Kenneth Copeland - Choosing Faith in Trials
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Hallelujah. Thank You Father for your Word this morning. We give You praise. We thank You that You are our Lord and You are our God. Our soon coming King. You're our Melchizedek. You're our healer and we worship You and we worship none other but You. And we thank You. And we praise You and honor You. We come before Your Word, Your covenants today with humble hearts. And we look into this book to find the ways of life. We look into this book to find life himself. And we thank You and praise You and worship You again today. And I'm asking You in the name of Jesus, according to John 16:23 that whatsoever I ask You in Jesus' name, You will give it me and You will give it us. I'm asking You that not one person in the sound of my voice, not one person in this room, not one person online, not one person watching later, not one person in the sound of my voice will leave this place untouched by the power of the living All Mighty God. I believe, I receive it, and I thank You for it and for the anointing to stand in the office into which I'm called. It's in the name of Jesus that I pray and it's that name above every name that we ascribe all of the glory, all of the worship. His goodness is why we're alive today. And we thank You for it in Jesus' name. Amen.
We are going to have a faith refresher this morning. You need to go back and I can go again over things that we've learned, things we know, and it's amazing to me, I do this and I go back over it and I've done it, I don't know how many times now. I started preaching this, glory to God, in 1967, the latter part of that year, and have continued for all of the rest of these years of my life and Gloria's life about faith. And when you know and understand what faith is, that faith is a spiritual force, not a mental force, that faith is a spiritual force, and you understand what feeds it, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, and how faith is released, faith is believed in the heart and released with the mouth, and then you understand the working of it, you've arrived at a place. Now I arrived, Gloria and I arrived at that place almost, well 54-1/2 years ago, but now we're still growing in it. Amen.
Now, I particularly enjoy shooting. I enjoy hunting. "Brother Copeland, do you kill those little animals"? "Yes". "You kill them just for fun". "I do not. I eat those little rascals". Don't write me any letters because I don't believe it and I'm not going to argue with you. Now, if you don't want to hunt, that's fine. Go fishing. But it was amazing to me. "I just don't understand". "What is it you don't understand"? "I just don't understand Brother Copeland going out and killing meat to eat when he could buy it in the grocery store". You think I'm kidding. No, I am not. "Well, those poor little chickens. You can just go to the grocery store and buy them. You don't have to kill them". Have you seen the signs, you've probably seen them around here because there's lot of deer in this area, that says deer crossing? There was a woman that contacted the local authorities. She said, "You need to move that sign". They said, "Why"? She said, "Because you have put that right in the middle of the traffic. You could move the sign and the deer could cross in another place". "Well, excuse me, sweetheart. I didn't know deer could read the sign". You can't make this stuff up. Praise God. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Lord Jesus. All right.
Now, first of all, we will go to Hebrews 11:6. Thank You, Lord. Praise You Jesus. The book of Hebrews. When I first, you understand, when Gloria and I got saved, we didn't know anything about the Bible. Neither of us did. And I was amazed when I found out that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John told the same story. What are you laughing about? I was. And I said, "Gloria, look at this". T.L. Osborn said, "Copeland," he said, "You were born free". I said, "Why Brother Osborn"? He said, "You didn't have any religion to unlearn". First thing we ever heard was faith. I never did hear growing up, if I did I didn't pay any attention to it, that God couldn't heal anymore. I just thought, "Well, if he ever did, he's bound to be able to now and why would he not want to heal me"? Amen.
So now Hebrews 11:6, and this... Oh, I got over to the 11th chapter of Hebrews and I read that and I read it... The sixth chapter of Hebrews... I began to read. Oh my, oh my. Oh my. Now go over here at this 11th chapter. Oh, oh, oh. This is the hall of fame of faith. Here it is right here. Oh. By faith, by faith, by faith God, by faith Enoch, by faith, without faith. Oh, Hebrews 11:6. But without faith, it is impossible to please him. Now, why? For he that comes to God must believe that he is. That's not enough. That won't do it. And he is the rewarder of those that diligently seek him. How? By faith. Why? Because he's so good. Rewards are because of goodness. Love is good. God is good.
Now, Until Then was a Stuart Hamblen song that I've monkeyed around with those first little verses and so forth. He also wrote God is a good God. That was Oral Roberts' theme song in the great campaigns. And that pastor came up to me and said, "I wish he wouldn't say that". I said, "What"? "That God's a good God". I said, "Why? You want him to say God's a bad God"? "No, no, no, no, no, no, no". This was back during the Full Gospel Businessman's Fellowship days. I said, "Why should he not say that God is a good God all the time". He said, "Because he'll give people the wrong idea about God". "No, you already had the wrong idea about God".
Now that goes back... You go back over into the first covenant, talking about the curse and the blessing. You have to remember, you don't get it by just reading the 28th chapter of the book of Deuteronomy. You go back and read Deuteronomy and you read past the 28th chapter. In fact, now that the Lord has brought that up, let's go to Deuteronomy chapter 30. Now these chapter and verses, here's something we must remember, the text from which the Bible was written, Hebrew and Greek, the punctuation marks were put in there by translators and a lot of the time they got it wrong and caused erroneous ideas and doctrines to be based on something that really wasn't there at all.
So, if you only read the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy, all you get is the blessing and the curse, and God will just curse you. This is not hearsay, Gloria and I heard it, we heard a man, I still remember his name, I'm not going to tell you, but he stood running that poor pet, and with much force he said, "God will break your leg just to prove to you he can heal it". He doesn't have to break my leg to prove that to me. I have a book that says he will. And everything in the book that I have, every word of it, is a blood sworn oath. The blood of animals, the blood of a man in circumcision, and the blood of God, hallelujah. That's the reason you must be covenant minded all the time. Not part of the time. All the time.
Now I have something called the shooter's bible. No, it's not what shooters... it's not this book written for shooters. It is every kind of caliber, every kind of powder, every kind of gun, every kind of rifle, everything. Its the whole history of firearms and so forth. It's bigger than this book, but it doesn't say Holy Bible, it says shooter's bible. This one is holy. Why? God wrote it that's why. And holy men inspired by him put these covenants on paper. Glory to God. That's enough to excite you right there.
Now then look at this. Deuteronomy chapter 30, and wait a minute that's just two chapters over from 28. Deuteronomy chapter 30. Now this is Almighty God speaking through Moses. God said "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you. That I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore, you choose life that both you and your seed may live, that you may love the Lord thy God, that thou mayest obey his voice and that you may cleave unto him for he is your life and the length of thine days. He is the length of your days. He is your life. He's the length of your days that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob to give them". Why? Because he's so good.
Now you is the understood subject of the sentence there. So the day I realized this, it hit me with the force of faith. Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the Word of God. He's already chosen me. He is saying, Kenneth, now I'm setting before you life and death. It's your choice. Well, God will break your leg. Well, that's your choice. God is a leg-breaking God. No, no, no. No he is not. God is a good God. That's the right version. You can't copyright a title. You can copyright the lyrics. You ready? "God is a good God. Yes he is". Yes he is. I said "yes he is". Yes he is. Yes he is. Thank you. Praise You Lord Jesus.
So to bring that into focus now, what happens when I read that? I believe it. He has set before me life and death and a long time ago, I chose life. To choose life, you have to choose life words. First of all, I needed to choose life himself. And the first week of November of 1962, I did that. Gloria had done that in October of '62 and I didn't know it. I came home that night from the trip that I flew, about eight o'clock in the evening, and walked into our brand new furnished apartment. Gloria was fixing supper at the stove. Boy, she's a good cook. That's back when she used to cook. Hi, Gloria. I mean it. Her mother was a good cook. And Gloria used to fix this dish and the kids and I both always... I said, "Gloria, I want more". The kids said, "Mama, we want more". "Of what"? "More". So, we just called it more. The kids would come in and say, "Mama fixed more tonight". Well, Gloria is a good mother and a good wife. Amen. Because God is good.
Now then, let's go to James chapter one, the oldest book in the New Testament, written by the half-brother of Jesus. Now notice something here, James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ to the 12 tribes, which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren counted all joy when you fall in to diverse temptations or different temptations, tests and trials, knowing this, that the trying of your faith... It didn't take him three verses to get to faith. The trying... not the trying of you. Test, temptations, and trials are not trying you. They're trying your faith. They didn't come to teach you something. They came because of the devil. The scripture is good for teaching. The Word is good for teaching. Now don't get the idea that the Spirit of God won't take an opportunity to teach you something out of something stupid that I did. I didn't say you. I said me. Amen.
And there's a lot of things I learned that if I'd have just waited a little while and just looked at the book, I wouldn't have done it in the first place because I'm a committed man to what the Lord says in his book, in both covenants. So knowing this that the trying of your faith works patience. That is a fruit of the spirit. Read the nine fruit of the spirit in the Amplified translation and instead of long suffering, it is patience. And patience doesn't mean what the meaning that we've put on to it. No, the Bible meaning of patience is not to put up with. The Bible meaning of patience is endurance. In some ways, the King James translation of that is good, long suffering. Now that's the fruit of the spirit. Not you. What do you have when you walk and live by faith and you believe what the fruit of the spirit is? One of them is goodness. Heehaw.
What do you have when you put together love, joy, peace, goodness, long suffering, faithfulness? When you cultivate that fruit and you live by faith, the fruit of the spirit will bring holiness to the flesh. The fruit of the spirit, this inward fruit coming out brings holiness to the flesh. Now notice what he said. You have to let patience do this. By faith, let patience have her perfect work that you may be perfect and entire wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not. To upbraid simply means to find fault. And it shall... The word will or the word shall is one of the strongest affirmations in the English language. God said, I will, not I might. I shall. I will. I will hear from heaven. I will heal your land if you do certain things.