—MOAugust 1970GP No.M
[HomeARC note (10/98): The Charter states the Family's current principles, policies and attitudes regarding faith healing and getting outside medical attention.]
1. PEOPLE ARE SUCH EXTREMISTS. They think it is all this way or that way. In the repairing of electronic equipment like our radios we have knowledge up to a point, but because of a lack of skilled technicians who have had more training and know more about radios, when we have an abnormal case that is beyond our experience, we don't hesitate to take it in to the expert. Something beyond our experience we have to take it to the expert who knows.
2. WE ARE NOT TOTALLY INDEPENDENT OF THE SYSTEM YET. We are breaking loose, but anything but independent.
3. ACCORDING TO THEIR FAITH BE IT DONE UNTO THEM.
4. I USUALLY HAVE MORE FAITH FOR THOSE THAT ARE BEYOND THE POWER AND ABILITY OF MAN. The Lord Himself worked along this line when He was on earth. He made man do what they could do, made the people roll the stone away, made the man go wash in the Pool of Siloam. He did what they couldn't do. People have gotten too dependent on the System. There are many normal things they could do for themselves, but the System has made them so dependent on it both for their bodies, their religion and their economics they are almost helpless. They go to the System for everything. In this case we are only going to the System for an emergency which is beyond our training and experience, both in radios, certain car repairs and in this case physical repair. There is really nothing the doctor can do in the way of changing or healing, or anything except that he has a little additional information on how the body works and what to expect and how to assist in this abnormal situation.
5. BUT THE SYSTEMITES DEPEND TOTALLY ON THE SYSTEM. They won't have a baby without a doctor under any circumstances. We only have a doctor when we can't possibly take care of it ourselves. We try to depend totally on the Lord. Thank the Lord, we're making progress. We've made a complete break religiously. We're a totally new nation spiritually, in faith and practice and really in method and message, even though they have been preached to some extent, but never practised as radically as we are doing.
6. IF GOD IS GOING TO HEAL, HE CAN DO IT WITHOUT ANY HELP, AND IF HE DOESN'T WANT TO IT WON'T BE DONE. When I was sick with appendicitis‚ I said this, but this is pretty strong fanatical faith. I was just throwing myself absolutely on limb and He honoured my faith. I could have said, Lord, I'll go to the hospital and they'll give me advice on what to drink and what not to drink and give me some mechanical help‚ etc. The doctor told my mother, "Don't let him do it. They'll put him under sedation and he won't be able to trust the Lord for healing then."
7. IT IS ALL IN HOW MUCH FAITH YOU HAVE. How much do you claim the promises? That's why I asked Hannah if she had studied Mother's book, The Hem of His Garment. It's just like you'd take a treatment or pills and have faith in the doctor. If you've got faith in God you're going to take the Scriptural pills and follow the treatment He prescribes. You can't say‚ "I'm trusting the doctor, but I won't take his pills. I'm under physicians' care, but I don't like to follow his prescriptions." You have to follow through and obey in whatever you're putting your faith in. If it is the Lord, you quote and claim Scriptures just like Jesus did. You stand on the Word.
8. THE FIRST NIGHT THE LORD INDICATED THAT HANNAH WAS TO EXERCISE FAITH HERSELF—put forth the effort of a believing will. "If she would but touch the Hem of His Garment." No one else could do it for that woman. She had to do it herself. That night she prayed in tongues, cried and said‚ "Lord‚ help me," when asked to pray for herself. But she really didn't claim the promises and get down to business with God. The next night the Lord was trying to encourage her faith again that she was in His care, not to be afraid. He was going to take care of her. He gave her the verse‚ "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea‚ I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness." (Isaiah 41:10)
9. FAITH IS JUST SOMETHING YOU HAVE OR YOU DON'T HAVE. It's like being a little bit pregnant. There is no such thing. You either are or you aren't. You have faith or you haven't. That's why Jesus said, "If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you can move a whole mountain." (Matthew 17:20) Faith is something that is built by faithful study of God's Word. Faith comes—it grows by hearing the Word of God. It's not a sudden boom. You can get sudden faith for certain things with sudden Scriptures from the Lord. But you have that kind of faith because of a substantial background of faith and trusting God's Word.
THE ONLY PEOPLE I'VE SEEN GET MIRACLES FROM GOD who didn't have a strong background of faith were those who were almost totally ignorant of God's Word and somebody else had to have faith for them—someone who did have a strong background of faith—such as faith healers. They have better success, not with people who are reared in the Lord, such as Pentecostals, etc.‚ because God expects those people to have faith for themselves. But with people like Catholics or total heathen straight out of the world who know little or nothing about God's healing and only have faith in the minister himself. This was the case with Peter and John in the temple—they said "Look on us." But they still have to have faith in someone. They wouldn't be there in the healing line if they didn't have faith that the preacher could pull them through.
THEIR FAITH IS IN YOUR FAITH. But God will not put up with that kind of faith—faith in people—with someone supposed to know the Lord directly, personally. He will not tolerate it. People who know the Lord's healing have to get faith and healing for themselves directly from the Lord. Personally, I have very little faith in other people's prayers for myself except as a fulfillment of the Scriptural orders, calling for elders' laying on of hands, which is a symbol of your faith and exercising of your faith and a witness to others. You can have faith for healing because you are obeying the calling for elders, etc., not that your faith is resting in the elders' laying on of hands.
10. LIKE BAPTISM, THE PREACHER ISN'T WASHING AWAY YOUR SINS. He's merely going through the motions of outward show of an inward spiritual change. This is the trouble with the Church of Christ. Their faith is in the water for Baptism. Because you can't have vicarious faith for Salvation. Their faith is in the water instead of Jesus. Only the fellow who has faith in the Blood of Christ and personally touches Jesus is saved.
11. HOWEVER, IN THE CASE OF HEALING, IT DOES SEEM THAT THERE CAN BE A DIFFERENCE IN THE CASE, PARTICULARLY OF THE IGNORANT AND EVEN OF THE SAVED—that this was true in Jesus' and the Apostles' ministry, that their faith was in someone else's faith and in somebody else.—Not just directly in God. But with God's Children who know Him personally and know His Will and His Word, God expects them to touch Him personally, directly, and make a direct contact with the Lord, not in somebody else's faith or prayers or somebody else's decision. That's why God requires them to make the decision of faith themselves. In their case just like with Salvation. Nobody else can make the decision for you. You have to make the decision of faith yourself—take the step of faith yourself—"Though He slay me yet will I trust Him" (Job 13:15), and you personally have to take the responsibility, not try to shove it on your husband or wife or leaders. If you have to shove responsibility on somebody else, then you're just a little baby spiritually, and if you are just a baby and don't want to admit it‚ and you claim to have faith when you haven't, that's just plain damn pride. If you're proud, God will surely humble you.
ONE OF THE WORST KIND OF PRIDE IN THE WORLD IS PRETENDING TO HAVE FAITH when you haven't got it. Spiritual pride—like the church today—hypocritical, pharisaical, religious pride. It reminds me of when someone was stung by a scorpion in leadership class one night. They said‚ "That sure hurt my faith." If your faith can't stand the sting of a scorpion, you haven't got much faith.
12. JOB COULD HAVE SAID, "ACCORDING TO YOUR WORD in general, You're supposed to care for Your own and provide for them and heal them and look what You've let happen to me, Lord. This sure hurts my faith." God was trying to show that he had such great faith like Abraham that he could even take Isaac up there and kill him and still believe God. Even if everything was contrary to God's promises or went contrary as with Job, so that it manifested the great faith Job had‚ when he could say when everything was going wrong and went totally contrary to the Lord's Word and promises and usual conditions, "Though He slay me yet will I trust Him."
13. MOST CHRISTIANS CAN HAVE FAITH UNDER NORMAL CONDITIONS FOR USUAL SITUATIONS—what they expect God to do—but only those with great faith like Job when everything goes wrong and seems contrary to the Word and the usual—only those with great faith can say with Job, "Even though He slay me yet will I trust Him." (Job 13:15) What Job was saying was, "Even though it seems like God is breaking His own Word with me—even though it seems like God has failed me—even though God kills me contrary to all His promises, I'll still trust Him." He was saying with the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, "God can do it, but even if He doesn't‚ we'll still trust Him." (Dan.3:21)
14. BUT THOSE OF LITTLE FAITH CAN'T STAND THAT. THEY DO WHAT JOB'S WIFE TOLD HIM TO DO. They curse God and die when the going gets too rough‚ instead of trusting God and being willing to die no matter how rough it is—to die trusting. Like the woman I told you about who got up and wrote the note after several convulsions, "I want you to know that I feel like I'm dying, but if I do, I want you to know I never touched the morphine." But that's a decision of faith. It's known as the stand of faith" like Martin Luther took on Salvation by Faith before the Diet of Worms. He said, "Here I stand; I can do no other." I'm willing to die for this truth; I'm so sure of it. Even if God doesn't defend me or protect me. It is the stand that counts.—I'd rather die than stop trusting.
15. THAT'S WHAT I DID WITH THAT ATTACK OF APPENDICITIS—I just told God, "Lord, I'm not going to do a thing." You literally put God on the spot. He likes it, He likes you to challenge Him to keep His Word. "Now, here, God, I've obeyed You. I've put myself on a limb and sawed it off. Now it's up to You to take care of me. If You want to heal me You don't need any help." But that really took what some people would call great faith. Because there might have been something the doctor could do to help, but God would have to heal me anyway. But if you haven't got that kind of faith‚ you better operate according to your faith. If you're scared‚ fearful, not absolutely sure....Faith is knowing! You're positive. You're certain. You expect it beyond a shadow of a doubt. If you haven't got that kind of faith and you're not willing to literally die for it and take the responsibility of the decision yourself that "I'd rather die trusting" then you better run to the nearest doctor and hospital, or quit the group and run out and get yourself a job or forsake our type of martyrdom and run back to the comfort and luxury of the Church System.
IN ALL CASES, YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO DIE FOR YOUR FAITH—a part of your witness—dying for your faith, your final witness—of whether you die for your faith as a martyr in preaching the Gospel or whether you die for your faith in starving to death because you've forsaken all to follow Him, but you have to be willing‚ or whether you die daily in many tests and trials, that's when you find out whether you have the faith or not. Job didn't know for sure he wasn't going to die. By all indications it looked like he was. And his friends as good as told him he was and he didn't have any faith. They as good as said he was dying because of his lack of faith. The fact was that God almost let him die to show what great faith he had. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE FAITH UNLESS YOU HAVE THE WORD.
16. SOME PEOPLE MIGHT HAVE ALMOST SAID THAT ABRAHAM MANIFESTED LACK OF FAITH IN HIS STARTING TO KILL ISAAC. What was the big idea? Why didn't he have more faith to believe in the promises of God and not kill him, and let him live, so he could fulfill the promises of God. But Abraham had greater faith than that—that even though he slew Isaac, God could still keep His promises. This is unusual faith—very great faith! Faith that is contrary to all normal condition, all natural expectations above and beyond the call of duty—above and beyond the usual. If Japheth had really had faith for it, he wouldn't now be taking his wife to the hospital. It was his responsibility. He has to make the decision. The minute he found out he was to be to blame—it was his responsibility‚ not Moses or the other leaders, he was willing to take her to the hospital. But if Hannah doesn't have the faith, it's hard for him to have the faith.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE FAITH UNLESS YOU HAVE THE WORD.
17. THE THIRD NIGHT WHEN I SAW BOTH BODY AND SPIRIT WERE WEAKENING, THE LORD STILL TRIED TO ENCOURAGE HER: "When I'm weak, then I'm strong. For My strength is made perfect in weakness." Later I got the verse, "He could do no mighty works there because of their unbelief." Because I saw her faith was weakening‚ I told the girls that since it was an abnormal, unusual case beyond the scope of their usual experience, that when it is beyond your own knowledge, sometimes you have to go to the expert, even in the mechanical situation—for an examination, just to get his counsel and his advice on how to handle the situation—what to do, since he knows more about it than we do. Of course, I said, "God knows more about it than anybody and He's better able to handle it than anyone if you can trust Him."
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE FAITH UNLESS YOU HAVE THE WORD.
18. WE THINK WE HAVE BEEN HAVING A LOT OF FAITH BY NOT GOING TO HOSPITALS AND DOCTORS FOR NORMAL BIRTHS when there are millions of people in the world for thousands of years who without faith and without God have had perfectly normal births—without faith, because it is just the normal natural thing but because in our system it has become the normal thing to have doctors and medicine‚ we think we're exercising great faith to have normal childbirth, when actually that shouldn't take so much faith. But now when we hit a difficult situation which is not normal or natural, premature, strenuous, and extreme, we find out how little faith we really have—when it takes a miracle!
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE FAITH UNLESS YOU HAVE THE WORD.
19. IF THERE HAD BEEN NOTHING ELSE TO DO AND NO PLACE ELSE TO GO, no one else's help to seek, no doctor or hospital, we would have had to trust God for a miracle. We would have been forced to trust Him. But God doesn't like forced faith—when you have no alternative‚ no choice‚ when you have to trust Him because there's nothing else you can do. Most Christians can then trust God because He's all there is left. But God likes the kind of faith that when there is a choice, when there is a decision, when there is an alternative, the great faith still chooses God in spite of the other possibilities.
20. I LIKE WHAT JOSH USED TO SAY, "THE KIND OF GUYS WHO STICK WITH US ARE THE ONES YOU CAN'T GET RID OF!"—the ones that refuse to quit. You can't even throw them out. Like Russell and Danny in the early days and some others since then who I told to pack their bags and go. I was through with them. But they refused to quit. They could have used the excuse, "Well, they told me to go, so it is their fault." But they didn't let anybody else steal their crown. They didn't try to make an excuse of somebody else. Some people are looking for an excuse to do what they really want to do—Quit—they are looking for somebody else to blame—somebody else to make the decision, somebody else to take the responsibility, instead of laying hold on the angel as Jacob did and refusing to let go until God blessed him even though it crippled him and made a new man out of him—no longer supplanter and deceiver and liar and a cheat and a pretender, like some people who pretend to have faith, but a proven Prince of God, a Prince with God, and a man who refused to let go until he got the blessing!
21. THAT WAS ESAU'S SIN—HE GAVE UP TOO EASY. He found out he didn't have much faith. He despised his birthright and settled for something he could see and easily believe for, rather than something he couldn't see and had to have great faith for. Some people sell themselves out too cheap. They quit too soon. The explorer Amundsen who discovered the [South] Pole, when it looked like he wasn't going to make it‚ sent a message back to civilisation saying, "Don't rescue me prematurely." He was willing to risk his life to reach his goal‚ rather than take the easy way out. It is so easy to make excuses, legitimate‚ logical, reasonable, acceptable excuses why you couldn't make it—why you shouldn't be expected to make it‚ and in most cases most people will accept your excuses because most people don't have faith either and in excusing you they're excusing themselves. But is God going to excuse you?
22. ONE OF THE SADDEST WORDS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IS THE WORD "ALMOST." One of the saddest phrases ever found written was found written on the cell wall of a prison, "If I only had." One of the saddest statements ever made was made by that famous lawyer in St. Louis who died an alcoholic in disgrace, "The tragedy is not that I'm not the man I used to be: The greatest tragedy is I'm not the man I could have been." The world and the System will always excuse you and will receive you and accept you if you fall short and compromise, because that's what they're doing, but you may find out in the end to your chagrin, that they'll rise up and finally point a finger at you. Like the old prophet to the young prophet, "Isn't it too bad he didn't make it?" "Well, we didn't think he had it. That's why we tried to persuade him not to go and we were right and he was wrong." The world will receive you, but then condemn you in the end as they did Judas. The Devil will do everything he can to tempt you to forsake God's Way. Then he'll stand up in the end and accuse you for doing it. He'll tempt you to sin then accuse you for sinning. That's his and the System's tactics. The System makes criminals out of people and then self-righteously condemns them for being criminals. WHEN YOU TAKE THAT STAND OF FAITH, YOU USUALLY HAVE TO TAKE IT ALONE WITH GOD. Don't expect any help from the Devil or the System or sometimes even your friends. A man's foes can be they of his own household and a test of faith.
23. AS MY BROTHER SAID AS HE WAS TRYING TO CLIMB OUT OF BED, after being prayed for, and my Mother was trying to make him stay in bed, "I'm having enough trouble fighting the Devil, without fighting you, too."
24. WHEN YOU MADE YOUR FINAL DECISION FOR SALVATION, YOU HAD TO MAKE IT ALONE, with only the help of the Holy Spirit! When you made your final decision to forsake all and follow Jesus, you probably had to stand alone with only the encouragement of the Lord and His Word. When you make your final stand of faith on any issue‚ if you're a person of great faith, you'll have to make it alone‚ with only God's help!
25. MOST OF THE DECISIONS—GREAT DECISIONS—THAT I HAVE MADE IN MY LIFE AS A LEADER HAVE BEEN LONELY DECISIONS WHERE ONLY I AND GOD STOOD TOGETHER, and the whole world stood against us!—Sometimes even my family—sometimes even those I loved the most! They have been mountain peaks of decision, with nothing but thin air between me and the next peak, and I had to take that step alone, and trust God for the consequences, with no guarantee but God‚ no warranty but His Word—all other conditions being against it-all natural circumstances being opposed to it—the waves and the winds fighting against it—and all I had was the Hand of God!
26. BUT HE NEVER LET ME DOWN‚ EVEN IF HE HAD TO PICK ME UP BY THAT HAND AND LIFT ME ACROSS TO THAT NEXT MOUNTAIN PEAK, without any visible, natural, normal, logical, reasonable means of help!
27. THAT'S THE WAY MY MOTHER BEGAN SERVING GOD from "Deathbed to Pulpit" overnight in a miracle only God could do—it had to be God—and it took great faith! That's how my Father served God, who first trusted the Lord for my Mother—he had to believe in the impossible! That's how my life of fulltime service for the Lord began—as a physical weakling, sustained only by the Spirit of God, condemned to die! The doctor said, "Go to bed. Stay in bed. You might live a year." God said, "Serve Me, and I'll keep you!" Man says, "It's impossible! Tie up in port. Retire and rot away. Don't attempt the impossible; you'll sink!" God says‚ "Launch out into the deep! Cast forth thy nets and I'll give you such a draft there'll not be room enough to hold it! I'll give you the biggest load you've ever had, when you were already to sink without any load!" Man says‚ "Look at the storm! Look at the conditions of your vessel! You can't do it!" God says, "Look at Me! With man it is impossible; with God, nothing shall be impossible, and all things are possible to him that believeth!"
28. WE STARTED OUR LIFE AND MINISTRY ON IMPOSSIBILITIES! Like Abraham, we went out, not knowing whither we went. We forsook the System‚ and we didn't know where to go, but God led us by the hand step by step! Each decision we made alone, over the opposition of friends and family and relatives, but God had said He would open a door that no man could close! Man didn't open it—God did! He also said He would close doors that no man could open, no matter how hard we tried! Even when sometimes our faith failed us, and we tried to go back, He slammed the door in our face; "For though we are faithless, yet He remaineth faithful. He cannot deny Himself!" (2Tim 2:13)
29. WHEN WE LAUNCHED THE THIRTEEN YEARS OF OUR NATIONWIDE TV MINISTRY that reached millions with the Gospel, it was a decision we had to make alone, and a ministry we had to fight alone most of the time, against all odds‚ even those with whom we were working!—Even to the forsaking of wife and children and home, even at a greater cost than I can tell you here.
30. WHEN WE LAUNCHED THIS YOUTH MINISTRY, WE WENT INTO IT TOGETHER, BUT IT WAS A DECISION I HAD TO MAKE ALONE. It was a vision God gave me alone in the beginning, and I personally had to have the faith for it! God followed it with encouragement and confirmation and provision, but I started alone with nothing but Him!
31. WHEN, AFTER THE DEATH OF MY MOTHER IN CALIFORNIA, THE SPIRIT OF GOD ROSE UP WITHIN ME ONE NIGHT IN PUBLIC DECLARATION OF WAR ON THE RELIGIOUS SYSTEM, it was a decision that was made suddenly, in a split second, on the spur of the moment on my feet, unexpectedly and by surprise‚ with no time to counsel and confer with anyone but God! I openly declared war on the hypocritical old bottles of the religious system who were lined up on the back seat‚ and I cast in my lot with outlaws, drug addicts, maniacs, and the younger generation, and a traitor to my own. It was my moment of truth‚ and I'm glad I did it, and God has never failed me! I made the decision in a flash as I turned toward the audience‚ under the inspiration of God alone and I let that back row have it with both barrels. I raved like a mad man; I cast myself upon the Mercy of God and the kids, and they both loved it—but the System walked out on me!
32. BUT THE LITTLE GIRL NEWSPAPER REPORTER THAT GOD SAVED THERE THAT NIGHT, TURNED ON TOO, and that resulted in the first front-page publicity of our first attack on the System with our Message—decided on alone, only with the help of God, and to the horror of some of our friends and family!
33. JUST BEFORE WE LAUNCHED INTO THAT GREAT YEAR OF MINISTRY ON THE ROAD, WE RECEIVED MOST OF OUR INSTRUCTIONS ALONE FROM GOD, with only a scribe present to record it. I was even afraid to tell the people what God had said, it sounded so crazy! But I had to do it alone. Nobody else could do it for me. I had to make the decision, and take the step of faith myself, regardless of the consequences, not knowing how they would react, or if others would follow‚ but they did, thank God‚ and we had a tremendous year of witnessing which echoed around the world and still echoes, the full results of which we will only meet in Eternity.
34. WHEN GOD FIRST TOLD US TO LIVE LIKE THIS—WHEN HE FIRST SHOWED US THIS PLAN OF LIVING AND WORKING TOGETHER FOR HIS GLORY‚ I COULDN'T UNDERSTAND IT. I couldn't see how we'd have much time for witnessing, it would take so much time to live. But God said the way we lived would be such a witness that they would come to us!—And "great would be the company of those that published it," as they have done in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV, around the world.
35. REMEMBER, WE DIDN'T KNOW HOW GREAT THE EFFECT WAS GOING TO BE. Your leadership had to make that decision on naked faith in God's Word—that God would do what He said—against all reason and natural circumstances. Imagine 100 people travelling together on the road by faith—and the Hippie Generation at that—facing innumerable enemies and obstacles and hardships, but God brought us through and we won the victory; but we had to make the decision—everyone of us—alone—or we wouldn't be here! "According to your faith be it done unto you." We are living here now by faith, against many problems and obstacles‚ but everyone of you had to make that decision yourself, on your own, alone with God. You made the choice personally, or you wouldn't be here, because nobody is keeping you here, and you don't have to stay here, if you don't want to. Husbands have even forsaken their wives, and wives their husbands, and parents their children‚ and children their parents to follow God‚ but you had to make the final decisions of faith yourself, to live or die for God! You had to make the choice! It had to be your choice, or it would be no good, or you couldn't stand! If you're trying to coast along on someone else's faith, forget it! They'll let you down, sooner or later! You better stand on your own two feet before God now, and remember it is your choice that you're here. You made the decision to follow God. Not even God could make it for you! "Many are called, but few are chosen"—because so few choose His Way!
36. GOD IS NOW REVEALING TO US SOME AMAZING THINGS ABOUT OUR FUTURE, which are hard to believe, and some of us are having a struggle to believe it—a fight of faith—including me! God has revealed some things which are almost frightening, so miraculous they seem impossible‚ so supernatural they seem unbelievable!—But if someone does not take action on it and make a decision, even be willing to stand alone in a stand of faith—if we are not willing to act by faith on what God has shown us—it could never happen. Like the multitude of promises God made to Israel‚ which didn't happen for thousands of years because of their lack of faith. Somebody has to decide to trust God, like the spies in the Wilderness. Somebody has to be willing to be the pioneer! Somebody has to be willing to take that first step of faith in that direction—to take the initiative because of the vision, and to take it alone, if need be, regardless of the cost.
37. THAT'S A DECISION THAT I PERSONALLY AM MAKING AT THIS VERY MOMENT, probably the greatest decision in my life‚ with the greatest consequences, with the greatest cost, and in the face of the greatest odds and seeming impossibilities! If it's not of God, it could be the greatest mistake of my life, and could nearly wreck us. Only God's Vision and Word to go on. I can only answer with faith alone.
38. BUT IT COULD BE THE GREATEST WITNESS OF ANYTHING WE'VE EVER DONE‚ and cost us our lives in the bargain! But someone has to take the first step of faith in that direction to make it come to pass. Someone has to show he believes it. Someone has to demonstrate that he really thinks God means business by what He said and what He showed. Someone has to make a decision of faith—alone!—His own—And right now, as your spiritual counsellor, that one is me! I feel I'm going to have to do it alone, to prove it! "Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord, and see if I will not pour out such a blessing that there will not be room enough to hold it." You don't see the blessing yet. How do you know He's going to pour it out? You've only got His Word for it—you've got to prove Him! You've got to try. You have to literally test it, you have to challenge God. You have to take a step in the direction He said to go, to find out what He's going to do. Because if you don't go, He can't show! If you don't obey, He can't make a way! If by faith you don't "be," you'll never "see"! For believing is seeing, in this business—in God's business!
39. BUT SOME PEOPLE WEAKEN JUST BEFORE THAT FINAL HOUR. The greatest darkness is just before dawn, the greatest desperation is just before Salvation! The greatest hopelessness attacks just before rescue! Some people almost make it! Almost, but lost! If you could have held on one more breath, one more step, one more hour‚ one more day, you could have had glorious victory and a wonderful testimony! But you suffered all these things in vain, and you didn't quite make it, and a "miss is as good as a mile!" May God forbid this ever has to be said to you!
40. THESE ARE THE "COULD HAVE BEENS," WHICH ARE EVEN WORSE THAN THE "HAS BEENS." The church is a "has been," and a pitiful sight, but we will be worse if we wind up the "could have beens!" What could have been if we only had? May God forbid‚ and may God deliver us, and may God give us the faith and the willingness to make the choice, alone—if need be—to make the decision on our own and to take the full consequences ourselves, whatever they may be!
41. THE THIRD NIGHT I WENT TO SEE HANNAH, I SAW THAT SHE WAS NOT ONLY VERY WEAK IN BODY THROUGH THE ORDEAL, BUT ALSO VERY WEAK IN SPIRIT, and I could sense that her faith was wavering‚ although she tried not to admit it. She was trying to have faith, but faith is not something you can try to have! You either have it, or you don't. You have it because you're full of the Word and the faith of God, and you just know it and expect it! You cannot try to have faith! Faith isn't something you work up‚ muster up, polish up by your own efforts and strength!
42. WHEN MY MOTHER WAS DYING, SHE NEARLY KILLED HERSELF TRYING TO HAVE FAITH. It was not until, through the Word of God and the Revelation of God, that she received faith from God‚ that she had the faith! Trying to have faith nearly killed her! She was worn out with the effort! Trying to have faith is a work of the flesh! Accepting faith through His Word is a work of God's Grace, like Salvation. It's free; it can only be received; but your works will show it! If you have it, you won't quit; you'll be tempted to doubt, but you won't doubt! The Devil will try to scare you, but you won't fear. He'll try to frighten you, but you won't quail; he'll try to bluff you, but you won't retreat; he'll try to bully you‚ but you won't surrender!—Because you are willing to die trusting, you're so sure of God! That's the kind of faith that gets healing and works miracles.
43. LAST NIGHT THE LORD AGAIN TRIED TO ENCOURAGE HANNAH, when He said, "When I am weak, then I am strong. My strength is made perfect in weakness." But the outlook was very dark. The situation was very abnormal. The labour was prolonged and premature. She was exhausted! Spirits failed‚ and faith weakened! This was the "trying of your faith." Some said they didn't have the faith for it—they couldn't handle it!—because we didn't have the experience or equipment to take care of such a difficult case. They might need an incubator. It might need a special operation. It might need something we didn't know how to do! It was time to call on the expert and take this case to the hospital.—Three weeks premature and already three days of labour, and very little sign of progress, while she grew steadily weaker—and our faith failed!
44. IT WAS TIME FOR A DECISION OF FAITH! "According to your faith be it done unto you!" Someone had to make the decision! They looked to me to have the faith for them. They looked to me to make the decision for them. But this is not God's Way with His Children. I can't decide for you! You can't decide for me! "Every man must give an account of himself to God!" "What is it to thee? Follow thou Me!" We cannot hide behind others‚ when it comes to our majesty of choice. We cannot push the responsibility upon others, when God is dealing with us personally!
45. GOD WANTS YOU TO MAKE YOUR OWN CHOICE BY FAITH ACCORDING TO YOUR OWN FAITH—not mine, not ours, not somebody else's, but yours! God is dealing with you, and He wants you to learn to trust Him personally, not lean on others! If you're going to be a leader of God's Children‚ particularly in such a personal matter as this—the birth of your own child, this is the time for your faith to come to the fore, and for you to make your own decision, to see how much you trust God! You must be willing to die truly trusting, not dying wishing you had gone to the physician—not dying for pride's sake, but dying for faith's sake!
46. I HAVE KNOWN SOME PEOPLE TO DIE DELIBERATELY, just to prove that God didn't answer prayer!—and that faith didn't work‚ supposedly. I've known others to wish that they had died, to prove that God didn't work miracles today!
47. FAITH IS A DANGEROUS GAME OF LIFE AND DEATH, NOT TO BE PLAYED WITH LIGHTLY. You either have it or you haven't. Don't try to fool anybody, or it may kill you—or you may at the last minute change your mind and turn to the physician, showing that's where your faith was all the time—that you were only lying!—Or trying to have faith you didn't have. "For without faith it is impossible to please God, for he that cometh to Him must believe that He is‚ and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6. "For faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen!" In other words, you've really already got it‚ by faith, and you don't doubt it, and you don't change, and you don't run out on God at the last minute!
48. FOR GOD IS NOT A MAN THAT HE SHOULD LIE—AND YOU KNOW GOD'S GOING TO DO IT, SO YOU DON'T EVEN CONSIDER ANYTHING ELSE! Some people like to have group faith. They want everybody to trust God with them! What they really mean is they want everyone to trust God for them, so they won't have to have faith themselves; so they go around asking everyone to pray for them! I know some people who write every faith healer they can think of, and every prayer warrior they can contact. They think the more people they have praying for them, the more God is apt to hear—when God is trying to make them have faith for themselves, and make their own decision!
49. THIS IS WHAT GOD WAS TRYING TO DO IN JAPHETH AND HANNAH'S CASE—make them take a stand of faith on their own, to have faith alone!—And this is what we insisted they do‚ but they personally had to take the responsibility of making the choice! They personally had to make the decision for themselves. Not on my faith or our faith, but their faith!—to trust God for themselves. You can't eat for me. I have to eat for myself! You can't exercise physical muscles for me. I have to exercise my own! I can't absorb the Word for you, nor can I exercise your muscles of faith; you have to do it yourself. I can't have faith for you! You have to have your own, if you know God, and you're His Child! His sheep hear His Voice‚ and they follow Him. I can trust God with you, but not for you! That you have to do yourself! I can pray with you, teach you, try to encourage your faith, try to get you to look to Jesus, and try to inspire you by my own example and my own stories and experiences of faith where God has never failed.
50. BUT WHEN IT COMES TO THE SHOWDOWN, EXCEPT FOR A FEW RARE EXCEPTIONS‚ SUCH AS BABIES AND SPIRITUAL BABIES‚ YOU MUST HAVE FAITH FOR YOURSELF! "Have faith in God!" I cannot have it for you. If you are old enough to make the serious spiritual decisions of marriage and having babies, you are old enough to make the serious, sobering‚ life and death decisions of faith.
51. BUT IF YOU CANNOT TRUST GOD FOR YOURSELF, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO INSPIRE FAITH IN OTHERS FOR THEMSELVES?
52. SOME PEOPLE PLAY "CHICKEN" WITH GOD! They figure if God doesn't do it, they'll go to the hospital at the last minute! This is not faith! Faith never considers the hospital! Faith knows God will do it!—And He does! If you have any inclination at all to want to go to a doctor or a hospital, you better go, 'cause that's where your faith lies! The thought might cross your mind in temptation, but those of faith resist the Enemy, and he flees from them; they give no place to the Evil One!—And they continue to trust without fail, that God will not fail!
53. OTHERS FIGURE THEY'LL JUMP OFF OF THE UNCERTAINTY OF GOD AT THE LAST MINUTE, and land on what they consider the certainty of the flesh—in case God fails them! They don't burn their bridges behind them! They don't sacrifice the plow and the oxen! (1Kings 19:21). They hold a little reservation in the back of their mind, of what they plan to do in case God doesn't work! This is not faith! This is only pride and man-pleasing with eye service!—Supposedly trusting God because it's the popular thing to do—the accepted thing—the expected thing—not because they really have faith‚ but because they're trying to please others. Some folks here are waiting for an excuse to go back. They're ashamed to go back otherwise! They want to go back, but they're ashamed to go without an excuse, so they wait until somebody offends them, or they can say God has failed them, or "My Grandmother's sick, and I must go back and bury the dead." They didn't really cut all ties by faith! They still have a few strings attached!—A few things they're holding on to. The truly faithful have totally and utterly cut themselves off from the rest of the world.—The "ecclesia" of God—the separated ones who have burned all their bridges behind them and cannot go back. These are the ones who are faithful to the end, who attain to the Crown of Life!—You can't get rid of them; they won't take "no" for an answer. They refuse to go back!—Even if you try to throw them out or send them back! Hell, no!—They won't go! This is where they belong: they'll die trying to stay here!
54. BUT THOSE WHOSE FAITH IS ONLY A PROUD PRETENSE, WILL CHICKEN OUT WHEN THE GOING GETS ROUGH and it looks like all is lost. They jump off the ice floe, just as the crown is descending! They leap off the boat when they think it's about to sink!
55. BUT THE CAPTIVES OF FAITH WOULD RATHER GO DOWN WITH THE SHIP, if such be the Will of God‚ knowing that God is able to raise it again, if need be!
56. FAIR WEATHER FAITH IS NO FAITH AT ALL! Real faith endures the storm, even when it looks like you're sinking! Real faith stands his ground when all else fails, and all others desert! Even if he has to go it alone! Real faith never quits, never gives up, never stops‚ and therefore, can't be stopped—for God is with such faith! Real faith will pay any price‚ suffer any sacrifice, die any death!
57. YOU CANNOT STOP THE MAN OF FAITH. You cannot dissuade him! You cannot divert him! You cannot stop him! He'll go on with or without you, or right over you, if necessary. For this is the victory that overcometh the world, even your faith. If it comes to that, all he needs is God! With that kind of faith in God, you can go anywhere‚ and do anything, for all things are possible to him that believeth, but without faith it is impossible to please Him!
58. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO YOU HAVE? HOW FAR ARE YOU GOING TO GO WITH GOD? Are you going to get off at the last minute? Having run well, are you going to suffer so may things in vain and lose your reward; or are you going to endure to the end? "He that endureth to the end—to him will I give a Crown of Life!"
59. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO YOU HAVE? What more can I say?