Brother Ray and I have been getting to know each other, he is a new friend and brother and needs prayer for his health please. This post is his email to me, so it is different and builds into a lesson. In an odd font but readable.
Below please find my response to your weekly teaching, progress report and other news. It's not so much a response as it is an addendum to it I think. I'll let you decide. Anyway I was inspired by the teaching and the response just spewed out. I hope that is OK.
Trusting In the Lord-or The Impossible Mission-David Wilkerson and Word in Due Time My response
We can read these same stories again in Matthew and Luke. These same disciples walked, slept and eat with the Master. They watched with amazement as he healed the sick, cured the blind and deaf and even as he raised the dead. We look at their doubt and with complete disbelief we wonder how they could not get it and why they could not do what he did. After all if we walked and talked with Jesus why we would be miracle making machines. We would not doubt we would be strong in faith.
We Christians and I hesitate to say it, disciples and followers of Christ have even more excuses then did the 120 or the 70 or the 11 did. There was however a need for them to not be successful and not be enabled until Pentecost. There was an important lesson to be learned. What lesson? That we can do nothing in our own strength. But God in our weakness makes us strong and he can accomplish all things.
5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. John 15:5-8 (NLT)
11 So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. 2Th1:11
34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Heb 11:34-35 (ESV)
Let’s look at Mathew. 11 [For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.] Matt 18:11 (NASB). Jesus came to save the lost to save us and everyone in our sphere of influence. He came to free us from sin yes from bondage yes from infirmities and yes diseases and every sin inspired plague that has befallen mankind since the fall. I believe that Jesus was here to redeem the whole man body and spirit. So the whole is important. We need to be as comfortable laying on hands and expecting healing as we are confident that when we lead someone in the sinners prayer that they are saved.
Jesus came first to save sinners. Again in Matthew 28 we read about The Great Commission: 16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, " All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matt 28:16-20 (NASB)
What does Jesus tell us?
Go make disciples – of all nations
Baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Teach – all things he commanded
Because “All authority has been given to Jesus in heaven and on earth.” And he said “I am with you even until the end of the age”
By this last statement we can conclude that the command is still in force since it is not yet the end of the age and we can also determine that the instructions remain intact as well.
Let’s go on and look at Matthew 10:8, Luke 9:2 and Luke 10:9 in the (ASV) respectively.
8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, and cleanse the lepers, cast out demons: freely ye received, freely give. Mt 10:8 /
2 And he sent them forth to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. Lk 9:2
9 and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. Lk 10:9
We were instructed as to what Jesus came to do.
To heal, deliver, set free he came to raise the dead and AND preach the good news.
So what was the good news?
It was that the kingdom of Heaven was at hand. That was the news. The news of the kingdom. He accomplished what he came to do. Jesus already saved the lost.
We are to spread the gospel
(Jesus came in the flesh, he died for our sins and ransomed us from the penalty of that sin, and he rose on the third day and conquered death giving us eternal life.)
We need to tell them so they can accept his accomplishment. This we do to one degree or another, we spread the gospel all over the world.
What about the rest of it, you know making disciples, healing the sick, blind and deaf. What about the demon possessed and dare I say, raising the dead.
Why don't we see these things?
I think it is it because we are afraid and/or lack self-confidence?
Now I say self-confidence or our self-faith because of the story of Peter on the lake. Let me explain, we all know the story in Matthew 14 below
25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear.27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.30 but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matt 14:25-31 (ESV)
Now I ask you who did Peter lose faith in? Before you answer, Jesus was still standing on the water and Peter yelled out to him "Lord save me!" It was clearly his own faith in question and Jesus says to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Being that God never changes then it is always we who change for the good or bad. Remember when you were first saved. There was no one or nowhere that you wouldn't proclaim Jesus and you would pray over anything or anyone. Well that was me. Thankfully I am that way now but for many years I was fearful and ashamed, even to witness for my Lord.
Let’s look again at Matthew 28:17 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful.
The disciples were afraid too. So what happened?
Acts 1:12-13a (HCSB) 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem—a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 When they arrived, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying: They were assembled together in prayer. Then in Acts 2:1-4 (HCSB) 1 When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. 3 And tongues, like flames of fire that were divided, appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability for speech.
They were imbued with power from on high as Holy Spirit filled them and equipped them for service. I believe that we are baptized with the same Holy Spirit power when we are born again and baptized.
Do these miracles still happen today?
You better believe they do but in American and the other civilized nations we are sorely lacking.
I’m glad you asked. It is because we (civilized folks) have what we need. Our next meal, a roof, a job or some kind of government program is available to 90% of our populations. However, in the 10% of us civilized folks miracles do happen and in some third world countries the dead are being raised and the deaf and blind see, diseases are being cured and demons cast out.
Now there are little pockets in USA where people experience miracle power but it is nothing compared to what it should or could be. The American Church is dying as our need for Jesus is escalating exponentially.
You see it is a FAITH issue. Our faith issue or lack of it. Yes yours and mine. I too am a victim of not enough faith, enough food, a house and medical coverage. I too am too timid or dare I say ashamed to stand in front of the church or in the street and speak to infirmities and devils.
I am ashamed and maybe just maybe by admitting this public
ly is the catalyst I need to break through and see God’s miracle working power in my life. You see, head knowledge is not enough. I am trying to let God have full control as Dr. Abaldo stated above.
I hope that my honesty transparency and understanding can benefit someone. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen!