from a young boy, "If you have faith the size of a mustard
seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to
there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for
and the hope.
had told his disciples in Luke 17: 5-6 that even if
their faith was only the size of a mustard seed,
they could just tell a mulberry tree to be
up-rooted and planted in the sea and it would obey
them. Jesus offers no explanation and does not
elaborate on this. In Matthew 17: 20-21, we see
this again. Jesus is adamant about faith and
chastises the disciple for the lack of it calling
them a perverse generation after they failed to
We have also seen from Hebrews 11:1 that it considers faith
as the realisation of hope and evidence of things not seen.
It is not surprising therefore that if no discernible effect
is experienced after asking God to increase our faith we
obviously need to believe without evidence, since faith is
the very evidence of itself testifying to the substance of
what we are hoping for when we ask for it.
To grasp an insight into this explanation we need to
identify some keywords in this verse which are; realisation,
hope and evidence. Evidence is present and seen and
therefore, it is tangible. The Webster's Dictionary explains
evidence as; "that which makes evident or provides a sign or
indication of something; that which shows or establishes the
truth or falsity of something; proof; testimony; law, that
which is legally submitted to a competent tribunal as a
means of ascertaining the truth of anything under
investigation. In evidence; easily seen or noticed."
Let us now paraphrase Hebrews thus far and see what it says,
'Faith is the sign which shows forth and establishes the
truth which is easily seen and noticed as proof.'
Faith therefore is its own evidence, and it is sufficient as
the very proof of what we believe and what we are hoping for
in order to see a desired result. Never the less, faith is
not a blind force based on an empty hope; rather, faith is
based on something totally reliable, unfading and secure.
That security and certainty is simply, a promise.
Activated and owned in the now, a promise makes the future
present to us. If we believe a promise then we have
something to look forward to and something to live for. This
is the substance of hope; it makes what is yet to come
present to us and it makes sense of what Jesus meant when he
said, "Be as though you have received."
The Christian virtue of hope is not a vain thing. Saint Paul
tells us that hope is one of the three things that last,
"Faith, hope and love." (1Corinthians 13:13) Unlike a
worldly concept, Christian hope is to have our minds filled
with a confident expectation of everything that is good and
it is especially, although not specifically, directly
associated with God's promise of salvation; it is reliable
because God is faithful to his promise.
Ephesians 6:17, says that hope is a "helmet of salvation."
It is interesting to note that Saint Paul places salvation
on the head as a protective helmet. This is because our mind
is the battleground that Satan attacks. In Eden, the serpent
does not so much cause Adam and Eve to hate God, but by his
subtle distortions of what God had said, he causes them to
forget about God. By focusing their attention on the
forbidden tree until it begins to look good does this very
effectively and he still works this way today.
Distracted by the serpent's distorted argument, Adam and Eve
lost faith in what God had said to them. The result was the
fall and fear was the consequence; they had now put their
faith in what the serpent had said and that resulted in fear
and death. Fear is the opposite of faith and death is the
consequence of losing hope. The virtue of Christian hope
therefore, is to fill our mind with a confident expectation
of everything that is good concerning what God has said
regarding our salvation and wellbeing.
What we believe is what we put our faith in, and what we put
our faith in determines the result; this is an activity of
the mind and the subsequent free-will choices that we make.
It is the liberation of the mind that sets us free to act
rightly and therefore people, holy angels and evil angels
can also present ideas and images to our minds and what we
choose to entertain in our thoughts inevitably becomes an
action in our lives.
The hope of our salvation is available immediately on
acceptance of Jesus by faith according to what we hear, and
it guarantees the future fulfilment through his promises
received in the present. (Romans 10:17) In Ephesians,
6:17 Saint Paul says that the helmet is the hope of our
In other words, it is an attitude of mind in confident
expectation of everything good coming to us as God has
promised. This gives us peace of mind. The helmet protects
the head so that the hope we entertain is safe from doubt
and fear. Saint Paul also tells us that the battleground is
the human mind and that we bring every thought captive in
obedience with Christ. (2Corinthians 3-5, 2Corinthians
10:3-6, Ephesians 3:23.)
- Eddie Russell
by Flame Ministries International - ISBN
0-646-44975-3. (C) Copyright Eddie Russell FMI.
All Rights Reserved.
+Archbishop Barry J Hickey DD, OAM
Catholic Archdiocese of Perth, Western
Nihil Obstat: Rev Fr Brian G
O'Loughlin JCD, PhD, Vicar General,
Catholic Archdiocese of Perth, Western
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Zealand Catholic Newspaper by Fr John Rea,
attention-grabbing title grabbed me more when I realised it
derives from the original Star Trek TV series. The author
immediately takes us boldly where no Catholic writer, as far
as I know, has gone before by inviting us to see God's
work of salvation written in the zodiac. What he writes has
nothing to do with astrology or horoscopes. Readers can
judge how valid his claim is that the way we are saved is
depicted in the stars. ...
raising the dead, a letter from Fr John Rea SM said,
heard from a lady who had just read the chapter in which he
describes raising the dead nun to life when she herself had
to deal with someone who was apparently dead. She drew faith
from Eddie's book and the young woman came back to
Faith Jim, is on a par with C.S. Lewis 'Mere
Hastings - Catholic Times, United Kingdom
READERS HAVE SAID
was exhausted and thrilled after reading the two chapters
you emailed. What a story of grace and triumph over the
enemy. To go from that life you led to what Flame is doing
worldwide now is miraculous. - It's Faith Jim, is on a
par with CS Lewis' Mere
Hastings - Christian Journalist, Glasgow,
have read your book on the nature of light and also on the
Logos/Rhema acting on creation. They are extremely
clear. I know that God speaks to us through His creation and
in a sense His creation is a kind of parable.
How light works as described by you is a very telling
metaphor of how the Light of Christ operates through us as
we can reflect Christ to the glory of God and also how it
acts in creation through the Word. You also demonstrate this
through Scripture and the Gospel.
Your insights are that of a true teacher of the truth. Your
book inspires us to see more clearly why we believe and how
faith works and it supports our faith as we are led to
understand God who speaks to us in his creation and in his
Word and the effect of his Word in
Ford - Perth, Western
people may think that Christians are not with the times, but
your book showed me how Christianity is relevant and can
combat any fluffy promises posed by the
Your book definitely increased my faith-level because I
realized how much bigger God is than I dared to imagine,
especially when reading about the Mazzaroth; It brought time
closer together for me with the beginning of the world and
the earthly end painted in the sky, rather than this
seemingly endless world; It helped me connect in my
mind the up there in heaven to down here on
earth showing me that God really does love us and wants
to make it easy for us to see the truth. - I also loved the
notion that the Mazzaroth was placed so that only we on
earth alone could see it.
The book also reinforced the teachings of Christ, that we
need to claim His promises through faith; We cannot sit back
and wait, we need to have faith and take action to make
things work in our lives through Jesus.
It inspired me mainly because I saw how creative God really
is, and that makes Him so cool in this age. I am
surrounded by new-age stuff wherever I go, and I am proud to
say that my God is bigger and real compared to that phoney
stuff and it highlights that there is a good and evil force
and without recognizing the evil, God becomes watered down
The Mazzaroth was a great teaching because it is so
relevant, and I have never heard about that before- I wish
everyone knew the original author of the star constellations
- God himself and not the New Idea and the
Another great understanding gained was about how man was
actually created through (cosmic) dust, Gods word and
spirit breathed into us. It gave a greater meaning to
creation of Adam and Eve.
The overall message I received from the book is that God is
so big and awesome and yet gentle and caring.
I recommend it to others and I will be buying a couple of
more copies as Christmas presents. Thank you for your
insights - They are amazing.
Bevan, Perth, Western Australia.