Sunday, March 27, 2011

SIGNS FOLLOWING

I am confident that we need to keep this message ever before us in our minds and hearts.
If we do not have a vision of doing and being greater in the work of God we will remain weak.
I will continue to examine myself and ask God what he wants me to do to be more useful in the work of saving souls and publishing the true gospel of Jesus Christ to all who will hear.
This message is not discouraging to me and I think it should not be discouraging to you.
It is my hope and desire that it will stir you up to pray for a greater revival of holiness.

WE DO NOT FOLLOW SIGNS; BUT SIGNS SHOULD FOLLOW US.

Mark 16:15-20
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 .They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Should we not expect signs to follow the preaching of the gospel and the workings of the Lord?
Do we have any signs following? Yes. Are they sufficient to convince the world that God is faithfully working among us? No. What is the reason for there being so few miracles in our day?

Matthew 13:54-58
54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.
58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

What message do we find in this passage of scripture?
“They were offended in him.” Why were they offended?
Jesus obviously had a spiritual experience which they did not have.
People are easily offended when someone has something greater than they have.
When people do not want to consecrate themselves to increase in faith and grace, they will criticize the person who comes among them who is stronger and desires to increase.
It disturbs them in their comfortable place. They don’t want to be disturbed or challenged.
It always saddened my heart when I would hear ministers make the statement, “We don’t need any D.S. Warners in our day.” When in reality that is exactly what we need: more men and women who are consecrated to the work of the kingdom of God as was D.S. Warner and many others like him. It is good and wise to be careful of someone who thinks they are more spiritual than any other person. However, if you are uncomfortable around someone who is entirely sold out to do the perfect will of God, someone who is diligent and passionate about serving God and trusting in the promises of God, then you are uncomfortable for the wrong reason.

Luke 8:18
18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

If you don’t have something, you can have taken away from you something that you seem to have. What does this mean? Some people seem to have a gift from God: e.g. the gift of music, the gift of speaking and teaching, the gift of helps, etc. However, if the person who has received a gift from God does not use it for the glory of God and under the anointing of God, they have lost the greatest value and benefit of the gift which God has given to them.

They may still have the gift, but they can not use their gift in the kingdom of God and they have no reward for the use of that gift. God will not use anyone’s talent or gift which is not sanctified and anointed by the Holy Spirit.

The apostle Paul spoke in Romans 11:29, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”

There have been many men and women who have repented of their sins, consecrated themselves to God and God has anointed them for His service. And then, they lost their first love for the things of God. They became distracted and deceived by riches, reputation, religion and the rewards of men instead of the rewards of God. They were blessed with a gift from God, but they lost the anointing of the Holy Spirit. They became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened. They became sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.

1 Corinthians 13:1-2
13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

What value is a gift without the anointing of the Holy Spirit?

Acts 8:4-8
4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
8 And there was great joy in that city.

When the preaching of the gospel is anointed by the Holy Spirit, there will be the works of salvation, the works of miracles and great joy in the city.

What do we find in our day? What do we see? What does the Bible say about our day?

Revelation 8:1, “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.”

We are living in the Seventh and final period of time in the gospel dispensation. When the Seventh Seal was opened in the Revelation account, it is described with one sentence and only one sentence. “There was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.”

Silence in heaven is not a good thing.
It tells us that there was too much preaching without the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
There was too much singing and praise without the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
There was too much activity being carried out without the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
There were too many prayers without the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

The apostle Paul told the Corinthian church in 2 Corinthians 1:21, “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;”

Without the anointing of God, we can not establish anything or anyone in Christ.
Without the anointing of God you will not have even that which you seem to have.
It will be taken from you and given to another whom the Lord shall choose.

If my preaching does not help you increase in knowledge, wisdom, faith and grace then either your ears are not anointed or my lips are not anointed; and, you and I need to know who does not have the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Preachers can preach but are they anointed?
Singers can sing but are they anointed?
Musicians can make a pleasant sound but are they anointed?
People can pray long prayers but are they anointed?
Many hands do many works, but is it the will and anointing of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Mark 3:14-15
14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,
15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:

Have you been ordained to do the work which you have been doing? If Jesus has ordained you to do what you are doing, he will anoint it with the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish what he has sent you to do. Many have been called and sent; others just got up and went.

Luke 5:17
17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.

I firmly believe that when we are ordained and anointed to do what we are doing, the power of the Lord will be present to heal them who are sick. I base that belief on the testimony of the saints and ministers in the First Seal and the Sixth Seal who went forth bearing this gospel under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Luke 7:19-23
19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
20 When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
21 And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight.
22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Pray for the ministry and don’t be offended at them when they come to you in the power of the Lord.

Ask God to help you recognize who is ordained and anointed and who is not, including yourself.