New Wine for New Wineskins November 2012

By , October 31, 2012 10:25 pm

Over The Top (Part 5)

over the topto an excessive degree; beyond reasonable or acceptable limits

In the First World War the phrase “over the top” was used by the British to describe the infantry emerging from the safety of their trenches to attack the enemy across open ground. More recently the phrase has come to describe excessive or foolhardy actions.

Remember – OTT people don’t just wait for people to come into church before they minister to them – they go out looking for them!  Jesus said that he came to seek and to save the lost!  And so, OTT people engage every enemy and opposition to the salvation, healing, and deliverance that Jesus purchased for all people on open ground!  The open ground is the world!  Jesus said to go into all the world!  The Son of God was manifested to destroy the works of the devil!  He said that we would do the same stuff that that he did and so I reckon we will do what he did the same way that he did it – employing the same methods!

As I have said previously, I believe we need to grasp the importance of touch and the spoken word in connection with ministering the power of God to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and drive out demons.  If we are going to do what Jesus did then we will do it the way Jesus did it, and so we should continually seek to refresh our memories as to how he did it!

Jesus spent time in the presence of his Father charging up on the power that could transfer heaven into the earth!  He said that he spoke the words, but his Father did the works! (John 14: 10).  Jesus was the connection between heaven and earth – the conductor through which heaven’s power invaded the earth – and now he has passed that role onto us!

Paul said that the kingdom of God is not in logos but in dunamis!  Remember – he said he didn’t want people’s faith to be in the words of men but in the power of God!  If it is God’s rhema word – his now word – it will be backed up by God’s power!  It is possible to become sidetracked with an over-emphasis on principles, and mere concepts and ideologies in place of an actual encounter with the presence and power of the Living God!  Moses told the LORD that if his presence didn’t go with them he didn’t want to move!  We should never be able to convince ourselves that we have really had church as God designed it if there is no manifestation of God’s presence in a demonstration of his power!  Does that sound over the top?  Good!

As I have said many times Jesus was always a teacher and a preacher before he was a healer and a deliverer, but he was never just a teacher and a preacher – he always healed and delivered as confirmation of what he taught and preached!

Luke 8: 47

46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”  47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

Luke 9: 41 – 43

41 “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” 42 Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. 43 And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.

Luke 22: 51

51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

Acts 3: 1 – 8

1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.

Acts 6: 1 – 6, 8

1 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. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” 5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them… 8 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.

Acts 8: 4 – 8

4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.

Acts 9: 39 – 41

39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. 40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive.

Acts 19: 11 – 12

11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

OVER THE TOP!

Maybe you’ve bought into the healing dying out with the last apostle argument and that the revival of this teaching is just the over the top ramblings of a minority of the Pentecostal and Charismatic fringe, or perhaps you believe that God does still heal sometimes but you have been told that those who believe that it is God’s will to heal and deliver everybody every time have an “over-realised eschatology”.  To be honest, that is like saying that Moses had an over-realised eschatology because he told the people that God wanted them in the promised land!  You can choose to live in the fulfilment of the promises of God or you can choose to live and die in a wilderness of under-realised kingdom experience simply because that is what everyone else is doing.  You will certainly fit in and have lots of company and people to fellowship with and to cry and philosophise with but you will also miss the opportunity to live as the sign and wonder you are destined to be.

Listen to these historic writings from the first few hundred years of the church!

For numberless demoniacs throughout the world and in your city, many of our Christian men exorcising them in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, have healed, and do heal rendering helpless and driving the possessing devils out of men, though they could not be cured by all the other exorcists and those who used incantations and drugs.  (Justin Martyr, AD 165)
Those who in truth are his disciples, receiving grace from him, do in his name perform miracles…and truly drive out devils…Others still, heal the sick by laying their hands upon them and they are made whole.  Yea, moreover, as I have said, the dead have even been raised up, and remained among us for many years.  (Irenaeus, AD 200)

And some give evidence of having received through their faith a marvelous power by the cures which they perform, invoking no other name over those who need help than that of the God of all things, and of Jesus, along with a mention of his history.  For by these means we too have seen many persons freed from grievous calamities, and…other ills, which could be cured by neither men or devils.  (Origen, AD 250)

All the way through the history of the church there have been manifestations of God’s power and his glory with demonstrations of healing and deliverance in places where his people simply believe his testimony that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever – that he is the eternal “I AM” who never changes!

The Holy Spirit is as over the top in his dealings with people as he ever was.  Will you partner with him?

IT’S TIME TO GO OVER THE TOP!

 

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