Friday, April 04, 2008

Rob Rufus on "The Power of the Authoritative Command"

A truly anointed preacher is one who does not constantly reveal new and unheard of truths, but one who is gifted at pointing out the seemingly obvious and bringing it alive. Rob Rufus is one such preacher - hence why I love his faith-building preaching! Rob and Glenda are away in Australia on a ministry trip so I have taken the opportunity from the break in his incredible "Invading the Impossible" series and my transcribing of them - to wander back through the archives of City Church International and unearth past treasures. I found one such sermon here.

It is called; "The Power of the Authoritative Command for Healing - Part 1" and it was indeed a simple sermon. But the implications are breath-taking. Rob asks quite rightly why the Church is spending so much of it's time praying for healing when actually the norm in the New Testament was that of Jesus Christ and the apostles who made statements of command; "Come out ... Get up and walk". In other words - why are we asking God the Father to do things that He has asked US to do? This sermon needs to be read and read again. I have published it on the Rob Rufus blog but feel compelled to re-publish here.

May it make a contribution towards seeing greater miracles, faith and signs and wonders in the Body of Christ.

"Father we come to the Word of God and we thank You that it is not written by the mentality of men - we thank You that it is God-breathed, it is a supernatural Book, it was written over a period of thousands of years by people who never met one another and yet the theme is so supernaturally consistent. We thank You that the promises and the prophecies that were given thousands of years ago were fulfilled exactly in the geographical regions like You said they would be. And we have no doubt that everything in this Book is alive and vibrating with divine life. We thank You that these are God-generated words useful for instruction in daily living and in supernatural lifestyles. We thank You that the entrance of Your word brings light and instructs the simple. So we open our hearts to revelation in Jesus Name. Amen".

This is our eighth teaching in the series on healing. I am going to talk today on a subject that is more empowering than any other subject you will ever hear on healing. This is the best speech you are going to hear! This is the best message you will ever hear on healing - but I am telling the truth! We are probably going to do this over 3 sessions. I can safely say (and I say this in no unkind way) that it seems to me in my limited observation from travelling to different nations and observing the way that people pray for the sick that this is an area that is pretty much hidden and not understood! I think Christians have got some insight into this but it is not crystal clear.

Now friends until you see something with clear vision you cannot possess it - you cannot gain the inheritance of that. If you can see the invisible - you can do the impossible. But if you can't see something without a vision - people perish. Without a vision you won't even aim for it. Without a target you don't even know it exists!

But once you know something is there and it is God's will for you to have it - in fact He desires PASSIONATELY for you to walk in it, then you are going to inherit it!
As we see this way of releasing healing to the sick and the dying and the hurting and the dead (even releasing resurrection life) then faith is going to errupt in our hearts and we are going to walk in it.

I think it is going to take at least 3 sessions to teach on it and this teaching is on; "The Power of an Authoritative Command" - "The Power of an Authoritative Healing Command".

If you want to see a dramatic increase in the miracles through your life then STOP praying for the sick! If you want to see a dramatic increase in miracles through your life STOP doing what most of the Church does - stop praying for the sick and start releasing authoritative healing commands!

Let us align up with the Word of God. There is a place to pray for the sick but I can only find one verse in the entire Bible. It is the exception! In James chapter 5 it says for the elders the prayer of faith will save the sick and raise them up. Everywhere else it is healing commands! Jesus didn't ask us to go out in the world and ask Him to do what He asked us to do. He told us in Matthew 10:7; "Tell people the Kingdom of Heaven is near". The Kingdom of heaven is not a distant place that you will get to one day where you will be safe, secure, healed and whole. The Kingdom of heaven is near. It is tangible, it is touchable, it is manifesting right here! Then tell them; "The Kingdom of heaven is near - heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Freely you have received - freely give". He never said "Pray for the sick" - He said; "HEAL the sick"! And He said; "Do it the way I did it". So let's see the way He did it.

Mark 1:21; "Then He went to Capernaum and the people were amazed at His teaching because He taught them as one who had authority not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man who was in the synagogue possessed by an evil spirit cried out; 'What do you want with us Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know Who You are! You are the Holy One of God!'. 'Be quiet' said Jesus sternly. 'Come out of him!'. The evil spirits shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek". Because they were so frightened. "The people were all so amazed that they asked each other; 'What is this? A new teaching with authority? He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey Him!'. News of Him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee". As soon as miracles start happening the news spreads very quickly! Do you know what miracles are?

Miracles are God coming down out of His realm (the faith realm) down into the human realm (the reason realm) and doing things that are normal in His realm but abnormal in the human realm. Miracles are God intervening in the general order of things - to heal knees and backs and so on - to meet a need by the supernatural means of power.

The true desire for miracles should not be the obsession of a few fringe fanatics because it is the central consistent current of God's compassion throughout all ages and generations. Those who truly live and walk close to the living God will certainly manifest this theme of His heart. His miracles are often manifested into the earth realm by the authoritative command or announcement of faith. Proverbs 18:21; "The power of life and death is in the tongue" - no country is complete without it's language without the dialect of it's own. The people of France speak French and the people of Germany speak German. All Chinese nations speak Chinese and as citizens of heaven we are called to speak the language of our homeland.

It is the language of faith! In faith's lexicon - there are no words for; "I will never get out of this" or "I am going to die of this sickness" or "Why did I get this sickness?". That is not in faith's vocabulary!

Faith has seen the face of Jesus and fills the human soul with dominion over demons and death! It is a tangible conciousness of conquest that masters sickness and death with the language of the authoritative command.

Let me give you my definition of an authoritative command;

An authoritative command is not prayer - and I believe in prayer and pray every day. An authoritative command is not a petition or a request heaven-ward. It is an authoritative command that flows out of your spirit by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It is an anointed annoucement that releases the power of God's government and demands that circumstances immediately align themselves with God's will.

The Church is the gateway of heaven according to Jacob's experience! The authoritative command releases things from one world into the other world.

We are brokers of the heavenly realm and when we say what God is saying - realities are released into the environment that were not there before.

The overwhelming vast majority of miraculous healings in the New Testament occured by the authoritative command. In fact in the New Testament you will see very little praying or petitioning God to heal people.

The authoritative command is the primary prescribed way to heal the sick. It is obviously the most effective for results! As the Church begins to rediscover her authority in Christ, she will step into the flow of the anointing of authoritative commands and see spectacular results. Remember this authority is not our personal condition on the earth but it comes from our personal position in Christ in heavenly places! That His obedience was downloaded as a free gift to us - His absolute perfection in life is our credibility, is our standing, and is our status before God!

That is why Jesus could say in John 14:12; "Anyone who has faith in Me will do ... even greater works". Jesus was both fully God and man but His divinity was fully restrained in His humanity and He handcuffed His life to His humanity so that He could become the new norm of humanity manifesting miracles that are the inheritance for every believer who is in Christ Jesus. Now Luke 13 we saw last week that Jesus saw a woman in the synagogue who was bowed over by a spirit and was crippled for 18 years by Satan it says. He does not pray for her to be healed, He does not implore the Father or make request for God to put His power on her. He said; "Woman! You are set free of your infirmity". He lays His hands on her and immediately she straightens up and begins to praise God. Now there is nothing in the Scripture to say that when He laid His hands on her, He begged His Father to put power on her. He just announced that she was set free from her infirmity and immediately there was a power transaction and she stood up.
We saw in Luke chapter 5 when men came with a paralysed man and ripped a hole in the roof and lowered him down to where the power of God was present to heal and Jesus was there. When Jesus saw what they were doing, it says He saw their faith and said; "Your sins are forgiven you". The Pharisees said in their hearts; "Who can forgive sins but God?". Jesus knowing what was in their hearts said; "What is easier to say - your sins are forgiven you or stand up and walk? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins - I tell you get up, take your mat and go home". And immediately the man got up and walked and the crowds were amazed. No prayer or petition asking God to heal the man. An authoritative command heals the man and the man gets up.

In Mark chapter 5 towards the end of that chapter, Jesus puts the mourners out. They are screaming hysterically and there is a 12 year old girl dead. He takes Peter, James and John with Him because He is going to have a class on healing and raising the dead. He is going to show them how to do it. He will show them not just by preaching but by doing it in front of their eyes. He brings the mother and father in out of respect for them and walks up to the girl and says; "I say to you little girl, get up!". She immediately gets up and He says; "Give her some food". Another day! Another one raised! No praying! "Oooh God put Your power on them!". God will say;

"Listen! I told YOU to go raise the dead, pray for the sick - I didn't ask you to ask Me to do what I told YOU to do!".

How many people would keep their jobs if they kept asking their boss to do what they were employed to do!? The Church keeps asking God to do what He told us to do! He said; "You heal the sick, you raise the dead, you cast out demons, you cleanse lepers!". Wherever the Church just sidelines miracles and healings to a little fanatical fringe group or occasionally once every 5 years teaches half a message on it - to overcome 300-500-1000 years of solid unbelief that is encamped over the Church in strongholds of unbelief and heresy and false theology!

Demons and doctrines of devils that have gripped the Church in a spirit of unbelief - the Church has legitimised theologies that rationalise the absence of a God of miracles!

And if you only preach half a message once every 5 years you will not demolish those strongholds and those wrong ways of thinking. Most churches need to preach for 3 months on signs, wonders and miracles and the covenant of healing and redemption and healing in the Cross before the Church starts to slowly move out of it's deception. But many will not even teach one Sunday on it, never mind months! So when dying people or cancer people are in their midst, it is so embarressing! Suddenly the reality of the real world has pushed in and theology is now going mad. Do we pray "If it be Thy will?". Friends we are not where the New Testament book of Acts church was but we are meant to be further than them because they were starting out! We have just got to be aware that we have got to learn the ways of God in these things.
We must stay humble because we haven't arrived and we are not elite!

But we are going to see in City Church International - the cripples walking, the blind eyes opening, the deaf hear, the cancer people healed, the people with HIV healed and we will see even the dead raised!

In John chapter 11 Jesus stands before the grave of Lazarus and he is stinking already. You say; "But Rob He prayed there!". Yes He did pray but He didn't pray; "Oh Father in heaven what am I going to do now!? Put Your power! Put Your power on Lazarus!". No - He said, "Oh Father I know that You always hear Me. I am just saying this for the people's sake". He talks to His Father and doesn't once ask Him to raise Lazarus from the dead. Then He turns to the tomb and says; "Lazarus! Come out!". That is an authoritative command! That is the Government of God!
The Church of God has bowed it's head to a vanquished enemy - an enemy that is parading it's arrogance across the earth and many Christians don't want to get into the supernatural ministry or into miracle ministry or into aggressive stance in warfare because they say, 'If I do - the devil will start hunting me and killing me and my family'.

We give authoritative commands as ambassadors of the highest government in the universe authorised and assigned to advance the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus said in Luke 10; "I give you power over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means harmy you". It is living in submission to God, it is living in humility and it is living concious that the blood cleanses us daily, it is confessing any known sin and the blood cleansing us and that we are the righteousness of God through that wonderful blood - but there should be no spirit of fear to a defeated enemy! It is not us who are the hunted - we are the hunters! We don't just defend our little home and our family - we actively go out and look for demonised people to drive demons out of them! We don't thank God that we had a week free from demon attack; "Oh I am so happy!". No - no we don't wait to defend our little plot - how selfish! No we defend our plot but we go out and advance and attack and pursue the enemy and we take him out! We are on a seek and destroy mission! Where is he hiding?!

I remember in 1981 when Lester Sumrall came to South Africa and I was so amazed because we went to pick up from the airport and he said; "Show me where the witchdoctors are! I hear there are a lot of witchdoctors in Africa! Let's go!". We said; "Oh don't you want to go to the hotel?". "No I don't want to go to the hotel - show me a witchdoctor!". So we went to the witchdoctors and we cast demons out of them - on ARRIVING in the nation! That is a man who knows his authority - and he didn't have any more special gifts than you have got or me! Hunting out the devils and casting them out! That is Jesus Christ - every single day Jesus healed the sick and cast out demons.

Today for the church it is a side-lined thing. It is an occasional message but it was central to Jesus. Hong Kong will never be saved unless we rise up in the methadology of the Kingdom. You can bring all the evangelists into this place who preach without signs and wonders and we will not see this place saved! You can even have the signs and wonders evangelists come in every 2 years and we will still not see this city saved because most people who go are already Christians. But when local churches all over the city rise up in signs, wonders and miracles and in the Jesus style of ministry, Hong Kong will become aware that the dead are being raised, cripples are walking, blind eyes are opening! The early Church turned the world upside down - not by telling people that; "Your sins have seperated you from God - now if you repent you can become a Christian and live demonised and sick lives and hang in there till you get to heaven and you will be okay". That was not their message.

Let me tell you - people did not walk 3 days to hear Jesus preach or to hear Him say; "Love your enemies". He preached that but that isn't why they walked miles and went days without food. They were coming because the sick were being healed, cripples were walking, blind eyes were opening and the deaf were hearing!

So they would listen to "Love your enemies" and they would hear the Beatitudes. Jesus was not an academic or a theologian of concepts - He was a practioner of the power of the Kingdom!
Jesus wasn't a teacher that had healing. He was a prophetic demonstration of the Kingdom. The invasion of God against the illegitimate, pseudo king called the devil who has taken over the planet and the Church let him for the last 1, 500 years!

When the Church moves in these kind of things then the world says; "Here comes the people who turned the world upside down!". The biggest of Jerusalem said to Peter and John when they raised the guy at Gate Beautiful said, "Man you filled the whole of Jerusalem with the teaching of Jesus". What did they call the teaching of Jesus? Healing the cripple! How did Peter and John heal the cripple when they walked past the Gate Beautiful. They saw him beg for alms and did you see Peter and John say; "Oh God do you see this cripple? Oh my heart is moved with mercy and he is begging for mercy - won't you reach out from heaven and put your power on him?". They didn't! It's there in our face and we don't see it! They said; "Silver and gold we do not have - look at us. What we have - we give to you. In the Name of Jesus - rise up and walk!". An authoritative command - and he gets up and walks and they are stunned! And they call that; "Filling Jerusalem with the teaching of Jesus!".

They said; "We don't want you to preach in His Name anymore" and the apostles replied; "You choose for yourself what is better - to obey them or Him - as for us, we must obey what we have seen and heard". The most Christians do not see or hear anything except more teaching and more teaching and more teaching.

Rodney Howard-Browne says that the Church; "Has had a feast in teaching and a famine in signs, wonders and miracles". People that will not step out and demonstrate what the Bible says. God is a God of demonstration!

Paul the apostle said; "I do not come to you with wise and eloquent words or persuasive human speech so that your faith would not be in human wisdom -but I came to you with a demonstration of power and the Holy Spirit - that your faith would be in God". Demonstration! Demonstration! There has been church in Hong Kong for over 100 years and the same legalistic spirit is there as I am driving to the airport to pick up my wife. I am driving at the speed limit - 100mph in the fast lane. No cars for kms in front or behind me. I am always checking in my mirror - a very alert driver, checking my mirror and keeping to the speed limit and not holding anyone up. Then! Flashing lights and pull me to the side - hundreds of dollars fine for what? Did I hinder traffic? Did I? No - no but you were in the fast lane and you mustn't. Folks the law is right but the interpretation is so legalistic! I didn't danger or hinder anything and that same spirit is in the church in Hong Kong.

It is in the Church and it bullies and manipulates them. It controls people in the city and the Cantonese culture needs to rise up and say; "I will not be bullied by that spirit - I am going to live in the kingdom of heaven not the culture of the Cantonese but in the culture of the kingdom of heaven".

I don't want a South African culture or an Australian culture - I want the culture of the Kingdom! When these apostles said; "We will not listen to what you are saying - we will keep preaching in the Name". It is not civil disobedience - it is just a higher government we are walking under. Please don't go out on the freeway and break all the laws because Rob said! I didn't say that and you didn't hear me say that. You heard the spirit of what I said! Alright?
In Mark 4 Jesus rebuked the wind and said to the waves; "Quiet! Be still!". He didn't ask; "Oh Father we are in a storm - please stop the storm!". But that is how Christians pray! You hear; "Quiet! Peace - be still!" to the wind and waves and they were. I have heard great teachers recognised in the church say; "Yes but that was Jesus - that's why He could give that authoritative command and He was proving His identity as divine".

If He did His miracles by virtue of His identity as God then why did He need to be anointed with the Holy Spirit and power? Why did He do no miracles until He was baptised in the Holy Spirit at the age of 30? Why did He say; "If you believe in me and have faith the works I have been doing and greater works?!". And just to nail that lie down as Mark 11:23 Jesus Christ said; "I tell you the truth if ANYONE ...". I have studied the Greek and Hebrew here - very heavily - and the word "Anyone" means "ANYone".

"Who says to this mountain" - who gives an authoritative command to this mountain. "Go and throw yourself into the sea and does not doubt in his heart but believes what he says will happen - it will be done for him". Now people are saying; "Okay Rob I was with you up until now but ... !". No Jesus never threw one mountain into the sea so I think we can safely that He was letting us know that the mountain is symbolic of opposition and that we have authoritative commands to speak to things that are opposing us. In Scripture you will see that. (Zechariah 4:6-7) They were having trouble building the temple walls of Jerusalem with much opposition. "Not by might nor by power , but by My Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts - what are you oh mighty mountain?". Through the authoritative command the mountain of cancer becomes level ground, the mountain of blindness, deafness, cripples, Chrones - all become level ground.

The mountain spoken to in an authoritative command becomes level ground.

Now had Jesus cast mountains into the sea and said; "The works I do and greater works ..." - then we could do it but He never did it so we are not going into fanaticism. But we will speak to mountains with the unlimited authority of God. In 1 Kings 17:1 Elijah walks into the palace of the most evil king ruling Israel - he was the demonised King Ahab and his wife Jezebel was totally manipulating him and controlling him. He was just a coward and would not lead as a godly man in holiness or stand up and say; "This is the Word of God". His wife has a demon on him and is manipulating him so she takes over the kingdom through controlling her husband and they release through that illegitimate authority a demonic idol worship into Israel. There comes Elijah into that evil king's palace and says; "As the Lord the God of Israel lives whom I serve ... except at my word".

In other words the heavens are locked up by the authoritative command of a mere human being who is under the authority of God.

Ahab and Jezebel and their whole family line comes down. To protect us from fanaticism let me balance from Scripture - but I am not going to spend too long balancing because I think we have gone too far to the other side and need to swing a bit this way! I am not saying we necessarily need to speak to every natural storm the way Jesus spoke to the waves and wind. I have done that.

I remember just I was out in the bush somewhere praying just before a very important meeting in another country and I saw these huge storm clouds coming up and I had lived in that country for many years and knew what that storm front meant. I knew it would hail and destroy the attendance at that meeting. I suddenly felt the anointing of God come on me and I stuck my finger up and said; "In the Name of Jesus I command you storm clouds - to go back and not come any further!". God is my witness - bright sunlight!

But that doesn't mean every time I see a storm cloud and want to surf that I can say; "Hey!" and it goes. Wouldn't that be great? But on those issues there is a revelation that needs to come to your heart from God. The clear will of God is revealed from the Word of God that it is ALWAYS God's will to heal. It isn't always God's will to stop a storm! But it is ALWAYS God's will to heal! Jesus didn't die for us to stop being insulted or persecuted - that is part of life. But He died on the Cross to redeem us from the curse of poverty, sickness, disease, judgement and sin. It is ALWAYS the will of God to heal - it is ALWAYS the will of God to prosper - it is ALWAYS the will of God to bless - it is ALWAYS the will of God to forgive and save and deliver from judgement. But sometimes there are other things God allows like persecution, insults and betrayals to sharpen our character.

He never uses sickness to sharpen our character. He heals sickness. So you never have to pray; "Is this sickness something for me to grow?". No you can ALWAYS give an authoritative command when sickness comes. But when it comes to a storm you need to hear God. In Acts chapter 27, Paul was en-route as a prisoner on his way to Rome and a storm comes and the whole place goes dark and they are all terrified. Paul doesn't get up and command the storm to stop. He doesn't tell the waves to stop. Why? Acts 27 - because he had told the captain of the ship before he left the harbour and said God had shown him a storm was coming and not to leave the harbour. But the captain said, no we are going. They went anyway. The angel of the Lord appeared to Paul and told him that the entire ship would get wrecked and finished but no lives will be lost and to tell the people that. Paul told the people that and he has just got their attention. The ship got shipwrecked on the Isle of Malta and they all got saved as Paul prophesied and as the angel of the Lord told Paul and then Paul heals every sick person on that island!

That is the invasion of the kingdom to a bunch of pagans who were sick and diseased and confused. It starts with a snake biting him and they are absolutely amazed and he heals the headman of the whole island! They then bring every sick man on the island and it says; "Paul healed them all". This is normal Christianity - what is the other stuff about?!

Look at three Scriptures and then we close:

1. Acts 9:32. Next week I want to teach on how you walk in the authoritative command and how Jesus walked in it. What are the dynamics - what is the release of it in your heart practically? How does it operate? (Acts 9:32-35) -

"Now as Peter was traveling through all those regions, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years, for he was paralyzed. Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed." Immediately he got up. Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed." Immediately he got up".

Again great salvations! Notice Jesus said to the cripples; "Take up your bed and go home" and the cripples got up and walked. Peter said; "Jesus Christ heals you - get up and take care of your mat". Who did he learn from?

He is not just copying - he has caught the anointing. There is a difference between mimicking a person and flowing in an anointing you have caught.

Notice Peter doesn't pray! "Oh God ... heal him!". It is just not there!

2. Acts 2:36-39 - "Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which translated in Greek is called Dorcas); this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did. And it happened at that time that she fell sick and died; and when they had washed her body, they laid it in an upper room. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, having heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him, imploring him, "Do not delay in coming to us". So Peter arose and went with them. When he arrived, they brought him into the upper room; and all the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing all the tunics and garments that Dorcas used to make while she was with them".

Peter sent them all out of the rooom and then he got down on his knees and prayed. Ah he prayed Rob! Yes but Jesus prayed before raising Lazarus as well. "Turning towards the dead woman, he said; "Tabitha - get up!". That is an authoritative command. "She opened her eyes and sat up. He helped her to her feet ... and presented her. This became known all over Joppa and many people believed".

How is Hong Kong going to get saved? By the evangelical message that is; "Just your sins seperate you from God - repent and get saved - keep the demons and be sick and depressed and be miserable and one day it will all be worth it because you will get to heaven"?

That is not what the early church in Acts did and they turned the world upside down! They prayed every now and then and asked God to heal the sick but that was the exception. The norm was to give authoritative commands and today we have made the exception the norm and the norm the exception. And we wonder why we don't have a higher level of miracles!

3. Look at Acts 13. Look at the authority of the authoritative command! (Acts 13:6) - "They travelled through the entire island till they came to Paphos ... proconsol". The Roman proconsol was a very important man. "was an intelligent man". Intelligent people want to hear about the Gospel! "He believed for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord". How many believe that there are demonic powers with people who do not want you and me to preach the gospel? How many of you think they have ugly demon faces and high headresses? Did you know that people wear smiles and speak nicely? They are the worst ones because they deceive you!

You know something is not normal if someone comes up to you with demons coming out of their mouths! But what about the ones who come to you and say; "I don't think you should be so passionate about Jesus! I think this commitment to lay down your life is really wrong and religion is like politics - you should keep it to yourself". That is a demon speaking! The Soviet Union had decades and decades of religion of God and killed! In the last 100 years atheistic governments have killed 100 million Christians! They were societies built on; "We don't want God!". Just up our road 70 million were killed under an atheistic governments. The Soviet Union killed 10 million people in religious wars over the last 5, 000 years.

I hate religion but I hate atheism and people who think they can live without the supernatural are deluded. The air they breathe was designed by God and the lungs they use to get that air was a creation of Almighty God.

Yet straight into that eternal hell believing they are good enough. I watched a brilliant Australian on TV debate macro-evolution versus creation. I wish every person who says there is no god can hear that. He used science and Scripture in a fantastic way. He made people who say that there is no god look absolutely stupid! He attacked some of the bishops of the UK who say you can believe that there is a God and macroevolution from Scripture and how diabolic and dangerous that is to bring it into our schools and into our churches.

Acts 14 - I just don't know why some Christians aren't bold about they believe. I am amazed at how Christians can hide their faith. I am amazed at how Christians don't stand up and pray for the sick and cast out demons. (Acts 14:3) - "So Paul and Barnabus spent considerable time there ... signs and wonders". (v8) "and began to walk".

One miracle is worth a thousand sermons!

Again an authoritative command - I lovingly challenge you - look through the gospels and Acts and look for them asking God to heal. Look for Jesus saying; "Father would You come and heal". He cast out devils of blindness, devils of muteness and said; "Leave! Go!". They left and the blind could see and the deaf could hear and the mute could speak! What a wonderful Gospel! The Bible says in the book of Malachi that Jesus is the desire of all nations!

God has wired the hearts of this end-day generation to desire Christ and they don't know they desire Him but He has wired their hearts! All the Body of Christ has to do is reveal the authentic Gospel - the authentic demonstration of the power of the Kingdom - the authentic and I tell you much of the Church will be swept to the sidelines because there will be a whole new generation of heathens, pagans, ex-Moslems and ex-Buddhis who will find the Christ of miracle-working power and be born again and a new DNA will come that was there in the book of Acts will be restored in those last days and if I can be a servant of those people then that is what I want to be!

I don't want to spend the rest of my life trying to change sick old denominational people who just want to have KFC on Sunday lunch and sweet fellowship mentality and say; "The hell with the rest of the world - we are full of unbelief and excuses for lack of miracles". I don't want to change old wineskins. I want to go with people who will be Kingdom - cast out the sick, preach good news, heal marriages, heal families and break demonic power off deliquent teenagers, break rebellion in homes and bring the peace and government of God into homes and romance.
My heart is much more for the lost than large sections who say they are the Church. If they are the Church and believe they are going to heaven then that is fantastic and let them go to heaven. But I am concerned with those out there who have never had an opportunity - millions of Hong Kong people never had an opportunity to see the authentic Christ, the miracle working Son of God in action. I believe millions of them will believe He is the Christ and turn from Buddhism, Shintoism, Islam, atheists - they will turn to Jesus!

Very few when they see an authentic miracle reject Jesus. They take it and believe on Him because that is the way that God created the human heart to believe it - this God of miracles who say you worship then He should come and show up in demonstration of miracles!

10 comments:

chris said...

Dan I've emailed you through the Ern Baxter site.

Peter Day said...

"This is normal Christianity - what is the other stuff about?!"

I am truly fed up of the "other stuff". I want to see normal Christianity!!! What a transforming message!

Anonymous said...

A Biblical message.

A truly Biblical message is prophetic by definition and that was.

Our response must be to examine ourselves and catch up.

Eutychus

Dan Bowen said...

Thanks for the comment Eutychus. I'd just have one suggestion;

"Our response must be to examine ourselves and catch up".

How do we "catch up" in a life of signs, wonders and miracles? Do we catch up by being open and willing and desperate for His Presence and His Power? Or is there something else?

One of the reasons I love Rob's teaching so much is that he is one of the first and few Bible teachers I have heard who is distinguishing a life in the miraculous as the inheritance for all the Church, not just for special "healers".

It comes by pure grace!

Anonymous said...

Openess and willingness and being available is definitely a pre-requisite.
And we must look with the eye of faith and not waver.
But we only need mustard seed faith to address mountains. That's reality. Spiritual reality is more real than the reality of the world.
And quite right - there is no de-luxe brand of Christianity. We have access to the same throne of grace as Wigglesworth, Finney, Wesley, Moody and all the great cloud of witnesses.
However, what set these men apart was consecration alongside their faith.

If we want to exercise authority (and this is an essential basic part of our walk) then we must not let the enemy have any legal right over us.
He has no hold over our souls but all too often because we're so full of ourselves we give him a foothold and we are left impotent and compromised.

No holiness - no harvest.
No purity - no power.

There's no cheap way to come. God has not put His prescious things in the bargain basement.
We can't earn them by any means. We don't have the currency to pay.
But we must humble ourselves and walk softly before Him and pursue godliness because godliness with contentment is great gain.

If we are to walk after Christ and inclusive in that is exercising authority over sickness and demons in His Name then we must take up our cross. It's not a miserable thing. It's not a legalistic thing. But we have to die to self that He might live through us. We must be aware that flesh cannot give birth to Spirit.

The divine nature must govern us and then we don't walk in agreement with sickness and disease.

Eutychus

Dan Bowen said...

Again very thought-provoking comments Eutychus, however just a few thoughts of my own that I am thinking through.

"If we are to walk after Christ and inclusive in that is exercising authority over sickness and demons in His Name then we must take up our cross ... But we have to die to self that He might live through us".

Are these steps of "mortifying flesh" (understanding flesh as the old man) a prerequisite for signs and wonders and miracles?

Matthew 7:22-23:

""Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS".

I know this is drifting back slightly into the discussion about exactly what the impartation of righteousness does to us - but it seems to me (from my view from the cheap seats :) ) that Jesus is saying it is possible to walk in the supernatural with signs, wonders and miracles and actually still practice lawlessness.

Am I onto something here? Or have I misunderstood the context of what Jesus is saying?

Peter Day said...

I think the context of Jesus' statement suggests that these are counterfeit miracle workers - by their fruits you will know them.

However, I do question whether scripture actually makes the link -

"No purity - no power."

While purity is essential fruit of a walk with God, the natural result of standing in the grace of God, it is interesting that the church at Corinth, who "came short in no gift" (1 Cor 1v7), was also described as "you are still carnal" (1 Cor 3v3). They were filled with division, immorality, abuse of the Lord's supper and even strange doctrine on one of the essentials, the resurrection.

That is not saying, as some have accused us of saying, that we encourage lawlessness and licence. Far from it - we should be holy, a true believer has a new nature and so wants to be holy. However, there was great power at Corinth, but not purity.

The question arises, if we are to say, "No purity - no power", how pure do we have to be if we are to receive the power?

And then, subtly, even if that is not our intention, we are seeking to earn the power. The enemy has us trapped in a performance mindset, where we have to work for the power. The priests in the OT wore linen garments, not woolen garments. There is no sweat in receiving the anointing. There is no righteous or purity of our own that we can offer God to achieve the right to the power. Only the finished work of Christ grants the right to His power.

"God has not put His prescious things in the bargain basement." Absolutely not - they are not in the bargain basement, rather they are paid for by the precious blood of Christ.

It is by standing in faith on the fruit of that precious blood - the free gift of spotless righteousness, that we will see the life of miracles as normal. The Holy Spirit delights to honour the Son, and does so as we are impressed with His righteousness, rather than trying to impress Him with our righteousness.

Gal 3v5-6 says "Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— just as Abraham 'believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.'"

Anonymous said...

On reflection I think maybe the key part to what Jesus' said is "I never KNEW you."
We cannot get before the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and impress him with our history of ministry.
There is also the suggestion of the counterfeit.
There is an unclean counterfeit for every true work of the Holy Spirit.
There is also the chilling implication that you can be immersed in church programmes and not know Him. And don't we see much of that in Britain?

You're quite right - the church at Corinth for us is no pattern as to how to model ourselves.

No purity = no power.
There is the power of a clean conscience. And if I have secret sin in my life I am compromised. I give the enemy the legal right to have a way in and this is the way of lukewarmness setting in.
We are not playing, we are in the heat of battle and we must remain vigilant and not play with sin.

This does inevitably lead back to the previous discussion beacuse I don't see that purity is the natural result of standing in the grace of God. This seems a kind of theology that suggests I don't have to change. That suits my flesh but when I get in the presence of God the first thing I realise is that I have to change.

What counts is not our works because our most righteous deeds are like filthy rags. However what counts is transformation.
Yes we are justified by faith but God cannot be mocked. Colossians 3tells us what to put off and put on.

We cannot impress God with our righteousness. How foolish and arrogant we would be to try.

However, we must understand the rotteness of our flesh otherwise we will be confused into having confidence in it. To be carnally minded is death but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. And Genesis 1 shows that each reproduces after its own kind.

I think it is possible to practice lawlessness and operate in power because the gifts are without repentance but this is sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind and this can end up with "Depart from Me I never knew you."

I think the bottom line is we need to be like Him.

Eutychus

Peter Day said...

What really does count with God? It is such an important question. It seems that however much we might speak of it not being our works, the equation "no purity = no power" leads to a mentality of human performance and effort.

Having no confidence in the flesh comes from Phil 3v3-4. The context here isn't so much carnality and blatant sin, but the flesh of human peformance, deeds of legalistic righteousness and religious pedigree. So whether the flesh is manifested in blatant sin or in desperately seeking to reach the mark of some kind of standard that will lead us into power - it is still the flesh and will profit nothing.

What counts? Gal 6v15: "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation."

Every Christian is a brand new person. The old has gone, behold all things have become new. Christ was made sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. So what counts before God is the free gift of His righteousness, not anything of us at all.

And yes, that does lead us back to the previous discussion. These things are absolutely key. I believe standing in the grace of God DOES naturally lead to growing purity. Not automatically, but naturally. Standing in the grace of God doesn't mean a careless attitude that sins with a high hand and then smiles and says "I'm under grace." That is not grace, but stupidity.

But actively standing in grace declares "I am the righteousness of God in Christ." That truth and reality that is already in our renewed spirits gets into the mind, it grips our thinking, condemnation lifts away, the power of the life of Jesus in our renewed spirit bursts forth, and there is a resulting impact on our walk.

Rom 12 - "Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."

God has not called us to external conformity, but to inward transformation. This happens by the renewing of our mind. How? Well, yes, through the scripture, because the Word of God is powerful, like a double-edged sword. But actually Rom 12v1-2 doesn't mention the Word.

Transformation is mentioned in 2 Cor 3v18 "beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, [we] are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord."

Condemnation keeps us from the presence of God. Grace opens up the presence of God. Grace encourages us to stand firm and pursue encounters with our Father, not based upon how well we have performed, but upon the basis of Christs perfect performance. And the presence of God changes us! That's what the text says.

So grace is key to both purity, and to power.

Anonymous said...

This has really blessed my life and has given me a clearer understanding on my inheritance through Christ Jesus.