Sunday, January 22, 2012

From Acts to Revelation - Part 13: Apostles Heal Many


From Acts to Revelation
Part 13 – Apostles Heal Many
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION

The Apostles continue to minister to the people, and many signs wonders and miracles are following them.

Although they have been warned, and taunted, punished and locked up, they continue to serve Jesus Christ and tell of the things in which they have seen and heard.

Do you, a follower of Christ, a believer in God's Word, stand so strong against opposition in life?

Are you continuing to serve, regardless of what is taking place around you, or are you allowing the things of this world to have all of your attention, thus robbing the lord of your service?

SCRIPTURE READING

Acts 5:12-16
 12 The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.

I.       THE APOSTLES PERFORMED SIGNS AND WONDERS
1.      God uses signs, wonders and miracles to distinguish His messengers from others.
1.      The prophets of the Old Testament had them to show they were the true messengers of God.

2.      Moses parted the Red Sea by his obedience to the command of God.
3.      Not every follower of God in the Old Testament can do this simply because they are a follower of God.

4.      Moses, along with the signs and wonders and miracles that followed him, were to signify to God's people that God had given Moses the message of the Covenant, and he (Moses), was to be trusted as a true messenger of God's.

2.      God used signs, wonders and miracles to distinguish His messengers with the New Covenant as well.
1.      The Apostles were specifically chosen by Jesus to be the prophets of the New Covenant.

2.      To set them apart as the ones with authority from God to teach His message of this new covenant, they had signs, wonders and miracles that no one else could imitate.

3.      Not all of the Disciples showed signs, wonders and miracles.

4.      In fact, everywhere in the New Testament that it talks about signs, wonders and miracles as far as the message of the New Covenant is concerned, it only talks about Jesus, and the Apostles.

3.      God still performs these signs, wonders and miracles, but they take place through the means of prayer, and the working of God through the Holy Spirit in the form of Spiritual Gifts.
1.      We no longer see the signs, wonders and miracles all coming from a single person, because the message of the New Covenant has been brought to man, through Jesus and the workings of the Apostles.

2.      God did this in the Old testament to bring His Covenant through the prophets.

3.      God did this in the New Testament to bring His New covenant through Jesus Christ and the Apostles.

4.      And God will do this again, in the middle of tribulation, when God brings His two prophets to the world to preach the message one last time for anyone who will listen.

4.      And to prove that these two are really sent by God, and not just people claiming to be, they will have signs, wonders and miracles that no on else can imitate. This is how God establishes His authoritative messengers.

5.      We see in the scriptures that the message was being preached by the Apostles, and they continued to do signs, wonders and miracles, thus proving the message of the New Covenant they brought, was truly from God.


II.    NO ONE ELSE JOINED THEM
1.      In verse 13-14, we see the scripture state that, “No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.”
1.      This speaks of the fact that no one else was added to the number of the Apostles, but rather, all those who believed were added to the number of the Church.

2.      This scripture negates the teaching of some belief systems that state that there is Apostolic succession, or the powers, signs and wonders as well as the authority to make foundational statements to the faith, are passed down from Apostle to Apostle.
3.      The scripture clearly states, all those who believed were added to the Church, and none were added to the Apostles.

2.      Once the foundation had been established by God through Jesus Christ and the Apostles for the New Covenant, there was no longer a need for Apostles. The foundation had been laid, and the Word of God given.

3.      We continue today, in the power of the Holy Spirit, who through the Spiritual Gifts of God, give us Pastors to lead and teach, and for the signs, wonders and miracles, they too come through the members of the Body of Christ, by means of the Holy Spirit, to build and strengthen the body of believer's through fellowship.

4.      God also continues to work through prayer, and our supplications.


III. ALL WHO CAME WERE HEALED
1.      A true sign that someone has the authority to speak the foundational belief system with authority from God is by the signs and wonders and miracles.
1.      We have some today who call themselves Prophets, and Apostles, but are nothing more than men and women who have deceived themselves and misunderstood the Word of God.

2.      Not all are charlatans, not all purposely deceive God's children, but they have lost sight of the Truth of God's Word, which tells us, there are no more Apostles, and the Disciples are to use prayer, and the Spiritual Gifts we are given by God's Holy Spirit.

2.      Some of these people have huge events, promising healing, miracles, as well as signs and wonders, trying to prove their authoritative teachings.
1.      Most of which later fall because of pride, arrogance, greed, etc...

2.      Because they were NOT there for God, but themselves.

3.      The scripture here tells a story, that cannot be imitated, in verse 16 we read, “Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.”

1.      ALL OF THEM WERE HEALED!
2.      Not most of them, or some of them, but ALL.





CLOSING
God establishes a select few to represent Him and His covenant, in the Old testament as well as the New, setting them apart from all others with powers, signs, wonders and miracles that no one else can imitate, proving they are the authoritative foundation for His Covenant.

We, as God's followers, need to better understand who we are, and where we stand in God's plan, so that we can effectively serve Him in the manner in which He has enabled us through His Holy Spirit.

If we try to act outside of this boundary, we will fail, we will become discouraged, and we will lose faith in the power and ability of God, which will then lead to us losing hope.

There are still miracles today, healing, signs and wonders, and I am not talking about Jesus' face appearing on paneling, statues that cry blood or Mary's face on a burnt piece of toast.

Our God is a powerful God, who is in control, and who shows Himself by flooding an entire planet to wipe out sin, opening up the earth to swallow priests of Baal, a God who has fireballs rain down from the heavens to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, a God who shakes the earth destroying entire nations at His Word, a God who saved all of humankind by an act of selflessness and sacrifice.

Not a God who places cartoon images of a woman who has no business being worshiped on to a piece of bread, or a hippies face on the bark of a tree that resembles an artists rendition of what the Lord looked like, painted 300 years after He walked the earth.

This mediocre representation of who God is, reflects our societies mediocre awe and petty reverence for the Creator of the universe.

They want to see who God truly is, then we, the followers of Jesus Christ, member of the Body of Christ, and the only ones here to represent God's Holy Word and His Church, NEED to discover our Spiritual Gifts, and start living them in our everyday lives, so that others will witness our Lord first-hand in our love for others, and they will witness God's powers in our fruits and gifts.