Posted by: Rina | November 5, 2009

Pistis (Faith) vs. Apisitis (Unbelief)

If hell has one characteristic, it is distraction.
-John G. Lake
“lest satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.” (2 Corinthians 2:11)

The kingdom of darkness is aware of the Christian position, power, and authority.  They know it, and oftentimes, satan and demons know it better than believers.  satan has already tried to rule heaven and failed.  He held the authority on earth for awhile, then he was defeated.  He knows his destiny is the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).   He knows that he can have authority back on the earth when the “image-bearers of God” agree with him, through sin, in rebellion against God. Therefore, his strategies are to feed lies to the spirits of men.  In turn, when the soul of man agrees with the lie and follows it, man has lost his position of authority.  Consequently, the enemy is restored to his position of authority.  A discussion of these strategies is relevant.  If these devices are to be avoided, the Christian need to be able to identify and evade them.

Pistis (Faith) vs. Apisitis (Unbelief)

Unbelief is the first and greatest strategy of the devil.  If satan can disable with unbelief, his kingdom continues to reign.  If satan can plant seed of unbelief about God’s character, promises, and intentions, then he will dismantle our prayers and our identity.  Unbelief take us out of our position of power.  Unbelief is the most tragic sin.  It is the exact opposite of faith. The Bible says of faith, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1.)

In all things, the believer can have the joyful anticipation of good, this is the biblical definition of “hope”. When the joyful anticipation becomes a “knowing”, it becomes faith.  In the heart, there is a “knowing” that things are going to move in favor, before it happens.  If this “knowing” could be taken out of the heart and given it a physical form, it would be faith.  The “knowing” is the evidence of things not yet seen.  When faith is birthed in the soul, it becomes what the evidence of a future occurrence.  Science boasts that “seeing is believing,” but in the Kingdom of God, “believing is seeing.”  Faith is the power that releases the unseen and the hidden.  It is the evidence of things not yet seen.

The Greek word for faith in scripture is the word “pistis” (Strong’s #4102 and defined as       assurance, belief, trust, fidelity, divinely implanted confidence.  Belief in God) (1)  Noah Webster defines it as, “to bind or draw, to lead or draw towards, The assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting upon his authority without other evidence.” (2)

Interestingly enough, the Greek word for unbelief is almost the same word as faith.  The word for unbelief is the same word “pisitis” with an “a” in front of it.  The prefix “a” means without.  Therefore, the word for unbelief is “apisitis“ (Strong‘s # 570 meaning without faith) (3).  Simple enough, unbelief means without belief.  Perhaps the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia has the best definition, “Describes a mental attitude opposed to faith and therefore inclined to reject spiritual truths.” (4).  These definitions provide meaning to the largest tool that satan uses against believers.  If he can make us believe that God is either lying, holding us back from something, or that we are so worthless that we don’t deserve to be where we are at, then we will not accept our identity and fail to reach our destiny.  Scripture tells us:

“Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6).

Therefore, it is of paramount importance that we internalize in our hearts what scripture says about our identity and destiny.

The fruit of unbelief is fear and anxiety.  These motivate the kingdom of darkness.  When unbelief is embraced, fear will shortly set in.  When we disbelief God or rather, believe that God will do nothing, then we must look either to ourselves, someone else, or something else, in the physical realm to fix our problems.  (This is one of the reasons why the medical profession is so exalted.)  When fear settles into our hearts, the fear is given voice, once it is spoken, it pronounces curses over ourselves and others. People who are riddled with fear, live their lives speaking curses into existence.  After the curse happens, they consider themselves prophets.  This is not prophecy.  This is using the creative force that God has put inside us in an evil and selfish direction.  Unbelief yields fear.  Fear works for the enemy as faith works with God. When the enemy influences us to decree death to ourselves and those around us, he has effectively used our own God-given abilities to our own detriment and destruction.  Then, he gloats over how smart he is and how easy it was for him to destroy these image bearers of God.  Unbelief causes the Christian to be  their own worst enemy.

Anxiety and worry, are also, the fruit of unbelief.  These can best be described as a distraction from God.  This spiritual distraction yields physical effects.  They are sweaty palms, panic, impending doom, and fear.  Anxiety and worry are rooted in unbelief.  A problem presents itself.  The promise of deliverance from God is not believed.  Distraction sets in as we focus more on the problem than God.  With unbelief, there is an automatic shift from God.  There is no reason to continue to focus on God if it is believed that He will not be beneficial to finding a solution.  Hence, the focus immediately shifts to finding another power source. Self-power is the first option.  Discussion begins to determine the best possible solutions.  All possible scenarios must be played out.  A natural by-product of these discussion are two key phrases.  “What if” and “Yeah but”.  Anxiety and worry thrive on these two phrases.  Anxiety and worry love to hypothesis about possible scenarios and outcomes.  They find it irresistible to formulate a strategy to prevent the negative outcome from coming to pass.  Unbelief exalts the intellect and the ability of humans.  John G. Lake wrote, “Sin dethroned the spirit, and crowned the intellect.” (5)  The Bible is explicit in how to deal with these things:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6,7)

Notice the commandment here, “Be anxious for nothing”.  It is not written as an option, it is written to be obeyed.  Anxiety is never permitted. The Greek word translated anxious here is the Greek word, “merimnao” meaning “a distraction, a preoccupation with things causing stress and anxiety, and pressure.  The word literally means to divide into parts.” (6). Anxiety is birthed out of unbelief.  The solution for anxiety is also given.  Prayer re-focuses on God and His promises.  Thanksgiving and gratitude arise as the past deliverances of God are called to mind.  Peace returns and the enemies scheme is defeated.  Jesus is equally as adamant about worry:

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on…which by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?…But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:25,27,33-34)

The Bible says, “He will provide all of our needs according to His riches.” (Phil 4:19)  Interestingly enough, the Greek word for worry in the Matthew passages above is the exact same word, “merimnao” that was translated anxiety earlier.  The two are synonymous in English and the same in biblical Greek.  They have no place in the heart of the believer.  Rather, belief and trust in God for all things is what the bible dictates.  It is such a better way to live.

Endnotes

1. Strong, James, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Thomas     Nelson Publisher, 1995.

2.  Webster Noah, American Dictionary of the English Language 1828 edition, San Francisco, CA, Foundation for American Christian Education, 2006.

3.  Strong’s see #.

4.  Bromiley, Geoffery w., International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Grand Rapids    MI, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, page 942.

5. Liardon, Roberts, John G. Lake, The Complete Collection of His Life Teachings, Albury Publishing, Tulsa OK,  1999 page 487.

6. Hayford, Jack, , The Spirit filled Life Bible,  Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville TN, 1991, page 1415.

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