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At the Feast of Dedication when the Jews began to stone Jesus for His answer to their question, “How long will You keep us in suspense?  If You are the Christ, tell us plainly,” Jesus replied them, “Why then do you accuse Me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? Do not believe Me unless I do what My Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe Me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”

When we lost the power, or rather, when we lost God’s trust to have miraculous power, we were reduced to people who could only share the message, much like a newsreader, without the ability to confirm the message with the evidence of signs, wonders and miracles so that people who heard the message might have that message confirmed with the signs accompanying it.

In Mark 16.20 it is written:  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed His word by the signs that accompanied it. See that the signs were not to confirm the message, for a message may not contain the Lord’s word or be about the Lord’s word as evidenced by much of what passes for sermons in churches now.  Those signs are to confirm His word, not ours.  As such, a message without accompanying signs to confirm it is not a message endorsed or endorsable by the Lord Himself.  It is merely a message not worthy of the Lord’s confirmation.

Is it a counterfeit message then?  No, for a counterfeit message, a true counterfeit, must be a message accompanied with signs and wonders to deceive even the elect, if that were possible.  Now this is a matter to understand, elect… for when Jesus warned His disciples about false Christs and prophets, He said, “For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect—if that were possible.”

You see, because the message of Christ was always accompanied with signs and miracles to the point where He could say to those who opposed Him, “…even though you do not believe Me, believe the miracles, that you may know…” the true and original is always the message that is news confirmed by signs and wonders.  If that is the true and the real, then the counterfeit must be like it, so like it that it would have the power to deceive the elect. See that Jesus spoke of it in both Matthew and Mark.  So, elect, even the elect of the Holy Spirit can be deceived.

Once you understand the standard set by Christ – His message was accompanied with a ministry of miracles – then you realise that a message that has no accompanying signs and wonders does not meet the required standard, so that anyone who is preaching a message claiming to be a message of and about Christ at best has produced a substandard work, but yet has not produced a counterfeit.  For a counterfeit of the substandard is not a true counterfeit.  Even if such persons are sincere and genuine, their message is of little value except to fill in time.  For unless the Lord deemed the message worthy of confirming with signs, it has not received the approval of the One whose approval alone matters – the Lord.

When you hear such messages, elect, in your kindness you might consider it practice by the preacher as he is striving to develop a quality that is approvable by the Lord, but you should never fear them that they are counterfeits.  I am speaking of those who preach in the Name of Jesus of course, for what have we to do with the servants of other houses?  Nothing.  To their own master each servant is accountable.

When you can learn to take this view, a view that Jesus Himself took with the Jews who were about to stone Him, then you will not be swayed by wise and persuasive words at all.  For Jesus was not the only preacher in His day, as surely as we are not the only preachers with a message today.  However, Jesus was the only One who was teaching and preaching with authority and the power of miracles, signs and wonders accompanying Him in His day, and likewise if you have faith in Him and believe in Him you should do what He has been doing.  A message of authority without the power of miracles, signs and wonders is only half the requirement… so when you have religious men speak with authority and wise and persuasive words, be not impressed at all.  Their authority is not an authority authenticated by the Holy Spirit, for He has not cared to confirm their message with His power with miracles, signs and wonders.  As it is, most preachers base their authority on their titles, positions and education.  Now compare that with the Son of the virgin Mary whose stepfather was a carpenter, without official titles or recognition by a government endorsed board or tribunal, whose only commendation came from another itinerant who dressed in fur and ate honey and locusts.

In this world where one’s authority to do or say anything is dependent on your education, titles and licensing, Jesus would never have made the grade.  However, to those who heard Jesus teach, they were amazed at His teaching, because He taught as One who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. An authority that flowed from Him because He knew who He was, where He came from and, more importantly, where He was going.

For most men, if not all, by contrast live in denial of who they are, without a clue where they came from and definitely do not know where they are going, except for some hole in the ground if they are fortunate.  Because of this, as much as they speak, as much as they talk, as much as they make speeches, declarations, promises and prophecies even, you will find not one of them can speak with the authority your Lord and Saviour did and does.  But thanks to Him, you who have put your faith in Him and believe in Him know who you were and who you are – a sinner saved by grace through faith, living to grow to the fullness of the stature of Christ – and you know where you come from and, more importantly, you know where you are going.

Have you noticed the word used is ‘know’ and not believe?  For believing does not give you authority; it gives you hope.  A person who shares his beliefs shares his hopes in which he has invested his faith.  A person who shares what he knows shares his past and his present reality and also where he plans to be, and if it is planned, then it relies not on hope or faith, but on design, due process and work where the outcome is anticipatable.  A farmer who uses his past and present knowledge to sow his seeds anticipates the results based on knowledge.  Rain at the right time will give him an abundant harvest; rain that does not come will withhold the harvest.  The results are already anticipated; there are no surprises, only anticipated results.  A politician who spouts out his beliefs and promises rarely ever gives the anticipated results, for what he says is not based on what he knows, but what he believes.

As such, your sharing of your message will only have the requisite authority when you are speaking from what you know, not what you believe.  Just as a farmer knows from his experience and knowledge what type of harvest to anticipate based on the rains that have fallen, so your knowledge of the truth that is the word of Jesus should cause you to speak as one who knows that He is alive and is coming back, and not as one who believes He is alive and therefore might come back.  It is the message spoken with authority that is confirmed with accompanying signs and wonders that is the authentic, and likewise, it is the message that is spoken with the same authority and confirmed with the same accompanying signs and wonders that is the true counterfeit.

So do not fear the false Christs and prophets as others fear them, for there are no false Christs or prophets who are speaking with the authority of the level of Christ, even if they do have the ability to perform some signs or wonders.  This is because if those false prophets and Christs really knew where they came from, who they are and where they are going, they would repent out of fear of the eternity that they are heading for.

However, as you continue to grow in knowledge of the life of Jesus and His word, and therefore authority increases in you and you learn to speak words that are worthy of the Lord’s confirmation with signs, wonders and miracles, then you have provided the template, the original, by which the counterfeit can be produced.

In this you must know and understand Satan has no doubt as to who he is, where he came from and where he is going to go if he does not stop Jesus returning.  Satan does not believe that Jesus is alive and is coming back; he knows Jesus is alive at the right hand of God and is coming back, so that all he says and does is specifically aimed at delaying and preventing the return of Jesus.  That is why he has a degree of authority which he can give to those who serve him… The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. … Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast?  Who can make war against him?” Like Jesus, Satan has authority because he knows where he came from, who he is and where he will go if he fails.  Now, understand the conviction of your enemy so that you will stop underestimating him.  Underestimating an enemy is not fearing, no… underestimating is when your lack of fear for him causes you to stumble and fall into his trap!  Fear stops you from facing him in the first place, like when the army of Israel refused to face Goliath.

The beast that receives the authority from Satan also knows who he is, where he came from – the Abyss – and where he is going if he fails, for he has already suffered the wrath and judgment of God from the moment he was thrown into the abyss.  He has no intention of failing.

And finally, the last member of the unholy trio – the beast coming out of the Earth who looks like a lamb and speaks like a dragon – is a man who knows, like you and I know, where he came from, who he is and, like you and I, does not believe that Jesus is alive and might come back, but knows that Jesus is alive and will come back.  Having been an elect himself, he has acquired the gifts of miraculous power and healing to do some of the things that Jesus has been doing, except the ambition in his heart will cause him to seize what he considers an opportune moment to use the power he has to perform great miracles, even calling fire down from Heaven, to confirm both his message and the message of the first beast.  Like his two co-conspirators, he knows where he is going if he fails to prevent the arrival of Jesus Christ upon the Mount of Olives.

Because of what they know, your foes are truly formidable and worthy of your contention if you are as firm and hopefully firmer in your knowledge of who you are, what you are and where you are going.

So in the time that is left, continue to prepare yourself and acquire the authority that comes by knowledge and not by faith of God and His Christ so that you are speaking certain words that are worthy of the Lord’s confirmation until every word you speak is trustworthy in God’s eyes so that the power of miracles, signs and wonders flow without limit.  Do not let those who speak without true authority and with words that are unworthy to be confirmed as true by God distract you from here on.  For then you will know what it is to be able to fulfil these words of God: “Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at every proud man and bring him low, look at every proud man and humble him, crush the wicked where they stand.  Bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the grave.” For it is not your own right hand that saved you, but you know it is the right hand of God that saved you, and He is the One who deserves the justice.

So end the days of comfortable slumber in faith and hope, and awaken to the reality of knowledge and fulfilment of prophecy so that before the Lord speaks, we can speak and say to Him, “Rise, Lord, let us go!  Here comes the Lord’s betrayers!”  (That is what the Lord was hoping to hear in Gethsemane!)

If you are a preacher who uses the Name of Jesus and yet have experienced no miracles, signs and wonders to confirm your message, do not despair or condemn yourself.  Repent and believe the testimony of God, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” It is not too late… there is a little time left, sufficient for repentance.

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