Wish Is Not Faith
Faith (noun) or belief (noun) and its verb (believe) are three of the most misunderstood and misused words in Christianity. The general idea you get when people use these words is that they are talking of some sort of a vague mental apprehension of something that is supposed to happen. You hear people being admonished to, “Just believe” as if a belief can stand on its own; as if it is something anyone can form in his mind on his own without an external object or person giving him some basis to trust or rely on what he is supposed to believe in. ‘Christian’ pop stars often tell us to ‘just believe’! So what really is faith or belief and how can we properly use any of these words?
The dictionary definitions offer some guides.
The Microsoft Encarta describes faith as:
belief or trust: belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof
- religion or religious group: a system of religious belief, or the group of people who adhere to it
- trust in God: belief in and devotion to God
- set of beliefs: a strongly held set of beliefs or principles
- loyalty: allegiance or loyalty to somebody or something
Microsoft® Encarta® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved”.
The first part of the Microsoft Corporation definition would have been okay for our use if not for the addition of, “especially without logical proof”. For the Christian, faith is belief or trust in or devotion to Somebody where That Somebody is God. Faith is actually reliance on or confidence that what we heard from God is reliable enough to be believed and we so believe it.
For the Christian, there is no proof more logical than that God said a thing. This is THE bible definition of the word: faith is reliance on what God has said. The New Testament has very numerous instances where the foregoing is the only logical definition you can have of the word:
“And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season”. Luk 1:20
“And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord”. Luke 1:45
“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea”. Mat 18:6
“And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house,
Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ”. Act 20:20-21
“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me”. Act 26:18
“And Jesus answering says unto them, Have faith in God”. Mar 11:22
Has God Said?
What is clear from these verses is that there can be no faith on anything if God has not said anything on it. You cannot assume something will happen just because you wish it to and call that faith. That is presumption, if your hope is that God will help the thing happen; it is witchcraft if you think God must make it happen or you don’t mind even if it is the devil that causes it to happen.
For the true Christian faith to exist on any situation, God must have said something on that situation. If God has not pronounced on it, you cannot have faith that the thing will happen as you think. This is the reason that you do not have situations in the Bible where men gave orders to God, as we are now being asked to do by the Charismatic, Pentecostal, Dominion, Prosperity and Word of Faith preachers.
What these people teach as ‘faith’ is the standard definition of witchcraft and sorcery!
It may be necessary we rephrase what you have just read in the last paragraph: anytime anyone listens to, or reads any material by Bishop David Oyedepo or Pastor Enoch Adeboye or Joyce Meyer or Pastor Chris or Benny Hinn or Pastor William Kumuyi or any other Pentecostal or Word of Faith preacher on ‘faith’, the person is having a free course on witchcraft and sorcery.
True faith is focused solely on God, His sovereignty, majesty, goodness and love. It is not based on self-will or presumption. True faith follows God’s command that we should engage God with our prayers, intercessions and supplications, never command. In true faith, we CANNOT command our inheritance or any blessing whatsoever: we can only pray, intercede and supplicate to the Lord Jesus Christ.
True Faith Cannot Be Divorced From True Prayer, Intercessions And Supplications
The Lord Jesus Christ and the Bible ask us to do these so we may get God to answer our prayers.
“And he spoke a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
Yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge says.
And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
I tell you that he will avenge them speedily”. Luke 18:1-8
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth”. 1 Timothy 2:1-4.
The teachings that you can command God or you can call forth your blessings, healing or wealth are not taught in the Bible. Those teachings are not faith, they are occultism. God cannot be commanded or ordered by any man or angel to do or refrain from doing anything, Daniel 4:35.
Faith And Cultism
We can state without any fear of contradiction that any other definition of the word ‘faith’ that differs in any substantial form from the foregoing is from the devil. Various cults seize on Mat 21:21 (Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done) and some other passages to mislead their followers that the Lord Jesus Christ taught that human beings have some special ability in themselves that can turn their ‘faith’ into reality without any reference to God. They quote the verses – or as Peter put it, twist them – among themselves to their destruction. These are people who teach that faith is something different from reliance on God and His promises; they teach you can command mountains to move without reference to God’s sovereignty!
We need to re-iterate the fact that true Christians must note that the so-called ‘faith’ preachers do not preach the faith of the Bible. Their ‘faith’ is actually an occult belief in a power supposedly inherent in every human being, (whether born again or not) by which each of us can speak things into existence or decree spiritual or physical phenomena without active and sovereign approval of God. This is what every Prosperity and Word of Faith preacher teaches.
This is what Pastor Enock Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God teaches. Click on this link to listen to him. This is what William Kumuyi of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry preaches. Click on this link to listen to him. That is what Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of the Christ Embassy teaches. Click on this to hear him.
Every Pentecostal, Charismatic, Word of Faith, Dominion and Prosperity preacher teaches this. It is one not-too-subtle occult doctrine that links William Kumuyi with Joel Osteen; Joyce Meyer with Kenneth Copeland; Fred Price with Creflo Dollar. It is rebellion against God and it is witchcraft. The fact this teaching cannot be found in the Bible does not affect these preachers in the least.
‘Have Faith In Your Faith’
Kenneth Hagin’s book, Have Faith In Your Faith, confirms both the heretical and the rebellious nature of the teachings of the Word of Faith Movement. ‘Faith’ in Word Of Faith is not confidence in God. It is an affirmation of a belief in yourself. It erroneously substitutes self-belief and self-confidence for faith. Readers are advised to check this up in the writings of Word of Faith preachers such as David Oyedepo.
God’s Kind Of Faith
Is there anything called ‘God’s kind of faith’ as we are now being taught by Word of Faith preachers? There is no such thing anywhere in the Bible. This is another occult idea that human beings can do or speak things into existence, just like God. It is pure sorcery.
What of Affirmation?
Since true faith is reliance on what God has said, can we therefore take it to mean we can take hold of some parts, prophecies and promises of the Bible and insist they must happen to us as written in the Book? Can we simply claim or affirm them and proceed from there?
If the issue is about God’s mercy and His promises to forgive penitent sinners on account of the sacrifice of His Son, we can very well hold tight to the promises, in fact that is God’s command to all men. On other issues we need to hear from Him.
St Peter told us in 2 Peter 1:20-21 that “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”.
We need to be told by God that some particular promises or prophecies apply not only to our time but to us as individuals.
This again brings the true Christian to the issues of prayers, intercessions and supplications. We affirm only once the Lord has confirmed to us in our spirit that the particular promises or prophecies apply to us. Otherwise we pray and take the next logical steps in each situation, believing God uses every situation to the good of His children. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”. Rom 8:28