New Wine for New Wineskins June 2007

By , May 31, 2007 4:27 pm

 Whose Report Will You Believe?

There is only one good report – the report of God's Word… 

 

 

Exodus 15: 26

I AM the LORD who heals you

Why do we need to hear what the Word of God says about healing?  Because faith comes by hearing what God says!

Listen to Romans 10: 17 from the Amplified Bible.

17 So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).

Faith attaches itself only to the good report of God’s word.  Fear comes through every other report.  We don’t live by fear – we live by faith.  The fear of death is the root of every other fear.  That is why Jesus delivered us from bondage to that fear.

Hebrews 2: 14 – 16 (AMP)

14 Since, therefore, [these His] children share in flesh and blood [in the physical nature of human beings], He [Himself] in a similar manner partook of the same [nature], that by [going through] death He might bring to nought and make of no effect him who had the power of death–that is, the devil —

(Just in case you thought otherwise!  What does that correct regarding “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away?")

15 And also that He might deliver and completely set free all those who through the [haunting] fear of death were held in bondage throughout the whole course of their lives.
16 For, as we all know, He [Christ] did not take hold of angels [the fallen angels, to give them a helping and delivering hand], but He did take hold of [the fallen] descendants of Abraham [to reach out to them a helping and delivering hand].

He didn’t just come to set us free from the power of death so that we could simply scrape through and somehow make it to the other side – he came to give us an abundant life!

John 10: 10 (AMP)

10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

abundantly
perissos – superabundance, excessive, overflowing, surplus, over and above, more than enough, profuse, extraordinary, more than sufficient.

Hebrews 1: 1 – 4

1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

There are some of us who are not as knowledgeable of the word of God as we might like – but we know Jesus and we have his Spirit within us and we have a strong desire to be a continuation of his life, an amplification of his message, and an extension of his ministry.  We want to do the works that Jesus did – not just follow the empty, meaningless traditions and rituals that are devoid of power.

I believe that more than anything at this time we need to read and re-read the gospel accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry and allow the Holy Spirit to bring his words and works alive in us!

That will bring us into Acts 29, and if we need instruction or correction regarding our own lives or the life of the church, or if we need to hear an explanation of what is happening in us and through us then we can consult the epistles (Romans – Jude), and everything that is taking place in and through our lives will be preparing us to live in the reality of Revelation as it unfolds.

We may not be able to quote the whole Bible verbatim – but we can allow the Holy Spirit to manifest the unconditional love, compassion, and mercy of God in and through our lives, as we reach out to a people who are without God and without hope in this world.  As we reach out to them with a message of healing for spirit, soul, and body.

Proverbs 4: 20 – 23 (NLT)

20 My child, pay attention to what I say.  Listen carefully to my words.
21 Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
22 for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.
23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Remember, Jesus was the Word walking around – demonstrating the Word so that there need be no misunderstanding as to what God means to happen when we believe his Word because he has spoken to us through his Son.  He even added pictures to the story so that we could see as well as hear!

Matthew 17: 5

5 …behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”

Jesus is the message!  Hear him!  Watch Him! 

Hebrews 12: 1 – 2 (NLT)

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

I love how it says this in The Message translation…

Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way…

When you start living the life that God has planned for you there are going to be those who want to crucify you – but you have nothing to fear!  Jesus has overcome and the powers of darkness have been shown up for the second rate losers that they are!  Their dominating, intimidating, manipulating ways no longer have any power over us unless we let them!

John 20: 30 – 31, 21: 25 (NIV)

30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may (continue to) have life in his name…
… 25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

In one sense it is unfortunate that the world hasn’t been filled with these books about what Jesus did because the devil loves a vacuum!  The truth is that the books should still be being written about the supernatural works that Jesus is still doing in and through us.  There are some but the majority of Christian books don’t sound much like a continuation or expansion of Jesus’ life and ministry!

Ecclesiastes 12: 12 – 13 (AMP)

12 But about going further [than the words given by one Shepherd], my son, be warned. Of making many books there is no end [so do not believe everything you read], and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

We want to know him and the power of his resurrection – not know about him and the powerlessness of the religion that presents itself in his name!  Jesus invited us to come and learn from him – not learn about him!

13 All has been heard; the end of the matter is: Fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that HE IS] and keep His commandments (His WORD), for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of his creation, the object of God's providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man.

The Message

There's no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you're no good for anything else. The last and final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you.

Too many of God’s people have substituted what someone else has said about the Word of God for what the Word of God itself clearly and simply says.  Much of what is said and written is experience based and so anyone who runs with it will inevitably fall short of the fullness of God’s provision.

Romans 10: 8 – 10

8 But what does it say?  “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

What is the simplest way to tell what you or someone else believes?  Listen to the words that you or they speak!

Jeremiah 8: 4 – 11

4 “Jeremiah, say to the people, ‘This is what the Lord says:

That is true prophetic ministry – this is what the Lord says – not what I think he might have meant!

“‘When people fall down, don’t they get up again? When they discover they’re on the wrong road, don’t they turn back?
5 Then why do these people stay on their self-destructive path? Why do the people of Jerusalem refuse to turn back? They cling tightly to their lies and will not turn around. They hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return.

Is this crazy or is this crazy?  I can never understand why people who recognise that they are doing things wrong can’t just change!  It doesn’t matter if it is has been done wrong for hundreds of years and has become an established tradition – put it right!

6 I listened and heard, but they do not speak aright. (I listen to their conversations
and don’t hear a word of truth – NLT)
No man repented of his wickedness, saying, ‘What have I done?’ Everyone turned to his own course (follows his own opinions – that can save nobody), as the horse rushes into the battle.
7 “ Even the stork in the heavens knows her appointed times; and the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the judgment of the LORD.
8 “ How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us’? Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood.

Remember – the gospel is so simple you need help to misunderstand it!  Sadly, in the form of many books and a lot of teaching much help has been made available.  The majority of Christians will base what they believe more on the latest Christian bestseller or the teachings of their favourite theologian or minister than on what is simply and straightforwardly declared in the Word of God!

9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken. Behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD; so what wisdom do they have?

James 3: 15
answers that question perfectly!  Their wisdom is earthly, sensual, and demonic!

10 …From the prophet even to the priest everyone deals falsely.

If it doesn’t set you free then it is not the truth of God’s Word!

11 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly (in a superficial or light manner), saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace (shalom).

If the message is not proclaiming the shalom of God – nothing missing, nothing broken – then it is missing the mark and falling short of God’s glory!  God does not deal with us superficially or lightly – he goes to the heart and works his way out!  There is nothing missing that he cannot replace, and there is nothing broken that he cannot restore!

A lot of what becomes accepted in the church is nothing more than someone’s opinion that has been canonised by those whose experience it endorses.  That is simply pride dressed up in its religious Sunday best! Tragically, a lot of what is communicated in books and teachings tends to hook the soul rather than engage the spirit of those who are subjected to it.  One of the things that is always hard to understand is the reluctance of people to accept the message of God’s goodness and the fullness of his provision because they seem to prefer to choose to believe what so-and-so has said or experienced.

Preaching and living this message of God’s goodness has a price attached – it will always attract persecution!

2 Timothy 3: 12 – 13

2 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Mark 10: 29 – 30

29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.
 
Is your faith attaching itself to this word of healing – or are you still struggling through fear to believe in the unfailing goodness of God because of what so-and-so said in their book or from a pulpit – or even what you or some other person experienced? 

God wants to heal you – spirit, soul, and body! What are you feeding on?  What are you reading or listening to? Is it hooking your soul and pulling you down from God’s best – or is it engaging your spirit and lifting you up into the fullness of a life to be enjoyed? 

Listen to this!

Jeremiah 30: 16 – 17

16 ‘ Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured; and all your adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; Those who plunder you shall become plunder, and all who prey upon you I will make a prey.
17 For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,’ says the LORD, ‘Because they called you an outcast saying: “This is Zion; No one seeks her.”’

Those who go with their own opinions or who bring God’s word down to the level of their own or other’s experience will live under the circumstances and try and bring you under with them – but those who hear God’s word and attach their faith to it will rise up over their circumstances and live in the fullness of the blessing of healing – spirit, soul, and body!

2 Corinthians 13: 5

5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.

The best test is listening to your own words – are they consistently in line with God’s word or has your faith been compromised by the multitude of other words and voices out there?

Proverbs 18: 21

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Remember – God upholds everything by the word of his power.  We have been created in God’s image and so the words that we speak also have power – to uphold or to cast down.   The words that we speak are seeds and so we will either reap the fruit of death or of life.

According to Proverbs 23: 7 we are who we think we are in our hearts.  Our words are the fruit of our thoughts and so we will either speak positive words of life or negative words of death.  A superficial veneer of positive speaking will always eventually give way to how we are truly thinking in our hearts.  What we really believe will inevitably come out of our mouths under pressure.  The double-minded man is unstable in all of his ways because he speaks out of both sides of his mouth.  There are a lot of people who speak one way in front of one set of people and another way in front of others.

Our Father has revealed himself to be everything that you will ever need him to be whenever you need him to be.  He always is – I AM – the same yesterday, today, and forever! Those who come to him must simply believe that – nothing more, nothing less!

Whose report will you believe?  Whose words will you speak? Will you say, “HE IS the LORD who heals me!” or will you talk yourself out his blessing and into more trouble?

According to Revelation 12: 11 we overcome by the blood of the Lamb (provision) and the word of our testimony (possession). 

Say it – speak right so that you will live right – “YOU ARE the LORD who heals me!”

 

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