Monday, July 23, 2007

Session 5 - Rob Rufus at TOAM 07!

Here are the notes from Rob Rufus's second main session. It is somewhat shorter than the first session as Rob was eager to get onto practical ministry and praying for the impartation of faith to those eager to receive it (and there were many!). However there is some invaluable teaching on faith there that I have never heard before.

Rob Rufus – Session 2 – TOAM 07

To continue with being full of the Spirit of faith and power this afternoon. Faith is a fun thing. Philippians 1 speaks of the “Joy in believing”. We encounter a living God and then we have faith. Abraham didn’t have a clue who God was but the God of Creation came to him and revealed Himself to him and then he had faith. This is the difference between sophisticated intellectual faith and the primitive faith that burned so brightly at Pentecost. They had such an encounter with God that the light of God’s glory appeared on each of them and supersonic sounds were heard. Peter’s first sermon was an explanation; “This is what Joel prophesied”.

As they walked in divine encounters with the living God their faith kept growing and growing.

Faith is infectious and contagious – when you are near people who are full of the spirit of faith you will always feel bold and courageous.

Faith will produce 3 things in you –

1. Humility

2. Boldness

3. Obedience.

Unbelief also produces three things –

1. Fear

2. Pride

3. Rebellion.

Faith is more precious than gold according to the Bible! Paul writes to the Thessalonians saying “I want to come and impart that which is lacking in your faith”. Impartation can release a faith that is more precious than gold. He says that they were “ever increasing” in faith. So you can keep on increasing in faith!

Want to speak about two things; 1. How the dynamic sovereign initiatives of God operate when He does miracles apart from our faith. God can sometimes do miracles to those atheists who have no faith whatsoever. “God does nothing apart from in response to our prayers” – not sure about that statement. Who prayed that He would create the universe? We want to see at the same time; 2. God responding to our faith initiatives. This thing has perplexed and overwhelmed people – it should be simple and should really encourage us. Jesus was totally at times bound to His Father’s will. He goes by the sovereign impulse of the initiative of His Father but other times (Mark 5) He simply seems to be responding to the needs of mortal men. As soon as Jesus felt faith in Jairus He said, “Yes I’m coming!”. He went wherever faith is pulling on Him – yet at other times He was prepared to leave the crowds because His Father said.

We must get an understanding of how to cooperate with the sovereignity of God yet not abdicate everything to the sovereignity of God and get into fatalism and sit around in fatalism waiting for the sovereign initiatives of God before we even step out in faith.

Paul the apostle was a mighty man of faith yet was abused, beaten and high jacked – yet in faith he could say these were momentary afflictions. He was living in the sovereign purpose of God yet taking faith adventures for God.

How to Increase in Faith.
On these steps of increasing in faith – want to discuss the distinction between the sovereign initiatives of faith and our excursions in faith. Faith is fun! Religious people love to debate! Beware of that. Spirit of God sometimes says “It’s better felt than telt” – plug them into My power. You have to pick up the nuances of the Spirit.

a. Be honest with God.
Say “God I don’t have the faith to get people out of wheelchairs”. God will give grace as well as faith to the humble. When we live in the delusions that we are full of faith when we are not, God will allow us to go through trials to prove that we are not full of faith and are dependent on Him.

b. By exercising the spirit of faith.
Sometimes may pray for people to be healed and it doesn’t work. Father says “I’m so proud of you – you are like Peter! At least you got out of the boat!”. Someone once said;

“It’s better to get out of the boat and try to walk on water and drown than die of boredom sitting in the religious safety of the boat”.

God says; “You have just conceived in your spirit a totally blind eye opening”! “Enigmata dunamis” – creative working of miracles. Faith increases when we exercise it.

c. Hearing the Word of God.
Kathryn Kuhlman would lead people in worship until they were healed and the place was full of the Presence of God. She didn’t even have to pray for people – they just got healed. Even today people watching the videos can just get healed by the faith presence in the room. The Presence of God on this woman was so heavy and strong! Most people healed in her meetings had no faith at all – but the glory was so thick and dense on her meetings! How do you explain an atheist professor come to disapprove and expose her finding an eardrum created in his ear and hearing returned?! How do you explain sovereign initiatives of God? That’s God being God because He enjoys it!

“If you get an unbroken sequence of miracles the danger is you get stupid. God will give us longer unbroken stretches of miracles if we stay humble!”

Let us ensure that we do not become educated beyond our intelligence! Paul’s thorn in the flesh was not an illness – he told us what it was – insults, hardships and trials. Faith comes by the hearing of the Word of God – people must see that the Word of God wills that people get healed.

d. The Word of Knowledge.
You just know it is the will of God that someone gets healed. That is a sovereign thing!

e. Miracle Faith is Imparted through Impartation.
(Acts 6) The first deacons being appointed in the church. These men had to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. Today we just see them as putting out the church – yet the Bible suggests that the deacons are to help the elders govern. One of their main roles is to help the church move forward in unity. Deacons should keep the church moving forward in unity under the government of the elders. (v3). Opposition always arises against the supernatural. (Acts 8) Philip was also one of the seven. (v4). “With shrieks evil spirits came out of many … many paralytics were healed”. I think they had a difficulty choosing the seven because so many were full of the Spirit and wisdom in that early church. There is no indication that Philip and Stephen who did signs and wonders. It seems it was only the apostles doing signs and wonders. These were men full of the Spirit and wisdom and faith but no indication they were moving in signs and wonders – that describes many in the Church today. They haven’t been activated in the supernatural. What transitioned these from faith to action? These people believed in impartation. “They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid their hands on them”. We underestimate the laying on of hands to our peril – we need activation and impartation that suddenly people not moving in any signs and wonders suddenly begin to move in the supernatural.

Pastors and teachers can help keep a church in a revival atmosphere without everyone get exhausted, but also keep the level of faith in the miraculous high. The early church lived in the miraculous while shepherding and caring for one another! The local church should be a place where the glory of God comes – the supernatural Presence of God is going to be in the place.

Don’t fight against either the sovereignity of God or having faith – they partner and compliment each other. Always make the worship time really important – that is when the glory comes.

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