Most churches get this wrong ...
Kenneth Schortgen, Jr.
So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
Romans 10:17 is one of the MOST misinterpreted scriptures ever read and taught. 99.9% of churches and Christians will tell you that in this verse, "word of God" means "the Bible." Word of God = Scriptures (Bible). But if you look closely at the New Testament, every time Jesus or the Apostles referred to a written document, they called them scriptures, and in EVERY instance, those scriptures referred to the Law and Torah.
The Bible wouldn’t be published for another 300 years in book form, and even at Nicea, the church scholars brought thousands of epistles, documents, etc… written by early church fathers.
So… if they referred to written items as scriptures, WHY would they use this reference of the Word of God here to mean a written tome (Torah or Bible)? When in fact, throughout the Old and New Testament, the Word of God has ALWAYS meant Yeshua Himself.
1 Kings 12:22
But the word of God came unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying ...
This is voice of Yeshua speaking through the Spirit of God to Shemaiah… not a written verse in Torah.
1 Chronicles 17:3
And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying ...
Again, this is the voice of Yeshau, just as it was for Noah, Paul on the road, etc… in fact, at one point before man’s body was so corrupt to experience it, Yeshua came down as a man to speak and eat with Abraham.
And of course, we have the ULTIMATE truth of this in John 1:1,3
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…
Now, let's break down the original Greek word for ‘Word’ here in Romans 10:17 and compare it to the original Greek word for ‘Word’ in John 1
Do you NOTICE that the basis for EACH Greek word is a SPOKEN WORD (not written), and in the PRESENT TENSE… as in, the Holy Spirit speaking NOW to us? Not once in the definition of Rhema (Romans 10:17) is there a reference to a written word.
So in essence, the TRUE scripture of Romans 10:17 should read: Faith comes by hearing the Holy Spirit within us, and the message of the Spirit comes from the voice of the Word of God (Jesus) within us.
Now, here is what happened for me as I took this journey, and I believe it will answer your question of “But do we KNOW God's will?”
Back in December, I was at a point where I was down to my last few hundred dollars, no income and no job. I came to a conscious decision and prayed to the Lord, “Father, I can no longer do this of my own flesh and accord… I am asking to live by faith, and to be able to live as originally intended through the examples of the Apostles and the early church.”
Well, well, well! As I did the same to ask for and receive His Wisdom back in 2005, I could almost hear Him chuckle in heaven and say, “So you want Faith eh? Well, its back to the wilderness for you to learn to LIVE by faith.”
One of the first things I learned is this… the MEANING of the word faith. In the Greek it is Pistos, and the true essence of the word is, “Complete and total trust in God, and total belief in His promises.” There is NO equivocation here… complete and total trust, not sometimes, or whenever it is expedient for us. The names of Jehova Gyra relate to His promise of Daily provision and covering our needs by His Hand. Jehova Rafa relates to His promise to be our source of healing… not THROUGH an agency such as man’s medicine.
Well, I got a VERY quick guide into learning the necessary things to be prepared for step 2 of faith… but back then, I didn’t even realize there WAS more than 1 stage. I had to be able to rely upon Him to help me live and survive without income, without a job… simply like Elijah being fed by the birds. But since December, not ONLY have I received money from unknown sources EXACTLY when I needed bills, mortgage etc… paid for. I have a tax debt from 2007 that somehow, someway KEEPS getting pushed back by the IRS (I receive notices from them that my case is under review, and they will get back to me in 45 days…. I have had 4-5 of these letters).
I wont lie to you… it has been VERY difficult. I was not a good steward with money, and one of the first things I did was repent of my bad stewardship. Secondly, how hard is it for the flesh and the mind to deal with bills piling up and your thinking… I need to pay these this month and have no idea how?
When Paul said that we are to be joyful in suffering, and preachers use this to accentuate whatever ‘worthless’ sermons they may spout from the podium, do you EVER notice they never explain WHY we are to be joyful? I discovered the reason behind all of this with Paul. Suffering is NOT punishment from the Lord… it is the NECESSARY thing we have to go through to BREAK the bad habits or paradigms we lived in to create the situation we were stuck with. For me to learn to how to be a good steward, I had to completely rely on provision from Him… and NOT by my own hand, efforts, etc… and doing this is of course SCARY because we are used to taking care of ourselves aren’t we? The JOY Paul spoke of is this… the light at the end of the tunnel. When we complete our wilderness journey of learning (suffering), what we have available to us will be such power and promise that we cant even begin to imagine.
Anyway, over the course of a few months, not only did it get easier to be able to rely on Him and KNOW that He ALWAYS comes through in His promises, but I began to also not worry about tomorrow. He would take care of tomorrow as WELL as today.
Then… one day in late April…. something miraculous and interesting happened. I received the ability to hear the Holy Spirit within me. Not by a cognitive voice in my ear, but rather, like a burst of electricity we feel go through our body when say adrenaline kicks in. It emanated from just below my heart and shoots quick bursts through my core. At first I didn’t know what to think about this, or where it came from, but I would begin to ask questions, and the Holy Spirit would confirm or deny by giving me a burst for "YES" or "Correct," and NOTHING would happen for a "no."
One day while I was learning to listen to the Spirit, I asked Him if THIS was what the Apostles had for their guidance, and I got a YES… and I asked if THIS was how it was supposed to be for ALL believers, and again got a YES.
So… in answer to your question, How do we know the Will of God? By HEARING the Spirit, which is given to us when we are transformed (Born again), BUT, manifests itself where it can be heard 24/7 when, and ONLY when, we choose to live by faith.
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
The righteousness of God (His Will) revealed to us from our faith combined with Christ’s faith (Gift)… and the Just (those who follow His Will) shall live by faith (complete and total reliance on Him.)
Now… MANY are called men of God in this world… but how many ACTUALLY live by faith and NOT their own flesh in the choices they make, the way they provide for themselves instead of allowing Him to provide, etc…? Scripture says, Faith without works (Holy Spirit manifestations) is dead, and if what we deem as miracles are NOT commonplace in our lives… from daily provision, to raising of the dead, then what good is walking a ‘Christian life’? It is no different than a Chinese man following the moralistic writings of Confucious and living a ‘good life’.
The Just shall live by His faith. That is a statement the ENTIRE church needs to learn, and even more… has to CHOOSE to live this way. Most wont get past the first stage of faith… their own, and will continuously live under the natural consequences and successes of their actions.
Lastly, in the first week of July I had been waiting patiently for the Spirit to give me guidance on what next to do, but He was being silent. So, I started asking question of Him… for about a month, the answer was always WAIT… just WAIT. But now when I asked if I am still to Wait, I got a no. So, I began to probe and suddenly the Holy Spirit put in my mind… is there different levels of faith? DING DING DING I got a STRONG rush through me from the spirit, and I immediately was led to the website link I sent you and the sermon from a man back in 1987 who GOT IT!
What I discovered as well in my December to July time frame, is that I had already moved through the second stage… the Hebrews 11 stage where I was able to trust without knowing or seeing any physical way that I could have provision, and I realized I no longer have fear or confusion… even with bills coming in that I couldn’t pay with cash. God doesn’t have to provide for our needs with CASH… He can forestall ANY creditor or entity in His time for His Purpose. I always had cash to take care of what I needed (Gas, food, etc…) but many times I didn’t have enough for mortgage, phone etc… and He was seeing if I would revert to fear and try to use my flesh to find ways to pay for them, OR, would I relax and let go and ‘let God’.
If we are obedient, then it IS His responsibility to Keep His promises… the way this happens isn’t necessarily how we would want, but the END result is ALWAYS the best way to get through the need.
Anyway, last week I prayed for, and received the very Faith of Christ. I know I could never have received this gift without being willing to go through the suffering and trials to learn and overcome the first two stages. I asked the Holy Spirit yesterday in fact, am I done with my wilderness, and He told me yes… and so I am now waiting for Him to show that light at the end of the tunnel and remove whatever barriers are in front of me debt wise so I can move forward… now living by faith and just as importantly, having the GIFTS of His Faith and the ability to HEAR the Holy Spirit with me always… 24/7 in teaching, guidance, direction, etc…
THIS is the truth about this scripture.
1 John 2:27
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things
How can this be possible if we cannot COGNITIVELY hear the spirit 24/7? New Christians are to be taught by the anointed teachers for a certain amount of time (just as Jesus taught the Apostles for 3 years) until they learn the things similar to what I did since December on my own. THIS is the milk stage… the Apostles had the advantage since they KNEW the scriptures (Torah) from growing up with it in the Jewish tradition, so they didn’t need that learning, but many new believers do, as well as having the teacher in his anointed office walk the new believer through the wilderness things to learn faith, how to receive wisdom, to heal by the Word of God (Yeshua) etc… THEN, at a certain point when they can HEAR the voice of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit takes over the teaching, and man is no longer needed.
Doesn’t mean we don’t have fellowship and council from one another, but the PRIMARY is the source (Word of God – Jesus), not the church organization, or even a man with a title.
Anyway, I hope this helps, and I am still on the new road to living in faith, so let me know what you think and I look forward actually to the NEXT thing the Lord has to teach me… the Joy of suffering.
It took me about 4 hours to digest it, but when I was done with the help of the Spirit of Truth, I realized some VERY powerful things about faith.
First, there are 3 separate Stages of faith.
1. Our own faith, which is tied to belief. This is the faith that helps us to ACCEPT a Lord of Lords (Christ) even though we have never seen Him, nor experienced all the things written in the New Testament. It is JUST enough faith to get us into the Kingdom, and be transformed so we can be connected to the Holy Spirit, and to Him.
2. Hebrews 11 Faith. This entire chapter speaks of a faith that requires an action or commitment tied to something we cannot see, sense, and probably understand. It is the faith that led Noah to build an Ark when he had never heard of, or experienced rain. For Abraham to be willing to sacrifice His son; for the mother of Moses, to be willing to give him up to Pharoah’s Daughter.
3. Christ’s Own Faith… the LITERAL Faith of Christ. This is where the POWER resides, and is NOT something we automatically receive. It is a special gift, and requires commitment, obedience, and we must ASK Him for it.
The majority of Christians never make it past level 1… this is WHY they continually rely on men, the secular realm, the strong arm of their flesh, and why they RARELY experience miracles, or manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
However, miracles ARE possible in stage 1. Simply look at the Roman Centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant, and when Jesus said to take me to him, the Roman simply said, I know your authority and if you SIMPLY speak the Word, he will be healed. Jesus was surprised that this GENTILE could have such faith, and said, “Nowhere in Israel have I found such faith.”
Stage 2… how many believers will ACTUALLY trust in God completely? Hebrews 11:1 faith is:
...the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
How often have Christians prayed for themselves or someone else to be healed… for a day or two, then take them to men’s hospitals? Is that NOT saying to don’t have faith, and in essence DON’T believe? They may recover, but God for the very most part DOESN’T aid in that recovery. Why?
We go down to Hebrews 11:6
But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must
Two things… lacking in Faith for His promises DISPLEASES HIM! The other point is, belief and SEEKING diligently… ie, PERSEVERE and DON’T GIVE UP on trusting Him to deliver on His promises.
People aren’t healed, don’t receive manifestations of the Holy Spirit because they TRULY don’t believe, and CANNOT comprehend this SECOND stage of Faith.
Finally… Christ’s Own Faith.
Did you EVER look at this scripture and say… is this a mistranslation? Is it an idiom? Either way, I can't understand what it means.
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
What the heck is Faith to Faith? The answer of course lies in the understanding of the 3rd Stage of faith… His Gift of His literal Faith.
I know we all have a certain degree of faith. We have enough faith to be here. We have enough faith to follow God. But I don’t see us standing alongside the lake down here casting trees into the lake. Nor do I see us moving mountains, but nevertheless we know that we have faith. So what is He talking about here, verse 22? Is it that YOU have faith in God? No. If you have an Interlinear, and this is where knowing a little bit about the Greek helps out. This Greek term here, “have faith in God’, really should be translated “have God’s faith”. Now that’s entirely different, isn’t it? Have God’s faith. That’s the third phase of faith. Have God’s faith.
Now maybe that will start ringing a few bells in your head as far as bringing some scriptures together and so forth. How does this relate then to salvation because it is God’s faith, which is going to bring us to salvation. We have our part, remember, it’s from faith to faith. From our faith to God, God’s faith back to us, and it’s a continuous thing with God’s Spirit. But it is God’s faith.
THIS is where the TRUE power the Apostles carried is from… where the early church fathers did their work. LOOK… this was EVEN fore-ordained in the Old Testament.
Behold, his soul [which] is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
The very faith of Christ… the POWER. THIS is why we don’t have TRUE manifestations with many believers today… churches don’t teach, or have lost the understanding of the steps to grow in faith… culminating in the receiving of Christ’s own faith within us.
It has taken me from last December to grow to the point where I learned and lived the first two steps… and last night I prayed and received the third. There was a ‘vision’ the Holy Spirit gave me of manifestation when I stated this journey, and it is ready to manifest… last night I claimed it as done, but interestingly, I could not get myself to open the box and check on it.
I realized the quandary that Peter had when walking on water… the PRICE of belief. We must believe and DOUBT NOT, or the power of faith will not function for us.
So I have spent a lot of today thinking on this, and talking with the Holy Spirit… it is my LAST lesson in my trails to receiving the ultimate gift of His faith and to do ALL the things we can through Him.
So… please be in agreement with me as I ask the Spirit to strengthen my belief… as I cannot do it of my own accord, even though my heart DOES believe… the final battle is NOW with my mind.