Jesus came declaring that the Kingdom of God has come. It is a Kingdom of light in which there is no darkness at all.
He instructed His disciples to go out into the world and preach the Gospel, heal the sick, and cast out demons. This was a command that required power. Jesus instructed them to wait for that power from on high.[i] The early church moved in that power.
Unfortunately, over the centuries, in many movements and denominations, that power from on high has undergone a makeover.
Along the road, pronouncements were made. Among these is the belief that the gifts of the Spirit are not for today. They teach that they are no longer necessary. Due to such beliefs and teachings like this, the church is stripped of power.
Believers are not taught of their authority in Christ. Expectant faith in the work of the Holy Spirit in and through His people is stripped away. Believers are stripped of most of their ability to help themselves or others. They are left powerless and passive.
One thing, however, that has not been relegated to a thing of the past is faith. No one will say that faith is not for today. Without faith, it is impossible to please God.[ii] We are to have faith in God’s Word. We are to pray for our needs.
However how can we have faith in what we have been told is not for today?
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same] Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.[iii]
These gifts were given for the profit of all. Believers are effectively left powerless to help others. It relegates many to hope their prayers will be answered. Hope as opposed to an expect faith in God’s promises and the power of the Holy Spirit on behalf of God’s people.
Passive and stripped of power, we are subject to the devil’s gospel. It brings sickness, disease, oppression, depression, fear, and death. If he came for the sole purpose of killing, stealing, and destroying, this is just the short list of what is in store for us under his good news.
The devil’s gospel is presented to us all the time. It is broadcast over the airways. It echoes in the thoughts of the mind. It is no wonder that the Word tells us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.[iv]
As the bad news continues to spread over the airways, we slowly succumb if we are not careful. We will succumb into believing the devil’s report. We will begin to expect sickness, disease, and fear of the worst. That is, if we do not focus in expectant faith on the good news of Jesus Christ, who came healing diseases and casting out demons.[v]
Believe the good news that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit and gave gifts to men.[vi] He sent power from on high to all who believe –
And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they[b] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.[vii]
Whose report will you believe? God is a good God. As Jesus said, If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”[viii]
We are continually confronted with a choice of whose report we will believe. Jesus said, according to your faith be it unto you. By faith in the report presented to us mentally and/or physically, we will receive. By faith in the Word of God and His good news we will receive. We make the choice. Whose report will you believe?
Will you receive God’s gospel or the devil’s gospel?
[i] Acts 1:4-5,8
[ii] Heb 11:6
[iii] 1 Cor 12:7-10
[iv] 2 Cor 10:5
[v] Matt 4:23; 8:16
[vi] Eph 4:7-8
[vii] Mark 16:17
[viii] Matt 7:11