November 22, 2013
Growing up in a traditional Pentecostal environment with parents who walked and talked the life, the ministry, the gifts and the fruit of the Holy Spirit, there was plenty of talk about the Azusa Street Revival at the turn of the 20th Century and the absolutely stupendous displays of the Glory of the Lord.
For much of my life I've heard about one of the displays from that period of time in which the Glory of the Lord manifested in the form of a cloud. People such as Aimee Semple McPherson (who later founded the Foursquare movement) played hide-and-seek (she was a young girl at the time) with other children in the cloud that filled the room.
This past weekend, Rich Warren and I led worship at a men's retreat at Miracle Ranch (located on the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington). There was a sense of unity among the worshipers that was fabulous and it contributed to a flow of the presence of God like we were in a river. On Saturday morning, we were engrossed in the worship and just basking in the presence of God when someone commented on the mist that was beginning to fill the room.
A couple of the guys referred to it as "smoke" and one of them opened the connecting door between our conference room and the kitchen to see if there was smoke coming from some cooking but the kitchen was as clear as could be. Somebody else said, "Well, maybe it's the fireplace." I looked over at the fireplace, but the fire wasn't a wood fire; it was a gas log, and there was no smoke coming from it.
I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to it at the time, but realized later that there was no smell of smoke. The air was dry in the room so there was no reason for any fog or mist in the air, and yet when I looked up at the overhead lights the mist was very visible. Because we were so enveloped in the worship and in the very thick presence of the Lord, in the back of my mind it was one of those things that make you go, "Hmmmmmmmm.........," and yet I didn't really focus on it.
Not until Sunday afternoon when we had arrived back in Yakima and were sharing with our own fellowship did the significance of what took place really grab our attention. Our oldest son, Chris, had gone with us for the weekend. During a time of sharing, he commented on how he watched the mist fill the room during the ongoing worship. Several of the men had commented to us later on Saturday, and again on Sunday morning how thick the presence of the Lord was, but we had missed the significance of the increasing mist in the room during that time.
All I can say is, Hallelujah! What a phenomenal thing to see take place. Our prayer is that we will see not only the demonstration of the presence of the Lord with these kinds of signs, but also that we will get to see the blanket healings as the worship intensifies!
Let's take a slightly different approach to aphiémi healing today. I'm sort of going around the horn but I will get back to the instruction that Jesus gives us in Mark 9. Today I'd like to focus on the power there is in the blood of Jesus and how His blood provides the legal authority for our healing and the eradication of the legal basis for the disease, sickness, pain and infirmity many folks suffer.
Revelation 12:10-11: "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death."
The next part of this picture is in Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews:
Hebrews 1:1-3: "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 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 on the right hand of the Majesty on high."
The Table of the Lord, as we well know, consists of two things: The Bread (The Word), and The Cup (The Blood).
In previous discussions we’ve already noted the fact that when Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to the disciples, his comment to them was that a “spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” He didn’t say to them, “a spirit hath not flesh and blood, as ye see me have,” and the reason was that Jesus had already spilled His blood as part of the act of redemption.(Note: This is my personal conviction. It isn't something I can prove definitively from Scripture.)
Blood was replaced in Him as the source of life and power by the Spirit. Consider again the fact that when God breathed first life into Adam, he became (according to the Hebrew context) “a living, speaking spirit.”
When Eve was taken from Adam’s side, he said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.” (See Genesis 2:23)
It is my growing conviction that Adam and Eve lived and breathed by the Spirit when they were first created, and that the Spirit was replaced with blood when sin came. Whether that is true or not is debatable, but it is certain that from the moment Adam ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, blood contaminated with death was flowing in his veins.
Consider now the statement John makes when he says, “And they overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of their testimony.”
We sit at the Table of the Lord. Each time we eat the Bread and drink the Cup, we take into ourselves the Word. That Word is made alive, energized, put into force and sustained by the same Life Force that raised Jesus from the dead. Paul put it like this:
I Corinthians 11:26: "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come."
Let me digress for just a second.
“Ye do show the Lord’s death till He come.” Show who? The world? Our friends around us? Our family? The family of God?
Maybe, but in this instance they aren’t the ones who count. We put on display a reminder that Satan crucified the Lord of Glory — and he’s the one being reminded.
He’s the one seeing our display.
He’s the one who sees our change from corruptible beings to incorruptible.
He’s the one who sees us eat the Word and drink from the Spirit, changing from mortal beings with the curse of death upon us to immortals with the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus flowing in our veins.
The Table of the Lord is a constant display to the Enemy that we are eating from the Tree of Life, demonstrating that the results -- the curse of death, disease, sickness, infirmity, etc. -- of Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil are being negated and eradicated.
Satan is the one who visibly sees that his scheme has failed.
The Table of the Lord is the means by which we crush the serpent’s head.
It is also the means by which we take to ourselves that very same force by which all things are upheld, energized, given force and power, made effective and sustained. The Greek word that Paul uses in Hebrews 1:3 where he writes “upholding all things by the Word of His Power” is phero. This word parallels the Greek energko — the two words having the same root.
The word phero means: to carry, to sustain, to bear up, to bring forward, to activate, to move from one place to another, to apply, to endure [in the sense of lasting and lasting and lasting]. Phero also means: to bring forward in or by speaking, to activate by the speaking of a thing. (You probably already are seeing another application, but we’ll come back to this word momentarily.)
Its companion word, energko, means: to energize (we get our English word “energize” from this word), to put into force, to activate, to bring to life. Again we return to the apostle Paul’s phrasing in Hebrews 1:3: “upholding all things by the Word of His Power.” Notice that he doesn’t say, “upholding all things by the power of His Word.” We know that the Word of the Lord has power, but that’s not the right emphasis.
This is the same power — the same energizing force — that existed at Creation. This is the power that was behind and energized the words, “Light BE!” Light WAS because there was an activating power and force that caused those words to have creative manifestation.
That activating and energizing force was faith. Faith is that creative force. Faith existed as substance before the first words of Creation were spoken. Thus Paul writes:
Hebrews 11:3: "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."
Faith — in and of itself — is invisible to the natural eye. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have substance. It does. It is! Faith is a spiritual force, a creative and substantive energizer which brings into this natural realm the reality of that which is spoken. That’s why Jesus said to the disciples, “Have God’s faith!” (Mark 11:22)
Again we go back to the way that Paul described this in writing to the Romans.
Romans 10:17: "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
The Greek text actually spells it out more clearly.
“So faith is (and comes into being) by audible report; but the report is the rhema [the spoken and audibly delivered Word] of [and from] God.”
Are you now seeing the distinction?
Faith IS substance in the same way that the worlds came into being. God spoke. With His spoken Word came the creative substance which caused the earth (and all the planets, stars, galaxies, etc.) to suddenly appear. Behind God’s Word was the power, the energizing force, the activating substance that gave life and impetus to that Word.
THAT, folks is what we partake of each time we eat and drink at the Table of the Lord! We are NOT eating of the Logos — the all-encompassing body of all that God said. We are eating of the Rhema — the direct, empowered, activated and placed into force Word by Jesus command!
We are eating of His body. We are eating of the very substance of the Lord Himself. The Word is becoming OUR flesh because there is sustaining power and force to make it so!
The life force that makes it so is in the Cup. Each time we drink, we bring to remembrance the fact that Jesus shed blood that was filled with death, disease, sickness, weakness and poverty.
What we drink of, however, is the Spirit of Life that is in Christ Jesus. (See Romans 8:2) There is no death in the Cup. There is no disease or sickness in the Cup. There is no poverty in the Cup. There is no weakness or infirmity of any kind in the Cup. The Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus literally embodies that energizing force which “upholds all things.”
THIS is the power — the dunamis (explosive power and force) — that sustains, that makes effective, that puts force to the Word. We are eating of the Word Himself.
We are drinking of the power that makes the Word come alive in us.
We are being changed from Glory to Glory. Transformation is taking place. Change is occurring in our spirits. We are metamorphosing into eternity-based beings. We are being restored to the very image in which God first made Adam.
Now we have the ability to overcome Satan “by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the Word of our Testimony.”
THIS IS THE TABLE OF THE LORD!
THIS IS OUR HEALING AND RESTORATION!
This is where true remittance -- true forgiveness -- aphiémi healing with the eradication of all of the previous legal basis for sickness, disease, infirmity, poverty and weakness occurs.
See you next week.
A reminder: If you are in need of healing please join our prayer conference calls on either Monday, Wednesday or Friday of each week at 7:00 PM Eastern. Once again, the number to call is (805) 399-1000. Then enter the access code: 124763#.
Blessings on you!
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