Let’s talk about Power
Why are the churches in America nearly powerless as compared to the church of the first two centuries?
Notice how clearly Jesus spoke about this major issue:
Luke 24:45-49 NASB Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, (46) and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, (47) and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. (48) “You are witnesses of these things. (49) “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Note that this commissioning promise of power came after He had breathed on His disciples and said “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20: 21-23)
Strong’s tells us the word “power” is from the Greek word “dunamis,” G1411. It means: force (literally or figuratively); specifically miraculous power (usually by implication a miracle itself). It is used in 116 verses in the N. T.
Vines N. T. dictionary offers: “power, might, mighty works, miracles, mighty deeds. and that which manifests God’s power.
Paul said, “my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” (1Co_2:4)
Jesus *said, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (10) “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. (11) “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. (12) “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. (13) “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Joh 14:9-13 NASB
A few reasons we should see more miracles, signs and wonders today:
• Bless the people God loves, His Body, the church and the people of the world who need to experience His love by way of healings and deliverance from evil oppression
• These are the most effective evangelizing tools known to man
• Jesus said He wanted continuity between his own ministry and the ongoing ministry of the church. “As the Father has sent me so send I you” (John 20:21). Luke says in Luke 9:2 that when Jesus sent out the twelve, “He sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal.” And in Luke 10:9 when he sent out the 70, he commanded them, “Whenever you enter a town . . . heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near you.'” So the preaching of the kingdom seems to be very closely linked with the ministry of healing
• Jesus says, “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all the nations; then the end will come.” In other words, the same gospel of the kingdom that Jesus preached is to be preached until all the nations have heard it. And it would seem natural that we should spread that kingdom pretty much the way Jesus did except in those points which he tells us to change or in which some other part of the New Testament tells us to change. So, for example, we do stop limiting the ministry to Jews, because he said to stop, but we don’t stop healing, because he didn’t say to stop
• In John 14:12 Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do.” Whatever this means in detail, it surely seems to suggest continuity between the signs and wonders of Jesus and the ministry of those who believe (not just apostles). So the first piece of evidence is that Jesus seems to teach a continuity between his ministry and the ministry of the church. He does not say, “Make healing part of the ministry while I am here, but not after I am gone”
•Also we see the 70 being sent out to do miraculous works of power (Luke 10:1, 17), the 120 included in receiving power in the upper room (Acts 1:15), Stephen (Acts 8:6), Philip (Acts 6:8), and his daughters (Acts 21:8-9) operating in Holy Spirit power. Indeed, this statement indicates that in the end of the age (now?) the supernatural works of 1Cor 12:8-10) will be active: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams (Acts 2:17).
• In Acts 6:8 Luke says, “Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.” And in Acts 8:6 it says, “And the multitudes with one accord gave heed to what was said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs which he did.” What makes Philip’s ministry to the Samaritans so interesting is that later the apostles came down and laid hands on the Samaritans. This means that Philip was not acting somehow in the place of an apostle when he did signs and wonders. He simply had sign-working power in his evangelistic ministry
• Another piece of evidence is found in Galatians 3:5. Paul writes to the churches of Galatia and says, “Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?” The point is that God is now supplying his Spirit to the Galatians (not to the apostles) and working miracles among them when he is not there. So the working of miracles does not seem to be limited to the ministry of the apostles in the early church
• Finally, the evidence is that in 1 Corinthians 12 Paul teaches that in the church there were gifts of healing and miracles for various believers not just for the apostles. He says in verses 7–10, “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good . . . to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom . . . to another gifts of healing, to another workings of miracles.” Then in verse 28 he distinguishes this from the apostolate when he says, “God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings. So it seems pretty clear that there were gifts of healings and miracles that were not limited to the apostles
For reasons like these, we believe that signs and wonders were not limited to the apostles or to that age, but are available for today and should be sought for the good of the church and the spread of the gospel. Indeed, many nations are experiencing the signs, wonders, and miracles in abundance.
What shall we say to these facts from scripture? We ought to be open to the clear indications that this too is a unique moment in history, and in this moment the global evidence shows us it is God’s purpose to pour out his Spirit in unprecedented revival—revival of deepened love of Christ and zeal for worship, compassion for lost people, and a missionary thrust with Holy Spirit gifts and miracles.
Westerners, Europe and North America especially, show clear signs of believing first in the religions of money, power, pleasures, science and education. They proudly say, “Religion is passing away as we now have greater light.” Clearly none of these blessings of prosperity are intrinsically evil in themselves, but when the pride of life rises up in atheism and agnosticism to try to eliminate devotion to our Creator it has to be followed by deep darkness. We are in it and it is growing worse. God loves us and is offering His answer to these dark clouds. But are we wise enough to respond to Him?
December 22, 2015
I found an encouraging interview last night with Pat Schatzline, on the Sid Roth show.
Copy and paste into browser: http://www.sidroth.org/television/tv-archives/pat-schatzline-0?src=banner_tv
Tell me what you think, is revival happening all around the world? Notice also the info on this page: http://www.hsoutpouring.org/2015/12/testimonies/
It is likely that you will desire to partner with us in this strategically important work that will bring glory to Jesus, our King.
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