“Christ is not the answer to your city, I am not the answer to your city. The answer to your city is Christ in you and Christ through you.” ― Chris Gore, Walking in Supernatural Healing Power
God is Spirit, and one can only truly know Him by the Spirit. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24 The Bible is a collection of stories of ordinary people having a mystical, supernatural encounter with a mysterious invisible, unknown God. The patriarchs are known for having several angelic encounters, visions, dreams, divine instructions with a supernatural God. The Bible is truly a compilation of people experiencing all kind of supernatural activities with a supernatural God. Footnote Chart adapted from Appendix 2 in Norman L. Geisler. Miracles and the Modern Mind: A Defense of Biblical Miracles. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker (1992). … Continue reading
The Bible is filled with spiritual experiences in the form of “altered states of consciousness”starting with Genesis, where God puts the first man into a deep sleep in order to create the first woman (Gen. 2:21) and ending with Revelation, where John reported that he was in sort of a trance. (Rev. 1:10; 4:2; 17:3; 21:10)
Can any person really know God without existential, transcendental, and subjective metaphysical experiences?
Public opinion polls report that most Americans believe in the healing power of prayer. In a 1996 Gallup Poll, 77% of respondents agreed that “God sometimes intervenes to cure people who have a serious illness,” and 82% affirmed “the healing power of personal prayer.” Of those queried in a 1997 national survey, 91% said that when they think of God, the image of a healer is either “extremely likely” (70%) or “somewhat likely” (21%) to come to mind. In 2003, 72% of those polled attested that “praying to God can cure someone—even if science says the person doesn’t stand a chance.” A 2007 survey concluded that 23% of Americans believe they personally have “witnessed a miraculous, physical healing.” Such beliefs are not restricted to less educated or economically disadvantaged individuals. According to a 1997 survey, 94% of health maintenance organization executives think that personal prayer can aid medical treatment and accelerate recovery. Even more striking is 2004 survey data suggesting that 73% of U.S. medical doctors believe that miraculous healing occurs today. Footnote Claudia Wallis, “Faith and Healing,” Time, June 24, 1996, 63, quoted in Ronald L. Numbers, “Science Without God: Natural Laws and Christian Beliefs,” in When Science and Christianity … Continue reading
For Jesus the Supernatural was Natural:
His birth by a virgin (Luke 1:34, 35; Isa. 7: 13-16; Matt. 1: 22-23), all His miracles and powerful deeds (Matt. 11:20; 13:54; Mark 6: 2), and His resurrection (Matt. 16:21; 17: 9, 23; Matt. 20:19; 26:32; Mark 14:28; Luke. 9:22; 14:14; John 2: 19-22; 5:21; 6: 39-40; 11: 1-44; 14:20; 21:14).
The miracles Jesus did can be summarised as follows:
1. He multiplied food to feed a multitude
2. He cast out evil spirits out of demon-oppressed people
3. He heal all kind of infirmities and physical sickness
4. He turned water into wine
5. Jesus controlled the elements
6. He caught a multitude of fish
7. He raised the dead. Footnote https://childrensministry.com/7-miracles-jesus/
As followers of Christ, we are challenge by His unblemished character and morality to do what is right, but also to demonstrate God’s power in the supernatural acts of God.
According to the Synoptic Gospels, there are 83,680 direct words of Jesus recorded, of which 31,426 are original, and not repetitions. One speaks an average of 125 – 150 words per minute. At 130 words per minute, Jesus’ Words can be read in just under 4 hours. So Jesus did not say much. Jesus’ Words want to be lived. It’s not knowledge, it’s knowledge mixed with wisdom and truth. Thousands of books and commentaries have been written on Jesus’ words. But it does not profit you if you do not begin to live His words. The power of Jesus’ Words lies in obeying it.
The Book of Acts is therefore aptly called the ‘acts of the apostles’. His disciples did not make a study of His words, they lived and obeyed it. The power of the New Testament is its first-hand witness accounts of what God was doing in the midst of ordinary people who were willing to live this Jesus way of life. When Paul wrote his epistles he was not trying to speak of something that must still happen, he was reflecting theologically on what was physically supernaturally happening before his eyes.
But obeying Jesus words is not easy. Most of the time it is downright impossible to do! Like to never look at a woman lustfully, love your enemies, agree with your accusers, forgive your transgressors, and do good to those who despitefully use you and if that list does not scare you it gets even harder heal the sick, drive out demons, raise the dead and be holy! Life in Christ Jesus is not possible for human flesh. His invitation to follow Him was an invitation to experience His power at work in our lives.
What would the church look like today if we had never limited and lost the supernatural demonstration of the power of God? When making a study of how Jesus’ teachings was so memorable, that people could remember it word for word, and write it down years later for us to appreciate? The tri-factor approach is simple:
Teach: Relevant stories and questions.
Demonstrate: The power of God demonstrated in the NOW.
Experience: People personally experienced the message, no longer spectators.
Suppose someone who has never been to a church comes to repentance and then studied the Gospels with Acts? Suppose we send the person into today’s churches – would our churches be able to demonstrate the same message to this person today? Would he see any miracles, healings and deliverance? Would this person at least see a community of ordinary radicals who made obeying Jesus the single cause of their lives? I recently saw a biography of a historic local community church celebrating 100 years of its existence. In the whole beautiful book with pictures and stories, there is no mention of the number of people saved and converted, born-again, healed, set-free, marriages saved, drunks and addicts set free!! All the energy seemed to have gone into preserving of the building, and the social club. May God help us!! We all need to be submersed into the fulness of the Spirit again and again, and again!
If your quest is to live more like Jesus, you cannot ignore His supernatural ministry. It is central to who He was on earth. It is precisely these supernatural parts of His life that have caused the most controversy over the centuries. The biggest part of the church ignores and justify the cessation of the supernatural. Others falsify the supernatural and use it, like the money changers, to attract people and make more money. The perversion and falsification of the supernatural are why some churches and believers rather avoid it. Others obsessively chase after supernatural experiences instead of what the Bible promise: Signs and wonders will follow us.
The bigger portion of Protestant theology wrongly and sadly accepted cessationism, the belief that the miraculous, including various spiritual gifts, ceased early in Christian history. The cessationist polemic, which was often directed against persons or groups claiming religious authority via any exhibition of divine healings, prophecies or miracles is not new, the Jews directed these kinds of accusations against Jesus in fear of His popular rise to fame.
Emeritus Professor Yon Ruthven shows in his exhaustive academic critique that the doctrine of cessationism arose from sources other than Scripture itself: Theologians own negative experiences of history and their subsequent embrace of philosophies distorted their interpretation of Scripture. When reading the Bible without any preconceived filters, it is obviously clear that Scripture expects the miraculous. Footnote Ruthven, J., 2011. On the cessation of the charismata. Tulsa: Word & Spirit Press.) It is the enemy’s age-old strategy to turn us away from God’s provision. Because … Continue reading
We especially need Christ to emphasise again the place and understanding of the supernatural divine element of the gospel in our hearts, to reform us and cultivate faith in our hearts because He wants to work the same miracles through us.
“We are all immersed in a vast sea of unseen forces. Can you see radio waves? Or, for example, the magnetic fields by which the stars keep their ancient places? All around us, even going through our very bodies, are powerful emissions which we can detect only by instruments. Some radiation could destroy us before we ever felt it. Human perceptions are very limited. Even your cat can hear what you can not. A snake can sight its prey in the pitch darkness. The first words Jesus said to His disciples were “Come and see!” (John 1:39). He came to make us see and see in the dark. The great theme in John’s Gospel is “inner sight”, seeing more than meets the eye. Spiritual reality belongs to a different order. Physical eyes can’t discern the spiritual. John mentions that some witnessed Christ’s miracles and made nothing of them. The visible displays invisible – “the heaven’s declare the glory of God”, but not to those without faith. Another thing is that at present the world lies in wickedness and spiritual darkness. The unseen is doubly unseen. Faith in God is like a lamp, which is of no use in daylight. The only chance faith will ever get is now, in a world of darkness, sin and trouble. It can’t operate in heaven where the Lamb is the light. “Now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face, (but) now remains faith” (1 Cor. 13: 12,13). God bless you. ”Reinhard Bonnke
Jesus’ Life Was Supernatural
Healing, miracles and deliverance from evil were always part of His ministry! “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. Great multitudes followed Him—from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.” (Matt. 4:23-25; Luk. 6:17-19).
“At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him.Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. When they found Him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.”
“When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!”And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ.” (Luke 4:40-41).
“… how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38).
“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Matt. 9:35-38).
“So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.” (Luke 9:6).
“But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Luke 11:20).
The preceding scriptures illustrate the significant emphasis the Gospel writers place upon the role of healing and the supernatural in Jesus’ ministry. If one thus desire to be more like Jesus and model one’s life after Him then miracles represent a significant part of “imitating Christ.” The amount of space a writer devotes to a subject is surely an indication of the subject matter’s importance to the writer. 44% of Matthew, 65% of Mark, 29% of Luke and 30% of John’s contents is about supernatural acts, signs and wonders, exorcism and healings. Footnote Ruthven, J., 2000. The ‘Imitation of Christ’ in Christian Tradition: Its Missing Charismatic Emphasis. Journal of Pentecostal Theology, 8(16), pp.60-78.
The full gospel is not complete without signs and wonders!
These scriptures is intended to convict us to at least as a bare minimum expect miracles, and the supernatural. But what if one has been expecting God to heal, and nothing happens? Many earnestly are seeking a miracle for themselves or their loved-ones, only to be dissapointed. Please read and study a whole chapter devoted to this subject. https://diebestelewe.co.za/afrikaanse-blogs/jesus-die-geneesheer/
But how then do one position yourself to experience how signs and wonders, begin to follow you?
One must foremost determine and conclude in one’s mind, and consciousness – This is the Will of God! To expect miracles and do supernatural acts through the power of God is normal! Until one is not fully convinced and convicted of this truth, you will vacillate back and forth between doubt and faith.
His Disciples Are Commanded to Do the Same
“And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matt. 10:7-8). All members of Christ’s body have received a general call to ministry of which it is associated with the endowment of the spiritual gifts. (Rom 12:3-8, Eph. 4:11-12).
The Message Must Go With Demonstration of the POWER of God
“And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Cor. 2:4-5).
“For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.” (1 Cor. 4:20).
“For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.” (1 Thess. 1:5).
“For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient— in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” (Rom. 15:18-19).
This verse in particular has convinced me personally in the middle of the night in a hotel in Uganda, of the inclusion of the supernatural demonstration of power every time we declare the gospel. This is what makes the Gospel – Good news!! Jesus demonstrated the benefits right there on the spot, in the here and now! He forgave, healed, fed, delivered people immediately!
What makes you bold or strong? What gives you strength? Where do you draw power from? Some people draw power from their personality, status, possessions, knowledge, influence, abilities or success. One can also draw strength from food, chemical stimulants, alcohol and psychedelic drugs. It is a known fact that survivors can also draw strength from positive sources like, family and loved ones, higher purpose, and meaning. Religious people draw strength from their traditions and methods. Ultimately Jesus is inviting us to come to Him and learn to draw power, boldness and strength from the Spirit and the Word!
Jesus contained an inner supernatural, spiritual power.
Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit (Luk 4:14) Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. (Matt. 22:29; Mark 12:24) And the power of the Lord was present to heal them. (Luk 5:17) Power that left Him (Mark 5:30; Luke 6:19; 8:46) And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all. (Luk 6:19) He was a power source Himself! People could connect, touch Him and receive power.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes (Rom 1:16) But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name. (John 1:12) AMPL
People place their faith in methods, recipes, techniques, people, religion and self-righteousness rather than placing their hope completely and only in Christ! HE seeks our heart, not our religious games! Some preachers use quotes from celebrities, clever stories with Powerpoint presentations, but it has no power and ability to free people trapped in sin! Your preaching must be accompanied by a proven demonstration and activation of faith in people’s hearts.
“The secret is, there is no formula, no mathematical progression, no tradition that can reproduce the supernatural all the time. We have to get it by faith from the spiritual realm according to the plan and purposes of God the Father and of our Lord Jesus Christ, communicated to us through the blessed Holy Spirit ”.Dr. André Pelser
Information does not change people’s behavior. It takes a radical intervention of loss, illness and a confrontation with Truth. May the Holy Spirit reveal Jesus in our midst and lead us to the Father. Both the preaching of the Word and the demonstration of the Spirit are essential. The one cannot do without the other. The Word provides the basic material and the Spirit provides life.
The Word without the Spirit is dead (2 Cor. 3:6). But the Spirit without the Word, leads to disorder and self-centeredness (1 Cor. 14).
The proclamation of the gospel of salvation inspires faith for people to be saved. In the same way, we evoke testimonies of healing, faith in people for their own healing and deliverance.
Signs and Wonders follows Us
“And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.” (Mark 16:20).
“How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?” (Heb. 2:3-4).
“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:29-31).
“God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?.” (Heb. 2:4).
What Unlocks The Supernatural Working Of The Spirit?
The Bible says, “And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick” (Matt. 14: 14). Notice that the miracle of healing was a by-product of compassion. This is the Greek word splagchnizomai, which means to be “moved in one’s bowels” or “seat of love”. Compassion is the divine ability to empathize with the pain and suffering of others. Jesus always walked in compassion. Footnote Bridges, K. (2014). Power of unlimited faith. [Place of publication not identified]: Destiny Image Pub.
“And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” (Matt. 14:14).
Acts of Faith
“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues.” (Mark 16:17).
Closeness, prayer, obedience, togetherness, unity. Stay in me (John 15). All kinds of miracles happened through the actions of the apostles, because there was unity (Acts 1:14; 2: 1; 46; 4:24, 32; 5:12; 8: 6; 15:25). “And the power of the Lord was [present]with Him to heal them.” (Luk. 5:17).
Jesus Heals In Different Diverse Ways:
It is important to note that Jesus does not follow one magical rite to heal the sick. In chapter 28 we see that Jesus still brings healing to the whole person in different ways today. Every human being is therefore seen as an individual. He therefore also does not follow healing rites, methods and schemes. He is healing, which as a Healer touches every person with His love.
|↑1||Footnote Chart adapted from Appendix 2 in Norman L. Geisler. Miracles and the Modern Mind: A Defense of Biblical Miracles. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker (1992). https://lifecoach4god.life/2013/06/18/chart-of-all-the-supernatural-events-recorded-in-the-bible/|
|↑2||Footnote Claudia Wallis, “Faith and Healing,” Time, June 24, 1996, 63, quoted in Ronald L. Numbers, “Science Without God: Natural Laws and Christian Beliefs,” in When Science and Christianity Meet, ed. David C. Lindberg and Numbers (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003), 284; John Cole, “Gallup Poll Again Shows Confusion,” NCSE Reports (Spring 1996): 9; General Social Survey, 1997, data extracted from indices for 1983–87, University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/ICPSR/access/index.jsp (accessed 9/26/11), cited in Michael S. Goldstein, Alternative Health Care: Medicine, Miracle, or Mirage? (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1999), 80; Claudia Kalb et al., “Faith and Healing,” Newsweek, November 10, 2003, 44–56; Robert Bruce Mullin, Miracles and the Modern Religious Imagination (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996), 262; Stephen J. Pullum, “Foul Demons, Come Out!”: The Rhetoric of Twentieth-Century American Faith Healing (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1999), 150; Rodney Stark, What Americans Really Believe: New Findings from the Baylor Surveys of Religion (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2008), 57; John Templeton Foundation, “Survey Reveals HMO Executives Overwhelmingly Recognize Role of Spirituality in Health Care,” 1997, cited in Goldstein, Alternative Health Care, 7. The Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City conducted a national survey of 1,100 physicians in 2004, cited in Robert D. Orr, “Responding to Patient Beliefs in Miracles,” Southern Medical Journal 100 (December 2007): 1263.|
|↑4||Footnote Ruthven, J., 2011. On the cessation of the charismata. Tulsa: Word & Spirit Press.)
It is the enemy’s age-old strategy to turn us away from God’s provision. Because we then become hungry for His fullness, we seek satiety in other places and in other ways. Thus, sexual intimacy is a wonderful, fulfilling provision for a man and woman in marriage. Through Satan’s perversion, pollution, and improper use of God’s provision, we turn against this provision, we reject it, we become ignorant and clumsy, and cause even more harm. Divine, paternal, holy leadership is a wonderful provision for mankind, but the corruption of false leaders brings terror and destruction. Planning, administration, and hard work are an essential part of God’s provision, but some distort administration into absolute control and bondage.
The sad reality of church History reveals how that when the Church abdicate its mandate, leaving a vacuum the enemy fills that space with a counterfeit. For example: Ravi Zacharias describes in his book “Why Jesus” how, over several decades, in the midst of the cultural rebellion of the 1960’s, the Transcendental Meditation movement of the 70’s, the religious scandals of the 80’s, and the influence of postmodern relativism, the culture has abandoned the old for a New Spirituality of eastern Mysticism. In the middle section of the book, Dr. Zacharias both assesses and challenges the works of Elizabeth Lesser, Oprah Winfrey, Eckhart Tolle, Neale Donald Walsch, E. Stanley Jones and Deepak Chopra. He then details the influential roles of Hinduism and Buddhism within this New Spirituality. ((Footnote Zacharias, R., 2012. Why Jesus? Rediscovering His Truth in an Age of Mass Marketed Spirituality. New York: Hachette Nashville.
|↑5||Footnote Ruthven, J., 2000. The ‘Imitation of Christ’ in Christian Tradition: Its Missing Charismatic Emphasis. Journal of Pentecostal Theology, 8(16), pp.60-78.|
|↑6||Footnote Bridges, K. (2014). Power of unlimited faith. [Place of publication not identified]: Destiny Image Pub.|