The Love Of God

I have started this blog at the urging of the Holy Spirit, it will be mostly writings that I feel bring us to a better understanding of the true nature of God the Father. As in anything, I ask you to weigh what you read here against the scriptures and the witness that is in your heart. This is also a continued effort of what my father started; to spread the true gospel so that you may know the fullness of the

Love Of God.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Little Leaven

A Little Leaven

For we in the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumcision availeth anything, but faith working through love. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him who calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:5-9)

The Apostle Paul had a burden on his heart. His great concern was that the Gospel of Jesus Christ be preserved pure for future generations. As he warns in his letter to the Galatians, even just a little leaven leavens the whole lump. This leaven to which Paul refers is the leaven of works. When it is mixed with the Gospel it acts just as yeast does — starting very subtly, invisibly permeating the entire lump of dough. A Gospel so leavened has been perverted from Good News to Bad News.

This leaven of works — of self-attainment before the Lord — comes in various forms, but always amounts to the same thing, our "old man" seeking to boast before God about something. We try to gain merit before God, to be heard, or to he accepted by him on the basis of something we do in the physical — rather than coming before God by faith, on the basis he alone has prepared for us: the blood of Jesus Christ.

Faith itself has become leavened in the Church today, with the result that many Christians display an attitude that boasts: "I have believed, and therefore I am saved." This may seem to be a harmless boast. but declaring our salvation to be a result of our believing is an adulteration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ ... "by grace are ye saved." It is not by faith but by grace that we are saved, through Jesus Christ. Faith is simply an attitude of rest in what God has already freely given. Through the death of his son, Jesus Christ, we receive life. This life of God is given by grace and received by faith. It is not of works, lest any man should boast" — no, not even the work of faith. Yet by coming to a place where we pride ourselves in the mere fact of our faith, we allow ourselves to feel superior to others: we, at least, have believed, while those others, presumably, do not have enough sense to do the same. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Yoke of Bondage

Paul saw this leavening process at work in the church at Galatia. "Stand fast," he admonished them, "in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." This yoke of bondage consists of mixing Old Testament works of law with faith — and it destroys the efficacy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For I testify again to every, man that if he is circumcised he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ has become of no effect to you, whosoever of you are justified by the law: you have fallen from grace."

The only way we can fall from grace in the New Testament is by trying to add something to what God has already done. This is not what we usually hear preached, but it is nonetheless what Paul taught. Many Christians believe that they fall from grace if they fall into sin, but this is not supported by New Testament teaching. Paul says that if, by your works, you try to add to or improve on your righteousness before God, then you have fallen from grace. Grace has, in such case, become of no effect to you. You have ceased resting in what God has done.

We must be very careful not to leaven the new with the old when we take something from the Old Testament and apply it to ourselves under the New Testament. For example, circumcision was clearly commanded in the Old Testament, therefore some early believers insisted that circumcision was a prerequisite to becoming a Christian: you must become a Jew before you can become a Christian. Not so, argued Paul: "It is by grace you are saved." lie would not allow the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be compromised. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

"Afflict Your Souls"

Fasting, too, is a practice taken from the Old Testament which is often interpreted to be a command for New Testament Christians. However, in only one place in the Pentateuch can fasting be inferred by way of command — and then only obliquely. The words fast and fasting do not appear in verb or noun form in any of the first five books of the Bible. In Lev. 16:29 the Lord gives Moses instructions that on the Day of Atonement "Ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all."

"Afflict your souls" is a rather ambiguous term, somewhat open to speculation, The Jews observed this command by not eating on the Day of Atonement, but they also did other things besides not eating. For example, they may have worn sackcloth, as they often did on other occasions of mourning — for that is what the Day of Atonement was: a time of mourning for their sins by abusing themselves, not enjoying themselves, not doing their own pleasure.

I am not convinced that fasting was indeed a command given in the Law. However, all the Law —implied or otherwise — is fulfilled, according to Paul, in this: that you love your neighbor as yourself. This is the summation of all that God is after, and the fulfillment of every Old Testament command.

That which is brought over into the New Testament from the Old can create a hybrid of unscriptural and contradictory doctrine: saved by grace through law, or earning grace through works. "Free lunch!" we entice. "Please pay when served." Christianity, instead of being a blessing and a joy, becomes a burden and a curse—proclaiming a confusing mixture of "truth," of questionable "good" news — and all for lack of heeding the Apostle Paul’s simple warning, "a little leaven leavens the whole lump."

"Why Do Ye . . . Fast Not?"

Proponents of New Testament fasting often point to Matthew 9:14 as substantiation for their teaching. Jesus was asked why John’s disciples fast while he and his own disciples did not. Jesus’ reply was to ask, while the Bridegroom is with them, how can they fast, how can they mourn? But the time for mourning is when the Bridegroom is taken away. And certainly, during that bleak time after the crucifixion, when the high hopes of the disciples were dashed to the ground by the seeming defeat of their Lord; certainly this time was, if not a time of fasting, unarguably a time of mourning.

But we as Spirit-filled Christians know in a very real sense how much better it is that Jesus, as he declared to his disciples, "go away". For in going away, he came again, and is living today not only with a few, but in many. We have his promise that he will never leave us, that he will be with us even to the end of the age.

There is, therefore, no need for us to fast as such, no reason for us to mourn because Jesus is with us still — and we have no reason to abuse ourselves for our sins, because Christ has died for them. He has taken the full penalty for our sins upon himself. He has done our mourning for us. Over and over again we are admonished to delight ourselves in the Lord, "rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!" Jesus has done it all . . . we can add nothing. He is our wisdom, our righteousness, our sanctification and our redemption. Praise the Lord!

New Wine, Old Wineskins

That’s the Good News of Jesus Christ. But a little leaven leavens the whole lump. We cannot add the old to the new without destroying the new. In Matthew 9:16-17 Jesus illustrates this point vividly. In the Greek text this verse begins with a conjunction which may be translated "on the other hand. So, on the other hand, Jesus declares, you don’t put a new patch on an old garment, or put new wine into old wineskins. If you do, the result is disastrous. It is not only not helpful, it is destructive. Do not mix the old with the new.

Remember that Jesus gave this illustration in response to the question about fasting. We must conclude therefore that fasting in the New Testament sense must not he done in the same way — and most certainly not for the same reasons — as Old Testament fasting.

The Old Testament people of God believed fasting would help ensure that their words were heard on high. There is no supporting scripture for this practice in the New Testament, or for that matter in the Old Testament either. In fact in the Old Testament, God said this practice was not the way to have your voice heard on high. In Isaiah 58 he asks: "Do I have pleasure in the fact that you abuse your souls, that you afflict your souls, torment your bodies? Do I take pleasure in that? No! That is not the fast that I choose. The fast I choose is that you love your neighbors as yourselves".

It is astonishing to think of the mentality we sometimes ascribe to God: that he, a loving Father, would delight in the torment of his children. These kinds of sacrifices are the sort exacted by pagan gods from their subjects. To think that God enjoys having his children inflict themselves with pain to appease him — or worse still, to get his attention — is a blasphemy. It is wholly unjustifiable in the light of the revelation of himself in His son Jesus Christ. No, this is not the fast God chooses.

There is a New Testament fast, a fast that God approves of, but it is a fast that must be practiced in the light of the New Testament message. We must not leaven the New Testament with Old Testament bias. The New Covenant of grace and the revelation through Jesus Christ of Gods love for us are today’s new wine. We must not leaven the Gospel.

To Whom is Jesus Speaking?

Much of the confusion that arises from certain instructions and proclamations of Christ in the New Testament can be avoided by remembering that he was not addressing himself to New Testament Christians, but rather to the people of God of that day — as he himself said, "I am not sent but to the children of the house of Israel." Any application of these teachings by Christians should be approached in the understanding of New Testament teaching after the cross — not before it. Remember, the death of Jesus on the cross ushered in a New Covenant. The relationship between God and man has been utterly and eternally altered by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Old Testament prefigured many things which were to come in the New Testament. Old Testament people and believers served as examples to us upon whom the end of the age has come. All Old Testament types, pictures and figures point to a consummate Reality which we know to be Jesus Christ, alive and living in the midst of a people who walk by faith in a united relationship with God. When Jesus walked the earth, this reality was still a future event; when he spoke, he addressed himself to the customs, practices and abuses of that particular day. When we study his teachings we must learn the principles of what he was saying to a literal Old Testament people, and apply the principles to our lives in the light of New Testament revelation.

For example, in Matthew 5:23 he said, "when you bring your gifts to the altar and remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift at the altar and go and be reconciled to your brother. Then come and present your gift at the altar". Is he telling us to bring gifts to a literal altar? Of course not, New Testament Christians have no literal altar upon which to present gifts. New Testament Christians are the temple of God. At the time of Jesus, however, it was common practice to offer gifts at the altar of the temple, so the words of Jesus were clearly understandable to the people of that day. The obvious principle is, if you are at odds with someone, first be reconciled and then come before God in a right spirit. Then come with your gifts. To interpret this teaching to mean that we must bring gifts to a literal altar would do violence to the spirit of what Jesus was trying to convey.

By the same token, when he said, ‘‘When you fast", we must not infer that he teaches us to literally abstain from food. We must remember that his teachings were to a people who lived within the dictates of Old Testament Law and practices to which we died when he was crucified. If we, as New Testament Christians, attempt a literal practice of the teachings of Jesus to Israel, we, like the foolish Galatians, will ultimately put ourselves back under the bondage of the Law from which we are set free. Our faith will be hindered, and we will have fallen from grace.

Called To Liberty

"For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty." Paul writes in Galatians 5;13, "Only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself".

We find it delightful to bask in the grace of God and enjoy our liberty in the Lord, but it is easy to use our liberty for license, to fulfill fleshly desires. God has wrought for us a wonderful salvation by grace to which we can add nothing, and upon which we cannot improve. Yet there are two sides to this salvation: that which theologians call the subjective and objective sides of the Gospel. First of all, there is that which God has given and declared, and secondly, there is that in which we walk. We are told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. The grace of God comes to us as a free gift, but we are warned to watch how we walk in this grace. We must not use grace as an excuse for fleshly conduct — for living for the pleasures of our worldly senses.

The Bible tells us that we have three enemies in our sojourn through this life. The World, the Flesh and the Devil. They work together as an unholy trinity, warring against the soul in an attempt to destroy Christian men and women. James tells us in Chapter 4, verse 4 that the friendship of the world is the enemy of God. If we align ourselves with worldly philosophies and principles we have gone over to the enemy and have become, in effect, an enemy to God. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world," advises the Apostle John, ‘‘If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

Our Flesh, is our closest enemy — it’s right with us at all times — we can always feel it. We find it much easier to believe the testimony of our feelings than the testimony of the Word of God — quick to despair when our feelings aren’t what we think they should be. Our flesh constantly cries out to be pampered, nursed, nourished and catered to. Paul lists the works of the flesh in Gal 5:19-21, but offers us this hope in verse 16: ‘‘Walk in the spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’’

God’s Chosen Fast

True fasting is to afflict the soul by putting the body, its passions and appetites under subjection for a constructive purpose. This is Gods chosen fast. It is not to afflict us, but to benefit us: for as we fast from the flesh, we walk after the Spirit, denying ourselves, as Jesus says, and following after him. This New Testament fast is much more difficult than merely going without food. All of hell is behind this flesh of ours, trying to entice us away from spiritual pursuits. All this world is a siren, calling to us, distracting us to turn from righteous endeavors.

The chosen fast of God, then, is one which denies our flesh in much more than a strictly literal sense — that of abstaining from food. Fasting for purposes of having our voice heard on high, giving weight to our prayers or forcing God into answering our petitions — just as any work of the Law — avails nothing. The New Testament walk is based solely upon faith in Jesus, resting in his completed work on Calvary, asking in his name, believing his word. Whatever we ask in the name of Jesus, God says he hears. The Bible tells us all things are possible for him who believes. It does not say all things are possible for him who fasts. The blood of Christ is our only plea before God, and we have need of no other.

Our Spiritual Warfare

This purpose of God will not be accomplished unless we live in submission to his Spirit within us. How can we bring the enemies of God into subjection to God if we ourselves are not in subjection to his Spirit? And how can we be in submission to the Spirit if we lend ourselves to worldly activities, responding to the caterwauling of our flesh, and in effect, letting Satan rule over us? The blood of Jesus Christ has delivered us from the world, translated us from the worldly into the spiritual. Now the Spirit of God within us seeks to bring that world into submission to God through us. We have indeed become co-workers with him in his plan of redemption.

But although we have been drafted into an army whose battlefield encompasses the whole of creation, the front line is very close to home. It is, in fact, within us. Our immediate struggle is to overcome in ourselves the enemies of World, Flesh and Devil — to bring all things into subjection to Christ. The New Testament fast is a battle stratagem by which we take our worldly passions and nail them to the cross. When we actively trust the life of Jesus within us and walk after what he is in us — so that these passions are kept subject in our bodies and souls — we walk after and prosper in the Spirit. And if we walk in the Spirit, Paul assures us, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. The flesh and the spirit are at enmity with each other, they are contrary to each other, and constantly at war, keeping us from doing what we would. But if we are led by the Spirit, Paul writes, we are not under the Law.

The works of the flesh which Paul lists result from the appetites of our lower nature. The first category involves the sexual appetite, a perfectly legitimate appetite given to man by God. But when we walk after the flesh, legitimate appetites can begin to control us. When the sexual appetite has gained control over the life of a believer, the manifestations of that control are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, and lasciviousness.

Other works of the flesh that are listed are idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulation, wrath, strife, seditions and heresies. This present age is a day of glory for our appetites of wanting, of "amounting to something" of rebellion. Rebellion, the scriptures say, is as the sin of witchcraft. Yet our society is deep in the throes of a self-centered philosophy that denies God while repeatedly stressing "MY needs, MY wants, MY rights to MY fulfillment." In seeking to satisfy ourselves and to build ourselves up, we find ourselves in strife, jealousy, hatred, in passions of divisions, pitting one against another and in thinking evil about one another.

Spiritual Masquerade

In the Church of today we sometimes see such a work of the flesh parading in the subtle disguise of "discernment" when in reality it is simply criticism in a holy cloak. "Listen, we’d better pray together: I discern (this-or-that) in Brother so-and-so, and it’s just terrible, or in Sister so-and-so: "It’s a spirit I discern, I picked it up in the Spirit. Let’s pray about it." And then we gossip: "Oh, yes, that’s true, because you know what I saw him do?" A fellowship plagued by this sort of operation of "spiritual gifts" will soon be smashed to pieces, rife with wounded victims of this spiritual masquerade. There are many ways to deal with sin in our brothers and sisters, but to announce "I discern", is not one of them. If you discern something in someone, talk to that person privately. You may, after all, be wrong. Satan is cunning. He comes as an angel of light, using the lower appetites to tempt and test us. What seems innocent— or even spiritual — can be a work of flesh disguised, and all the more deadly for its harmless appearance.

There is a Spirit of Religion in the world today. People delight in being religious — it makes them feel good, so holy, so self-satisfied, so downright superior. Such a religious attitude is little but a field day for the flesh; it is a false spirit. On the other hand, the practice of the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ is by faith, and it drives into submission all kinds of feelings that have to do with the flesh. It puts the Word of God — the Will of God — first. We as Christians walk after the Spirit, believing the Word of God, and seeking to do his will. To accomplish this, we must subjugate feelings which are contradictory to God’s declarations and purpose. Such a walk in the Spirit is not easy: it requires our full attention, strength, devotion and energy. It is much easier to take our liberty and abuse it, then camouflage the result with a little rationalization and say we are doing the will of God. It is entirely possible to engage in religious activities and he feeding the flesh through them.

No Scriptural Basis

And it is possible to fast in the Old Testament way and absolutely be feeding the flesh. Such fasting in itself does nothing to edify us spiritually. Contrary to popular teaching, there is no scriptural basis for such belief. The volumes that have been written and taught on the subject are most often exercises of human thought, rationalization and interpretation. .

Satan, for example, is not against fasting, per se. In fact, many occult practices and heathen religions embrace abstinence from food as a dietary approach to the spirit world. It is commonly known that Spiritualist mediums often weaken their bodies through fasting to facilitate being taken over by spirit control. No, Satan is not against going without food, he teaches it. The belief that going without food deals him a severe blow is sheer deception. The only time Satan flinches and runs is when we put our faith in God, persisting in that faith, and standing in the delegated authority of Jesus’ name.

Neither is fasting a viable means of "getting power," as is so often taught. The Bible says that power comes to us through the Holy Spirit, who indwells us and is released by faith. There are many scriptures that tell us we receive power after the Holy Spirit comes upon us, but no such promise is given in regards to fasting. Jesus’ wilderness fast did not empower him rather it was a weakened state in which he was tempted by Satan. There is no evidence in the scripture that Jesus ever voluntarily fasted. The only exception might he his encounter with the woman at the well, at which time he was too full of the joy of doing the will of God — too full of "food that ye know not of" — to eat.

During his life on earth Jesus walked continually in the spirit, and his flesh was in perfect subjection at all times. In Luke 4 we see him being led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where there was no food for him to eat. This does not, in my opinion, constitute a voluntary fast. He had simply given himself up to the works of his Father: he was prepared to do his Father’s will and was expecting to be provided for by him. After forty days (40 is the number of trials in the scriptures), his body was at the point of starvation, the second hunger had set in. Feed yourself, Satan tempted, God obviously isn’t going to. But Jesus wouldn’t succumb: "Man does not live by bread alone," he said. "Listen, Satan, I am walking by faith. l am trusting God to set a table in the wilderness, to meet my needs". And indeed God did so by sending a ministering angel, and vindicating Jesus’ faith.

After this experience there is nothing recorded in the scriptures to indicate that either Jesus or his disciples fasted, and in fact, Matthew 9:14 confirms this. Jesus taught the disciples a new way, a way untainted by Old Testament leaven.

A Proper Understanding

Now, I am not opposed to going without food, as long as it is done with the understanding of what function such a practice serves in bringing the flesh into subjection. Abstaining from food is a perfectly acceptable means of suppressing your flesh — and can be especially effective if you have problem eating habits. The early Church fasted at times: while waiting on the Lord, while ministering to the Lord, or as they prayed and waited on God to guide them in appointing new elders. It is a legitimate practice to set things aside periodically just to seek the Lord. At such times the focus of our concentration should be on God, and fasting from taking meals, or doing business, or participating in other everyday activities can very well be an accommodation to our faith. That’s walking in the Spirit — that’s the New Testament fast. If you fast in that manner it will be beneficial to you. But if you fast to have your voice heard on high, thinking that your human endeavors can somehow coerce God, you are leavening the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It Is By Faith

Church history is filled with the testimony of those who tried to reach God by abusing themselves, or by doing something. None of their endeavors provided peace or rest; only in Jesus did they discover that for which they sought so diligently. Every word of God — every promise of God — finds its fulfillment in the center of Jesus Christ. We lay hold of his promises by faith — not by praying five hours a day, or fasting two days a week, or climbing up St. Peters Cathedral on our knees. We stand by faith. We walk by faith. We grow by faith. We live by faith. It is senseless to mount great campaigns in which we "storm the gates of heaven" for our appeal to he heard, "Who shall ascend into heaven to bring Christ down?" the Scripture says. "The Word is nigh thee".

It is imperative for us to believe Jesus Christ to be the fulfillment of every promise. And the answer to every dilemma. It is a natural inclination to seek for remedies to our quandaries, but we must be cautious to look only to Jesus to provide for us. Faith in this sense waits quietly to receive * it does not cast about in frantic quest. Any attempt on our part to apprehend the promises, favors or gifts of God through human endeavor — through works — puts us in jeopardy of losing what is already established for us. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

The New Testament Command

That we love our neighbor as ourselves is the commandment we as New Testament Christians should strive, with all our strength, to obey. The practice of such Godly love — agape love — brings our flesh into submission more efficiently than any other thing we might do. God’s love always benefits somebody, always works to bring good to somebody. To love in God’s way will cost us something. It will cost us a sacrifice of our own interests in the interests of others. It means giving your time to talk with someone when you’d rather be home watching television. It means going to church services when you don’t feel like it, because your presence is a strength to the assembly. It means encouraging the brethren in the faith, when your own spirits are at such low ebb you would like a little succor for yourself. It means looking for ways in which the goodness of God can flow through you to bless others, knowing that God may accomplish that blessing by requiring you to do something you simply would rather not do. Love, in its highest sense, always means sacrifice for the benefit of someone else.

The New Testament Fast

The New Testament fast is a fast of love. If we keep that fast — really keep it, it means putting our own desires to the cross, seeking the Lord with all our hearts, reaching out to others at the expense of our own creature comforts, and closing our minds to the hiss of the serpent that says SPARE yourself, feel SORRY for yourself. . . Oh aren’t they terrible, they don’t recognize you, nobody’s paying any attention to you... look at what it’s costing you, isn’t it terrible what they expect from you, it’s unfair that you’re expected to do this and that. The hiss of the serpent. That’s the Devil, whispering to you through your flesh, and if you’re not walking in the New Testament fast, you will listen to him.

Going without food is only an incidental part of what the Old Testament fast pictured for New Testament Christians. Food itself is not evil, and abstaining from it will not make us more righteous. Our righteousness is the life of Christ, a life into which we are led by the Spirit of God in our daily walk of faith. The great revelation of Martin Luther to the Church was just this, that the just shall live by faith. No other means is given us in this New Testament age of apprehending the promises of God but faith. No other means is given us to please God but faith. Our entire relationship with God is one of faith: our faith in Jesus, and his faithfulness to us. If we try to approach, please or serve or if we try to receive from God on any other basis than that of faith, we are enslaving ourselves in the bondage of works, we are falling from grace . . . and we are defiling the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.

A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

By Dr. Bert Bauman

Thank you so much for stopping by, I appreciate your comments and if you have any questions concerning the teaching here, please ask or email me. I would be more than happy to talk with you.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Healing of the Soul


By Dr. Bert Bauman
"Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away,
behold, the new has come." 2 Cor. 5:17.
These words are God’s revelation concerning the spiritual reality of one who is born again. Many Christians are discouraged and often fall into deep despair because "the old has passed away" does not seem to be true in their lives. This frustration is possible because they fail to distinguish between soul and spirit. The spirit is the unconscious self and the reality of being. The soul is the conscious self and therefore it is the realm of feelings, emotions and conscious thoughts. It is in the soul that the contradiction with the above scripture is felt. The soul is not renewed — it is in process of being made new through faith. Paul exhorts that we are to be transformed by the renewal of our mind, Romans 12:2. Peter declares that the soul is to be purified through "obedience to the truth". I Peter 1:22. Jesus said, "the truth will set you free". John 8:32. The spirit is new but the soul must be made new. The battle is between the truth and the lie. At the root of every sin, emotional problem or aberration is a lie. No change in feelings or experience is possible without a change in attitude and mind towards the truth — especially as revealed in God’s word.

HEALING OF THE SOUL to reckon, consider or depend upon what God says over against previous knowledge, experience or feelings. This is done by choice of will, therefore, everyone can believe. Faith is agreeing with God. Positive use of the will (relative to God's word) is faith...negative use is either upon the truth or the lie. God's promise is to work in you to do His will and fortify your positive choice.

THOUGHTS in your mind may originate from God, yourself or Satan. Thoughts you allow to remain are the thoughts you choose to think. The thoughts you reject are not yours even though they may persist in your mind.

The thoughts you allow become habits, that is, patterns of thought. . . or
In other words, the thoughts you think determine your character and personality.

EMOTIONS or feelings result from attitude. Emotions must be controlled at the source by choosing to think true thoughts. Feelings can be changed through faith.

BEHAVIOR or action follows emotion or feelings. Any person is capable of any act when emotions are developed and circumstances are just right for the act.

LIFE is all that which has to do with the well-being of body, soul and spirit. Love, joy, peace, goodness, patience, self control and physical health. A way of life based upon truth leads to LIFE!
LIFE believing a lie, that is, depending upon, reckoning upon or counting upon a lie as though it were true. Whether done in ignorance, under deception or by choice, the results are destructive since this leads to thoughts and reasonings based upon false ideas, and wrong information.
After choosing to believe God in any specific conflict, guard your mind to permit only those thoughts compatible with your choice. Remember all the thoughts in your mind do not come from you. Learn to be selective. Your mind must be renewed.
ATTITUDE, like character, is not easily changed. Your attitude determines your emotional health. Since attitude is developed by thought, it can only be changed by changing thoughts. Whatever is true, just, honorable, pure, lovely, think on these things.
As an emotional being, man tends to be led by his feelings equating feelings with reality, but man is designed to be controlled by his will. What a man chooses to believe is what he really is. "you can't help how you feel" is not true!
It is impossible to change some bad behavior patterns without first correcting the "false truth" from which the behavior springs. Consequently, changed thoughts will lead to new attitudes and a correction of behavior.


DEATH is all that which destroys body, soul and spirit. All anxiety, fear, despair, nervousness and sickness is a form of death.

While the principles outlined above are helpful to any person who has emotional, physical or mental problems, it would be futile to speak of soul healing in depth unless the spirit of a person has first been made alive. The spirit of man is the essence of man and any true healing must take place from the inside out. Of course, there is only one way to
receive spiritual health and that is to through receiving Life Himself in the person of Jesus Christ as the Gift of God. Most of a person's serious emotional problems dissolve when the spirit receives life through Christ, however, of the problems that persist among Christians , an understanding of the principles outlined above will be most helpful.


God is at work in three distinct areas of our being as He works out our redemption and restoration. Each of the three areas requires a different working accomplished in three different periods of time — past, present and future. It is important to understand the time elements involved as well as the three parts of our personality. The spirit has been redeemed, (a past work, 2 Cor. 5:17, Col. 3:1-4). The body shall be redeemed (a future work, Rom. 8:23, I Cor. 15:51). The soul is being redeemed now (a present work, Rom. 12,2, Eph. 4:17-23) The redemption and restoration of the whole man is God’s declared purpose Let the faithfulness of God be firmly established first of all — when you receive Christ into your heart, He does come in (Rev. 3:20). He comes in to stay, for He says, "I will never leave you nor forsake you". ( Heb. 13:5). He becomes your true life and your Resident Savior!
God always works from the inside out, from the root to the top, from the seed to the flower, from the hidden to the manifest, from the spirit to the body.
The present work of God, (the restoration of the soul) is the part of our redemption with which we are most concerned in this time How to release the Life which was placed in the unconscious realm of our being (our spirit), into the conscious daily life experience is the problem which leads us into the war between flesh and spirit we all know so well. The battlefield upon which this contest is fought is not the spirit, as is so commonly supposed, rather it is in the soul—the conscious mind with its feelings, emotions, passions, thoughts, ideas, decisions and choices of will. By what he believes, man determines whether the principle of life in Christ or the principle of death will operate in his soul


In the first chapter of Romans, God briefly summarizes the sinful condition of man and how he came to that unhappy state. After turning away from God . . . "they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened." The beginning of a sinful life is a darkened mind. How the mind becomes dark is revealed in Romans 1:25, "... because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie . . .. As God is the source of His word which is truth so there is a personality behind the lie. The sad state of the human race began with a lie spoken by someone so long ago. Jesus said that someone was Satan, the father of lies. John 8:44. The most destructive lies are those spoken in direct contradiction to the word of God. "You will not die", said the serpent. God’s word was still fresh in Eve’s ear; "You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree lest you die". She had two testimonies to count upon, one the opposite of the other, both could not be true. She chose the wrong one she believed a lie and acted upon it. This unfortunate choice produced its fruit in her life and all of her subsequent problems followed as a result of counting upon that lie. This strategy was perfect and Satan has never changed it. Every problem within you has its source in a lie from the father of lies, therefore, the only effective remedy is faith, that is, trust and God speaks dependence upon the truth as it. Works of righteousness or sacrifices will not bring deliverance so long as one holds to the lie. No amount of prayer or penance will bring victory so long as one continues to depend upon any testimony which is contrary to the word of God.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


The key to receiving help from God is faith. When Christians are asked for a definition of faith, various confusing and nebulous answers are given. You have been called to "walk by faith"; therefore you must have a clear, meaningful understanding of this vital Christian virtue if you are to be successful in your quest for deliverance, victory and soul healing. "And without faith it is impossible to please him". (Hebrews. 11:6). "But my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him". (Hebrews. 10:38). "For we walk by faith, not by sight". (2 Cor. 5:7). "All things are possible to him who believes". (Mark 9:23).
So then, what is faith? How do I understand it? Is it a feeling, or a mental exercise? "I just can't believe," we often say. By this we mean, "It is not reasonable . . . I cannot accept it intellectually." or "I do not feel the emotion of confidence that this is true." In this subtle way feeling and reason make up our concept of faith. But is it possible for anything made up of these two ingredients to be called faith? If faith depended upon the intellect or reason, those with the highest IQ would be richest in faith.
No, faith cannot be either a feeling or a mental exercise since the Word of God often calls upon us to believe in spite of natural abilities or feelings. Faith cannot depend upon reason because reason is exercised upon the foundations of our experience and knowledge (which is often inaccurate) and God presents promises which are beyond natural knowledge or experience.
The promises of God are always impossible to the natural mind and therefore unreasonable. Likewise faith cannot depend in any way upon feeling -- not even the feeling of confidence, which is basically an emotion and therefore subject to the instability of all human emotions. Confidence (or assurance) may be the result of faith but it is not faith itself!
The hopeless confession "I just can't believe," which is so common to our experience, is the result of our deluded concept of faith. We are deceived into thinking we have no control over our faith when, in reality, we do. We can believe! If it were true that man has no control over his faith, Jesus would not hold him responsible; but, in fact, the heaviest responsibility possible is put upon an individual to believe. His future is at stake in his faith.
What then is faith and how can I have it? In John 7:17 Jesus indicates that it all begins with the will. "If any man's will is to do his will, he shall know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority," According to this teaching, I must will to do the truth, and Jesus promises that if I set my will I shall know the truth. Now, the will is a deliberate choice that is made apart from feelings or intellectual reason. We are not to be ruled by our emotions, ideas or thoughts. God has so made us that we are to be ruled by our choices -- by the will.
However frail or infirm the beginning choices may be, the course of life will be changed. A dear middle-aged widow of a medical doctor came to me for help. She was emotionally devastated and had lost all hope in life. To go on seemed futile and purposeless to her and to make matters worse, she appeared to have been stripped of all faith. When I pointed her to Jesus, she could not believe He existed. When I quoted the Bible, she doubted that it was true. When I suggested she simply call upon God, she could not since she was uncertain that He was real. Clearly she needed God, but I could find no place at which to begin to help her. Eventually, however, I led her into making use of her will by making a simple choice. I suggested she choose God by praying this most elementary prayer, "God, if there is a God, help me. And Jesus, if you exist, please come into my life. As best I know how I choose you." Frankly, I held little hope for any immediate results from such feeble faith, but was amazed to see that it was sufficient for her to find God! God became very real to her, and with renewed life she became a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.
So faith begins with the will. Realizing that faith begins as a volitional act, it is apparent that God has given to everyone the potential of faith. The positive use of the will, together with all the thought processes and attitudes, which follow, we call faith. The negative use of the will, together with all the thought processes and attitudes that result, we call unbelief.
Faith and unbelief are the same power in action -- the difference is simply the direction into which the power is channeled. This obviously makes unbelief as destructive as faith is constructive. This great power lies within everyone and can be used either for or against ones self.
The essential difference between the atheist and the saint is in the use of the will. The saint at one time or another was most likely plagued with similar thoughts and ideas as those which come to the atheist, but by setting his will again those thoughts and choosing instead the thoughts and ideas of God, his life is producing the fruits of faith, while the atheist reaps the harvest to which he has set his will. In lesser degrees we are all constantly making similar choices.
As every problem arises, we put this power within us into action, either constructively or destructively. We put our faith either in God or in the problem. Let me underscore this in your mind: it is the same force or power at work either for you or against yourself! It all depends upon your choice -- your will. There is no difference in essence between faith and unbelief. They are twins born from the same womb but living opposite lives.
In the long journey from Egypt to Canaan, the children of Israel illustrated the truths God wants mankind to know. In Psalm 78 God reveals His displeasure with them because of certain failures on their part, for we read in verses 19 through 22: "They spoke against God saying, Can God spread a table in the wilderness? He smote the rock so that water gushed out and streams overflowed. Can he also give bread, or provide meat for his people? Therefore, when the Lord heard, he was full of wrath; a fire was kindled against Jacob, his anger mounted against Israel; because they had no faith in God, and did not trust his saving power." Notice especially the last verse, in which the reason for God's displeasure is summarized. Two things are mentioned: "no faith in God" and "did not trust his power." In other words, they did not consider Him to be faithful or able. They were not sure He could do what He said, or if He could, they were not sure He could be trusted to do it. The author of Hebrews when referring to this wilderness experience uses the terms "rebellion," "hardening of heart," "evil, unbelieving hearts", "disobedience." All these terms suggest the use of will in deliberate opposition to God.
The Holy Spirit holds up Abraham and Sarah as examples of faith. In Psalm 78 we found God's definition of unbelief: lack of faith (unbelief) is considering God to be unfaithful and unable. God gives us a positive definition of faith in exactly opposite terms in Romans 4:21, where we read that Abraham considered God to be able and in Hebrews 11:11, in which we read that Sarah considered God to be faithful. The Holy Spirit is therefore clearly teaching us with both negative and positive examples that faith is a deliberate choice of one's will to count or reckon upon God to be faithful and able to do what He has promised. This choice of will is to be exercised in the face of the most convincing contrary evidence -- even when that evidence is found in my own feelings or convictions. "Let God be true though every man be false", (Romans. 3:4).
Indeed, from two passages in I John it is evident that if we receive any other testimony above the testimony of God, it is the same as calling Him a liar. Do we accept the testimony of our reason or feelings above that which God has declared? If so, we put our feelings and emotions above God and inadvertently call Him a liar. To call anyone a liar is to cast doubt upon the worthiness of his character. We cannot say we trust the character of a friend and at the same time say his word cannot be relied upon. Thus the respect with which we receive the word of a person reveals the measure of our judgment of his character. "Have faith in God," Jesus said. This trust in Him will be manifested in our lives by our believing and reckoning upon His Word.

Faith and Fact

Faith is only possible when resting upon a fact. It is not possible to believe something is true when in reality it is not. The Word of God is fact, and true faith is simply counting upon a fact. Faith does not make a fact true, but it depends and reckons upon a fact as being true. So often we hold the mistaken idea that we will make a word of God true by believing it. In other words, we try to believe something is true so that it might truly be so. We try to bring it into reality by believing it into existence. The concrete reality of the truth, then, depends upon my faith to create it. This makes faith a work and my faith the center of attention, No wonder we have trouble with faith! God does not call upon us for such mental gymnastics. He simply asks us to count upon a fact and what He has declared is fact whether or not I believe it. Faith, which is conscious of itself, is not faith at all. Faith is conscious only of God and His Word and therefore unconscious of itself. Our attention must be focused away from self-effort unto God and His Word.
Counting upon that which is real and true brings us into the benefits of that fact. Doubting its reality keeps us from depending upon it; therefore we do not inherit its benefits. It is as though a rich man made a deposit of $1,000,000 to the account of a poverty stricken man, and then announced that fact to him. If the poor man believes the report and begins to count on the word of the rich man, he will benefit from the rich man's gift. If he does not believe or count upon the good news, he could starve to death even though the $1,000,000 is his in all reality and fact. His believing the announcement does not make the rich man's gift a fact (that is so, regardless), but his believing the rich man's word brings the benefit of the gift, because the poor man would begin to use the money given to him. So it is with the truth of God's Word: I do not have to make it true by believing -- it is true already! It is, in fact, true whether I believe it or not, but I do not benefit from that which is true if I do not count upon it. This is the foundation of all God's dealings with mankind. "In the beginning was the Word." The word of God always comes first. He announces to us what He has already done, and as I count upon His announcement it is manifested to me according as I believe. There are three steps in receiving from God: (1) God makes an announcement (promise). (2) Man counts it to be true and continues to count upon it (faith and patience). (3) God manifests His promise to me (possession).

Faith and the Will of God

If faith is the choice of my will to reckon or depend upon a declaration of God, it obviously follows that I must have a clear word to count upon. It is impossible to have a clear faith without a clear word of God to depend upon. In other words, I must be absolutely clear as to the will of God in a given matter if I am to have a clear unhindered faith. The Word of God reveals the will of God. If I can find a promise in the Bible which directly applies to my need or a general promise which may be applied in principle, I have a solid foundation upon which to base my faith. Any so-called faith exercised when the will of God is uncertain is only wishful thinking or self-delusion. God warns, "You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions". (James 4:3).
I cannot seriously believe God will do something if there is any doubt that He wants to do it. Thus the first and most important ingredient in the faith which receives solutions to problems is to have the will of God absolutely clear. "And this is the confidence which we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will he hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of Him". (l John 5:14-15). If we ask according to His will, we already have the answer even as we pray and can therefore count upon seeing it. If I have found a word of God which makes clear His will concerning my particular problem, I can ask in full confidence that He heard and consequently I am receiving the answer even as I am praying.

Faith and Actions

Every step of faith must be followed by an act to manifest the inner faith. "Faith apart from works (actions) is dead" (James 2:26). In many of the Bible accounts of miracle faith, a definite action was required of those who were believing. For example, Moses was commanded to hold his staff over the Red Sea to open it. He struck the rock to obtain water. The Israelites had to look at the brazen serpent, to be healed. The ten lepers were to show themselves to the priest. The hemorrhaging woman touched Christ's garment. If you are trying to believe God for something, what action are you taking to manifest your faith? It may be a foolish act such as Naaman had to do to be cleansed of his leprosy. What you do is not so important as the faith that is made alive through the act. Often this act is simply the confessing with the lips the Word of God.

Faith and Words

The spoken word has power. Proverbs speaks of the tongue as having the power of life and death. Jesus taught, "Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him", (Mark 11:23). Often people claim to believe God but the confession of their mouth is continually negative and fatalistic. They incessantly overflow with problems. These people can never get free as long as they follow this practice. Whatever faith may be present in their hearts is made ineffective by their words: "For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved", (Romans. 10:10).
A man is called right because of the inner faith but he is changed through the confession of his lips. That is, the outward manifestation of the inner life comes as confession to that life is made with the lips. The inner choice of the will must be exercise upon the Word of God, and then that choice must extend to the act of speaking aloud what the will has chosen. The Word of God must find its way to the lips. What a man has chosen to believe becomes established and concrete when he hears himself saying it. Whether or not another human hears him say it is incidental. The important thing is that God and the spirits, good and evil and the man himself hear his testimony. It is easy to speak what we feel, but God wants us to speak what we have chosen to believe.
This is the way to change the feelings. As the positive Word of God is declared, my feelings are being changed into that which I am speaking. On the other hand, if I declare my negative feelings, I will more and more feel like the feeling I already have. If I declare what God says over and against my feelings, those feelings will change to harmonize with the word I am believing and declaring. The Psalmist prays, "Set a guard over my mouth. O Lord, keep watch over the door of my lips!" Do not allow your own words to destroy the faith of your heart. Speak that which God speaks. Your inward faith and outward word must be in unity. Do not allow the comfort of complaining about your circumstance when, at the same time, you are expecting God to change it. Instead, let your words be positive, in harmony with your expectations.

Faith and Patience

It may take some time until the answer to my prayer is manifested. In the meantime, I must by choice of my will count upon the clear promise or Word of God and know the answer will become visible to me as Hebrews 11:1 declares. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," or to paraphrase it: "Faith is the substance things hoped for are made of." It is possible that many of the things we pray for do not become manifest to us because we do not stay around to see the answer when it comes. It takes faith and patience to inherit the promise. The word patience here is used in the sense of endurance. I will not receive answers to my prayers unless I believe and continue to believe. This continuing to believe, the Bible calls patience or endurance: "For you have need of endurance, so that you may do the will of God and receive what is promised" (Hebrews, 10:36).
As we come to God with our needs in prayer, we must remember that His interests extend beyond the mere answering of a petition. We must not lose sight of the eternal purpose of God, which is the redemption of the world. In fulfilling this purpose He deals with each individual in a personal way by building a faith-trust relationship between the individual and Himself. God has already declared that His redemption is complete in fact, and a new creation was brought to reality and into existence in His Son. The hearer of this announcement must allow that word to operate in himself through trusting in the truthfulness of God and therefore counting upon God's declaration. In so doing, the word of God becomes life in the individual, and he receives the benefits of the truth, becoming a partaker of the new creation. Thus God's statement of fact becomes the individual's personal possession and experience. He is therefore in the process of redemption.
Faith is not a mere magic genie to produce things for me, but is God's way to reproduce His life in me. The adversities, needs, and problems that come into my life and drive me to God for help are His instruments to form Christ in my personality. These problems set in motion the process of faith. God desires Jesus Christ to be formed in my conscious life; therefore, the answer is often delayed and my faith tested. It is only in the testing of faith that God's redemptive purpose can bear fruit in my life, for if I react properly to the test I will depend upon the indwelling Christ to be my strength to endure. In this way, through trusting His life within me, Christ more and more is formed in my personality. James tells us the testing of faith produces endurance, and Paul, writing to the Romans, instructs us that endurance produces character. James puts it in these words, "For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing", (James 1:3-4).
Yes, even in his apparent neglect of our prayers, God reveals His love for us. He wants us to be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing! Therefore, "count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials." Note that the apostle wrote "count it all joy". This is a word of faith, for no trial ever feels good or joyful. He does not say feel joyful but count it all joy. We may have this positive faith because through it all our character is being changed into the glorious character and life of Jesus Christ. Faith which does not ultimately produce this new creation, either in myself or someone else, is purposeless and vain. God's primary purpose is to form Christ in the human being; therefore, the highest personal benefit from faith results when it is used in cooperation with God in accomplishing His high purpose.
All that I have written here is intended to add to your understanding of the Christian walk after you have had two experiences with God. The first, obviously, is to be born again. It would be ludicrous to speak of living a life before being born. Soul healing begins in the spirit, so the spirit must be made alive by receiving Jesus Christ. The second experience, while not as obvious as the first, is the baptism with the Holy Spirit. God loves us. He is working in us the abundant life and He desires our complete healing in body, soul and spirit. To insure this work, He has not left us to your own resources. Jesus died so that the Holy Spirit could be resident within you. He is your counselor, helper, comforter and guide into all the good things you have in Jesus. He will help you to apply the principles of faith and healing that I have tried to present to you in this booklet.
Jesus said, "These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you". (John 14:26-26). "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that He will take what is mine and declare it to you". (John 16:12-15).
"Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart." Trust Him. You cannot fail because God is on your side!
Bert Bauman

If you have any questions or would like literature on this subject I would be happy to send it to you.
I appreciate all your comments and thank you for stopping by.