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“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?”[1]

The powers of the world, the military, financial, intellectual, and political powers, are all means by which the people of the world enrich themselves and acquire worldly wealth measured in the amount of money and goods that they have as well as the land that they own. As we have been concentrating on miraculous powers, do not get the wrong idea that military, financial, intellectual and political powers are not used by the Lord to serve His purposes. However, it is the absence of miraculous powers that can allow these four powers of the world to become idols.

Jesus once told His disciples, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”[2] Keeping up one’s strength is important, and in terms of physical military power, God gave Israel an army of 500,000 to face Jericho, yet He chose to use His miraculous power to bring down the walls before He allowed the army of Israel to lay hands on the Jerichoans and slaughter them.

Jesus allowed the disciples to have a money bag with them to buy what they needed, including what was needed for the Passover. Indeed, when He left them He said, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”[3] Indeed, when Simon Peter put Him in the awkward position to have to pay the temple tax, Jesus did not change bronze to gold to pay it, but had Peter cast a line out to catch a fish, which had the four drachma coin in its mouth.[4] And certainly, He was always ready to challenge the intellectual capabilities of those who considered themselves intellectuals, asking them, “What do you think?”[5] When Pontius Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”[6] Jesus answered him, “My Kingdom is not of this world. If it were, My servants would fight to prevent My arrest by the Jews. But now My Kingdom is from another place.”[7] Right there and then, Jesus admitted to His diplomatic status and He could have influenced Pilate to change his mind. As such, we must be aware of the Lord’s mastery of these powers.

However, when the church completely ignores the miraculous powers of God and relies solely on the powers of the world to preach the Gospel and to be a witness, the church is herself no more than a beast. For the church without miraculous power is like a man with no thumbs. As such, his hands are nothing more than paws, which can only grip but are not able to manipulate.

It is and has always been the plan of God to use all powers in order to fulfil and complete His work. That is why when He raised up Israel; she had the largest army, all the gold of Egypt, a set of Laws to govern the people unlike anything in the world, and a system of government unlike anything in the world. God would dwell in their midst and speak to them through the prophets and priests and appoint their judges for them. In a world when the allocation of a specific day to rest for a whole society was as foreign to them as a jet engine, God instituted the Sabbath for them to set them apart. All the gold that Egypt had spent 400 years accumulating, the Israelites took out in one day. Yet, when the Israelites arrived at the outskirt of Canaan, God was not going to rely just on their military power, not the first time or the second time 40 years later, but He would show them how to conduct themselves in the Promised Land.

It was God’s pure miraculous power that delivered them out of Egypt, just as it was the power of Jesus’ death on the cross that delivered us out of the bondage of sin and its wage – death. However, when they reached the Promised Land, it was a mixture of both miraculous and natural power that they were to use to conduct their lives. They would grow barley and bake bread, but also have men with miraculous power to multiply the bread. They would be born and die, but they would also have men in their midst who could raise the dead. They would have to march out to battle just like the other nations ahead of them, but they would also have angels fighting with them and for them, even hornets would be sent as they engaged in battle, and even the World could be stopped in its rotation so that the sun and moon would stand still until the battle was over and the victory was theirs.[8] Had Israel remained obedient to the Lord, they would have shown the world what it is to be a nation belonging to God, a nation which conducted its affairs just like the other nations in the use of its military, financial, intellectual and political powers, but also a nation that knows and understands how to have and use the miraculous power of God in its midst.

As such, it is the absence of miraculous power in the present church that is responsible for its sad state, not the presence of financial, intellectual, political and even military powers. As such, the purpose of resurrecting power to the church of Jesus Christ is not to get rid of the worldly powers, but to have them in submission to the power of Christ. The ideal, the true state of the church, was to have been a church full of miraculous power in which the four powers of the world were also abundant.

Indeed, Jesus demonstrated the potential miraculous power had in military terms when He said, “I am He,” and caused the soldiers to draw back and fall to the ground.[9] That same ability Elisha had of blinding an Aramean army was also present in Jesus. When He turned water to good wine, therefore expensive wine, at the wedding at Cana, He demonstrated the same power that Elisha had to multiply the oil to use it to pay off the widow’s debt. When He raised the widow’s son and Lazarus from the dead, it meant that if the church was to engage in military action, her soldiers would be raised from the dead, and even more frightening (for her enemies anyway), she would have soldiers who could not be killed, for Jesus had said, “…and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.”[10] By His power, He opened the minds of the disciples to understand the Scriptures[11] and if disciples had minds that could understand Scripture, then no principle of science would be beyond them either, for the laws and principles of science come from God and men are their discoverers, not their creator.

Indeed, if the early church stayed true to its course, it would truly be the most powerful institution in the world because it would have miraculous power to cause all other powers to submit to it. However, the disciples did not stay the course, and we have what we have today, a church that is dependant on the four powers of the world because it is bereaved of miraculous power.

Unfortunately, we disciples have always been found wanting as to when we can be trusted with miraculous power. Ananias and Sapphira succumbed to the prestige that a large donation would give them and then succumbed again to the greed of keeping the money rather than keeping their word. In Acts 5, we see the lesson for us when thought, word and action are in disarray and how it instantly killed Ananias and then Sapphira. They conceived to sell their land and to keep some of the money with their hearts, and when asked about their action, Sapphira’s word was a lie. They did not do what they thought of doing at first and then used their word to hide their change of agenda. God didn’t kill them over the money, but rather over the fact that their thoughts, action and words were hypocritical and lies, thus they killed themselves for he who is the father of all lies is also a murderer. However, continuous repentance would have saved them. Had Ananias just told Peter it was their intention to give all the money but they changed their mind and were now keeping some, they would have lived to enjoy the money.

For when God is looking for people to trust, He is not looking at the money or anything else He gives us, He is looking for those whom He can trust about themselves. As Jesus said, it was “the tax collector… who said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner,’ who went home justified before God.”[12] At this time, you’d do well to search yourself and see the truth of yourself.

In Acts 6:1, it is written: In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. And we know that led the twelve to make the mistake of appointing the seven, which included Nicolas who would give rise to the teachings of the Nicolaitans that Jesus hated.[13] What happened here? Who was at fault? Was it the Grecian Jews or the Hebraic Jews or both? As surely as our weapons of thought, word and touch have divine power, that power can bring both life and death, disaster and prosperity, darkness and light, for it is the power of God as God has said, “I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.”[14] Did the Hebraic Jews overlook the Grecian widows because of prejudice? Perhaps. Did the Grecian Jews feel that they were wronged and so complained? If so, why didn’t the Grecian Jews look after their own widows? You see, the disaster of Acts 6 began when one party thought the poorer of the other and spoke a word of complaint, demanding justice rather than the word of forgiveness. In all that, there was no allocation of miraculous power to solve the problem, but rather an allocation of manpower. Men were appointed to solve men’s problems. Instead, if God’s power was appointed to solve man’s problems, if the twelve or the original eleven simply broke bread each time and multiplied it just like Jesus showed them and gave out not the bread but the power to multiply the bread to both the Grecian and Hebraic Jews, the seven would not have been appointed. As great as Stephen and Phillip were as men of God for all the good they did, it could not negate the harm done by Nicholas the convert to Judaism. The teachings of Nicholas, with its reversion to observance of the Law for co-justification rather than faith in Jesus alone, was exactly what Jesus warned the twelve about when He told them to “Be careful, be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.” They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”[15] Jesus reminded them of the feeding of the 5000 and the 4000 and asked them, “Do you still not understand?”[16]

Jesus took what little was given Him, the five loaves and two fish, and the seven loaves and a few small fish,[17] gave thanks and used them to solve the problem with miraculous power first before He appointed the disciples to distribute the loaves. Had the eleven remembered that, they would have silenced both the Hebraic and Grecian Jews dispute with a clear display of the Lord’s power and then appointed men who could do the same. The seven were chosen by the whole group and it was the group who chose Stephen, Philip, Procuras, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch.[18] Men were appointing men to solve God’s problems again, just as they did when they chose Matthias before the Holy Spirit’s arrival. Imagine if they appointed those whom the Holy Spirit chose by seeing which one of them could multiply the bread. Imagine seven appointed whom the Holy Spirit trusted enough to multiply bread with. Nicolas would have been excluded for he was a convert to Judaism, not to Jesus, and it was Judaism that cried out, “Take Him away! Take Him away! Crucify Him! …We have no King but Caesar.”[19]

They, the eleven, forgot it was not their wise and persuasive advertising that drew a crowd on Pentecost day so that Peter had an audience to preach to and three thousand were baptised that day. It was not Peter’s eloquence and John’s fiery words that convinced the two thousand to join in Acts 3, but a simple display of God’s power on both occasions with a sound like a violent wind blowing from Heaven and a lame man walking that did it. Every problem Jesus faced and every problem they faced in Acts 2, 3 and 5 was solved first by a display of God’s power and then they did what they could. The sound from Heaven brought the audience so they could preach. The lame healed brought the audience so they could preach. Ananias and Sapphira’s death brought the fear of the Lord so they could discipline. It was God’s power first and then men’s efforts, whether by might, by mind, by means or by will.

Many before you have received a restoration of miraculous power, but none have been able to take it to the full level of resurrection that it is meant to be, for if they had succeeded, I would not have to speak to you on this matter. They, like us, were entrusted with a little miraculous power, with healings, deliverances, even raising of the dead, but the moment the little happened with the miraculous, they then turned from relying on the more being given to them to seeking financial power, political power, intellectual power and even military power to sustain and maintain the little miraculous power they had.

It has been the practice of our predecessors to turn to men to raise the money, the political connection, the intellectual prestige and even the physical means in order to have a platform to display the little miraculous power they have. So they spend thousands of dollars, even millions, to advertise to draw people with promises that Jesus will heal them, to hear the Gospel. When the money is spent, the crowds are drawn, the promises are made, and a few are healed. Promises are broken and the Lord’s Name is held in shame. Satan is blamed and a pitiful few are saved. It looks good, sounds good, even feels good, but it is not good. For Jesus spent no money, made no political connections, touted no intellectual superiority, nor physically coerced or forced people to attend His crusades and meetings, yet all who came were healed, delivered and fed.

Thus, the little we are entrusted with, the little miraculous power we have, must be nurtured and we must show ourselves worthy of that trust, otherwise the more will not be given. If the Lord has healed you once, the only reason you are not healed again is because you could not be trusted with the little you received. You did not value it.

You see, all the power of the Kingdom of God lies in these three: the thought, the word and the touch. God thought out all there would be for creation then He spoke the word, and by His hands, formed Adam out of the earth. You and I came from the sum total of God’s thoughts, words and actions for His image. It may not seem much, but it is everything God has. And if we did not value what God thought, what He said and what He did, but made Him value our thoughts, our words and our works above His, it shows that we cannot be trusted with the much for we did not value the little He gave us.

One whistle and one lame man walking and a cult of one hundred and twenty became a church of five thousand, and yet we preferred men’s ways.

If we are to succeed against the powers of this dark world,[20] then we must do all things first through the power of the Lord controlling our thoughts, words and actions before all else. If we are to raise the finances, it will be done miraculously through means that are impossible with men. If we are to raise the political connections, it will be done miraculously through means that are impossible with men. If we are to raise the intellectual prestige, it will be done miraculously through means that are impossible with men. If we are to raise the physical might in manpower, it will be done miraculously through means that are impossible with men.

The only way we will know if God is with us is when what is impossible with men is possible with us, for Jesus said, “Nothing will be impossible for you.”[21] Think in the realm of the impossible, with one purse, with one bag, and with one sword, feed the multitude, clothe all the naked, heal all the sick and stop every violent man, for the Lord our God, He is One. Amen.


 

[1] Luke 16:10-11

[2] Mark 6:31

[3] Luke 22:36

[4] Matthew 17:24-27

[5] Matthew 21:28; 22:42

[6] Matthew 27:11; Mark 15:2; Luke 23:3; John 18:33

[7] John 18:36

[8] Joshua 10:12-14

[9] John 18:6

[10] John 11:26

[11] Luke 24:45

[12] Luke 18:13-14

[13] Revelation 2:6,15

[14] Isaiah 45:6-7

[15] Matthew 16:6-7; Mark 8:15-16

[16] Matthew 16:8-12; Mark 8:17-21

[17] Mark 6:38, 8:5-7

[18] Acts 6:5

[19] John 19:15

[20] Ephesians 6:12

[21] Matthew 17:20

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