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The Forty Days

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The forty days that Jesus spent on the Earth after His resurrection was meant to be a replay of the forty days that Moses spent on the Mount of Sinai with God and received the Testimony from the Lord.  Had the eleven believed and went, they would have received the teachings and the plans for the Kingdom of God in full.  Unfortunately, that did not happen, and so the teachings were not given to them in full by Jesus.  It is also now plainly obvious that they did not listen to the Holy Spirit well enough to receive it from Him either.  For if they had, they would not have tarried in Jerusalem after the Holy Spirit had arrived, but would have gone back to Galilee, for the people of Galilee, not the people of Jerusalem, had been prepared by Jesus for two years to receive the Kingdom of God.

The choice of the eleven to base the church in Jerusalem and to have their public meetings in the temple courts around Solomon’s Colonnade meant that they were always in the wrong place.  Surely someone would have thought of Capernaum or Nazareth as the place for the headquarters of the church.  That way, they would not be in competition with the Sanhedrin.  And they were never meant to be in competition with the Jews anyway.  The presence of the church on the temple grounds was a threat to the old guard, and interference from them only meant persecution and finally distraction from the things that Jesus really wanted them to do, so that by Acts 21, the church was so busy pleasing the Jews who were zealous for the law, that it had become an organisation that valued rituals rather than reality.

Had the eleven left Jerusalem and returned to Galilee to establish the church there after the Holy Spirit came in Acts 2, they would be away from the Jews and the Romans.  And what Romans there were in Capernaum would have been their friends.  After all, Jesus healed the servants of the two centurions in Capernaum.  Instead of meeting in a hostile environment because they were encroaching on another group’s territory, they would have had no opposition of note in Galilee.  For by the time Jesus’ ministry was over, there would not have been a single family in Galilee who had not been directly or indirectly touched by Jesus.  If they had minded their own business in Galilee, that is, if the Eleven had sought first the Kingdom of God and all its righteousness, all that the pagans run after would have been added to them.  With the power of the Holy Spirit available to them as it was to Jesus, they would have been able to continue the healing ministry, and the crowds would come as they came for Jesus, and the message would have been sent out as well.  And there would have been nothing the Sanhedrin could do, for after all they were not breaking the temple rules, and also they were doing things that the Sanhedrin could not do… heal the sick and drive out demons.

That is the key to the success of the church – to be able to things that others cannot do.

Do not compete with the world, but overcome the world as Jesus has overcome the world.  When we are able to raise up disciples for Jesus who can heal the sick, drive out demons and do miracles, then we are doing what the world cannot do.  Do not compete with the medical world by telling the sick to give up their medicines to have faith in God.  No, let the sick see their doctors, and when the doctors can do no more, that is the time to step in.  That is what Jesus did to the Pharisees with the crippled man.  He asked them which was easier for them… to forgive sins or to raise the cripple.

When a terminal cancer patient is healed, that is when there is no dispute as to who did the work.  When a man, who was certified by doctors as blind and was on the blind pension, sees again, there is no dispute as to who did the work.  When a renal failure patient on dialysis who had not passed urine for years suddenly wakes up and passes urine the next morning after he had been prayed for by disciples, there is no dispute as to who did the work.

As such, it is time to obey Jesus and not resist an evil person, that is, those who refuse to believe in the grace of God through Jesus Christ.  And let them do their best (worst), and when they have done all they can do, then show them what Jesus has given us the ability to do.

Everyone is out there preaching, but no one is out there doing miracles.  With the days of distress that are upon so many nations now, the opportune time for us to raise up disciples who can do the things that Jesus has been doing has come.  And those of us who succeed will find that the sick, the needy and tormented of the world will come because the Kingdom of God can offer what the world cannot offer – miracles, joy, peace, righteousness, eating and drinking – because we can multiply the food as the world runs out of food, and change water to good wine when there is no more safe drinking water.

Had they gone to the mountain that morning, that is what the eleven would have learnt to see – the world from the perspective of He who has overcome the world – and they would not have tried to compete with the world as if they still had to overcome it.  That is what we lost.  Now it is time to resurrect it – the church at full power to establish the Kingdom of God to prepare the Earth for His return.

Hr. Ed. Kwan, manager of the Holy Spirit’s Workshop

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