In the early 1970s Kenneth Begishe dug a hole in the Arizona desert and stuck a sign in the ground announcing White Post Church. At the time, there wasn’t a building in sight…or much of anything else either, except sand rats. On the Navajo Indian Reservation people were scattered so far and wide that for the most part the land looked uninhabited.
But that didn’t bother Kenneth Begishe. He was a faith man.
He’d gotten hold of some of our tapes and heard The WORD of God. He believed it, and as far as he was concerned it was all he needed. So, after staking out his spot in the middle of nowhere and saying, “This is White Post Church!” Brother Begishe started traveling from one Navajo hogan to another telling people about Jesus and getting them born again.
In 1973, he invited Jerry Savelle and me to come and help him conduct the first word of faith convention ever held on an Indian reservation. By then, White Post Church was a lot more than a sign. It was a growing church of 250 people.
I’ll never forget the meetings we had there! Before they began, Brother Begishe filled me in about what to expect—particularly at offering time. “Brother Copeland,” he said, “our people have been taught never to come before The LORD empty-handed, so they always bring an offering. But it isn’t always money. Sometimes they give little polished stones they’ve found on the ground, a favorite shirt that’s been washed and ironed, or a favorite piece of jewelry.”
I thought that was great. But what really thrilled me was what he said next.
“When our church first got started, no one who attended owned a car or a pickup truck. Everyone walked, rode a horse, or traveled by horse and wagon. But I began to teach them The WORD of God, and now every member of my church has either a car or a pickup. We’re prospering.”
I knew when I heard that, it was nothing short of supernatural. The area was famous for being one of the most scarcely populated, poverty-stricken places in the nation. Yet this church was not only flourishing, the people in it were too—even though they had nothing to put in the offering but rocks!
What made such a thing possible? Where did the resources come from?
I’ll tell you this, the government didn’t provide them. Neither did the bank. They didn’t come from the thriving local economy because there wasn’t one. In fact, the resources for White Post Church and its congregation didn’t come from this natural world at all.
They came from The WORD of God through people who dared to believe that what Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 is the absolute truth: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Their faith brought prosperity to the Navajo Nation. The nation did not bring prosperity to them.
Part of the Problem or Part of the Answer?
“Brother Copeland, that’s great,” you might say, “but not all of us are called to do what Kenneth Begishe did.”
Sure we are. God might not tell us to start a church like he did, but we’re all called to do the works of Jesus in one form or another. We’re all called to hear what God is saying to us, “receive it, and bring forth fruit” (Mark 4:20). That’s how God’s will gets done on earth as it is in heaven. God says it, we believe His WORD and speak it, then the Father within us does the work and brings it to pass.
That’s the process God used all the way through the Bible. It’s what He did at Creation and recorded in Genesis. It’s what Jesus did throughout the Gospels; and it’s what God intends us to be doing every day to manifest His BLESSING in and through our lives.
He doesn’t want us depending on the world and its systems. He doesn’t want us looking on the outside to people and governments and economies for the resources we need to carry out His will. He created us to live from the inside out. He desires us to be dependent on no one but Him!
Instead of being subject to the problems in this world, we’re supposed to draw on The WORD and the Spirit of God within us and bring forth the answers!
Although we’ve done this to a certain extent, we haven’t yet scratched the surface of God’s plans for us, and here’s why: We have vastly underestimated our spiritual capacity. With some help from the devil and traditional religious ideas, we’ve continued to think of ourselves as “only human.”
“Well, aren’t we human?” you might ask.
Yes, but we aren’t just human. We’re joint heirs with Jesus Christ of Nazareth. He is both human and divine. He is fully man and fully God. As believers, born again in His image, we’re just like Him. We have his spiritual DNA and His spiritual capacity because “as he is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).
Once we realize this and start following His example, we can do what He did and get the same results. So let’s look at exactly what He told us in the New Testament about His method of operation. He said:
- “I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” (John 8:28)
- “I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.” (John 12:49)
- “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” (John 14:10)
One day when I was praying over these verses, meditating on the fact that we have the capacity to hear and speak God’s WORD just like Jesus did, it hit me that He said we live by “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Every word!
Suddenly, I started thinking about how many words that might include. I’d read somewhere there are well over a million words in the English language. About 175,000 of them are currently in use. The conversational vocabulary of the average person is between 75,000 and 80,000 words. How many words does God know? I wondered.
As I pondered the question, The LORD spoke to me. Kenneth, I could speak continually one word right after the other throughout eternity and never say the same word twice.
That’s amazing, isn’t it? Our God is BIG and He has a lot to say! But what’s even more amazing is this: We’re created in His image, so if He can say it, we can hear it. If we can hear it, it will build faith in us. If we’ll release that faith by speaking His words, He can bring them to pass and we can have whatever He says. We’re only one word behind God!
A Glorious Heritage
I realize that to many Christians this sounds like some kind of far-out idea we faith folks came up with, but it’s not. This was God’s plan for mankind from the beginning. In fact, if you’ll go back and really read Genesis 1, you’ll see this is how man was created. “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion…” (verse 26).
A lot of people read that verse with the idea that God was simply describing what He planned to do. They have the impression He was just saying, “I have an idea. I think we should make a man.”
But that’s not accurate.
What God was doing was continuing the same process He’d already begun in Genesis 1:3 where He said, “Light be!” and light was (which is literally how the verse reads in the Hebrew language). He was continuing with the method He had used in verses 6-7 and 11 where He said, “Let there be a firmament…and it was so,” and “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed…and it was so.”
God wasn’t just communicating in those verses. He (God the Father) was actually creating with His words; and He wasn’t the only One involved in the process. Jesus was too.
“What?” someone might say. “I never heard that before!”
Then you need to read your Bible more closely, because John 1, identifies Jesus as “the Word…made flesh” (verse 14), and says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (verses 1-3).
This is the way all matter came into existence! God gave words to His Son, a future man, who spoke those words and they became this universe. The same thing happened when God created man. He did it through His Son. As Genesis 2:7 says, “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
Because the English translation of that verse says God “breathed” into man’s nostrils, it’s easy for us as English-speaking Christians to get the wrong picture of what happened there. We tend to imagine God blowing into Adam’s nose inflating him like a balloon. But that’s not at all how it reads in Hebrew. In Hebrew the word translated breathe also means spirit, so a better translation would be: “The Lord spirited into man’s body the spirit of life.”
Since Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63), this is what we really see happening in Genesis 2:7: God and Jesus are standing in the Garden of Eden, holding Adam’s lifeless body by the shoulders. It’s just hanging there, limp and colorless. Jesus is looking at that body eye to eye because in form, the body is the same shape and size Jesus is. It’s been made to look exactly like Him in every way because it’s been designed for beings who will be kings, under God, on the earth.
Suddenly, God gives the word and Jesus says, “Man be in our image, and have dominion!” Then the Holy Spirit who’s been there hovering over Adam’s inanimate body goes into action, brings that word to pass and, as the Hebrew Bible puts it, “man became a living, speaking spirit just like God.”
Talk about a glorious beginning! This is our heritage. This is what you and I were created by God to be. We were made to be like Him, look like Him, fellowship with Him, and co-create with Him by following His example and using the same process He used to create us—hearing, believing and speaking the words of God!
As If We’d Never Sinned
Of course, the devil and religion won’t tell you this. They’ll tell you the opposite. They’ll try to degrade you and mock you because you’re only human. They’ll say, “You’re nothing but an unworthy worm.”
But you’re not a worm and neither am I. We’re in the God class! We’re just as truly God’s sons and daughters as Jesus Himself. As 1 John 3:1 says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” And The Amplified Bible affirms it: “And so we are!”
“But what about sin, Brother Copeland? What about the Fall of Man and the curse?”
Jesus took care of it for us. He paid the price so that God’s grace could abound toward us and He could treat us as if we’d never sinned. That’s why the Apostle Paul could write these thrilling words in the New Testament: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18, 21).
Can you see this? The same thing happened to you when you were born again that happened to Adam when God said, “Man be in our image and have dominion!” Only this time you got to be involved in the process. You received Jesus by hearing, believing and speaking God’s words. In response, the Holy Spirit—who was hovering over your body just like He once hovered over Adam’s—went into action and a new man was born on the inside of you. Old things passed away, all things became new, and you were re-created in the very image of Jesus. His Spirit came alive in you and you received the capacity to hear and live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
That’s what happened to Kenneth Begishe! He got born again and heard what God had to say about creating a WORD-believing church full of Navajo Indians. When he heard that word, faith sprang up in his heart and he painted a sign and planted it in the ground. He said, in essence, “White Post Church, be!”
Sure enough, the Holy Spirit moved to bring the word to pass, and before long there was a church on that once-vacant patch of desert. Where there’d been nothing but sand rats, God’s WORD was being preached, people were getting born again and prospering.
That’s the kind of thing that happens when believers start living from the inside out.