Vision of Victory?

Beth has learned that it is difficult to keep toes from being bitten by kittens when your foot is in a cast.

Sunflower line

More misinterpretation from 30 Thoughts for Victorious Living by Joel Osteen:

2. Develop a Vision of Victory

Behold I am doing a new thing. Can you not perceive it ? (Isaiah 43:19)

Do you have a vision of victory for your life? Do you perceive victory in your every step? Are you living each day filled with faith and expectancy? Today’s verse doesn’t say that God is going to do a new thing some day — he didn’t say it may be next week, next month or next year. God said, ” I am doing something new in your life right now!” Can you not perceive it? God wants to do something new in your life today. Let go of your old way of thinking and take hold of the new thing God has for you!

God said in Jeremiah 29:11, “My plans for you are good and not evil, to give you a future and a hope”. His plans for you are good, regardless of what has happened in your past. No matter what, His plans will always be for your good! God can turn your setbacks around. He can take your tragedy and turn it into triumph! Let go of the past, seek God’s plan and develop that vision of victory for your life!

Let’s look at all the surrounding scripture, as well as the one verse he chose to take out of context:

Isa 43:16-21……16 This is what the LORD says —  he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, 17 who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: 18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.

19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. 20 The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, 21 the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. NIV

The first 3 verses are speaking of God bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. He buried the Egyptian army in the Red Sea. The next 3 talk about Him sustaining them through the desert.

The Jews being in bondage in Egypt is a picture of Christians being in bondage to sin. Just as God brought them through the desert into the promised land, Jesus will bring the Christians through life on earth, with sin and persecution, into spiritual maturity and everlasting life with our savior. God was creating a new way for the Jews then, and was creating a new way of salvation through Jesus.

Here’s what Matthew Henry’s Commentary says:

2. It looks forward, not only to all the instances of God’s care of the Jewish church in the latter ages of it, between their return from Babylon and the coming of Christ, but to the grace of the gospel, especially as it is manifested to the Gentile world, by which a way is opened in the wilderness and rivers in the desert; the world, which lay like a desert, in ignorance and unfruitfulness, was blessed with divine direction and divine comforts, and, in order to both, with a plentiful effusion of the Spirit. The sinners of the Gentiles, who had been as the beasts of the field, running wild, fierce as the dragons, stupid as the owls or ostriches, shall be brought to honour God for the extent of his grace to his chosen among them.

The Jews were set apart for a special purpose: spreading the good news about Jesus. As a group, they rejected Him (although many did accept and were saved). The job then went to the Christians – mostly Gentiles who believed and were saved.

Nothing in this passage speaks of doing something new in your life today, in the way Osteen means it. It doesn’t mean God is creating a new job, or a new raise, or a new place to live, or a new….anything.

Once again, the apostle Paul did not live the life that would be called victorious by Osteen’s standards. But he was victorious by God’s standards.

It’s interesting that he quoted this verse:

Jer 29:11……11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  NIV

Here are the verses that precede it:

Jer 29:8-9…….8 Yes, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. 9 They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the LORD.  NIV

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26 thoughts on “Vision of Victory?

  1. Well, I would say she could gently push them away with her hard cast without hurting them…otherwise I got nothing. 🙂

  2. @tallhpustinger – :giggle: She was sitting on the couch, and the kittens were biting her toes. Every time she moved her foot, the kittens would move, too…right back to her toes. They are 8 week old kittens who don’t take no for an answer.

  3. @MrParadox – You know…he never really nails down what “victory” is. Not that he really knows. But at the very least, he’s implying that if you don’t have “victory,” you aren’t as good a Christian as he is. The question is…..is he? (My answer would be no.)

  4. @DKT1978 – Hi, Debbie Girl…..these kittens would probably just chew on the towel :giggle: I have them in the house right now, and they are climbing on everything. One is even deleting emails by stepping on the keyboard :oh-no:

  5. Since I care about you as my true xanga friend and sister in Christ, I think it is very dangerous to judge a man of God.  In the same way we judge others, we too will be judged.  Ask me how I know!!!  🙄 
    God is a good God and yes we receive persecutions in this life if we are truly living for Him (maybe not as intense as Paul’s).  God’s will for us is victory in every area of life here on earth (III John 2).  That’s our belief based on what the Word of God says.  We don’t agree with ANY one man, preacher, teacher, prophet, etc.100%, but  refuse to pick apart another preacher. 
    I hope you receive this in love because that’s how I am sending it to you.  :love:  They’ll know we are Christians by our love.  :heartbeat: 
    All is well here BTW!

  6. @Resolved2WalkInLove –  Stephanie, I appreciate your comment and I do know you mean it in love. But I very much disagree. He is not teaching the gospel like it was written. And I believe it is very much our job to point out those who are leading people astray. I’m not condemning him. That isn’t my job. But it is our job to know when someone isn’t speaking the truth, and Joel is not.
    I’m sorry…you are going to disagree with this, but I’m going to say it flat out…..Joel is not a man of God. He has said that he does not believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, and that is strictly non-Christian….non-scriptural. That very thing he said is in print…it’s not disputable. He said for him, Jesus is the way, but he is not going to tell anyone that another way isn’t right.
    No, not everyone’s persecution is going to be as severe as Paul’s. No argument there. Probably most of us will never face the type of persecution he faced. We most likely will never be imprisoned for our faith. But read what Paul said:
    Gal 1:7-9…… 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! NIV
    That’s Paul’s words…not mine. Joel is teaching a gospel other than the one the apostles taught. And he is going to be in big trouble. One big problem is that people do believe he is a man of God. And because of that, they believe what he says. But a man of God will believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation.
    This isn’t the first time I’ve posted on Joel, and it won’t be the last. And you aren’t the first to disagree with me. But when you can go in and take the things he says, and prove that it goes against what scripture says, then he is teaching the wrong thing. And God will not look the other way.
    You said: “God’s will for us is victory in every area of life here on earth (III John 2).” 
    3 John 2……2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. NIV
    How does that scripture say His will is for us to have victory in every area of our life? Here is what the Barnes Commentary (how do you like that name? :wink:) says about that scripture:
    [That thou mayest prosper] euodousthai (NT:2137). This word occurs in the New Testament only in the following places: Rom 1:10, rendered “have a prosperous journey;” 1 Cor 16:2, rendered “hath prospered;” and in the passage before us. It means, properly, “to lead in a good way; to prosper one’s journey;” and then to make prosperous; to give success to; to be prospered. It would apply here to any plan or purpose entertained. It would include success in business, happiness in domestic relations, or prosperity in any of the engagements and transactions in which a Christian might lawfully engage. It shows that it is right to wish that our friends may have success in the works of their hands and their plans of life.
    [And be in health] To enjoy bodily health. It is not necessary to to suppose, in order to a correct interpretation of this, that Gaius was at that time suffering from bodily indisposition, though perhaps it is most natural to suppose that, as John makes the wish for his health so prominent. But it is common, in all circumstances, to wish for the health and prosperity of our friends; and it is as proper as it is common, if we do not give that a degree of prominence above the welfare of the soul.
    [Even as thy soul prospereth] John had learned, it would seem, from the “brethren” who had come to him, (3 John 3), that Gaius was living as became a Christian; that he was advancing in the knowledge of the truth, and was exemplary in the duties of the Christian life; and he prays that in all other respects he might be prospered as much as he was in that. It is not very common that a man is more prospered in his spiritual interests than he is in his other interests, or that we can, in our wishes for the welfare of our friends, make the prosperity of the soul, and the practice and enjoyment of religion, the standard of our wishes in regard to other things. It argues a high state of piety when we can, as the expression of our highest desire for the welfare of our friends, express the hope that they may be in all respects as much prospered as they are in their spiritual concerns.
    It is John’s prayer that his friend be of good health and be as properous in life as he was in his spiritual walk. But it is far from saying it is God’s will for us to have victory in everything. People will get sick and die. But there are people who will swear that if you believe and have enough faith, you will not get sick and die. Yet God says we will die:
    Gen 3:19……19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” NIV
    So I point to Ruth Graham. Not many people have the kind of faith Billy Graham has, yet his beloved wife died of illness.
    If we see that someone is teaching something that is not scriptural, and we do believe that is what Joel is doing, then we must point it out. We must warn people that it is not the truth, so they will have the opportunity to learn the truth.  Like our pastor always says, if what he says does not line up with what scripture says, then we are to believe scripture.
    Titus 1:10-16……10 For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach-and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 Even one of their own prophets has said, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good. NIV
    Titus 2:1……2:1 You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. NIV
    1 Tim 5:20……20 Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning. NIV
    Luke 6:37……37 Judge not [neither pronouncing judgment nor subjecting to censure], and you will not be judged; do not condemn and pronounce guilty, and you will not be condemned and pronounced guilty; acquit and forgive and  release (give up resentment, let it drop), and you will be acquitted and forgiven and  released.  AMP
    I used the amplified version here for that verse, since it gives more detail about the meaning of that verse. We must not condemn someone. In other words, we do not have the right to pronounce that someone is worthless, useless, etc. God will determine that. But we are to be discerning about what is being taught. It also does not mean we cannot reprove someone. This is what Matthew Henry’s Commentary says:
    Some cautions about reproving. Because we must not judge others, which is a great sin, it does not therefore follow that we must not reprove others, which is a great duty, and may be a means of saving a soul from death; however, it will be a means of saving our souls from sharing in their guilt.
    As I’ve said, I don’t condemn him. From now until his dying day, he still has the God-given opportunity to believe scripture the way it is written. He has the opportunity to believe (John 14:6-7) 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me . NIV
    Until he believes that and professes it, he is not a man of God. He is a false teacher. He MUST teach that Jesus is the only way, or he is not teaching the doctrine the apostles were taught.
    James 3:1-2……3:1 Not many of you should presume to be teachers , my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. NIV
    2 Peter 2:1-2……2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them-bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. NIV
    1 Cor 15:54-57……”Death has been swallowed up in victory .”  55 “Where, O death, is your victory ? Where, O death, is your sting?”  56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. NIV
    This is the victory that we have. Spiritual death will not have us if we accept Jesus Christ. God will abundantly bless us, if we obey Him. We cannot expect to be wealthy because He wants us to have victory in that area. That is a false teaching. We cannot expect to have smooth sailing in life because He wants us to have “victory” in that area. That, too, is a false teaching. Joel teaches that you just have to “stay in an attitude of faith and the best is yet to come.” So does that mean that the imprisoned Chinese pastors just did not stay in that attitude of faith?
    Of course not. It means the name it and claim it properity teaching is false doctrine.
    Personally, I believe that Joel actually believes what he is teaching. In that case, he has been led astray. He has a great following. When you tell people what they want to hear, you will have a great following. He doesn’t tell people there is sin in their lives (that’s also in print and undisputable – he said it in an interview), and he tells people they can be rich and have their best life now, if they stay in an attitude of faith. And he will not tell people that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, because he doesn’t want to offend people.
    Is God going to say, “Well done my good and faithful servant?” (Matt 25:23)
    I don’t think so.

  7. @SingingMom – I’ve never heard or read that Joel Osteen says that Jesus is not the only Way…… I would have to read his own writing that Joel said that Jesus is not the Way, the Only Way, etc. because he preaches the very opposite every Sunday. If he preaches that Jesus is not the only way, then yes I would definitely disagree!   
    We believe that the gospel is the Good News.  God did not leave us helpless and hopeless to flounder about and ‘hope’ for the best before and until we get to heaven.  God is a good God ~ This is what salvation/saved means in the original Greek ~ rescue, safety, deliver, health, salvation, save, saving, protection, heal, preserve, do well, be whole.  (if you have a Strong’s Concordance, look it up) 
    On III John 2 aren’t we saying the same thing?  My husband says prosperity is success in the journey of life.  That’s what your Barnes’ commentary seems to say!  LOL  Maybe that’s where he got it. 
    As ‘older women’  😆  we are commanded by scripture in Titus 2……(this is what we should be spending our time on) 
     3Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,  4so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,  5to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. ………………. 7in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified,  8sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.  9Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.
    The Holy Spirit’s job is to warn us.  II Timothy 3:16  All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
    The enemy wants us to spend all of our valuable time and energy debating with one another and our opinions and interpretations could go on into infinity.  I refuse to waste my time on it.  I’ll be right up front….I am a FAITH Christian (without faith it is impossible to please God ~ Heb 11:6) and I am not ashamed of it.
    Romans 2:4 ….despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?  Maybe that’s why we aren’t getting as many saved as we should; we aren’t telling them God is good.
    God is good!  :heartbeat:
    Love in Christ!  Stephanie <><

  8. (It didn’t look like this reply came out clear???)  But I copied it again…….

     I’ve never heard or read that Joel Osteen says that Jesus is not the only Way…… I would have to read his own writing that Joel said that Jesus is not the Way, the Only Way, etc. because he preaches the very opposite every Sunday. If he preaches that Jesus is not the only way, then yes I would definitely disagree!   
    We believe that the gospel is the Good News.  God did not leave us helpless and hopeless to flounder about and ‘hope’ for the best before and until we get to heaven.  God is a good God ~ This is what salvation/saved means in the original Greek ~ rescue, safety, deliver, health, salvation, save, saving, protection, heal, preserve, do well, be whole.  (if you have a Strong’s Concordance, look it up) 
    On III John 2 aren’t we saying the same thing?  My husband says prosperity is success in the journey of life.  That’s what your Barnes’ commentary seems to say!  LOL  Maybe that’s where he got it. 
    As ‘older women’  😆  we are commanded by scripture in Titus 2……(this is what we should be spending our time on) 
     3Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,  4so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,  5to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. ………………. 7in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified,  8sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.  9Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.
    The Holy Spirit’s job is to warn us.  II Timothy 3:16  All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
    The enemy wants us to spend all of our valuable time and energy debating with one another and our opinions and interpretations could go on into infinity.  I refuse to waste my time on it.  I’ll be right up front….I am a FAITH Christian (without faith it is impossible to please God ~ Heb 11:6) and I am not ashamed of it.
    Romans 2:4 ….despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?  Maybe that’s why we aren’t getting as many saved as we should; we aren’t telling them God is good.
    God is good!  :heartbeat:
    Love in Christ!  Stephanie <><

  9. @Resolved2WalkInLove – I will have to read all this when I get back. I’m running behind, trying to get all the reports done for our church business meeting tonight. However, I did skim over what you said about 3 Jn 2, and no….I think we differ VERY much in our interpretation.
    I will read later. Running very late….

  10. @Singing4sDad – I could not find the link on your note.  I do remember vaguely hearing about this.  Our pastor was disturbed for sure now that I’m hearing this.  He must have repented (thank God for I John 1:9 and that we aren’t God or Joel would never receive forgiveness!!!) because he does not preach this at all.  I’m so glad my mistakes aren’t posted over the TV and by some Christians aren’t you??  😆  I haven’t seen the link because it’s not here.  Please send it again if you can.  Thanks and God bless you! 

  11. @Resolved2WalkInLove – 
     I’ve never heard or read that Joel Osteen says that Jesus is not the only Way…… 
    KING: What if you’re Jewish or Muslim, you don’t accept Christ at all?OSTEEN: You know, I’m very careful about saying who would and wouldn’t go to heaven. I don’t know…KING: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They’re wrong, aren’t they?OSTEEN: Well, I don’t know if I believe they’re wrong. I believe here’s what the Bible teaches, and from the Christian faith this is what I believe. But I just think that only God will judge a person’s heart. I spent a lot of time in India with my father. I don’t know all about their religion. But I know they love God. And I don’t know. I’ve seen their sincerity. So I don’t know. I know for me, and what the Bible teaches, I want to have a relationship with Jesus.
    God will judge their hearts alright. And if they never accepted Him, they will not go to Heaven. They can be just as sincere as they want to, but if they don’t believe Jesus is the way, then they won’t get to Heaven.
    God did not leave us helpless and hopeless to flounder about and ‘hope’ for the best before and until we get to heaven.  
    Of course He didn’t. Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying. He is there to be our ever present help in time of trouble. But there is absolutely nothing in scripture that says it is God’s will for us to be rich, or always well, or do really well on our jobs. He says in his book Your Best Life Now, that you receive what you believe. So if that’s the case, did the pastors in China who have been imprisoned for preaching the Word, just not believe that they wouldn’t go to prison?
    On III John 2 aren’t we saying the same thing?  My husband says prosperity is success in the journey of life.  That’s what your Barnes’ commentary seems to say!  LOL  Maybe that’s where he got it. 
    No…that is most definitely not what it is saying. And I even talked with our pastor about it tonight. He said 3 John 2 is simply a salutation to a friend. It’s saying that John prays that his friend does just as well in all areas of his life, as he has done spiritually. This is what you said: God’s will for us is victory in every area of life here on earth (III John 2).  And that verse just does not say that. If I were to say to you that I pray you are as successful in the rest of your life as you are in your spiritual life, it in no way means that it’s God’s will that it happens. He blesses when we obey, but we do not have any guarantee that we will be prosperous or “victorious” in all areas of our lives. Like our pastor said, it’s simply a salutation to a friend.
    As ‘older women’  😆  we are commanded by scripture in Titus 2……(this is what we should be spending our time on
    Those scriptures state a particular job to do, but that in no way means that women should not do anything else but that. For instance, I am the treasurer and the VBS director at our church. Those jobs seem to go against what the Titus passage says, if you believe those are the only things women are allowed to do.
    Once again, I talked to our pastor tonight and asked him if in his opinion, it was alright for me to say something about Joel teaching things that are not scriptural, and he said, “Absolutely!” I know many people who follow this man, and believe whatever he says. If I heard him tell my child something that I believed to be scripturally wrong, I would tell that child it was wrong. And I will do the same, if I believe people I care about are falling for what he is teaching. 
     I’ll be right up front….I am a FAITH Christian (without faith it is impossible to please God ~ Heb 11:6) and I am not ashamed of it.
    I’m sorry, but I think you have just completely misunderstood what I have said. Of course we have to have faith. But I believe we are talking about faith in completely different things. I have faith that Jesus rose from the dead and faith that he forgives us from our sins. I have faith that he is our ever present help in times of trouble. But I don’t have faith that we can achieve whatever we believe.
    The enemy wants us to spend all of our valuable time and energy debating with one another and our opinions and interpretations could go on into infinity.  I refuse to waste my time on it. 
    I actually did not ask you to debate any of this.
    Rom 2:4…..4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance? NIV
    Maybe that’s why we aren’t getting as many saved as we should; we aren’t telling them God is good.
    I really don’t want to misunderstand what you are trying to say here. Of course God is good. He forgives sins repeatedly. But the kindness that leads people toward repentance is the fact that he loves and forgives. It isn’t that he promises to everybody monetary prosperity, or good health. Or whatever else it is that we must believe before we can receive.
    If we tell people that God will bless them monetarily or he will cure their ills if we just believe, are people really getting saved? Just because they show up at a huge church doesn’t mean they are saved. They are only saved if they understand that they are sinners in need of a savior, and accept Jesus as that savior. But Joel has also said (in the same interview) that he does not use the word sin. He does not tell people they are sinners. If they don’t know they are sinners, how are they supposed to know they need a savior? Jesus isn’t there to give them health and wealth. He’s there to save their souls so they don’t spend eternity in hell, separated from Him.
    We have to tell people the truth: that man sinned against God and ruined the picture God was painting. But God in His infinite wisdom and compassion, still created a way for sinners to be saved: to accept Jesus Christ and accept that He paid the price for our sins. People will get saved if we tell them that truth. That is the goodness of God. If we obey his commands, he promises to bless. But that’s only if we obey….not because we can envision it. We have nothing to do with that. It is purely God.
    This will be the end on this discussion. We are going to forever disagree on it. I think you’ve seriously misunderstood what I have said. But I will not apologize for the fact that I believe Joel is seriously deceiving people. And I will speak out about it.
    I don’t know if you are aware or not, that the lady above who told me to preach on (on this post and the previous) is a pastor’s wife. We are Sothern Baptist.

  12. It’s funny but I could not get that link to open up…the one for Larry King Live show with Joel Osteen.  Please don’t go to any more trouble, it will be easy for me to google it.
    Joel Osteen isn’t the one who said “we will receive if we believe” ~ Jesus did in Mark 11: 18-26 (and the Pharisees got mad at him too!)  I hope this discussion brings us closer to God through His Word. 
    I love you sister!  :love:

  13. @Resolved2WalkInLove – 
    First, let me say that we believe differently on that section of scripture, too. You’re probably not surprised. We do not believe that this section of scripture means that we can actually have any little thing our heart desires simply by having enough faith. Here’s what Matthew Henry’s commentary says:
    Mark 11:12-26
    (1.) Christ teacheth them from hence to pray in faith (v. 22); Have faith in God. They admired the power of Christ’s word of command; “Why,” said Christ, “a lively active faith would put as great a power into your prayers, v. 23, 24. Whosoever shall say to this mountain, this mount of Olives, Be removed, and be cast into the sea; if he has but any word of God, general or particular, to build his faith upon, and if he shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith, according to the warrant he has from what God hath said, shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith.” Through the strength and power of God in Christ, the greatest difficulty shall be got over, and the thing shall be effected. And therefore (v. 24), “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray believe that ye shall receive them; nay, believe that ye do receive them, and he that has power to give them, saith, Ye shall have them. I say unto you, Ye shall, v. 24. Verily I say unto you, Ye shall,” v. 23. Now this is to be applied,
    [1.] To that faith of miracles which the apostles and first preachers of the gospel were endued with, which did wonders in things natural, healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out devils; these were, in effect, the removing of mountains. The apostles speak of a faith which would do that, and yet might be found where holy love was not, 1 Cor 13:2.
    [2.] It may be applied to that miracle of faith, which all true Christians are endued with, which doeth wonders in things spiritual. It justifies us (Rom 5:1), and so removes the mountains of guilt, and casts them into the depths of the sea, never to rise up in judgment against us, Mic 7:19. It purifies the heart (Acts 15:9), and so removes mountains of corruption, and makes them plains before the grace of God, Zech 4:7. It is by faith that the world is conquered, Satan’s fiery darts are quenched, a soul is crucified with Christ, and yet lives; by faith we set the Lord always before us, and see him that is invisible, and have him present to our minds; and this is effectual to remove mountains, for at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, the mountains were not only moved, but removed, Ps 114:4-7.
    We believe that he is giving instruction to the apostles in this section. He was telling them they would have the same power to work miracles. Those miracles (another thing our pastor mentioned last night) were the “credentials” of the apostles. Being able to work those miracles showed who they were…those who were specifically given that power by God.
    Then the second application is spiritual for all Christians, just as he says above. It justifies us (Rom 5:1), and so removes the mountains of guilt, and casts them into the depths of the sea, never to rise up in judgment against us, Mic 7:19.
    We do not believe that is saying we can imagine, for instance, that we make $200,000 a year, and it will come true. Once again, God can and does bless with similar things, but it is because of obedience to Him, not because of our imagination.
    My cousin died of lung cancer in 1995. His wife was told that if she just had enough faith, she could pray and Tim would not die. After he did die, she beat herself up badly, saying she was horrible for not having enough faith to save his life. This is the kind of detrimental effects that kind of belief has. If God did not want to heal Tim, Tim would not be healed, no matter how much faith DJ had, or how much she prayed.
    Secondly, another friend (who chose to stay out of this discussion) pointed out to me that it sounds as if you are calling me a Pharisee in the comment you left (and the Pharisees got mad at him too!) I really hope that is not the case. However, you might be amused to know that I am of Jewish origin in several lines of my family. One of the surnames, which is Jewish, is Pharis. We do indeed believe that it may be a shortening of the word Pharisee. Not complimentary, but the truth, none the less.
    Now…..something I want you to know…..I have a rule for myself that I never go to someone else’s blog and challenge something they have posted. I believe it is bad manners. If you posted something on your blog completely supporting Joel, I would never come and comment there, challenging you. I would never tell you that you are wrong in posting such a thing. You have every right to post what you want to on your blog. And likewise, I have every right to post what I believe needs to be said on mine. There are many, many people who do not believe he speaks the truth. I am only one of them.
    I expect you to afford me the same courtesy as I would afford you. And I said last night that my comment would be the last of this discussion. You chose to ignore that, and commented one more time. I consider that comment a little dig at me and my beliefs. I am requesting now that you honor what I have said, and say no more on it. If you want to say something on yours, go right ahead. I will never challenge your beliefs there. But coming to my post and challenging what I have said, is akin to coming into my home and telling me my beliefs are wrong. And I do NOT appreciate that. We will just have to agree to disagree on this subject.

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