Faith Vs. Unbelief

Matthew 17:14. And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,

15. Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.

16. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.

17. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.

18. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

19. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

20. And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

21. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

In some versions of the bible vs. 21 is omitted . In many versions of the Bible, vs.21 is in italics. And in many of these versions where italics are used it means these scriptures were omitted from many of the manuscripts . In the A.S. Worrell translation there is a note actually saying vs. 21 is omitted from best mss. Meaning it wasnít in the original text of many of the early manuscripts that were used to translate the Bible. Some translations omit it and some translations italicize it with a note signifying this.

I just wanted to point this out, not spend an over amount of time on it, just be aware of it.

Just the previous vs. 20 Jesus said in answer to their question Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief:

They could not cast it out because of their unbelief.

Even if vs. 21 was an original text you have to look at what was already said by Jesus.

Because of your unbelief: so what was the type Jesus was talking about that would have to come out by prayer and fasting? Their unbelief.

Jesus was always prayed and fasted up wasnít He? He didnít have to run off and say Iím sorry I have to go pray and fast so that I can cast out this demon. NO He rebuked the devil and it came out right then. Amen

I want to point out that Jesus did not tell the disciples to increase their faith in order to cast out the demon, did He? He told them to get rid of their unbelief.

Its read 19th and 20th verses.

19. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

20. And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Jesus said their unbelief was the reason they could not cast out the demon not a lack of faith and He went on to say , If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto

this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

A small seed of faith can remove a mountain but the unbelief will hinder your faith.

So, the size of the faith does not do away with the unbelief. You have to get rid of

the unbelief!!!! Your unbelief will cause your faith not to produce.

You can have faith in your heart and unbelief in your head, and if you let it the unbelief will choke out the faith.

Causes and effects

Unbelief causes your faith to become unproductive

Unbelief causes faith to be ineffectual

On the other hand.

Faith will move us from Satanís world to Godís world.

Faith will move us from death into life.

Faith will move the mountains in our life.

Col:1:13: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

Weíre not going to be translated we are translated. It takes faith to appropriate that and walk in it.

So Jesus said in vs. 20 If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Look at what was going on with the disciples.

The crowd was watching them. They were in the spotlight so to speak. And they were probably self conscious.

The religious leaders were probably questioning them at the time by what authority do you do these things. We know they were always asking Jesus this.

Picture this, they are at Phillips arena. There is 15,000 people there, all the famous preachers are there. All the local pastors are there. The famous preachers are asking them what gives you the right to do these things.

They saw the crowd

They heard the questions, everybody was looking at them.

The boy was on the ground foaming at the mouth and rolling around.

They were moved by there senses werenít they? I would say so.

These guys were human beings just like we are. They didnít even have the new birth

at that time.

They tried to cast out the demon but they werenít operating in faith, but instead were

operating in unbelief.

Jesus was not moved by the crowds

Jesus was not moved by questions of the scribes and Pharisees.

Jesus was not moved by the boy lying on the ground appearing dead after He cast the demon out. He just reached over and grabbed him by the hand and raised him up, didnít He?

Ja.1:6. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

7. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

8. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Double mindedness is vacillation between a good report and a bad report.

You notice it doesnít say that God has not offered, it says that man is not able to receive.

We can compare Peter on the day of Pentecost, full of the Holy Spirit.

The crowds didnít bother him.

The Chief Priest and the elders didnít bother him.

He was not acting in unbelief hoping God was going to do something. He was walking in faith and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Glory to God.

Faith and the power of the Holy Spirit always go hand in hand.

Using todayís vernacular, he got right in their face with the truth. He didnít back down, he didnít waver. Thank God He didnít. Three thousand were added into the kingdom that day. It was the start of a tremendous revival.

The next day a similar thing happened. A lame man sat at the gate of the temple.

Peter grabbed him by the hand and by faith raised Him to His feet.

The crowds didnít move him.

The priests and the captains of the temple didnít move him.

The man setting at the gate crippled didnít move him.

He was moved by faith. His eyes were not focused on these other things,

 

What a difference. Remember what they were doing in the upper room they were praying and seeking God in one accord.

Ac.1:14. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

Now, back in Mt. 17. The reason the disciples could not receive the boys deliverance was because of their unbelief and double mindedness.

Mk.11:23. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

24: Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

I would like to point some things out. Strong faith does not overcome unbelief.

Faith can be misguided by unbelief.

You can have faith in your heart or spirit man, yet doubt in your head.

He. 12:1. Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Lay it aside, remove it. This is something we have to do. The cares of this world and sin can cause unbelief and a hard heart.

I want to go back and look at the parable of the sower.

Mk.4:18. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,

19. And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

It is hard to think of the Word of God becoming unfruitful. Yet it can when we choke it out. On the other hand it will bear much fruit given the right circumstances. We have a part to play in this. We have to quit blaming God for all the unanswered problems and start focusing in on why the problems are really not answered, and take the appropriate action.

The worlds problems can drag on us and pull us down if we let them. The key is we are the ones doing the letting. This doesnít mean there arenít problems. Thatís not what I am trying to say at all, Iím simply saying those problems donít have the right to destroy us if we are walking in the life of God by faith.

 

The seed of faith does not become smaller because of unbelief.

The size of the seed does not change. It never changes, it is constant.

The size of the faith does not change.

The unbelief is what effects your faith, Jesus used the mustard seed as an example back in Mt. 17.

Once again, In the parable of the sower the seed was smothered because of the cares of this world. It could not produce even though the seed was sown.

Godís word did not produce even though it was sown.

Faith can be sown in your heart and yet not produce fruit.

The seed is still there. It is just being smothered. Wasted seed.

Yet it can produce 30, 60, or 100 fold if we let it.

The seed is no respecter of persons. Seed is no respecter of dirt. We are made

of the dust of the earth. The seed will grow if it is planted in the right conditions.

2 Co. 10:4. (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

5. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

How do you cast down imagination? With our weapons. They are mighty through God, they will allow us to pull down vain thoughts and bring Godly thoughts into the obedience of Christ.

The disciples did not get into unbelief because of sin such as lying, stealing, robbing. They got into unbelief because of the things of life.

Reasoningís exalt themselves against the knowledge of God.

Influences of the world can come against us through many sources, such as--

The news, magazines, TV. , radio. These things arenít necessarily sins in themselves, unless you let them become preeminent in your life, and exalt themselves against the knowledge of God, and they can if you let them. So donít let them.

You can let the cares of this world coupled with natural reasoning choke the Word of God and cause unbelief.

If you sin, you can confess it and receive forgiveness, but unbelief, that comes from exposure to the cares of this World can only be nullified by prayer and fasting.

In other words you are going to have to trade out the things that are causing the unbelief,

the cares of this world, for the things that will put you in a position where your faith will work and not be choked out.

How do you get rid of unbelief? You change what you are programming your computer with, what are you putting into your spirit?

Mt:12:34. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

It is out of this abundance, either spoken faith or spoken unbelief that will cause the results of life.

So prayer and fasting is not referring to casting out the demon. Prayer and fasting are talking about casting out unbelief. Reprogramming of our human spirit with the right stuff.

James 4:6. But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

7. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

We rely on Godís grace not human works lest any man should boast.

Peter also said almost the same thing in 1Pe. 5:5.

1 Peter 5:5. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

He went on to say in vs. 8 and 9

8. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

9. Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Saturate ourselves with Godís Word.

Deny ourselves the cares of this world. Or fast the cares of this world.

I was talking about radio and television and these different things, these things are not sin in themselves. The sin comes in when we allow these things to become more important than Godís Word, thatís when the unbelief comes in.

So I am not teaching against television, radio, etc, I am just admonishing you to not let these things, become creators of unbelief.

1Cor:6:12: All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1Cor:10:23: All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

So things that are lawful can bring us down by their power if we let them, Paul said I will not be brought under the power of any. He also said all things edify not.

-- Revised Standard

1 Corinthians 10:23 "All things are lawful," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful," but not all things build up.

These are things that are not lawful and donít build up.

Jesus did not isolate himself from the world. He was in the world all the time,

but not of the world. The world is what He came to save.

We were talking about fasting, there are different types of fasting. You donít have to just abstain food. You can fast those things that are pulling you away from the things of God. If it is food then fast food, and Iím not talking McDonalds here I mean abstain from food for a while if you are having a problem with it ruling over you. You rule over it. If it is talk shows then stop watching talk shows, or what ever it is that is causing the cares of this world to become preeminent in your life, those are the things you should fast.

God does not change, ever. He is unchangeable, not even an inkling of change in Him.

Heb:13:8: Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Fasting changes us. It puts us in a position to receive from God.

What ever you are fasting, whether it is TV or what ever, take the time you would have

used to eat or watch TV and spend it in the Word of God. Make this time profitable. Or else you are just going hungry or loosing quality TV time.

Unbelief feeds off of the things we are surrounding ourselves with on a daily basis.

Remember out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. We have to ask ourselves what is the abundance of our heart. We are after all, the ones doing the feeding and creating that abundance.

Faith feeds off of the Word of God. Whether it is simply reading your Bible or reading good Christian books teaching tapes, or listening to preaching and teaching, His Word will transform you from the inside out.

Ps.1: 2. but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

3. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

I hope this takes on some new meaning now. Amen