Jesus IS Lord
‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
May all who love this city prosper.’
-- Psalm 122:6
Kenneth E. Hagin
Proverbs 4:20-22 - NLT
My child, pay attention to what I say.
Listen carefully to my words.
Don't lose sight of them.
Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
for they bring life to those who find them,
and healing to their whole body.
** The following was taken from The Word, King James Version. Written word for word by Kenneth E. Hagin with no additions or deletions to the text.
What Is Faith?
by Kenneth E. Hagin
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A key verse in the study of faith is Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Here God is telling us what faith is.
There are many kinds of faith. Everyone, saved and unsaved alike, has a natural, human faith. For example, people everywhere have faith that when they sit in a chair it will support their weight. But the above scripture is not talking about natural, human faith. It is talking about scriptural faith -- a faith that believes with the heart in spite of what physical senses or circumstances may say.
Yet in the church world there is considerable confusion concerning what real faith is. John Wesley once said that the devil has given the Church a substitute for faith; one that looks and sounds so much like faith that few people can tell the difference. He called this substitute "mental assent". Many people will agree that the Bible is true, but they are agreeing only with their minds. That is mental assent and it is not what gets the job done. It takes heart faith to receive from God.
How can a person know whether he has heart faith or whether he is just mentally agreeing with God's Word? Mental assent says, "I know God's Word is true. I know God has provided healing (or some other blessing), but for some reason I can't get it; I can't understand it." However, real faith says, "If God's Word says it's true, then it's true. It is mine, and I have it now. I have it now even though I can't see it because God Cannot Lie."
How Do We Get Faith?
We read in Hebrews 11:6, "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."
God has told us that without faith it is impossible to please Him. If He demanded that we have faith when it was impossible for us to get faith, then we would have a right to challenge His justice. But He has also told us how to get faith and has provided the way whereby everyone can have faith.
Real faith is built on and grows out of the Word of God. Romans 10:17 states, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." Real faith is the child of the knowledge of God's Word. You can't trust in the Lord without trusting in His Word. God and His Word are one, just as you and your word are one. If your word is not good, you are not good. If God's Word isn't any good, He isn't any good.
So to develop your faith you must start by making the decision that God's Word is true and you will believe His Word above anything else. The Word of God is actually God speaking to you. It is God-breathed, God-inspired, and God-indwelt. In order for you to have strong faith, the Word must be of foremost importance to you -- you must wrap yourself in it, and in its promises.
How can you do that? You must accept the Word for what it actually says and not for what you think it says. As you study the Bible in this light, you will be amazed to learn that some of the things you've always believed to be scriptural are not in the Word of God at all.
I found this to be true in my own experience. As a teenager I lay for many months on the bed of sickness. While studying the Bible I began to see truths of faith and healing which were new to me. My church did not teach about healing. But the more I studied God's Word, the more I saw that faith and healing were Bible truths. And regardless of my church's teaching, I determined I was going to walk in the light of God's Word.
Once you've settled in your heart that you're going to follow God's Word rather than religious teaching or man-made traditions, you need to dig deeply into the Word and feed upon it until you have a deep, settled assurance of God's will concerning your need. You must immerse yourself in the Word of God until it becomes a part of you. How can you tell if the Word is really a part of you? The best indicator is when the Word becomes the first thing that comes to your mind and the first thing you consider in every situation or circumstance.
Proverbs 4:20,21 tells us how to develop this kind of stability in God's Word, "My son, attend to my Words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart."
Many people fail because they allow the Word of God to depart from before their eyes. Instead of seeing themselves as God's Word says they are, they keep looking at the wrong things -- at the conditions, at the symptoms, at themselves -- and so they walk in unbelief and destroy the effects of their faith. Or they listen to others around them instead of listening to God's Word, and they allow the Word to depart out of their heart.
Let me illustrate what I mean. God's Word says, "Himself (Jesus) took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses" (Matt. 8:17), If that Word does not depart from before your eyes, you are bound to see yourself without sickness and without disease. You will start seeing yourself well instead of seeing yourself sick. If the Word doesn't depart from before your eyes in any area for which you are believing God, then you will see yourself as the Word sees you -- possessing all the benefits the Words says are yours.
Immerse yourself in the Word. Get your mind on the answer. See yourself as having received. Constantly affirm, even in the face of contradictory circumstances, that God has heard your prayer because the Word says so. That's when you'll be results.
Real faith will say the same thing about one's self as the Word says. You have what the Word says you have. You are what the Word says you are. If you want God's Word to work for you, you will have to get in agreement with it.
Great Examples of Faith
The Difference Between Faith and Hope
As we continue to discuss the subject of faith, we need to explain the difference between faith and hope because a lack of understanding in this area keeps many people from receiving the blessings of God.
Some people are always hoping God hears their prayers, hoping to be healed, hoping to have their needs met. But hope is not faith. Even if someone says, "I believe I'll (I will) receive the answer sometime," that is still hope. They may be calling it faith, but it is really hope.
Here is how to tell whether you are really believing God or just hoping: hope is always future tense -- pointing to the future -- but faith is now. Faith says, "I'll receive right now. I have it now."
When it comes to receiving healing I've had many people say to me, "Brother Hagin, I don't understand why I haven't received my healing. I know God promised to heal me."
"God has not promised to heal you at all." I tell them.
They reply, "Doesn't the Word of God say, 'Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses'? Isn't that a promise?"
No, that is not a promise. It is a statement of fact which tells you something that has already happened. It tells you what belongs to you. Hope always believes that God is going to do something for you in the future. Faith believes that He has done and is doing something for you right now.
I can illustrate the difference between faith and hope by relating an incident which took place in a tent meeting I conducted in Waco, Texas. A man came forward and got in the prayer line to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. I asked him, "Will you receive now as I lay my hands on you and pray?"
"Well, Brother Hagin," he replied, "I sure hope so."
I answered, "You won't."
That made him angry. I had meant to help him, not to anger him, so I added, "You don't receive from God through hope; it's by faith that you receive from God."
He said, "I don't know whether I'm going to receive or not, so I'm not going to say I am."
I then asked him, "If I offered you a dollar bill, would you say, 'I don't know if I can receive it or not'?"
"No, certainly not," he replied.
"God offers you a gift that is just as easy to receive as a dollar I might offer you." I said.
He said, "But I have been seeking for about 13 years, and I haven't received yet. I don't know whether I will receive."
He got quite upset, so I hugged him and asked him to sit on the front row awhile and watch as I prayed and talked with others in the prayer line so he could see the difference between hoping and believing.
I came to a young lady who wanted to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. I asked her if she was a Christian and if she believed in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. She affirmed she was a Christian and that she knew the baptism in the Holy Spirit was taught in the Bible. Then I asked her, "Will you receive the Holy Spirit now when I lay my hands on your head and pray?"
"I certainly will," she responded. "You know, I sat here tonight and followed every scripture you gave as you preached, and it's all in there. The laying on of hands to receive the Holy Spirit is in the Word. I certainly will receive."
I saw she was ready, so I reached out my right hand to lay it on her forehead, but before I could touch her, she threw up both hands and started speaking in tongues. I turned to the man on the front row and asked, "Now do you see the difference between just hoping and really believing?"
"Yes," he said, "I guess I do."
He returned three nights later and was back in the prayer line. I said, "I see you're back."
"Yes," he replied, "I'm back. And I'll tell you something -- I've changed my hope to faith. Just put your hands on me and I'll be filled with the Holy Spirit right now!"
I reached out my hands and had hardly touched him before both of his hands went up and he began speaking in tongues. It makes such a difference when you really believe God and don't just hope you'll receive from Him!
Faith Is An Act
People often ask me, "Brother Hagin, why haven't I received from God?" Sometimes they even quote scriptures to me and tell me over and over how much they believe those scriptures. Then I ask them, "But have you ever acted like those scriptures are true?"
I see so many Christians who are struggling to believe and struggling to have faith. Their focus is all wrong; they're focusing on their ability or inability to believe God or "trying" to have faith. They should simply start acting like God's Word is true; it will make all the difference in their lives!
It is when we know God's Word is true and act like it's true that it becomes a reality to us. Faith is not something we have, so much as it is something we do.
Think for a moment of the children of Israel as they encountered the city of Jericho. God had already told them that He had given the city of Jericho into their hands (Josh. 6:2). But that didn't mean that the city would automatically be theirs. They had to act on what God had said by marching around the city for seven days and shouting when the musical instruments were played. Notice in Joshua chapter 6 that at the time they shouted, the city walls were still standing. Anyone can shout when the walls are down -- it doesn't take any faith to do that. But they acted on their faith in spite of the circumstances, and when they did, the walls fell down!
In Luke chapter 5 of the New Testament we read about some men who brought their friend to Jesus for healing. The crowd was so large that they could not get to Jesus, but that didn't stop these men because they believed Jesus had the answer to their friend's need. Climbing to the roof of the house where Jesus was minstering, they lowered their bedfast friend through an opening in the tiling and into the room before the Lord, where the man was healed.
By whose faith was this healing brought about -- the man on the bed or the friends who brought him? Luke 5:20 says that Jesus saw THEIR faith. It was the faith of all of them. The friends acted on their faith by getting the man to Jesus. But the sick man also acted on his faith. How many invalids would allow themselves to be carried up on a rooftop? Furthermore, when Jesus told the sick man to rise and take up his bed, he acted on Jesus' words and made the effort to get up. When he did, he was healed. Had he refused to act on the Word of the Master, he would not have received healing. But because he acted he received.
Acting in faith is equally important to us today if we expect to receive from God. We must act like the Word of God is true. When I speak of acting like the Word is true, I'm not talking about writing checks when there is no money in the bank, or throwing away medicine when a life-threatening illness or condition exists in one's body. Such actions do not demonstrate faith -- they are acts of foolishness and presumption.
One way we act in faith is by saying what God says about our needs. Do our words line up with God's Word or do they contradict God's Word? Often faith is negated simply through wrong speaking or through allowing worry and fear to dominate our thinking. We say we are trusting God to provide for our financial needs. But at the same time, we worry and fret about how we're going to pay our bills. One minute we're saying that God's Word is true, and the next minute we contradict everything we've said with our words and actions. Our actions must correspond with our believing if we are to receive from God.
Until our actions correspond with our faith, we will experience continual failure in life. I can say that the Lord is the strength of my life, but if I continue to talk about my weaknesses and lack of faith, I will be defeated because there is no corresponding action. Faith is acting on God's Word!"
Acting On Faith
Faith Takes the Answer Now
I mentioned previously that I spent many months as a teenager in a bedfast condition, but really I had been sick all my life with a heart and blood condition. I did not have a normal childhood, nor was I ever able to run and play like other children. At the age of 15, I became totally bedfast and almost completely paralyzed. Five doctors who were called in on my case agreed that there was absolutely no hope for me. As far as medical science knew, no one in my condition had ever lived past the age of 16. At times I would become very ill and would go right down to death's door. You could see where I had worn all the varnish off the headboard of my bed as I held onto it, fighting death with every fiber of my being.
Because I was confined to bed day after day, I was able to do a lot of praying. And as my strength would allow, I read and studied the Bible. In its pages I saw truths concerning faith and healing and did my best to act on them. But even though I received a measure of help to enable me to get through the most severe attacks, I still did not receive my healing.
Finally, on the second Tuesday of August 1934, after being on the bed of sickness for 16 months, I was praying at about 10:30 in the morning. I said to the Lord, "Dear Lord Jesus, when You were here on earth, You said in Mark 11:24, 'What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.' Dear Lord Jesus, I desire to be healed.
"You said, 'When you pray.' I have prayed.
"You said, 'Believe.' Dear Lord Jesus, if You stood here by my bedside in the flesh and if You were to say to me, 'Son, the trougle with you is you're not believing,' I would have to reply to You, 'Dear Lord Jesus, You are lying about it -- I do believe.'" (I said this in humility, not in arrogance.)
When I said this, He spoke to me. And it was that day I discovered the secret of faith.
He didn't speak out loud, but He spoke down on the inside of me: "Yes, you believe all right -- as far as you know. But the last clause of this verse of scripture is, 'believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them.' "
Then I saw it! It was just as if someone had turned a light on inside of me! I exclaimed, "Dear Lord Jesus, I see it! I see it! I have to believe I receive my healing. I have to believe I receive healing for my heart while my heart is still not beating right. I have to believe I receive healing for my paralysis even though I am paralyzed from a natural standpoint. And if I believe I receive healing, then I have it!"
I had never seen that before. I had wanted to receive my healing first, and then believe it. But why would I need to believe after I was healed? I would know it then. I saw what I had been doing: I had been hoping to receive healing for all those months and it didn't work.
After receiving this revelation of God's Word, I began to praise Him, "Heavenly Father, dear Lord Jesus, thank God I am healed. I believe I am healed."
Now I had it in the right tense. Now I had faith working for me. If it's not now, it's not faith. Believing I was going to get my healing wouldn't be present tense, so it wouldn't be faith.
I think I had been praising God for about 10 minutes when from within my heart He spoke to me again: "You believe that you are healed. But healed people -- well people -- haven't any business in bed. They need to be up."
"That's right," I answered. "I'm going to get up. Praise God, I'm going to get up!"
You see, faith takes the answer now. I didn't look any better, and I didn't feel any better. Physically, I had no feeling from my waist down. I was still partially paralyzed, having only about two-thirds use of the upper part of my body. But I pushed myself to a sitting position and pulled my knees up against my chest. Then I made an effort to twist my body and pushed my feet off the bed. I grabbed hold of the bedpost at the foot of the bed and pulled myself off the bed. My feet fell on the floor like chunks of wood. Although I couldn't feel them, I could see them down there on the floor. There I stood, hugging the bedpost with my knees sagged almost to the floor.
Immediately, thoughts started coming to my mind as fast as machine gun bullets can fire: "You can't walk. You're not healed and you know you're not. You're going to fall right here on the floor and you'll just have to lie there."
But I held on to my faith in God's Word. Gripping that bedpost as best I could, I lifted one hand a little and said, "Thank God, I'm healed. I want to declare in the Presence of Almight God, the Lord Jesus Christ, the angels in heaven, and in the presence of the devil and evil spirits, that the Word of God is true, and I believe I am healed! I believe it!"
The room seemed to be spinning, for I'd been lying in bed for 16 months. I shut my eyes. In a few minutes I opened my eyes and the room had quit spinning. I said again, "Thank God, according to the Word I'm healed." I believed it. Then I felt something like a warm glow droppiing on my head from above me. It seemed to flow down over me as if a jar of warm honey had been poured over my head. It ran down my whole body.
When it reached my waist, feeling began to return to the lower part of my body. At first the pain was excruciating, but when you haven't had any feelings at all for so long, it even feels good to hurt! Then I felt normal. The paralysis was gone.
I said, "I'm going to walk now," and I did. Of course, it took a little while to build my muscles back up from so many months of inactivity, but I started walking that day and I've been walking ever since!
Faith, real faith that receives from God, takes the answer now. So many people have the attitude, "Well, when I feel it or see it, I'll believe." But that isn't Bible faith. That's natural, human faith -- and even sinners have that kind of faith!
Real faith isn't based upon a change in circumstances or symptoms. Real faith is based upon what God has said in His Word.
Circumstances may appear to be unchanged or symptoms may persist, but faith says, "I believe the Word of God. I believe the power of God is at work in my body right now and according to the Word of God, I am healed."
Or concerning a financial need it says, "My need is met according to the Word of God. I believe God is at work right now on my behalf. Thank You, Jesus, for supplying the money I need."
Remember -- in order to exercise faith, a person should first spend time feeding upon God's Word until he has a deep settled assurance of God's will concerning his need.
Then he should pray and ask God to supply his need according to the Word. He should believe that his need is met at the very moment he prays -- not that it will be met at some time in the future. He should constantly affirm in the face of every contradictory circumstance that the Word of God is true.
Finally, his every word and action should line up with his believing. He should act like God has heard him and act like the Word is true in his life.
Faith is so simple. Once you learn how to exercise faith, it will operate the same way for any area of need. Take advantage of the means God has provided for you to develop your faith. Feed on His Word. Put your complete trust in His Word and begin to act like it is true.
As you learn to exercise faith in every area of your life, you will see that it is indeed possible for you to walk in all the blessings God has planned for you.
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Kenneth E. Hagin Obituary
Mark 11:22-24, NLT
Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, 'May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you've received it, it will be yours.”