How to read God’s word exactly as it is written
The danger of minimizing the magnitude of what is written.
A message about believing God’s word without reducing it: An abridged transcript from a sermon given by Elias Aslaksen in Stavanger, Norway, January 18, 1976.
A short time ago, I received quite a remarkable light. As natural people we are all, so to speak, “professors” in unbelief. In the Scriptures we read expressions like these: you of little faith, slow of heart to believe all that is written, and so on. Then I received this remarkable light, that it is just as though there is a little reduction transformer sitting in our hearts, a minimizing device that works automatically – without us knowing it and without us having the slightest hint of it.
Believing God’s word and reading it properly
The Scriptures are full of strong, glorious words and promises, and every one of them is true, just as they are written. We must not minimize them; we must not weaken them, although that is the normal tendency. It’s quite remarkable; you don’t even understand that it’s happening. In one way, it is as though people are unable to read properly. You would think they would be able to, and they can, when it concerns everything else. They are so proficient in reading that they could be “professors” in almost anything – except in believing. But without faith, nothing happens. Faith is the only thing that counts; it is the only thing that works. You can’t be a partaker of anything without faith, and faith is full assurance. Faith has nothing to do with trying to do something. When we say we are going to try, that is the same as unbelief, because that is the same as saying maybe it will succeed and maybe it won’t – and that is 100% unbelief.
Now we can look at a few verses. In Ephesians 4:1-2: “I, therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,” and here it comes, “with all lowliness (humility) and gentleness …” That means with all humility and all meekness. Who has believed it? Who has read so that it really sinks in? When you are a little bit humble, you receive a little bit of grace; and when you are a little more humble, you receive a little more grace; and when you are very humble, you receive much grace; and when you are unusually humble, you receive an unusual amount of grace; and when you are clothed with humility – what then? What then? Surely you can see the answer now? All grace. And grace doesn’t only mean God’s unmerited favor. God’s unmerited favor is seen in the forgiveness of our sins, in the atonement. But grace also means help; it means salvation; it means light; it means power; it covers all that we need. It is evident that people do not believe this. And it is evident that people don’t actually stop and pay attention to what is written.
Reduction devices in our hearts
There are no exaggerations in the Scriptures, none. But there are minimizing and reduction devices in our hearts that we don’t have the slightest idea about. We don’t notice that they are there, and they work in all quietness so that we remain unaware of them. It’s just as though what we read or hear passes through a device, and in the process is changed to something else, to something weaker, something less. All humility and all meekness means that you are rooted and grounded in humility and meekness, so that you simply can’t do anything but be humble and meek. If it’s like that, those who know us and live with us have to notice it. At that point it is powerful enough and unusual enough that it has to be noticed. This is what we are called to; this is God’s will. He loves us so much; He wants to give us so much; He wants to accomplish so much in us; He wants to transform us. Then we will be humility itself; we will be meekness on two feet. And this takes place by faith. We believe that we are called to this life, that it is God’s will, that it is possible, and that it is our task to believe exactly what is written.
The important thing, we can say, is to get this automatic reduction and minimization device thrown overboard. Get hold of it and throw it out of your heart. Then you can read things just as they are written, and believe them just as they are written. Then exactly what is written takes place, and things become just as they are described in the word.
For many, many years I have observed and spoken about how people are seemingly possessed with the concept of “a little.” It’s just like they are possessed. Regardless of the subject, people interpret it as “little.” The majority say that they hope and believe, but there is neither hope nor faith in it. It’s just an expression. They hope that things will be a little better with them, very slowly, over the course of many years. That is the most common thing; that is the way most people are. But the fact is, it doesn’t happen like that. Nothing comes of it. That isn’t God’s word; that isn’t what we are to believe; it isn’t written in the Bible like that, and consequently nothing comes of it. What happens is that you deceive yourself; you live in a dream world. You pray and pray and pray and pray for love, and pray for power, and pray for patience, and pray for all kinds of other things, but you never believe it, and therefore never receive it. Who wouldn’t like to be filled with love, for example? And you pray for it too, but you just don’t believe. You won’t be filled with more love. You will remain exactly the same – the same from meeting to meeting, from conference to conference, from day to day, from month to month, from year to year, from decade to decade. You remain – by and large – just the same. There can be very small changes, but nothing material. Things can even get worse with some people. Yes, that happens with many, and some even. It’s tragic to fall away; but it isn’t so strange when the life that people live isn’t a particularly happy one. Then there isn’t so much to fall away from. No one who is very happy falls away. That’s a contradiction and doesn’t make sense. No one voluntarily leaves a state of great happiness, do they? No, of course not. They are in a sad state, that is why they fall away. And why are they in such a bad state? Because they don’t believe God’s word. They pray, but don’t believe that they will receive it. But they don’t pray very much either; so even the little they pray for, they don’t believe they will receive, and as a result they receive nothing.
Believe you will receive what you’ve prayed for
It’s written, for example, about all patience, and all longsuffering – all. In other words, patience without end, without limitations, regardless of how long you have to wait. You remain just as quiet and meek the whole time. This was to be shown to all men. That isn’t a sad thing; it isn’t sad to be meek and quiet. It’s almost like having heaven on earth. It isn’t sad to love God’s word and believe in God’s word and keep God’s word and live God’s word. That is the most pleasant thing there is. That’s to have heaven on earth. I wish the best for each and every one of you! It happens only one way – only by reading correctly, and then believing it exactly as it is written, and then seeking it with all of your might. Pray for it, and then believe that you will receive what you have prayed for, because then you will receive it, but not otherwise. I hope the best for each one of you.
Run the race by competing to believe all of God’s word. Then it will be true in us, so that everyone will see it and hear it and notice it. Show all meekness to all men. You don’t lose anything by doing that. It’s only gain, only an advantage. Then you are a radiant example for others to follow, and it will be a great benefit and profit for them if they are receptive. But you can’t force salvation on people. A person has to be receptive; they have to have a desire for this themselves. One place it’s written that Paul prayed that the believers might be filled with all desire for what is good. In other words, in all areas, with every desire. Anyone can come to this, and then this true proverb will be fulfilled: “Where there’s a will there’s a way.” That is a tremendous truth, absolutely all-encompassing. This applies to everything, bothand heavenly. If you don’t want something, if you don’t have a great longing, not much will come of it. If you really want and long for something, that will bring results whether it is in the earthly or the spiritual realm. You can’t become a millionaire here in this world if you are lazy and just can’t be bothered. This encompasses absolutely everything. There are no exceptions. “Where there’s a will there’s a way.”
I hope that considerable light has dawned here. We have the scriptures: “With God all things are possible,” “All things are possible to him who believes,” and “According to your faith let it be to you.” Everything is a personal matter between the individual and God. My task is to believe in God and in His word, then it will be fulfilled in me. No one else can hinder this; no one else can disturb it. Everything is dependent on a direct connection between each individual and God. I wish the very best for each and every one of you! Join the race to be believing! Amen. (Matthew 19:26; Mark 9:23; Matthew 9:29.)
This is an abridged transcript from a sermon given by Elias Aslaksen in Stavanger, Norway, on January 18, 1976, and has been translated from Norwegian. The original transcript was published in the booklet “Elias Aslaksen’s Last Messages” (Stiftelsen Skjulte Skatters Forlag 1979).
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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.