Misc. Leadership Principles – Part Five
Now we move to Chapter 8 of Matthew. I have done a rather extensive group of teachings on the Law of Believing in three parts. There is no law that appears greater in the Bible than this law. It also works for saint and sinner alike. That is why a sinner may appear to prosper – because he or she has mastered this law of believing. Simply stated: What you believe is what you receive. There is a positive and a negative side. Doubt, worry, and fear is believing in reverse and brings negative results. Confidence, trust, and faith is the positive side and yields positive results. In this chapter in Matthew, we immediately see the law of believing in action.
And behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; -- Matthew 8: 2, 3, 4a
For this leper to be healed, he had to BELIEVE. It was his time to be delivered. Many of us live with sicknesses and problems for many long years and never seem to get delivered. It is not God’s fault. We need to renew our mind to God’s Word to a much greater extent because that is the only way we can increase our ability to believe. Let’s look at the epistle of Romans.
So then faith [the believing of Jesus Christ] cometh by hearing, and hearing [cometh] by the word of God. – Romans 10: 17
Our believing will only build as a result of studying and applying the Word of God – not Newsweek or the Wall Street Journal. Apparently this leper was at the point where he was able to believe to be healed. It appears that Jesus Christ knew this because he did not hesitate to minister healing to the leper. The leper said, “if thou wilt” and Jesus said “I will”. Notice how Christ said to the healed leper to tell no man. Jesus Christ always did God’s Will and God Almighty never wants a person to go around bragging or boasting. God likes discretion. We should not be going around telling people about all of our accomplishments or our degrees. I know it seems difficult, but that’s the Will of God. When you are at total peace with God, you will not feel a need for recognition from men.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. – Isaiah 26: 3
“Stayed on thee” means rested upon – to stay put.
Here is another example of believing that surpasses the believing of mostly all examples. It even greatly impressed Jesus Christ.
And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. – Matthew 8: 5 - 7
Read verse 8.
When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you I have not found so great faith [pistis – believing] no, not in Israel. – Matthew 8: 10
Can you imagine this? Jesus Christ himself marveled at the believing of this centurion. He told Jesus Christ he was not even worthy to set foot in his house, but to just speak the Word and his servant would be healed.
And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so it be done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour. – Matthew 8: 13
Imagine that! As Christ spoke the words that the centurion’s servant would be healed, he was healed at that exact same moment. That should show you the importance of the great Law of Believing. Read the three teachings I have put together for you on the Law of Believing. These two (2) examples just skim the surface. You must master believing if you are going to manifest the more than abundant life. I remember a teaching by a dynamic woman of God on this subject. She said you don’t need to grunt and groan, no need to push, sweat, and stress and strain ---- Just…………. Believe.
There are a lot of records of healing and believing here, but there is one I would like to stress.
When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with [by] his word, and healed [attended to] all that were sick:
How did he cast out the spirits? With his Word. Much could have taken place here that is not recorded. He may have taught these sick people the Word of God, then they were able to believe and be healed. The enemy can’t stand the Word of God because it always defeats him. He is after the Word. Only God heals and God is His Word. That’s why Jesus Christ cast out the spirits with God’s Word. Then those who were sick were healed. They heard the Word first.
Jesus Christ then saw great multitudes about him and decided to depart to the other side. In the process of this change in locations, a certain disciple said something to Jesus that is often misinterpreted. Also, a principle of putting God first is also inherent in this teaching. Let’s clear up the misinterpretation.
And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me: and let the dead bury their dead. – Matthew 8: 21, 22
In the first verse, the old saying means my father is old and I do not know when he will die; let me see him buried before I come. Jesus Christ actually did not reply as it is written and the translation of verse 22 is a very poor interpretation. This is an Eastern idiom which should read:
Let the town [or city] bury their dead. – Matthew 8: 22
This becomes even more understandable when one realizes that, in the East, the whole town does take part in funerals. This should clear up any confusion regarding verse 22 of Matthew. Also, at times, when God tells you to move, you do not hesitate. God is either first or He is not.
Again, there are a great deal of teachings on the law of believing. Read verses 23 to 25. Jesus Christ simply believed to do these miracles, but his disciples were afraid that they would perish.
And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful, O ye of little faith [pistis – believing]? Then he arose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. – Matthew 8: 26
If you can believe big enough, you can move a mountain. You must believe and act on God’s Word if you are ever to see the power of God in manifestation.
Now to a situation that, I’m sure, we have all been through. For some reason, it is most aggravating. It comes from the god of this world and the true God expects us to put up with this tribulation the best way we know how. I am talking about BEING BLAMED FOR SOMETHING YOU NEVER DID AND TO FORGET ABOUT INGRATITUDE! Either one or both happens to many believers and it is one of Satan’s traps. Here is a perfect example from God’s Word and one you may have misunderstood for a long time. You will not, after this teaching – the rightly divided Word of God will be clear to you. The situation was rather severe in this example, but Jesus Christ just moved on. He got away from the situation that was apparently quite dark and even dangerous. At times, this is the best alternative. Let’s examine the record beginning in Matthew 8: 28. To add to the relevance of this teaching, it is also a record of healing. The two men possessed were set free.
And when he [Jesus Christ] was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. -- Matthew 8: 28
Now watch this. Devil spirits can speak as they did in the next verse. If a person is possessed as badly as these two people, this can happen. Here’s what they said.
And, behold they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, THOU SON OF GOD? [Emphasis added] art thou come hither to torment us before the time? – Matthew 8: 29
This is a great teaching within itself. Even devil spirits called Jesus Christ the SON OF GOD, NOT GOD! They even knew that Christ was God’s Son, and NOT God. And how many major religions and churches still propound the trinity and teach that Jesus Christ is God? This is all based on pagan beliefs and religion – same thing. These spirits said to Jesus Christ in question form: “Are you come to torment us before our time?” In other words, are you coming for us before your second return, still in the future?
Now watch what happened next and pay close attention to what the devil spirits said to Jesus Christ.
And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him [Christ], saying, If thou cast us out, suffer [allow] us to go away into the herd of swine. – Matthew 8: 30, 31
Now whose suggestion was this. It was said by the devil spirits of which these two men were possessed. There apparently were a lot more than two spirits here. In a case like this, there were many devil spirits which are referred to as a legion. THEY wanted to enter into and possess the herd of swine. JESUS CHRIST NEVER SAID THIS - the devil spirits did.
And he [Jesus Christ] said unto them, Go. [Jesus Christ did not say to go into the herd of swine. He simply said “Go”.] And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. – Matthew 8: 32
Jesus Christ would never command such a devastating thing to happen. The legion of devil spirits went into the herd of swine by their own free will. But watch what happens in verse 34 and who gets blamed for the incident. This situation caused quite a stir as you will see.
And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts. – Matthew 8: 34
Can you imagine this!? Here is a situation where Christ healed two people and the adversary perverted what he did and then put the blame on Jesus Christ for the perishing of the herd of swine. That's why you must forget about ingratitude but in turn, rejoice when the enemy tries to trip you up. If you were doing nothing for the true God, you would get no pressure at all.
So the first lesson here is to remember that you will get blamed for things you did not do. That is what Satan does – he accuses God’s people.
And secondly, always remember to forget about ingratitude. Remember the record where Jesus Christ healed the ten lepers? Only one came back to thank him. That one leper was not only made whole physically, but also spiritually and gained eternal life. FORGET ABOUT INGRATITUDE.
When I worked at a State Hospital, I had much mercy and compassion on the patients. The enemy did everything he could to thwart and pervert my efforts. He actually used people that were on the staff to hinder me. You stand alone with God and remember, you and God make a majority in every situation. You must learn to rely on God and God alone. Even the nurses on the staff were not thankful for the patients I helped. In fact, they seemed jealous that I could establish such good communications with patients that would not even speak to them. I was once told to stay away from a certain patient. I decided to listen to God and continued to work with this patient until we found a way for her to be discharged. So maybe you can understand how and why I learned to live with ingratitude.
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. – I John 5: 21
The literal translation of this verse is: “Do not seek any help, guidance or instruction from any other source THAN YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER.” Don't ever go to the world or people in the world for help unless God says so. Ask God and He will help you. Remember, the world is what gave you your problems in the first place. Work at becoming more and more dependent on God. Say less and less; always be aware of what you are saying. Is it necessary?
In chapter nine (9), Jesus did leave the coasts where the swine incident occurred and the people brought to him a man sick of the palsy. It is a certain statement that Jesus Christ made to this man that I would like to point out.
And behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed; and Jesus seeing their faith [pistis – believing] said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. – Matthew 9: 2
Take note that Jesus Christ said to this man “be of good cheer”. A more literal translation of this phrase according to usage is “have your thoughts well arranged”. This is such an interesting statement because it means that this sick man must have believed in the power of God to be healed. But do you remember how we learn how to believe? It is by the renewing of our mind to God’s Word.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. -- Romans 12: 1, 2
This man could be of good cheer because his thoughts were well arranged and as a result, he was healed. So, renew your mind to God’s Word every day so that you will have whole thoughts, not the half thoughts that the world will give you. Study diligently. It is a commandment of the Lord.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. -- II Timothy 2: 15
Now watch the same patterns that the adversary uses almost every time God’s Will is carried out. Here is what the Scribes thought after the man was healed. It is typical of many people today who are unbelievers and are under the control of the enemy. Were the Scribes happy for the man that was healed? No! They actually criticized Jesus Christ after this miracle of healing. Remember the last part of Matthew 9: 2 above where Jesus said “thy sins be forgiven thee”. The enemy will always use your words against you if he can. That’s why it is important not to speak any unnecessary words. Speak the Word of God.
And behold, certain of the Scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. – Matthew 9: 3
The Scribes were thinking this to themselves.
And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? – Matthew 9: 4
How could Jesus Christ know their thoughts? By word of knowledge, word of wisdom, and discerning of spirits. These are three of the nine manifestations of Holy Spirit that a believer today can operate according to his or her believing. These three (3) are known as the eyes and ears of the Church. Word of knowledge is information that you cannot know by the five senses. That’s how Jesus Christ knew what the Scribes were thinking.
Isn’t it something how God has covered every situation for us to be able to live the more than abundant life? That’s the great love God has for His children. Word of wisdom is God telling us what to do with the word of knowledge we have just received. And remember, don’t ever let anyone tell you that these manifestations are gifts. The word gifts in the verse I am referring to in I Corinthians is in italics which means it was added by the translators. In this case, it is erroneous. [See I Corinthians 12: verses 1 and 7] Every believer can operate all nine (9) manifestations.
In conclusion and in these four (4) short verses of Matthew chapter nine (9), we learned about how to have our thoughts well-arranged (renewed mind), how the adversary will almost always be there attempting to criticize and find fault when the Word of God moves, and we learned about the manifestations of Holy Spirit – how and why they are operated and why they are necessary to live the more than abundant life. That’s three major principles to learn and apply in only four verses. Plus what we covered in the rest of this teaching. The Word of God is dynamically tremendous beyond description.
What shall we say then to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? – Romans 8: 31