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Living by Faith (Vol 05) - Faith and the Unseen - Part 1

Sunday English Service - 05 AUG 18

Transcript

Please turn with me the Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 1. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For the last four weeks, we've been teaching on the subject of living by faith. All the teaching about faith coming from Hebrews chapter 11. The first three weeks, we looked at hope, because the definition of faith that we have here in the first verse of this chapter is in two parts. One, it describes faith as the substance or the confidence of things hoped for. So we talked about what hope is and what Christian hope is. That it's a confident hope, it’s certain, sure hope, and how it serves as an anchor for our souls and all that. Then last week, fourth week, we talked about our faith and the importance of our faith that Jesus asks those who came to Him to receive healing, “Do you believe that I can do this for you?” They were coming and saying, “Will you do this for us?” But He says, “Do you believe that I can do this for you?” So the thing is, He's pointing out that He can do it, it's not a problem with Him. He's able to do it but no matter how much He is able to do, they're going to only receive as much as they believe. That's what Jesus was saying. So we showed how important our faith is. That’s so important, because as we enter into teaching about faith, we need to clear this up.

So I spent last week showing you the importance of your faith. Because a lot of people think that things happen in our life because God wills it, it'll automatically happen. That's the approach that a lot of people take to Christian life. Whatever is the will of God, that's going to happen anyway in our life, which is not true really. If all the will of God is happening in our life, our life will be very good, wonderful, but it's not so because a lot is left to us. That's the truth. What I ate this morning for breakfast is not left up to God. I ate what I liked. I can eat Idli and I can eat Puri or I can eat both. It's my wish. God has left it up to me. What I wore today is left up to me, God has left it up to me. He's not saying, “You must ask me. You better ask me what you're supposed to wear today.” On a day to day basis, a lot of things that are left to us and that is why the problem is in the world. We make the wrong decisions, we think the wrong things, we have the wrong approach and that is why we mess up our life. So you cannot blame everything on the will of God and say that whatever is the will of God is going to happen anyway, so whatever mess is happening in my life, it's all the will of God. You can't take it like that. Your faith, what you believe and how you approach life, what you stand for, what you believe, and what you claim, and what you put your faith on matters very much. Because, “According to your faith,” Jesus said, “be it unto you.” And I'm telling you today, it's the same according to your faith, it's going to be to you. What is your life going to turn out like? According to your faith, it's going to be. Your faith has a lot to do with the way your life is going to turn out. So we need to clear that up and we did that last week.

So today, we'll go to the second part of the definition. The second part of the definition says that faith is the conviction or evidence, some translation says. Better translation is conviction of things not seen. Now, faith is a difficult subject to understand, mainly because it has to do with the things not seen. So I want to talk about today how faith has to do with the things not seen. And I want you to understand how it has to do with the things not seen. How it's a conviction of the things not seen. That's what we're going to talk about today. So let's talk about this fact of how there is a world of things not seen, how there is a world full of invisible things, things that are not seen. Faith is the conviction of the things not seen. Faith is a difficult subject because it has to do with things not seen. Anything that we see, we can easily understand.

I came to understand this first, many years ago, when I began to talk about or teach about spirit, soul and body. We are going to teach about the nature of man. How that man is a spirit, man is a soul, and man has a body also. These three parts are what constitutes a man. And I found it very difficult to describe to people that man is a spirit. If you begin with the spirit, the fact that man is a spirit, everybody will be bewildered. I found out that you begin with the spirit, they're all confused, they cannot understand. They say, “What do you mean? Am I a spirit? Am I a ghost or something? What are you talking about?” They can’t understand. So, I found out that it's going to be very difficult if you start with the spirit, you got to start with the body. So I took a different approach and I started with the body, and then went to the soul, and then went to the spirit.

I first started with describing the body, how it has three parts, the bone, flesh, and blood and then there are three corresponding parts to the three parts that the body has. In the soul there are three corresponding parts. There is intellect, emotion, and will. And there are three other corresponding parts that correspond to the three parts in the body and the three parts in the soul. The corresponding parts in the spirit are intuition, communion, and conscience. And I was able to better take them into the understanding of the spirit. To make people understand the body is the easiest thing. You can just call somebody and make them stand here and say, “This is the head, this is the hand, the leg, eyes, ears.” You can point them to the various parts of the body and say, “This is the body, this, the flesh, bone,” and so on. But to describe the soul is a little bit more difficult because it goes into the thoughts and emotions and will. It needs more of a discussion and people have to comprehend it. And when you come to the spirit, it's absolutely difficult because it gets very complicated, because you're talking about intuition, not just knowledge, as we know generally, but intuitive knowledge and communion, which is even more confusing and conscience, which is a whole lot more confusing, and so on.

In the same way, faith is a difficult subject, because faith has to do with unseen things, it relates to unseen things. So let me first establish the fact that there is an unseen world. There is a world of unseen things, or there is unseen realm so to speak. In the unseen realm, there are certain persons, and there are certain things. For example, God is an unseen person. Has anyone seen God? Anyone has seen God, you please come and preach, I will sit down and listen to you. I don't think anybody has seen God. No man has seen God, the Bible says. So no man has seen God. So God is basically an unseen person. But even though He’s unseen, He’s real. I would say to you the unseen God is even more real than the seen you and me. See, the fact that you are here and I'm here can be verified. We can simply touch and feel and know that the person is here, that this is not a ghost you're looking at. You can verify that, you can know that this is a person, but God is here. The Bible says, God is in the midst of people who are gathered together in His name. I believe that God is here. And I believe that the fact that God is here is even more real than the fact that you and I are here, because according to the Bible, the spiritual things are more real than the material things and I'll show you why.

So God is there, angels are there and some of the angels fell and became devil and demons, and so on. All this is part of the spiritual world, part of the invisible realm as we may call it. So there is a seen world which we don't have to describe, we know, the world as we see it, with all the things in this world, the creation of God, and everything in it is the seen world. And there is an unseen world. And the unseen world, even though we don't see it, it's as real as the seen world, and even more real than the seen world. I say that because a lot of people think that the whole world is just the seen world. There is no such thing as the unseen world. When I was in college, I began to preach and the first area that I preached in in America was state called Missouri. In America, they believe that each state has a character. So they kind of tag each state with a description. The state name is there, but they call a state by a certain description. And this state of Missouri, where I initially started preaching, I preached the nook and corner of Missouri in those days. This state of Missouri is called Show Me State. Show Me State means that the character of the people of the state is this, that they don't believe that anything that they can’t see. You show me then I will believe. That's not just Missouri State. I believe the whole world can be described by that character. We are all like that. Indians or Americans or anybody, we're all like that. We are all a show me people. If you show then I will believe. If I can't see it, I won't believe because we think only thing that is real is what we can see. See, that's the problem. That's why we never understand faith. We believe that only things that we see exist, all other things are non-existent. They don't even exist. We don't have any regard for things not seen. We think the whole world is only things that are seen.

But the Bible teaches us about the unseen world and the seen world. The seen world we all know, the unseen world you can know from the word of God. God is unseen, the angels of God are unseen, and so on. And the blessings of God that are given to us begin in the unseen world, and I'll come to that in a few moments. All right. So there is an unseen world or unseen realm. Just like the seen realm and seen world is there. Now, the unseen world or realm is greater or superior than the seen, visible world. Why do I say that? There are two reasons for it. The first reason is found in Hebrews chapter 11, verse 3. Look at 11:3, it says, By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. Things that you see are not made of things which are visible. What you see today, the seen world was not made by the seen world, in other words, very simply put. It's not a creation of a seen world, the seen world is a creation of the unseen world. That's what it's saying. From the invisible world came the seen world. The God of the unseen realm, the God who belongs to the unseen world, the God who is unseen and invisible, created this world with His words, which belongs to the unseen realm. So the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things that we see were not made of things that we do see. They did not come from the seen, they came from the unseen world.

So if the seen world came from the unseen world, which is greater? If the unseen world created the seen world, which is superior? Naturally, the unseen is superior because the unseen is the one that created the seen world. So the unseen is greater because the unseen created the seen. The second reason why the unseen is greater is found in Second Corinthians chapter 4, a very interesting passage, we're going to be coming to it in the weeks to come. But this whole thing about seen and unseen and how faith has to do with the unseen may be new to some people, but look at how much the Bible talks about it. Look at second Corinthians chapter 4. Let me read to you from verse 16 onwards. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. Very interesting. Man himself has a seen part and an unseen part. The seen part of the man is called outward man. What you see now is my outward man. There is an inward man, the Bible says, even though the outward man perishes, that means I'm getting older every day, you're getting older too every day. So the outward body is going through a kind of decay day by day. It gets older every day, and it's in the process… going on. But the inward man is renewed day by day, it's getting better day by day.

How many of you think that you are wiser than you were 30 years ago, or 40 years ago? It's a nice idea to think that you want to go back and be 16 again. But when you think of how foolish you were when you were 16, you don't want to risk it by going back and becoming 16 again because you were dumb and foolish when you were 16. You don't want to be that again. Thank God that we know what we know now, after all these years, and after all that we’ve gone through. It has made us solid people after so many years. So there is a lot of advantage in being older, because you've learned a lot. So the inward man is renewed day by day, the outward man perishes. So there are two of me. One is what you see outside, one is one that you have never seen. You come here every Sunday, but you have never seeing the inward man and the inward man is the real me, believe me. God is a spirit, I'm also a spirit. God is a spirit, you are a spirit. We are all spirit beings, we are made in the image and likeness of God. We're just like God, except we are given a body so that we can live in this world. We're living in this world, the body is described as a house. The body is housing us, accommodating us. So I'm living inside this body. I'm standing here in my body. I'm living inside this body, I am inside this body. I am looking out from this body, through these two windows that God has given me, my eyes to you and I'm looking not at you, I'm looking only at your face, one part of your body. That's all I'm looking at. I've never seen you. You are living inside your body. Who knows what you're like inside? I've never met you. I'm just looking at you, your face and you are looking at me in the sense that you're looking only at my face.

Paul says something very interesting, Second Corinthians chapter 5. He says, I know no man according to the flesh. In other words, when I look at people and know people, I don't know them as Jew or Gentile, or which race they belong to, what language, all that doesn't matter, he says. The outward things don't matter. I do not know any man according to the outward things, he says. Know no man after the flesh. Then how does he know him? Says, if any man be in Christ he is a new creature. What is he talking about? Old things are passed away. All things have become new. He is talking about the inward man now. The new creature is the man inside, he has become new. He says, “When I look at people, I only look at them and see them as what God as recreated them, the new creation that they are inside. I'm not looking at what race they belong to, what language they speak, and whether they are Jew or Gentile, and so on. All those distinctions I’ve quit looking at,” he says, “When I look at a man I say, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away, all things have become new, I look at people in the real way.” He says, “I know them by knowing what they are on the inside.” So the inside man is the real thing that matters basically, the outward doesn't matter that much. But look at us, we make all the effort for the outward only. We spend so many hours this morning just to get ready, just to make the outward look so good. We spent all that many hours because outward only matters to us. But really, the inward should matter because we are this invisible being that is there inside and that is what matters. Alright.

So there are two reasons why the unseen is greater than the seen. One is the unseen created the seen. The second is given here, let me read verse 17 and 18, For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Very important verse. We’re going to be coming back to it afterwards. While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. Look at the whole discussion about seen and the unseen. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. Here, it says that the things that are seen are temporary and the things that are not seen are eternal. This is the second reason why the things that are not seen are greater than the things that are seen. The first reason is that the unseen created the seen therefore, the unseen is greater and more important, really. The second reason is, the unseen is eternal and the seen is temporal. It's here may be gone tomorrow. Everything that is seen is temporary. Everything that is unseen is eternal. God is eternal, God's word is eternal, the things in the unseen realm are eternal.

All right now, in order to live by faith, you need to be able to deal with the unseen and understand and live your life based on your relationship with the unseen. Now, turn with me to John's gospel chapter 20. Jesus Himself talks about it in John chapter 20, as He teaches faith. Now, once again, let me remind you all these things in the gospels, when you read them, they came from the teachings of the apostles here. John himself probably has started in many places, he lived a long time, he died at the end of the first century and lived to be an old man, and taught a lot over the years and knew Jesus personally. And from his teachings, the gospel is written. It's quite a deep gospel, wonderful. The first three gospels were things that were gathered from the teachings of the apostles, like Peter, and so on, as they taught from the teachings of Jesus. Whatever they considered very important they taught and taught them again and again. So those that heard it, gathered them and compiled them into the Gospels, and that is the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and gospel of John was written by John himself. And here we have this story here. Why it is put here, because it has rich teaching concerning faith. That is why it is put here. It is not just to give us a story of what happened on that day, or at that time with Thomas. It’s not just to say that Thomas failed to believe or something like that. No, it is to tell us something about faith it is written here.

So let me read to you from verse 26. But let me give you the background. You remember when Jesus rose again, He appeared to the disciples, Thomas was not there the first time. So the disciples told Thomas that Jesus had risen and He came and met them and they saw Jesus and so on. Thomas refused to believe. You know what he said, he said, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails,” verse 25 says, “and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe. I must see His hands, the print of the nails and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, then only I will believe. Otherwise, I will not believe.” In other words, he says, “I must see with my own eyes, and I must touch with my own hand. And if I cannot see with my own eyes and touch with my own hand then I will not believe.” This is the decision he’s made. “I got to do this.” So then read the next verse, verse 26, after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. And Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace be to you!” Just imagine what it would have been like. The doors are shut, and Jesus all of a sudden appears, and He says, “Peace be unto you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here.” I'm sure Thomas started looking at everybody, Peter, and John and everybody. Did you guys tell him what I told? But the fact is, Jesus already knew exactly what he said. Do you know that what you said yesterday Jesus knows now? Do you know that He knows every word that we speak? Some of us have said, “Oh this is allhumbug, I don't believe in it,” Jesus heard it.

Jesus comes in there and says, “Peace be to you,” and He says to Thomas, “Reach your finger here,” because He knows exactly what the fellow said. “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Don't be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas said, “O Lord, my God.” He must have said, “Lord, not necessary. I'm satisfied. No, I'm sorry. Yeah, I said it yesterday but I can see now.” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Remember, John is writing this gospel so that it can be useful for future generations. That's the aim with which it’s... not reporting a story. Please remember that. It is written deliberately for the purpose of our benefit. So this verse is very important. Verse 29 is very important. “Because you've seen me you believed,” Jesus said, “Blessed are those.” See, John is indirectly putting this forth to us. That Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Why do you think that we who have not seen and yet believed are blessed? What did Thomas see? Thomas saw the hole in Jesus's hands, the print of the nail. He saw His side and where they pierced Him. He verified that it was Jesus. That's all happened there. Now he knows that Jesus is risen. Now, if we brought Jesus here today, you can do the same thing also. You'll probably stand in line and go, “Is the hole there? Is His side pierced, let me verify it.” That's all you know about it.

But you see, when Jesus was crucified, He was beaten all over His body. It became like a plowed field, the Bible says. That was seen, everybody could see. Those who beat Him they saw. The whip that was used to beat Him, they saw. The hooks in the whip that pulled His flesh apart and tore Jesus to pieces, they saw. The blood that was oozing from His body everywhere, people saw. They saw Him suffering and they saw Him dying. They saw the pain that He was experiencing, they saw all that. But what they did not see is much more than what they saw. What did they not see? Listen to me. What did they not see? They did not see that Jesus became sin for us so that we can become righteous. That is not something that you can see. It is not possible. How would you see that Jesus became sin for us? Yet Paul writes in Second Corinthians 5:21, he says, “For God made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin, so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” God made Him to be sin for us. Not just to bear our sins but to become sin for us. He became sin, the embodiment of sin so that we can become the righteousness of God. This is how Paul interprets.

Where did he get this from? This is not something that he saw when they crucified Jesus on the cross. In fact he has not met Jesus when he was walking around, and preaching and teaching and so on. And he did not see Jesus as He was crucified. Where did He see it? This is not a fact that you can know by seeing, even those that were present at the time of Jesus’ ministry in Jerusalem and the surrounding area, they never saw anything like this. Even those who were present at the crucifixion could not see anything like this. This is not a matter that you can see and understand. I hope you understand what I'm talking about. This is not something you see and understand. Then where did Paul get it from? Paul got it because he knew the Old Testament, the sacrifices and what the sacrifices meant, why the lamb died, why its blood was shed, why the priest laid hands on it, why he transferred the sin of the whole nation upon that lamb. And when that lamb died, it died as a substitute, therefore, the people were relieved and they went home with peace, knowing that God through that lamb and the sacrifice of the Lamb has accepted them and forgiven them. The lamb has been rejected as sin, allowed to die, but they have been allowed to live by the mercy of God. Paul understood that. So in the New Testament, he says, I know what happened on the cross of Calvary. Here is the Lamb of God. God made Him to be sin for us. He became like that lamb that carried our sin. He became sin for us. Why? So that I can be made righteous. This is not something that can be seen. It is not possible to show you with these eyes. It can only be understood from the word of God.

Go to the next thing. Another thing is that Jesus bore our sicknesses and carried our pain. Isaiah says in Isaiah chapter 53 verse 4, He bore our sorrows and griefs, he says, but Matthew quotes it in chapter 8 in the New Testament. Matthew quotes in chapter 8 verse 16 and 17, but quotes it not as griefs and sorrows but sickness and disease. He has read Isaiah 53:4 but he seems to think that it's not just general terms like griefs and sorrows. See when a person is sick also, they say, you know in in Tamil, they say varuthapaduraar, that means he is in a sorrowful condition, as far as his physical condition is concerned. It's a general term, it could refer to physical sickness also. But Matthew attributes it to especially the physical. He says, “He bore our sicknesses and carried our diseases and our pain.” That's how he interprets it in Matthew's gospel, chapter 8 verse 16 and 17. He's reading Isaiah like that. He’s not reading it as griefs and sorrows, he's talking about it like that. He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows. This is what the Messiah, the one who would die for us was expected to do, Matthew says.

So this is something that cannot be seen. They saw Jesus beaten black and blue the body became plowed field, tore everywhere, blood oozing from his body everywhere. They saw that, but they did not see that our sickness was laid upon Him, that He bore our sickness and carried our pain. That nobody saw. It is not a matter that you can see. It is only something that you can understand from the word of God. Similarly, Galatians 3 says as it is written, cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree, Galatians 3:13. As it is written, cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree. That Jesus died for us on the cross of Calvary in that way as a cursed one so that the blessings of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, so that we may receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. So he says, He became cursed, literally that's what he says, so that I can become blessed with the blessing of Abraham plus one more addition. The blessing of Abraham is all the material, social blessing that Abraham received in this earth. All kinds of blessings, spiritual, material, social blessings, that he received. So many kinds of blessings he received. All that is contained in the blessing of Abraham, plus one more blessing he never received but he was promised. That is the promise of the Spirit. That the Holy Spirit will come and indwell that could not happen under the old covenant because his heart was not cleansed by the Holy Spirit, so his heart could not become the temple of God, where the Holy Spirit can come and live. So he could not have the indwelling Spirit. That was a promise for the future.

Abraham died without receiving it, it was only a promise. Now we are blessed with the blessing of Abraham plus that. Today we have that. It is amazing that a lot of people don't even believe the blessing of Abraham. What we got is much more than what Abraham got, we got all of his blessing plus this that Abraham never had, just dreamed about, but never experienced. So He took the curse so that I can be blessed. This was not seen. This is not something that you can see. I'm talking about the unseen. These are all unseen things. These are real, but unseen. You cannot display it on the cross. You cannot see it in that way with these eyes. This is not a matter to be understood in this way. Another place the word of God says, Second Corinthians chapter 9 verse 8, it says, that though He was rich, yet He became poor, so that we might be made rich. Just like He became sin so that we can become righteous, He became poor so that we may become rich. Now, where do you see that on the cross? How can you see with these eyes? You cannot see it with these eyes. These are things that cannot be seen with these eyes.

How these people are writing about it then? Where did they see it? How did they find out? How come it's there. It is because all of this was already prophesied in the Old Testament, it was fulfilled, and the Jesus after He rose again, do you remember? He met the disciples and the disciples on the road to Emmaus and told them all this time, “You are a dull hearted people, you never understood. All of the Old Testament speaks about Me. It's all about what I would do.” So they went through a fresh reading and you can tell that on the day of Pentecost, Peter is preaching from Psalm 16, and he's able to interpret it in a totally different light. Now, he sees the Old Testament in light of the new and what has happened to Jesus Christ. He sees Jesus there, before he was not able to see Jesus in the Old Testament. Paul, after his conversion, began to look at the Old Testament. He is the person who has studied Old Testament so thoroughly, he was a scholar. He began to see in every page Jesus and the cross and our redemption, he began to see. This is how they are writing the epistles and so on. This is how they're writing the New Testament. So when they are writing and saying that He became sin, so that I can become righteous, that He became cursed so that I can become blessed, that He took my sickness so that I can be healed, that He became poor so that I may be made rich, all of this is not a matter that came to them by this eyesight. It came to them by the eyes of their understanding being enlightened to the word of God. Not a matter to be understood by these eyes. Can be understood only by mind’s eye being opened.

So there is a whole unseen world where there is God, there is angels, but much more than just God and angels, there is all these blessings obtained and kept in this way, that can never be understood or perceived by these senses, the five senses. It can be understood and perceived only by the eyes of our understanding being opened. And faith and living by faith means that you are able to see those things in that way and believe those things in that way. That you are able to believe that you are the righteousness of God. If your eyes of understanding were opened, and you're able to relate to the unseen realm and see these unseen things you'll be believing that you are the righteousness of God. It's so important to believe that you're the righteousness of God. You know why? Because the Bible says, Elijah was a man with like passions as we are. That means he had the same makeup as we are, he's just a human being, in other words. But he prayed, and three and a half years, he said that it won't rain and it didn't rain. And then he said it'll rain and it rained. His prayer was so effective. The prayer of a righteous man avails much, it says, after saying that. He was just man like us. But his prayer availed that much.

Why are they saying that in the book of James? Because they want to encourage us about how to live our Christian life, and how our prayers can be very effective just like Elijah's prayer. Because most of us think, “That's Elijah. His prayer is very special.” But he lived under the old covenant. He did not even have the righteousness like we have. We have a greater righteousness, we have the righteousness of Jesus Christ Himself, which was not available to them in the old covenant. We have the righteousness of Jesus Christ bestowed upon us. When He became sin we became righteous. That gives us a special status so that we can approach God, go before God, ask God and receive from God. If your eyes of understanding have it, if you are walking by faith that means you understand that you are the righteousness of God. That your prayer life will be transformed prayer life. That when you go to God, you know that God hears you and that God will answer you and because you're His child, and you only ask according to His will, that all your prayers will be answered with Yes and amen only.

But you know, very surprisingly, a lot of the Christian people are convinced that their prayer will not be answered. It's a conviction. Instead of the conviction of things not seen, they have got another kind of conviction that their prayers will not be answered. That is why they write to all the evangelists in the world. And they also nowadays send a prayer request card itself inside. So you write the prayer request and we’ll pray for you because since your prayer is useless, you're only ordinary person. I'm very special, I'm gifted of God, I will pray and God will hear whatever God answers we’ll let you know. So we all got our agents, middleman, so to speak, because we have no confidence in ourselves that our prayers will be answered. But I say to you, you don't need no middleman, there is only one mediator between God and man, that is Jesus Christ, the Bible says. None of us need anyone else. It is powerful. Why? We are not walking by faith that is why prayer has become a failure. That is why we pray and nothing happens. Because we know before praying itself that nothing may happen. When are we going to believe that when we pray it will happen? When we believe that we are a righteous man and righteous woman, that our prayers avail much, that our prayers are effective, and that God will hear our prayer because we are washed and cleansed by the blood of Jesus. We have every right to walk into God's presence, and ask and it shall be done unto us of our Father.

The sense of righteousness is so important. That is walking by faith. Walking by faith is believing something that I cannot see with these eyes but I know by the word of God and I'm convinced, and I'm full of this conviction that I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. That conviction is faith. Conviction of the things not seen is faith, and therefore that is walking by faith. How many of you see what I'm talking about? That conviction is faith. Are you full of conviction about the fact that you are the righteousness of God? Do you walk like that? Pray like that every day? Go before God like that? Confident? That conviction is faith. Now, you're relating to the unseen. Now you are understanding something that cannot be seen, you know, you are sure, even though you've never seen it, even if you were with Thomas and touch Him and felt Him you cannot know this. Hello. Even if Jesus came here today, and you felt Him all over in every place where the nail was driven, you still won't know this, because that will not tell you this. This is only by revelation. This is only by the word of God. And this conviction can only come by the word of God. That is why Romans 10:17 says, Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

So how does faith come? Faith doesn't come by seeing, faith doesn't come by feeling. Faith doesn't come by touching or smelling, not through these five senses. Faith comes by the word of God. So for a believer, the Bible is the main thing. For the believer, hearing the Christian teaching is the main thing because when he hears the Christian teaching, it is an exposition of the cross and what has happened there, and what belongs to us through Jesus Christ. So he's able to see now the things that cannot be seen and understood by this eye. No, this is unseen, is in the unseen realm. This is something that can only be seen through the word of God. That is why in Second Corinthians 4:17 it says, while we look not at the things which are seen but the things which are unseen. Just look at that. Next week I’ll look at that, but it's interesting isn’t it? I'll explain it next week. What is it saying? It says, while we look not at the things that are seen, it’s saying, don't look at the things you can see. That means don't look at things that are in the world, that is happening in your life, your sickness, your failure, your lack, your want, your trouble, your mess. Look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen. Now, let me ask you, how do you look at the things which are unseen? I will show you how to look at the things that are unseen. When you open the Bible, you're looking at the things that are unseen. What you cannot know by these eyes, you are beginning to know by the eyes of our understanding. It says while we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things which are unseen, this light affliction, which is but for a moment worketh for us, far more exceeding eternal weight of glory.

In other words, while we don't look at our problems, but look at what the Bible says about what Jesus has done concerning our problem, this affliction becomes a light affliction, a fleeting affliction, it passes away soon and we enter into victory over it. When people live by only what is seen, they have nowhere to look at. They have no unseen to look at, because they don't believe in the unseen. They’ve only the problem to look at. So when they look at the problem, what do you get? You get fear, you get doubt, you get worry, you get blood pressure, you get headache, your heart begins to beat fast, because you have nowhere to look at. And I'll show you how God has given us something else to look at. And how when you look at that, and keep looking at that, because the seen is created by the unseen originally. Even now in our life, the seen things are changed and altered and transformed by the unseen. The unseen has the power over the seen. See, that is how the Bible teaches about this. Faith has to do with that. Even though we cannot see we believe. The world thinks it's foolishness but we understand because the word of God says it.

So the word of God says that He took my curse, and I'm blessed. So when you believe that you're blessed, then you're walking by faith. When you're walking by faith, your shoulder is high. When you're walking by faith, you do not look at the lack and the want that you have but you believe that God has got a rich storage of deposit for you in heaven. And anytime you want, you can withdraw and He has given you a blank check, signed a blank check that you can withdraw whatever you want. And you look at yourself as a blessed man for whom all the needs are met. That God the Lord is your shepherd, and therefore you shall not want. Your future is secure, that every need is supplied. That's the way you begin to look at it because you see yourself as a blessed person. That is walking by faith. What is walking by faith? Back in the old days, I used to understand walking by faith is having nothing. “Only living by faith, brother.” That man has got a government job, but I'm living by faith. Living by faith is the highest way of living. It is not just for preachers who have left their job and come for ministry. It is for every single person, you need to live by faith. Living by faith means you don't live by what you see, you live by the unseen realities that are existent, that are more real than the seen. That are more sure than the seen that never changes. Unchanging realities, blessed realities. You live by that. That is what living by faith means.

See, we're getting into it slowly now. When you walk by faith, you believe that healing is yours, that He bore your sickness and carried your pain, that even in the midst of sickness you begin to believe that and take victory over it. How you take victory over it? By not looking at the seen but at the unseen, so that this present reality is turned around to conform to the eternal realities. Same thing with poverty. He became poor so that I may be rich. It's never God's will for anybody to be poor. This is the thing, just like Jesus told that man who brought that son who had demon possession, and the demon was pushing him and trying to killing him, pushing him into the fire and into the water. He came and said, “Your disciples couldn't heal him. So I brought him to You. If You could do something, please do something.” That's what he said, “If You could do something, please help us.” Jesus said, “It's not if I could do something, if you could believe. To him that believeth all things...” He turned it around. The man said, “If you could believe please do something.” Jesus said, “If you could believe, to him that believeth all things are possible,” Jesus said. So all these things are there. They are eternal realities. That He bore our sin so that we can have righteousness. He bore our sickness so that we can have His health and healing. He bore our curse, so that we may be blessed. He became poor so that we may be rich. All of these are eternal realities. They're very real. That's why beginning I told you that the spiritual things are as real as the seen realities, or even more real.

So these things are real. Just because you don't see them with these eyes and you only see sickness or you only see failure, you only see want, don't think that's not a reality. That’s simply something that the Bible says. I would say to you, that reality will change this reality. That's how powerful that is. And you don't live by the reality that you see now in your life. You live by the reality that the Bible declares, the spiritual reality which you see through the word of God. So all of these things are real. It’s there. Spiritually it's all real. They’re spiritual realities. That is why Paul says in Ephesians chapter 1 verse 3, thanks be to God who through Christ has blessed us with all spiritual blessings. Why? Some people have taken it and said, “Only spiritual kind of blessings, nothing else. Only spiritual...” No, God doesn't segment life as spiritual and material and all this, cut them into pieces. It’s one life. Why does it say that He has blessed us with spiritual blessings? Because the blessings exist as a spiritual reality.

All the blessings of God exist as a spiritual reality. That He became sin, so that I might be righteousness is a spiritual reality, which I must stand on and believe and claim and apply in my life and it will work in my life. That confidence, that I am righteousness of God will make a big difference in my life, in my prayer, in everything that I do. That I am healed is a spiritual reality. When I stand on it, and walk in it, and believe in it, and claim it, the result will be seen in my life here. That I am blessed, and He took my curse and made me blessed is a reality. It's real. That He became poor I became rich is a reality. When I apply that and believe that I will be changed, transformed. That will change this. That reality will change the condition here. All of this is real. But even though it's real, and it can change our very life here, it's never going to happen until we walk by the things unseen because faith is the conviction of the things not seen. Even though these things are very real, as real as anything that you can see, the reality cannot make any difference in our lives, until we become full of that conviction through the word of God in our hearts. Because that is what faith is and that is what the life of faith is all about. Hello.

When a person believes these things, full of conviction about these things, then that conviction, that fact that he is convinced is going to make a big difference. Turn with me to Second Kings chapter 6. A story from the prophet Elisha. You know, prophet Elisha was a disciple of Elijah, but the man is a very dynamic man. In his days, Syrian king was constantly in the business of besieging Samaria and surrounding Samaria and causing a lot of trouble going to war against the people of God. But God was helping His people. So God would reveal to the prophet when the attack is going to be, how they're going to attack and all the plans and strategies God will reveal. So the prophet will go and reveal that to the king, the Israeli King. So the king is ready when they come. So the Syrian king began to understand that somebody is carrying message over there. That whatever he strategizes and plans is already known by the Israeli king. So he calls his people and says, “How come what I speak in my bedroom is known there? Every time I attack, they already know. They're waiting for us. So somebody from us has become a spy.” But one fella says, “No, nobody's a spy here. They've got a prophet who hears what you speak in your bedroom. Not through any device, he is sitting there, and he...” no Wi Fi, and all that in those days, none of these gadgets. “He knows what the king has spoken, what the strategy is, and he discloses it to the king. That's why we are losing,” he said. So the king says, “Where is he?” They say, “He is in the city of Dothan.” He says, “All right. Go take all the chariots, horses, soldiers, surround the city. Don't let the guy escape, catch him because if we catch that one guy then we can defeat this whole nation.”

So they’re going hunting for one man of God, it’s like a Veerappan hunt. Veerappan hunt I can understand but this is a preacher and one preacher. They're going hunting for him and the story now can be read from verse 14. Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, the Syrian king, they came by night and surrounded the city. Verse 15. And when the servant of the man of God rose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” Now this man is lamenting. He says, “Oh, my God, what can we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Now, I'm getting the impression that this fellow just didn't let the prophet go with that because when the prophet said, “They that are with us is more than they are with them.” This guy counted 10 times probably, and there was no more than just two. He said, “Wait a minute prophet. You are there, I'm there. You're saying more with us than them? Look at outside. The chariots and horses are standing there. The entire army is there. How can you say, ‘They that are with us is more?’” And he must have pestered him so the prophet began to pray that the Lord will open this guy's eyes.

Look at this. Elisha prayed, verse 17, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Which eyes? These eyes, the physical eyes. So that with these eyes he can see the spiritual realities. Now, here you see two kinds of people. One is the servant who wants to see it with this eye, then only he can believe. He is handicapped really. Won't you say he’s handicapped? He cannot see spiritual realities. And here is a prophet who doesn't have to have someone open his eyes. He's not seeing horses and chariots there, but he knows that they're there. How does he know? Because he is a man of faith. He's walking by faith. He knows that God has His angels encamped around them that fear Him. He knows that God is on his side. So he knows that the angels of God are there so he doesn't need any seeing, feeling and all that business. He's a man of faith. And here is a man of sight. And the Bible says in Second Corinthians 5:7, we do not walk by sight, we walk by faith. If you're going to be walking by sight, you're very limited. If you're going to be walking by faith, you're going to cross all limitations and achieve great things for God because now you're relying on your resources that is available there in the spiritual realm. So look at this, he prays, and the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 

Now come to the New Testament. I'll read this and close. Ephesians 1. There the Lord opened the physical eyes, what are you going to do? Go home today and ask Lord open my eyes also. Let me see at least two angels today? That's the whole point. That's walking by sight. We do not walk by sight. We walk by faith. Instead of asking God to show us this and that and so on, we must learn to walk by faith. We must learn to believe what the word of God says, as a reality and accept it as reality. Look at chapter 1 verse 15. Paul is praying and this is a wonderful prayer, is something that you can learn to pray for yourself and this is what you must pray for others in your home, the believers and so on. Look at this. Verse 15, Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. So he's giving three points to pray for believers. A lot of preachers are praying for car for this man, house for that man, job for this man, money for this one, all that, wife for somebody, husband for somebody. Paul was not a preacher like that. He is a different kind… new covenant preacher. He is a different kind of preacher.

He says, “The problem is not that. The problem is we don't see what God has prepared and kept in storage spiritually for us, that every need is met, that all our supply is made ready. We don't see that,” he says. So he prays that first of all, that God will give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God, that people will understand God is love, is care, is goodness. Secondly, the eyes of your understanding be enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. So what is the hope of your calling, he wants you to know. I mean, he wants you to know, and that is what he's praying for, so that the eyes of your understanding will be opened so you'll know that you are called person and what that means what hope you have. And next, listen to this. And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at the right hand, in the heavenly places, far above all principality, power, might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And you're going to continue reading till verse 23.

So what is he saying? He says, I'm praying, the Lord will open the eyes of the believers, to see what? To see who God is, to see the hope of our calling, understand what kind of tremendous hope so that it can become anchor for our soul. And thirdly, so that you will see how much power God will use in case you need some power to be used on your behalf. God already used it and showed how much power He’ll use. The Roman government with the help of the religious heads in Jerusalem, crucified Christ, put him in the tomb, and put a stone over it, and put guards over it, and put a Roman seal over it, so that nobody can open it. And it's not an ordinary thing to roll over that stone. And the government's authority was behind it and power was behind it and God said, “Now I'll show my power. You will see what my power is.” And God raised Jesus from the dead and rolled the stone so that everybody can... not for Jesus to come out, He's already out. He doesn't have to roll the stone to come out. He's coming into the room without opening it, so He doesn't need to be let out. The stone was rolled the so that the whole town can come and look and see that He is not there anymore.

God did it. Such power, even the Roman Empire, the superpower of the day, could not stand against God. God showed that He is more powerful. That power He’s able to use for us. The eyes of our understanding must be opened. Which eyes? Not these eyes, but the eyes of our understanding must be opened, he says. When you see that, suppose today your eyes were opened just like the servant’s eyes were opened, your eyes of understanding were opened and you were able to see. What will you see? You will see that you are righteousness of God. You will see that healing is yours. You will see that you are immensely blessed, and favored of God. You will see that you are not poor but you're rich. You will see that all supply that you need for now and forever is already laid up in spiritual places for you, in a spiritual way for you, for you to withdraw by faith. You will see all the possibilities. So Paul says, “I'm praying for that. When eyes of understanding are opened, then all our fears will go, apprehensions will go, doubts will go. We’ll begin to walk by faith. When our eyes are opened we’ll begin to withdraw from the resources that God has made for us. I pray that our eyes of understanding will be opened every day.

I remember when my grandmother used to have us read the Bible, she used to make us pray a prayer for reading the Bible, one line prayer. Lord, open our eyes so that we may see the wondrous things that are there. Psalm 119 verse 18. We had to pray that prayer before we read it. But we, after a while, it just became an ordinary thing, we just said it but I never understood it but later on now I appreciate it very much. Every time I open the Bible I believe that I can see the wonderful things of God. That God will open the eyes of understanding, I'll see more and more. The problem with Christians is this, people of other religions understand when we preach like this they say, “Yeah, this is right.” But Christians they say, like one preacher, he has read the New Testament many times and he began to see some truths that he has never known before and he told God it seems, “God, I must have read about 150 times the New Testament and I never saw that. How can that be there? How can that be possible that I never saw it and I missed it?” And God told him it seems, “Son, you have a lot more to see.” The problem with, you think because you read 150 times there's nothing more to see. That's the Christian’s problem. Our problem should not be that. Our thing must be approach, must be even if you have read it 100 times, the hundred and first time when we read, it's going to be fresh and we're going to be seeing things that we have never seen before because there is so much in it. When our eyes are opened, then we have the victory and that is why God has given us the word of God to be used in that way.

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