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Healing and Water

Healing and Water

As we continue through the Gospel of Luke, we see the religious leaders becoming more and more agitated by the Lord’s exposure of their hypocrisy. In today’s post, Jesus steps on their self-righteous view of the Sabbath.

You may want to read Luke 13:10-17 before continuing.

This incident occurred in a local synagogue where Jesus was teaching one Sabbath. He saw a woman in the crowd that was so crippled, she couldn’t stand up straight.

When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.

Luke 13:12-13 NIV

The leader in charge of the synagogue became angry at this. Not only was she healed on the Sabbath, but she was praising God. After all, women were not allowed to speak in the synagogue.

This leader doesn’t take into account the fact that only God, Himself, could have accomplished this miracle. Instead, he tells the crowd that the Sabbath is not the day for healing. This is another example of worship being reduced to laws made by men.

This flagrant misrepresentation of our Father-God made Jesus upset.

The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”

Luke 13:15-16 NIV

These are good questions. They’re the kind that self-righteous hypocrites don’t want answered. They’re also questions that should speak to us even in our generation.

We live in a time when miracles are not everyday occurrences. As a matter of fact, I would venture to say that most Christians have never seen a true miracle. I’m talking about miracles that are clearly something that only God could do.

At this point, we have become very used to praying for people and nothing happens. Because of this experience, we don’t expect anything to happen and make all kinds of excuses for it.

“It’s just not God’s will for you to be healed.”

“Maybe you don’t have enough faith.”

“God is trying to teach me something through this sickness.”

I only have one thing to say about all this…

Let God be true, and every man a liar.

Romans 3:4b NIV

In this passage, Jesus equates healing to giving your animals their daily water. That’s a requirement. Animals need water to survive. This is how God’s provision of healing is talked about throughout the Scriptures.

In Matthew 15:26, Jesus calls healing the children’s bread. Again, it’s a daily requirement. As a parent, I can say without any hesitation, that I never prayed to see if it was God’s will to feed my children that day.

I can also say, I never let them go hungry because I wanted to teach them something. That is known as child abuse. God is not an abusive Father.

If there’s any problem with us receiving that healing, it’s on our part. I believe that it’s our understanding of how healing works that’s faulty. As the church matures, so will our experience in the miraculous.

That’s why I’ve spent so much time trying to teach on this subject. In the Search bar on this site, you should look for the series Healing 101 and Healing 201 if you want more information. I believe that this is something God is trying to restore to the church in our generation.

Press into the Lord and let Him restore His power in the church.

Questions: Have you witnessed the miraculous power of God? How?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2022 in Healing, Legalism, Power of God, Revival

 

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Judgmental Spirits

Judgmental Spirits

I’m continuing to post through the Gospel of Luke. We’re in chapter 11, where Jesus has just given His disciples a teaching on prayer. When we pray like Christ, we’re calling for God’s kingdom to be manifest on earth.

When that takes place, we experience the miraculous. There are many responses when that happens. Now we’ll see an example of this in Jesus’ ministry.

Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed.

Luke 11:14 NIV

Here was something to praise God over. A man was unable to speak, and probably unable to hear, because of demonic oppression. Jesus cast out the demon and the man was healed. This should have cause everyone to enjoy God’s goodness. But, that wasn’t the case.

But some of them said, “By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.

Luke 11:15-16 NIV

These responses simply amaze me. Instead of enjoying the blessing of God, the religious leaders felt the need to prove their authority.

Some of them, out of jealousy, said the Jesus could cast out demons because He was one of them. Others wanted to inflate their egos by saying they needed the Lord to show them a sign that proved what He was doing was of God.

The Lord just cast out a demon. That should be sign enough!

This is what happens when people who are self-important run into someone with real power. They have to prove, mostly to themselves, that they’re really superior. However, I think it was clear to the crowd exactly what was going on.

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebub.”

Luke 11:17-18 NIV

The first thing that Jesus does, is to prove the foolishness of their argument. Kingdoms cannot stay strong if they’re divided. Satan is not going to cast out a demon if God’s going to get glory from it.

But, there’s another important point I want to make here. This is not the first time the Pharisees have seen Jesus cast out devils. They’ve witnessed many miracles at His hand.

The above verse says that Jesus knew their thoughts. The word, thought, in that verse, literally means their conclusions, something they had already thought through.

Their response to the miracle was not something they said quickly, without thinking. This was something that they had discussed previously and had planned to use at the next opportunity. They concluded that the best way to undermine the Lord’s work, was to attack His character.

The religious leaders wanted people to question His motives. Is He really operating in the power of God? Has He really proven that His power is from the kingdom of Heaven?

This is why, on many occasions, Jesus seemed to be very strict with the Pharisees and teachers of the Law.

Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.”

Luke 11:19-20 NIV

The fact is, the Pharisees understood that it was the power of God driving out demons. There were some Pharisees who truly trusted God and were operating in the same authority. Jesus encouraged these foolish ones to go to them and let them judge the argument.

The lesson is that we need to be careful who we judge as to the validity of their ministries. You might not like their personalities. However, that doesn’t mean that God’s not working through them.

Question: How judgmental are you of other ministries?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2022 in Ministry, Power of God, Spiritual Walk

 

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Control

Control

As we continue to study the Gospel of Luke, we’re now starting chapter 9 today. Some of the same issues are talked about here.

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

Luke 9:1-2

In my last post I talked about how Christ ministered on a different level than the Pharisees. The power of God flowed out of Him. As in the case of the woman with the issue of blood, it was even without the Lord’s knowledge at times.

Now that’s a definite problem for us in modern day Christianity. We want control. We want to be able to turn it on and off. We want people to know who the power came from.

It seems to me that God wants us to be a hose, and we want to be a faucet. This brings my mind back to a post I wrote a few years ago. It was about II Timothy 3:5.

This was the verse in which Paul warned us that in the last days there would be those who had a form of godliness but denied the power. If you remember, the Greek word for deny was a-rheonot flowing.

So many people want to control instead of flow. We cannot have that kind of attitude and be greatly used by God. We must see ourselves as a channel of the Lord’s power, and not a container.

That brings us to the verse we’re looking at in Luke today. Jesus called His disciples to Himself. Then, as they were all together, He gave them the power and authority they needed to do the same things that the Lord Himself was doing.

This is the next logical step in this line of thinking. Because the power of God flows, it can be given and received. Jesus was able to give the disciples power because it flowed through Him. This is good news for us also, because we have the same Holy Spirit living in us that Jesus had within Him.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:8

What a great verse! Power is given by the Holy Spirit and we can receive it. This seems a little too simple for our liking. We try to make it so complicated. So we have come up with all kinds of laws, disciplines, steps, and rituals that we say are necessary in order to walk in this power.

We have placed tithing, confession, and a whole host of other requirements in people’s path. But the truth of the matter is that I must abide in Christ. Then the power will flow through the Holy Spirit to me if I’m in a position to receive it. It’s actually all about positioning ourselves correctly. That’s what a majority of my blog is about.

I’m trying to get the church to reposition itself for revival. That’s where we need to be. In a position to receive the power of the Holy Spirit the same way that Christ did. Then, the world will see the difference and be drawn to the Lord. After all, it’s all about Him, not us.

That’s why I like the way the Lord positioned His disciples. He didn’t just give them power and authority, and then release them. He gave them a mandate. They were to preach the kingdom of God.

It wasn’t all about the power. The message was the most important part. The healings and miracles were simply the signs pointing to the truth of the message.

That’s a lesson we need to learn. We can’t just seek the power of God simply to satisfy our need to feel important. There’s a higher purpose that needs to be fulfilled.

As believers, the power of God is available to us all. Spending time in the spirit changes us to become more like Christ. That’s how we position ourselves to receive it. Then the world will be drawn to the message of hope through Jesus Christ.

Question: How would our church look different if we ministered like Jesus?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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The Private Preparing the Public

The Private Preparing the Public

As we continue through the Gospel of Luke, we see how Christ’s ministry is an example to us. If we live according to His standards, we’ll see the same results. The problem is that, usually, we want some type of shortcut.

You may want to read Luke 6:12-19 before continuing with this post. In this section of Scripture, we see a lot of activity.

Jesus had many followers. But of those, He chose 12 that he called apostles. These were the ones that the Lord would train specifically to take over the ministry when He ascended into heaven.

They were an interesting bunch of characters from all walks of life. The fact that they could function together was a testimony to the work of Christ in their lives.

There were at least four fishermen. They were a rough group of working-class men. If you ever watched the show, Deadliest Catch, then you’ll have a good idea of what they were like.

Jesus also chose people who were very different from each other. One of them, Simon the Zealot, was literally an anti-Roman terrorist. While at the same time he had to live with Matthew, a man who actually collected taxes for the Romans. I can only imagine what their conversations were like!

Yet, in spite of their differences, the love of Christ brought them all together. They were able to form a ministry team that turned the world upside down after the departure of Christ.

But there’s more to the story than just the miracle of bringing people together. The Lord ministered to the crowds in a way nobody ever did before.

He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by evil spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.

Luke 6:17-19

This passage literally says that power was flowing out of Him and everyone was healed. This should speak to us today.

So many people teach that you can only get healed “if it’s God’s will.” I’m here to tell you that, according to God’s unchangeable Word, it’s always His will.

Jesus healed all who came to Him. There’s never a time when He told someone, “I’m sorry, it just not my will for you to be healed.” There was never a person He told, “Stay sick, I’m trying to teach you something.”

Of course the next question I always get is; if it’s God’s will for me to be healed, than why am I still sick? I’m sorry to say that there’s an answer not many people want to hear. It has more to do with the maturity level of the church, than the faith of the individual needing healing.

I totally believe that if and when God’s people rise to the level they’ve been called to, we’ll see healings and miracles with the frequency we see in the pages of Scripture.

That brings me to my next point. If you’re observant, you noticed that I left out something that also happened in these verses. It’s actually the first and most important part.

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.

Luke 6:12

Here’s where our ministry and that of Christ head in different directions. In many cases we want to operate in the power of Christ without following His lead in prayer.

Jesus told His disciples that He did nothing without first hearing it from the Father. That’s more than just a quick, “Oh Lord please bless my ministry today, amen.” It requires quality time in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Our public ministry will only rise to the level of our private time with the Father. That’s the example of Christ to us. If you want to flow in the same power of Christ, then you need to follow Him in the place of prayer.

Question: How many times have you spent the night praying to God?

2022 © Nick Zaccardi

 

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It’s Time for a Change

It’s Time for a Change

In my last post, we saw how John the Baptist called his nation to prepare for the Messiah’s coming. We need to do the same in regards to the Second Coming of Christ.

Let’s continue looking at John’s message.

“‘Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.’”

Luke 3:5-6

This is one of those beautiful prophecies of Scripture. In many ways, John was ahead of his time. He spoke mysteries that not only applied in his day, but in ours as well.

In our vocabulary, valleys are sometimes called gaps or hollows. That’s very appropriate to where the modern church finds itself. Compared to the early church, we seem to have a few gaps in our experience.

I believe that right now God is in the process of filling in those gaps. Those who are listening to His voice are seeing the move of His Spirit. I can’t wait for the full-on outpouring of the Last Days.

In the same way, there are mountains – high places of pride – that keep us from following God’s will with all our heart. We rely too much on our experiences. We don’t expect the miraculous anymore. God needs to humble us so we can trust His Word no matter what’s going on around us.

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

God wants a people who are willing to walk in His power, no matter the outcome. That means rejecting our exalted opinions, and embracing His Word.

Getting back to the verse in Luke, it’s interesting that the word, crooked, can also be used figuratively to mean disobedient. God has a path mapped out for our lives, but we choose to go our own way regardless of the consequences.

God is trying to get our attention. The Holy Spirit is tirelessly working to straighten out and level up our crooked and rough patches.

The goal is simple. The way much of the church is right now, it’s impossible for the world to get a clear picture of Christ and His salvation. They see our opinions, disobedience, bigotry, and worldliness. They conclude that if there’s an answer to life’s problems, it won’t be found in the church.

That’s an unfortunate and unacceptable situation. Right now, God is actively working on the course-correction for His people. You can choose to continue going your own way and be humbled. Or, you can submit to God’s plan, and see the truly miraculous take place around you.

In the next few verses, Luke 3:7-14, John ministers according to the Old Covenant. He talks about the works that they need to do to be acceptable to God. That’s not our ministry. We speak of the great salvation God has already accomplished in Christ.

But, in spite of the “works mentality” in his preaching, the Scripture records that crowds of people made the long journey out into the desert to listen to him. It’s sad that even with our message of hope, forgiveness and salvation in Christ, relatively few are being drawn to it.

We use the excuse that, “Society doesn’t respect the Lord anymore. That’s why they don’t receive the Gospel.” In actuality, there’s a bigger problem.

As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

Romans 2:24

We need to change. We need to live in such a way that the world sees a difference in us. They need to see a higher level of living. Only then will they want what we have and be attracted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Question: What needs to change in order for us to more effectively portray the glory of God?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2021 in Faith, Ministry, Return of Christ, Revival, The Gospel

 

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The Gospel and Power

The Gospel and Power

In the concluding chapters of the book of Romans, Paul talks about his ministry. He has yet to go to Rome, but he want to get there someday.

Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God.

Romans 15:17

When Paul boasts, it’s about what God is doing through him. We need to remember that. It’s not how much I do for Him, but how much He can do through me. After all, I can’t do any miracle or healings on my own. It’s only by the power of God at work in me.

That being said, I believe that signs and miracles are a part of the true Gospel. Without them, it’s difficult to impact the unbeliever.

The Apostle Paul refers to this truth as he continues.

I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done – by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.
Romans 15:18-19

Paul tells us how he led the Gentiles to obey God by announcing the Gospel and making disciples. Notice, that he accomplished this by what he said AND did. It was through the power of signs and miracles.

There’s a difference between a sign and a miracle. A sign is a miracle that confirms the Word of God that you’re speaking.

The key issue is that by operating in this way, Paul fully proclaimed the gospel. I believe that just talking about Christ is not the whole Gospel. The Bible is clear that the kingdom of God is “not a matter of talk but of power.” (I Corinthians 4:20)

In one of my posts I asked, what is it about the Gospel that we’re ashamed of? I used some illustrations. If I won a new car I would call you over to look at it. If I got a promotion at work, I would immediately show you my new business cards. How is that different from the spiritual Good News?

I believe it’s because we have reduced the Gospel to cliches. “Jesus loves you.” “Jesus wants to bless you.” “God loves you and I do too.”

The problem is that there’s no demonstration. It’s not like the new car or the promotion at work because I offer you no proof of what I’m saying.

Based upon Scripture, if there’s no demonstration, then there’s no Gospel. Many are ashamed because all they can do is tell about Jesus. Some can’t even see the proof in their own lives because of the lack of power. It makes many believers feel like charlatans when they share the Good News.

It seems we’ve lost the original Good News. We don’t understand the power of God and we don’t understand the Gospel. The two go hand in hand.

Without the Good News, there’s no need for the demonstration of power. Some American Christians want the power without proclaiming the Good News. The fact is, that without the message of the Gospel there’s no need to demonstrate healing, prosperity, joy, freedom from depression, or anything else the Lord has provided for us through the cross. I’m striving to spur the church on to get hungry to experience the full Gospel.

That’s why Paul could say that he had fully proclaimed the Gospel of Christ. Not only did he tell about Christ, but he also demonstrated the love and power of the Lord.

Question: How can we return to the true Gospel?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 

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The Marks of an Apostle

As we go through Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church, he’s continuing to deal with their infatuation with these “super-apostles” that travel the region.  These ministers exalt themselves and put down any other ministry that are not a part of their group.

When these “minsters” came to Corinth, they berated Paul’s work.  Yet, even though it was Paul’s ministry that gave birth to this church, they didn’t speak up on his behalf.

I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it.  I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing.
2 Corinthians 12:11

Paul understands that it’s foolish to exalt yourself.  But, because the Corinthians didn’t speak up for him, he had to remind them of his work in their church.  They should have stood with Paul when these people were slandering his work.

I like Paul’s sarcasm here.  He makes the statement that even though he’s nothing, he’s better than those “super-apostles”.

He goes on to explain.

The things that mark an apostle — signs, wonders and miracles — were done among you with great perseverance.  How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you?  Forgive me this wrong!
2 Corinthians 12:12-13

If you don’t already know this about me, let me tell you that I believe God never stopped anointing apostles and prophets.  These callings are still available today, to those who are open and listening for the Lord’s voice.

The marks of an apostle are the things Paul lists.  All of them are miraculous works of God through His servants.

Signs are miracles that point to the truth of God’s Word.  They confirm that what God says will stand forever.  Wonders are miracles that cause you to simply stop and stand in awe of God’s power.  Of course, there are also miracles that don’t fall into either of those categories.

We need these ministries today.  The Bible tells us what they’re for.  In Ephesians 4:11-13, we’re told that they mature us.  To my knowledge, these verses aren’t fulfilled yet, so these gifts are still needed.

More than that, apostles are vital to the saving of souls.  Listen closely to what Paul says to the Roman believers.

I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done – by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit.  So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.
Romans 15:18-19

The Gospel is more than just spoken.  It involves what we say and do.  My question is; can you fully proclaim the Gospel of Christ without signs, wonders, and the power of the Holy Spirit?

I don’t think so!

Question: Why do so many people try to win the lost with only convincing words?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2020 in Anointing, Ministry, Power of God, The Gospel

 

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Plugged Into the Power

I’ve been posting from 2 Corinthians about how to walk in righteousness and the power of God.  It should be obvious by now that we must rest, remain, and abide in the presence of God.  That’s the place we receive His power.  Once we have the power we need, we’re able to live righteously.

When I’m saved, I’m made righteous by an impartation from God.  He does this so that I can receive His power by the Holy Spirit who now resides in me.

By drawing upon that power I can now live righteously before Him.  Without the power of the Spirit, I have no hope of ever pleasing the Lord with a walk of righteousness.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18

I can’t make myself walk in righteousness.  My flesh will never be able to fix itself.  My only hope is in the power of the Spirit.

I want to sum up the truths that we’ve learned with an illustration the Lord gave me.  Think about a living room with a TV and a lamp.  There’s also an extension cord with a power strip on it plugged into an electrical outlet.

The extension cord will represent our relationship with Christ.  If the plug is attached to the outlet, we’re remaining in Christ, if not then we’re on our own.

The TV is the miraculous – healings, provision, etc.  The lamp is our righteousness – living rightly before God.  Both of these items must be powered by our relationship with the Lord.  They are both plugged into the power strip.

We’ve noticed that if the lamp works, then the TV works as well.  A life that has the miraculous in operation is also becoming more and more like Jesus.

We’ve also noticed that if the TV isn’t working, then the lamp doesn’t work either.  The TV and the lamp always work together, so we assume that it’s the lamp that’s running the TV.

This is why so many Christians assume that it’s the walk of righteousness that brings the power for the miraculous.  The fact is that both are powered by the same plug – our relationship with Christ.

So, do we try to increase our intimacy with Christ?  No.  Instead, we try to artificially power the lamp through obeying a set of rules.  We preach that people need to live right to see the miraculous.  We tell them that it’s because we’re not living up to the rules that the church has no power.

By doing this, we actually get the lamp to appear to be lit.  What we don’t realize is that it’s not the power of the Spirit that’s working, but our own self-righteousness powered by the law.

Since the power chord of our relationship is not plugged into Christ, the manifestation of God’s power through healing and miracles does not exist.  That’s when all of our excuses start as to why there’s no healings, signs, or wonders in the church anymore.

In order for the power of God to flow into your life, you must be intimate in your relationship with Christ.  The flow of power does not depend upon how good you act.  It’s your intimacy with Christ that will bring about both the miraculous and the walk of righteousness that the Savior has called you to manifest.

Question: How intimate is your relationship with Christ?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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Manifesting the Holy Spirit (Part 2)

In my last post, I started looking at the manifestations of the Holy Spirit.

To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
1 Corinthians 12:8-10

I’ve already talked about the Message of Wisdom, the Message of Knowledge, and Faith.  Now we’ll move on to the rest.

Gifts of Healing.  You may remember that a couple of posts ago, I talked about the word, gifts.  This is the Greek word, charismata.  It’s a gift that the giver retains the right to tell you how it will be used.

Another interesting point about this manifestation is that the original text reads – gifts of healings.  Both words are plural.

I see an incredible word picture in this.  It’s like each of us is given a bag full of presents – healings that we’re to deliver to particular people that we’ll meet throughout our lives.  It’s up to us to stay sensitive so that we can be obedient when the Holy Spirit tells us to pray over that sick person.

Miraculous Powers.  The words used in Scripture mean the working of power.  This can be anything, other than healing, that seems to go against the natural laws.

This also includes the instances of divine favor that we experience.  People in the world will say, “Wasn’t that a great coincidence.”  No, it was the power of God at work orchestrating things on my behalf.

Prophecy.   This is when God gives you a message that He wants you to deliver for Him.  It could be a private or public message.

Many times when we hear the word, prophecy, we think future.  That’s not always the case.  God may want something said that could deal with the past, present, or future.  I think that there are times when believers are speaking prophetically and they don’t even realize it.

Distinguishing Between Spirits.  The phrase, distinguishing between, comes from a Greek word that means to make a judicial decision.  It’s this supernatural gifting that gives you the ability to know what spirit, if any, is at work in a situation.  You’ll know if the demonic forces are trying to hinder.  You’ll also know if the Holy Spirit is at work in the background.

Speaking in Different Kinds of Tongues.  This is the use of your prayer language for ministry.  It could include simply praying for yourself or others.  It could also be a part of deep intercession.  It’s when you allow your spirit to pray in the will of God beyond what you know in the natural.

Interpretation of Tongues.  This is when the Holy Spirit gives you insight into what you or someone else is praying in the spirit.  It’s not quite the same as a translation.  That’s because what you’re speaking with your mouth may not be what’s being exchanged between you and the Lord in the spiritual realm.

These are the manifestations of power that the Holy Spirit wants to display through His people.  They’ll directly point to Christ as Lord.  They’ll cause people to move closer to a relationship with Him.

I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done – by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit.  So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.
Romans 15:18-19

I don’t believe that you can full proclaim the Gospel of Christ without the power of the Holy Spirit.

Question: How have you seen the manifestations of the Holy Spirit at work?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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The Word Confirmed

This will be my final post dealing with the Gospel of Mark.  It closes with an important key to the power that was evident in the early church.

After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
Mark 16:19-20

This verse literally says that the Lord was a co-worker with them.  They did their work – proclaiming the Word of God.  Then the Lord did His part – confirming the Word that was proclaimed.  Miracles were commonplace.  As the disciples went out, the Word of God spread, and there were signs and wonders everywhere they went.

Here’s the foundation for the power that was manifest through them.  The Bible says that when they went out, they preached the Word.  How do you see this in your mind’s eye?  What did they do, specifically?

Do you picture them walking into town, calling a meeting, and then saying, “Turn with me in your Bibles to John 3:16.”?  That’s how we do it; but did they preach that way?

If you know your history, then you understand that nothing could be further from the truth.  When this verse was written about them, they had no Bibles.  They couldn’t preach Scripture.

“Wait a minute, Pastor Nick, they had the Old Testament.  They could use that to preach.”

First of all, most Christians of that day only knew a smattering of Old Testament Scripture.  Secondly, they would have no access to an Old Testament “Bible”.

The Scripture was written on scrolls with painstaking detail.  In order to afford a copy of the Scriptures, you would need to be the equivalent of a multi-millionaire.  Then if you did purchase it, you would need a storage space the size of a small living room to house it.  Let’s face it; the normal Christian had no access to a Bible.

Yet, we’re told that they “preached the Word” wherever they went.  What is the Word that they preached?  The answer is simple – they preached what they received in their intimate times with the Lord.

As they did, an amazing thing happened.  The Lord began confirming what they had heard from Him.

I think that part of our problem is that we’ve become spoiled by an abundance of the availability of Scripture.  Bibles are everywhere.  I personally have about 20 Bibles.  That doesn’t even take into consideration all of the Bibles I have access to online.

Please understand what I’m saying.  This proliferation of Scripture is a great thing.  The availability and accessibility of the Bible to all people is a wonderful blessing.

You would think that with so much Scripture around, there would be more salvations, healings, and miracles.  Instead, what we see is a greater rise of worldliness – even among God’s people.

The problem is not that we need more Scripture.  What we do need is more of the Word of God.  The more I hear from God, the more power I have to live for God.

This is how Jesus, the Apostles, and the early church lived out their faith.  The Holy Spirit confirmed that they had heard from Him.  Signs, wonders, and miracles were common.  God’s people need to get back to that intimate place where they not only know the written Word but are also hearing a Word from the Lord, Himself.

Question: How would the face of Christianity change if a majority of believers were hearing from God?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2018 in Power of God, Prayer, Revival, Word of God

 

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