Biblical Teaching from Rev Dr S.K. Thomas
Title – THE POWER OF POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE CONFESSION
Aim: The importance of making the right confession for the words of our mouth can determine the outcome of anything.
Point of Contact:
The Lord speaking through James likens the tongue to the bit in the horse’s mouth, a spark that starts a forest fire, the rudder in the ship, and a source of poison that corrupts the body and the whole stream of life.
Read James 3:3-8 – When we put bits into the mouth of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.
Or take ships as an example. Although they are large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.
Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison (NIV).
James speaking by the Holy Spirit brings out the unique significance and influence of the tongue for the whole course of our lives. The first example he uses is the bit in the horse’s mouth. He says that if we succeed in putting a bit in the horse’s mouth, we can turn the whole animal around. The horse in the Bible is usually a type of physical strength. He is saying that no matter how strong the horse is, if you can get control of its mouth with a bit, you can get control of the animal. The horse’s strength is brought into subjection through the control of its mouth. That which controls our mouth controls the whole course of our lives.
The next example is the rudder. The tongue is compared to the rudder of a ship. A ship may be a great structure, but is carried to and fro by the tremendously powerful forces of the winds and the waves. Yet, in that ship there is only one decisive, small piece, the rudder. It is the use of the rudder that determines the whole course of the ship. If the rudder is used properly, the ship will arrive safely in the harbor. If the rudder is not used properly, the ship is likely to be shipwrecked. It is the same with our lives. The tongue is the rudder. Our tongues control the course of our lives. If the rudder of the tongue is used properly, we will make it safely to our appointed destination. But if our tongues are not used properly, we will be shipwrecked.
Another example given is that a small spark can start a forest fire. Every year billions of dollars of damage is caused by forest fires around the world, and they usually start with a small spark. That is also true in the spiritual realm. The tongue is like a little spark that can cause a forest fire of vast proportions, causing billions of dollars of damage or untold pain and suffering. Many churches, ministries or other institutions cease to exist because one tongue set a spark that burned up the whole thing, which could never be restored. Think of all the friendships, relationships and fellowships that have been wrecked!
The last example given is that of a source of lethal poison. The Word here says the tongue is like deadly element that can poison us by spreading infection through the whole system of our lives.
When we consider all these examples, the principle underlying each of these illustrations is the same: the tongue is a small part of the body, but it is able to cause inestimable damage and harm that might never be undone.
1. The tongue is like the rudder in a ship.
The rudder is visually just a small part of the ship that is down below the surface. You do not see it when you look at the ship sailing on the surface of the water. Yet that small part, which is not normally visible to the eye, determines the direction of the ship. If the rudder is used correctly, the ship will make it safely to its destination.. But if the rudder is misused, almost certainly the ship will suffer shipwreck.
The rudder determines the course and the destiny of the entire ship. The Bible says the tongue is like that in our bodies. When we look at people from outward appearances, normally we do not even see their tongues. Yet that small, unnoticed member is just like the rudder in the ship. The tongue’s use determines the course of a person’s life. It determines his or her destiny.
2. People determine their own destinies by the way they use their tongues.
To continue this study, we will consider an example from the history of Israel that would drive home this lesson with inescapable clarity. The incident we are going to look at is found in the book of Numbers, chapters 13 and 14. The children of Israel had come out Egypt, the house bondage for 400 hundred years, and were on their way to the Promised Land.
God had arranged with Moses to send twelve men ahead of them to spy out or survey the land: to find out its general character, the nature of the inhabitants, the kind of cities, the kind of fruit, and to bring back a report. One leader was chosen from each of the twelve tribes to go ahead into the land. They spent forty days walking through the land and then they came back with their report.
The report they brought back is recorded in Numbers 13:26-28 (KJV) … And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it flowed with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak ( the giants ) there.
( Numbers 13:26-28 (NIV) – Report on the Exploration – 26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. )
3. When God gives you a promise, are you going to accept the promise at its face value, or are you going to accept it and then say “nevertheless”?
That was a fatal mistake; the word that caused the people to be disturbed and distressed. This was the report of the majority. This was the voice of unbelief. Two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, refused to go along with this negative attitude.
In Numbers 13:30-31 (KJV) we read, “ And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and posses it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than us”.
(Numbers 13:30-31 (NIV) – 30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” )
The voice of Caleb and Joshua were the voice of faith.
4. Your destiny is settled by your words.
Let us notice the words that were used. Caleb said, “ We are able to overcome it.” The other ten spies said, “ We be not able.” One set of spies said the positive: “We are able.” The other set said, “ We are not able.” As you would follow the story, you will see that each group got exactly what they said. Each group’s destiny was settled by what they believed and said. Each group’s destiny was settled by their words.
Numbers 14:20-24 (KJV) ... And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word: But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted Me these ten times, and have not hearkened to My voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it. But My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall posses it.
( Numbers 14:20-24 (NIV) – 20 The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21 Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, 22 not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— 23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. )
By his positive confession, Caleb settled and sealed his destiny for the positive.
5. God will do what you have spoken.
Numbers 14:26-32... And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against Me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against Me. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in Mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old upward, which have murmured against Me, Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concering which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in the wilderness. Notice the words, “As you have spoken in my ears, so will I do to you.”
( Numbers 14:26-32 (NIV) – 26 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 27 “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. 28 So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: 29 In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. 30 Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31 As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. 32 But as for you, your bodies will fall in this wilderness. )
God is saying in effect, “You have settled what I will do to you by the words that you have spoken.” Numbers 14:36-38 (KJV) … And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land. Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD.
( Numbers 14:36-38 (NIV) 36 So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it— 37 these men who were responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the Lord. 38 Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived. )
( They settled their own deaths. They spoke the words of death, and death was the outcome. ) But Joshua the son Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still. )
Death and life are in the power of the tongue. How much more clearly could that be illustrated? The men that spoke negatively settled for death.
The men who spoke positively received life. They settled their own destinies by what they spoke. The ones that said, “We are not able,” were not able.
The ones that said, “We are able,” were able.
6. Don’t focus on the problems, focus on the Promises of God.
In the New Testament, our experience as Christians is directly compared to that of Israel in the Old Testament. We are warned that the same lessons apply to us.
Hebrews 4:1-2 (NIV) … Therefore, since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard it did not combine it with faith.
( Hebrews 4:1-2 (NASB) – The Believer’s Rest – 4 Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. )
The same promise that God gave to Israel still stands for us – a promise of entering into the rest of God – but we must be careful that we do not fall short of it in the same way that they did in the Old Testament.
Their problem was they heard the message, a promise from God, but they added that one fatal word “nevertheless.” Instead of focusing on the promises of God and boldly confessing their faith in God’s promise and power, they focused on the negative. They looked on the giants and the walled cities and said, “We are not able.”
But Caleb and Joshua had the courage and faith to say, “We are able.”
7. When you face any difficult situation, what will you say?
When you face God’s promise concerning a certain situation, what are you going to do with your tongue? Are you going to give assent to the promises of God?
Are you going to identify yourself with the promises of God and say, “ God said it; I am able.” Or are you going to be one of those who say, “Nevertheless, look at all the problems. God said it, but somehow I don’t feel able.”
Remember, just as those spies settled their destinies with their tongues by the words that they spoke, so the same lesson applies to whoever has heard the Word of God. We likewise settle our destinies by the words that we speak. Ten of the spies focused on the problems, not on the promises.
Two of the twelve spies, Joshua and Caleb, focused on the promises, not on the problems.
Joshua and Caleb said, “We are able.”
The other spies said, “We are not able.”
Each got exactly what they said.
They settled their own destinies by what they said, by the way they used their tongues.
Dear Friends and Brethren in Christ,
I am very pleased to post in my blog the Biblical teachings of Rev Dr S.K Thomas, who have trained many Apostles, Evangelists and Church leaders over his many years of local and international ministry. I am truly blessed to meet the man of God who shares freely the power and authority of God’s Word for all of us so that we can live victoriously in Christ Jesus. He said to me one day in our fellowship meeting, “To Freely Receive and Freely Give What The Lord Has Blessed”. I am touched with his sincerity, humility and love to always raise up and equipping new leaders everywhere for the work of the Kingdom.
So, be very blessed to use the materials for your own edification and learning, for teaching and for reaching out to others with the inspiring Word of God. I will continue to post other teachings of Rev Dr. Samuel Thomas as well, so be patient and do stay in touch. God Bless all of you wherever you are.
Your Brother In Christ,
Post No. 2
Be blessed by these messages and studies in the Word of God. God’s Word (The Bible) provides all the answers to life’s problems. His Word will make you wise. The Book of Proverbs says that if you get wisdom, you will also get life, riches and honor!
“Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4.
Dr. S. K. Thomas D. Min.
( Email – email@example.com )
Be Blessed! Ezra Chim, Malaysia.
(Email – firstname.lastname@example.org )