The Reality of Our Faith

Oh me, oh my . . .

Nations are in turmoil, and kingdoms topple.
    The earth melts at the sound of God’s voice  . . .

He puts an end to wars all over the earth.
            He breaks an archer’s bow.
            He cuts spears in two.
            He burns chariots.
Let go of your concerns!
    Then you will know that I am Elohim.
        I rule the nations.
        I rule the earth.(Psalm 46:6, 9–10)

I read that and had a paradoxical response. How about you? When you first read those verses you might be a bit perplexed or even overwhelmed. Or, maybe you were simply confused. Well, let’s take a deep breath to calm ourselves and see what we can make of it.

The Psalmist was saying that everything was in chaos, but it trembled at the voice of Yahweh. That is where we can find refuge!

Now the fact that God is our refuge and strength does not mean that we are immune from trouble and problems. Contrary to what some of the preachers on TV tell you, as believers, our lives are not trouble‑free. We need to be clear on this because some of those teachers out there claim that it is God’s will for every believer to enjoy prosperity and perfect health. They tell you that since Jesus has promised to answer the prayer of faith, all that stands between you and material prosperity and physical health is your lack of faith. Confess it as yours, and by-golly it’s yours!

Hey, for several years I sat under some of the greatest faith teachers out there! I “cut-my-teeth,” on the Word of Faith message. In fact, it is what brought me to the faith. So I won’t speak badly of any of them, but I do want you to be able to face the reality of our Faith.

For those of you in the Word of Faith movement, did you know that E.W. Kenyon, the “Father” of the movement, died in a coma, which was brought on by a malignant tumor? What about Kenneth Hagin? I listened to almost every tape he produced and read almost every book he wrote. (Although most of them were simply transcripts from his tapes or copied verbatim from Kenyon). But Hagin had four major cardiovascular failures in 1939, 1942, 1949, and 1973.

Hagin claimed he was healed of all kinds of things such as a “deformed heart,” “paralysis,” and “incurable blood disease.” He also declared he was “healed from the top of my head to the soles of my feet” on August 7, 1934. He went on to say “every symptom of distress; deficiency and physical wrongness was driven out of my body,” perpetually.

Although we were originally told that on September 23. 2003 after eating breakfast, Hagin’s head fell to his chest. But you see, Hagin had been hospitalized in a cardiac intensive care unit since September 14th, when he collapsed at home. We later find out that he was transported by an ambulance and admitted to the cardiac intensive care unit and remained in the hospital until he died.

Then there is Buddy Harrison. Most of those in the Word of Faith movement know him as the Founder of Harrison House Books and Pastor of the Faith Christian Fellowship in Tulsa OK. He is also the  son-in-law of Kenneth Hagin. But he died November 1998 of cancer.

Oh my goodness. I could go on to talk about John Osteen, a man I loved to listen to. He was also a popular Word of Faith teacher, but he had kidney dialysis and later a heart catheterization. Then a few months later, had surgery to install a pacemaker for his heart. John’s wife, Dodie, developed liver cancer and was treated through medical attention. John died January 23rd, 1999 of cardiac arrest.

Fred Price, who declared “Sickness is not allowed in our house,” saw his wife Betty get cancer. How did it come into their house? In October 1990, Betty Price openly stated that she had developed cancer-an “inoperable malignant tumor in her pelvic area.” Although, she received chemo-therapy and God had mercy on her, and she healed her. Thank God for his mercy and not man’s word.

Look, if all this has offends you (as it did me, when I first began to do the research), I am sorry. I am not trying to malign any of the teachers or churches who have taught these things. Nor am I attempting to disparage those of you in a Word of Faith church. I am simply trying to bring reality to our faith. I still teach and believe that our God can/and does heal. However, I do not believe that healing is inevitable or guaranteed every time you “claim” it.

The Scripture clearly teaches that our God is our help during our times of trouble, but not that we are exempt us from trouble. The psalm above is certainly declaring that. Did you notice that it mentions catastrophic trouble: global changes (46:2), severe earthquakes and storms (46:2‑3), and wars (46:6, 9). Hebrews 11:35-38 tells us about all kinds of terrible trials that faithful believers have faced. They suffered homelessness, being without proper clothing and food, mockings, torture, beatings, imprisonment, and various forms of cruel executions. Some will tell you that it came because they did not have enough faith, but folks it came because they had faith!

Our God does not protect us from this sort of thing. He doesn’t build a big dome over us so we are shielded from the evil in the world. When a plane goes down, He doesn’t make sure there are no Christians aboard. When war ravages a country, He doesn’t preserve the believers from its effects. He doesn’t allow cancer to strike only those who have lived a life of sin. (My wife is proof of that!) No, trouble will strike the godly as well as the ungodly. The question we need to ask is when the trouble strikes, do we want to run to Yahweh as your refuge and strength or do you want to find help from Oprah? Psalm 46 shows that when trouble strikes, He is big enough to get you through! My friends, just remember that our Faith will never eliminate trouble. But faith knows who to run to.

As I pointed out, This Psalm begins telling us about all Hell breaking out on the Earth, but in the midst of it all, our Father’s voice comes loud and clear! He speaks. He intervenes. He lifts His voice, and the earth melts. He intervenes against the forces of iniquity and evil, and justice prevails. He speaks against the “roaring seas,” and there is peace.

As I pointed out, This Psalm begins telling us about all Hell breaking out on the Earth, but in the midst of it all, our Father’s voice comes loud and clear! He speaks. He intervenes. He lifts His voice, and the earth melts. He intervenes against the forces of iniquity and evil, and justice prevails. He speaks against the “roaring seas,” and there is peace.

When Hell is breaking out around us, He speaks a word in the midst of that confusion, turmoil and uproar and says: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Hey folks, look around; read the headlines; listen to the news reports. We are in that very situation right now. Nations in chaos, kingdoms falling apart, the threat of war on every border. But in the midst of it all, our God is speaking to His people and saying, “Be still, be quiet, don’t be upset, don’t get restless, don’t get nervous. I am Elohim! I am still in control. My purposes are going to work out. I will be exalted over all nations. I will be exalted in the earth.”

Glory to our God! It doesn’t get better that that! Amen! Folks, our Father is telling you: “Be still and hear my voice!

Nickolas

With these Morning Messages, I take you on guided tours to, as Bunyan described, the Celestial City. At times we linger at corners familiar and unseen. And explore the depths of our faith along the way.

The trail is long, but there’s no hurry. Though we do need to stock up on supplies for the way, and that’s where I need your help. If you enjoy these messages, please consider becoming a contributing member of this tour group. It will be very much appreciated.

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