Let's pick it up where we left off last week.
Peter's faith was focused....where?
In Acts 3:16 Peter stood with the formerly lame man before the authorities. The man had asked for alms but got healed instead, what a turn of events! The authorities asked Peter how that man got healed. "And His name, through faith in His name, this man stands before you whole."
Peter and Philip had something we lack. We throw around the name of Jesus so casually, and we use it maybe 10 or more times in a prayer, or when we lay hands on a person the same thing. We command in the name of Jesus, repeating ourselves multiple times. In doing so we prove that we have little or no faith in the name of Jesus.
More than that, we can say we have a higher level of unbelief which causes us not to know what we have in the Name, than we do faith in the Name.
"When you lay hands on a person in my name, it is as if I am laying hands on that person." Think on that. What does that do to your level of expectation the next time you lay hands on a person, or when you pray for someone or even for yourself? How many times are you now going to speak that Name above all names?
What Mark 16:20 really says, and why
Most (English) translations of this verse say this:"And they went forth preaching everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following."
A literal translation however, like the Young's Literal Translation, reveals it says this:"And they having gone forth, did preach everywhere, the Lord working with and confirming the Word through signs following."
Do you see the difference? The Lord works with the Word to confirm it by signs following. He isn't working with THEM, rather He is working with His Word, and confirming that.
The pressure isn't on you, for the Father doesn't want someone to decide for their eternity without evidence to support the claims of Jesus. Mosaic and most courts today require evidence or witnesses before convicting someone of a crime. Why do we think the Father would expect people to decide their eternal fate without evidence? He works with the Word to confirm it.
Disclaimer:It could be argued that the Greek word 'synergountos', translated 'working with', can mean with the disciples for it is sandwiched in between them and the signs. For me, the grammar makes it clear the confirmation is first on the Word, and then in cooperation with the disciples as they preached. (In my opinion, and Young's Translation, etc)
Long ago I delivered furniture and did minor furniture repair for a store.
The owner's testimony was that he had an injured back and couldn't do any lifting. He had bought the furniture of a restaurant that had failed, and hired 2 college kids to load it into his truck and take it all to his store.
As they worked, the college kids told him of Jesus. When the job was done, the man paid them and when they asked if he wanted to 'accept Jesus' he told them. If what you say is true, then I'll accept your Jesus if He heals my back." Short story:He did, and he did. He had to see evidence.
Why did Samaria turn fully to Jesus? They heard and saw the evidence that what Philip preached about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus, was true.
I lived in an apartment just before Barb and I were married
I was 20 years old, and one day there was a knock at the door. It was a young lady from a well known cult knocking on doors, telling people about her religion, and passing out tracts with information about it.
I invited her in, let her give her speech, then asked if I could tell her of my faith, to which she agreed. She had a difficult childhood, and I shared about the love of the Father and the person of Jesus Christ. Before she went I asked if she wanted to 'accept Jesus', and she said she wanted to think about it.
Then I asked if she had anything wrong with her, because what I said was true, and the Lord would prove it to her if she wanted. She said her feet had some injury or malformation she was born with, so walking around made them very sore. I had her stand there, I laid hands on her feet, touched her on her forehead, her strength left her as she collapsed, and a few seconds later not knowing what hit her, realized she was totally healed. The Lord provided the evidence.
After Barb and I had married and moved to Boulder, Colorado, I worked in landscaping.
My boss who was the owner of the company, was very discouraged one day. He explained his wife was going to have a hysterectomy due to cancer on an ovary, at age 26, ending their chances of ever having a family.
She had already undergone a surgery to remove the ovaries from one side, hoping the cancer had not spread - evidently she had refused a full hysterectomy that first time because she really wanted children of her own. But now it had spread and a total hysterectomy, scheduled the next morning, was before them. I offered to meet with them and pray for her:Desperate for anything, they agreed. When he added that she was Jewish, I told him that was far better, and it would be easier to get her healed because she already believed in healing if she was Jewish.
That night we met at a park in town, the 3 of us sitting under a big tree.
They shared their story, then I shared how the Lord offers healing. She said she believed that, because in Judaism healing is throughout what we Christians call the Old Testament. It was part of her faith, though she was a non-practicing Jew. I thought, this will be so easy...
I started with Adam and Eve and how they were created in wholeness, how that was the Father's intent, went to Abraham and the covenant, and from there to Jesus being the last sacrifice and so on, over about 45 minutes. I concluded by telling her what I said was true, so the Father would back me up on it because He loves her and it is a normal thing for a 26 year old couple to want to have children, so their request before Him was just.
I asked; "What do you believe will happen when I lay hands on you?"
She said, "I'll be healed of course!" It was that easy. I had her and her husband put their hands over that ovary, and I put my hand on his hand, commanded the cancer to die and commanded her to be healed, in the name of Jesus (1 time).
It was a short command, for I don't pray for healing, I command which is what Jesus said to do and the apostles practiced. Jesus never prayed for anyone to be healed, and neither did any of them in Acts. (James 5:14-15 is in a different context)
She was immediately as weak as a rag doll, overcome with His presence, and with her husband having one arm and me on the other, half walked half dragged her to their truck and loaded her in. Two days later when he returned to work, he said she demanded the next morning before surgery they do a final test to see if the cancer was still there. It wasn't. Stunned, they cancelled surgery and sent her home. The Father worked with and confirmed His Word.
"Therefore God (Father) highly exalted Him and gave Him a name that is above every other name. That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow..." (Philippians 2:9-11)
I regularly, even now from time to time, spend time reviewing the passages I just shared here, so from the Word and the things I've experienced with that Name, stir up my faith in the name of Jesus. I do that in part to keep whatever unbelief I have, as low as possible.
"When you lay hands on a person in my name, it is as if I am laying hands on that person."
Next week, about unbelief, why and how to get rid of it. Until then, blessings,
http://www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org