Pt. 3 – All Things are Possible For Those Who Believe (Israelites Crossing the Red Sea)

ISRAELITES LEAVING EGYPT AND CROSSING THE RED SEA

God demonstrated His miraculous power when the Israelites left Egypt and came to the Red Sea. They were hemmed in from mountains on the left and the right, and an uncrossable sea stood in front of them. Their enemies were to their backs pursuing them and they had nowhere to flee. They were cornered in and trapped. The situation looked impossible. The only way out was forward through the sea.

Are you in a situation in which you feel cornered and trapped? God will lead you through your sea.

In fact, the Egyptian army did finally catch up with the Israelites and would have captured them and taken them back into captivity, except that the Lord separated the Egyptian army from the Israelites with a dark thick cloud.

God’s word to the people in Exodus 14, and His word to us today in circumstances we are facing, is:

  • “Fear not!” (Be of a strong mind)
  • “Stand still” (Remain stable and calm)
  • “See the salvation of the Lord” (The Lord shall intervene on your behalf)
  • “The Lord shall fight for you” (He is our Deliverer, Protector and Defender)
  • “You shall hold your peace” (You are to remain silent before God and not lift a finger—let God fight this battle for you. “Be still and know that I am God”, Psalms 46:10)
  • “Go forward” (Walk forward in faith and confidence. Expand your faith to believe God to do the impossible)
  • “For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever” (the obstacles you face today will become a thing of the past. Demonic enemy forces opposing and harassing you will be defeated)
  • “I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians … then the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharoah, his chariots, and his horsemen” (As God destroyed the entire Egyptian army in the Sea, God also sends confusion to the demonic enemy camp and gives us the victory. God will receive the glory, honor and fame when He defeats your enemies and performs miracles in your life.)
  • “God will be honored in the sight of the Israelites” (The Lord will receive all the glory and credit for doing such wondrous miracles in our lives. Others around you will know that only God could have done that for you.)

As Moses cried out to the Lord to rescue the people from the Egyptians, God’s reply to Moses in Exodus 14:15-16 was:

“Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it.”

In other words, God is telling us to exercise the authority He has given to us. He will perform miracles through us.

Rather than spending our time begging and pleading with God to do something, He’s telling us to speak to our situation—to declare the Word of God over our situation. He also wants us to take practical steps to move forward in faith, as He leads.

We are the prophet of our own lives. We have to take responsibility in learning how to hear God for ourselves and get a word from Him concerning our situation and what we are to do. Other people’s prophecies should primarily confirm what you know in your spirit what God has told you, or at least you should feel a witness on the inside that the word applies to you. It’s not what others say over us, but what we say over ourselves that matters the most and carries the most weight.

When we speak negative things, it’s a form of self-defeating prophecies. It propels you in a direction that is destructive, and keeps you in a mode of feeling “less than”, such as:

  • “I’ll never add up to anything.”
  • “I’m so stupid.”
  • “No one will ever love me.”
  • “I’ll always be broke.”
  • “I’ll never recover from this illness.”
  • “Things will never improve in my life.”

What you say, it just might end up being your reality. When we say negative things over ourselves or others, we come into agreement with the devil by parroting what the devil is saying. Let’s come into agreement with the Lord by speaking what He is saying over us or others.

You have a much better chance of getting the desirable things you do want out of life by speaking words that are full of blessing. Faith-filled words will propel you into a good direction for your life, and build up your confidence. Speak words such as:

  • “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
  • “I am more than a conqueror. I am an overcomer.”
  • “God has a good plan for me and I choose to cooperate with His plan.”
  • “Healing is available to me through the Blood of Jesus. I receive His healing.”
  • “I am loved by God and worthy to be loved by other people.”
  • “God is able to show me strategies of how to earn money, teach me business skills and financial principles, show me how to come out of poverty and lack into abundance.”
  • “God is able to give me creative ideas, lead me into education and teach me how to invest, teach me about real estate, teach me how to run a business, or lead me into a career with a profitable income.”

Second Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the Lord search back and forth across the whole earth, looking for people whose hearts are perfect towards Him, so that He can show His great power in helping them.”

God is searching for a person who will believe Him for the impossible, and allow Him to display His mighty power in their life. He’s looking for someone who will give Him all the credit and glory for intervening on their behalf.

Advertisements

Pt. 5 – Mariah Beulah Woodworth-Etter (1844-1924)

Mariah wrote several books, some of which have been reprinted and are in circulation today.  Some of her book titles include:

  • Acts of the Holy Ghost, Life and Experience of Mrs. M.B. Woodworth-Etter, published in 1912
  • Signs and Wonders God Wrought in the Ministry, published in 1916.
  • A Diary of Signs and Wonders, reprint by Harrison House of the 1916 original book.
  • The Holy Spirit, reprint by Whitaker House of the original book.
  • Holy Ghost Sermons, extracted sermons from her original books printed by Harrison House.
  • Maria Woodworth-Etter on Miracles, editor’s devotional companion book based on the writings of M.B. Woodworth-Etter.

Mariah was very prophetic in her sermons.  In one sermon, it was entitled “Prepare for War”, in which she prophesied of a coming world war.  This came to pass with World War 1.

Mariah talked much about the importance of worship, prayer, the authority of the Word of God, fasting, and intimacy with the Holy Spirit.  She emphasized the necessity of holiness and dying to the carnal nature (Galations 5 and 6) in order to walk the narrow path that leads to eternal life.

In her writings, you feel a sense of the reverential fear of God (which needs to be restored to the Body of Christ today).  There is lack of respect and honor today in God’s house, and lack of respect towards God personally in day to day living.  There is also a lack of respect towards authority figures and those who are older.

Today people do what is right in their own eyes.  People can attend church and be religious, but then live for the devil the rest of the week.  God does not want mixture in our lives.  There should be a distinction between light and darkness, between saved and unsaved.  God is looking for holiness and consecration.  Holiness is not outward, as much as it begins inwardly.

Mariah did not shy away from talking about the reality of eternal judgment (which is unpopular today to talk about), and she had compassion for the lost and wanted to warn as many as possible.

Mariah was a woman, who through hardships and perils, whose faith remained strong.  She was noted for her perseverance.  She considered herself a pilgrim here on this earth, and heaven was her real home.  While she longed for heaven, she also wanted to remain on this earth to fulfill her destiny and lead as many to Christ as possible.

Although she experienced tremendous success in her ministry, it wasn’t all rosy.  She also suffered setbacks and much persecution.  Her persecutors consisted of those who were not saved, as well as some Christians who were opposed to her ministry.

When she was 69 years old, she and two co-laborers were arrested and falsely charged with crimes they did not commit.  She was also accused of hypnotizing people.  God vindicated her and the charges were dropped.  But at the moment it was happening, she had to endure the lies spoken against her.

God used Mariah in her evangelistic ministry to gather together those of various denominations and religious backgrounds.  They came together in unity under one roof to worship Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and the power of God was poured out.  God also used her ministry to gather together people from various ethnic groups, as well as those from all walks of life and economic status.

She ministered to the saved and the unsaved.  She had an apostolic anointing.  She was a mentor to pastors and other ministers, she was a spiritual mother to many, she established various ministry works, and she paved the way for others as a pioneer.

Mariah’s ministry (and her contemporaries) were “John the Baptist’s” who prepared the way for the worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit, in which Pentecostal revival broke out in Topeka, Kansas and Azuza Street in Los Angeles, as well as other places around the world in the early 1900’s.

Mariah was a contemporary with preachers and leaders such as Smith Wigglesworth, William Seymour, Charles Parham, John G. Lake, and the Pentecostal outpouring on Azuza Street in 1906 and the subsequent years.  She was a forerunner of Kathryn Kulhman, used mightily of God to demonstrate that the power of the Holy Spirit is as real today as it was in the book of Acts.

In reading her writings, much of what she says is prophetic.  The Holy Spirit speaks, encourages, exhorts, comforts and even warns individuals through the messages He prompted Mariah to preach and record on paper.  Some of the anointing on her life is imparted into the readers who receive what the Spirit is saying to the Church today.

In reading Mariah’s sermons, prophesies, exhortations and other writings, there is a heavy anointing on it today even though it was written a hundred years ago.  The messages God spoke through her is still relevant to the Church today.  She really was born before her time.

She also spoke much about future events to come in the Body of Christ and the world, including the second return of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.  She exhorted the Bride of Christ to prepare herself to meet the Bridegroom.  Only those Christians who would walk in the Spirit, bear the fruit of the Spirit, and live in holiness would be able to ascend and enter into the Marriage Supper.

In the parable of the ten virgins (5 wise and 5 foolish in Matthew 25), when Jesus returns for His Church, will only half (50%) of those who claim to be Christians be ready to ascend to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb?  (Kat Kerr, who has been caught up to Heaven on many occasions and has seen and talked with Jesus said that right now only 20% of the Body of Christ is ready to ascend in the rapture. The other 80% are living carnal lives.) Mariah’s writings inspire the Christian to take a closer look at their walk with God, and to turn away from sin and those things which hinder.  She inspired people to love God with all their heart and to love their neighbor.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Maria Beulah Woodworth-Etter, Acts of the Holy Ghost, Life and Experience of Mrs. M.B. Woodworth-Etter (Indianapolis:  M.B. Woodworth-Etter’s Ministry and printed by John F. Worley Printing in Dallas), 1912.

Maria Beulah Woodworth-Etter, Signs and Wonders God Wrought in the Ministry (Indianapolis:  M.B. Woodworth-Etter’s Ministry and printed by Hammond Press in Chicago), 1916.

Maria Beulah Woodworth-Etter, A Diary of Signs and Wonders (Tulsa:  Reprint by Harrison House of the 1916 original book).

Maria Beulah Woodworth-Etter, The Holy Spirit (Pennsylvania:  Reprint by Whitaker House of the original book), 1998.

Maria Beulah Woodworth-Etter, Holy Ghost Sermons (Tulsa:  Extraction of sermons from her original books printed by Harrison House), 1997.

Maria Beulah Woodworth-Etter, Maria Woodworth-Etter Devotional (Florida:  Reprint by Creation House of the original devotional), 1997.

Larry Keefauver, Lessons of Maria Woodworth-Etter on Miracles (Florida:  Creation House), 1997.

NOTE:  My favorite biographies are her original writings which have not been edited, and contain more information, sermons and prophecies than the reprint editions.  The titles include:  Acts of the Holy Ghost published in 1912 and Signs and Wonders God Wrought in the Ministry published in 1916.  A limited supply of her original books are found in book stores that specialize in classics that are out of print.  I found her two original books at www.alibris.com.  Her original books may also be found in some theological libraries.

Pt. 4 – Mariah Beulah Woodworth-Etter (1844-1924)

To view photos of her: Maria Woodworth-etter – Image Results

When Mariah began ministering in Ohio in the early stages of her ministry, she went to various cities in the local area and preached revivals.  She went wherever she was invited.  A church, or group of churches, would invite her to come and hold meetings.  She stayed anywhere from a few days to several weeks.  One of the first places she held meetings was in a town called “Devil’s Den”.  It was distinguished for adultery and skepticism.

She also traveled to other states to hold meetings as well, even all the way West to California.  Mariah held a revival in Oakland, California in October of 1889.  Although there were no advertisements, crowds began to pack the tent.  A severe rain storm, as never before in the history of Oakland, poured down during the revival, but crowds still gathered in spite of the rain, cold and mud.  Within a few days of commencement, the tent was not able to accommodate the numbers of people who were coming to the meetings.  Mariah’s funds were depleted by this time, but God laid it upon some people’s hearts to purchase stoves to heat the inside of the tent.  Men also built a wooden floor inside the tent.

The Christians in Oakland decided that Mariah must have a larger tent, and they ordered a tent that was able to seat 8,000.  In a short time the tent was made and set up on the ground for a dedicatory service.  The dedication ceremony sermon was preached by the pastor of the M.E. Church of San Francisco.  Prayer was offered by the pastor of the M.E. Church of Oakland.  A number of other ministers were present.

Mariah commented (concerning the revival in Oakland) that she had never been in a meeting before where so many nationalities were represented in one place.  People came to the meetings from nearly all parts of the United States and the world.  And that is still the way Oakland is today.  The city of Oakland and the surrounding Bay Area is noted as being one of the top areas in the world which represents so many diverse cultures and races – and generally speaking, the cultures mix together rather than staying in their own separate groups.  In the Bay Area, segregation primarily occurs in churches, but you see many cultures mixed together in the workplace, marketplace, and in universities.

The Holy Spirit drew people to travel to the revival in Oakland.  The tent revival in Oakland was the largest out of all tent revivals in America (in 1889).  The last day of the revival, police were there just in case any trouble broke out due to the large crowds.  That day, the 8,000 seat tent was packed to capacity, and 10,000 people were outside and could not get in.

Mariah tells of a story of a 63 year old man who came to the Oakland revival.  He was a mocker.  He and some friends were visiting Oakland and heard about the meeting.  They came out of curiosity.  During the meeting, he made some light remarks to his friends about the power of God that was displayed and started boldly towards the pulpit to investigate.  But he fell to the floor by the power of God (like being struck with electricity) and laid there for two hours.  While in this condition, God gave him visions of heaven and hell, and told him to make a choice of the two.  He called upon the Lord to save him, and made a decision for Christ.  He came out of his partially conscious state praising God and realizing that he was saved and filled with the Holy Spirit.

Mariah organized a church in Salem, Oregon around 1892.  She was not the founder of a denomination but she set up a church.  A pastor was appointed and the church began with 13 members.

She also established a mission in Portland, Oregon and left it with a Congregationalist minister.

Pt. 3 – Mariah Beulah Woodworth-Etter (1844-1924)

Mariah preached and prophesied with authority.  There were times in her meetings when God’s judgment was revealed (like in the early church in the book of Acts).  For instance, there were occasions when some were struck dead as they tried to blaspheme or openly oppose what the Holy Spirit was doing.  It was similar to what happened to Ananias and Sapphira after Peter confronted them for lying to the Holy Ghost and to the apostles (Acts 5:1-12).  Great fear (holy reverence of God) fell upon the people at her meetings.

There were times when the Holy Ghost would prompt her to prophesy to certain ones that this was their last opportunity to get saved because they wouldn’t be on this earth much longer.  Sadly, there were some who refused the warning from God or didn’t take it seriously, and within a matter of hours or days, were dead and didn’t have a second chance to accept Christ as Lord and Savior.

People were set free from demonic oppression in her meetings.  Sometimes gangs would come to interrupt, throw rocks at people, or slash the cords of the tent so that the tent collapsed.  Sometimes heavy rain storms arose during the meetings, soaking the place with cold, mud and water.  One time, a violent storm arose where gushing winds tore through the tent, and the tent and some equipment was ripped apart.

Sometimes evil or mentally ill people stormed into the meeting angry, carrying weapons, and a spirit of boldness would arise in Mariah and she would point at them and rebuke them in the Name of Jesus and they would be frozen in their tracks.  Suddenly their disposition would transform into a little lamb and they would leave the tent doing no harm.  Wherever the Lord is doing mighty things, the light attracts the darkness.

In her California meetings, she faced great dangers of being shot.  In one meeting, the men built a high board fence around the back of the pulpit to protect her.  While in California, she also received a death threat letter with a sketch of a skull and cross bones, and also one of a heart with a dagger stuck through it.  Her enemies threatened that if she didn’t leave then they would tear down the tents and kill everyone.  She stayed, and a mob showed up at 2:00 in the morning.

On another occasion, a group of policemen got drunk and were mad at one of her workers for some reason.  They gathered up a mob with the intent on storming the place.  Some of them entered her meeting, with the plan that at a precise moment they would give the signal, and then the mob would come rushing in.  The Spirit of the Lord came upon Mariah, and she stepped up to the altar and stood looking at the policemen.  She began talking as the Spirit gave her utterance.  The fear of God fell upon them, and they were afraid of the God in her.  They solemnly walked out of the tent and their plans were foiled.

In her meetings the glory of God was so strong that the atmosphere of Heaven was present.  There were many times when Mariah, and others, would see open visions (like what Peter and Paul experienced).  Some were even temporarily caught up (their spirit was caught up) to Paradise and literally saw glimpses of Heaven and the Throne.  In some visions, Mariah saw Jesus in person.  Sometimes He said nothing (His eyes and body language says it all), and sometimes He gave a verbal instruction.  In one meeting, a woman fell under the power of God, and went into a trance that lasted for eight days.  She came out shouting and preaching.

Mariah details these events in her autobiographies.  Mariah was a level-headed, balanced individual in what she said in her sermons and the things she wrote in her writings.  So therefore, it’s my belief that the visions she documented were accurate, true and of God.

Pt. 2 – Mariah Beulah Woodworth-Etter (1844-1924)

After the vision of hell, she was still resistant to minister for various reasons:  fear and rejection, the fact that she was a woman called to preach (which was rare at that time), and also because of opposition from her husband and daughter.  But then this awful vision would come to her remembrance, and she would see souls sinking into eternal destruction.  Then Jesus would whisper to her, “I am with you, be not afraid.”

Many men ministers began to recognize the calling on her life and were supportive, and they encouraged her to go forth in her destiny.  That was a miracle right there … she began receiving validation from men pastors at a time in history when women were generally not recognized, devalued and had little voice.  Ministers prophesied to her that God was calling her to the West to labor for lost souls (she lived in Ohio at the time).

Life on the road was a rough existence, without modern transportation, proper medical attention, and all the conveniences we have today.  Mariah didn’t know how she could take her little boy Willie with her.  A few days later, Willie died unexpectedly and went to heaven.  Her oldest daughter, Lizzie, who was sixteen at the time, was the only child (out of six children) who survived and lived out a full lifetime.

Mariah was married to Mr. Woodworth for 26 years.  The marriage finally ended in divorce for many reasons – years of complications, incompatibility, irreconcilable differences, her husband giving her opposition, and then her husband’s adulterous affairs.

At the beginning of her ministry, Mr. Woodworth released her to travel with a group, but later on accompanied her to her evangelistic meetings.

After the divorce, Mariah was single for eleven years until re-marrying.  She retained her first husband’s last name Woodworth.  Even after they divorced, they remained friends.  Mariah married Mr. Etter on January 1, 1902.  Mr. Etter traveled and ministered alongside with her as a team and helped her with the business details of ministry.  Mr. Etter was the husband she needed and they were truly one.  The second marriage was very blessed and successful.  It was filled with peace, joy, happiness and fulfillment.

At Mariah’s evangelistic meetings, the manifested glory of the Lord was present in her crusades.  Not only was the Lord’s presence felt in a powerful way, but at times a Cloud or Smoke of Glory filled the place (which is referred to as the Shekinah Glory).

Shekinah speaks of the “weighty” presence of God.  The Shekinah is felt tangibly or seen visibly.  At times, flames like raindrops (similar to what happened on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2), fell from heaven into Mariah’s meetings.  Sometimes the sweet beautiful fragrance of Jesus saturated the place (compare to Song of Solomon 1:2-4).  God’s mighty presence and power wrought healings, miracles, signs and wonders at the meetings.

An example in Scripture of the Shekinah glory is when Solomon dedicated the temple he built for God.  When the priests began to play musical instruments, sing and bless the Lord, the place was filled with the cloud of God’s glory.  The priests could not stand up to minister by reason of the cloud (2 Chronicles 5:13-14, 1 Kings 8:10-11).

In Mariah’s meetings, people’s hearts were changed as a result of receiving the Word which was preached.  Scores of people who were unsaved or backslidden would repent and come to the altar to receive Christ.  Her ministry colleagues (who were men) would often water baptize new converts shortly or immediately after they accepted Christ as Savior at her meetings.

Scores were baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues (Acts 2, Acts 10:44-46).  The Gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12 – prophecy, tongues, interpretation of tongues, faith, healings, miracles, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits), as well as a full expression of prophetic worship (Davidic expression of worship as mentioned in the Psalms and Revelation 4-5), was in operation at her meetings.

Pt. 1 – Mariah Beulah Woodworth-Etter (1844-1924)

Mariah Beulah Woodworth-Etter (1844-1924)

Her Life and Ministry

Part 1

To view photos of her: Maria Woodworth-etter – Image Results

God uses ordinary people who are available to Him, and He uses them to do extraordinary things for His glory and kingdom.  Often times, God chooses those who appear to be the least qualified in man’s perception, and He raises them up out of the ash heap to do a great work for the Lord.

Mariah Beulah Woodworth-Etter is an example of a person who had a rough childhood and life.  Now days, you would say that she came from a dysfunctional, abusive home.  Her father was a drunkard and her mother was victimized by his abuse, with no money to leave and eight children to take care of.  Back in the 1800’s divorce was not an option.  There were no laws to protect women and children from abuse, no police intervention. Women and children were considered more like property, than people with value.  Mariah’s mother and the children were trapped in this miserable situation.

Mariah Beulah Underwood was born on July 22, 1844 in New Lisbon, Ohio to Samuel Lewis and Matilda Brittain Underwood. She was the fourth daughter of Samuel and Matilda Underwood.  Her parents were not Christians during her early years, but joined the Disciples Church when she was ten years of age.

Her father being an alcoholic and drunkard, one year after they joined the Disciples Church, he was struck by lightning in a terrible storm and died. Mariah’s mother was left in poverty with eight children to raise.  Eleven-year old Mariah, and her older sisters, had to go out and work to provide for the family.  Mariah longed for a formal education, but the idea seemed impossible.

Mariah’s circumstances were negative, with the odds stacked against her future success.  However, God chose her to preach the Gospel and He raised her up.  In her day, it was unheard of and looked down on for women to preach.

At the age of thirteen, Mariah went forward at the end of a church service to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.  The following day, she was water baptized in a river.  When she came up out of the water, a light shone upon her, and God’s power so overwhelmed her that she fainted in the Spirit.  She heard Jesus call her into ministry, but her church did not allow women to serve in any kind of ministry capacity, except as a missionary. Because it was generally not accepted in the church and society for women to be preachers or ministers, she assumed that she was being called as a missionary.

A few years after her conversion (around age 17), Mariah married Mr. Woodworth with the hopes that the way would be opened for them to be missionaries, because he was called to be a missionary.

When God initially called her to preach the Gospel, she assumed it would be missionary work because women were not allowed to preach but could be a missionary.  But that’s not what God had told her.  He said she would travel and preach.

So often our mind overrules what the Spirit says to us, and we tend to interpret things according to our mindsets.  Traditions, the culture and society, and preconceived ideas are very powerful, often exalting itself above the wisdom of God.

In Mariah’s case, she interpreted what God had spoken to her through the mindset she had which was based on her religious background and society.  She followed her mind in choosing a husband … what seemed right, logical and rational, but the marriage was laced with complications.

She assumed God called her to do missionary work just because it was acceptable for a woman to be a missionary at that time, and unacceptable to travel and preach, or start a church.  Mariah didn’t really consult the Lord regarding whom she was to marry.  And she was so young (only 17).  They got married and things didn’t turn out like she had hoped.

One trial and hardship came after another.  Her health failed, and everything they undertook seemed to fail.  Although there were troubles in her marriage, she was happy with her young children.  But then her son died.  Then a year later, another baby son was taken away by death.

Shortly after, her seven-year old daughter Georgie became sick with a dreadful disease (scrofula), and lingered about eight months before going to heaven.  Mariah gave birth to a baby girl named Girtie three weeks before Georgie died.  However, this baby also died at four months of age. During this entire time, Mariah was very ill, on the brink of life and death.

Medical science was not advanced back then like it is now.  Vaccinations were not available like it is today.  Now days, cures and treatments have been discovered for many of the diseases people died from over 100 years ago.

Mariah’s family had no money for doctors, proper health care and proper nutrition (of what was available at the time).

Years later Mariah had another little boy named Willie, and he also died at a young age.  Out of six children, only one daughter, Lizzie, survived and lived out a full lifetime.

In spite of all the tragedies, God was speaking to her heart to preach the Gospel, and God began giving her visions.  Mariah promised God that if He would restore her health, she would try to do what He was calling her to do. Immediately, her health got better.

Mariah and her husband, and daughter Lizzie and son Willie moved to a Friends’ Settlement (a Christian group at that time).  It was there at a church where God said, “I brought you here; go to work.”  Mariah was very fearful and timid, and went through a season of giving God all the excuses of why she could not preach and wanted God to use somebody else.  But she was forever impacted by a vision God gave her where she saw souls in hell.

In the vision of hell, there was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, torment, torture and suffering.  Hell was surrounded by multitudes of people who seemed to not be conscious of their danger, and without a moment’s warning they would tumble into this hideous place.  In the vision, she stood above hell on a narrow plank-walk, which wound towards heaven.  She was exhorting and pleading with people to come upon the plank and escape that horrifying place.  Several followed her on the plank. There was a bright light above her, and she encouraged them to follow that light, which would lead to heaven.

Hope That Does Not Disappoint

The word “hope” in the Greek (NT:1680) is elpis. It is defined as: expectation, to anticipate (usually with pleasure), confidence and security. In a good sense, expectation of good, hope, and in the Christian sense, joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation. The author of hope, or He who is its foundation. The thing hoped for. Translated in some verses in the KJV as faith.

Romans 12:12 (in the Message Bible) says that hope is cheerfully expectant.

Bishop C. Carl Smith, in his book entitled “Hope that Maketh Not Ashamed”, says the following statements about hope:

 

  • Hope is a feeling that what is wanted is likely to happen.
  • Hope is a desire accompanied with expectation.
  • Often things never arrive because there is no expectation of it.
  • You must have anticipation that what you are hoping for, that hope will bring it to the door.
  • God gave Abraham a promise and regardless of what it looked like God was going to bring it to pass; however, Abraham had a part to play, just like you. Abraham did not weaken (stagger) in faith. Our problem is that we stagger too much. You stagger the moment you start doubting, questioning God whether He could do it or not.
  • Why is hope deferred? Often, it is delayed because we are wavering, doubting and questioning if God can do it, and we stop waiting on God. Our role is to praise Him in spite of the tribulation and suffering.
  • Genuine hope is not wishful thinking. My hope for what is in the unseen realm is going to bring it into the seen realm. My confidence in God is going to manifest it.
  • Faith is now. Faith and fear operate by the same spiritual law, belief. Faith is of God, fear is of the devil.
  • Fear tolerated is faith contaminated.
  • Faith connects you to that which you believe.
  • Faith is the confirmation of things hoped for. Hope sets the goal, faith obtains it.
  • The spirit of faith never says it is coming. It always says it’s here and I have it now. If it is here, I begin to make preparation for what’s here like it is here. You should be expecting the deliverance of what you have been hoping for. A mother who is with child is expecting the delivering of the child when the doctor gives her the date. She makes preparation for what she cannot see but knows is coming.
  • Personal vision is fulfilled by corporate vision commitment. What God called me to do in my personal life is fulfilled when I connect myself to something corporately that God called us to do collectively. As much as God wanted to do in my life, He could not do it until I corporately connected and submitted to the vision of the man of God [or woman of God] He had ordained for me to amalgamate to. Once I did that, everything came into alignment in my personal and spiritual life. You need to understand your connection to your church.
  • Knowing that hope never disappoints, deludes, misleads, deceives, or tricks me, expectation must accompany hope. Expectation means a looking forward to something. It is anticipation.
  • How do you release His faith, have hope and expectation so you can receive the prosperity (prosperity means “good coming to you”) for your life? I do it by speaking and declaring the Word of God. You are to say what God said and wait to see what God said with great expectation. They (God’s words) did not originate with you, but they carry the power of the Originator, God, when you release your word with faith, hope accompanied with expectation.
  • You cannot release the Word being full of doubt, fear and unbelief.
  • Just declare God’s grace and favor on your life.
  • When God speaks a thing, He always speaks a proceeding word, a word for advancement with some good. Therefore, it is no longer IF it comes, but WHEN it comes. For it shall surely come.
  • The fact that you spoke it with faith, hope accompanied with expectation, surely it is going to come, advance your life, and it is going to show up to your good.

 

Hope is an anchor to the soul. Hebrews 6:19 says, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil.” NKJV

God made Abraham a promise. He was faced with what seemed impossible. Romans 4:18-21 (AMP) reads:

18 [For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, hoped in faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised, So [numberless] shall your descendants be. [Genesis 15:5.]

19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered the [utter] impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or [when he considered] the barrenness of Sarah’s [deadened] womb. [Genesis 17:17; 18:11.]

20 No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God,

21 Fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised.

Romans 5:5 tells us that hope maketh not ashamed.

The Amplified Version renders this verse as: “Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.”

Therefore, hope is more than just wishing that something will happen. Hope is confident expectation that what you are hoping for WILL happen. This kind of hope never disappoints us. This kind of hope is the foundation of faith … faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).

It will take more than just hope alone for a promise from God to come to pass. Hope is just a part of it. It’s going to take faith and confident expectation working together to see the manifestation of what you are believing for. It’s also going to involve “speaking” the promise.

2 Corinthians 4:13 says, “Yet we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, I have believed, and therefore have I spoken. We too believe, and therefore we speak.” AMP

You do not need hope for what you can see. Romans 8:24-25 (AMP) tells us:

24 For in [this] hope we were saved. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For how can one hope for what he already sees?

25 But if we hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure.

The Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we become tired in the waiting and don’t know what else to pray. Romans 8:26-27 says, “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God.” THE MESSAGE BIBLE

When the Lord appeared to Abraham saying that by this time next year Sarah will have borne him a son, Sarah overheard the conversation and laughed within herself. It was a laugh of unbelief and amusement. Besides the fact that she was barren and too old to have children, Abraham was now also too old. The Word says he was impotent and his body was as good as dead. And Sarah’s womb was dead. However, the Lord is a God of resurrection life.

Genesis 18:12-14 (AMP) says:

12 Therefore Sarah laughed to herself, saying, After I have become aged shall I have pleasure and delight, my lord (husband), being old also?

13 And the Lord asked Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I really bear a child when I am so old?

14 Is anything too hard or too wonderful for the Lord? At the appointed time, when the season [for her delivery] comes around, I will return to you and Sarah shall have borne a son.

What if you are facing a situation in which it’s not going to happen unless a miracle takes place?

We can have hope because Jesus still performs miracles today. If God put life back into Abraham’s body and woke up Sarah’s dead womb, then He can do any other miracle in our lives. After Sarah died, Abraham was still youthful and he remarried and had six more sons.

What is a miracle?

In the New Testament, the Greek word for miracle is dunamis (Strong’s NT:1411). It’s defined as: from 1410; force (literally or figuratively); especially, miraculous power (usually by implication, a miracle itself).

The Brown-Driver-Briggs Greek Lexicon defines dunamis as: strength, ability, power (specifically, the power of performing miracles).

Strong’s # NT:1410 is the word dunamai, meaning “to be able or possible.” The Word says that with God, ALL things are possible (Matt 19:26, Mk 9:23, Mk 10:27, Lk 18:27).

God says in Jeremiah 32:27: “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah said in Verse 17: “Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You.”

What is a miracle?

The Easton’s Bible Dictionary defines a miracle as:

“An event in the external world brought about by the immediate agency or the simple volition of God, operating without the use of means capable of being discerned by the senses, and designed to authenticate the divine commission of a religious teacher and the truth of his message (John 2:18; Matthew 12:38). It is an occurrence at once above nature and above man. It shows the intervention of a power that is not limited by the laws either of matter or of mind, a power interrupting the fixed laws which govern their movements, a supernatural power.”

Do you believe that God will do a miracle in your life?