CONFESSING THE WORD - The importance of confessing God’s Word.
Without faith we can have no relationship or fellowship with God. Faith comes by hearing God’s Word, and faith is released by SAYING and doing the Word. In this study we are looking at the importance of the SAYING or CONFESSING our faith.
Mark 11:23 (KJV) “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever SAYS to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but BELIEVES that those things he SAYS will be done, he will have whatever he SAYS.”
Notice in this key verse on faith, Saying is mentioned (x3) and Believing (x1). Clearly the SAYING part is important, yet most Christians have no revelation of this. CONFESSING the Word is a vital part of our faith-life.
2Corinthians 4:13 describes ‘the spirit of faith’: “Since we have the same spirit of faith (as Christ), according to what is written (Messianic Psalm 116), "I believed and therefore I spoke," we also believe and therefore speak.” The quotation is from Psalm 116:9-10: “I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living. I believed (the promise of resurrection), therefore I spoke (it).” He believed it and spoke it and it came to pass. If we have the SPIRIT OF FAITH as Jesus Christ, then like Him we will not just believe, but also speak out what we believe, based on the authority of His Word. We are designed to speak our faith for: “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
Romans 10:8-10 proves that believing God’s Word in our heart and confessing it with our mouth work together (both are given equal importance): “But what does it (the righteousness of faith) say? "The word is near you, (1) in your mouth and (2) in your heart" (that is, the Word of faith which we preach): (it’s not enough for the Word to be in your heart, it must also be in your mouth) that if you (1) confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and (2) believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
For (2) with the heart one believes unto righteousness,
and (1) with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
‘Confession’ means: ‘to say the same thing as.’ To confess God’s Word is to say the same thing as God, to speak His Word as the ultimate truth concerning our lives, to be in agreement with Him. It is to declare God’s promises over our lives as true and established. God gives us His promises and tells us who we are in Christ, and we are to agree with Him in our heart and out loud, both in our believing and in our speaking. It’s all about walking in fellowship-agreement with God. “How can two walk together unless they are agreed” (Amos 3:3). The aim of confession (whether confession of our sin or confession of His promises) is to get ourselves into greater agreement with God, to line up our lives with His Word, so that we can have a closer faith-walk with Him and see His promises come powerfully to pass in our lives. We can’t earn His grace by our obedience, but the more we believe, say and do His Word, the more we align ourselves with Him, allowoing His grace to work more abundantly in, so we can experience the life of God (for He respects our free-will).
What becomes manifested in our lives is determined by our faith and confession. When our lips contradict God, then we stop His work in and through us, but if we get our heart and lips in line, He can manifest His grace in us and flow through us.
We must confess God’s Word with our lips and life, for: “faith without corresponding actions is dead (unproductive). ” However, it starts with the lips for (as James 3 says) if we can bridle our tongue to the Word, then we can also bring our whole life into line with the Word. Our Christian life starts with the confession that: “Jesus is Lord”, and then we seek to live that out, putting our actions into agreement with that. Thus the initial corresponding action of faith is with made our tongue. Confessing the Word with our lips is the first step to confessing (expressing) the Word with our life. Therefore we must get the Word on our lips.
Confessing the Word is not a formula to makes things happen automatically in our life (for just saying words that we don’t positively believe in our heart will not produce results, and it is impossible for faith to flourish if you are not in fellowship with God). However CONFESSION is a vital part of the process of FAITH and PATIENCE as we live in fellowship with God, through which God works in our life causing us to INHERIT (partake of, obtain) the promises of God (Hebrews 6:12).
Hebrews 11:13 describes this process: “These (believers) having
(1) SEEN them (the promises) afar off (Step 1: KNOWLEDGE)
were (2) ASSURED of them (Step 2: ASSENT),
(3) EMBRACED (personally received) them (Step 3: TRUST) and
(4) CONFESSED that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Having believed in their heart they confessed they belonged to the Kingdom of God.
As well as believing God’s Word, it is important to CONFESS (DECLARE) it with our LIPS and LIFE: “He Himself has said: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” and so we can boldly (with confidence) SAY (because God had already promised it): “The Lord is my Helper, I will not be afraid; what can man to do me?” (Hebrews 13:5,6).
*Why is confession important? Why do we need to speak God’s Word as well as believe it? Proverbs 18:21: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” This implies that our words have the power to create good (life) or evil (death) in our lives. We will have what we say. If we speak (sow) death we will reap it, but speaking words of life will release life. Good or bad things in our life originate in our heart: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. How do we bring forth good or bad things from our heart into our life?: For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).
Matthew 12:34-37: "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things." What you bring forth into your life, is determined by what you say, but what you say is determined by what you let build up in your heart. We need to get (receive) good treasure into our hearts by meditating in God’s Word, and then speak those good words out in faith and then ‘we will have whatever we say’ if we believe it in our heart:
“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever SAYS ... and does not doubt in his heart, but BELIEVES that those things he SAYS will come to pass, HE WILL HAVE WHATEVER HE SAYS” (Mark 11:23).
First, we receive the good things from God into our heart by faith, then we bring them forth into our life by our words. Thus by our words we bring things out of our spirit into the natural (as God does, for we are His image). It is by our words that we call and bring forth what we already have (received) in our spirit into manifestation: “for with the heart man believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession (of the word of faith) is made unto salvation ( manifestation)” (Romans 10:10)
The God-kind of Faith.
In Mark 11:22 Jesus said: “have faith in God.” Literally: “Have the faith of God” or better “have the God-kind of faith.” As His children, we are made in His image, to operate in faith the same way He does. We are called to walk with Him, imitating Him as a child follows his father. If we don’t operate in faith in the way God designed us to function, then we will limit Him in our life. We need to learn how He works and cooperate with Him. To walk with Him, we must move in fellowship and agreement with Him (Amos 3:3), believing, speaking and acting in line with His Word, as Jesus said: “I say what I hear my Father saying, and I do what I see my Father doing.” This involves operating in faith in the same way that God does
Romans 4:17 describes the faith of Father Abraham as our example to follow: “as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”, in the presence of Him (‘before Him’) whom he believed - God, who gives life to the dead and calls (forth) those things which do not exist as though they did.” Abraham’s faith worked as he ‘walked before God’ (Genesis 17:1). This implies living in fellowship with God, abiding in His Presence, following His lead in word and action, doing things His way. In Abraham’s case, God called those things that were not as though they were, calling him ‘the father of many nations’ before he even had a son.
In order to walk before God, Abraham had to do the same as God and this is exactly what he did. He also called himself by his new name: ‘Abraham’ meaning: ‘the father of many nations.’
He confessed God’s promise before it was manifest, calling forth what was not as though it was. By agreeing with God in Heaven (by believing and confessing His Word) Abraham, through his faith, opened the door for God’s power to bring the promise to pass in the earth. Like Abraham, we are to confess God’s promises to us as true before they are manifested, calling them forth into being (thus bringing them from the spiritual into the natural realm, from heaven into earth).
The faith of God that ‘calls those things that be not as though they were’ is seen most clearly at Creation. “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” (Hebrews 11:3). When God saw the darkness (Gen 1:2), He did not say: “It’s so dark!”, for that would have just created more darkness! Instead He spoke the desired end-result (what He saw by faith) calling what was not as being, thereby calling it into being (Genesis 1:3). This is how God works!
(1) First, He believed the universe in His heart, and then (2) by speaking it out ("Light be!”) He brought (called) it into manifestation (being).
This is the God-kind of faith that we are made to operate in where: (1) we believe we receive the word in our heart, and (2) speak it out with our lips, so that we will have what we say, if we believe that what we say will come to pass (Mark 11:22-24) . The universe was conceived in God’s heart, but only when He commanded: “Let it be!” did it come forth into manifestation. He SPOKE IT into being, calling what was not in existence as being (thereby calling it into being). That’s how God brought the universe to birth.
Now we are made in His image, designed to operate in the same kind of faith! Once we have received the promise of God (the answer) in our spirit (Mark 11:24), we are to speak it out by faith (v23), “calling (forth) those things that be not (visible), as if they were” (Romans 4:17). Rather than speaking the problem (darkness) we are to speak the solution (the Word), transforming the darkness to light!
Thus we are to bring God’s promises to birth (manifestation), by speaking them forth, trusting the Holy-Spirit to bring it to pass. First we believe we receive it in spiritual form in our spirit. Then it must be brought forth from the spirit into manifestation. How is this to be accomplished? In the very same way that God brought forth this universe:
by the SPOKEN WORD (of faith) and the POWER of the SPIRIT.
Psalm 33:6: “By (1) THE WORD of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of them by (2) the BREATH (SPIRIT) of His mouth.”
This is revealed in Genesis 1:1-3: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light” and there was light.”
How do we bring things from the spirit into the natural realm? The same way as God: by WORDS! He brought forth what was inside Him to the outside by His words. He CALLED or COMMANDED the universe to come forth into manifestation by speaking it forth with words of faith. The Spirit was waiting for the spoken Word. He is ready, willing and able to do it, but He waits for the word of faith to be spoken, for the Spirit performs the Word. Only when God spoke the Word did the Spirit bring it into manifestation. God’s Spirit (breath) went forth with His Word to perform it (Psalm 33:6), and God works the same way today. We are created in the image of God, made to operate in this God-kind of faith (Mark 11:22) speaking words which will come to pass.
As God (1) believed and (2) spoke the world into being,
so we are to (1) believe we receive the Word in our spirit (v24),
and then (2) speak it out by faith:
“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever SAYS...
and does not doubt in his heart, but BELIEVES that those things he SAYS will come to pass, he will HAVE whatsoever he SAYS” (v23).
When we speak the Word of faith, the Spirit within is released with the Word to bring it to pass. Thus we speak the Word, trusting in the power of the Spirit to bring it to pass and He will do it.
The Cursing of the Fig-Tree: “Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it, "Let no one eat fruit from you ever again." And His disciples heard it” (Mark 11:12-14).
There was no obvious immediate outward change, but God’s power went to work immediately with the word of faith to bring it to pass: “He said to it, "Let no fruit grow on you ever again." Immediately the fig tree withered away” (Matthew 21:19). The power of God immediately went to work in the invisible realm withering the tree from the roots, although the visible manifestation was only seen the next day: “Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away" (Mark 11:20,21).
Likewise when we speak the word of faith there may be a time lag before the manifestation but the power of God goes to work at once in the spirit attacking the problem (sickness) at the roots. In reply to their desire to know HOW He did it, Jesus told them the process of faith that He had used (Mark 11:22-25). Had they asked WHY He did it, He would have explained it was an acted parable of coming judgement on Israel.
We will see Jesus taught that we are all made to walk in the same kind of faith as He did: "So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God” (v22). Literally this is: “have the faith of God” or “have (operate) in the God-kind of faith” We are made in God’s image, designed to operate in faith the same way God does (see Genesis 1). This is the faith that: “calls (forth) those things that be not (visible), as if they were” (Romans 4:17). That is, this faith calls them forth from the spirit into the natural, as God did at Creation. We can say: “Wisdom, come forth into my mind. Healing, come forth into my body. Finances, come forth. Blessing, flow forth.” By our words of faith, we bring things out of our spirit (heart) into our natural experience. We speak out (command) the desired result. As God believed (conceived, received) the universe in His spirit, and then spoke it forth by faith, believing that what He said would come to pass, so we are to operate in the same kind of faith. Jesus confirms this in v23:
“For surely, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain: “Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart (literally: ‘does not let doubt enter into his heart’) but believes that those things he says will come to pass, he will have (manifested) whatever he says.”
We must speak to the mountain (of sickness) in the way of our healing rather than begging God to remove it. When we speak the faith-command, God’s Power is released against it to remove it. It may look immovable, but it is nothing compared to God’s Power! We say: (1) “Answer BE!” and (2) “Mountain, be removed!” “Healing come, sickness be removed.”
We speak the POSITIVE and against the NEGATIVE. Jesus promises us that the Spirit of God will back up our command,and manifest what we say: “he will have whatever he says”, but only: “if he believes that what he says will come to pass.” That is, we can only successfully speak the answer forth, if we are in faith, having already believed we have received it in our spirit. This is confirmed by the requirement in v23 of not letting doubt enter our heart. This implies that in v23, we have already entered the realm of having believed we have received it, but there is a danger of letting unbelief into our heart, from looking at the problems that still remain. Therefore Mark 11:23 tells us that having believed we have received it, we must maintain our position of faith, protecting our heart from the entrance of doubts, and continue to speak the answer (promise) into manifestation (commanding healing into our body and sickness to leave), believing that what we say will be done for us, for ‘we will have what we say’. So, before implementing Mark 11:23, and speaking the answer forth, believing it will come to pass, we must know we have it in the spirit. Thus first of all we must have received it from God. Now when God calls something forth, He automatically has (believes) it in His Spirit, as at Creation, but in our case we must first receive it from God, before we can speak it out by faith.
So next in Mark 11:24 Jesus describes how to receive from God: "Therefore (in order to satisfy the heart condition required by v23) I say to you, whatever things you desire, when you pray believe that you receive them (into your spirit), and you will have them (manifested).” After telling us how to give a faith-command (v23), He tells us how to get into position to do it (v24).
Notice that ‘having’ the answer is mentioned in both v23 and v24. “you will have them” (v24)..“he will have whatever he says”( v23). The first key to having them (manifested) is believing we receive them from God (v24). The 2nd key to having them is speaking them forth, believing that what we say will come to pass (through God’s power), for “we will have whatever we say (v23). Thus the keys to having it are believing it and saying it. If we have believed we have received our healing, then we can speak it into our body and command sickness to be removed: “Body, be healed! Sickness, be gone, in Jesus Name!” and we will have what we say, if we believe that our words will come to pass through the Power of God’s Spirit working with us.
Thus Mark 11:24 says that: “if we believe we receive it when we pray, then we will have it.” But Mark 11:23 clarifies that having the manifestation is not automatic, for it says that: “we will have what we SAY.” Thus ‘having it’ does not just depend on RECEIVING it by faith, but also on SAYING (confessing) it by faith. Jesus only promises that we will have it, if we SAY it, believing what we say will come to pass. In other words, we will manifestly have it, if we first receive it by faith, and then continue in faith, calling it forth with our words of faith.
Therefore to ‘have’ something in manifestation, we must: (1) receive it from God through the Prayer of Faith (v24) and then, (2) speak that thing forth by the Word of Faith, commanding anything in the way to be removed, believing that what we say shall come to pass (v23). Thus we will HAVE what we SAY, if we BELIEVE it; that is, if we have believed we received it, and if we believe it is coming to pass (into manifestation) by God’s Power released through our words. Thus, having received something through prayer, there must also be corresponding words and actions to help bring it to pass, or else the Power of God will become inactive through our passivity (neglect), especially if we allow unbelief (doubts about whether we really received it) to enter into our heart, turning our switch of faith off and thus short-circuiting the Power of God which is working to bring the manifestation (as Mark 11:23 warns can happen).
Thus Mark 11:23-25 describes the operation of the God-kind of faith,using logic in reverse chronological order (similar to the way the logic is presented in Romans 10:13-15): v23 says that to have the answer, we must say it, believing that what we say will be done. Therefore, to do this, says v24, we must first believe we receive it in prayer. But to do this successfully,
says v25, you must walk in forgiveness, or else your prayer will be hindered: "And whenever you stand praying (ready to believe you receive), if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses” (v25).
Thus, putting this process in chronological order, to ‘have it’ we must:
1. Forgive any sins committed against us (v25).
2. Then we will be able to believe we receive it in our spirit (v24).
3. Then we will be able to speak it forth from our spirit, believing that it will come to pass, trusting the Spirit of God to perform the word (v23).
So, we have seen that having believed we have received it, we should THANK God for it, and in Jesus’ Name CALL it forth into manifestation, COMMANDING the opposite to be removed into the sea (out of sight, never to return). Mark 11:23,24 promises that we will have the answer manifest, if we believe we receive it in our spirit, and then use our God-given authority to speak it into the earth in Jesus Name, believing God’s promise that He will bring to pass what we say.
Conceiving and Birthing the Word. We have seen two stages of the successful operation of faith in Mark 11:23,24.
(1) We must first believe we receive the promise of God by faith (v24). This faith comes through hearing and meditating on the Word. Meditation means to quietly saying it to oneself until we have fully digested it so that it becomes part of us. At this point we have received the answer in our spirit. The SEED of God’s Word has been received in the womb of our heart producing CONCEPTION. The answer has now been received (conceived) within us. We are now pregnant! We have it and we know it even though it is not yet outwardly visible to others.
(2) We must now bring the promise to birth (manifestation) by confessing it by faith (v23). That which is conceived within us will grow and become increasingly evident until it is finally BORN into the earth through us. This happens as we continue believing and speaking the Word. We will have (manifested) what we say, if we believe that what we say will come to pass, for: “confession is made unto salvation (manifestation)” (Romans 10:10). However it takes a period of time for a seed to grow to maturity in which patient faith is required. This is the time of pregnancy, the time between seed-time and harvest, during which we must believe in the power of God’s Word to bring itself to pass (see Luke 1:37).
Thus (1) conception, (2) pregnancy and (3) birth provides an excellent analogy of the working of God’s Word as it is (1) received in the heart, (2) grown through faith and confession until (3) it is finally manifested. In particular the supernatural births in the Bible initiated by God and received by man’s faith provide great illustrations of this.
One example is the process of faith involved in the birth of Isaac through Abraham & Sarah which we will consider in due course.
First of all let us look at two contrasting examples from Luke 1:5-64:
Example 1: JOHN the BAPTIST. The priest Zachariah and his wife Elizabeth were believers (v5,6), but had no child, because she was barren, and they were both old (v7). As he offered incense in the Temple, an angel appeared to him (v8-11) saying: “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you shall call his name John, you will have joy and gladness, many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord...He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, from his mother’s womb. He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (v12-17).
What a wonderful promise given in such a clear way through a powerful angelic visitation! But he reacts in UNBELIEF saying to the angel: “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.” He is not able to receive the promise, believing more in what his senses tell him than in God’s power to bring His Word to pass. He requires more proof that God’s Word is trustworthy! As a result God makes him mute until the baby is born: “because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.” When Elizabeth’s full time came for her to be delivered, she brought forth a son (v57). It was through her faith that the baby was born for God had spoken to her also for she knew his God-given name was John (v60).
When Zechariah was asked to name the baby, he wrote: “His name is John.” Then: “Immediately (as soon as he got in agreement with God, saying what God said rather than denying it) his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God” (v64).
God had to shut his mouth, to stop him aborting the birth by the fear and unbelief he would have released through his words. Likewise if we do not stop unbelief coming out of our mouths, we will stop God’s promises from being birthed (manifested), even after having received them through prayer.
Example 2: JESUS. The same angel, Gabriel, appeared to Mary giving her a similar promise (v26-30): “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and be called the Son of the Highest and the Lord God will give Him the throne of David” (v31,32). Since she was a virgin this required a far greater faith than Zachariah, but she did not respond in unbelief. She said: “HOW can this be, since I do not know a man?” (v34). She was not doubting the word or asking for more proof, but was simply asking HOW it was to happen, so she could cooperate with it.
The angel was happy to answer this question: “The HOLY SPIRIT will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; so that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (v35). “For with God nothing will be impossible (Literally: “Every WORD of GOD has the power (Spirit) within it, to bring itself to pass” (v37).
HOW does God work? By His spoken WORD, and by His SPIRIT working with and through the Word! But for the seed of the word to bear fruit it must first be received by faith (conceived) in the heart.
Mary did this in v38a: “Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord!” That is:“Lord, as your servant, I submit to and receive your word by faith.”
Then she confessed the Word, saying: “Let it be to me according to your word”(v38b). That is: “I agree. It shall be as you say. It shall come to pass through me. I will bring forth Messiah.”
Confession identifies with the promise (‘its mine’) and declares it with confidence. By faith, she received the word and confessed it (agreeing with God with her heart and lips), and it came to pass after 9 months! What we say is not just the expression of our faith but plays a part in allowing or preventing the promise coming to pass.
The Faith of Abraham (Romans 4).
Romans 4 describes the faith of Abraham, our father of faith, who gives us an example of how to walk in faith,so we may “also walk in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham”(v12), for the promises of God are for those “of the faith of Abraham, the father of us all” (v16).
v17-21 describe how his faith operated: “As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations (‘Abraham’) before Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead, and calls those things which be not as though they were” (v17). Abraham’s faith was based on God’s Word. God gave him the promise that He would multiply his seed making him a ‘father of many nations’ and He confirmed this by changing his name from Abram to Abraham (Genesis 17:2-5). He believed he received the promise even when it seemed impossible in the natural, and it transformed his hope, his image of the future, so that he had a confident expectation of the promise coming to pass, seeing it now through the eyes of faith: “Who, contrary to (natural) hope, in hope believed (that he would see the promise manifested), so that (as a result) he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken (the promise came to pass): "So shall your seed be" (v18).
Likewise Sarah believed she received the promise and thus received power to CONCEIVE resulting in Isaac’s birth (Hebrews 11:11).
The promise came to pass through Abraham’s faith. We are to receive from God in the same way so it is important to learn how his faith worked. The first key is the phrase ‘before Him’ in v17: “in the Presence of Him (or ‘before Him’) whom he believed - even God, who (1) gives life to the dead and (2) calls those things which be not, as being (and thereby calls them ‘into being’)” (v17). This phrase carries much meaning.
It corresponds to what God told Abraham at the time He gave him the promise: “When Abram was 99 years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless” (Genesis 17:1). First it signifies that he walked before God in fellowship with God, for faith only works in God’s Presence. (Abraham got out of fellowship in Genesis 16, so the story jumps 13 years between the end of Genesis 16 and the start of Genesis 17). It also describes a man in harmony with God, walking and w orking with God, imitating God. Seeing what God is saying and doing, he speaks and acts in line with that.
In this connection, we are told 2 things about God:
(1) He ‘gives life to the dead.’ Abraham and Sarah were in a state of death as far as reproduction was concerned: “And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body already dead (since he was about a 100 years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb” (v19). They first had to believe they received God’s life into them according to His promise (Mark 11:24) When God spoke His Word of life to Abraham, the Power of God was Present with the Word to fulfil it, so when he believed he received it, he also received the power to bring it to pass. Outwardly, his senses (body) told him it was impossible, but he did not let doubt and unbelief dominate his heart, weakening his faith (v19). Obviously he was aware of natural impossibilities, contradictory symptoms and circumstances. But he did not focus his attention on the problems, but on God’s Promise and Power to perform it: “being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform” (v21). “He did not waver at (differ with or doubt) the promise of God through unbelief (he did not let doubts dominate his heart through preoccupation with what his senses told him) but (instead) was strengthened by faith” (v20a). Living in the Presence of Him who gives life to the dead, he was able to believe he received life (strength) to enable him to produce seed, multiply and be fruitful. Likewise: ‘Sarah received power to conceive because she considered Him faithful who promised’ (Hebr 11:11).
Thus the first step of faith is to believe God gives life to the dead and believe we receive it from Him.
(2) He “calls into being (manifestation) those things which do not (yet) exist (in the natural realm)”, by speaking the word of faith, just as He called (brought) the universe into existence at Creation. God first had the universe conceived in His Spirit, and then He called it into existance.
How did God bring what is in the spirit into manifestation (in the natural realm)? By WORDS! At Creation, the Spirit was hovering, ready to perform the Word, so when God spoke the Word, the Spirit went forth with the Word to do it. When God called the Creation to come forth from His spirit, His Spirit moved and brought it into existence. Likewise, when we have believed we have received the promise we have the answer in our spirit. Now like God, we are to call it forth by speaking words of faith (based on God’s Word), and then God’s Spirit (in union with our spirit) moves to bring it forth into being. By our words of faith, we bring things out of our spirit into our natural life. This is the faith that “calls (forth) those things that be not (visible), as if they were” (4:17). That is, faith calls them forth from the spirit into the natural, as God did at Creation. We can say: “Wisdom, Healing, Finances, Blessing, come forth!”
By our words, we bring things out of our spirit (heart) into our natural life. We speak out (command) the desired result. Once we have received the answer in our spirit (Mark 11:24), we speak it out (v23), operating in the God-kind of faith (v22), confessing and calling forth the desired end-result. By speaking the Word, calling the promise forth into being, we are walking ‘before God’ in agreement, saying what He says, operating in faith just as He does.
In calling Abraham ‘father of many nations’, God was calling something that was not, as being (as though it was), and thereby He was calling it into being. Abraham, in walking before God, got into agreement with God with (1) his heart and (2) his mouth.
(1) With his heart he believed he received the promise for himself.
(2) Then, possessing the promise in his heart by faith, with his mouth he spoke it forth as true. Together with God, he called those things (the promises) which be not, AS BEING, calling things that do not yet exist (in the natural), as if they existed, and by doing this he called for them to come into manifestation.
Having (1) believed he received the promise in his spirit,
he now (2) CONFESSED it as true, by agreeing with God’s name-change to ‘Abraham - father of many nations.’ He called himself what God had called him, before there was any visible indication or proof that it was true, simply on the basis that God had said it. Moreover this 99 year old childless man would have gone around saying to everyone: “Call me Abraham now, because I will be a father of many nations!”
Imagine what people would have thought! Abraham by faith, called Himself a father, before he was a father, as if he were already a father (because in the Spirit it was true), causing God’s Power to be released to make him a father (in the natural). Moreover He continued: “to give glory to God” (v20), that is, he thanked God in faith for bringing the promise to pass. Likewise, we (the spiritual sons of Abraham) can receive God’s promises by faith and then by our words of faith release His Spirit to cause these promises to come to pass (bringing them from our spirit into manifestation).
So firstly Abraham received life through the prayer of faith (‘before God’ receiving the promise): “He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief but was strengthened by faith” or: “he received strength by faith”(v20). Then as they continued to believe and speak their faith, thanking God for His promise and for His power now at work to bring the promise to pass, they were continually being strengthened by God’s power infusing them: “CALLING those things that do not exist as though they did” (v17), “being strengthened by FAITH, GIVING GLORY to God (thanks) and being FULLY CONVINCED (through meditation on God’s love, faithfulness and power) that what He had promised He was also able to perform” (v20,21).
The key to the ongoing working of God’s Power in manifesting the promise, is maintaining an active, strong FAITH by THANKSGIVING & MEDITATION on God and His promises. As a result, they received their miraculous manifestation -the birth of Isaac!
God, possessing the answer in His Spirit, looked into the empty darkness and spoke forth the light. In the natural, it looked hopeless, yet God did not speak what was: “Oh, it’s so dark and empty!”, but He saw the end-result through the eyes of faith and spoke that into manifestation: “calling those things which do not exist (in the natural) as (into) being.” Likewise, when Abraham believed the promise, it still looked hopeless in the natural, but he saw by faith the promise fulfilled and spoke it as done, calling it into being. Likewise, in our walk of fellowship with God, we receive His promise by faith, and then with the answer in our spirit, we call it to come into manifestation. Saying what we see in the natural changes nothing, but saying what we see in the spirit (as ours) will bring it into being.
The 2 KINDS of CONFESSION.
There are two phases in the spiritual dynamics of CONFESSION of (saying the same thing as) God’s Word: (1) the Confession unto faith and (2) the Confession of faith.
So far we have been emphasising the importance of the confession of faith, that it is not enough to (1) believe the promise in our heart, but we must also (2) confess it with our mouth, for the process of faith to be complete. According to 2 Corinthians 4:13 those who have the spirit of faith: “believe, and therefore speak.” Just as we breath in and out, we (1) believe we receive the promise into our spirit, and (2) by faith confess it out of our spirit into our life (manifestation). Receiving from God is in two phases:
(1) We believe we receive it in our heart or spirit (Mark 11:24), then (2) we confess it with our mouth, thereby bringing it from our spirit into our life (v23). This is the God-kind of faith we are called to operate in (v22) which will work as long as we walk in love (v25).
We have seen that our father of faith, Abraham, walked in these 2-phases of faith in Romans 4:17-21. We will also see these 2 phases in Romans 10:8-10. So it’s clear that when we fully believe the promise in our heart, we are to express our faith in our words and actions, thereby bringing our whole life into agreement with God’s Word.
However, the issue remains of how we get the Word of God into our heart in the first place, so that we are fully persuaded by it and we believe we receive it. For without first possessing this faith in our heart, any confession of faith we try and make is hollow and powerless. The Bible reveals that the secret to getting the Word in our heart is by MEDITATION, which is to eat and digest the Word just as we eat food, for: “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God?” (Matthew 4:4). Just as eating involves the mouth, so meditation involves speaking the Word to oneself. In fact the meaning of the Hebrew word for meditation is ‘to mutter or murmer the word, to chew the cud.’ A sheep has 2 stomachs. The food is initially eaten, and then regurgitated and chewed until it is fully digested. Likewise in meditation we keep bringing the Word into our mouth to chew on it, until all the spiritual goodness and energy it contains is released into our lives, and it becomes as part of us. Then the Word within us will make us strong and fruitful (Psalm 1).
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall MEDITATE in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8).
“My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days, and long life and peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart (by speaking them into your heart in meditation), so find favour and high esteem in the sight of God and man” (Proverbs 3:1-4).
How do we write God’s Word on our hearts?:
“My tongue is the pen of a ready writer” (Psalm 45:1).
Thus confession of the Word is also necessary and helpful to get us into a spirit of faith, as well as being the primary way we release our faith once it is established in our heart by meditation. Although our heart may not be fully convinced by the Word, we can can still speak it as true with integrity because we know that God’s is true, even if we have not had full revelation of it.
Thus there are two kinds of confession corresponding to the 2 phases of faith:
Phase 1. The ‘Confession unto faith’ (in Meditation) brings us to the point where we can believe we receive the answer (the promise), thus possessing it in our heart by faith.
Phase 2. The ‘Confession of faith’ unto salvation (manifestation). Then with faith (believing we have received the promise) in our heart, with our lips we can confess God’s Word in faith, and His Spirit will work with our words of faith to manifest them: "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (the Confession of faith). A good man out of the good treasure (of faith built up by meditation) of his heart brings forth
(into his life) good things (by the words he speaks in his confession of faith out of the abundance of his heart) and an evil man out of hisevil treasure brings forth evil things" (Matthew 12:34-37).
“For (1) with the HEART one BELIEVES unto righteousness (right-standing in the promise) and
(2) with the MOUTH CONFESSION is made unto salvation (manifestation)” (Romans 10:10)
Romans 10:6-10 describes in detail the operation of faith:
“The righteousness of faith speaks (when through faith we are in right-standing in the promise we should express our faith in words of faith) in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or “Who will descend into the abyss?” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)” (v6,7).
He describes the words of faith by contrasting to the spiritual sounding words of unbelief, which speaks as if Jesus has not already won the victory once for all in His death and resurrection and has therefore provided all things for us in the New Covenant in His Blood and has given them to us in His outpoured Spirit. Therefore, this person has to try in prayer to get Christ to come down and make His promise come true for him as a special case. But Christ has already come down from heaven, He has already died for us, prchasing our full salvation, He has already been raised from the dead, and has already poured out His Spirit upon us. This person’s speech and prayers implicitly deny this and so are in unbelief. Yes, we come to God and pray to receive the Holy-Spirit and whatever else Jesus has purchased for us on the Cross, but we are not to try to persuade Him to give what He has already given to us! He is freely offering it to us as a gift to come and receive from Him. We are to ask for wisdom, healing etc, with our prayers built on the foundation of faith that knows He has already given it.
“But what does it (the righteousness of faith) say?: "(1) The WORD is near you, in your MOUTH and in your HEART” (that is, the Word of faith which we preach) so that (as a result) (2) if you CONFESS with your MOUTH Jesus as Lord, BELIEVING in your HEART that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (receive the manifestation of the Word)” (v8,9).
Notice faith (which is based on the Word) involves the heart and mouth working together. The Word of faith (which contains and brings to us the blessing) must be both in our heart and in our mouth, for it to be fulfilled in our life.
We must (1) believe it in our heart and (2) confess it with our mouth.
(1) v8 describes how the Word of (containing) faith gets in our heart, bringing faith to believe in our heart. By means of the Word in our heart, with our heart we are able to believe we receive the answer. Notice that the Word starts in our mouth, for in meditation we take a promise and start speaking it and seeing ourself in it. This builds faith in our heart for: “faith comes by hearing the Word” (v17) . As a result the Word will then be established in our heart (we now believe it with our heart).
(2) Then, by means of the Word in our mouth, we are able to bring (call) it forth from our spirit into manifestation. v9 describes this confession of faith unto salvation (manifestation). With our heart full of the Word (replacing all images of unbelief) and possessing an abundance of faith, with our mouth we can speak words of faith which will come out of us with conviction and spiritual power. We will: “confess the Word with our mouth, believing it in our heart, and as a result be saved (see the answer manifest in our life)” (v9).
This 2-stage process is then summarised in v10:
“For (1) with the HEART one BELIEVES unto righteousness (first you believe you receive the promise, so that you come into right-standing in it), and (then) (2) with the MOUTH, CONFESSION is made unto salvation (the manifestation).”
Having (1) believed you received it in your heart, then (2) by speaking it out, confessing your faith that you have it, with your mouth you call (bring) it forth from your spirit into manifestation. We must confess with our mouth what we believe in our heart for: “ confession is made unto salvation.”
Romans 10:11-13 gives the basis for believing we receive from God - His faithfulness and generosity: “For the Scripture says, "Whosoever believes on Him will not be put to shame (disappointed)." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all, is rich to all who call upon Him. For "whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved." When we call upon the Lord for something in our salvation, He always gives it to us richly (without witholding or delay), so when we call upon Him, we can believe we receive it, and we shall surely have it in our spirit. Then we can rightly confess that it is ours (even if we do not yet see it), and as we do this, it will be fulfilled in us.