Posts Tagged ‘Jn 8:31-32’

Unusual Miracles

Preaching the Word of God

Preaching the Word of God

“Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.” (Acts 19:11-12)

I love the expression ”unusual miracles”. I’ve personally seen firsthand the extraordinary impact signs and wonders make as they accompany the preaching of the Word of God. Do we truly understand what Kingdom Advancement implies? The Apostle Paul did… and if we are to become ministry leaders who do the unusual in the eyes of the world, we will need to put on a lot more courage and tenacity.

In the city of Ephesus, a shift in the Spiritual Realm was occurring. The Kingdom of God; which is the government of heaven, was gaining influence over all areas of life from the religious practices to the daily routine. Beliefs were changing and faith was being engaged in unusual ways as people stepped into the supernatural, as if unleashed from natural law. Jesus said when you abide in My Word, you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free (Jn. 8:31-32). The Apostle Paul; like Jesus, was pulling them into revelation rather than letting them stay bound to natural limits.

Whom the Son sets free is free indeed (Jn. 8:36). Freedom implies the ability to move, without hindrance or limitation and it brings fresh perspective on the future. Unusual miracles change the way you think about your reality, limitations and possibilities.

Conflict with Darkness:

The immediate result of the Apostle Paul’s experience however, was that evil spirits were driven out into the open. Conflict is first and foremost a spiritual battle that makes every leader do an inventory of their gifts and training. Are they equipped to handle the battle? Their experience and character set the standard for how they will address visible opposition in the spiritual realm. Perhaps most important is a person’s awareness of spiritual authority. Some do well, some flounder, but every leader must get their skills sharpened by their identity in Christ and their experiences in the field.

“Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call upon the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches. Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, over powered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” (Acts 19:13-16)

This account is like a backhanded compliment. In effect Satan’s agents were saying, ‘This preacher is achieving something’. Yet, the victories of our advancement must be maintained and enforced by radical followers who know who they are and what they carry. These sons of Sceva were trying to be helpful without the tools or experience.

Paul’s preaching was breaking through and crushing the occult practices in the city of Ephesus. What also seemed to be happening was that many people became very nervous about the incredible beating those without spiritual authority had just experienced. Believe me when I say the word gets out. But God will get the last word, if we are truly doing unusual miracles by His hand.

“This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified, And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver.” (Acts 19:17-19)

Even in the church world today, we see a lot of folks having one foot in the Kingdom of God and the other in the enemy’s camp. These folks need to see the reality of these kingdoms in conflict. When the Apostle Paul preached, the believers brought the books and tools of their witchcraft and burned them publicly. What an impact that would make on a region. The value of the books was fifty thousand pieces of silver. Each silver coin was a day’s wage… this is estimated at $2,500,000 in today’s market.

Unusual Miracles are only unusual in the sense that they reveal an extraordinary shift from the natural limitations we consider normal. When we begin to see through the eyes of faith, what seems common will change and the impossible will become ordinary.

Disciple or Believer

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn. 8:31-32)

Not everyone who believes in Jesus is a follower of Jesus. Knowing the difference is vital to living an inspired life!

  • “Do you believe that there is only one God? Good! The demons also believe—and tremble with fear.” (James 2:19-26)

Jesus calls us to more than belief… He calls us to be His disciples. So… What is a disciple? There is much to say about that word, but the idea is clear… it pertains to the one who follows a master’s way of life and teaching. The word “Disciple” makes us think of the twelve disciples, because they forsook everything and followed Jesus. The heart of discipleship is following!

How are disciples different from believers?

1. THE CROSS: Believer look to the cross. A Disciple picks up the cross (Mt. 16:22-24).

2. OBEDIENCE: A Believer obeys God if it’s convenient. A Disciple obeys no matter the outcome (1 Pet. 4:17).

3. DECISIONS: A Believer decides once, A Disciple decides daily (Mt. 6:33-34).

4. FOCUS: Believers focus on eternal life, A Disciple focus is about eternal rewards (Col. 3:1-4).

5. PRAYER: A Believer prays when things get tough. A Disciple prays no matter the circumstance (2 Cor. 4:16-18).

6. SCRIPTURE: A Believer twists the Bible to fit his or her lifestyle. A Disciple works to make his or her lifestyle resemble the teachings of the Bible (Jms. 1:21-22).

7. ETERNAL IMPACT: Believers make heaven. Disciples make history (Mt. 28:18-20).

The Key question then is… “Are you following Christ, or are you merely a believer?” It’s a huge decision to make, but it is worth everything you have… to gain what only Christ can give!

Vitality of Words

Is there anything “normal” about the spiritual realm?

The Kingdom of God should feel normal to the believing heart! Yet, when measured by human reasoning, its beyond comprehension. One law remains consistent in both the spiritual world and the natural world… All things; material and spiritual, are held together by the Word of God’s power (Heb 1:3). To say it another way; God sustains all things by using words that are released from His world- Heaven, into ours- Earth.

God sustains all things by using words!

For God, words are powerful and essential; like the connective tissue, the glue between two very different worlds. They are creative packages that hold His logic and purposes for life as He would want us to enjoy it… abundant and fruitful. He spoke the worlds into existence (Gen 1:3), He calls those things that are not as though they are (Rom 4:17) and He watches over His word to perform it (Jer 1:12). No matter how we perceive life’s experiences, His goal is for our good and not evil (Jer 29:11). In redemption, He has sent forth His Word to heal, forgive and revive the broken.

”The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and Truth” (Jn 1:14).

Our faith grows out of hearing the words of God, believing, knowing and experiencing the Word of God. Jesus explained, “The Spirit gives life, My words are spirit and they are life” (Jn 6:63). We all must come to the realization that as we live in agreement with God’s Word, all will go well.

God’s words are Spirit and Life!

David said, “Your words are a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Ps 119:105). Solomon encourages us to hear the Father’s voice, “My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to My words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and they are health to a man’s whole body” (Prov 4:20-23). What David and Solomon were saying, Jesus makes very clear when He faces the devil, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4). Abiding in those words offers us the greatest freedom, because His words are Truth (Jn 8:31-32) from God’s perspective.

Power of Persuasion: Part 3

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)

  • “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:37-39)
  • “I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” (2 Tim. 1:12)


Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn. 8:31-32)

The Truth shall make you free… free from sin – free from ignorance – free to find a confident place to rest your hope! This Power of Persuasion is the Believer’s platform of reality. In things pertaining to the Kingdom of God, our life is directly tied to a knowledge of the Truth! Remember “Truth” is reality from God’s perspective!

Ignorance is simply a lack of knowledge! You cannot live in what you do not know! As the Bible clearly indicates – a knowledge of the love of God and a confident assurance in Christ’s ability to do what He says… brings us deliverance and strength! Ignorance causes all kinds of confusion and division… even destruction among those who are content to live in it. Confusion, division, and disagreement abound… even in religious circles. I would even go as far as to say, Christianity is experiencing its greatest challenge to date… the weak efforts to disciple its followers. The Body of Christ seems unwilling to find its footing on Biblical foundations. God’s people are divided, because they are spiritually blind and Biblically illiterate. The Church promotes hundreds of different denominations, wearing different names, worshiping in different ways and teaching different doctrinal beliefs. It is important that we consider why there is so much confusion, disagreement, and division… because God does not approve of this reality.

The Words of Jesus have not changed. He said, “I will build My Church” upon Himself – the Rock of Revelation… that is that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Mt. 16:18). Jesus is seeking a people who will become “one” in spiritual knowledge and unity (Jn. 17:20-23) and once again walk in the Glory of God!

So What’s Going On Today?

Does the Bible contradict itself? Is it impossible to understand? Do people fail to study diligently enough, resulting in ignorance? Are the problems caused by following man-made creeds and authority instead of following the Bible? The answer to all these questions is… What did Jesus say?

  1. The Key is to Know Him: To become persuaded requires an encounter and some experience with God and His Son Jesus, the Christ! (Jn. 17:3)
  2. Next Make Room for His Words: To become persuaded means there must be a renewing of our mind! (1 Cor. 2:6-16)
  3. Finally Willingly Trust in God: To become persuaded takes an enormous amount of faith – faith comes by hearing …the Words of Christ! (Rom. 10:17)

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Col. 2:8)

We need to understand that its not a new problem! Even in Christ’s day, the People of Israel had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge (Rom. 10:1-3)… and the Sadducee crowd found themselves in error, because they did not know the Scriptures (Mt. 22:29). Its amazing how passionate we can become and be completely wrong in the arena of knowledge. We must know Him and have a knowledge of the Truth, in order to exhibit the kind of character that pleases God and the kind of power that makes a difference in the world. We must be continually growing in our knowledge of the Truth so faith will increase and the Holy Spirit will feel welcome to guide our steps.

Here is the Apostle Paul’s word: “I Press Toward the Goal”

Because there is a Prize… “And it becomes the Power of Persuasion”

Its God’s voice calling me upward in Christ Jesus!

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.” (Phil. 3:12-16)

Doing the Unusual

“Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.” (Acts 19:11-12)

I love the expression “unusual miracles”. I’ve personally seen firsthand the extraordinary impact signs and wonders make as they accompany the preaching of the Word of God. The Apostle Paul understood what Kingdom advancement implies… ministry leaders are called to do the “unusual” in the eyes of the world! If we are to become what we see in the Book of Acts, we will need to put on a lot more courage and tenacity. It requires us to be found doing the unusual!

Shifting our Thinking:

In the city of Ephesus, a shift in the Spiritual Realm was occurring. The Kingdom of God; which is the government of heaven, was gaining influence over all areas of life from the religious practices to the daily routine. Beliefs were changing and faith was being engaged in unusual ways as people stepped into the supernatural, as if unleashed from natural law. Jesus said when you abide in My Word, you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free (Jn. 8:31-32). The Apostle Paul; like Jesus, was pulling them into revelation rather than letting them stay bound to natural limits.

Whom the Son sets free is free indeed (Jn. 8:36). Freedom implies the ability to move without hindrance or limitation… and it brings fresh perspective on the future. Unusual miracles change the way you think about your reality, limitations and possibilities. We must change the way we think in order to advance into a ministry known by unusual miracles!

Conflict with Darkness:

The immediate result of the Apostle Paul’s experience was that evil spirits were driven out into the open. Conflict is first and foremost a spiritual battle that makes every leader do an inventory of their gifts and training. Are they equipped to handle the battle? Their experience and character set the standard for how they will address visible opposition in the spiritual realm. Perhaps most important is a person’s awareness of spiritual authority. Some do well, some flounder; but every leader must get their skills sharpened by their identity in Christ and their experiences in the field. The spiritual battle is real!

“Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call upon the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches. Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, over powered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” (Acts 19:13-16)

This account is like a backhanded compliment. In effect Satan’s agents were saying, ‘This preacher is achieving something’. Yet, the victories of our advancement must be maintained and enforced by radical followers who know who they are and what they carry. These sons of Sceva were trying to be helpful without the tools or experience.

Paul’s preaching was breaking through and crushing the occult practices in the city of Ephesus. What also seemed to be happening was that many people became very nervous about the incredible beating those without spiritual authority had just experienced. Believe me when I say the word gets out. But God will get the last word, if we are truly doing unusual miracles by His hand.

“This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified, And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver.” (Acts 19:17-19)

Even in the Church world today, we see a lot of folks having one foot in the Kingdom of God and the other in the enemy’s camp. These folks need to see the reality of these kingdoms in conflict. When the Apostle Paul preached, the believers brought the books and tools of their witchcraft and burned them publicly. What an impact that would make on a region! The value of the books was fifty thousand pieces of silver. Each silver coin was a day’s wage… this is estimated at $2,500,000 in today’s market.

Doing the unusual reveals an extraordinary shift in the way we think about ministry. We must encourage a new definition of “normal” that moves us away from natural limitation and begins the unusual, supernatural… walk by faith – not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). Jesus wants to redefine reality: seeing is no longer the key to believing… now believing is the key to seeing!

When we begin to see through the eyes of faith, the impossible will become ordinary!

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