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GOD CANNOT LIE

A.     Introduction:  We are studying the subject of faith and want to continue to do so in this lesson.
     1.     When Jesus was on earth, He said that through faith, we can move mountains and kill fig trees                     (change things).  He said all things are possible to the one who believes. Matt 17:20; 21:21,22;
          Mark 9:23; 11:23,24
          a.     But, for many of us, it doesn't work like Jesus said it would.
          b.     We are trying to identify reasons why it doesn't work for us like Jesus said it would.
     2.     One issue we have focused on is the fact that a particular type of faith is needed to move mountains and kill fig trees -- revelation faith.
          a.     Revelation faith believes what God says without any physical or sense evidence. John 20:24-29
          b.     Most of us have sense knowledge faith but don't realize it.  Sense knowledge faith does not                          believe unless it sees or feels.
          c.     Sense knowledge faith is a form of unbelief, and it doesn't move mountains.  It is actually walking by sight. John 20:27; II Cor 5:7
     3.     How do you know if you have sense knowledge faith in any area?  Here is our test:  You tell something to go in the name of Jesus (something which you have been authorized to speak to), and nothing happens.  Your response is -- that didn't work.
          a.     How do you know it didn't work?  Because you didn't see or feel a change.  Your evidence for what you  believe is sense knowledge.
          b.     How would you know if it had worked?  If you saw a felt a change.  Your evidence for what you                     believe is sense knowledge.  You have sense knowledge faith.
     4.     For revelation (mountain moving, fig tree killing) faith, God's word settles it.  Period.  End of                     discussion.  You don't need to see or feel to believe.  You just need to know what God has said.
     5.     Revelation faith is taking God at His word -- treating His word, acting on His word, as we would the b.     We must learn to accept the word of God (the Bible) with as much confidence as we do the word of a banker or a doctor.
     6.     The whole problem of faith really rests on the integrity of God and His word.
          a.     We struggle with these issues -- Do I have enough faith? Is my faith working? Lord, help my                          unbelief.
          b.     But, this is the real issue -- Is God telling the truth when He speaks?  Is He reliable?  Can He be trusted?  If God says something is so, is it?  If God says something will happen, will it?
          c.     We must learn to treat God like He is not a liar.  If God says something is so, it is so.  Period. End                     of discussion.
     7.     We must learn to accept the Bible as the voice of God and act accordingly.
          a.     Everyone of us would say we believe the Bible -- every word from Genesis to Revelation.
          b.     Yet, we base what we believe and how we act on what we see and feel without realizing it.
          c.     How do we get beyond this?  That is what we want to deal with in this lesson.

B.     Let's begin with some general comments about the Bible.
     1.     The Bible is God's word.  It is God speaking to you and me.
          a.     If Jesus were to appear to you, He would say what is in His book, the Bible.
          b.     This must be your attitude toward the Bible:  The Bible is God speaking to me now.
          c.     The Bible must hold the same weight and authority for you as if God were to speak to you because the Bible is God speaking to you.
     2.     You must understand how important the Bible is to God.  God works through His word.
          a.     If God wants something done, if He wants to do something, He speaks it first.
          b.     God believes what He says, expects what He says to come to pass, and it does. Gen 1:3; etc.
     3.     As we study the Bible, we see that God speaks several types of words to us.
          a.     When God speaks in the Bible, He is sometimes telling us about things which are real (in                          existence, really exist), but are invisible (spiritual) -- angels, the human spirit, heaven, etc.
               1.     These unseen, spiritual things are real -- like God Himself.  Spiritual things are as real as                               material things. I Tim 1:17; II Cor 4:18; Heb 11:3
               2.     These unseen, spiritual things can, do, and will change what we see and feel.
          b.     When God speaks in the Bible, He is sometimes telling us about things which do not yet exist, but                     because God has spoken it, they will happen or come to pass.  So, in a very real sense, once God has spoken, it is as good as done.
               1.     Rom 4:17--For Abraham believed God -- God who actually brings the dead to life and calls                          the things that are not as if they actually were (and gives them a real existence by doing so).                          (     )
               2.     Rom 4:17--God, who can raise the dead to life, and send his call to that which has no being,                          as if it already were. (Knox)
     4.     This is a key point in the whole subject of faith.
          a.     What God says is -- already exists -- you just can't see it yet.
          b.     Or what God says will become -- and because He said it, it is as good as done.
     5.     Here is another key point in this whole issue of faith.  God cannot lie. Titus 1:2; Heb 6:18
          a.     God cannot forget, ignore, or dismiss His word.  His integrity, His character, His reputation, is back of His word.
          b.     II Tim 2:13--If we are faithless (do not believe and are untrue to Him), He remains true [faithful to His word and His righteous character], for He cannot deny Himself. (Amp)
          c.     If God says something is so, it is so (already exists) or it will come into being.  Period.  End of                     discussion.
          d.     We must learn to accept the Bible (the word of God) as the voice of God and act accordingly.
     6.     Why is it so hard for us to take God at His word? to believe Him?
          a.     We live in an antagonistic atmosphere where we continually see and feel things which contradict                     God's word.
          b.     This world is presided over by the father of lies and all his children are liars.  Unbelief permeates                     the air.
          c.     We have centuries of trust in the arm of the flesh  (things we can see) -- money, banks, physical                     might, doctors, medicine, etc.
          d.     Everybody knows somebody “it didn't work for”.  Entire ministries are built on the fact that “it didn't work because you can't always tell what God wants, what His will is, until you see it or not!”
     7.     It takes effort on our part to counteract our natural tendencies and the world of unbelief in which we live.
          a.     We must get accurate knowledge from God's word and meditate on it. Rom 10:17
          b.     As we study the NT and learn the facts of our redemption, of our righteousness, of our healing, of                     the Father's love and care for us, our capacity to take God at His word will grow. Ps 9:10     
     8.     God has bent over backwards to demonstrate and persuade us of His faithfulness to His word. Jer 1:12;Isa 55:11
          a.     The Bible is filled with examples of God keeping His word to people, fulfilling His promise to                     people. Josh 21:45, 23:14
          b.     Nature itself testifies of God's faithfulness to His word. Rom 1:20; Jer 33:19-26; Gen 8:22

C.     Revelation faith is, must be, fully persuaded that what God says is so, or will become so.
     1.     Abraham is held up to us as an example of the faith we are to walk in. Heb 6:12
          a.     He was fully persuaded that what God said was so. Rom 4:19-21
          b.     To be fully persuaded means:
               1.     You are completely convinced that what God says is so or will become so despite what you                          see or feel.
               2.     Nothing you see or feel changes or effects what you believe.  Only God's word effects what                          you believe, how you act.
     2.     Abraham was not moved by sense evidence which contradicted God's word to him. Rom 4:19
          a.     He did not accept contrary sense evidence as reason to doubt God's word.
          b.     Here is how sense knowledge faith would respond in Abraham`s situation:
               1.     I can't be a father.  I'm too old to be a father.
               2.     I know I'm a father -- I believe all that.  But, I'm still old and don't have a kid.
     3.     Abraham did not need any physical proof of the reality of God's promise.
          a.     Heb 11:17-19--Abraham's evidence that he was a father was God's word, not Isaac.
          b.     Your evidence that you are healed even when you feel better must be God's word -- otherwise it is                sense knowledge faith.
     4.     How did Abraham become fully persuaded?
          a.     As we study Abraham's story, we see that God continually held up His promise, His word, to                          Abraham.
          b.     Gen 17:5--God changed Abraham's name to help him get into agreement with God's word.
          c.     Gen 15:4,5; 22:16,17--God not only promised Abraham a son, God swore to it.
     5.     God did that for Abraham, but He did it for us as well.
          a.     Heb 6:13-18--For When God made [His] promise to Abraham, He swore by Himself, since He had no one greater by whom to swear, Saying, Blessing I certainly will bless you and multiplying I will multiply you.
               1.     v15--And so it was that he [Abraham] having waited long and endured patiently, realized and                          obtained [in the birth of Isaac as a pledge of what was to come] what God had promised him.
               2.     v16--Men indeed swear by a greater [than themselves], and with them in all disputes the oath                          taken for confirmation is final -- ending strife.
               3.     v17--Accordingly God also, in His desire to show more convincingly and beyond doubt, to                          those who were to inherit the promise, the unchangeableness of His purpose and plan,  intervened (mediated) with an oath.
               4.     v18--This was so that by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath], in which it is                          impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us]. (Amp)
          b.     He swore by Himself so that we could know, like Abraham, that God Himself stands behind His                     word.
          c.     Heb 7:22--Just a few lines down, God tells us that Jesus Himself is personally back of every word                     from Matthew to Revelation.  He is the guarantee that every word of God either is or will become.
          d.     John 14:12-14--While Jesus was on earth, He said He would back His word.
     6.     Gen 15:6--Abraham believed what God said to Him.  He made an unqualified committal of Himself to                God, to His word.
          a.     It took time, but Abraham eventually quit relying on sense evidence and depending on sense                          knowledge help (Hagar and Ishmael).
          b.     Rom 10:9,10--The Lordship of Jesus is our lives is really the Lordship of His word.  The written                     word takes the place of the absent Christ and overrides all sense evidence.
          c.     God's promise to us is that we will not be ashamed if we abandon ourselves to the word of God.
          d.     Isa 28:16--Behold, I am laying in Zion for a foundation a Stone, a tested Stone, a Precious                          Cornerstone or sure foundation; he who believes -- trusts in, relies on and adheres to that Stone --  will not be ashamed or give way or make haste [in sudden panic]. (Amp)

D.     Conclusion:  The key to revelation faith is knowing that the Bible is God speaking to me now -- God who           cannot lie, God who will fulfill His word.
     1.     Is the word of God final in your case or do you need sense evidence before you are satisfied?
          a.     We'd probably all say yes, the word of God is final to me.  But, we need to honestly examine                          ourselves to see if there are areas where other evidence supercedes God's word.
          b.     Many of us would say:  Pray that I get a good report from the doctor.  That is sense knowledge faith.  Why do you need a good report from the doctor?  You already have your report -- the word of the One who cannot lie.
     2.     Now, you add your testimony to God's report.
          a.     In the face of the contradiction of your senses, revelation faith declares that what God says is true                     and holds fast to His word.
          b.     Revelation faith casts down everything that does not line up with God's word. II Cor 10:5
     3.     Unseen spiritual things are as real as material things.
          a.     Spiritual realities can become as real to us as sense knowledge facts if we will take the time to                     meditate on them.          
          b.     Luke 1:37--For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment. (Amp)
     4.     The word of God's power can and will change what we see and feel if we will side in with it and hold fast to our confidence in and confession of His word. Heb 10:23
          a.     Quit trying to believe.  Meditate on the fact that God who cannot lie is speaking to me now about                     unseen realities which will change what I see.
          b.     God who cannot lie is making, will make, His word good in my case.