Understanding Faith By Peter Tan_post pic

Understanding Faith by Peter Tan [Summary]

Main Summary: Understanding Faith Series by Peter Tan, is a four-in-one book series written by the author to help the believer understand four cardinal areas of a faith that works. In it, the author defines faith and its true meaning. He explained the relationship between faith and conscience. He taught about the limitations of faith, and also how faith can be used as a shield against our enemy—Satan, all the time for consistent victory.

Understanding Faith by Peter Tan_Book cover

Lessons You’ll Learn From This Post

1. The Definition of Bible Faith
2. Faith in Relation with the Conscience
3. Limitations of Faith
4. Faith As the Ultimate Shield

The Definition of Bible Faith

According to the author, faith is the substantiating of things that are hoped for. It is a movement rather than a substance. He showed that the Greek rendering of Hebrews 11:1, speaks of faith as being a condition, a movement, and a state of being.

As a state, it means you can move out of it from time to time and also come back into it. The substance of faith as he explained is a process. And so Faith according to the author is a process of being that takes place continually. It is a process that entails substantiating things that are hoped for into the natural realm.

Now, taking a reflection of the faith definition from Hebrews 11:1; faith is the assurance (substantiating) of things hoped for, the conviction (rebuttal) of things not seen. The author explained that the spiritual realm which is invincible, through faith moves into the natural realm to rebuke the things that are seen.

Faith places a rebuttal or a rebuke against the things that are seen. It crushes against these seen realities and throws them down. It rebukes the things that are against God’s will and his word. This is to say that Faith comes from the spirit realm with a great force and authority, tearing down the things that are seen and replacing them with God’s word—the truth.

The author explained faith not just to be a dormant substance that comes into your heart when you read the scripture, but rather it is a position of being or an active move of flowing along with the word of God.

He explained that the word rebuttal from its Hebrew translation was used for the word evidence in Hebrews 11:1. Emphasizing that the word evidence weakens the actual Hebrew translation of the Greek word used in Hebrews 11:1. The same Greek word used also means rebuttal which has more weight and authority, as to rebuke.

So he defined faith as the substantiating of things hoped for, a rebuttal to the things that are seen by the things that are not seen.

According to the author, if faith is just a substance, it should take time for that substance to diminish. But it is rather a state of being which must be maintained from time to time. It means we can come out of it or maintain our position in it. He used the example of Peter walking on water to emphasize this point. Saying, if Peter’s faith was a substance, it would have taken some time for it to diminish before he sunk into the water.

According to the author, various proofs show if a person is standing in a position of faith. Such as his confession, his thought life, his confidence, and his calmness. You may have been in faith yesterday and then today you are not in faith anymore. This can be seen from the positions mentioned above.

Faith means that you position yourself not to look at the natural anymore but into the spirit and then bring what you see in the spirit into the natural world. When you have seen your true position from the spirit realm your confession followed by your action rebukes what may exist in the natural realm. You may feel ill physically, but according to God’s word Christ has taken away your sickness so you speak to that sickness by faith, and it has to go.

The author explained that faith stands between the spirit realm and the natural realm. He described it as a mediating factor for man between both realms. It is not about the facts that you see but rather you deny the fact the right to continue to exist. According to him, we don’t deny that sickness exists but we deny the right of sickness to continue to exist in our bodies.

For this to happen you must see in the spirit realm correctly. This is where you see what God’s plan is on that subject. Then you come into the natural realm and rebook whatever is not in line with what you have seen. Going forward then, you must maintain your position until you change by Faith whatever is it what you saw in the spirit realm.

The spirit realm here represents God’s will and his word. The author emphasized that it doesn’t matter how long it takes or how many people may mock you. But if you would stand and maintain your position of faith you will see the realities you have seen in the spirit realm rebuke the physical realities you can see in the natural.

Faith in Relation with the Conscience

The conscience is one of the major agencies of the human spirit, useful in differentiating between when you are operating in faith or are out of presumption.

The author states that faith is optimistic, but not all optimism is faith. However, the conscience helps us know or differentiate between when we are operating with our mental ascent, mere desire, and when we are in line with God’s will. He also said that faith is about what is happening inside you rather than what is happening outside.

According to him, there is a relationship between our faith and our conscience when believing God for anything. When believing God our conscience has to bear witness to whatever we are believing for. And if our conscience doesn’t bear witness to what we are believing for, it simply means we don’t have faith yet for whatever we hope for.

Why? because faith has to be rooted in us for it to produce. There must be a full assurance that we would have what we are believing for before we can see the manifestation. According to the author, when you pray and stay still, you would be able to sense through your conscience if what it is you believe God for, is his will or not.

The conscience is the measuring standard to know if we have faith. It distinguishes assumption and faith. It tells us if our faith is based on the spirit or in the flesh. Whether our faith is based on a mental assessment or it comes from the spirit because faith is a spiritual force. Our conscience shows the difference.

The author used the verse below to buttress this point.

1 Timothy 1:19, “Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked”.

Many have had their faith shipwrecked when believing God for something. Some have even done some things or taken some action to show that they truly believe but yet it failed to produce. Why? This was because their conscience was neglected.

Before we can truly say we have faith, we must check our conscience. He recommends that when you are believing God for a thing and you sense fear in your conscience, you should not neglect it and take actions that would result in a shipwreck of your faith.

The danger of a shipwrecked faith as described by him is enormous. One of them is after you experience a wrecking of your presumed faith, there would be nothing left. It can be discouraging and depressing for most people mentally. Many have abandoned their walk with God due to such actions.

When you have faith for a desired hope, your conscience agrees with what you are doing. In such a case, if you have what is called, inner peace with that desire, then it can be said that you are in faith. On the other hand, when you are not in faith, your conscience is troubled concerning what you claim you are believing for.

He added that, when your spirit is not going along with your hope for a desired need, you cannot pull it through with your head. It is the spirit man that can dominate circumstances.

This is how you can recognize the prompting from your conscience. When the thought of what you are believing for comes, and you panic or are afraid, it simply means your conscience is trying to warn you that your faith is not fully developed on that issue.

According to the author, this doesn’t mean you are wrong in having faith for what it is you desire. It just might mean that you are not mature for that thing yet, or maybe you are approaching it at the wrong time. Also, God might desire to give you something better than what you are desiring at that time.

How then do you understand your conscience?

The word conscience, in Greek, means an inward knowing of something. According to the author, the conscience is the one that tells you when to act on God’s word. It is not just meant to tell you when you are wrong or right. But it also can help determine the level of faith you have over any situation.

The author said, just like you need to train yourself physically to be proficient in natural things. When you want to function in spiritual things optimally, you must be willing to develop your spirit. Most times, it must require that you wait patiently on God to perceive what He is doing in your spirit.

The conscience according to him, bears witness with you daily and on every issue. No matter how little you think it is. God speaks to you through your conscience most often than not. And when you disobey its leading, you wound your conscience. Because It is both sensitive to how right the action is and the timing of such action.

The conscience can also be termed evil. This happens when your conscience is defiled with wrong facts and teachings. As you keep acting on such knowledge, your conscience becomes weaker, until it doesn’t resist you anymore when you do wrong.

The conscience can be trained by knowledge—the knowledge of the word of God. Your conscience is as weak as the amount of spiritual knowledge it is fed with. Whatever area you don’t know about, your conscience will be weak in such areas.

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for. And assurance can only come from a cleansed and undefiled conscience, sprinkled with the blood of Jesus. According to the author, whenever you have disobeyed you must ask to cleanse your conscience by the blood of Jesus. No matter how small the sin may be, it will hinder, your communication with the Holy Spirit.

If you must walk with the Holy Spirit, your conscience must be clean. The author stated that full assurance of faith works with a cleansed conscience. This is the reason why understanding faith is important.

quote from the book understanding Faith by Peter Tan_Book

Limitations of Faith

According to the author, faith is a substance in the spirit and also a position your soul and your body can be positioned in. It cannot be moved by what you see or feel, rather it can only be moved by the word of God.

In the Book, he described three Limitations of Faith. That is; areas where faith cannot work.

1. You cannot exercise faith in Areas the word doesn’t cover.

No matter the human confidence or courage you may have, according to the author you can’t exercise faith in areas the word of God doesn’t cover. Now, anytime you try to exercise faith without God’s word, it is called presumption. Presumptuous sins are sins committed without God’s word or instruction.

On this subject, he defined what the Rhema of God’s word is. He defined it as; a specific word of God for a specific incident and a specific time, to a specific person for a specific task in a specific time. Simply saying, you cannot assume it.

Faith comes from the Rhema of God and is always in line with the Logos of God (the written word of God). The Logos of God is the general word of God to everyone. But it must be transformed into the Rhema word of God if it will apply to you or produce faith.

Now all the Rhema spoken by God to certain people is put together to form the Logos. The Bible was once Rhema to certain people in the scriptures.

There are different types of Logos. Some are promises and some are not. Some are records of what God can do and did in times past. According to the author, you can’t claim such words. An example is Moses dividing the red sea.

Meanwhile, the promises can be claimed, but certain events recorded cannot, except you receive a word from the Lord. This is where faith comes in. It is able to draw from the promises to cause a change in the present time. You must understand faith and how to get the Rhema stored in the Logos out into your life.

According to the author, whatever God has done before, he can do again. Now, there are records of God’s great acts in the bible, for such you need a specific word from the Lord to reproduce them, but there are also promises. These are referred to by the author as pockets of stored charges, you can plug your faith into and draw from.

The author likened the level of your understanding of faith to be, your ability to turn the Logos of God’s word to Rhema. Note that you cannot claim a promise that the word of God does not cover. It is a divine principle that Logos and Rhema can never contradict.

Faith is not the same as confidence. The author stated that faith can produce or includes confidence in its display but not all confidence is faith. Because confidence can come from mental ascent. There is a digestive system the word has to pass through before you can derive faith from it. He stated that many don’t wait for the word to be a part of them before they act and so they fail.

Digestion of the word is achieved through meditation and contemplation. It may take some time or some years, but this is how to work the Logos into Rhema and it becomes a part of you. Not until then, you cannot act on it.

Whatever God does must come by a Rhema. He impregnates men with the Rhema to be able to accomplish feats on the earth. You need a specific Rhema from God to be able to do what he has assigned you to do. Even as simple as where to work or not to. God speaks to every one of us.

Rhema can come through the inner voice, inner witness, vision, or dreams. According to the author, God speaks to us predominantly through the inward witness. He gave it a 90%, and the other 10% to other channels.

How do you judge if you are walking by faith? The author affirmed, that if you are asked, which scripture are you standing on for your request or what Rhema you are standing on? If you can’t answer that specifically, then you are not in faith.

There are areas the word covers, operating faith here requires what God has promised in such areas. Now, if you must operate in areas the word doesn’t cover, then you must seek a Rhema from God for such issues. However, there is a condition to this, whatever Rhema you receive from God, cannot contradict what God has already said in the Logos.

2. You cannot operate faith over human spirits.

According to the author, God has given us the jurisdiction to exercise our faith against circumstances, demonic spirits, evil powers, and even satan himself. But not against human spirits, except for children before they reach the age of accountability.

He said you can exercise faith to see a loved one, family member or friend saved, but your faith will not overwrite their will. This is why when we engage in intercession for others, it may seem it’s taking too long because faith cannot go beyond their will.

3. Faith will not work outside the principles of a Christ-like character.

The author puts it this way, if you will not flow with the spirit of faith, you can’t operate faith. The word of God says to forgive, if you will not forgive your faith can’t work. Anything outside the principle of Christ’s character and the love of God will nullify your faith from working.

Faith is limited in operation to the boundaries of the character of Christ. According to the author, when we go outside this boundary, what we are left with is the confidence of our soul and carnal faith, which has no force to enforce God’s will over any contrary situation.

Sin will hinder your faith from working. This is why you must keep the spirit of Christ and his character to be able to exercise strong faith.

Faith As the Ultimate Shield

Faith is one of the armors of the believer according to the author, which can be used to quench the fiery darts of the enemy—Satan.

It can be used as a shield and as a breastplate. Eph 6, and 1Thes 5:8. A double protective shield against the wiles of the enemy. We can grow in faith enough to be immune to the darts of the enemy.

Many are afraid of Satan’s counterattack when it comes to casting out devils or frustrating the works of the devil, because of their low or small faith. But as you grow in faith, you come to understand that, Gods word says that, “no evil shall befall you, and no plagues shall come near your dwelling.” or “you shall tread upon serpents and scorpions and they shall not by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:17-21).

You can only operate at this level, when you have grown in faith, through meditation and knowledge of God’s word.

This is also how spiritual immunity over Satan can be exercised, thereby causing you to counter whatever the devil tries to do in your life by the word of God. This is what the fight of faith is all about.

According to the author, the only weapon the enemy has is fear. His mission is to transmit fear into your heart by any means possible. It takes the word of God to knock out his fear attacks.

How do you then know if you are operating in faith and not just presumption?

According to the author, we are in a fight to keep the faith. So, are you keeping the faith or are you holding unto your faith? He stressed that holding on to faith is not a struggle, it is rather a rest.

Presumption is wavering, anxious, fearful, and worry-some. But faith has calmness and peace in God. It has inner confidence. Faith and fear, or anxiety, cannot co-exist. When it’s true faith, there is peace and rest over the issue. Faith will always win over fear.

The author gave an example, to check with. He stressed that if someone says, I am believing God for this or that, you can check their rest or peace in their state of belief and easily tell if faith has truly rested in them or not. If their belief is filled with fear, and anxiety, then what they claim they are believing for never comes to pass.

When they face a little challenge, they give up. Meanwhile, faith talks differently. It has a calmness and confidence that rest upon what God has said or revealed.

Faith is a knowing that produces such confidence and calmness in your mind that it becomes a shield. According to the author, whatever you have come into true faith for bring you to rest. All doubts, fears, and anxieties are gone.

It is this rest that you have entered through faith that gives God room to act and cause his word to come forth. Yes, the outward situation may try to stir fear, but there is peace and a calmness inwardly, that says it shall be so, according to the word of the Lord.

The author warns not to go into the fight of faith if faith is yet to come. It takes faith to fight the fight of faith. God may give you vision, and you don’t have the faith to fulfill the vision just yet. Don’t fake it. Go for faith, and ensure you are in a position of rest before you launch into it. If not you may not get through.

In conclusion, we have learned that faith is a process of substantiating what God says over any situation that is contrary to his will. For this to happen, we have learned that we must be conscious of the voice of our conscience, as it speaks in real-time when we are either in faith or out of faith.

We have also seen that faith has limitations. That is, areas where it wouldn’t work. And lastly, we have looked at using faith as a shield in our everyday lives to ward off attacks from the devil.

The Goal here is to, understand faith and engage it. This calls for taking responsibility personally to stay on the word of God to build faith to the point of rest in every aspect of your life. Such that you are free from anxiety, fear, and doubts over life’s circumstances. I pray that this would be your testimony. Amen.

Finally, here’s my question for you.

Do you have an experience you would love to share, where you actively substantiated either a promise from the word or a Rhema from God into the natural realm?

I will love to hear from you, please leave your answer and comment in the comment box below.

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