Monday, 24 October 2016

Signs, Wonders, Miracles & Healings

Next time you go to lay hands on the sick in Jesus' Name...
The Jews were expecting a visible Messianic Kingdom; the resurrection of the dead; the judgment of the wicked; the vindication of the righteous; new heavens and a new earth; and eternal life - and rightly so. We are expecting it too - the blessed hope.
The disciples were excited because they believed Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, had come into history to bring that Kingdom.
They saw Him healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead, feeding multitudes, walking on water, calming the storm, and forgiving sins.
It's like Jesus was the very embodiment of their Messianic, Kingdom-hope!
But then Jesus was crucified and died, and was buried. They were devastated. They had not yet understood that Messiah had to die for their sins and rise again, before entering into His glory.
As you know it was impossible for death to hold Him - on the third day God raised Him from the dead. The disciples' sorrow was turned to joy when they saw Him - and over 500 people with them.
The graves of many saints were opened after His resurrection, and they walked into Jerusalem and were seen by many.
On one occasion He even appeared with them behind locked doors, yet they were still able to touch Him and see His physical hands and feet and side.
Once again everything was looking like what the disciples had been expecting - even more than before!
Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem 'til they were endued with power from on high.
"Will you at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel?" they asked.
They still didn't perfectly understand that Gentiles would also be included in God's Kingdom-salvation plan. Remember, Jesus had said that there were things He couldn't tell them yet, because they weren't able to bear it - but the Holy Spirit would tell them, in due course.
But for now Jesus simply addressed their question about timing:
"It's not for you to know the time nor seasons which the Father has placed in His own hands," He said.
"But you shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and Judea and unto the uttermost ends of the earth."
Their message in Jerusalem and Judea was the same as Jesus' message - the good news of the Kingdom. And once they understood that it was for Gentiles too, they declared the very same message among the Gentiles - the good news about the Lord Jesus and the Kingdom of God.
Everywhere they went the Lord worked with them, confirming their message (about the Kingdom) with signs following: miracles, healings, casting out demons, raising the dead, speaking with new tongues, visions, prophesying, seeing people forgiven and saved, and filled with the Holy Spirit.
They were doing all of the same Kingdom-works that Jesus did, and greater works - because as for Him, He had returned to the Father where He was now reigning in heaven, waiting until the Day when all things will be made new.
In the meantime, as for the Apostles and the Church, they carried-on doing what Jesus had done. It was like the power of the world to come was already spilling forward into the present, in history, in great measure - first in the Person of the Son of God, and now in their own ongoing ministry as the Lord continued working with them.
The Gospel is the power of the future-Kingdom splashing into the present. It's so natural therefore to see a breakout of miracles, healings, signs and wonders and people getting saved - because the Gospel is the Gospel of the Kingdom - the message itself is the very power of God unto salvation.
This was the Apostles' take on Old Testament prophecy and how it was seeing its intended fulfilment. It's the good news that the future Day of salvation, vindication, justification, resurrection and eternal life and glory were virtually upon them, having broken into the present, through the Person of Jesus Christ.
If you can imagine trying to hold back Niagara Falls. Or picture race-horses behind the starting-gate, agitating to start running. That's what it's like - the power and blessing of the future is bursting into the present. The future Kingdom, power, salvation and blessing is made accessible and vouchsafed to us already in the present - through Him.
That's how willing God is, and how natural it is, that's the power that's vested in the Name of Jesus, for us to see the power of God working with us manifested now. The Kingdom is not in word but in power!
Just as Jesus had done so in His ministry, and even more so, the joint-ministry of the Church and the risen Jesus, exemplifies in the present the power of the future Kingdom, resurrection, judgment, vindication, justification, salvation and eternal life.
Next time you lay hands on the sick in Jesus' Name; next time you speak to that mountain - picture the power that raised Jesus from the dead...
Picture the power that caused those graves to open and so many saints to come out of their graves after Jesus rose from the dead and go walk into the city and be seen by many...
Picture the Day when the dead in Christ shall rise first...
Then us being caught up into the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air...
The future worldwide resurrection of all the dead...
Our abundant entry into the Kingdom of God...
The power that shall make all things new.
Because even though there's a day appointed for that, still that's the same power that is in you already right now - Christ in you - to heal the sick - to announce the message of forgiveness of sins.
It can be experienced right now, in advance of the coming Day.
That's the good news - of the Kingdom, of the grace of God - the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ!

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