“As you come into line, fear is cast out, the Word of God comes into operation and you find bedrock,” wrote S. Wigglesworth in 1917. In 1919 he wrote, “Dare to Believe, Then Command.” He based this declaration on John 14:12-14 and similar verses in Scripture. In “Faith Is” we stated and showed that “Faith is a Verb.” We also referenced A.W. Tozer, who taught Faith as an “Action.” Wigglesworth makes the case that “Faith is the operative power.” In 1932, John MacMillan wrote a series of articles for The Alliance Weekly titled “The Authority of the Believer.” From there until this day many have picked up on this message and incorporated it into their doctrine. The most widely recognized are “Name it and Claim it” and the “Prosperity Doctrine.” I know, I was taught them as a teenager. I also know that too much of the emphasis and motivation is put on the withdrawal and not on the investment required. That we must first “come into line” and “find bedrock.”
For example, in John 14:12-14 Christ says: 12. “Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I am doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” And this is the promise freely quoted in support of these teachings, but what did Jesus tell Philip before this? Verses 10 & 11: 10. “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I say to you, I do not speak on My own. Instead, it is the Father dwelling in Me, carrying out His work. 11. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me – or at least believe because of the works themselves.” Christ explains that the words He speaks, the “works” He does are not His own, “instead, it is the Father dwelling in” Him. Quoting verses 12-14 without 10 & 11 leaves too much liberty as to Christ’s meaning when He spoke them. In other words, 12-14 without 10 & 11 lacks context, and you know that is the top pet peeve here at P.O.C.
When Wigglesworth said “Dare to Believe,” he referenced Romans 4:16: “the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by Grace and may be guaranteed” In fact, he said “I do not know of any greater words than those.” From this he summed it up like this: “You open the way for God to work as you believe His Word, and God will come in and supply your every need all along the way.” The idea that Wigglesworth started centered on the source, not the return. This is proven by his review of John 14; his focus was on these words, “I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified.” You see, he knew the context of these verses was Christ’s works and the Father’s Glory. He left no doubt when he asked this: “Did anyone ever work as He (Christ) did?” He follows this question detailing the “works” of Christ: healing the sick, casting out demons, relieving the oppressed, etc. Wigglesworth states clearly: “He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil.” These are the works Christ pointed to when talking to the disciples. This is the Christ we must “Dare to Believe” in, and in which we must have Faith. And when He said, “whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I am doing. He will do even greater things than these.” This is the “work” to which He refers, these are the things we will “do even greater.” It is in this context that Christ says: “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”
I think even more referenced in this belief than John is Mark 11:23,24: 23. “Truly I tell you that if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and has no doubt in his heart but believes that it will happen, it will be done for him. 24. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” But again it is cited as if it were a line in the air and not part of the greater Book. Wigglesworth’s writings also quote these verses, but tie them to John 14. He also tied them to examples of application in his life. The examples he used were of healing a man who had cancer and couldn’t eat, a woman who couldn’t hear, and a girl who couldn’t walk. He “Believed” and “Commanded” in the name of Christ, and what he asked for was received. His works Aligned with Christ’s, as did his request; so, through the “Authority” promised, it was granted.
You know, something I never hear included in this discussion is Matthew 4:1-11. Here, Satan tempts Christ with the needs of the flesh, and with power and possessions. Did Christ say: “In the name of God give me a feast” or “In the name of the Father hand over this kingdom,” or “stones be gone”? No, He said: “It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” He said: “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” And finally, He said: “Away from me, Satan!… For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.” Christ, who had all Authority, said; “It is written…” Even under extreme duress, Christ was in Alignment with the Father. As He would tell the disciples in John: “I do not speak on My own.” Or as we talk about in “R U a Pilgrim,” He was in the World “Not of the World.” Christ was a “Stranger” to this world, a “Pilgrim,” only passing through. As such, He ate, owned clothing and His parents owned a home. But, when these were all taken away in the wilderness, Satan gained no power from their loss, because Christ was “set apart” from them. They were of the physical world and had no value to the Spiritual World to which Christ belonged. As a matter of fact, name one time Christ “commanded” physical comforts of this world? I think, hope, we all agree Christ had absolute Faith in the Father, and, from that Faith, absolute Authority. So, when did He “command” more food, His own donkey, a nicer home or position? Christ was not denied the comforts of this world, but when did He “command” more for Himself?
We like the imagery of casting a mountain into the sea. What a spectacle that would be. But it seems we forget the rules. “For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.” And, “I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified.” And, “I do not speak on My own. Instead, it is the Father dwelling in Me, carrying out His work.” This is the life Christ led. In leading this life, He remained in God’s Favor as we explain in “Grace Is.” From this place of Grace, being in Alignment with God, He was given access to the Authority and Power of God. And with this access, He had complete Command to do God’s work, Glorifying His name. This is what Christ promised. Through and Only through “Alignment” with God, “Faith” in the Truth of Christ, we too will “Command” with the “Authority” of God.
So, now we’ve detailed the substance, but, as is our practice, let’s talk application. There are those who would take both sides of this point. Those who would try to make the case that this means we as Christians should take a vow of poverty. And those who would and do say this means we can have anything not directly of Satan; all we have to do is “Name It & Claim it.” However, the study we just did shows they are both wrong. It’s clear God does not care whether you drive a Cadillac or a Corolla. If you desire to drive a Cady because of how people will look at you or how you look at yourself, then you can “Claim It” all you want, God won’t be supplying it. (Note: the Bible is clear though, Satan might, and he would be happy letting you think it was God. –Click Here-) If you sell your Cady and go buy a Corolla so people will see the sacrifice you made, then you gave up that great ride for nothing.
The reason they are both wrong is clearly defined in “R U a Pilgrim.” God doesn’t care whether you drive a Cadillac or a Corolla. What He cares about is your motivation for driving either. God cares that once you become a citizen of His world you don’t seek the things of the physical world to which you were supposed to become a “Stranger.” In both the scenarios described above, recognition by the physical world was the motivation, so God can play no part in either. This brings us to the “Mountain.” Let’s get a little clarification from Matthew:
14. When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus and knelt before Him. 15. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16. I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not heal him.”
17. “O unbelieving and perverse generation!” Jesus replied. “How long must I remain with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy here to Me.” 18. Then Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.
19. Afterward the disciples came to Jesus privately and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
20. “Because you have so little faith.” He answered. “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Here again, Christ references the “Mountain” and moving it. First, notice the context. As Wigglesworth pointed out, Christ wasn’t commanding a mountain. He was Commanding a demon to leave the boy, in Alignment with God, with the Authority of God. Christ was not teaching the disciples about the power to move mountains, but the Faith it takes to do God’s work and how little Faith that is. Christ was putting the Spiritual concept into the Physical context they understood, using the largest physical thing they knew (the mountain) and the smallest (the mustard seed). He was telling them that with even the smallest of sincere, complete belief in God’s Truth, they would have complete Command over the Spiritual forces of darkness. He wanted us to understand that the Spiritual world has superiority over the physical, and that, when walking in God, for God, we have Spiritual Authority over both.
With the rare exception of being chased by an Egyptian army, generally the only purposes in our commanding a mountain or dividing a sea would be to make a show to the physical world or to “test” God. We know how He feels about both! The point of all of this is “Truth,” “Faith” and “Grace.” When we walk Faithfully in God’s Truth, we move and act in His favor and gain access to the gift of His power. This power is greater than anything in either the physical or spiritual worlds, but is only meant to be used with His direction and for His purposes. If we attempt to wield God’s Power in either world from a place of arrogance, self-righteousness or self-interest we will face the consequences in this life or the next. Moses found this out when he was prevented from entering the Promise Land because he hit the rock at Kadesh twice rather than speaking to it to bring forth water as God commanded (see Numbers 20:8-13). The seven sons of Sceva learned this the hard way as well. Acts 19:13-16 describes how they went around casting out demons saying: “I bind you by Jesus, whom Paul proclaims.” This seemed to work fine until one day an evil spirit replied: “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but you, who are you?” and the man possessed by the evil spirit proceeded to beat them all until “they ran out of the house, naked and wounded.” If you think it Glorifies the Father, putting you in His Favor, to move a mountain or to drive either a Cadillac or a Corolla, then go for it. If you are right, then your “Faith” in that “truth” will grant you the Authority of God’s “Grace.” Just remember, the time will come when we stand in front of the Father and the “truth” we believed will be put to the Fire. Will God embrace you as a “good and Faithful servant,” or send you away saying “I never knew you?”
Just for fun, let’s see how this lines up with Christ’s instruction on how to pray:
9. Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
10. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11. Give us this day our daily bread.
12. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
|Our Father who is in heaven *Holy be Your name.
Your kingdom come. Your *desires be done upon the earth, as they are in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive our *moral failures, as we forgive those who have failed us morally.
And don’t lead us into *adversity, but *rescue us from *evil influence: For Yours is the kingdom, and the *miraculous power, and the Glory, for ever. Amen
Interesting. First, we are to acknowledge the Spiritual kingdom and God as its Head. Then, we are to commit to fulfilling His desires on earth (the physical world) as they are in heaven (the spiritual world), and ask Him to take care of our daily needs. Next, we are to plead forgiveness for failing Him, as we forgive those who have failed us. Finally, we ask God to guide our steps, to keep us from walking into adversity and things that would influence us to do wrong, or to fail Him again. We end by acknowledging His power, which is beyond our comprehension, and that all – spiritual and physical – exists for God’s Glory (not ours), for now and beyond time.
In short: Acknowledge God’s Authority. Bring ourselves into Alignment with that Authority. Have Faith that He will be Faithful to His promises. Live in and with the Authority of God. Use that Authority to do All for His Glorification!
*[G37] hagiazō hag-ee-ad’-zo From G40; to make holy, that is, (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; (mentally) to venerate: – hallow, be holy, sanctify.
*[G2307] thelēma thel’-ay-mah From the prolonged form of G2309; a determination (properly the thing), that is, (actively) choice (specifically purpose, decree; abstractly volition) or (passively) inclination: – desire, pleasure, will.
* opheilēma of-i’-lay-mah From (the alternate of) G3784; something owed, that is, (figuratively) a due.; morally a fault: – debt.
[G3784] opheilō opheileō of-i’-lo, of-i-leh’-o Including its prolonged form (second form) used in certain tenses. Probably from the base of G3786 (through the idea of accruing); to owe (pecuniarily); figuratively to be under obligation (ought, must, should); morally to fail in duty: – behove, be bound, (be) debt (-or), (be) due (-ty), be guilty (indebted), (must) need (-s), ought, owe, should.
*[G3986] peirasmos pi-ras-mos’ From G3985; a putting to proof (by experiment [of good], experience [of evil], solicitation, discipline or provocation); by implication adversity: – temptation
*[G4506] rhuomai rhoo’-om-ahee Middle voice of an obsolete verb, akin to G4482 (through the idea of a current; compare G4511); to rush or draw (for oneself), that is, rescue: – deliver (-er).
*[G4190] ponēros pon-ay-ros’ From a derivative of G4192; hurtful, that is, evil (properly in effect or influence, and thus differing from G2556, which refers rather to essential character, as well as from G4550, which indicates degeneracy from original virtue); figuratively calamitous; also (passively) ill, that is, diseased; but especially (morally) culpable, that is, derelict, vicious, facinorous; neuter (singular) mischief, malice, or (plural) guilt; masculine (singular) the devil, or (plural) sinners: – bad, evil, grievous, harm, lewd, malicious, wicked (-ness).
*[G1411] dunamis doo’-nam-is From G1410; force (literally or figuratively); specifically miraculous power (usually by implication a miracle itself): – ability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work.
© 1/24/2017 Scott A Caughel