Encyclopedia of Faith- Joe Jordan

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  • 1. The Encyclopedia Of Faith 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. Hebrews 11:6 Internet Edition
  • 2. CONTENTS 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.
  • 3. WHAT IS THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FAITH? 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 health. • 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.
  • 4. 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 spiritual power. 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.
  • 5. Lesson One 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 superior one. 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 seemingly dictate. 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.
  • 6. 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 heart faith. 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 victories. 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 came. 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 you. 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.
  • 7. 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
  • 8. 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.”
  • 9. “You can,” I said. “No I can’t either,” she said. “You prayed for me the other night and my knee is still stiff.” “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. “No.” “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?” “Yes.” “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 see Him. GOD’S REPORT 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 report. 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.
  • 10. 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 doctor’s report. 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.
  • 11. 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 perform. 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.”
  • 12. 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
  • 13. 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
  • 14. 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, like Abraham. 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 to perform” 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.
  • 15. TESTIMONIES 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.
  • 16. 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.
  • 17. 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 Greater Faith. 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!
  • 18. 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 yours. But let’s be challenged by the Word to live in a Greater Faith, the heart kind!
  • 19. Lesson Two 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 disease.” 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 particular need. 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.
  • 20. 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 His Word. 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.
  • 21. 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
  • 22. 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 can receive.”
  • 23. 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 your night.’” 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. MISSED HEALINGS 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.
  • 24. 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 full amount. 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
  • 25. 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 flesh.” 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
  • 26. 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 stayed straight. 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 permanent healing. 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
  • 27. 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
  • 28. 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 temple. 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
  • 29. 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.
  • 30. 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.
  • 31. Lesson Three 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 bear? “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
  • 32. 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,
  • 33. 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 home. 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 life sentence. 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.
  • 34. 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 the Scripture. 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 temporarily.
  • 35. 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 healing. 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
  • 36. 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
  • 37. are people who are filled with confusion because they go around saying, “I’m so confused.” 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 filled.” 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.
  • 38. I want to point out something. People will question something like this, and say, “Well, if she didn’t believe it, it was a lie.” No, it’s not a lie if it agrees with God’s Word. I don’t care whether you believe it or not. If I say that Jesus is coming again, I am speaking truth, whether or not I believe He’s coming again. If I say, “Jesus Christ died for the sins of mankind,” I am speaking truth, whether I believe it or not. If an atheist gets up and says, “There’s a God who created the world, and that God is on the throne today, and that God has a son, Jesus, who came and died for our sins and was raised for our justification,” whether he believes a word of what he’s saying or not, he is speaking truth. In fact, I would challenge any atheist to say this long enough, and I believe it would begin to sink down into the heart, and pretty soon he would begin to believe it. You say, “But what right did you have to tell her she could speak with tongues?” Well, just simply this: Jesus said, “If we give good gifts to our children, how much more would the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him.” You say, “That doesn’t say anything about speaking in tongues.” I realize that verse doesn’t say anything about it, but Christ was pointing them to the experience they would receive on the Day of Pentecost when it says they were filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues. And Jesus also told them, “These signs shall follow them that believe.” He said, “In my name they shall speak with new tongues.” Oh, you’ve got to be a Christian first, but if you’re a Christian, you can be filled with the Spirit of God and speak with other tongues. I knew she had a right to; I knew God wanted to fill her with His Spirit; but I knew I was going to have to change her confession. I said, “Say it again.” She said, “I can speak in tongues.” She still wasn’t believing it. I could tell by her voice, the expression in her voice. Now you know you can tell by the expression of the voice whether a person is in faith or not. Many times I’ve had people come up to me and say, “I believe the Word is true (and you know what’s coming next), but I can’t understand why I can’t get my healing.” Somebody else comes up and says, “I believe the Word is true (and you know what’s coming next with him); just lay your hands on me, and I’ll be healed.” What’s the difference? One has tears in his voice, and the other has excitement. You see, you can pinpoint the faith, even in the expression and the tone of the voice. Well, I could see this woman was still not in faith. I said, “Say it again.” She said, “I can speak in tongues,” –she still didn’t believe it. I don’t know how many times I had her say it – maybe 20 times. Each time she said it, I could hear faith rising just a little bit more in her voice, and after about 12 to 15 times, she was saying, “I can speak in tongues” in a positive manner. So after approximately 20 times, I said, “Now I’m going to lay hands on you again – be filled with the Spirit and just lift your voice and begin to speak with tongues.” I laid my hands on her, and I could hear her whispering it out, “I can speak with tongues ... I can speak with tongues. She said it about five times in English, and then when she tried to say it the sixth time, it came out in a language she hadn’t spoken before.
  • 39. You see, with the increase of her lips she was filled with faith, and she had to be filled with faith before she could be filled with the Spirit of God, because that’s one of the blessings that come by faith. Paul asked the Galatians, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith?” (Galatians 3:2). And he told them later on in that chapter that “ . . the blessings of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles through Jesus Christ that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” How? Through faith! 4I knew she needed faith. I knew she needed to exercise faith. I knew that faith needed to be alive and active. And I knew as long as she said, “I can’t speak in tongues,” she was filling herself with doubts. She was not filling herself with belief, nor with faith. So I knew something had to take place. She was doing the wrong thing. With the increase of her lips she was being filled in the wrong way. And it was just as simple as getting her to do a complete about face in confession. When she did, it made an impact on her heart. I want to deal now with this thing of saying it first. Here’s something that’s very important. Speaking it with our mouth first. In Romans 10:9 it says, “Confess with your mouth, then believe in your heart.” I believe there’s something even in this order of action. It’s marvelous when we already believe in our heart and just begin to talk about it. That’s fine –that’s good, but there are people who find it difficult to believe it in their hearts, and I challenge them to begin to say it with their mouths before they believe, as this woman did. Mark 11:23 says, “whosoever shall say to this mountain, ‘Be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea,’ and shall not doubt in his heart, but believes that which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith.” That verse is primarily on saying it. Say it, say it. That’s Mark 11:23. Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe ye receive them and ye shall have them.” When you pray, believe that you receive and you shall have them. Say it, verse 23; believe it, verse 24. Here’s this marvelous tie-up again between the mouth and the heart. She did not believe it in her heart to begin with, but she began to say it with her mouth, and something took place down on the inside of her. I don’t know why it works that way, but it does. And thank God, I don’t have to understand it. One thing I do need to understand, and that’s simply that it works. Just accept it, then, go ahead accordingly. With the increase of our lips are filled. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. So we say it with our lips, then believe it in our heart, and with the increase of our lips we are filled with faith. Now if you want to continue to be filled with doubt, just say the wrong things and you’ll be filled with doubt. If you want to be filled with frustration, or with confusion, continue to talk about it –in fact, even increase your bad confession, and you’ll be filled that much more with it. If you want to remain mired in defeat, if you want to talk about how bad things are and what a bad lot you have in life, just continue to talk that way, and you’ll remain that way. But if you want to rise to victory, if you want encouragement to replace discouragement, if you want boldness and assurance to replace fear, if you want a
  • 40. clearness of mind to replace confusion, if you want the exact opposite, begin to speak in the right way. Talk about the clearness of mind that you have in the Lord Jesus Christ. You say, “Well, I haven’t seen it yet.” Remember, faith operates before you see it. Faith is the evidence of things not seen; blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed in their victory: With the increase of our lips we are filled. Now let’s examine Proverbs 18:21. I believe this is the most dynamic portion of this whole study. It is certainly a case of saving the best until last. The verse says: 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” What does that mean? It can’t mean that we can escape eventual physical death by saying that we will never die. The same Bible that states the power in a proper confession, also says that it’s appointed unto man once to die. I do believe that some people die prematurely because they don’t appropriate faith in certain cases, and probably at times because of an improper confession. Yet we must all face death eventually. But what is the meaning, then, of the statement, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”? Just simply that we can put to death those things which need to be, and speak into existence those things which need to be with the power of our tongue. What a fantastic truth! When I teach on this publicly, I often say to people, “Underline this statement of death and life being in the power of the tongue, in your Bible. Then put an arrow at the top of the page, pointing down to it. Then put a note in the front of the Bible reminding you to turn to that page and scripture.” You might say, “That’s exaggerating the importance of that scripture.” Well, very little if any. I believe it’s the most important single statement in this area of confession of faith, and the confession of faith is probably the most important portion of the complete study of faith. The words we speak with our mouths are so powerful that they can produce either death or life. If you’re a victim of cancer, you need to speak death to the disease, and a healing into existence. Come against that cancer, cursing it in the name of Jesus, even as Christ did the fig tree (Mark 11:12), and then speak your healing into existence. Speak death to arthritis, allergies, kidney trouble, diabetes, etc., and your healing into existence. You say, “How do I speak my healing into existence?” Just say, “Thank you, God, for my healing from this arthritis. I claim it according to the Word, for you have said that by the stripes of Jesus I am healed.” And then hold fast to that same confession as you are commanded in Hebrews 10:23. Learn to talk more about your healing than you do about the sickness and its various symptoms. If a symptom of the illness manifests itself, say, “Praise the Lord for my healing,” rather than “Oh, I feel so bad.” It may be difficult to retrain yourself to speak this way, but it’s worth it. It’s possible for people to have “death and life in the power of the tongue” to work against them. Some people speak death to their healing, and the disease back into existence. I’ve had people come in a healing line, be prayed for, and have the pain completely leave their
  • 41. body. Yet, from their attitude and subsequent statements, it is obvious that they don’t believe in their healing. They say, “Well, yes, the pain is gone, but I don’t know for sure that I am healed.” They are probably thinking within themselves, “If only I had a good doctor’s report to go on... “or, “If I can go a month without pain, then I can believe ...”, etc. How tragic! They are speaking and thinking death to their healing, and speaking, and almost inviting, the disease and its accompanying symptoms of pain to return and come into existence once more. Be quicker to claim the healing than you are the pain. But remember, we can speak death to the disease, which is of the enemy, by resisting and rebuking the Devil with the power of our tongue. Now let’s deal a little more closely with the life that’s in the power of the tongue. There is creative power in the Word of God. It says in Hebrews 11:3 that “The worlds were framed by the word of God.” They say there are quasars which are thousands of light years distant. One light year equals approximately six trillion miles. Multiply that times thousands, and the result is almost incalculable. All of this extremely vast universe was created by a God who spoke it into existence. We have the same powerful l creative Word to use and speak forth with out tongue. It will create for us, too. Oh, I don’t mean to imply that we can create worlds with it, because God has not ordained that we should. But we can speak victories of healing, whether physical or spiritual, into existence. The tongue has power to create both death and life, either for good or bad, and the Word of God is creatively powerful; therefore, when we combine them, we can see results of immeasurable, supernatural dimensions. The personal healing testimony of Evangelist Kenneth Hagin is, I believe, the epitome of an application of this truth. When Kenneth Hagin was a young man of about 16 years, he became bedfast from a serious organic heart condition. He had been a victim of the disease from birth, but not an invalid, until he became paralyzed from the waist down, at approximately the aforementioned age. The doctor said it would be his death bed. God then dealt with him regarding his soul, and he gave his heart to Christ. Then he began to read the Bible, although he knew nothing about it. He said he noticed there was an Old and a New Testament, and he assumed the New was better than the Old, so he started from the Book of Matthew. He was so weak that he could only focus his eyes for about ten minutes each day, but during that time he would read the Word. He said he had determined that he would believe everything he read, if he possibly could, and if he came to a portion he could not readily believe, he would not go past that point until he could believe. He eventually got to Mark 11:24, where it says, “Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them.” He said this was difficult, because he desired a healing, and it said to believe he received it when he prayed, but he had prayed and nothing had happened. He stumbled over the verse for a while, but then decided that if he was ever going on, he must believe he was healed, even though he was still paralyzed from the waist down. He said months went by without anything tangible taking place, and then one day he prayed and said, “God, I have believed in my healing, but why am I still paralyzed?” God
  • 42. spoke to him and said, “You have believed as far as you have knowledge, but now you need more knowledge.” God then taught him from the Word that action was needed to go along with his belief. One morning he was inspired to pray this prayer, “God I realize that I must put action with my faith, so therefore I’m going to get out of bed this morning and, by faith, walk away from it.” He prayed that prayer even though he was still paralyzed. The enemy brought many doubts, but that did not daunt Kenneth Hagin’s faith. 66. He raised himself to a sitting position (he had use of the upper part of his body), and then moved his body around until his feet were touching the floor. They were like two blocks of wood, because he still felt nothing. He then raised himself to a standing position, and when he did, his knees buckled under him. He reached over and grabbed one of the posts of the four- poster bed and held on and began to praise God. He could have complained and made the wrong confession, but instead he accepted the challenge to praise God and speak faith. He continued to praise God for about ten minutes, and then made the following confession –I believe it’s the greatest I’ve ever heard regarding a healing. He said, “I want to declare to the Almighty God, to the Father, to the Son, to the Holy Spirit, to all the angels in Heaven, and to Satan and all the imps of Hell, that I am healed!” He said at that time circulation began to return to the lower part of his body. It felt like a thousand pins pricking his skin. It hurt, but it felt good to hurt, because he hadn’t felt anything in so long. That young man walked away at that time from what the doctor said would be his death bed, because he dared to declare that which God had said. He realized that death and life are in the power of the tongue. He spoke death to his heart condition, and a healing into existence when he made the confession to the powers above and below. God honored that confession. He honored His Word. He honored the faith of a young man who dared to believe Him, despite alarming symptoms. The rest of Proverbs 18:21 says, “They that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Kenneth Hag in loved the truth that death and life are in the power of the tongue, and then ate the fruit of it! I trust I have made this truth so crystal clear that you never forget it. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of speaking death to the work of the enemy, and the victories in Jesus into existence, with the power of our tongue. No wonder the centurion said to Jesus (Matthew 8), “Just speak the word, and my servant will be healed.” We can speak the words of the Master and they will produce death and life in the proper areas. I know of no other way to conclude this lesson than to remind you again ... death and life are in the power of the tongue.
  • 43. Lesson Four HOW TO CONFESS YOUR HEALING WITHOUT TELLING A LIE CLAIMING YOUR HEALING BY FAITH There are probably more people today hearing and embracing the truth of the confession of our faith than ever before. How beautiful this is, for certainly the message of confession of faith is a very important one. Yet, many of these, while desiring to make a good confession of faith, do not realize how they can do it without telling a lie. To give proper balance to this study, I want us first to consider a passage in Romans 4:16,17. It reads: 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 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 quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. This is very interesting. It says in verse 17 that God calls those things which be not as though they were. Many people are confused over this. They might even question how God could call something which is not as though it is. They might point out the fact that God cannot lie and then say, “Well, how then can He call something which is not as though it is if He cannot lie?” I believe He does it in this particular attitude. I have had people make promises to me and in the same conversation in which they had made the promise say, “If I said it, it’s as good as done now.” I knew they had not even started on the project yet, but they were standing there saying, “It’s as good as done now.” Why did they say this? Because they had confidence in their ability to perform their word. If man has that much confidence in his ability to perform his word, how much more surely then does God, the same God who sits on the throne in the heavens, have confidence in His ability to perform His own Word. Notice in the first of verse 17 that God makes the statement, “I have made thee a father of many nations.” Of course, this is Paul writing regarding the faith of Abraham and God’s statement to him, which is recorded in the Book of Genesis. The words “have made” are past tense. Why would God, then, say to a man who is not even a father of one, yet “I have made thee a father of many nations,” as though it had already happened? God was calling that which was not as though it was, knowing of His ability to perform His Word in the future time. In the Book of Isaiah, chapter 53, we have the tremendous prophecy which came through the prophet Isaiah regarding the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ:
  • 44. 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. This, of course, was regarding something which had not even happened and would not happen for hundreds of years. Yet, it was spoken as though it had already happened. Many people rebel at the suggestion of confessing their healing before it is manifested in the natural. They do not realize that in faith they may do so, calling those things which are not as though they are. But even though in faith we can call those things which are not as though they are, we still must be careful not to tell a lie. realize that if they are attacked by a sickness, there’s healing in Jesus. And if there are financial needs, then God will meet those needs. They go their way saying, “I know now all I have to do is just walk in faith and I shall have my needs met.” But even though a walk of faith will produce victory, they find out after awhile that the walk of faith is not easy. Many, after encountering a few severe trails of faith, are ready to give up. The Bible speaks of a trial to our faith, implying that it will not always be easy. I have often said a walk of faith separates the men from the boys. Some of these who have failed become bitter opponents of the faith message. They say, “I thought I could walk in faith and claim my healing; yet I tried that and it didn’t work.” One man who was conversing with me about 2 o’clock one afternoon said, “Last night, I got excited when you preached on faith, and I decided to claim a healing for a sore throat.” “But,” he said, “at 12:30 today, my throat was still sore, so I just gave up.” This man hadn’t even lasted 24 hours in his battle of faith. How did he know the healing would not have manifested itself at 12:3 1 or 12:40 or 1:00 or whenever. He had given up without even a significant fight. Although he was not bitter toward the faith message, he certainly was not an enthusiastic participant in it thereafter. Another man heard me speak on the subject of tithing and decided to go ahead and give the amount of a tithe on a new car he was needing, believing in so doing that God would cause him to receive a new car. His wife called me after about a month and said: “I want to counsel with you. My husband should be the one to counsel, but he won’t because he’s mad at God.” I asked, “Why is he mad at God?” She said: “When he heard you speak on the subject of tithing about a month ago, he decided to pay the amount of a tithe in advance on a new car and thought surely that in a short time he would have the new car. It has been a month now and he doesn’t have his new car and he’s mad at God.” This man was another one who had not lasted through the trial of faith and then had become bitter at God and at the faith message as a result. Those who are bitter are usually very difficult to help, because often they have made a decision in which they are determined not to exercise faith or walk in it.
  • 45. TO TELL THE TRUTH However, there is another category of the opposition which consists of people who I believe can be helped. They are the ones who have become dismayed because of hearing someone else who was immature who tried to make a confession of faith and yet ended up telling a lie. And those who have become dismayed will say, “Well, I don’t believe it is right to tell a lie and, therefore, I am just not interested in this message of confession of faith.” I have been able to help many like that for I can assure them that they can confess their faith without telling a lie. Shortly after my initial call to the ministry, a woman –Mom Goodwin –who was old enough to be my mother and certainly was a spiritual mother to me gave me the following advice: “Joe, when you are behind the pulpit, always tell the truth.” When she said that, I was perplexed. I didn’t say it out loud, but I thought to myself: “Why wouldn’t I tell the truth? Why would anybody not tell the truth when they were behind the pulpit?” I did not realize then the strong temptation there would be later not to tell the truth as I was behind the pulpit. There is an expression used in Christian circles which may be new to some of you, but quite familiar to others. It is: “He or she is ‘speaking evangelistically.’ “ I realize it’s used primarily in a humorous vein, but there had to be many ministers exaggerating or telling half truths for such an expression to catch on. It is a tragedy to our Christian faith that it ever got started. By now you are probably asking the question: “But why would any minister even be tempted not to tell the truth when behind the pulpit?” I can give you an example. When I finish preaching, I give an invitation for those who desire to accept the Lord Jesus Christ. I give it in this way. I have everyone bow their heads and close their eyes. I have noticed in those times when I ask for a raise of hands for those who would desire to accept Christ that if two or three hands are raised quickly, many times it will inspire others also to raise their hands. Apparently there are some who are just waiting for someone else to lead the way. Therefore, in my human reasoning, I could decide at a time such as that to go ahead and pretend by what I would say that the first two or three hands were raised, whether they were or not, doing it as a psychological ploy to inspire others to go ahead and raise their hands. I could feel that I was justified in my action because of winning souls to Christ, even though I would actually be telling a lie. But I am not justified in this. I am condemned by a certain passage in the Word of God. In Romans 3:5,6,7 we read the following: Verse 5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) Verse 6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? Verse 7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?
  • 46. Paul is asking a question here. In verse 5, he is saying: “If that which I am doing which is unrighteous (or wrong) commends (or enhances) the righteousness (or the Kingdom) of God, what shall we say then? Is God wrong if He takes vengeance against me or if He gets onto me for what I have done?” The answer in verse 6 says, “God forbid.” No, of course God would not be wrong in getting onto me for doing that, for then if He did not, how would He be able to judge the world? If He does not judge me on things which I do that are wrong, how can He judge the world on similar things? Verse 7 makes it crystal clear. It says, “For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?” Of course, the fact is the truth of God does not abound through our lie unto the glory of God; instead, any lie that I would tell could bring a reproach on the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is very important for me to tell the truth even though I might think through a lie that I would be doing God a favor. I have always been very careful to be absolutely honest with congregations. There have been times in a healing line in which I could have let something slip through that would have looked like a manifestation of a healing, but instead I was very careful to tell the truth to the people. One man brought his small son, three years of age, forward for prayer. He said, “My boy cannot walk.” I mentioned to the congregation that the child could not walk. Then the father added this: “He can stand and he can take two or three steps, but then he falls. He cannot walk as a three-year-old should.” I repeated that to the congregation. Then I prayed for the child and after prayer, I had the father stand the boy on the floor and then get in front of him, coaxing the child to walk toward him. A child of that age is very unpredictable, especially in front of a congregation. It took about three minutes for the child to make a decision to even take a step. Then, he took about three steps and fell into the father’s arms. There were some shouters there that night and they began to shout louder than I had ever heard anyone before. I could not have stopped them unless I had gone right up in their faces and shouted louder than they. I didn’t attempt to stop them, but instead I went to the father and asked, “Has the child walked any better tonight than before?” He replied, “Not really.” After all the shouts died down, I said to the congregation: “Now this may be disappointing to some of you, but this child has not walked any better than before, according to the father. Remember that the father has told us that the child could heretofore take two or three steps and then he would fall.” I then endeavored to rally the congregation in faith. I mentioned that even though the child had not walked anymore than before that evening, nevertheless we should believe God. We should believe in a healing we had not seen yet. I encouraged the father to believe God, and he went his way apparently in faith. I believe I did the right thing in being truthful with that congregation. If I had not been careful to point out that the child had not walked better than before, I would have been allowing a split report to go forth from that meeting. The shouters would have
  • 47. undoubtedly said, “That child walked for the first time in his life.” Others might have remembered what the father had said initially, and they would have said, “Apparently the child didn’t do any better tonight than he has before, yet they were implying that a healing had taken place.” Many times I have had people come for prayer who were deaf in one ear. In those cases, I instruct them along these lines. I mention that before I pray for them, I am going to check their hearing. I tell them I’m going to have them close up their good ear, and then I will go around to the deaf side. I will make certain statements of faith for them to repeat after me if they hear anything. If they don’t hear anything, they are to shake their heads no. I also mention that I do not want them to look at me so they cannot possibly read my lips. In cases such as that, I have gone to the deaf side, said certain things, and noted that there was no response whatsoever. Many times I have lifted my voice, even at times to the point of shouting, and still they were not able to hear. In a test such as that, obviously, the person was completely deaf. However, in other cases, I have walked to the deaf side and said, for example, “Praise the Lord.” They would repeat, “Praise the Lord.” I would then say, “Hallelujah.” They would repeat, “Hallelujah.” I would back up a couple of feet, making some more statements of faith, and they would be repeating them after me verbatim. As this is happening, I have .many times noticed an undercurrent of praise coming from the congregation. I knew that all I would have to do is just turn to the congregation and say: “This person is hearing me. God has healed them.” But instead of doing that immediately, I will then ask the person if they could have heard that much before. Sometimes they will say, “No, I couldn’t have heard anything out of that ear.” Other times, though, they will say: “Yes, I could have probably heard that much before. I can hear some out of the ear. I’m not totally deaf, but I do have a 70 percent loss of hearing or 80 percent loss or whatever.” The reason I question them closely is to be absolutely honest with that congregation. TRUTHFUL CONFESSION I’m convinced that because some ministers have not been honest with congregations, it has even brought a reproach on the healing ministry. God is very concerned about our telling that truth. I mentioned previously that some people in their attempt to make a confession of faith end up telling a lie. There are those, if you walk up to them and ask, “Is there any pain in your body?” who would reply, even though their body might be wracked by pain, “Oh, no, I have no pain.” Actually, if there is pain present and they say they have no pain, they are not telling the truth. What they should say is this: “Yes, there is pain present, but that pain is a symptom of a condition which the enemy is trying to put on me and I will have no part of it. I am not accepting this condition. Instead, I am
  • 48. claiming my healing in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” If they say it in that way, they have not told a lie, and they have also made a good confession of their faith. There are three words, which I believe will help you greatly to understand this. They are ADMITTING, ADVERTISING, AND ACCEPTING. Don’t advertise the problems that may come upon you and don’t accept the attacks of the enemy. But it’s important to admit if you are asked that there has been, yes, an attack of the enemy. If you have an aversion to admitting when asked about the attack, you could take what I call the faith fifth: “I refuse to answer on ground that it may incriminate me.” Otherwise, if you give a yes or no answer, you must be truthful. One man came for prayer at the end of a Sunday morning sermon. I asked what was wrong and he said, “I don’t want to tell you.” I then said, “It would be better to tell me what it is, unless it’s something that is extremely personal, in order that I can pray more intelligently about the problem.” I also mentioned that there were certain scriptures which would apply to a given situation, and for that reason I would like to know what was wrong. He said: “I don’t want to tell you what is wrong. I don’t want to give the Devil any credit.” He then turned to the pastor and said, “I don’t want to tell him what’s wrong.” 43. The pastor said, “It’s all right. Go ahead. He needs to know so he can pray for you accordingly.” The man then said, “No, I am not going to give any credit to the Devil,” and he left in a huff. As I was leaving the building that morning, the same man came to me and asked me to pray about his marriage. I asked, “Why did you tell me what it is?” He looked puzzled and said, “Well, because I want you to pray for my marriage.” I replied, “But you wouldn’t even tell me in there a few minutes ago what the problem was.” He said: “Oh, that was a different problem. That was physical.” That man had a hangup on this whole thing of confession of faith. If it was wrong to tell me about the physical thing, it was also wrong to tell me about the marriage problem. But I don’t believe it was wrong to tell me about either of the problems. You might say: “But I’m like him. I don’t believe it’s right to give the enemy credit.” You are not giving the enemy credit as long as you are simply mentioning the problem. If we were to say, “I have a problem and I can’t get victory; I don’t believe there is any healing for me, or I am defeated and I am afraid I will stay that way,” then we would be giving the Devil credit. But it’s not giving him credit just to simply mention the problem. You can mention the problem and in the same breath say: “I know that even though the problem exists, I have victory in the Lord
  • 49. Jesus Christ and I am going to claim that victory. I shall claim my healing, etc., all the way.” Then, you have done nothing in which to give the enemy any credit. A few years ago one man related the following story to me. He said that he was talking with a friend of his, and they in turn were discussing a mutual friend of theirs. I don’t remember the name of the friend, but let’s call him Tom. Tom was in the Armed Services. The one man said to the other, “Tom is now a captain.” The reply was: “Oh, is that true? Tom has been promoted?” The first man said, “Yes, he is now a captain.” The other man went forth and told someone else about it. The person to whom he was talking asked, “When did you hear this?” He said, “Oh, last week,” and mentioned who had told him. This man said, “Well, he would have had to have been promoted this morning because as of last night, he was still a lieutenant.” The man who had related the story went back to the first man and asked him, “Why did you say he is a captain when he is still only a lieutenant?” The man replied, “Oh, I was saying it by faith.” Well, if he was saying it by faith, he should have stated, “It is by faith I am making this statement.” Otherwise, the story was not true. While it is important to believe before we see and while we can call those things which are not as though they are, we still have to be careful not to tell a lie. A pastor, who was a friend of mine, posed the following situation. He said: “What if my son were not a Christian and I were claiming his salvation? If I go and tell some man of the world that my son is a Christian when he actually is not, even though I’m doing it as a step of faith, that man could say to himself: ‘I know this man’s son and he is not a Christian and does not even claim to be a Christian. And here the father is stating that he is. The father is lying about the situation, he is a hypocrite and no better than the son, and I will have nothing to do with this man’s testimony, whatsoever.’ “ The pastor added, “I could negate my Christian testimony on the basis of a statement which I might otherwise consider to be a statement of faith.” One woman said that a man in their church had a daughter whose feet turned in. Another man said to this father: “Your daughter’s feet are quite bad. Why don’t you get them seen about? Perhaps a doctor could operate and they would be much better.” The reply of the man was, “What feet?” almost implying that. the child had no feet. Actually, the man was so afraid of admitting that a problem even existed that he was giving forth an answer that was seemingly very childish. Undoubtedly, it was like a slap in the face to the man who had mentioned the problem. People like this will be turned off time and again by such statements from believers who are genuinely trying to make a good confession of faith. A far better thing for the man to have said would be: “Yes, my daughter’s feet are turning, in, but we believe that condition is only temporary, for we have prayed and we are
  • 50. claiming a healing. And we believe the time will come in which the feet will be straight. By faith, we have our answer now.” There would have been no lie in a statement such as that but also a good confession of faith. One man came forward for prayer, and he said, “I want you to pray for the back condition I don’t have.” I knew what he meant, but I wondered if many others there that evening knew what he was referring to. Actually, in essence, what he was saying was this: “I don’t want to admit there is a back condition, but the symptoms are killing me.” What the man should have said was: “The enemy has attacked my back. There is pain, but I am claiming my healing. Would you please agree with me on my healing?” Again, there is no lie in a statement such as that and also a good positive confession of faith. One evangelist said, “According to the symptoms, I may be sick, but according to the Word, I am healed.” If there are symptoms of a disease or condition, that would be a good way to answer people: “According to the symptoms, I am sick, but according to the Word, I am healed.” One writer stated it beautifully when he said, “I do not deny that the symptoms exist, but I deny their right to exist in my body.” We are not denying the attack of the enemy, but simply denying his right to continue to oppress PURE FAITH One woman gave a testimony which I believe is a classic example of the necessity to confess your faith without telling a lie. She stated that she had heard me preach on the subject two nights before. She said: “I went home and prayed the following prayer: ‘God, I know that I have sinned for there are times in which people have asked if I had pain in my body, and I would say at a time such as that, “No, I don’t have pain.” I realize now that I have sinned and I ask you to forgive me and I will not be guilty of doing this any more.” Then she stated that she had fought symptoms of certain allergies for almost a year, claiming healing all the time. And she added: “From the moment I asked God to forgive me, the symptoms began to diminish. And now, just two days later, they are almost gone.” That woman had gotten into what I call “pure faith.” Pure faith is that which is based entirely upon the Word of God. While in Romans 4:17, it says that God calls those things which are not as though they were, and we know this is an integral part of the confession of our faith, it also admonishes us in Romans 3:7 that the truth of God will not abound through our lie unto His glory. So, yes, it is important not to tell a lie. Romans 4:17 is no more God’s Word than Romans 3:7. They are both equal as far as our understanding in faith is concerned. Remember the three words, ADMITTING, ADVERTISING, AND ACCEPTING. Don’t advertise and don’t accept, but it is all right to admit when you are asked. There are many teachers who would emphasize, as I have, the importance of not telling a lie when you confess your faith. However, many of them would not, though, emphasize the importance of a proper confession of faith. In our companion chapter called “The Power Of The Tongue,” you will see the vital importance of a proper confession of faith. So we wanted to leave you with a knowledge in both areas which I believe is a proper balance on this
  • 51. whole thing of confession of faith: knowing the importance of not telling a lie, but also the importance of making a strong, positive confession of your faith.
  • 52. Lesson Five THE TWO SIDES OF HEALING TWO SIDES 1. There is one question frequently asked by those who attend a public healing service. It is, “Why were some instantly healed and others not healed?” I believe there are many factors which govern this and I doubt if anyone except God would know all of them. It is my intent in this chapter to cover only one factor which I believe is primary: it is what I call “The Two Sides of Healing.” One is the faith side and the other is what the Bible refers to as “the gifts of healings.” In I Corinthians 12:8-11 it says: Verse 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; Verse 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; Verse 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: Verse 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. Here we have a listing of nine gifts of the Holy Spirit and in verse 11 it says that they are divided by the Holy Spirit “severally as He wills”; not as we will but as He wills. This is very important to our study. I want to make a few comments regarding these scriptures and then take you to two other passages. Of the nine gifts of the Spirit listed, one is called gifts of healing or really the better translation is gifts of healings, both words being plural. ‘Whatever these gifts of healings are, they are divided by the Holy Spirit as He wills just as the other gifts of the Holy Spirit are, such as word of wisdom, word of knowledge, etc. If it had said in verse 11 that some of the gifts were divided by the Holy Spirit as He willed, we could perhaps assume then that maybe gifts of healings were not included. But since it says that all these are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same Holy Spirit, who apportions to each person individually exactly as He chooses, we can know then that they of course are included. And now in Hebrews 2:1-4 we read: Verse 1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. Verse 2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward;
  • 53. Verse 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; Verse 4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? Notice that it says, “gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” And now let’s consider I Corinthians 2:4. Paul says, “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” Many have seen this one side of the picture of gifts of healings and yet do not see the faith side. Others, perhaps, are able to see the faith side but still not understand the gifts of healings. I want to explain both to you that there will not be confusion in your mind regarding all of this. COMPARISON In the gifts of healings, we have an operation of the sovereignty of God. I know the term “sovereignty of God” will bother some who have only seen the faith side. It is only because they have heard teachers use the term in a context of unbelief more than faith; however, I want to assure you that I will only be using it in the context of faith. I believe it is God’s will to heal all, even though we don’t see it happen every time in an instant manner. In the cases where there is no instant manifestation of healing, I believe the person can go his way, walking in faith and eventually come into a healing. In the late Katherine Kuhlman’s ministry, there were many instances of gifts of healings in operation. The huge crowds would gather, sometimes as many as 10,000 to 15,000 in attendance, and while many would testify to outstanding miracles of healings, there were many more who were leaving with the same symptoms in their body that they came with and obviously no manifestation of healing. Even unbelievers many times would be visibly healed, yet some who were leaving without discenable healing were people who had apparently come in faith believing that this time would be their moment of deliverance. This would prompt some to say: “I just don’t understand why my friend or relative was not healed. That unbeliever testified that he was healed, yet my friend came in faith believing for a healing and yet she’s leaving with the same symptoms in her body.” They would then conclude that apparently it is not God’s will to heal in many cases and, therefore, faith makes no difference. For a person to say that faith makes no difference means he or she has to cast out certain words of Jesus. In Matthew 9:22 Jesus said to the woman with the issue of blood, “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.” And in the same chapter, verse 29, he touched the eyes of the blind man and said, “According to your faith be it unto you.” These are just two of a number of examples in which Jesus declared that faith had made a difference. Yes, undoubtedly faith does make a difference. However, apparently there are times in which faith does not make a difference as to whether there is an instant manifestation of healing. Notice I said an instant manifestation and not an eventual manifestation. I believe there can be a healing for a person over a
  • 54. period of time to whom nothing, apparently, happens instantly. This can be evidenced in scripture. In Mark 16:18 it says, “They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” This is referring to believers laying hands on others. The word “recover” implies a period of time; therefore, there will be times when we lay hands on others when nothing apparent takes place at that moment. Yet the person begins to recover and over a period of time has a complete manifestation of his or her healing. TRIAL OF FAITH There may still be some who would say, “Well, I believe if anyone has enough faith, he can have an instant manifestation of healing.” If this were the case, how could there ever be a trial to our faith? In James 1:3 it speaks of the trial of our faith working patience. In I Peter 1:7 it says the trial of our faith is more precious than gold. If every healing happened instantly, there would never be a trial of our faith as regards our claiming a healing in our own bodies. But when hands are laid on you and nothing happens outwardly –there is no obvious manifestation of healing –it then becomes a trial of your faith. And if one week goes by and there is still no manifestation of healing, or a year, it is even more a trial of your faith. A friend of mine questioned this and said, “Well then, God is playing favorites if He heals one person instantly and lets the other person walk it out in faith.” He then added, “I can’t believe that, because God is no respecter of persons.” Yes, I agree that God is no respecter of persons, and He has healing for all. But in His wisdom He may see that it is necessary in some cases for the healing to be manifested instantly and in other cases for a person’s faith to be tried over a period of time. I am sure that none of us fully understands the trial of our faith, yet the Bible speaks of it and we must therefore believe that it can happen. I have found that even with myself, sometimes I am healed instantly as prayer is offered, and other times I have to fight for my healing. I have to exercise faith strongly at times to come into a manifestation of healing. In those cases, I assume that my faith is being tried. A father with several children may find that he has to discipline one child much more than another simply because of a more rebellious nature. It isn’t that he loves the rebellious child less; it is only that he perceives he or she needs the discipline, and even the discipline that he gives is in the context of love. I am not implying that everyone who goes through a trial of faith is doing so because of a rebellious nature, but I am simply pointing out that God’s treatment of us, even in the faith area, might differ from person to person. HEALING DESPITE UNBELIEF Previously I referred to the fact that even unbelievers were healed in Katherine Kuhlman’s meetings. This was probably for the purpose of showing them that He loved them, that He did have power to heal, and certainly for the purpose of leading them to the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
  • 55. I’ve seen this happen in my ministry. One case in particular was that of a man who had one eye which was artificial and only 8 percent vision in the other eye. He came forward in the healing line and mentioned that he had had this condition for 60 years. He was then 63 years of age. He said, “I have had all the big ones lay hands on me and nothing has happened.” He mentioned Oral Roberts and a number of others. He also added, “I have fasted and prayed and tried to twist God’s arm, and nothing has happened.” And then he said, “I thought I would let you lay hands on me.” He didn’t go ahead and add the following, but if I could read between the lines, he was also thinking, “Go ahead and lay hands on me, but I doubt very much if anything will happen.” If those were his thoughts, there is very little faith, if any, in that kind of thinking. The usual thing for a minister such as myself who teaches strongly on faith is to say to a person at a time such as that, “Sir, you are not in faith and let’s change our thinking or let’s speak differently about the matter.” You can do this without being harsh but still get your point across. But instead of my correcting any of his statements of unbelief, I instead was led to pray for the man. I asked, “First, can you see me?” He said, “Just barely. You’re almost blurred out of my sight.” I replied, “I am going to pray for you.” I reached out and laid hands on him and as I finished the prayer, I asked, “Can you see me now?” He replied, “Yes, clearly.” I backed up a couple of feet and asked, “Can you see me now?” “Yes.” There was an exit sign in the back of the church. I asked him to turn around and see if he could see the exit sign. He said, “Yes, I can see it.” There was a clock beside it and I asked, “What time is it?” He hesitated for about a minute and asked, “Is it 10:15?” I said, “Yes.” He replied: “I could see the hands clearly from the moment you asked, but I just couldn’t believe my eyes. The reason I hesitated is that I didn’t believe it was that late, but I can see those hands clearly.” That man was healed despite his unbelief. The question then becomes, “Why did God heal him?” I don’t know. Some might assume that it was to lead him to Christ. But that is not the case here because he was already a Christian. Others might say, “It was undoubtedly your prayer of faith.” No, I don’t really believe it was. I believe I prayed a prayer of faith, yes, but there were many others in the healing line that evening. Some of them were instantly healed as the one man was, but others were not.
  • 56. Why then, if my prayer of faith triggered the instant manifestation of healing with the man who was almost blind, were not the others then also instantly healed as I prayed a similar prayer of faith over them? I know one thing for sure: I did not pray for the one man in greater faith than I did the rest. It doesn’t cause a great surge of faith to pass through you and you don’t stand taller in faith than ever before when someone comes forward and says, “I have had all the big ones lay hands on me and nothing has happened and I thought I’d let you pray for me,” and then imply that they’re thinking, “Let’s give it a try and if I get lucky, maybe I’ll be healed but otherwise I probably won’t.” I really believe it was more the gifts of healings and the sovereignty of God than it was a healing that came through faith. Just what God’s reasons were, we do not know. However, God had allowed for this in His Word by saying there would be “the gifts of healings divided by the Holy Spirit severally as He willed” and, of course, certainly not as we will. A doctor said a man came to him with a condition of bursitis in his shoulder. The doctor diagnosed the problem and started to treat the man. God spoke to the doctor and said, “Don’t treat him but pray for him.” The doctor then said to the man, “This may seem strange to you, but I am a Christian and I believe in prayer and I would like to pray for you.” The man replied: “Pray for me? I don’t even believe in that stuff. What kind of a nut are you, anyway? I didn’t come in here for prayer; I came in here for treatment. Are you going to treat me or not?” The doctor then started to treat the man a second time. God spoke to him again and said, “I told you not to treat him but to pray for him.” The doctor then looked at the man and said, “I don’t know what your reaction will be, but I am going to pray for you whether you like it or not because God has told me to.” The doctor then prayed for the man and God healed him. He said the man went out of the office scratching his head with the hand he couldn’t raise when he walked in. Now where is the faith in that kind of thinking? The man had said, “I don’t even believe in this stuff.” It is obvious that he had no faith at all. Why, then, did God heal him? I believe to show him there was a God and to show him that God’s power was sufficient to heal his body. Undoubtedly, it was gifts of healings in operation, the sovereignty of God, and not a healing that came through faith. FAITH SIDE OF HEALING I now want to share with you a couple of testimonies that I believe show the faith side of healing. One woman came forward for prayer in a service. She had arthritis to such an extent that she could not lift her foot over a cord running to a tape recorder. The cord was stretched across the aisle as she was coming forward and was taped flat to the floor. She could not even get her foot up that fraction of an inch to get it over the cord. Two men helped her past the cord and then she came to the front. I prayed for her and after prayer, she began to drag that leg back and forth in front of the congregation with her hands raised praising God. She may have made as many as twenty passes in front of the congregation before anything happened. I did not count the number of times, but about
  • 57. the twenty-first time, the foot began to raise. The next time it raised some more and the next time even more. And by the time she left there, I believe she could have stepped over the tape recorder, let alone the cord running to it. I am confident that was a healing that came through faith rather than gifts of healings or the sovereignty of God. There’s another testimony I would like to share with you that dramatically shows the faith side. This testimony is also in one of our companion chapters called, “A Greater Faith,” but because it fits so beautifully here, I want to include it in this chapter as well. It is regarding a woman by the name of Frances Poe. Frances had a rare condition from the point of birth on, in that the sockets of her eyes did not grow but the eyes did. As a result of this, the sight was eventually “squeezed” from the optic nerve. By the time Frances was 25 years of age, she was totally blind. She later said it was as black as midnight. Eleven doctors had said that she would never see again. For seventeen years, Frances begged and pleaded for God to heal her. Some people think that is faith, but it really isn’t. The Bible tells us, for example, in Romans 4:20 that Abraham “staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.” Praising God is one of the ingredients of real faith. After seventeen years of not being in faith, someone talked with Frances and pointed out that she was not really in faith by her begging and pleading and explained to her how real faith works. They admonished her to begin to claim her healing, to start praising God, to praise God before there was any manifestation of a healing. She did this. For almost four years she praised God every day for a healing even though there was no manifestation over this period of time. That’s a long time to praise God without anything being in evidence. Can you imagine what the enemy said to her? I am sure that many times he would point out to her that she had been praising God for a certain number of days, weeks, or months without anything happening. But yet she continued to give praise unto God; she continued to claim the healing. On April 24, 1974, after almost four years of praising God every day, Frances Poe came to a service in which I was ministering and heard me speak on the subject of faith. She had been present in many services before in which I had spoken because I had conducted several series of meetings in the general area in which she lived. Therefore, I don’t believe that one particular sermon had special significance in the manifestation of her healing. Nevertheless, as she was on her way home that night from the meeting, she was riding in a church van, seated next to a lifelong friend of hers. She nudged the friend and asked, “Is there a window in the back door of the van. The friend replied, “Yes.” Frances then asked, “Are those car lights following the van?” Her friend replied, “Yes,” and then she asked, “You’re not seeing them are you?” Frances said: “Yes, I’ve been seeing them now for many miles.” She then added: “The reason I hadn’t said anything was that I thought the back door was solid. I didn’t realize there was a window in it. But I have been seeing those car lights now for many miles.”
  • 58. The driver of the van said, “I stopped the van and we had a praise meeting.” He said, “I would put my hand over the dome light and she could tell. I would take my hand away and she could tell.” She did not see the figures of people yet, but she did have light perception for the first time in 21 years. She was so excited, she could not sleep that evening. The next morning she saw the sun rise for the first time in those 21 years. The next day she saw the burners on her stove. The next morning, again, she saw the sun rise. And the last I heard, Frances had continued to see every day. The report was that it wasn’t perfect yet, but she had at one time even seen ants on an ant hill. That woman is on the road to a miracle. I believe that if Jesus were to appear to her, He would say as He did in the days of old, One man came forward with his son, a boy who was about 12 years of age. The boy had something wrong with his ankle that limited certain moves with his foot. The father asked if I would pray for his son and then he said, “But perhaps we shouldn’t even be up here, because we do not attend a church regularly.” NO “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole.” Undoubtedly, it was a case of faith on the part of Frances Poe far more than the gifts of healings in operation. This is the faith side. It is very important for people to know of the faith side. For if they do not, they will not know how to talk it out in faith. GIFTS OF HEALINGS BY AN]) FOR THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD Because of the fact that I have much teaching on faith in other chapters as well as books on faith, in the rest of this chapter I am going to give additional teaching in order to establish the gifts of healings. Previously, we mentioned that God many times heals unbelievers and, undoubtedly, He does this for the purpose of leading that soul or other souls who may be affected to the Lord Jesus Christ. I said, “That’s all right, I’ll pray for your son.” I prayed for the boy and God instantly healed him. The boy’s eyes got big; he began to move that foot back and forth. He looked at his father and said, “Dad, it doesn’t hurt anymore.” I asked him to go ahead and make a move that his father said usually bothered him when he tried to make it on a basketball court. He made the move three or four times without any pain at all. Again he looked at his father and said, “Dad, it doesn’t hurt.” I noticed the father had tears rolling down his cheeks. I asked him if he knew Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. He replied, “No, I don’t.” I then asked if he would like to accept Christ. He said, “Yes,” and then added, “and I think the whole family would.”
  • 59. I looked back at his wife and she was crying. She came forward with an older son and the four of them accepted Jesus Christ at that moment. My, how we can see the wisdom of God in what was done. God in essence was saying this: “They will not have to walk this healing out in faith.” First of all, how could they know to walk in faith? They knew nothing about faith. But God was perceiving that by healing that boy, He would lead all four of them into the fold to accept His Son, Jesus. I am sure that was the reason for that instant manifestation of healing, and, remember that God had allowed for this in His Word by “the gifts of healings divided by the Holy Spirit severally as He willed.” One woman was extremely belligerent. Her son had witnessed to her many times, but she had repeatedly said: “I will have nothing to do with any of that. I will not go to your church. Leave me alone.” I was conducting a series of services in the church where this young man attended. He had noticed that a high percentage of those with back trouble who had come forward for healing had received their healing as I prayed for them. I would like to interject this: I don’t know why God heals more people of back trouble in my meetings than anything else. I did not ask God when I started praying for the sick to heal more back trouble than any other condition, but yet that’s what I have seen take place. I have seen many healings in other areas. I have seen blind eyes opened, deaf ears opened, etc., but I have seen a much higher percentage of back trouble healed than anything else, at least as far as an instant manifestation of healing is concerned. This young man talked with his mother and said, “Why don’t you go to the church and let him pray for your back to be healed.” 62. She said: “Son, I told you I will have nothing to do with that church. I am not going to go for any reason whatsoever.” The son left home that Sunday afternoon with tears in his eyes. He came on to the service that evening and said to his mother’s sister, “Aunt, I don’t understand why Mother won’t even come and have prayer for her back to be healed.” The aunt said: “I am going to call her. I think I can get her to come.” The aunt used as a talking point the fact that her only son had passed away the year before. She said to her sister, “I don’t even have a son anymore that I can please.” She added: “Your son is not asking the impossible of you, nothing that is bad. Why don’t you come for his sake?” That’s pretty strong psychology when you mention that you do not even have a son anymore that you can please, but it worked. The mother came on to the service that evening. She did not respond to the invitation for salvation, but she did for the invitation for healing. When I came to her in the healing line, I asked what was wrong. She said, “I have back trouble.” I asked her to be seated. Before continuing this testimony I would like to explain the following. The majority of those who have back trouble have a short leg. I have proven this many times in a congregation as I would ask the question, “How many of you have been to a chiropractor for the treatment of lower back trouble?” After the hands are raised
  • 60. in response to that question, I then ask, “How many of you did the chiropractor check for length of your legs?” Nearly always, 60 percent or more of the hands will be raised in response to the second question. Undoubtedly, there is correlation between a short leg and back trouble. I have an excerpt of an article in print put out by the British Medical Association called, “The Short Leg Syndrome.” In it they discussed the correlation between short legs and back trouble. I realize there is much more wrong in many cases with a person’s back than just a short leg. However, I look at it this way. If the leg is short, God will lengthen it. If it is not, we do not lose anything by checking to see if it’s short or not. And additionally, even though there might be more wrong with the person’s back than just a short leg, the same God who will lengthen the leg is the one who will heal the rest of the problem, too. One pastor with a critical attitude asked me if I did not think that God could heal a person’s back without us seeing a leg lengthened. I replied, “Yes, I am sure that He could.” But I added, “Before I started praying for legs to lengthen, I only saw one out of ten backs healed on an average. Now I am seeing about nine out of ten healed.” I’m not about to back up on those kinds of results. Realizing that correlation between a short leg and back trouble, I asked the woman to be seated and then I picked up her feet until her legs were straight and noticed that one of the legs was short. I then prayed asking God to lengthen that leg. He did so in the matter of just a few seconds. And then God left her legs suspended in that horizontal position on a level with her hips. The woman looked at me and with a strange look on her face said, “I can’t get my legs down.” I said, “Don’t worry about it.” Of course, it was not my legs that were suspended. I had seen this happen many times before but she had never seen anything like this happen, especially to her. God left her legs suspended on a level with her hips for over an hour. The woman was seated at a right angle to the congregation and after her legs had been suspended for about ten minutes she turned toward the congregation and said, “I can’t get my legs down.” I have often thought that she probably was thinking, “They’ll think I’m stupid sitting up here with my legs suspended,” but regardless, God left her legs suspended. After her legs had been suspended about forty minutes, the pastor stepped over to where she was and asked if she would like to accept Christ as her Savior. She replied that she would and accepted Jesus right there. Undoubtedly, the miracle working power of God had made the difference. Remember what it says in Hebrews 2:4, one of the passages in the beginning of our lesson, “God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” With signs and wonders! Those signs and wonders were coming through the operation of the Spirit of God, making the difference in which this woman was open to accept Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. This was the same woman who a few hours before had been so belligerent that she had stated, “I won’t even go to that church.” What had made the
  • 61. difference? God’s power, undoubtedly. There are those who say we don’t need the miracles anymore. They are kidding themselves and they’re missing the mark. Still in this day we must see God work in a miraculous way. For that is God’s way many times of showing His power even to an unbeliever. There was a Baptist woman who was attending a Pentecostal church, yet she had said, “I do not want to speak with tongues and don’t even talk to me about it.” Now why she was attending a Pentecostal church if she did not want to speak in tongues, I don’t know. She came for war in the healing line where I was ministering for the healing of her back. I did not know anything about her except that she wanted prayer for the healing of her back. I had her seated. I checked the length of her legs. One of the legs was short. God lengthened her leg and also left her legs suspended. She also looked at me and said, “I can’t get my legs down.” And I also said to her, “Don’t worry about it.” God left her legs up from 11:00 at night until five minutes after midnight. Shortly after twelve, I noticed that the pastor and I were the only men left in the congregation. There were still a few women present, but no other men. I asked the lady if her husband had come with her that evening? She replied no, that he had not. I then asked, “is he unsaved?” She said, “Yes, he is.” I asked, “What will he think about your getting home so late?” She replied, “Oh, I don’t think he’ll say anything about it, he never does.” Then she asked, “What time is it?” I replied that it was just a little bit after midnight. She said, “I didn’t realize it was that late. I don’t think he will say anything about it, but I’m not sure. I’ve never been this late (getting home) before.” I then mentioned that the reason I had asked was I could pray for God to release her if she would like for me to, so that she would be able to go home. She then said, “All right, but I do not want to do anything against God.” I assured her that the same God who was causing the legs to stay suspended by His power also knew if she had any time problem at home and that it would be nothing against God for us to pray that He would release her, that He could work on her at home some other time.
  • 62. She said, “Okay.” I prayed and God immediately caused her legs to go down when I said, “Amen.” I heard the feet hit the floor with a thud. It became such a sign to that woman that she rose from the chair crying like a baby and went over and threw her arms around a woman who was her best friend. I started to walk away and let the two women rejoice together. As I was walking away, the other woman beckoned me over and said, “This lady wants to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.” I gave her a few instructions, laid hands on her, and she instantly began to speak with other tongues. Remember this was the same woman who had said, “I don’t want to speak in tongues and don’t talk with me about it.” God’s power had made the difference –the gifts of healings in operation that evening. God not only had left her legs suspended and let it become a sign to her, but He had also healed the problem. One woman had a husband who was an atheist. She had prayed, “God, if necessary, even use me to get through to him.” She came forward in a healing line stating that she had a tailbone problem. I asked her to be seated. I checked the length of her legs. One of the legs was short and God brought it out. Then God left her legs suspended. Her legs stayed up a comparatively short while and then God literally pulled her off the chair. She started sliding on the chair. I told her to hold on but she said, “I can’t,” and she kept sliding. We had two men ease her to the floor and then God began to shake her from head to foot. She shook as though she were on a giant vibrating machine. Someone might think that’s not very dignified. No, it isn’t. Neither is it dignified by man’s standards when a person is drunk on the Holy Spirit. Yet that is a very legitimate scriptural thing. It happened on the Day of Pentecost. Evidently then, not everything that God does to us is dignified by our standards. This woman shook for about an hour, then apparently it was over, and she was leaving the church, her right arm started shaking. She testified later that on the way home her right arm would shake as long as she was on a straight stretch of road. ‘Then she would come to a curve, it would stop shaking, and then it would start again as she got on another straight stretch. It was after midnight when she arrived home. Her husband was fast asleep. She stayed in the living room until she thought everything was over and then decided to go to bed. She said that as she approached the bed, the night light was on and her husband had left a note. There was nothing angry in the note: a very sweet note simply stating that he had missed her and he hoped that she had a good time at church. She thought, “That’s sweet of him.” And as she got in bed, she decided to kiss him on the forehead. She very gently put her hand on his forehead and as she did, her hand shook up and down hitting him three or four times as it did. He halfway aroused out of sleep, and she said, “Honey, go back to sleep, everything is all right.” Then she said she was lying in bed still as could be, when suddenly God took her legs and hit her heels on the bed three or four times as the legs went up and down. The husband sat straight up in bed and with a wild look in his eyes asked, “What are you doing?” She said, “Honey, I can’t help it. God is healing me.” He asked, “What?” She tried to explain, but he didn’t understand, and she shook so hard he couldn’t get any sleep. Finally she said, “I will go in the living room and stay all night long, if necessary,
  • 63. so you can get some sleep.” When she went to the living room, she decided she would not get on a couch or a chair, because she would probably be pulled off, so she lay flat on the floor. She said that she was lying there when suddenly her feet went up and down again and her heels bumped the floor. The poodle came charging from the kitchen barking loudly. She said that dog barked louder and longer than any dog they had ever had before. Her husband got up, took the dog, and with a few words of profanity, threw the dog into the kitchen, closed the door, and came and sat in one of the chairs in the living room, and just glared at her. Then she said God took her and rolled her in three rolls over right in front of where the husband was, with her looking right into his eyes. She said by this time his eyes were getting big. There were a number of other things that happened that night that were quite supernatural. I won’t go into the detail of them, but this was the beginning of the turning point as far as her husband was concerned. That man attends church now, believes in God, and has made quite a change in his ways. I talked later with the pastor of the church that this woman attends, and mentioned the story to him. He had heard it before because she had given it publicly. I asked him if the woman was truthful. He replied, “Yes, she is very truthful, and I believe every word of that story.” What an unusual way God had of making a believer out of that husband. There will probably be women who will read this testimony and say, “I hope that God doesn’t use me in that way to make a believer out of my husband.” Well, regardless of how He does it, that is the testimony of this one particular woman and what happened in her home as God used signs and wonders and gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. One other testimony regards a young lady who had deformed knees. She came forward in the healing line stating only that she had knee trouble. I assumed when she mentioned knee trouble that perhaps it was a cartilage or a ligament problem. Later I found out that her knees had been deformed since childhood. Her legs were so wide at the knee that she had to purchase slacks to fit at the knees rather than the hips or waist and then would have to take them in at the hips and waist to have them fit adequately. She never wore a dress in public, only slacks because of this deformity. I asked her to be seated and checked the length of her legs. The reason I checked the length of her legs was that I had found many times when it was a cartilage or a ligament problem that a leg would be short and then as God would bring the leg out, the problem would also be healed. Of course her problem was not a cartilage or a ligament problem as much as it was a deformity, but I did not know this at the time I was praying for her. God brought her leg out and kept her legs suspended for about thirty minutes. Then He pulled her off the chair, and tapped her left foot three times and her right foot three times and then shook her for about three minutes. He then tapped the feet three times each and shook her for another three minutes or so. This went on in rhythm, the shaking and the tapping of the feet, three times each for about an hour and a half. At 1 o’clock in the morning, I said to her husband, “Let’s get her up and see if she can walk.” She was not in a trance. We got her up and found out that she could walk, but not easily. She was still shaking from head to foot. He took her home, and they testified later that she shook until
  • 64. 3 o’clock in the morning. But the next morning when they got up, there was a slight indentation on the outside of her knees as though a visible kneecap was being formed. A slight indention on the outside of her legs was such a thrill and a sign to her that she began to believe God and for approximately one year she walked out that healing in faith. Eventually after about a year, her knees were normal. Her testimony today is this: “Yes, God healed my knees and I praise Him for that, but an even greater thing is this. He taught me through it all to walk in faith. I now know how to walk out a healing in faith. I am now a faith person.” Can’t you see the wisdom of God in what happened? God knew that the supernatural operation of His Spirit that evening would become a sign to her, and provide the necessary inspiration for her to begin a walk of faith. Undoubtedly, in gifts of healings –the supernatural move of the Spirit of God –we have seen God in His wisdom doing it for very special reasons so many times. Many of the things that happen, of course, we do not understand, but I learned a long time ago that regardless of whether I understand everything or not, it is good to flow and move with God. As a Protestant, I was thrilled when God began to pour out His Spirit upon the Catholics. I know much more now about the scope of what God was doing and why than I did several years ago. So even though we don’t always understand the supernatural workings of the Holy Spirit, it is best to flow and move with that which God is doing, since it is obviously of God. In these testimonies I have given, I have mentioned that the legs stayed suspended after the leg lengthened. That is not true all the time as I pray for legs to lengthen. I have seen many, many times in which the legs did not stay suspended, but in some cases they do. It becomes an obvious sign to people of God’s power when the legs stay suspended for a long period of time. Even an athlete cannot keep his legs suspended for a long period. I have seen cases where even elderly women have their legs suspended for 30, 40, and even 45 minutes. In one case, a woman’s leg stayed suspended for four hours. This became a sign to the people there, not only to unbelievers, but also to believers. CONFIDENCE I trust you can better understand now the need for the gifts of healings in operation and the importance of seeing this one side of healing. Remember, it is important to see both sides of healing, because if you don’t, you will be confused by certain things that happen or don’t happen. These are the two sides of healing: the faith side and the gifts of healings. We certainly praise God when He works through gifts of healings. Many times there are dramatic things that happen which show us God’s power, but also it is so important to recognize that even when gifts of healings do not touch us in a particular instance as far as our own immediately apparent healing is concerned, we can still walk it out in faith. So, I want you to be aware of both sides of healing, to have full appreciation for both, and to see them both scripturally.
  • 65. Lesson Six PRESCRIPTION FOR HEALING FAITH In this chapter, I want to share with you a very simple approach to healing. There are many different approaches a person might take in faith toward their healing. But I know of none that is any simpler or more effective than this. In the Book of Proverbs, chapter 4, verses 20-22, we read: Verse 20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Verse 21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. Verse 22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. The word “health” in verse 22 is better translated “medicine” from the Hebrew. So, therefore, God is saying that His Word will be a medicine even to all our flesh. The context of this passage is the Word of God. It is God talking about His Word in His Word. He says for us to attend to His words, to incline our ear unto His sayings, to let them not depart from our eyes and to keep them in the midst of our heart. And if we do, according to verse 22, they, the words of the Lord, will be life unto those that find them and medicine to all their flesh. When He says, “to all their flesh,” He is not referring to some spiritual healing. I believe in spiritual healing. I believe if we had to take a choice between the spiritual and the physical, it would be far better every time to take the spiritual. But, thank God, we don’t have to take a choice. Jesus said in Matthew 9:5, “For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?” He was simply showing that in Him there was both spiritual and physical healing. Here in Proverbs 4:22, it says that the Word will be a medicine to all their flesh, which is undoubtedly referring to a physical healing. There are other scriptures which show that God’s Word will make an impact on us, even in a physical way. In Hebrews 4:12 we read: 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. If the writer had stopped after the words “soul and spirit,” we would, perhaps, assume that the Word would only make a difference as far as our soul and spirit are concerned. But, he goes ahead to say, “and of the joints and the marrow.” That sounds like our physical body. And so we see that in some way, God’s Word will make an impact on us, even physically. In Psalms 107:17-20, we have another important passage along this line. It reads:
  • 66. Verse 17 Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Verse 18 Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death. Verse 19 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. Verse 20 He sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. A first glance at verse 17 would seem to indicate that God is referring to some kind of a spiritual affliction. He says, “Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities (or, in other words, their sins), are afflicted.” However, in verse 18, he says, “Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat.” “What does that mean? It means they get so sick, they don’t want to eat. And it goes ahead to say they even draw near to the gates of death. Actually, it is a physical affliction that has come as a direct result of sin. One woman disagreed with me after I had taught along these lines. She had misunderstood what I was saying. She thought I was implying from the use of these scriptures that all who are sick have gotten that way because of sin in their life. No, not even the Bible teaches that. But, there are certain sins that bring with them physical consequences. Excessive smoking can bring lung cancer. Excessive drinking can bring cirrhosis of the liver. And there are the well-known social diseases that come directly as a result of sexual sin. I believe conditions such as those are the ones God is referring to here. These fools, because of their transgressions and their iniquities, are afflicted. They get so sick they don’t want to eat, and they almost die. But notice what is said in verse 19: “Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.” And, verse 20: “He sent His Word, and healed them, and delivered them from (all) their destructions. If this does not show the mercy of God, I don’t know what it would take. These people are in a predicament because of their own foolish ways. Yet, God does not say to them, “You got yourself in the mess, now get yourself out.” Instead, He says, “When they cry to Him in the time of trouble, then He saves them from their distress and He sent His Word and healed them and delivereth them from all their destructions.” You can use this passage with people who have either physical, mental, or emotional problems as a result of past sins. I have had young people come for prayer and mention that they have a mental problem as a result of their past abuse from drugs. They would say: “I have been delivered from drugs for over a year now. I know that God forgave me and I do not take the drugs any longer, but I still don’t think clearly.” Then they will ask: “Do you think that God will heal me? I know I brought this on myself, and even though I know I am forgiven, I have wondered whether God will heal me or not because of my participation in this.” I can say to them, “I not only think that He will heal you, I know that He will.” And I point them to this passage in Psalms 107:17-20.
  • 67. On one particular occasion when a young man asked me that, without even answering whether I felt God would heal him or not, I asked him to open his Bible to this particular passage and read it. He did; a big smile came on his face, and he said, “That answers the question.” He knew he had been a fool for what he had done, but he also saw the promise of the mercy of God in his situation. Notice that it says in verse 20, “He sent his word, and healed them,” again, healing in the Word of God. In all probability, the primary meaning of that verse is that in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, God did send His Word and bring healing to the world. Certainly, Jesus is the Word made flesh. But even though this might be referring more to the living Word than the written Word, I look at it this way: It takes a revelation from the pages of the written Word concerning the living Word, Jesus, for me to know what I can have in Him. Therefore, if in no other way, there is healing in the written Word because of that revelation of the living Word, the Healer, the Lord Jesus Christ, that comes from the pages of the Bible. There is a potential for people to be healed every time the Word goes forth. I have known of some glorious healings as I have been preaching. One man came forward at the end of the sermon at one meeting and was the first one in line for prayer. When I asked what was wrong, he said, “I have a growth on my leg.” He pulled his pant leg up and could not find the growth. He said to me: “This is embarrassing. I know I had a growth on my leg.” THE FRUIT OF THE WORD I replied, “Herb, evidently, God has already taken that growth away.” For a few moments, he continued to look for the growth and could not find it. I can’t say for sure that it left during the sermon that evening, but in all probability it did. Recently, as I was teaching, using that testimony, a man said that at that moment he sensed a headache. He took his glasses off and rubbed the sides of his head. As he did, the headache ceased. He then turned around to look toward the back of the church, and when he did, he found out that his eyes had completely cleared up. Not only was there no more blurring of his vision, but he no longer had double vision. The next day, he tried to wear his glasses and could not. Every time he put them on, they gave him a headache. That man was healed that evening as a result of the Word going forth. One woman gave me the following testimony at the end of a service. She said: “When I came here this evening, I was a victim of multiple sclerosis. I have had MS for twelve years. As I walked in this evening, I dragged one leg as a result of the condition. I also had the tremendous loss of balance that most other MS victims have. But about three minutes before the end of the sermon as you were preaching, I felt a tingling sensation go from head to foot. I knew I was being healed of MS. And, then as you concluded the sermon and had people stand, I did so and found out that I had perfect coordination in that leg again. I moved it back and forth realizing that God had healed me. Then, when you had people bow their heads and close their eyes, I did and there was no loss of balance whatsoever.” That woman left the building that evening apparently 100 percent
  • 68. healed of the MS condition. That was a miracle. We praised God for the glorious manifestation of healing. However, there was something else interesting that evening Another woman was present who was also a victim of multiple sclerosis. She had come a distance of 250 miles by car to be healed, and I am sure the trip was not at all easy on her, She sat and listened to the same sermon, with the same anointing of the Holy Spirit upon me as I spoke. She came forward afterwards for prayer; I laid hands on her (and that is scriptural), but yet she left with the same symptoms in her body. Many would question why the one woman was healed instantly, and the other woman had to leave with the same symptoms in her body. I don’t have all of the answers as to why. I do not know whether one of the women was in greater faith than the other. I did not talk with either of them enough to ascertain that. Also, it is possible that is was a case of the gifts of healings that contrasted with the healing that comes through faith, but I can’t say for sure in those particular cases. For a more thorough study of gifts of healings as contrasted with healing through faith, you could study our companion chapter on the “Two Sides of Healing.” But I do know this. When people come for prayer, and they have hands laid on them but nothing happens at the moment, I like to send them away encouraged rather than discouraged. Too many people get the idea that if there is no manifestation of healing immediately as hands are laid on them or as a prayer is offered, then it is some sign from God that He does not will to heal them. That is not true at all. For example, the Bible says in Mark 16:18, “They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” The word “recover” implies a period of time. I encourage people to believe whether they see anything at the moment or not, to believe that God is working regardless of any lack of visible evidence. FAITH’S PLAN OF ACTION When a person still has the symptoms after prayer, I like to send them away with a further plan of action in faith. What I’m going to suggest now is that plan of action. It’s not the only thing someone can do, but it is a legitimate scriptural plan of action, a very simple thing: taking God’s Word as a medicine, two times a day, three times, four times, or even every hour on the hour. I suggested every hour to a woman and she said: “Brother, that’s not enough. I have a hard case; it’ll take at least every fifteen minutes.” I told her to have at it. I was not afraid of an overdose. I have never known of anyone overdosing on the Word of God. You say, “Yes, but what if she became addicted?” Well, praise God if she had to whip the Bible out every fifteen minutes. And, so, without reservation, I told her to go ahead with her plan. Apparently she did, because she came the next day stating that she had been completely healed of the condition. You might do it as one man did. He said, “I took the verses every thirty minutes with a glass of water.” If they go down better with a glass of water, take them that way. 29. I do want to interject this now. So many people take everything said so literally that there might be some who, upon reading this, would get the idea that they are to actually take the page out of the Bible, chew it up, and then take some water to swallow it better.
  • 69. That’s not what we’re talking about. Actually, we have a step-by-step plan of action in Proverbs 4:20-22. Step #1: Attend to the words of the Lord. Give diligence to God’s Word. Do something about it. There are many people who just mentally assent to the fact that the Word is true. They never really do anything about it. Oh, if you were to ask them if God’s Word is true, they would reply: “Yes, I know it’s true. I believe every word of it.” Yet, they never put any action with it. As one evangelist said, “It isn’t that the Word does not work; it’s that we do not work the Word.” So, we must attend to the words of the Lord. Then he begins to tell us how. Step #2: Incline our ear unto His sayings. The Bible says in Romans 10:17 that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. People ought to take every available opportunity to listen to the Word of God, whether it is by tape or by hearing it in person. Cancer victims ought to be lined up waiting to get in to every church service where the Word of God is being taught. They ought to say, “I have to hear that message of faith, because I know that for me to be healed, I must exercise faith. And to get the faith, I have to hear the Word of God.” Step #3: Let them not depart from our eyes. Read the Word of God. Though you can quote it, still read it. Keep it before you and know what God has to say in His Word. Step #4: Keep the words in the midst of our heart. How can we keep God’s Word in the midst of our heart? I believe if we incline our ears enough to His sayings and we don’t let them depart from our eyes, we will keep them in the midst, then, of our heart. There’s a classic example of this. Friends of mine had a little girl about two and a half years old who had extreme food allergies. She was allergic to milk, corn, and corn starch products. Her mother decided to begin giving the child God’s Word as a medicine. She took the cards on healing from our number one card file: eleven verses in the back of the card file on the subject of healing. And then she took eleven more verses in another category of that card file which are on the Word of God –what God says in His Word about His Word. Every day she would read the verses from those twenty- two cards, flipping through them, telling the little girl that God was healing her, and this was her medicine. She did that for almost six months without anything visibly happening. But Sherry, who was approximately three years old by now, one day reached for the cards and said, “My scriptures.” She sat there and quoted all twenty-two of those verses verbatim as she thumbed through the cards even giving the scripture references. Her mother said Sherry didn’t miss one word, nor one scripture reference. Within just a week or so after that, the child was completely healed of the allergy. That little girl had gotten it down into her heart. And so we can see God’s plan –that if we attend to His Words, if we incline our ear unto His sayings, if we let them not depart from our eyes, and if we keep them in the midst of
  • 70. our heart then they will be life to those that find them and health or medicine to all their flesh. This not only is a very simple thing to do, taking the Word as a medicine three or four times a day, but it is also a very practical thing. The reason I believe it is extremely practical is that many people do not know where to begin to exercise their faith. We can say to people, “Just believe God, or just exercise faith and you can have your healing.” Those admonitions are fine if those people know what to do. But if they do not know how to believe God or how to exercise their faith, the admonition is wasted. But in taking God’s Word as medicine, we are suggesting something that is tangible. The person cannot go his or her way saying, “I do not know how to put it into action,” because we have given them something tangible to do. If they can read and if they have a Bible, they can put it into practice. Not only should the exact plan of action be suggested to them, but also they should be given specific scriptures. Then, they will be without excuse as far as having a plan of action to follow regarding their healing. At the end of this chapter, I am going to list many scriptures which will be of great help along these lines, scriptures that can be taken as a medicine. Someone might say, “Well, yes, I can read and I have a Bible and I can take the scriptures three or four times a day as a medicine, but if I did, it probably wouldn’t work, for I have tried many things before and nothing else has worked. Therefore, if I do not believe in it, do you think it would be effective?” Yes, I believe it will be effective and I’ll tell you why. If a person will go ahead and take the Word even though he or she does not believe in it, it can bring faith to him. The person who questions whether this will work or not is one who is weak in faith. The person who is weak in faith is the one who will say, “I know the Bible says it, but I doubt if it will work for me.” Those who are obviously weak in their faith need their faith built up. What builds faith within a person? The Word of God. It is the very source of our faith. Therefore, if they will take God’s Word a number of times each day, they will be encountering the very thing that will build faith within them. It’s what I call programming the computer. The strong person of faith does not question anything such as this. Whether he has ever encountered a scripture such as this before or not, when he does, he will say, “Well, if God says His Word will be a medicine to my flesh, He means exactly what He says, and all I have to do is put into practice, and it’s bound to work. PROPER PROGRAMMING We’re living in a day which we could call the Age of the Computer. I am amazed at what computers can do. I have no technical knowledge regarding computers, just a meager layman’s knowledge. Undoubtedly, those machines are capable of great feats; a fact which comes home to me frequently since my son works for American Airlines. There are times when he can push a few buttons on the computer and trace my flight path across the nation. One day, I was talking with him on the phone and he asked if I had made the flight the day before in .Chicago. I said, “Yes, but how did you know I was in Chicago?” He then said, “You only had fifteen minutes to make this flight, didn’t you?” And I said, “Yes, but how did you know that?”
  • 71. He said, “I found it on the computer.” That’s amazing with all of the tens of thousands of airline flights every day that he could find my flight path. They say a computer was used on one of the Apollo flights to make a correction in six seconds that would have taken a man with pencil and paper 4900 years to compute. That’s an amazing machine. However, the computers are only as good as what’s programmed into them, and so they have human beings they call computer programmers. Their job is to program the right thing into the computer. The programmers have a term in computer terminology called “gigo.” It means “garbage in, garbage out.” That is to remind the computer programmer that if he or she programs garbage into the computer, garbage is going to come out. What does that have to do with our faith and healing? I believe the problem with many people’s faith is that they have programmed for too much garbage into themselves, and then they wonder why faith does not emerge. The associate pastor of a church was talking with me about a man who was in the hospital. He said, “That man is desperate for a healing; in fact, he has called different people in the church and asked them what he ought to do.” I said, “That could be his biggest problem right there.” He asked, “What do you mean?” I said, “I can imagine the variety of answers he would get from the people.” One person might say, “I can’t help you; I had a relative die of the same condition last year.” Someone else says, “Well, I’m one of the weakest in faith, and I’m afraid that I can’t help you.” Someone else might suggest that he fast and pray ten days and then he would get his healing. After he had talked with the people, he might have gotten some good advice, but he would have also probably programmed a lot of garbage into himself. I told the associate pastor to tell him not to talk to anyone else about it, but instead tell him to get on a program of taking God’s Word as a medicine. And I said, “If you can keep him on that program, you don’t have to worry about any garbage whatsoever.” There is no garbage in the Word of God. It is the pure source of faith day after day after day. For reasons such as that, I believe this is a good course of action, even for people who are not totally in faith as they start. If they will continue, they will be programming the right things into themselves, causing faith to emerge. There was a tragedy that took place in California a few years ago. It’s the story of a boy who was a diabetic, whose parents took away his insulin, thinking they could effect a healing. The child died as a result. The only reason I am including this story is that I believe it pertains to what I am teaching at this point in the chapter. I do not know the family and all I know about the case is what I either read in the newspapers or heard through the grapevine.
  • 72. When I first read about it, I said to myself, “I wish I could have been there in advance. I might have known what the father was contemplating, and if so, I would have suggested to him, ‘Don’t take away the insulin, but also don’t just settle for a lifetime of diabetes and insulin.” What am I talking about? To a lot of people, faith is either leaving off all medicines and claiming the healing or nothing at all. I know some people to whom there is no middle ground whatsoever. There are people who believe that if you took even one aspirin, you would have negated your faith forever. I know there have been people gloriously healed as they have stopped using a medicine. I even know of one woman who was healed of a diabetic condition as she stopped using insulin. It was a marvelous story of healing. However, it obviously did not work in the case of the boy in California. You might ask then, why did it work for one and not for another. One of the main reasons is that people are on different levels of faith. One person might be on a very high level of faith and able to leave off a medicine and claim his healing at the same time. Someone else on a lower level of faith might hear that testimony and say to himself, “Well, that’s all I have to do. Just leave off the medicine and I will be healed.” He leaves it off and he isn’t healed, apparently. Undoubtedly, there is more to faith, then, than just leaving off a medicine. So, I would have suggested to the father, “Don’t leave off the insulin, but also don’t just settle for a lifetime of diabetes and insulin.” I would have suggested that he start another medicine with the insulin, and the other medicine is, of course, the Word of God. It’s what I call the combining of two medicines. Someone might challenge that. They might say, “I don’t believe that God’s Word will work if any pharmaceutical medicine is being taken.” Who says that it won’t? God doesn’t say it in His Word. I believe that the Word of God is stronger that any antibiotic, stronger than any narcotic, and stronger than any tranquilizer. Therefore, I believe the Word will not be hindered by some weaker medicine. One man who was a diabetic got hold of this concept from one of our tapes. He said: “I like this. I’m going to put it into practice.” He continued to take his insulin but started also taking God’s Word as the cure. After about a month, he was getting sicker rather than better. He finally went to the doctor who ran tests and came out shaking his head. He asked, “Man, how much insulin have you been taking?” He replied, “The usual dosage.” He said, “You’re kidding!” The man said: “No, I’m not kidding. I have taken the same number of units every day.” The doctor sat there scratching his head, and finally said, “I don’t understand this case. I have never seen one like it. You are having a tremendous insulin reaction and apparently your body has begun to produce natural insulin. If I were you, I would leave off the insulin for a day or two and see what happens.” When I heard the testimony, the man had been free for about a year from the diabetic condition, obviously healed by the Word of God.
  • 73. A former secretary of mine has a boy who was the hyperactive of the hyperactives. No one could get any more active than Kevin was. His mother made a statement regarding him that I thought might be an exaggeration, but when I questioned her later she said, “No, it was not an exaggeration.” The statement was this: The boy did not sleep one full night the first five years of his life. The mother said she would put him to bed about 8:00 at night. He would toss and turn until about 10:30 and then sleep for three or four hours and get up and play the rest of the night. This was the case, night after night. They had him on a drug called Ritalin. Ritalin helps to control hyperactive children. It did not completely control him, but it certainly helped because he was much better with it than without. I suggested that she begin God’s Word for the cure. I said, “Keep giving him the Ritalin, but start the Word for the cure.” I suggested she use our Scripture Card File which has the scriptures in the back on healing. Of course, all of the verses are in the Bible, but they are much easier to find since they are categorized in the card file. She did this. Kevin liked the idea of the card file. He played with it during the day and took it to bed with him at night. She gave him the scriptures every day as a medicine without anything taking place. After five months of doing this, he then began to get more hyperactive than ever. She continued on for the sixth month. I have often wondered how many times she must have been discouraged as she saw nothing happening. But at the beginning of the sixth month, he began to get more hyperactive. The mother, at that time, was working for a doctor. She mentioned this problem to the doctor and he said, “Well, we could increase the dosage of the Ritalin some.” They did and instead of it making him better, it seemingly made him worse. About a month of that went by and then one day they forgot to get his prescription refilled. She said later that if Kevin went one day without Ritalin, he would be about the same. But if he went the second day without it, he’d be almost climbing the walls. The first day, the child was about the same. The second day, they forgot again to get the prescription refilled. But instead of Kevin getting worse, he began to get better. The third day, they still had forgotten to get his prescription. My wife was visiting in the home. She noticed Kevin going to sleep while watching television. This child never went to sleep watching television. He was usually turning flips and watching TV in between. My wife looked at Beverly and asked, “is he sick?” She said, “No, I don’t think so.” And then she added: “It’s strange, but this is the third day we have forgotten to get his prescription refilled. He ought to be climbing the walls, but instead he’s calming down.” My wife said, “Do you remember the testimony that Joe gives regarding the diabetic man who could not take the insulin any longer?” And right in the middle of the sentence, Beverly’s eyes lit up and she said: “That’s it. God has healed him.” That was two and a half years ago and the child is still completely healed of the hyperactive condition. He has not needed Ritalin in all this time. That mother is so glad that she put a very simple thing into practice.
  • 74. The doctor, who is a Spirit-filled man, later said that the healing must have begun to be manifested at the beginning of the sixth month. He explained that a child who is not hyperactive many times cannot take Ritalin because it has a contrary effect. Many times it will make the “nonhyper” child “hyper.” Evidently, this is what had happened with Kevin. A school teacher got hold of this concept and put into practice. She taught in a large Christian day school and had a class of handicapped children. She put the concept into practice by giving them five verses at the beginning of each class period. All of these verses were on healing. She would read the verses and have the children repeat them after her, and then make a few general statements on faith, again having the children repeat after her before she went on with the lesson. At the end of three weeks, one of the mothers came to me and said, “A miracle has taken place in this classroom. I want you to know what has happened.” She added, “So many of the children have been so dramatically helped that parents are calling the school almost daily and saying, ‘That teacher really knows how to handle a problem child. “ Many of the parents did not even know what the teacher was doing. Undoubtedly, God’s Word was at work. I gave that testimony in another church. A woman called me the next day. She said, “I also teach in a large Christian day school and I have been doing the same thing and did not even realize what I was doing.” She added, “I begin each day with about fifty verses from the Bible, not even all of them on healing. I do not have handicapped children, as such, but there were slow learners in the class and I had already noticed this year, not realizing why, that nearly all of the slow learners had caught up with the others. In fact, there are very few that are even slow learners now.” Another teacher taught in a special education school. Her class consisted of trainable mentally retarded children. She said that as she put the concept into practice, a calmness came over the group followed by significant progress. Her father, who is a medical doctor, ordered a hundred of my books on Prescription For Healing. He began to pass them out to the patients. He said there were many testimonies of healing. One was regarding a man who, at the first, was very sick with emphysema. The doctor said he noticed every office visit that the man was getting worse. But from the moment he began to take the Word as a medicine, there was significant evidence of progress (at each subsequent office visit). 7One woman had a stroke at 8:00 in the morning. She was limited to her couch by the crippling effects of the stroke, but she was able to reach a phone at the end of the couch and dial her friend. She told her friend: “I am sick. I can’t get up. Would you please read the scriptures to me from the card file on healing.” The friend read the verses and nothing happened. The woman called back thirty minutes later, still not telling her friend what was wrong, but just saying that she was sick and needed her to read the verses again. The friend did and nothing happened. That went on every thirty minutes from 8:00 until 4:00
  • 75. in the afternoon. But at 4:00 in the afternoon, there was an instant manifestation of healing and the lady was able to get up and walk away from the couch. One woman was dying from cancer. She was in a coma. Someone suggested to her husband that while he was sitting there, he read the verses from the Bible on healing. They said: “You’re down there for hours every day anyway. Use that time effectively.” He did, and the woman was completely healed of the condition. The last I heard, she had been healed for about four years. Since then, there has been no evidence of cancer, whatsoever! There’s a man in Pennsylvania who was a manic depressive depressive. I did not know what a manic depressive depressive was until a nurse explained. She said: “The manic is the high, the depressive is the low. The reason they repeat the word ‘depressive’ is that they are depressed more than they are high.” She added: “They go from extreme highs to extreme lows. It is devastating not only emotionally, but even at times physically.” A doctor later explained that in their highs they are almost in a fantasy-type situation. There are times when they want to give away everything they have. And then, within just a few hours, they will plunge to such depths of despair that they are almost ready to take their lives. This man had been that way for twenty years, a manic depressive depressive. He was on 1,050 milligrams of Sinequan every week. They could not lower the dosage from 1,050 down to 1,000 without throwing him into a real chaotic condition. He heard me speak along these lines and God spoke to him and said, “There is your healing if you want it.” He wanted it to such an extent that he went home and put the scriptures on tape. He said, “I must have listened to those verses 200 times a day, over and over.” He also read them multiple times every day. In fact, he took off from work to do this for three weeks. He owned his own business, so he could do that with a minimum of difficulty. At the end of three weeks, he was off of Sinequan, completely healed of the manic depressive depressive condition. That man knows at least in measure what God means when He says: “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in them midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that that find them, and health (or medicine) to all their flesh.” GENERAL VERSES ON HEALING Now I want to share with you a prescription from the Word of God: Proverbs 4:20-22; Psalms 107:20; Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 8:17; I Peter 2:24. Those are the five scriptures the teacher gave to the handicapped children. They are not special verses for handicapped children. In stead they are general verses on healing, and they worked. SPECIFIC VERSES ON SPECIFIC HEALINGS The following verses are much more specific. Ezekiel 16:6
  • 76. And when I passed be thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live. This scripture will stop bleeding quicker than any scripture in the Bible. Also it can be used for a diabetic condition. I have received many testimonies across the nation from people using this scripture. One little boy was a hemophiliac, that is, a free bleeder. Even a slight cut on the skin is a major problem for a child with this condition. This boy ran into a tree and smashed his nose. There was so much bleeding immediately as he turned around that it almost covered from the chest down three children standing nearby. His mother almost panicked; but a friend of the family was present, and he suggested they read Ezekiel 16:6. They read it and the bleeding stopped immediately. That is a miracle when a child is a hemophiliac. There’s a surgeon who came to a service when I was ministering. He was unsaved and he said later that he was skeptical of nearly everything going on, i.e.’ the claims of healing, etc. The next week, however, he was operating on a woman and he couldn’t get the bleeding stopped. He said that he wanted to cry Out to God in that operating room for help, but it was so out of character for him to use God’s name in any way except in profanity, that he didn’t say anything out loud. But within himself, he said, “God, that preacher the other night mentioned there’s a verse in the Bible that will stop bleeding. I don’t know whether there is or not, but if there is, I need for it to work now.” He said in twenty seconds time, the bleeding had stopped. That doctor is now a Spirit-filled Christian. He not only will operate on you, he will pray for you, too. A Baptist preacher shared the following testimony with me. He said that at the time of the incident he did not believe in miracles. (I would like to interject this. I know Baptist preachers who do believe in miracles and those who do not and I could say the same of virtually every denomination. So, I do not mean to imply that it is only Baptists who do not believe in miracles.) This preacher said he had gone to the emergency room of the hospital to see about someone who had been taken there. The party he had gone to see was being adequately cared for. But he was standing in the hall waiting when a man was brought in on a stretcher who was apparently bleeding to death. He was just left in the hail. Possible there were not any available rooms at that moment. This preacher was watching as an intern was trying to get the bleeding stopped. The intern looked up at the preacher and said, “I can’t get the bleeding stopped.” The man on the stretcher looked at the preacher and said, “Doctor, do something.” The preacher replied: “I’m not a doctor. I’m a preacher.” The man on the stretcher said: “That’s even better. Get your Bible out.” He said, “I pulled a New Testament out of my pocket.” And the man on the stretcher said: “That’s not enough. We need the whole Bible.”
  • 77. He said: “I went out to the waiting room and found a Gideon Bible on a coffee table. Thank God for Gideon Bibles. I brought it back and asked the man on the stretcher what he wanted me to do.” He said, “Open it up to Ezekiel 16:6.” 92. He said, “I opened it up and asked, ‘What do you want me to do now?” The man on the stretcher said, “Read it, man, read it.” He said, “I read it and the intern looked at me immediately and said, ‘The bleeding just stopped.” By the way, that Baptist preacher now believes in miracles. Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. This scripture will protect you in the time of fire or flood and it will also heal burns. Isaiah 32:2 And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. This verse will protect you in a windstorm, from a hurricane, tornado, or anything of that nature. Isaiah 32:3 And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. This is for the healing of sight and hearing problems. Isaiah 32:4 The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly. This is for the healing of a stammering or a stuttering speech impediment. Psalms 43:20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. This is for the healing of broken bones. Actually, this scripture is prophetic regarding the Lord Jesus Christ and the fact that none of his bones would be broken at Calvary. But
  • 78. even though it is specific regarding Jesus, we are, according to the Word, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. Therefore, we can apply it in Jesus and it will work. A policeman gave the following testimony. He said that he was called to an accident. A man’s leg was broken so badly it was off at a slant from the knee down with the bone protruding through the knee. The policeman put the leg in a splint, claimed Psalms 34:20 over the man, and sent him on to the hospital in an ambulance. The next day, the policeman called the hospital identifying himself by his badge number. He talked to the nurse that had been on duty. He asked about the man. The nurse said: “Oh, he’s fine. We released him today from the hospital.” He asked, “How is his broken leg?” She said: “Oh, his leg was not broken. We wondered why a splint was put on his leg, but it was not broken.” She added, “He walked away from the hospital today.” That man had been healed by the power of the Word of God. Exodus 23:25 And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. This is for the healing of any kind of a stomach problem: stomach ulcers, stomach virus, stomach cancer, and also for the healing of kidney or bladder trouble. Exodus 23:26 There shall nothing cast their young, not be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfill. This verse is for protection of an expectant woman from a miscarriage. Mark 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 1This is for the healing of snake bite or the drinking of poison. There are some who have said that God has commissioned us in this passage in Mark 16:16-18 to deliberately drink poison. I do not believe God ever intended for us to do any of these things deliberately. Do not slash your wrists to see if Ezekiel 16:6 will work or not. Do not set fire to yourself to try out Isaiah 43:2. But it it’s an accidental happening or something inflicted on you by someone else, you can claim the scriptures. One woman, who was a school teacher, said that she was poisoned in a school cafeteria. She took a drink of some tea. It was extremely bitter. She thought, “Well, it’s just old,” and she took another drink. And when she did, an extreme burning hit her in the throat
  • 79. and then continued down the esophagus. She went to the principal’s office and stated, “I’m afraid that I’ve been poisoned.” She said the principal almost panicked, but a school librarian walked in, a woman who knew the Word of God. She very calmly said, “Well, if you have been poisoned, there is a scripture in the Bible that will heal you.” She went and got her Bible and read Mark 16:18. The teacher testified that in one minute’s time, a coolness replaced the burning. She was completely healed. They later sent the tea off to the state capitol for analyzing at a lab. The report came back that there was enough poison in the tea to have killed six people. Yet, this woman had been healed by the power of the Word of God. Psalms 91:5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; This is for protection in a high-crime area. It is your police number. Also, it will be of great benefit to anyone who is afraid to stay home alone at night. Notice that it says, “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night.” Psalms 119. 7 A thousand shall fall at thy side and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. This is for protection of a soldier when in battle. Two women made this observation. They were not being facetious and I believe it was a good idea. They said, “We’re going to use Psalms 91:7 for our children in school, because in these days, the schools are a virtual battlefield.” I believe it will work, yes, for children in school. There’s a tract in print about a British colonel in World War I who taught the officers under him and they in turn taught the men under them to claim Psalms 91:7. They say that not a one of them was lost in combat in over three years. One soldier had a New Testament in his pocket. A shell ripped through the New Testament and riddled every page down to the page of Psalms 91. Recently, on one of the national newscasts on television, the following testimony was given. The newscaster said: “This is an incredible story. A night watchman was shot by an intruder. The bullet ripped through a New Testament in his pocket, but stopped at the back cover.” My, what supernatural protection! Psalms 91:6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; not for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. This will get rid of roaches and ants. One woman got excited when she heard about this scripture. She said, “That will get rid of those roaches in my apartment.” She claimed the verse and stated that there were dead roaches the next morning all over the apartment.
  • 80. Another woman said, “If it will work for roaches, it will also work for ants.” Her husband testifying later said, “They left.” He then added, “Well, I did see one, but he was on his way out.” That, by the way, is the difference between a believer and a doubter. The believer said, “I saw one and he was on his way out.” The doubter says, “I saw one and it didn’t work.” One man said that they had been plagued by ants for a number of weeks. They had actually claimed Psalms 91:6 without anything happening. And then one day, he got a bright idea to take the card out of the card file. He put it down in the path of the ants and he said for two days they went around it and then completely disappeared. Psalms 73:26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever. This is for the healing of heart trouble. Dick Mills, the evangelist from California, said that he was visiting a woman in the intensive care unit of a hospital. This woman had had a massive heart attack and was near death. The nurse on duty did not want Dick Mills to even see the woman. But he stated, “I am a minister, and she asked for me to come.” The nurse then said, “All right, you can go in for three minutes, that’s all.” He said, “I had overstayed my time and realizing so, I said to the woman, ‘Letha, I have to leave, but we’re going to claim Psalms 73:26 for the healing of your heart.” When he said that, the heart monitor sounded an alarm. The nurse came running from central control and said: “You’ll have to get out of here. You’re upsetting the patient.” He said, “I then turned to her again and said, ‘All right, I’m leaving, but remember we’re claiming Psalms 73:26.” When he made the statement again, the alarm again went off on the heart monitor. He said by that time the nurse was pushing him out of the room. On the way out, his wife asked if he knew what was happening. His wife is a registered nurse. He said, “Well, I assume the nurse was upset because I had overstayed my time,” She said, “No, it was not just that. I was watching that heart monitor and every time you would say Psalms 73:26, the reading on the heart monitor would nearly go off the graph.” Apparently there was so much energy passing through that woman’s heart that it was causing this reading on the heart monitor. The woman is healed even today. Isaiah 66:14 And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies. This is for the healing of arthritis or any kind of a bone problem.
  • 81. Mark 11:13,14,20,21 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find anything thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it. And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. This is for the healing of cancer. Even though cancer is not mentioned in this passage, I believe it’s an excellent one to use. It is the passage concerning Christ’s cursing the fig tree. I believe that He cursed the fig tree primarily as an object lesson in faith. I do not believe that He is interested in our going out to find a fig tree somewhere to curse or even finding a mountain and trying to move it in a literal sense. But instead, I believe it is an object lesson in faith, and we are to realize that we can take authority over the works of the enemy. We can speak death to cancer, death to arthritis, or whatever the problem might be. And since cancer has a root system and is similar to the tree in that sense, we can speak death to it from the very root system, cursing it even as Christ did the fig tree. Jeremiah 32:3 9 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: This is for the healing of a marriage. What a beautiful promise from the Word of God. Psalms 113:9 He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord. This is a scripture for a woman who has not been able to have a child. One woman came forward for prayer and said: “My husband and I have not been able to have any children. Would you please pray that we’ll be able to.” I said, “Yes, but not only will we pray regarding this, but we will also claim Psalms 113:9.” She testified later that for many months, she claimed Psalms 113:9 without anything happening. And then one day in prayer, God spoke to her and said, “Now, add to it Isaiah 9:6.” That’s the scripture that says, “For unto us a child is born.” She claimed that and within just a few weeks’ time, she was pregnant. And as she testified to me she had a 10- month-old baby daughter in her arms, rejoicing in the child that God had given to that
  • 82. family. I later heard that she had had her second child. God made a childbearing woman out of that lady. OUT OF CONTEXT You, perhaps, have noticed that many of these verses have been taken out of context. There are some people that get very upset if they feel a verse has been taken out of context in any way. However, I believe we have a scriptural right to do so. Paul even took verses out of context in his teaching. When he applied the verse from the Old Testament about not muzzling the ox that treads out the corn as illustrative of supporting the ministers, he was taking the verse way out of context. But we believe he was led of the Spirit to do so, just as we believe all of the Bible is the inspired Word of God. In II Corinthians 1:20, we read that all of the promises of God are in Jesus: “For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him amen.” Therefore, we can apply these verses in the Lord Jesus Christ because they are all in Him, yes, in Him. In Roman 4:23 we read regarding Abraham that the things were not written for his sake alone, but they were written for our sakes also. Since that is the case, it means that those things which were promised to Abraham become ours in the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, we can claim them. One pastor said to me; “Brother, I don’t believe in doing it this way. I believe it’s a deceitful use of the Word of God.” Well, I don’t believe it’s a deceitful use of the Word of God. I believe it’s simply taking that which God promised to Israel but claiming it and applying it in the Lord Jesus Christ. If you take a scripture out of context and apply it to the disagreement of the rest of the Word of God, it will not work. But if you take a promise out of context and apply it to the agreement of the rest of the Word of God, it will work. Ezekiel 16:6 does not refer in its context to physical bleeding, but it has much more of a spiritual application. But remember, in Jesus which is easier to say, “Thy sins be forgiven thee; or arise and walk.” There is both spiritual and physical healing in Him. Therefore, if we need it for the healing of the physical as well as the spiritual, we can claim it in the Lord Jesus Christ. As one man said, “The proof of the pudding is in the fact that it works.” And I know that these verses work. This is what I call a working knowledge of the Word of God. And so if you really want to attend to the Word of God as we are admonished to do in Proverbs 4:20, here is a way in which you can do it. Claim these verses as promises from God’s Word, apply them, and see them work:
  • 83. Lesson Seven HOW TO WITNESS REGARDING THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT SPIRIT OUTPOURING We are living in a day in which God is pouring out His Spirit upon the earth in greater measure than ever before. Although there have been great visitations of God upon the earth throughout the ages, undoubtedly the scope of this visitation is unprecedented. It is thrilling for me to see what God is doing and to have a part in it, not only through my own personal experience, but also in ministry to others. In 1968, I was ministering in a small community church near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a series of meetings. A pastor from Pittsburgh came to the meetings one evening, and I was led of the Holy Spirit to give a word of prophecy to him and his wife. When you prophesy to an individual, it is sort of like a postman delivering a letter. You didn’t write it, and it is not to you; therefore, it is difficult many times to interpret what is being said, since you don’t realize the significance of the message. That was true in this particular case. But although I did not realize what God was really saying to the individual, he did. That pastor called me in a few days and mentioned how much he appreciated my ministry and how he realized that it was the Holy Spirit who had spoken through me in the message to him. He then asked if I could come to Pittsburgh for two nights of meetings, one on a Saturday night and the other on a Sunday night. He was pastor of the Church of the Bretheren in Pittsburgh, and he suggested that we have the Saturday night service in their church and then go to the Methodist Church down the street for the Sunday evening meeting. He then explained why we would change locations on Sunday. He said: “About half of our church, the Church of the Brethren, have been baptized in the Holy Spirit, or at least is in favor of it, and the other half are opposed. The opposition has asked that we not have anything of a charismatic nature in either of the Sunday services. The compromise we have reached is this: we can do anything we wish Monday through Saturday, but nothing of a charismatic nature on Sunday.” “But,” he added, “that’s no problem because the Methodist Church has no Sunday evening service; therefore, we can use their building.” The dates for the services were arranged. On Saturday night, we had a beautiful move of the Spirit of God. A Presbyterian pastor who was present said to himself: “I like what I am seeing. This is decent and in order.” He determined that he would talk the next morning, on Sunday, to a man of their church who was counselor of the young people and suggest that they bring the young people the next night to the Methodist Church to expose them to this kind of a move of the Spirit. As far as the pastor knew, he and his wife and the couple, who were counselors of the young people, were the only four in the church who had been baptized in the Holy spirit. The pastor had not shared his testimony with his church; therefore, the church knew nothing of this experience.
  • 84. The next night, the young people came. There were twelve of them, and they got to the service about twenty minutes late and marched in together. I did not know they were coming, and I wondered for a few moments just who they might be. I then asked for public testimonies, and three people got up and shared what God had done for them. However, I knew there was someone else who needed to give a word of testimony. I mentioned this and the counselor of the young people arose and shared a bit of his personal testimony. He then said, “We are from the Penn Hills Presbyterian Church, and we have brought these young people tonight, and we believe by faith that some of them are going to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.” When he made that statement, I assumed that the young people knew about the experience of the baptism in the Spirit, but just did not know how to receive. My assumption was wrong, but I began to act according to what I was thinking. I mentioned that all the young people could receive that night if they desired to. I preached a general sermon on faith that night and, many times through the course of the message, I directed my remarks toward the young people saying, “Tonight is your night; every one of you can receive.” The pastor cringed every time I made such a statement, not knowing what the reaction of the young people would be since it was all new to them. He once turned to a pastor sitting next to him and said: “I don’t know where this is going to lead. They know nothing of this experience.” But I went blindly on, and God was leading in the whole matter. At the end of the sermon, I said to the young people: “All right, this is the moment. Come forward if you want to receive.” It was a consensus of the whole group to come forward. One would look at another and begin to nod his or her head yes; then another likewise, until they all came forward. I gave instructions and then laid hands on them and they all received. Eleven out of the twelve spoke in tongues almost instantly as I laid hands on them. The other one received in a comparatively short period of time. They were all speaking in tongues whether their pastor thought they were ready or not. They continued in this new experience for about twenty minutes without stopping. I remember one of the boys looked at another and pointed his finger at him and probably was wanting to say, “You’re doing it, too.” But it did not come out in English. The young people worshipped that evening for about an hour. They would speak in tongues and then praise in English. They would then sing in tongues and sing in English, back and forth for about an hour. After they had been speaking in tongues for a few minutes, the pastor came to me and said: “I am the pastor of these young people, and I am thrilled at what God has done. And don’t think from what I’m going to say that I’m opposing this in any way, because I am not. But, do you think it would be wise to tell the young people not to say anything about this to their parents, since our church knows nothing about this. I realize now that I will have to give my testimony to the church, but I want to seek God as to the right timing for that.” I replied, “Yes, I think it might be wise for them not to say anything to their parents.” Actually, I had a more important reason, I thought. My reasoning was this. I had known of many young people who had had marvelous experiences with God, but yet when they
  • 85. would go home and tell their parents what had happened, many times the parents would exercise parental authority and say to them, “You’re not getting involved in anything like that, and you won’t be able to go to those services anymore.” Realizing this possibility, I counseled the young people after a few minutes not to say anything to their parents about this. However, that was like Christ healing the people and asking them not to say anything about it. These young people weren’t about to keep quiet about this experience they had received. One of the young men was an hour late getting home that evening. His father was very strict, and he said to the boy: “Son, what do you mean coming in at this hour? I told you to be home at a certain time.” The boy replied, “Dad, I couldn’t help it.” The father, then, as a matter of punishment, sent the boy immediately upstairs to go to bed. The mother, though, perceived that perhaps something unusual had happened to their son. She asked the father to go up and talk with him, and she said: “Honey, don’t be harsh. Try to find out what’s wrong. I believe something unusual has happened.” The father went up and stayed and stayed. The mother got concerned and went up to see about them. She found the father sitting there listening enraptured as the son gave the full testimony of what had happened that evening. At the end of his testimony, the parents decided that the whole family needed to receive. Within a week and a half’s time, all of the family had received, with the exception of one young child. One of the girls who had been present the night before was in her junior high school classroom the next morning. She had a habit of talking in class. The teacher had it in for Kim. She caught Kim talking and said to her: “Kim, you have persisted this whole semester in talking in class when you’re not supposed to. Now I want you to stand up and share with the class what you’re talking about.” Kim said, “Teacher, you don’t want to hear this.” The teacher very sarcastically said, “Yes, I do, and the whole class wants to hear it.” Kim then said, “Teacher, you have asked for it.” She got up and for thirty minutes gave full testimony of what had happened the night before. There are those who say this experience does not make any difference in our power to witness. First of all, if a person says that, they are disagreeing with the words of Jesus as found in Acts 1:8, There He mentioned that we would receive power, after that the Holy Ghost has come upon us. But I would like to add this further. It takes power to witness in these days in a public school classroom on anything regarding God, especially an experience such as this. Kim undoubtedly had power working in her, a power greater than ever before to witness and declare the wonderful works of our Lord Jesus Christ. I was back in Pittsburgh again two months after that on a Saturday night at the Church of the Brethren and Sunday night at the Methodist Church. None of the Methodists showed up that evening, but there were Presbyterians all over the place. I preached that night on the subject of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. At the end of the sermon, I gave an invitation for those to come who wanted to receive. Forty-five responded. I instructed
  • 86. them, laid hands on them, and they all received. Actually, it didn’t take more than about twenty minutes from the beginning to the end of the line until they were all speaking in tongues. Many of those people were parents of the young people in addition to other adults of Penn Hills Presbyterian Church. Undoubtedly, the testimonies of the young people had been what was influential. This is just one testimony among so many that could be given regarding the current outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Whole churches are being swept into this move of the Spirit. Oh, I know there are those who say these things don’t happen anymore, or this isn’t for us today. But even though they say it, they cannot stop the move of the Spirit of God. The river of the Spirit is flowing and all we have to do is plunge in by faith and begin to swim. God says we can swim; Satan says we can’t. I prefer to believe God. As a result of so many receiving in these days, this thing is being talked about on the Street corners. Many people of all denominations are asking: “What is this thing of the baptism in the Holy Spirit? What do you mean speaking with other tongues?” They are desiring to know and I believe it’s important to be able to share the truth with them. The purpose of this lesson is twofold. First, I want to instruct those who have already received as to how they can properly witness regarding such a blessed experience, because I am convinced there are many charismatic people who, even though they have had a genuine experience from God, do not know scripturally how to share this with others. The Bible tells us in II Timothy 2:15 that we are to study to show ourselves approved unto God, workmen that need not to be ashamed, but instead, ones which can rightly divide the word of truth. You need to be a worker that can rightly divide the word of truth, someone who knows whereof you speak. And you can be. A second purpose for this lesson is that those who have not received will be able to learn from these instructions just how important this experience is and why it is scriptural The term “baptism in the Spirit” comes primarily from the scriptures in Matthew 3:11 where John the Baptist said: I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with (or “in” is also a good translation) the Holy Ghost, and with fire. And then in Acts 1:5, we read the words of Jesus in which He said: For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. Both John and Jesus were speaking prophetically of that which would begin to come to pass on the Day of Pentecost, for it says in Acts 2:4 that they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. There are a number of terms which are synonymous. They are the baptism in the Holy Spirit, being filled with the Holy Spirit, receiving the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit coming upon them, etc.
  • 87. WITH OR WITHOUT TONGUES There are also two major schools of thought in charismatic and Pentecostal circles regarding the baptism in the Holy Spirit. One is that the baptism in the Holy Spirit must be accompanied by an initial physical evidence of speaking with other tongues to be scriptural. The other belief is that the baptism in the Holy Spirit does not have to be accompanied by the evidence of speaking with other tongues, but that if a person receives, he or she will eventually speak with tongues and probably within a short period of time. I believe the former. I believe for us to say scripturally we have been baptized in the Holy Spirit, we must have the initial physical evidence of speaking with other tongues. I won’t take time in this lesson to explain that thoroughly from the scriptures; however, I have covered that, I believe, rather thoroughly in the chapter entitled, “How To Receive The Gift Of The Holy Spirit.” But I do wish to convey this. When I first started in my charismatic ministry, I got involved in a lot of needless arguments with candidates for this experience. There were those who would come forward and say, “I was baptized in the Holy spirit three months ago, but I have not spoken with tongues.” I would then say to them, “You did not receive three months ago, for if you had, you would have spoken in tongues then.” They would say, “But I did receive back then.” I would say, “But the Bible indicates that we must have this evidence of speaking with other tongues.” And, I found out that I was involved suddenly in an argument which most of the time was not resolved. I later became aware of what to do. Then, when a person would come and say, “I. was baptized in the Holy Spirit three months ago, but I have not spoken with tongues,” my reply would be, “Well, do you want to speak with tongues?” Nearly always they would say, “Yes.” I would instruct them, and they would begin to speak with other tongues. I was happy, they were happy, and we had saved four or five minutes of arguing. Therefore, regardless of how you feel as to whether speaking with other tongues is the initial physical evidence or not, my questions to you are these: If you have not spoken in tongues, why not? Are you ready to speak with tongues? If you desire to, you may. People have accused me of emphasizing speaking with tongues too much. I don’t feel that I have. I don’t feel that I have given more emphasis to this than other aspects of the gospel, but I also know that a certain emphasis has to be given to this because so many people have questions regarding it. Many people have been brainwashed to such an extent against speaking with 143 tongues that they have great reservations regarding the experience. Therefore, we have to emphasize the importance of it and show them scripturally where they stand. Most of the questions which arise in the minds of people come from three chapters in the book of I Corinthians. They are chapters 12, 13, and 14. I want to pose some of these questions and then give the answers, and in so doing, I believe I can help you.
  • 88. One of the questions is: “Why do you say that everyone can experience speaking with other tongues when Paul says in I Corinthians 12:30 that all will not speak with tongues?” It is true here that Paul says all will not speak with tongues. Let’s consider verses 28 through 30. It says: And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. He then begins to answer questions regarding what he has stated. He asks, “Are all apostles?” The implied answer is, “No.” “Are all prophets?” “No.” “Have all the gifts of healing?” “No.” “Do all speak with tongues?” “No.” “Do all interpret?” “No.” But yet, why did all the believers who were gathered together on the Day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2:4 speak with other tongues, and why did all of those at Cornelius’ house as recorded in Acts 10:44-46 speak with tongues, and why did all of those at Ephesus as recorded in Acts 19:6 speak with other tongues? Was Paul wrong in asking, “Do all speak with tongues?” Or, was God wrong in causing all of those in these three cases to speak with other tongues? Of course, God was not wrong, and I don’t believe Paul was wrong either in stating all will not speak with tongues. Undoubtedly, it was a pattern in the early church for everyone to speak with tongues. Certainly, we have the indication which says that if any of the believers spoke with tongues, then they all did. What is the answer then? What Paul refers to in I Corinthians 12:30 is a different operation of tongues than that which happened at Pentecost, Cornelius’ house, and Ephesus. Paul is referring to the gift of divers kinds of tongues, one of the specific gifts of the Holy Spirit. There are many who feel as they initially begin to speak with tongues that they use. DIFFERING TONGUES Here is a case if you rightly divide the word of truth that you will be able to see the difference. Also, the tongues that are spoken of in I Corinthians 12:30 are the kind that need to be interpreted because right after the question “Do all speak with tongues?”, it also asks, “Do all interpret?” The tongues which were spoken on the Day of Pentecost were not interpreted, at least supernaturally. Oh, I know there were men present out of all nations who heard the Galileans speaking with tongues and were amazed and mentioned some of the things which they were saying in tongues, but these men did not have the gift of interpretation of tongues, for that gift is a supernatural operation of the Holy Spirit. Those men at the Day of Pentecost who were mentioning what the disciples were saying as they spoke with tongues were just simply using their own human intellect because they already knew the language. However, what was spoken by the disciples on the Day of Pentecost was supernatural, for they did not know those other languages. At Corelius’ house, there is no
  • 89. indication whatsoever of any interpretation of the tongues. And also at Ephesus, there is no interpretation of the tongues. LOVE In I Corinthians 12:31, Paul says, “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” Then in chapter 13, he begins to teach on love, and he says in the beginning of the chapter: Verse 1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (or love), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. Verse 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. Verse 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. I believe that. I believe it is absolutely true, and certainly love is a more excellent way in the sense that if we do not have love, all of the others will be to no avail. However, there are those that take verse 31 and say, “Well, Paul said that love is a more excellent way; therefore, I do not desire to experience any of the supernatural operations of the Holy Spirit in the gifts, or in any other way because Paul said that love is greater.” Well, people such as that need to read I Corinthians 14:1. It says, “Follow after charity (or love) and desire spiritual gifts.” It doesn’t say either or, but it says both and. HAS PERFECTION COME? Another question that is frequently asked comes from that latter part of I Corinthians chapter 13. In verse 8, it says: Charity (or love) never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be know ledge it shall vanish away. Many, therefore, have said, “Well, tongues have ceased, prophecies have failed, and knowledge has vanished; therefore, those things are not for us today.” They have not fully understood the rest of that chapter or they would not say that. In I Corinthians 13:9- 12, it says: Verse 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. Verse 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. Verse 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
  • 90. Verse 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. Paul is saying that when that which is perfect is come, these things such as prophecies, tongues, knowledge, etc. will be done away because of the perfect coming. There are those who have said, “Well, the perfect to which Paul refers here is the perfect law of liberty of which we read in James, chapter 1, and that perfect law of liberty is the Bible.” Yes, I believe the perfect law of liberty of which we read in James, chapter 1, is the Bible. However, most scholars agree that the book of James was written before this letter by Paul to those at Corinth, and, therefore, James is saying, “We have the perfect,” and Paul says later, “I’m still looking for it.” I don’t believe that the perfect to which Paul refers to here is the perfect law of liberty, the Word of God. Instead, I believe he is referring to the Lord Jesus Christ who certainly is the epitome of perfection and the fact that in a future time Jesus Christ will come again. In I Corinthians 13:12, he says: For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then (referring to that time in which the perfect shall come) face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. If Paul is referring to the coming of Jesus when he says, “When that which is perfect is come,” it makes a lot more sense. When Jesus comes and we rise to meet Him in the air and are with Him forevermore, we will have no need, then, of prophecy coming through an individual or God speaking through an individual. We’ll be speaking to God face to face. We’ll have no need of speaking with tongues at that time, because the Bible says that speaking with tongues is a sign to the unbeliever. Well, there will be no unbelievers in Heaven. It also says that speaking with tongues is an edification to the believer, or in other words, a building up. We’ll have no need of even being built up in that day; the enemy will be defeated forever, and we will be immortal. Therefore, considering all scriptures in this passage of I Corinthians 13:8-12, undoubtedly, Paul is referring to the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ rather than the completion of the Bible, the perfect law of liberty. KNOWN AND UNKNOWN TONGUES Another question which is frequently asked stems from a statement in I Corinthians 14:19. Paul says: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. So many times I’ve heard people say: “Well, Paul said, ‘I would rather speak five words with my understanding, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.’ Therefore, I just don’t believe in speaking with other tongues.” When they say that to me, I ask them to please quote the middle part of the verse, and they are never able to do so. They have quoted the verse so many times, leaving out the middle part, that they don’t even know what it says.
  • 91. To get a more thorough look at this, let us also consider I Corinthians 14:18. There he says, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all.” But inverse 19, he says, “Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also.” Notice what he is saying here, that by his voice he could teach others also. He is not talking about all speaking, but just simply delivering the Word of God or trying to communicate with the people. I have never heard even the wildest of Pentecostals preach or teach in another tongue. Instead, they use the known language (here in America, of course, English) to communicate with the people. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense when Paul says that in the church he would rather speak five words with the understanding so that he could teach others also than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. In teaching or preaching, it is important to speak in the known language. Yet in I Corinthians 14:27, he even gives a place for tongues in the church. It says: If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. This is giving the proper order of the use of the gift of tongues in the church and also the gift of interpretation of tongues. There are those, then, who will say, “Well, all tongues then have to be interpreted.” No, he is just here referring to the times in which God speaks to us through tongues and interpretation of tongues. If all tongues had to be interpreted, there would have been interpretation on the Day of Pentecost, at Cornelius’ house, and at Ephesus. But as believers are baptized in the Holy Spirit, there apparently is no need for the interpretation of that tongue. The purpose of the tongue at that time is evidential. But the purpose to which Paul is referenced in verse 27 is another, undoubtedly, that of God speaking to us through tongues and then the interpretation of the same. One young lady said to me, “I don’t believe in speaking with other tongues because the Bible says, ‘Let all things be done decently and in order.’ “ She was referring, of course, to I Corinthians 14:40. I immediately said to her, “But you must consider the verse just preceding that, verse 39, where it says, ‘Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with (other) tongues.’” Or a better translation of it is, “quit forbidding to speak with other tongues.” Evidently there were some anti-Charismatics in the early church, and Paul was writing to them under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and saying, “quit forbidding speaking with other tongues.” That young lady did not understand God’s Word regarding the subject. She was not a workman that could rightly divide the word of truth. I am sure that I have not conveyed all of the questions a person might be asked in witnessing on this great subject of the baptism in the Spirit. However, I feel these are the key questions which a person will be asked. THE VALUE OF TONGUES
  • 92. Now I want to devote time to a very positive side of this whole thing: the value of praying in other tongues. There are many who will ask, “Is speaking with tongues just a gibberish, or just an emotional release?” I want you to know that speaking with other tongues is far more than gibberish, and it is far more than an emotional release. It is an intelligent utterance guided by the Holy Spirit Himself. Man has never spoken as intelligently as he does when he speaks with other tongues. In l Corinthians 14:14, 15, Paul says: For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and Twill sing with the understanding also. Paul here is showing two different ways of praying and two different ways of singing. In verse 14, he makes it very clear what he is referring to. He said, “If I pray in this kind of a tongue, an unknown tongue, my spirit prays all right, by my understanding is unfruitful.” Or another translation is, “It just doesn’t produce anything.” Inverse 15, he asks, “What is it then?” or in other words, “What will I do about it?” He said, “1 will pray with the spirit.” Notice as an act of his will, “I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the understanding, also. I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the understanding, also.” Two different ways of praying. One reason I am emphasizing the fact that there are two different ways of praying is that so many people are confused about this. I have had people come to me and say, “1 pray in the Spirit,” and I will reply, “Fine, praise the Lord.” And then they will add, “But I don’t speak with tongues.” I don’t always say anything to them. Sometimes I don’t for the sake of not getting into an argument. But whether I say it or not, I think this: you cannot prove you pray in the Spirit if you don’t speak with tongues. For here Paul shows that the two are not the same. He said, “I will pray with the Spirit and I will pray with the understanding also.” When he adds the word “also,” he is clearly dividing the two. He is not speaking of one and the same thing. If I say, “I’m going to do this and I’m going to do that also,” I repeat when I add the word “also.” I am clearly dividing the two. I am not saying there is no work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life before he or she speaks with tongues. There is even a work of the Holy Spirit in the sinner’s life, leading him to the Lord Jesus Christ. In Ephesians 1:13, it says: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise. Certainly as a person accepts the Lord Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God begins to work in a variety of ways in his life, But, Paul definitely says here that praying with the spirit is not praying with the understanding and vice versa. So, there are two different ways of
  • 93. praying: praying with the Spirit which, of course, would be praying in tongues; and, praying with the understanding or, in other words, in the known language. PROPER PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT We make a statement in Christian circles which is fine, if it is qualified. We say, “God answers prayer.” However, God does not answer all prayer. The Bible states in James 5:15 that the prayer of faith shall save the sick and the Lord will raise them up. It doesn’t say that the prayer of unbelief will produce anything, but instead the prayer of faith shall save the sick. And in Mark 11:24, it says that whatever we desire when we pray, we shall believe that we receive it, and we shall have it. Also, in James 4:3, it says that we ask and receive not because we ask amiss or, in other words, apart from the will of God. A friend of mine called me one day and said: “Joe, an ex-business partner of mine has swindled me out of $11,000. I have this in the hands of an attorney, but he gives me very little hope of winning the case. I don’t just want to win a lawsuit, but I need the money for investments coming up.” He then said, “I would like to pray with you about it over the phone and see if God has anything to say regarding the matter.” We prayed and then God gave me a prophetic word. I don’t remember the whole message, but part of it said this: “Forget about the money and pray about the man’s soul.” That man had been more concerned about the $1 1,000 than he was about the other man’s soul. The weightier matter with God was the fact that a man’s soul was perishing. The Bible teaches that even all of the wealth of the world combined is not the equivalent of one soul. The Bible also says that we are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and then all of these things shall be added unto us: material things, etc. This man got his prayer directed in the right way, and in four days’ time, he had his money. Previously, he had been missing the will of God. And, I daresay, a majority of people would have missed God in the same way. It is just human nature to center in on our own needs and pray about them rather than the even deeper needs of someone else. This man had been missing the will of God in his human thinking and understanding. But, the Holy Spirit does not miss on one fraction of one percent of the will of God. He knows exactly the will of the Heavenly Father and the will of our Lord Jesus Christ and will pray accordingly every time. Many people say, “Well, I just pray, ‘God, Your will be done.’ “ Yes, of course, we want the will of God to be done, but there are times in which the Spirit of God wants to make intercession through us and pray more specifically about the problem. In Romans 8:26-27, God shows us what His will is in this matter of praying. It says: Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. save Jim’s soul.
  • 94. In the beginning of my charismatic ministry, I was seated beside a man at a home prayer meeting. I knew at least part of this man’s problem. His wife had left him the year before and was very antagonistic toward him. Someone said later she wouldn’t even give him the time of day. They had been divorced for about a year and she had the children with her. She had been guilty of an affair with another man, but despite all of that, this husband said that he loved her and wanted her to come back. I felt led of the Holy Spirit to turn to him and say, “If you will begin to pray excessively in other tongues, God will work out the problem.” I told him this, and he went home and prayed all night long. 81. He testified later that as he was at work the next day, he was praying in tongues under his breath as the customers came in, and he said, “They couldn’t possibly have heard me, but one after another they began to ask questions about God.” Apparently, the’ atmosphere was permeated with the presence of God. Paul says here the Holy Spirit will help us in our time of infirmity, or a better translation of that word is “weakness.” What is the weakness? He specifically says in verse 26, “For we know not what we should pray for as we ought.” But at a time such as that, the Holy Spirit will make intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And in verse 27, he says, “He that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit.” Notice it is the mind of the Spirit which is mentioned here, not our mind. It is not our mind that Counts so much, anyway. Instead it is the mind of the Spirit, because He, the Holy Spirit, makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. This is the way in which we can know at all times that we are praying in God’s will. Jesus said in John 7:38, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” A better translation of this, “Out of the innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” I believe that man was having a river flowing forth from within him. Yes, the Spirit of God was praying from within his spirit. It was coming out, of course, through his mouth and ascending on up to the Heavenly Father. Apparently, however, it was also permeating the atmosphere of the room. People became God-conscious as they walked into that room, without realizing why. That evening he called his wife, and she was as antagonistic as ever, but he continued to pray much in tongues for the rest of the week. On Friday, his wife called him for the first time in over a year, the first time in which she had initiated a conversation with him. Her attitude had completely changed. On Monday of the next week, she called and asked for prayer, and within a short period of time, the couple was back together again. The Spirit of God had worked as a master psychiatrist. How beautiful it is when the Spirit works in this way. You know that man had been concerned about his wife, and, undoubtedly, prayed many other times for her, but probably most of the time with his understanding. But when he allowed the Spirit to make intercession, things began to happen. I mentioned that the Holy Spirit works as a master psychiatrist. He knows every problem. He knows exactly how it all started. He knows whether it started at age three, or age five, or whenever. He knows everything that is necessary about the situation, and he can work so effectively.
  • 95. A woman heard me speak along these lines and decided that she would pray in tongues for her alcoholic brother. Someone might question, “Well, how could she pray in tongues regarding her brother if she didn’t know what she was praying about?” I’m sure we cannot prove scripturally that every time we lift our voice in tongues we are praying about a known situation, for the Bible says in I Corinthians 14:2 that in the Spirit, we speak mysteries. But I look at it this way. The Bible does say it is out of our spirit that we pray. Therefore, whatever is the burden of our heart is in all probability that which God takes up by this prayer in the Spirit. But I look at it further this way. Even if I am praying about a native in Africa as I pray in the Spirit –someone perhaps that I have never met – and I think instead that I am praying about some situation closer to home, if I will allow myself to be used as a vessel, I believe that God will not only meet the need of the native in Africa, but also my need. The woman began to pray in other tongues. She prayed much in tongues for about three days. On the third night after she had begun to pray in tongues, her brother had poured himself a drink. He said later, “I tried to take that drink and I couldn’t.” He had been invited to the meeting that same night where I was speaking, but he said later, “I had no interest in coming.” After he tried to take the drink and he couldn’t, he said: “This is crazy. I’ll have to go to the bar and get drunk.” He got in his pickup truck and started for the bar. To get to the bar, he had to pass the church parking lot. He said that evening when he got even with the church parking lot, the wheels of that pickup began to turn, and very shortly he found himself parked beside the church. He got out and came in. I saw him come through the double doors in the back. He had a very wild look on his face. There was a center aisle in the sanctuary, and he stood looking down the aisle toward the pulpit for about a minute before he went over and sat down in the back of the church and put his face in his hands. The pastor stopped everything and said: “Nate, God is dealing with you. You need to come forward and give your heart to Jesus Christ.” Nate did not make a move at that moment, but the sister who had prayed for him got up and went back where he was. She took him by the hand, and led him to the front. He accepted the Lord Jesus Christ and was instantly delivered from alcoholism. Later, he was baptized in the Holy Spirit, and I heard later he had begun to preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. That woman is so thankful that she allowed the Holy Spirit to make intercession through her. An Episcopalian surgeon who speaks with other tongues was invited by a pastor in one of our Southwestern cities to go to the hospital and pray for a man who was apparently dying. When the doctor and the pastor arrived at the hospital, the attending physician on the case and a nurse were in the room. The two doctors were introduced to each other, and the attending physician said: “Doctor, I am at my wit’s end. I don’t know what to do in this case. If you have anything to share with me regarding this, please do so.” The other doctor listened as the attending physician explained the case and then he replied: “I do not know any more than you, medically, about what to do. But I am a Christian; I believe in prayer, and I would like to pray for the man.”
  • 96. The other doctor said, “Fine, this man needs help.” However, he did not know how this Christian doctor was going to pray. The doctor went over, reached under the oxygen tent, took the patient by the hand, and began to pray in other tongues. He prayed in tongues for forty-five minutes before he stopped. The pastor said later that after awhile he got amused watching the other doctor and the nurse. They would look down, they’d look up, they’d look at each other, then look down again. I’m sure they were thinking: “This man is still speaking in this weird language. It has been thirty minutes, now, and he may possibly go all night.” But after forty-five minutes, he felt the burden lift. He stepped away, and in just a few moments, the man came out of a coma and in about three days was pronounced completely well by the other doctor and sent home. That is effective praying. A pastor related the following story to me: he said that he lived in Dallas, Texas, at that time, and one Sunday morning he was burdened to pray about 5:00 a.m. He said he didn’t want to get up at that hour. It was before his usual hour of rising, but he couldn’t shake the burden. Finally, he got up and went into another bedroom so he would not awaken his wife. He said that he did not know what to pray for in his own intellect; he just sensed a burden to pray. He decided to let the Holy Spirit make intercession for him. He lifted his voice and spoke in tongues for about twenty minutes; then the burden lifted. He said that he had just left that bedroom to go back into the bedroom where his wife was asleep when the phone rang. When he answered the phone, it was his sister. She informed him that a tornado had just swept through the part of Dallas where she and their parents lived. She said it had almost totally demolished the homes on each side of them, but had not touched their home in any way. You would not be able to convince that pastor that there is nothing to this thing of praying with other tongues. He realizes, of course, how beneficial it is, and, undoubtedly, his family was spared as a result. One pastor who lived in Southern California had a massive heart attack on a Sunday morning. They rushed him to the hospital, and one of the best specialists in the whole area said: “The heart attack is so massive he cannot possibly survive. There is no chance for him to live.” What they did not realize was this: the man’s brother-in- law, who was a missionary to Calcutta, India, was being burdened to pray at that moment. From the way the story was related to me, apparently the missionary did not even know what to pray about. So, he began to pray in other tongues, and he continued in tongues for a number of hours there in India. When his prayer was finished, he felt the burden lift, and the man in California came out of the heart attack completely healed. The men, being related, were later able to compare notes and by allowing for the difference in time from California to India, found out that the brother-in-law had prayed in the Spirit over the same span of hours that the man in California was on the critical list. That man can thank God eternally that his brother-in-law knew the value of praying in other tongues. What if the brother-in- law had said, as many do: “Oh, there’s nothing to all of this. There’s no need of speaking with other tongues.”? One woman said to me, “I have no need of this experience, for I have a pretty good prayer life as it is.”
  • 97. I replied, “What you are saying, then, in essence, is that you can out pray the Holy spirit.” She said, “Oh, no, I didn’t say that.” I said; “Yes, you really did. That’s what you said, in essence.” I believe this experience is perhaps one of the greatest that anyone can ever have. It can be one of the deepest ministries a person can ever have, praying things out in the Spirit. God is looking for vessels. If you were to enter the sanctuary of a church which believes in this when apparently no one else was around, but heard speaking with other tongues, you could look and you would find a person somewhere. It is not the Holy Spirit over in the corner hovering, speaking in tongues; it is a human being, yielded to the Holy Spirit. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and He uses us as His vessels. This experience is for people of all denominations. Not only have there been a multitude of Protestants who have received this experience, but also there are millions of Catholics who now speak with other tongues. And so regardless of your denominational affiliation, God wants you to speak with other tongues. For those of you who will be witnessing regarding this beautiful experience, it is good to be able to answer the questions you may be asked. It is good to know what the scripture has to say; but also be sure to emphasize the value of praying in other tongues, for this could be that which would cause a person to become hungry and say, “I want to receive.” In the chapter entitled “How To Receive The Gift Of The Holy Spirit,” we have a thorough explanation of just exactly how to receive. Read it carefully, and if you have not received, you will be able to do so. Or if you have already received, you will be able to instruct someone else by using the same instructions we give in this lesson.
  • 98. Lesson Eight HOW TO RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WHY WE SHOULD RECEIVE The primary purpose of this chapter is to give instructions about how to be filled with the Spirit. However, I want to give you some reasons why we should receive this experience. Many Christians do not realize there is an experience of the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit.” Others have read about such an experience but doubt it is for them. Some believe they are filled, but do not have the Biblical evidence. Christ spoke frequently about the coming of the Holy Spirit and commanded his disciples to receive the great gift (Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4). The prophets of old foretold of this blessing to the church (Isaiah 28:11, 12 and Joel 2:28, 29) Peter promised the Spirit to all (Acts 2:39), and Paul commanded the Ephesians to receive (Eph. 5:18). Thus we see the pattern: a. Prophesied (Isaiah 28:11,12 and Joel 2:28,29) b. Promised (Matt. 3:11; John 7:39; John 14:15-17; John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7; John 16:13; and Acts 2:39) c. Commanded (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4; Acts 2:38,39; Eph. 5:18; and Hebrews 4:1 with Isaiah 28:11,12) d. Sent and Received (Acts 2:4; Acts 8:17; Acts 10:46 and Acts 19:6) Who are we to withstand God? If the Apostles and the early church needed to be filled, so do we. Peter and John went to the Samaritans (Acts 8:14-17) Ananias went to Saul (Acts 9:17,18) Peter went to Cornelius’ household (Acts 10:30-46) Paul went to the Ephesians (Acts 19:1-6) all for the purpose that those to whom they went might be filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul asked the Ephesians, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” I ask, “Have you?” YOU MUST BE A CHRISTIAN A person must be a Christian to be a candidate for the in- filling of the Holy Spirit. John 14:17 says, “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” In John 7:38, Christ promised the Holy Spirit to “He that believeth on me.” Peter declared to the Jews on the Day of Pentecost, “Repent and be baptized every one of you
  • 99. in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” From these scriptures we see ‘the necessity of salvation. I realize the majority of those who desire to be filled with the Spirit are Christians. However, I recognize the possibility of someone reading this book who is not. If you have not been saved may I suggest you read the third chapter of John, and Romans 10:9, 10. Then go to a minister or a born again Christian and have them explain the full plan of salvation. If you are a Christian but have not been baptized in the Holy Spirit, may I assure you that God will fill you with this power. Come to Him believing, and with a sincere heart and desire. TONGUES –THE EVIDENCE The second step toward receiving the Holy Spirit is the recognition of speaking with other tongues as the initial physical evidence. Acts 2:4 reads, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” You cannot deny this after you study the Word of truth. Many ask, “Why do you emphasize tongues so much?” The answer is simple. Because so many balk at the idea of speaking with other tongues. If a choir continually has difficulty with a certain passage in a song, the director must emphasize it in rehearsal if he ever hopes for a complete performance. Therefore, if people have difficulty in accepting tongues, we must emphasize the importance of them. Some candidates for the Holy Spirit will inquire, “Do I have to speak with tongues?” Others want the experience of tongues but already claim the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. They are seeking tongues as a separate experience. It is not a separate experience, but the evidence of being filled with the Spirit! On what part of the Word do I base this statement? Speaking with tongues was the response of the early Christians when they received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. On the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4) “they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with tongues . The Jews who were with Peter at Cornelius’ house (Acts 10:44-46) were astonished because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Gentiles also, for they heard them speak with tongues ... . When Paul went to the Ephesians (Acts 19:6) he laid hands on them and they spoke with tongues! The other recorded case of a group receiving the Holy Spirit is in Acts 8:17. Although it does not say they spoke in tongues, something of this nature is implied. Simon immediately wanted to buy Peter’s and John’s power, for it was as a result of their laying on of hands that the Holy Ghost was given. It is significant that Simon wanted to purchase their power. Something phenomenal must have happened! Their answer to Simon may give us a clue. They told him his money would perish with him for the gift of God could not be purchased with money, and they further stated “you have neither part nor lot in this matter.” The word “matter” in the Greek is the same as is translated “utterance” in other passages, suggesting “speech.” This would certainly imply the same phenomena of tongues as the other groups had received. These experiences of the early
  • 100. Christians –when they were filled with the Spirit –certainly show speaking with other tongues in evidence. However, we have more than these accounts. Isaiah prophesied the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In the 28th chapter, verses 11 and 12 we read, “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, “This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.” In this prophecy God states that stammering lips and other tongues is the “rest.” This statement becomes very significant as we study about God’s rest for His people in the book of Hebrews. In the 4th chapter, verse 1, we have an admonition and warning which every Christian should heed: “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.” In other words the writer to the Hebrews is saying, “Don’t miss being filled with the 16 Holy Spirit, which is evidenced by speaking with other tongues.” Also we read in Mark 16:17 that speaking with new tongues is one of the signs that shall follow them that believe. Probably the most convincing scripture of all is in Peter’s defense to the Jews. The Jews were contending with Peter regarding his preaching to the Gentiles at Cornelius’ house. In Acts 11:15-17 Peter has this to say: “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the way of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?” Remember that Peter and those with him had no indication of anything happening to the Gentiles until they heard them speaking with other tongues while Peter was still speaking. (Acts 10:44-46.) Reader, if you settle for anything less than an infilling accompanied by other tongues, you cannot claim the Baptism in the Holy Spirit according to God’s Word. It is important that we rightly divide the Word of truth to receive God’s blessings. This includes the glorious gift of the Holy Spirit. RECEIVE BY FAITH “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” This applies to receiving the Holy Spirit just as it does to salvation or divine healing. So many are trying to be filled by other methods, but God’s Word declares it is by faith we receive. Mark 11:24 says, “What things soever ye desire when you pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” More specifically, Paul asked the Galatians, “This only would I learn of you, received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith?” (Galatians 3:2.) Then in verse 14 of the same chapter we have the answer, “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the• Spirit through faith.” My experience has been that when I can get people to exercise faith, they receive the Holy Spirit quickly and easily.
  • 101. But how do I get faith? This is the common plea of Christians. There is but one source! The Word of God. Romans 10:17 states: “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Faith must be based on God’s Word. God does not expect us to believe beyond His Word. Many are trying to blindly exercise a faith that does not have the Word as a foundation. You will only receive God’s gift of the Spirit when you follow the Bible. “I believe the Holy Spirit is for me but I have not received it.” “Why hasn’t God filled me yet?” If you believe but have not received, it is because you have not acted. Faith is in two parts: belief and action. They are equally important. To illustrate this: A man can have a thousand dollars on deposit in a bank. He can believe that it will be in his possession if he writes a check, but his belief will not produce results until he acts. Now that I have established the necessity for both belief and action in our faith, let us learn how to believe and act. We will go to the Word for our lesson. 25. I believe this experience is for us because of the prophecies, promises, and examples in the Bible. Joel prophesied that “God would pour out His Spirit on all flesh.” (Joel 2:28, 29.) ... Peter said, “This promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39.) And then we have the examples of the early Christians receiving. However, one of the greatest faith inspiring passages is one of the promises of Christ Himself. In Luke 11:11-13 we read the words of Jesus: “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” The words how much more certainly give us an indication of the willingness of the Father to bestow this gift on us. Do you believe God’s Word is true? If so, you must believe the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is for you. The Word declares it! I believe, but how do I act? Many of you are probably asking this question now. It has been my experience that it is usually harder to get someone to act than it is to get them to believe. Frequently this is so because people do not know how to act. “They were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Let u examine closely what happened. “They were all filled” ... this is what happened to them. “And began to speak” ... this is what they did. “As the Spirit gave them utterance” ... this is what the Spirit did. That second statement is interesting, “and began to speak.” They is the subject of the sentence so it says they began to speak. They, and not the Holy Spirit. “But I thought it was the Holy Spirit that did the speaking?” That is the trouble with us many times. We think the Word says one thing and it says another. Every time that speaking with tongues is mentioned in the Bible, it says they spoke. Not once does it say the Spirit spoke for a person. This is a truth many candidates for the infilling of the Holy Spirit have missed. There is no miracle in the fact that I speak English, because I am a native American. However, if I begin to speak a language I have not learned, it is a miracle. The speaking is not the
  • 102. miracle but what I am speaking, the unknown language, is the miracle. This is what happens when we are filled with the Spirit. We begin to speak a language we do not know as the Holy Spirit gives the utterance. He will give you the words but it is your responsibility to speak them. This is an operation of faith. “But how can I speak words I have never heard before?” Only by faith. Remember, our responsibility is to speak and it is the sole responsibility of the Holy Spirit to give the words. Do not worry if the words are correct. Leave that to the Spirit. He is efficient and knows thoroughly the language he wants you to speak. Just lift your voice and begin to speak, believing the sounds and words which come forth are from the Holy Ghost. He will not fail you, if you are sincere. “But what if they are not very clear or coherent?” Let me illustrate. We can mumble English or speak distinctly. The clearness of our speech depends on us. To capture the beauty of the language, I must use my lips, jaws, tongue, etc., correctly and fully. The Holy Ghost will guide your tongue and lips but you must keep them moving and continue to project your voice. One young man to whom I ministered in receiving the gift of the Spirit, began to speak in tongues but kept his lips in a stationary position. This made it impossible for him to pronounce the letters “b,” “m,” “p,” etc., and greatly reduced the clarity of his speech. He was as much filled with the Holy spirit as I am, although I was speaking much more clearly. We do not have proof that all of the early Christians spoke fluently and clearly. Perhaps some of them spoke haltingly but nevertheless were as filled as the others. When a baby says his first word, we say he has spoken and do not question the lack of clarity or multiplicity of words. Probably many of you reading this book are just now realizing how to act on your faith. If you are hungry to receive this glorious gift from God, why don’t you go to prayer now? Just tell the Heavenly Father that you know His Word is true, and that He is more willing to give the Holy Spirit than we are to give good gifts to our children, Then say, “Lord, I am asking you for your great gift of the Holy Spirit according to Luke 11:13. I now receive because I believe in my heart. Now I am going to complete my faith by acting as the early Christians did by speaking forth in other tongues.” Then lift your voice in faith to God and begin to speak whatever sounds and words come forth. Do not speak English because you can’t speak English and another language at the same time. Do not fear, but speak out boldly from deep within you, for that is where the Holy Spirit is. Do not question the words, but just speak them and rejoice that you are now filled with God’s Holy Spirit. If you have believed in your heart and have spoken with your mouth unknown words, your experience is as Biblical as that of the Apostles and disciples. You now have a right as a spirit-filled Christian to speak in tongues daily, and you will be edified as you do so. Remember, YOU control the speaking and there will be no further manifestations unless YOU speak. If you have still not acted upon your faith, read the following chapters and I believe they will help you.
  • 103. DOUBTS AND FEARS One Sunday morning in a church service God gave me a marvelous revelation in the Spirit. As I sat on the platform I noticed that one of the young married women in the congregation had combed her hair over her eyes. As I continued to look I realized it was more of an eclipse of the top half of her head. I could see her eyes and forehead barely through the haze. At first I thought it might be the lighting but others close by were completely visible, so I dispelled that idea. I then began to think this was a supernatural revelation from God. That evening in the service I saw the same phenomena again. I told her about it after the service, still not knowing what it was about. The next morning I learned that she had not been filled with the Holy Spirit. Her mother-in-law and I went to her home that afternoon and began to talk to her about receiving the Holy Spirit. As we talked she began to reveal the fear she had. She had believed that a person could not be filled until he or she reached a state of near perfection. Realizing that she had not reached this place as yet and realizing the improbability of it in the future, she had doubted if she would ever receive. Suddenly I realized this was why God had shown me the darkness about her mind. Those were the doubts and fears Satan had plagued her with. I had supernaturally seen the Devil at work. After we dispelled the fears with the light of God’s Word, she received instantly. In II Corinthians 10:5 we are admonished to “cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.” Every high thing ... this implies something that is perhaps even very reasonable. Satan works in this way. He will bring logical and reasonable thoughts and doubts that do not agree with the Word. He will even talk against himself if he can keep you from receiving what God has for you. Many have told me, “I felt an urge to speak in tongues but I was afraid it might be the Devil.” That was the Devil giving you that thought. The only time we need to fear Satan is if we are not sincere or are not a child of God. Luke 11:11-13 shows how we would not play a harmful trick on our children, and can expect an even greater display of protection from the Heavenly Father. If you are sincerely seeking God, He will not let the Devil substitute an inferior or dangerous gift. There are many other fears and doubts Satan may bring your way. These are a few: “I’m afraid it will just be me,” “maybe I have too much pride,” “there is something in my life,” “perhaps I have not prayed long and hard enough,” “maybe I have selfish desires for receiving,” “it’s not God’s time yet,” “I’m not good enough.” Do you notice how many of these start with “maybe?” This is a trick of Satan to keep you doubting and wondering. I will now deal individually but briefly with each of these doubts. “I’m afraid it will just be me.” Part of it will be. You will do the speaking. Don’t worry about the rest of it. That belongs to the Holy Spirit anyway. You exercise faith, and believe that God is true to His Word, and that every word you speak is given of the Spirit. “Maybe I have too much pride.” This is doubtful but I suppose it is possible. If you have so much pride that it has become a sin, just confess it and according to I John 1:9 accept God’s forgiveness. This verse was written to Christians. Claim it for yourself and forget about the problem of pride. This is also true for the person who wonders “if I am good
  • 104. enough” or “there is something in my life.” First we have no righteousness in ourselves (Romans 3:10). It is only through God’s mercy and grace that we can receive this glorious gift. Second, if you have been tormented by these thoughts, confess any shortcomings and forget about them. Remember, Peter was far from perfect, but God filled him with the Holy Ghost and allowed him to be the first Spirit-filled preacher of the early church. “Perhaps I have not prayed long and hard enough.” After the Day of Pentecost there is no indication that anyone tarried or waited in prayer for the infilling of the Spirit. The Bible says “when the Day of Pentecost was fully come.” This undoubtedly was the day God had chosen for the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the beginning of the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy. What happened on the Day of Pentecost has continued until the present and will do so until Jesus comes. The River of God has been flowing since that Day and all the believer has to do is plunge in by faith. Do not wait on the Lord. He is waiting on you. Now is God’s time for you to receive! “Maybe I have selfish desires for wanting to receive.” This is a favorite trick of the enemy. I have questioned those who have voiced this fear. They usually say, “Well, I just want the Holy Spirit for a help in my Christian life.” He was sent that you might receive power and edification. If it is selfish to want to be a better Christian perhaps it is selfish to desire to be saved. How absurd to think that a sinner should reject salvation because he wants to save himself. It is equally absurd for the candidate for the Spirit to be fooled by this doubt. Reject all these doubts and fears and accept by faith that which God has so graciously given. Be filled today! TESTIMONIES Personal testimonies of being filled with the Holy Spirit are thrilling and inspiring. However, these same testimonies can hinder the one who has not received if they are not qualified by the Word. What I am saying is this: there is only one evidence to the infilling of the Spirit and that is speaking with other tongues. Any other experience received at the time we are filled is a bonus blessing. One will testify, “When I received, a warm feeling settled over my head and shoulders.” Another will say, “I had a vision of Jesus and waves of joy and peace flooded my soul.” Perhaps there was a sensation like walking on air, or very little awareness of the natural surroundings. Another will say, “I just couldn’t stop speaking.” I rejoice with those whom God has met in such a wonderful way, but these experiences are the exception rather than the rule. The majority of people do not receive any miraculous experience apart from speaking with tongues. This is the only evidence we should seek. Do not be disappointed if you only speak in tongues and do not have any other dramatic experience. Those who received on the Day of Pentecost were so affected by the power of the Spirit that accusations of drunkenness were leveled against them. There is no indication,
  • 105. though, that the Ephesians, Samaritans, or Cornelius and his household had such an experience. The only common denominator was the speaking with other tongues. Do not expect more or settle for less than a Bible experience that includes tongues. SIGNS I received a call one evening from some friends who told me of a Baptist missionary who wanted to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I arranged for a meeting later that evening. After a period of instruction I laid hands on him and he began to speak with tongues. After he had finished, he said, “This explains what happened last night when I was praying. Every time I came to the word ‘Lord’ or ‘Christ’ a crazy word came out.” This was his way of explaining it. The Holy Spirit had tried to get him to go ahead and speak. I find this is true with many candidates. Not that their experience was identical, but there would be some sign of the prompting of the Spirit upon their voice or lips. Some of the signs which may appear are: a quivering of the lips, a thickening of the tongue, a sensation of unknown words in the mouth, a strong urge to say something that isn’t English, a lump in the throat. Others say, “It seemed that I sensed something unusual on the inside of me.” One man said, “There were words in my mouth, so many it seemed as if bees were buzzing in there.” A woman said, “Many times there were words that seemed to come to me but I was afraid they were just ones I had heard others speak.” I remember one particularly significant instance of the moving of the Spirit. I was instructing this man in receiving the Holy spirit and observed an apparent speech impediment as he answered my questions. It was the first time I had met him and assumed this was his natural speech. However, in a short time he was filled with the Spirit and after he had finished speaking with tongues, he had no speech defect. He spoke English clearly. The Spirit had been moving on him before we even prayed. These are the promptings of the Holy Spirit. He wants you to speak in tongues and is trying gently to get you to yield. When I say yield, I don’t mean just to sit back and let the Spirit do it all, but rather to encourage the Spirit’s prompting by acting upon it. 50. Do not be dismayed or discouraged if you have not had one or more of these signs. Just as each of us is an individual, the experience we each have will also be individual. Many people receive without having had any advance notice of the moving of the Spirit upon them. They just receive by faith. However, if you have noticed some of these things happening, recognize it as of God and yield your voice to the Holy Spirit by speaking forth as He gives the utterance. MY TESTIMONY I feel that my testimony might help some that are discouraged in their search to be filled. I was saved at the age of nine. Very shortly after salvation I began to realize the need of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. I knew that a Christian should be filled with the Spirit, but I did not know how to receive. Many tried to instruct me but usually succeeded in confusing me.
  • 106. “Let the Holy Spirit speak.” When they would say this, I would stop speaking and leave my mouth open waiting for the Spirit to speak. No one ever told me that I would have to speak as the Spirit gave the words. Others would say, “Get down to business with God.” Although there were times when I was discouraged and not seeking God, there were many times when I was earnestly seeking, and meant business with God. Another phrase of instruction that thoroughly confused me was “yield to the Spirit.” At those times I would let my body get as limp as possible thinking this is what they meant. Others would say, “We will stay with you all night if necessary, so don’t give up.” Although I used to think this might be the answer, I never did stay that long. Testimonies also bothered me. Some would say, “When I received I was out in the Spirit.” I gathered that everyone was unconscious when they were filled. I knew I had never even approached such an experience. I also had gotten the idea that the experience was so supernatural it seemed as if a bomb had burst nearby. Years went by. As a teenager I felt like an outcast at church. I attended a Pentecostal church and all of the other teens had been filled with the Spirit. I remember one of our group who went to Bible school and when he came home for the summer he wanted me to travel with him in evangelistic work as a musician. This was exactly what I had wanted to do but I refused because I had not been filled with the Spirit. I felt my lack of testimony would hurt his ministry. No one who has not gone through a similar experience will ever know the terrible discouragement and utter frustration. In March of 1950 our church had an evangelist come for a revival. There was very little if any hope of my receiving the Holy Spirit. However, the picture changed on Tuesday night of the first week. The evangelist spoke on Visionary Faith. He said if you want to be filled with the Spirit, just begin to picture yourself receiving. This was easy for me. I had always been a great daydreamer. I began to realize that faith would bring into being that for which I had hoped. The next day a great hunger for the Spirit came into my heart. I could hardly wait for service time. After the service started I could hardly wait for the invitation to be given. I was going down and receive the Holy Spirit. I made sure I was the first one to the altar. After two or three minutes of praying someone said, “Speak these words: Thank God for that instruction.” I was so desperate that I thought to myself... “I’m going to speak whether it’s me or the Spirit.” I still had not realized that I would have to speak. I then began to speak those words that weren’t English and to my amazement they didn’t cease to flow as long as I would speak. Another thing that puzzled me was the fact that I could still hear the others around me. I wasn’t unconscious. I had been saved almost ten years. I didn’t have to wait ten years because God wasn’t ready, but I waited ten years because I never acted in faith until the day I received. May I emphatically say again, “Don’t wait on God, He is ready now! Act by faith, and you will receive!”
  • 107. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS Is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit a subsequent experience to salvation? Definitely. The Disciples had to receive although they were already followers of Christ. The Samaritans had been baptized in water by Philip, but the Word says, “For as yet he was fallen upon none of them.” Then Peter and John laid hands on them and they received. Paul asked the Ephesians, “Have you. received the Holy Ghost since you believed?” Is it scriptural to lay hands on another to receive the Holy Spirit? Yes. Paul laid hands on the Ephesians (Acts 19:6) and Peter and John laid hands on the Samaritans (Acts 8:17). Are we commanded to be filled with the Spirit? Christ commanded the disciples (Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4). Peter commanded the Jews (Acts 2:38, 39). Paul commanded the Ephesians (Eph. 5:18). I would definitely say we are included. Is it possible for someone who is not saved to be filled? No. The Bible does not teach this. John 14:17 says “Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive ... “ All the promises were made to believers. Is it possible to be filled with the Spirit and not speak with tongues? Again I would answer no. As we correlate all the teachings on the Holy Spirit from the Day of Pentecost on, we see that the evidence is the speaking with other tongues. I believe when we rightly divide the Word of truth we can come to no other conclusion but that tongues is the evidence. How can I know I am filled? By faith in God’s Word. The only physical evidence that agrees with the Word is speaking with other tongues. Have faith in your experience when you have the Biblical experience. How do I receive the infilling of the Spirit by faith? Faith is in two parts: belief and action. First, ask the Heavenly Father to fill you, and believe that he does according to Luke 11:13; and then act on your belief by speaking in other tongues. Your faith is not complete until you act. Should I tarry to be filled?
  • 108. No. The Holy Spirit, this great and mighty River of God, is flowing throughout the church now. Just plunge in by faith and enjoy it now instead of waiting. Should I expect a dramatic experience such as some receive? Do not seek for more or settle for less than a Bible experience. Speaking with other tongues is the only common denominator of all infillings of the Holy Spirit. Anything additional is a bonus blessing, and may or may not happen to you. Do not be disappointed if it doesn’t. I have an urge to speak in tongues, but is it possible this is the Devil, or just me? If you have experienced salvation, it isn’t the Devil, because he doesn’t want you to speak in tongues. It is the Spirit prompting you to go ahead and enter in. Rejoice and be filled.