have him prayed for. Now you say, “Didn’t you believe in divine healing?”
Yes, in a general way, as so many people do. There are people who believe in divine
healing and say, “I’ve been healed from time to time,” but they don’t center in on each
case and say, “This healing is for me,” or, “I can have a healing in this matter.” Instead,
they just suffer through so many things. Well, asthma was something we didn’t get as
upset about as we might have about cancer or some other terminal condition. Had it been
cancer, I’d have been running around trying to find someone to pray for us, and finding
out something about faith because, you see, that’s a death sentence. Asthma was just a
Well, the doctor did say, “Maybe by the time he’s grown, he will outgrow it.” I don’t
know whether he would have or not, but he said, “Maybe he will.” But at least there was
a sentence placed upon him for all his young life. The enemy had invaded our home. I
didn’t know that I had authority in the Name of Jesus. I didn’t realize that Jesus took
asthma on Himself at Calvary for the purpose that my son could go free. What I should
have said was, “Satan, I will not have the package of asthma you are delivering to our
home.” You see, the first day when the wheezing symptoms came, he was just knocking
on the door. My wife and I should have agreed and said, “We will not have this in our
home; our baby does not have to be a victim of asthma.”
But we didn’t have proper knowledge of the Word. It’s not God’s fault that I didn’t have
the knowledge. I’d been raised in a Christian home where we believed in divine healing,
but I hadn’t availed myself of even the books available on faith. Had I had a real desire
for faith, I’d have purchased some of them, and God could have spoken to me. I hadn’t
studied the Word on this subject enough. I hadn’t listened to sermons on faith like I
should have. Therefore, I was ill-prepared in the time of need. I had been a hearer of the
Word many times, but I hadn’t acted on it.
There were frequent attacks of asthma, which took a toll on Keith’s body. By the time he
was ready to enter school, the asthma had weakened him to the extent that the doctor
advised us to keep him home on Wednesdays so he wouldn’t have to go five days in a
row. About the time he entered school, the doctor prescribed an antihistamine medicine
that produced marvelous results. The asthma at tack were much less severe and more
infrequent. I was happy that the medicine was working so beautifully, and we had a
situation in our home with which we could live comfortably.
That’s the reason many people don’t receive a healing. They have a condition they can
live with, so they don’t press for a healing. God wants to heal them, but they’re
unconcerned about it. However, this easy situation didn’t last but about a year and a half.
The asthma attacks began to increase in severity and frequency. I wondered, “Does the
doctor have a stronger medicine to go to?” I knew if you took penicillin enough through
the years, eventually it wouldn’t be as effective as it was at first. Apparently this was
happening with this medicine. It wasn’t the magic formula it used to be.
The thought came to me that we could go to another climate, and I’m sure that, as a last
resort, we would have done that. But that doesn’t always work, and I thought, “What if
we moved to another climate and that doesn’t work?” Well, these were the things that
were going through my mind. I began to get a little bit desperate, and that’s good.
When people begin to get desperate, they begin to seek and search. Then, many times
they’ll come into that which God has for them because they are seeking and searching.
And if their heart is right, God will allow them to come under the right kind of teaching.
But, when they come under the proper teaching, they’ve got to listen to it and believe it.
There are some who will say, “Well, I just can’t believe it that way. I’ve never believed
that way before, and I can’t now,” despite the fact that we’re basing what we’re saying on
So I became desperate for my son’s healing, and it wasn’t long until God privileged me
to hear some teaching on faith. Through the teaching, I began a real walk of faith. This
happened right before my son’s eighth birthday. My faith was increasing daily. I went
home one day and said to my wife, “Honey; we’re going to pray for Keith.” Now it says
to “call upon the elders of the church and for them to anoint with oil, and the prayer of
faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise them up” (James 5:14, 15). So I said,
“We’re going to have Brother Goodwin (the pastor) come, and we’re going to anoint
Keith with oil, and that will be the end of that asthma.”
I didn’t say, “I think that will be the end of the asthma, I hope it’ll be the end of the
asthma, or maybe it will be.” I said, “That will be the end of that asthma.” But do you
know what happened? We anointed him with oil, yes. We followed through on the
Scripture, and for about seven days he got worse. He had the worst attack of asthma that I
had ever seen him experience. It looked like we might have done the wrong thing in
claiming the healing. Actually, we had done the right thing, but it appeared wrong
One thing for sure, we had stirred the enemy up. You know the reason? Because we were
putting forth an effort for our boy to escape from the prison of sickness. When are the
authorities stirred up? It’s when they see that empty cell, or when they catch the prisoner
in the act of escaping. As long as he’s sleeping peacefully in his cell, they’re not
concerned. It’s the same with the enemy. Many people are just sleeping peacefully in
their cells. They’re going along with it. Some are even thriving in the existence in the
prison. They don’t want out. If you came along and, so to speak, opened the door, they’d
say, “Shut it! I’ll just stay here.”
But we had gotten sick and tired of our son being sick and tired. We’d gotten sick and
tired of asthma. We had taken authority over asthma –had stirred the enemy up. And so,
for about seven days, he got worse. Do you know what I did during those seven days? I
praised the Lord! I would lift my hands and praise God, when I had nothing in evidence.
This is what Abraham did. It says in Romans 4:20 that Abraham “staggered not at the
promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.” That’s
the way I had to be. I had to be strong in the Lord, in faith, giving glory to God. I had
nothing to give God glory for, except the Word. But that is enough. So we praised the
Lord. The Bible says that by the stripes of Jesus my son was healed (Isaiah 53:5). The
Bible says that Jesus Christ had taken asthma on himself at Calvary (Matthew (8:17). It
says Resent His Word and healed them (Psalms 107:20). That meant my son, so we were
standing in faith accordingly.
Well, I praised the Lord daily, exercising heart faith, and speaking the right things with
my mouth. Any time you praise God, you are confessing in the right way. If you say,
“God, I thank you for your Word, I thank you for the healing I see in the Word of God,”
whether you see anything in evidence or not, you are doing the right thing.
As we continued to praise the Lord, nothing seemingly happened. But I remember one
day I was in the office of the church (I was music and educational director then, at the
First Assembly of God Church in Pasadena, Texas) and Brother Goodwin, the pastor
walked in. I said, “Brother Goodwin, I want you to join me in praising God for the
healing of my son.” I didn’t ask again.
I think one of the greatest ways to exercise faith is to ask once and then start praising
God. You know, if we ask over and over again –if we keep begging God and pleading
with Him –we get out of faith. Ask God once, and then start praising Him. Col. 4:2 says,
“Continue in prayer ... “ But then it says, “Watch in the same with thanksgiving, with
praising the Lord.” Don’t continue asking over and over. Ask and then believe by faith
that you are receiving, and start praising God accordingly.
I had to believe by faith that we were receiving a healing, but I had to believe it simply by
faith in God’s Word. I had asked the pastor to join me in a united praise for Keith’s
When I got home that day, Keith was up out of bed and out playing in the yard. He was
completely healed of asthma. There were, I think, only two times after that in which
Satan knocked at the door again and said, “I have asthma for your son.” I remember one
night in particular that my wife woke me and said, “Keith is choking with asthma.” I
went into the bedroom, and all I did was walk around the bed with my hands raised for
about a minute’s time, saying, “God, I thank you for the healing of my son.” He was set
free. These were the only attacks after the healing was initially manifested. Now my son
is twenty-two years of age, and he’s had fourteen glorious years of freedom from asthma.
Praise unto Jesus, the Healer!
What I’ve been trying to point out is that the spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity.
Down in our spirit, our hearts, we can sustain the wrong things, and we did. Proverbs 6:2
says, “We are snared by the words of our mouth,” and that’s exactly what happened to us.
It initially started when my wife said, “I think he has asthma,” and I agreed with her. We
were snared by the wrong confession from our mouths, but then set free by the right
confession. Oh, the power in confession, whether good or bad!
EFFECT OF REPEATED CONFESSION
Now let’s consider Proverbs 18:20:
18:20 A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth and with the increase of
his lips shall he be filled.
“A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth.” The first time I looked at
this I thought of it completely in the natural. I thought, “All it really means is that, well,
as we eat, our physical stomach is satisfied with the fruit of our mouth.” But really, as we
read it in context, considering the rest of the verse, and also Proverbs 18:2 1, we see that
it surely means more than that. At first glance I had the wrong idea about it. But here’s
what I really think is meant by the statement. “A man’s belly ... . “Jesus said, regarding
the coming of the Holy Spirit, “Out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John
7:38). Now the better translation of it is “innermost being,” or “out of the spirit of a man
will flow rivers of living water.” And I think that’s what the writer of the Proverbs is
saying –that really a man’s innermost being will be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth. It
all happens as you say it.
In other words, there’s a marvelous tie-up between the mouth and the spirit, or the mouth
and the heart. A man’s belly, or his innermost being, or his spirit, shall be satisfies with
the fruit of his mouth. So it depends on what you want. If you want the wrong things, just
start talking about them and your spirit will be satisfied; then you’ll be filled with the
wrong things. But if you want the right things down on the inside of you, you’re going to
have to talk in that way. It’s going to come about by the fruit of your mouth.
Now the rest of the verse says, “With the increase of our lips we will be filled.” This is
exciting to me. I know it from my own experience, and I know how it works with others.
You can be filled with doubt, the wrong thing, if you want to be with the increase of your
lips. There are people who are filled with fear because they talk about fear all the time.
People are filled with frustration because they talk about how frustrated they are. There
are people who are filled with confusion because they go around saying, “I’m so
I’ve had people come up to me for prayer at the end of a service. They say, “Oh, I’m just
so confused in my mind.” And, you know, they’re not even listening to what I’m saying
to them. They don’t even hear me when I say, “Let’s take authority over this.” They keep
talking about the confusion in their mind, and sometimes you’ve got to say something or
do something that shakes them out of it. I’ve seen people like that, and for a little while
they’d be shaken out of it, and apparently get into faith. But then you see them the next
day and they’re talking about the confusion again. With the increase of their lips they
were filled with it. With the increase of our lips we are filled with weakness. We can be
filled with all the wrong things just simply with the increase of our lips.
I used to work in a chemical plant in the Houston, Texas, area, and I know there were
fellows who were so susceptible to what others would say that all someone had to do was
tell them they looked ill, and by the end of the day they were ill! And some of the men
would do that as a practical joke. They’d say, “Now you watch ... I’m going to go up to
Jim (or John, or whatever the fellow’s name was) and tell him that he looks bad; that he’s
got dark circles under his eyes.” I’d watch, and it wasn’t long until the man was coming
around asking someone if he looked sick. He’d say, “You know, they told me that I
looked bad, and I’m wondering –I have been feeling a little weak ... “etc. And by the end
of the day he would be quite ill in his body. With the increase of his lips he was filled
with sickness –because he started talking about how he just might be sick, or there might
be something wrong, and he was filled with it. “With the increase of our lips we are
I had the privilege to minister to an Episcopalian woman for the Baptism in the Spirit a
number of years ago. I began to instruct her on how to be filled with the Spirit. After the
instruction I said, “Now I’m going to lay hands on you.” I did, and nothing happened. I
was speaking in tongues, but she wasn’t doing anything. And you know, I had read in the
Word, in Acts 19:6, that when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came upon
them and they spoke with tongues. I learned a long time ago that if nothing is happening,
it might be a good idea to back up and see what the problem is. I might as well have been
laying hands on a fence post as far as the lack of response in her.
So I stopped and said, “What’s wrong?” She said, “I can’t speak in tongues.” And I said,
“You can speak in tongues.” She said, “I can’t speak in tongues.” And I said, “You can.”
And back and forth we went. Now, I knew we weren’t getting anywhere by just arguing
the matter, so I finally stopped her and said, “Now there is something that will help you,
if you’ll do it.” She asked, “What’s that?” I said, “Say, ‘I can speak in tongues.’” I was
telling her to change her confession completely, to turn it around. I said, “Don’t say, ‘I
can’t,’ but say, ‘I can.’ “ She looked at me rather strangely, and I’m sure she would have
liked to back out, but I pressed the point. I said, “You said you’d do it. It will help you.
Go ahead and do it.” She said, “I can speak in tongues.” Now she didn’t anymore believe
it than anything.