Open Door Fellowship of Kingston NY
Mustard Seed , the Moutain and a Mulberry Tree
A Mustard Seed, A Mountain and a Mulberry Tree
Matthew 17:14-20 14 aAnd when they came to the multitude, a man came up to Him, falling on his knees before Him, and saying, 15 1"Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a alunatic, and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 "And I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him." 17 And Jesus answered and said, "O unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me." 18 And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured 1at once. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" 20 And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, aif you have faith as ba mustard seed, you shall say to cthis mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it shall move; and dnothing shall be impossible to you.
You need faith in God for casting out demons
2. Luke 17::3-6 1"Be on your guard! aIf your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 "And if he sins against you aseven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' 1forgive him." 5 And athe apostles said to bthe Lord, "Increase our faith!" 6 And athe Lord said, "If you had faith like ba mustard seed, you would say to this cmulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in the sea'; and it would 1obey you.
You need faith in God to have the grace to forgive your brother. You need to trust God that He will have your brother's erring ways in hand.
You need faith
3. Mark 11:21-24 1 And being reminded, Peter said to Him, a"Rabbi, behold, the fig tree which You cursed has withered." 22 And Jesus answered saying to them, a"Have faith in God. 23 a"Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him. 24 "Therefore I say to you, aall things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you.
And if God wills it as He did with Moses, Elijah, our Lord Jesus Christ you need faith to deal with the natural world
What do these three examples from our Lord's teaching have in common?
Each speaks of faith , what faith in God can accomplish
the first two , from Matthew's and Luke's gospels speak to the
Quantity of faith
the last in Mark's gospel speaks to the :
Quality of faith
before we go to these two topics
Let us ask and answer a question by the Scriptures
what is faith?
According to the word of God here is the definition :
Hebrews 11:1 NAS Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the 1aassurance of things bhoped for, the 2conviction of cthings not seen.
NIV Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Faith the definition : part 1 Assurance: the foundation ,that which has foundation, is firm
that which has actual existence
the title deed according to RWP
<5287> u`po,stasij (hupostasis)
Meaning: a support, substance, steadiness, hence assurance
Origin: from 5259 and 2476
Usage: assurance(2), confidence(2), nature(1).
1 Or, substance
2 Or, evidence
a Heb 3:14
b Heb 3:6
c Rom 8:24; 2Co 4:18; 2Co 5:7; Heb 11:7, Heb 11:27
M. Henry : It is a firm persuasion and expectation that God will perform all that he has promised to us in Christ; and this persuasion is so strong that it gives the soul a kind of possession and present fruition of those things, gives them a subsistence in the soul, by the first-fruits and foretastes of them: so that believers in the exercise of faith are filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
knowing that we have what we hope for , faith is not hoping alone , as in the unemployed man who says as he's looking for work "I hope I get a job"
it is a internal support that says to our heart don't worry what you are trusting God for is reallly there
part 2 Conviction or evidence ele 2012 e;legcoj verification, certainty
Elegchos el'-eng-khos Definition
a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested
faith is then defined also a tested and certain proof of what is unseen.
We pray and we received what we have asked for when we prayed in God's will
1 John 5:14-15 14 And this is athe confidence which we have 1before Him, that, bif we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, awe know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
We have this certainty within us , placed within us by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God that something is absolutely true and our spirit bears witness to its truth although it not apparent to our sense of vision, hearing, taste, touch or smell . In fact we have this conviction even when these five senses may very well be telling us otherwise. Faith is defined as that kind of evidence
Where does faith come from ?
Faith comes from God! NAS Romans 12:3 For through athe grace given to me I say to every man among you bnot to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to ceach a measure of faith.
the means of faith: Romans 10:16-17 17 So faith comes from ahearing, and hearing by bthe word 1of Christ.
When we hear the word of God for the first time God uses it to hear the voice of Christ calling us to repentance and faith in Him.
By faith we hear the voice of our Lord speaking to us through the Scriptures and by His Holy Spirit....
The word is kind of like the "food of faith" we read what God has said already and we see how He has been faithful to other who have trusted Him , who have relied on Him who have had faith in Him and faith is granted us through the meditation on the truths written in the Scriptures.
the word strs faith in us when we see such things as what God did for those is the Hebrews 11 " hall of faith"
Hebrews 11:7 7 By faith aNoah, being bwarned by God about cthings not yet seen, 1din reverence eprepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of fthe righteousness which is according to faith.
Hebrews 11:8 8 By faith aAbraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to breceive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.
Hebrews 11:17-19 7 By faith aAbraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac; and he who had breceived the promises was offering up his only begotten son; 18 it was he to whom it was said, a"In Isaac your 1descendants shall be called." 19 1He considered that aGod is able to raise men even from the dead; from which he also received him back 2as a btype.
Hebrews 11:24-26 24 By faith Moses, awhen he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 choosing rather to aendure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin; 26 aconsidering the reproach of 1Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the breward.
Hebrews 11:32-40 32 And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of aGideon, bBarak, cSamson, dJephthah, of eDavid and fSamuel and the prophets, 33 who by faith aconquered kingdoms, bperformed acts of righteousness, cobtained promises, dshut the mouths of lions, 34 aquenched the power of fire, bescaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, cbecame mighty in war, cput foreign armies to flight. 35 aWomen received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their 1release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection; 36 and others 1experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also achains and imprisonment. 37 They were astoned, they were bsawn in two, 1they were tempted, they were cput to death with the sword; they went about din sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, eill-treated 38 (men of whom the world was not worthy), awandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes 1in the ground. 39 And all these, having 1agained approval through their faith, bdid not receive 2what was promised, 40 because God had 1provided asomething better for us, so that bapart from us they should not be made perfect.
By faith in our Father , the Lord Jesus Christ His Only Son trusted Him who was able to deliver Him from death and endured the Cross and despised the shame.
You want a real builder of faith
consider the Messianic prophecies fulfiilled by Jesus : there some 420 Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament , many , many of them fulfilled by Messiah Yeshua during his incarnation, death, burial, ressurection and some will be fulfilled in his return to this earth
just a few examples
Isaiah 9:6-7  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever
Isaiah 16:5 In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it--one from the house of David--one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness. 700 B.C.
Matthew 1:1-2A, 6, 16  A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:  Abraham was the father of Isaac, ...  and Jesse the father of King David.  and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
Isaiah 29:18 In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see. 700 B.C.
Isaiah 35:5-6a  Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. [6a] Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. 700 B.C.
Luke 7:20-22  When the men came to Jesus, they said, "John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, `Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?' "  At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind.  So he replied to the messengers, "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor."
Isaiah 53:3 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
The nation fufliled this prophecy by rejecting Jesus as their king saying :
John 19:14-15 4 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! 15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
Isaiah 53:10 10 But the LORD was pleased To acrush Him, 1bputting Him to grief; If 2He would render Himself as a guilt coffering, He will see dHis 3offspring, He will prolong His days, And the 4good epleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.
and this was fulfilled in the ressurection of Jesus Christ from the dead....He did see His offspring, His spritual children the disciples and He did prolong His days...amen?
Want still another builder of faith ?
How about Jesus repeated prophecies of the kind of death he would die, how long he'd be dead and that He would rise from the dead. and then of course fulfilling every word to the minutest detail
Mark 8:31 31 aAnd He began to teach them that bthe Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Luke 9:22 asaying, b"The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day."
Luke 24:25-27 And He said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that athe prophets have spoken! 26 a"Was it not necessary for the 1Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?" 27 And beginning 1with aMoses and 1with all the bprophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
Luke 24:44-46 44 Now He said to them, a"These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the bLaw of Moses and the Prophets and cthe Psalms must be fulfilled." 45 Then He aopened their 1minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, a"Thus it is written, that the 1Christ should suffer and brise again from the dead the third day;
I can't imagine how amazing the realization was for the Apostles , these Jewish men from Galilee, fishermen , tax collectors and others suddenly put it all together that what had been written in the OT had come to pass perfectly, exactly as it had been written and that Jesus own words concering His death and ressurection also had come to pass.
Their faith was built on the sure foundation of the Law Prophets Psalms and the fulfillment of Jesus own words.
These men received a powerful word from Jesus Christ that a power from on high was coming a baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and receivign went from men who
-were of "little faith"
-fearful of men
-were aftraid of the natural world
To men of incredible faith
along with a church who prayed Peter out of jail
who by faith preached the gospel to the ones who had given Jesus over to be crucified
and by faith forgave those stoned him to death Stephen
who by faith in the Messiah who had he had previously hated became the single most important man in the church of his day to preach the word and see Christ build His church throughout the known world of its day.
Cant' you just sense the faith rising in your heart when think about these men
But let's talk a minute about
The two subjects we mentioned earlier
The quantity of Faith and the quality of faith
faith is not something that can be weighed by human means on scales, or measured by human means on a yardstick yet in the Scriptures it seems to speak of faith in terms of quantity
What would be the least quantity of anything ? Well the least would be 1 but even less than one are any part thereof is 0 Mark 4:39-40 And being aroused, aHe rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Hush, be still." And the wind died down and 1it became perfectly calm. 40 And He said to them, "Why are you so timid? aHow is it that you have no faith?"
Jesus rebukes his disciples for timidity<1169> deilo,j (deilos)
Meaning: cowardly, fearful
Origin: from deos (fear)
Usage: cowardly(1), timid(2).
a Mat 14:31; Luk 8:25
and having no faith
courage and faith go hand in hand . We must bravely trust God despite the circumstances.
Just a shade above NO FAith is Little faith
little faith is smaller than a mustard seed. How do we know this ?
Jesus said"If you had faith like ba mustard seed, you would say to this cmulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in the sea'; and it would 1obey you.
Who were some of people Jesus commended for their faith
The Centurion who believed in his authority
-remember he said I have men under me and I say come and he comes and another go and he goes
I'm not worthy for you to come under my roof but you just say the word and my servant will be well
Just speak it Lord and I know it'll come to pass
Do we take God at his word like this man?
The other a woman of Syro Phoenician descent
who peristence opened the heart of the Savior
"Matthew 15:25-28 But she came and abegan 1to bow down before Him, saying, "Lord, help me!" 26 And He answered and said, "It is not 1good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." 27 But she said, "Yes, Lord; 1but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." 28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, ayour faith is great; be it done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed 1at once.
Do we persist after the Lord knowing His heart even when it appears at first He might be saying no, do we press through to God's heart even when his other followers try to discourage us?
if we do then our faith is like a mustard seed, growing his rulership of our lives, allowing us to see the fruit of our faith , in this case God being glorified in a healing for someone who wasn't actually present.
How'd you like Jesus to say that to you ? Great is your faith
So many examples of walking in faith..
Peter after he saw the great sheet fall from heaven with the living creatures , the unkosher animals and the voice arise Peter kill and eat ....he gets the meaning when men arrive and take him to the hose of a Roman named Cornelius and by faith he obeys and the very first Gentiles come into the Body of Christ.
God gave Deborah and I the word out of a mouth of a man of God the last night of Baruch Ha Shem , He asked does anyone need anything from God
In faith I said " we need a place" and the word came back " The Lord says he has opened a door for you that no man can shut" and the prophet didn't know me
He didn't know the name we had received from the Lord was Open Door
Janet is our witnesss
By faith we stand on that word
By faith we came to this place
and by faith I have prayed for another place
and the Lord has led again
and I know the door He has opened surely will NOT BE SHUT
and the door shut shall surely not be opened.
So be encouraged for your beginnings were of faith both in the word and in this fellowship , trust God
You know God will not leave us high and dry
He willl not leaves us as orphans
He will take of this little vine He has planted ,amen?
What about the quality of faith?
James 1:2-4 2 aConsider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter bvarious 1trials, 3 knowing that athe testing of your bfaith produces 1cendurance. 4 And let 1aendurance have its perfect 2result, that you may be 3bperfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
1 Peter 1:6-7 6 aIn this you greatly rejoice, even though now bfor a little while, cif necessary, you have been distressed by dvarious 1trials, 7 that the 1aproof of your faith, being more precious than gold which 2is perishable, beven though tested by fire, cmay be found to result in praise and glory and honor at dthe revelation of Jesus Christ;
Your faith must have the quality of provenness, it must be a test faith, a tried faith
If we are the Lord's we will all have
our fiery furnaces, our lions' dens, our backs to the Red Sea with the Pharaoh and his jackal army coming
we will all have our own personal Gethsameanes, our own sharing in the cup that Jesus drank and the baptism of suffering that He sufffered. We won't die for the sins of the world No only One could do that , drink the cup of God's wrath for us
but if we are proclaimers of the true gospel of Christ and not some watered down sugar coated syrupy sweet man center psychobabble , if we preach it clear . law to the proud grace only to those humbly convicted ,then we will have men hate us for it, and we will have our faith in our God tested . Will we come through ? I pray God we will
Be careful of a type of faith that is evidenced so clearly in religious people today
lots of churchgoers have what the Apostle James termed a dead faith
James 2:18-23 aBut someone 1may well say, "You have faith, and I have works; show me your bfaith without the works, and I will cshow you my faith dby my works." 19 You believe that 1aGod is one. bYou do well; cthe demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, ayou foolish fellow, that bfaith without works is useless? 21 aWas not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that afaith was working with his works, and 1as a result of the bworks, faith was 2perfected;
having an intellectual belief of the truths of the Bible , having been mentallly conviced of the fact that Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose again from the dead won't save you
it must produce a change of heart about sin , the demons believe and shudder , yes but do they obey God
But Abe did . Do we have works that our the evidence of our saving faith
surely it is by grace through faith that we are saved as a Paul said in Ephesian 2:8-9
but look at verse Ten
Ephesians 2:10 10 For we are His workmanship, acreated in bChrist Jesus for cgood works, which God dprepared beforehand, that we should ewalk in them.
a heart of faith , a heart of a truly regenerated child of God is going to want to do those works, is going to be listening for his Master's voice saying to trust Him and do the thing which He commands.
God has works for each of us to step into , works when done in humility, knowing full well where the power to do them comes from , when done trusting Him will bring Him glory .
Works to do and trials to endure these are the tests of faith
We need to act in faith
The world all around us is screaming no don't do it ...you are a fool ...to give that widow's mite when it's all you have to live on....you are a fool....if you just reach out and touch the hem of His garment you might be healed...they shall say you are crazy when you refuse to do what others do to attract men by creating church programs that cater to the fleshly desires of those who are the children of wrath , when you trust God and go on preaching the pure truth of sin , righteousness, judgement , and repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ
It will take faith to do the kinds of things that Noah did , the kinds of things Abraham, Jeremiah, Daniel , the three boys in the fiery furnace, some who recieved their deliverance from God in thsi life and it will take a certain kind of faith to those who will suffer persecution , imprisonment , suffering pain and even death for the sake of the Name of Jesus Christ
I know God has been adding to the "hall of heroes" with the names of the persecuted saints whose own blood is clear proof of their faith in the one whose blood was shed for them.
These are what the Scriptures calls men of whom the world was not worthy
It means that that that God judges the world unworthy of having these souls remain among them whose faith in Him has caused them to despise even their own earthly life for the sake of the Name. He who loves his life shall lose it he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.
And lastly this is the quality of faith by which will sum up
John 16:33 33 "These things I have spoken to you, that ain Me you may have peace. bIn the world you have tribulation, but ctake courage; dI have overcome the world."
1 John 5:3-5 For athis is the love of God, that we bkeep His commandments; and cHis commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is 1aborn of God bovercomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world-- our faith. 5 And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who abelieves that Jesus is the Son of God?
Has your faith enabled you to overcome the world ? Whatever is born of God overcomes the world. Do you so speak and so act in the Spirit and power of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What does it mean to overcome the world ? John is saying that whoever is truly a believer shows the signs of overcoming the world , of trusting God beyond the circumstances, of resting and relying on a God who cannot be seen , touched, tasted, smelt or normally heard with the ears. When you trust in the God you cannot see , being sure of what you have hoped for and being fully convinced of what you do not see, and are emboldened, enabled and filled with the Spirit of Jesus to accomplish and do the will of the Father despite the circumstances that say you won't , say you can't , say you are foolish for even trying, then you have that faith that overcomes the world
The other side is also true ...you can be sure that your faith is not an overcoming one , even to the point of checking yourself out to really see if you are in the faith at all ...
check out Johns' s words Who is the one who overcomes the world but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God
We have to ask ourselves the question Are you overcoming the world or is the world overcoming you? If it is overcoming us we should examine ourselves and see if we are in the faith...I'm not saying we behave as if the world doesn't exist , as if the trials don't exist but that the mark of a true believer is that He trusts God in spite of the world
if are born of God , "whatever is born of God" a truly supernaturally regenerated by God, new creature in Christ Jesus, you life will be characterized by overcoming the world....it won't control you, dictate your desires...it won't hold you....and it won't attract you...in short you won't love it but overcome it
and that is the true faith....you won't walk in the world as overcome by those things around that are your enemies , the world , the flesh and the devil,
AS you trust the Lord and are willing to deny yourself take up your cross and follow Him you will be given the grace to do the will of God despite the circumstance and as you trust Him and walk by faith and not by sight you will be the one who faith in Christ finds its victory in overcoming the world
AMEN'd this Sermon: