Thursday, 9 August 2012

Beyond Belief Part 2; An Invitation to Follow

Beyond Belief
 Part 2; An Invitation to Follow

Matthew 9:37-38 “37 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.  38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."  NKJV

In the first part of this series, we were laying the framework to support the fact that God still moves today, in our nation, in our city, in our church and in our individual lives.  We must admit the fact that God can and wants to use us in a powerful way if we would only believe that He would.  The reality of His everlasting power and dominion must resonate not only within us, but also flow out through our hands and lips.  These messages are called “Beyond Belief” because we can all read the gospels and the Book of Acts and see these actions and miracles on the page, and never believe for Christ to act again.  We must do more than just believe something happened we must take the actions beyond the page and into our reality.  We must go from believing to demonstrating.  This is what sets apart the Church of Christ from all others, our God and Savior is alive and is not afraid to move in divine power to heal, guide and deliver anyone who call upon the Trinity.  Yet Christ does not work alone, he has an army that is qualified (whether they believe it or not) to do as he did, with their hands, hearts and mouths.

Now getting back to Part 1 you may be wondering where Paul could have gotten the authority to say the things he did in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, 1 Thessalonians 1:5 and Romans 15:18-19.  This was the fulfillment of what Christ promised to His disciples and to all those who would call on His Name.  These gifts were not reserved for the holiest of them all or those with enough seniority to collect them, no the Fruits and the Gifts are available to all.   First we must begin with the words of Christ to His disciples and the permission He gave to them to do as He did. Let us take look at this moment in Matthew, Mark, and Luke

Matthew 10:1 “And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease” NKJV

Matthew 10:7-8 “7 And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'  8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” NKJV

Mark 3:14-15 “14 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, 15 and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons:” NKJV

Luke 9:1-2 “Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. 2 He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” NKJV

Here we see the precursor of what Paul spoke of.   That they were not only to preach, but were also able to perform these miracles.  The very same miracles they had witnessed Jesus perform.  Now take notice there is a subtle condition in play here, God’s power comes when the Gospel is preached.  It is a sign to confirm the words they were preaching, and the words they were preaching was of the Messiah.  Not of man’s wisdom, not of psychology, not of pop-culture but the pure gospel.  These powers are not to amuse the crowds or our egos, but the purpose of to illuminate the hearers to the light of Christ.  And at the time of this ordination of the twelve Christ still hadn’t been crucified, and yet they had results as we see in. 

Mark 6:12-13 “12 So they went out and preached that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.” NKJV

How much more must we do the same now that Christ has been raised and is King of All?  Now even today must we swallow our pride and step away from fear, and pick up the weapons given to us.  We must embrace Faith, laying the security of tracts and scripted prayers.  We too are called to move in the miraculous, we must only believe, the question has never been can Jesus heal but rather will.  All through the gospels all who asked received, Jesus felt compassion on them and reached out His hand.  Today we are those hands, we are the ones who feel compassion on the lost.  We are the ones proclaiming the Good News of His atonement of our sins and His free gift of salvation.  We are the beacons of light, not of paper.

Yet despite all this there is a very popular argument against what I am speaking of, that this power was reserved for the apostles alone.  Which cannot be true because Jesus also commissioned the seventy to go out and do the same works in Luke 10:1.  And after a short time they returned also with the following report.

Luke 10:17-20 “17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name." 18 And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.  20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."  NKJV

The gifts are never for our own pleasure, they are the tools from the Almighty to reach the lost, be it healing, deliverance, prophecy, or the rest.  We have free access to all these in order to advance the Kingdom not our own islands.  Our job is to speak the gospel, then to reach out with our hands and let God be God.  We are simply to believe that He is, He will, and He did.
From the twelve to the seventy to all those who would believe the invitation and the commission was sent out.  To all those who believed, to all those called to the harvest, to all those who have been adopted.  We are one body, with one purpose, and one King 
And our King after His resurrection proclaimed to all those who would follow Him that they too would walk the Earth in the same way He did in Holiness, Love and Power.

Mark 16:16-18 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.  17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;  18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."  NKJV

These promises are not for another day, but here and now, no longer will fear bind us to the shadows, we are to burn brighter than the sun.  Our pasts, the failures of others is not what our faith is based on, it is based on what Christ did.  There is nothing anyone can do to change what Christ did, no one can nullify His actions or words, or commission to His children.   We have a choice, will we become like a mighty rushing river of the presence, power and love of Christ. Or will we become like a Dam trying to control the waters of life?

John 14:12-15 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. KJV

Written by Cameron Conway

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