While taking a look at some of the irrelevant words being spoken by influential leaders, I came across a video of Bill Johnson asking the church to pray not only for a miracle but the resurrection of a little girl who died suddenly. Those were not irrelevant words. An article dated Dec. 19, 2019 “Music echoed throughout the cavernous space as hundreds of congregants of a church in Redding, Calif., jumped up and down with their hands in the air. At the front of the room, a worship leader danced around a stage lined with lit Christmas trees as giant screens played the song’s lyrics. “Come alive/ Come alive/ Come alive, dry bones/ Awake, arise/ Inhale the light.” The group was praying for 2-year-old Olive Heiligenthal, who Bethel Church says unexpectedly stopped breathing on Saturday. But the worshipers were not praying for her soul to find rest or for her family to be healed. They were asking God to raise her from the dead.”
Now after sharing this I can almost hear the response to this request, nope not going to happen or that's impossible or those crazy charismatics! I normally don't have good things to say about this church, Bethel Redding because they have followed other gospels and have been deceived by partaking in the deceptive spirit of the Toronto Blessing. Their pastor Bill Johnson shares his testimony about how his life was changed because of the Toronto Blessing. It is because this church follows another gospel that they don’t realize the signs, wonders and miracles they see is satan masquerading as angel of light. 2 Thessalonians 2:9 “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie. So while they have seen miracles and glory clouds and feathers and gold dust, fillings, slain on their backs, uncontrollable laughter; it is not God. They have been deceived. USA Today reported ‘Olive hasn’t been raised’: After praying for miracle, girl's family now plans memorial.”
Today we are looking at the opposite of the irrelevant words of the leaders in most churches who have exchanged the truth for their own glory. Today we are talking about the powerful word of God. 2 Peter 3:5 “But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Matthew 8:16 “When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.” God spoke and the universe was formed. Those same words then became life and dwelt among us. John 21:25 “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”
The amazing part is that Jesus said John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” He also said he would give us His Spirit to clothe us with power. John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.” Not only will the Holy Spirit guide us into all truth, the Spirit will empower us. Luke 24:48 “You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Jesus then said to His disciples, Luke 9:1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Matthew 10:1 “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” Jesus said to John when he asked if he was the Messiah, Matthew 11:5 “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
Jesus has allowed us to use His words but we must believe the truth. Paul said, Galatians 3:5 “So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?” Remember these are powerful words, words that created the universe, words that sustain the universe and words that heals the broken world and defeats satan. Paul said 1 Corinthians 4:20 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” If you are going to church to hear the ideology of man you have missed the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus healed people with a word. Men in their own strength cannot do that. Matthew 8:16 “When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.” Luke 4:36 “All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” Mark 6:56 “And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.” This doesn’t sound like the church of today.
Then we saw the disciples with the same power of His word. Acts 5:16 “Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” Acts 3:6 “Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Acts 20:7 “On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. 9 Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. 10 Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” 11 Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. 12 The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.”
Now you are probably still pondering the first part of this blog about praying for the little girl. You may have thought, see I told you, she died and shame on you for thinking that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with their prayer or the belief that God could / would raise her from the dead or that we should even expect that kind of power. I believe the same and you should too. Why because the bible told me so! Sorry Andy! But if you have been brought up that God no longer does that, you would be deceived. If you have been brought up with a dead faith you would be deceived. If you have been brought up content to go to church week after week powerless and void of the Holy Spirit you would also be deceived. If you have been praying that God would once again move in power and are believing God will heal again but have not seen it; keep believing the power of his word.
I am going to include this whole passage from Luke as it talks about faith in the word of God. Luke 8:40 “Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” 47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” 49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” 50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” 51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.” 53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.”
First of all Jairus, a synagogue leader believed that Jesus would and could heal his daughter. Then on the way a woman touched His cloak because she believed Jesus would heal her and he did but on the way his daughter died. He was desperate for Jesus to come, as any parent would be. Not only was he desperate, he believed. Then Jesus did an amazing thing said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” Now did you laugh when I told you the story about the church praying for the little girl? Did you believe that if you reach out to God, He would and could do amazing things? The irrelevant and pathetic words have no power as I talked about yesterday. That is the church we are part of today. Jesus then went to His home “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.” 53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.” I hope when you just read that your heart was stirred and at the same time you felt ashamed for listening to the pathetic words of man who say the bible is not enough, God doesn’t do that, you can’t expect the power and authority Jesus gave us in the church today. Blackest darkness is reserved for these false teachers. You should be infuriated as to how far the church has been led astray. If someone like Andy Stanly and others like him are considered as influential pastors yet they are absolutely powerless, how in the world is the church still following them. Ephesians 5:6 “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” They follow because they to have rejected the words of God, those powerful and enduring words. 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” So many people in the church today want to hear any word but God’s word. Mark 8:38 “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
Where Bethel is wrong is that they don’t know God is not with them. This pandemic has revealed the weakness of all churches. Bethel like others has been deceived into thinking that the manifestations they are seeing are from God but they are not. Those words to ask God not only to heal but raise this little girl from the dead are the words every church should believe but we must turn from our wicked ways and repent. When we do, the words Jesus spoke with and healed with and raised the dead with, will become our own and we too will go out and do what Jesus did in the power of His name and clothed with the Holy Spirit. John 17:8 “For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.” Mark 16:20 “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”
So we continue to pray that the power of God’s word will be present among us once more. 1 Samuel 10:6 “The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.” 1 Samuel 16:13 “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David.” Acts 4:33 “With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all.” The church no longer believes in the powerful word of God as they so easily turn away and replace God’s enduring words with their own. Be honest with yourself. How did you react when you read about the prayer to resurrect this little girl? Most of the church today has been greatly influenced by false teachers and have been led astray. Galatians 1:6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!” Return to the word of God and believe what God’s word tells you.
On our journey to Pentecost, continue to pray for a mighty move of God among us once again. God can raise the dead, even today. The world is against us as are those in the church who have turned to other gospels and refuse to believe God’s enduring word. So we pray Acts 4:29 “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus. 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” Stand firm on God’s word and believe!