The Church is having a power failure !
Signs and wonders of the early church are now taboo. Anything powerful is thought to be fake. What has happened? What used to be the glory and life of the church is now its forbidden zone?
The signs of the early church (Mark 16: 17- 18)
And these signs will follow those that believe:
1. in my name they shall cast out devils
This instruction is very clear cut. Jesus demonstrated this during His ministry many times. There were real devils present, and they left under the authority of the power of God. Jesus is indicating He wants this ministry of deliverance to continue. He knew that evil would only increase in the world before his return, and many would be oppressed and need help. The saints had learned under him for a reason, to continue the work and establish the kingdom of God for a people who would be restored to their rightful authority on the earth.
2. they shall speak with new tongues
Although 1 Cor indicates there is also called a gift of tongues in which they speak other languages in order to proclaim the gospel, this passage says “new tongues,” not “other tongues.”
I am making a distinction here. There were
2 kinds of tongues
a. “New tongues” is described in 1Cr 14:2: For he that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understands [him]; howbeit in the spirit he speaks mysteries.
b. “other tongues” is described in (Acts 2:4) where the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language (Acts 2:6)
So “new tongues” was meant for private communication with God, and “other tongues” was meant for preaching the gospel to people of other languages.
Definition of “new:”
Recently made, fresh, recent, UNUSED, unworn.
Of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of
“New tongues” is therefore NOT “other tongues” because the tongues used for preaching the gospel are “other tongues” that are NOT new, they are already in existence, they are NOT fresh, they are definitely used, they are definitely heard of, because people speak that language.
Modern problems with both kinds of tongues:
1. What I see in most churches is the total abandonment of the “other tongues” as something no longer required, even though there are considered to be about 6700 languages in the world.
Obviously, God wanted the gospel preached to everyone, and the gift of “other tongues” has a very important role in doing this. There is no way people can learn this many languages on their own, and preach in this many languages, unless the Holy Spirit is involved, empowering them with this special ministry gift. Unless people have this gift, the gospel will fail to reach everyone that Jesus desired to reach.
In the case of the “other tongues,” there is no demonic counterfeit, since the devil would not want to truly endow someone with a real language so they could preach the gospel. Also, those ministered to would recognize
nonsense vs. true speech in their own language, and reject the “fake.”
2. Also, in most cases, the gift of “new tongues” is totally condemned as demonic.
a. There is a demonic substitute of the true gift, since by definition, it is a mystery language, so the true content cannot be translated except by an act of the Holy Spirit. This demonic substitute is what most people accurately call babbling. There are, of course, other ways to discern its true origin, such as other behaviors, and true or false doctrine. A good tree will bear good fruit, and a bad tree will bear bad fruit. Also, the language will be coarser and will actually sound more artificial and contrived. The demonic will make a display of itself as well, since it is ego-centric in motivation.
b. The true gift will endow and inspire the person to spend time with God in prayer, and other devotions. The person’s life and known language will be positively affected, that is, they will be pure in speech in their own language. They will bear good fruit. They will draw close to God and not want to leave his presence. They will get lost in Him and not notice the passage of time. He is first in their life, and there is love and mercy in their lives, which flows out from Him, who has taken abode in them. They may get hints of what the mysteries are that they speak, or they may not. But the reverence and adoration will be there, and the person will not put the prayer on display to get the attention of others.
Because most critical people do not ask for the gift of discernment, there are many that viciously attack the true presence of the Holy Spirit, and call Him the devil. Since they are “always right,” they think they already have everything they need for holiness. This is blasphemy, and grieves the Holy Spirit. It is the unforgivable sin, if done intentionally.
Just because the devil is active in counterfeiting this prayer language, it is sinful to reject the work of the Holy Spirit.
What this condemnation really indicates is an unwillingness to make the effort to grow enough spiritually, so that one can actually see, understand, and discern the difference. The people who persist in doing this are narrow minded, and have shut God out, not let Him in. They need to acknowledge what they are missing in their spirit, and ask God for the grace to receive it.
3. they shall take up serpents
Obviously, not many are willing to do something like this, if one is thinking of real snakes. However, in Matt 10:16, and Matt 23:33, serpents are also identified as crafty hypocrites.
So, a sign of a true believer is their courage in dealing with treacherous people, and a willingness to confront and fight them.
4. if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.
This can be seen as both a physical and spiritual protection from evil. Evil may confront them and create problems for them, but it cannot do permanent harm to them. Also, the word for “deadly” is thanasimos, which is derived from thanatos. The word not only refers to the death of the body, but the death of the soul as well, the state of the wicked in hell, and all miseries arising from sin, due to physical and spiritual death.
What this verse is saying is that what can harm the soul of the unbeliever and cause death of not just body, but the soul, will not harm the believer. The believer is protected by the blood of Jesus. An unbeliever is swayed by many lies and false doctrines, and becomes prey to the lures of the sinful life, getting drawn into it.
A believer will not feel tempted or drawn by these perverse things. He has the life of God within him, and has no desire for evil in his life. He does not feel tempted to run after evil things. Evil is repulsive to him.
This does not mean that the devil will not try to tempt the believer, but it does mean that the believer puts his trust in God, and he will resist the devil and his devices.
5. they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
How many people do you know that have this much faith? The world is full of illness, and the world has very few people who even believe this is God’s will for them to perform. So, do we allow sickness and death to continue around us, or do we obey God? It does not say here that there has to be a special gift to do this, although there can be a full time ministry for this purpose. The scripture indicates that any true believer can and should do this.
What we find instead is unbelief, as in the other signs. People are afraid their prayers “will not work,” or that it is “not God’s will” that the sick be healed.
People are excusing their own unbelief and passing the blame to God. If we refuse to do this, we are disobeying God. Jesus demonstrated clearly that healing was part of the kingdom of God. It is NOT just a tool to make a good impression, and get people saved. Divine health is part of the kingdom.
One point here. It is God’s will in some cases that the person will die, and not be healed. We have to understand that the only way to heaven, which is a spiritual place, is to die physically. There is an appointed time for all of us to die, and leave this earth. Everyone who has ever been born has died, and left. And everyone who is still alive now, will eventually die.
When praying for someone, we must understand that we are to pray for healing only. It is NOT our decision whether it is that person’s time to die. That is God’s decision. Our faithfulness is determined NOT by whether God answered our prayer and healed the person. The healing and its timing is His job. Our faithfulness is determined by how deeply we believe in His promises, how committed we are to obey Him, and how well we act out His stated will to help others. We must be unwavering in our faith.
Have the modern believers become powerless? Does unbelief rule the church?
With billions of unsaved and sick people in the world, should this be the behavior of the believers- to reject this authority, and ignore God’s will?
Or are we real believers if we refuse to follow the Lord’s instructions?
Does the refusal to act with this authority explain why so many have left the church, and why so many unbelievers are not convicted about the gospel of Christ?
Have we failed in our mission to bring the kingdom of God to the world?
Do we only present a weak, powerless, or fake image to the world?
Someday we will have to answer for our works. If we disbelieve or reject these signs, and the authority that is associated with them, how will we justify this behavior to the Lord when He judges us?
Maybe it is time for people to stop being so negative and skeptical about what God says and just obey Him.
If we are true believers, then the results will be true. If we are not true believers, then we will be exposed for being the fakes we are, and punished in the next life.
See also “Fake and Real Charismatics” Click here for more
See also “Baptism of the Holy Spirit & Tongues” (the real gift) Click here for more
See also “The Wheat and the Tares” Click here for
See also “God’s Glory- a Practical Application” Click here for more