Posts Tagged ‘Signs And Wonders’

Revealing His Glory

“This, the first of His miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed His Glory, and His disciples put their faith in Him” (Jn. 2:11).

“…a cloud came and overshadowed them: and they were fearful as they entered the cloud.” (Lk. 9:34)

“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me, may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My Glory” (Jn. 17:24)

Jesus Reveals His Glory:

What are we seeing in these verses? What is it inside of us that shifts when we truly see the radiating splendor of God? Make no mistake the Glory of God is the key to igniting faith in the human heart!

In the New Testament we see that Jesus revealed His Glory in four major ways:
1. through His signs and wonders (Mt. 11:3-6),
2. through His revelation of the Father’s heart (Jn. 5:19-23),
3. through His transfiguration (Mk. 9:2-8)
4. and finally through His cross and resurrection (Rom. 6:4).

To behold His Glory was to see the essence of who He was… the express image of the Father - His Person (Heb. 1:3). Truly He upholds all things by the Word of His Power; and by way of His completed work in the Earth, He has earned His place at the right hand of the Majesty on High.

Beholding Transforms:

Beholding the Glory revealed in Christ affected His disciples so significantly that the Scripture tells us they couldn’t even talk about it (Lk. 9:32-36). That revelation became the birth place of their faith and all they understood was that they could never be satisfied without it.

Notice this rather odd request by James and John: they wanted to sit in His Glory, one of them at Jesus’ right hand and the other at His left… for all of eternity (Mk. 10:35). They were seeing something that transformed their understanding so deeply that they wanted it for all time.

Ah, But There’s More!

I believe that the more we see of the Glory, the more we want to see. It is inexhaustible! We see so much in Scripture, yet the Apostle John wrote, “there are also many other things Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (Jn. 21:25). Christ reveals the Father’s splendor, character and purpose that can never be seen any other way (2 Cor. 4:6). The lame, walking and the deaf, hearing; sickness and diseases being healed without the influence of a doctor; and demons, fleeing with only a word. The dead, raised at the sound of His voice and the living, transformed at the touch of His hands. How, you might ask? He continues to identify the Glory as the real source of His power (Jn. 11:40).

He would still say to us today, “if you will only believe you will see the Glory of God”.

John was clear about the impact of beholding His Glory… it was the reality of walking in the light (1 Jn. 1:7). Peter was clear about the experience… “joy unspeakable and full of Glory” (1 Pet. 1:8). Paul even prayed that the eyes of our understanding would be enlightened to the riches of the Glory of the inheritance among the saints, in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:17). Does it not make you yearn like Moses…

“Lord – Please, show me Your Glory!” (Exod. 33:18)

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.

Real Witness

“But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin. Hear this, you leaders of the house of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel, who despise justice and distort all that is right; who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness.” (Micah 3:8-10)

Your real Christian witness flows from somewhere deeper than your voice. The Prophet Micah attributed the power of his ministry to the Spirit of the Lord. Our power comes from the same source! Out of the belly of a man; filled with the Holy Spirit, rises a testimony of truth and power (Jn. 7:37-39).

You are more than your story – You are His-story!

We cannot stand on our own righteousness… it is Christ in us that speaks of better things than what people see or hear. Indeed, were we to find ourselves reliant upon our strength, our wisdom or our charm, we would find no hope against the onslaught of this world’s trouble. But we are not at all in the clutches of impending doom… for we are not our own. We live as Christ’s Ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20). We have been purchased by a blood as pure and holy as the whitest snow (Eph 1:7). We have been offered freedom’s highest position (Eph. 2:6). And we have a voice within ourselves that comes streaming forth like a rushing waterfall (Phil. 4:13). Christ has become our strength, our wisdom and our witness, because He is our peace… our focus and our joy. He is our Righteousness!

The Mystery: Its “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27)

Jesus told His followers they would receive power to witness about Him when the Holy Spirit came on them (Acts. 1:8). You can’t witness effectively by relying on your own strength, because fear will keep you from speaking out for God. You can’t witness effectively by choosing the best sermons or knowing the right words to say. You are not smart enough to outwit the devil. You cannot witness effectively by creating the best atmosphere or offering the most attractive invitation. Only by relying on the power of the Holy Spirit can you live and witness for Him! But with that power comes the promise that signs and wonders will follow those who believe (Mk. 16:17).

“Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:6-8)

This is the witness we have in Christ: “That if God be for us, who can stand against us?” (Rom. 8:31)

Pursue the Anointing

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Ps. 23:5-6)

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Lk. 4:18-19)

The anointing of God flows from the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is symbolically represented by several ideas in Scripture… oil, water, fire, wind, wine or a dove. When anointing begins to manifest, it can take the form of any of these symbols mentioned.

  1. Anointing can manifest as oil and offer unity and peace among worshipers of God (Ps. 133). When the anointing manifests itself as oil, it is to smooth out or lubricate your progress. When the anointing comes upon you, it will take you to the next level… into your promotion. David was anointed with oil by the Prophet Samuel and as a result, an ordinary shepherd boy became a king (1 Sam. 15:11-13).
  2. Anointing can manifest as fire and destroy yokes (Isa. 10: 27), release healing (Jms. 5:14-15) and break strongholds of idolatry (1 Ki. 18:36-40).
  3. Anointing can manifest as water to satisfy thirst (Jn. 7:37-39). The Holy Spirit can satisfy any form of thirst in your life.
  4. Anointing can manifest as a mighty rushing wind (Acts 2:1-4). When anointing manifest as a mighty rushing wind, it is to open new doors and to make a way where there seems to be no way. The anointing can also manifest as a cool refreshing breeze bringing life with it (Gen. 2:7). After God made man, He breathed the breath of life into him and that represents the Spirit of God upon man. The anointing can turn ordinary mud and clay into a living soul.
  5. Anointing can manifest as wine. The Holy Spirit is the heavenly wine! When people saw those who had been baptized in the Holy Spirit, they said they were drunk on new wine (Acts 2:12-13). Its the anointing that brings joy, excitement and wonderful experiences often attributed to wine. That is why one of the names of strong wine is ‘spirits’.
  6. Anointing can come as a symbolic gesture as a dove upon Jesus, that John the Baptist testified of seeing (Jn. 1:32) or a sudden light from heaven like the Apostle Paul experienced (Acts 9:3). These realities are wonderful signs that point to the essential messages God is speaking to individuals or groups of people at a given moment. We call these manifestations of anointing, miracles, and signs and wonders (Mk. 16:16-18)(Acts 5:12 & 19:11-12)(Rom. 15:19)(2 Cor. 12:12).

Empowerment:

Anointing enables you to fulfill God’s purpose for your life (Jn. 14:12) and do supernatural things (1 Sam. 17:34-37)! One main purpose of the anointing is to win souls (Jn. 15:16). The Bible says, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). After we receive the anointing, power is available to be an effective witness and overcome life’s greatest battles.

For All Who are Thirsty: (Ps. 42:1-3 & 63:1-2)(Mt. 5:6)

Another wonderful thing about the anointing is that it does not discriminate. Whether we be male or female, rich or poor, young or old, the anointing of God can come upon you (Joel 2:28-30). Listen to these words; “…I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon My servants and upon My handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.”

Father – Revive Us Again!

Still Going Deeper

“And he (an Angel) showed me (John) a pure river of (the) water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev. 22:1).

“Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar” (Ezek. 47:1).

There is a River that flows freely from the throne of God!

This supernatural resource of the Holy Spirit, which runs through the Temple in Jerusalem, also flows through us (1 Cor. 3:16). In the same way that Solomon’s Temple was “filled with the glory of the Lord” (1 Kings 8:10-13), you and I can be filled to overflow with the same manifestation of His Presence in our lives. The Prophet Haggai prophesied about a greater glory coming to the Temple (Hag. 2:1). God intends for that increasing glory to flow through us.

Living in the River:

As believers we are in the River, but we must ask ourselves – how deep are we willing to go? How far will we allow the Holy Spirit to flood our lives? Are we merely standing at a safe depth to accomplish our agendas?

Have you noticed that children love splashing and playing in wading pools where the water is only ankle deep? Our early salvation experience is often like that, we got in up to our ankles and splashed around, suddenly exposed to the amazing things God can do. But are we still in that place, satisfied with surface things when God is calling us to maturity and a deeper commitment? Can we risk losing control or look foolish at His command? Are we willing to go deeper; to move in signs and wonders, believe in miracles, healings or deliverance? Have we ever thought that God would use us to touch people where they are?

Going Deeper:

As we begin to seek God and pray, letting go of agendas in exchange for His purposes in our lives… we go deeper. We ready ourselves to stretch beyond our comfort zones, trusting that He knows what He’s doing in us. And while this is a very good thing, it tests our character and our faith. As the water reaches our waistlines we find that movement is far more difficult. The Holy Spirit wants to change us, exposing pride, selfishness or unforgiveness.

Neck deep in the River, shakes our confidence and calls us to completely identify with Christ (Gal. 2:20). It is at this level that many Christians turn back, because moving is hindered by the deep water. It is at this place where the Holy Spirit begins to ask for more sacrifice and we begin to surrender our future to a higher call. In trusting God’s purposes and risking our own lives, we come to know the abundant resource that flows from His Throne (Heb 4:16). And while it feels as if you can’t go any deeper, I promise you my friend there is much more!

In Over Our Head:

As we go deeper still we must let go of the firm footing beneath our feet, learning that we must swim in order to stay alive. In the River of God we must let go of our security and allow the Spirit to take us where He wants us to go. And while we all like to feel as if we’re in control, its here that we begin to experience the true freedom of the Spirit. Ultimately it is the Holy Spirit who has control and once we know and trust God, we can abandon ourselves to His tender care and mercy. It feels very risky, but it is actually the safest place for the believer to abide.

Its Up To Us:

Where are you in the River of God today? Ankle-deep? Knee-deep? Waist-deep? Neck-deep? Or way over your head? Ezekiel tells us of this river experience, but it’s up to us to determine where we will live. Still going deeper brings healing and joy; but most of all it will release us into the increased Glory of God!

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