The God of Now
By Evan Wiggs
(1 Pet 1:13 NASB) Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Many people in church are living in the past. They look to the cross and only see a suffering Saviour. They keep him on the cross because they can manage him there. He forgives them their sins when they need Him to and he doesnít get in the way of their lives. The verse above is a comfortable verse to many because, in their minds, it sets the grace in which we hope in some future "revelation" of Jesus. But I donít think the revelation is future. God will not be nailed up to some cross and forgotten by His people. He is the God of now.
(Rev 1:12 NASB) And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands;
(Rev 1:13 NASB) and in the middle of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His breast with a golden girdle.
(Rev 1:14 NASB) And His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire;
(Rev 1:15 NASB) and His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been caused to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.
(Rev 1:16 NASB) And in His right hand He held seven stars; and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.
(Rev 1:17 NASB) And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,
(Rev 1:18 NASB) and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.
This Jesus is not on the cross. Here He is in His strength, the camp of the enemy shattered at His feet. Can you hear the triumph in His voice! I am the first and the last, and the living One, and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. This was not a whisper but a shout that thundered in victory across the heavens! This is Christ worthy to worship. I do not degrade His wondrous work on the cross nor the need of the work of the cross in our lives, but I believe the Church knows little of His REDEMPTION and all that it contains.
Look at these verses:
(Rev 5:11 NASB) And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,
(Rev 5:12 NASB) saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing."
(Rev 5:13 NASB) And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever."
(Rev 5:14 NASB) And the four living creatures kept saying, "Amen." And the elders fell down and worshiped.
Oh Beloved of God, Church of Christ ARISE!! Join the everlasting song and worship the risen Lamb! We have no power because we do not believe the Word. It is not that we think the Bible is untrue but we think it is untrue for us. We think it is untrue for us in specific areas. Salvation is not one of these. We have that down and many are saved and just that and no more. There is no power in their lives to resist the enemy, to crucify the flesh or to walk in "the powers of the age to come". They are clueless to the true meaning of redemption.
A pastor was part of a group of pastors that went to Somalia to succor those devastated people. He sat in a room with 12 Somali pastors, each of who in the past year had laid hands on someone and raised them from the dead! He felt as he was the one needing to be taught. These pastors had nothing but God and He was sufficient. All our dollars, books and technology of the church cannot raise one person from the dead. We are in far more desperate condition than those Somali pastors. We need to learn to plug into the power of the God of Now.
Where we fail is in such verses as:
(Mark 16:17 NASB) "And these signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues;
(Mark 16:18 NASB) they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it shall not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
(John 14:12 NASB) "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.
(John 14:13 NASB) "And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
(John 14:14 NASB) "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
We read it but it does not register in our soul or spirit. We relegate it to a distant past or distant future or distant land and never let it settle in us. We are too comfortable in our situation to let something like this upset our theology. Even the Pentecostal churches are not truly walking in this. We speak in tongues and we prophesy and we pray for the sick with little result. We are full of unbelief, doubts assail our minds and we see no power, no wonders, no miracles.
I have been caught up in travailing prayer often and every time I weep and cry with deep grief. I believe that is the grief of the Holy One has for His Church.
What is it that grieves Him so? Why do we so lack the power and fire of His spirit? Let us examine a little what His purpose on earth was. We know one purpose was to be the perfect Lamb of God to die for us. We know that well and I will not look there. The answer lies in other areas.
(Mat 3:13 NASB) Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him.
(Mat 3:14 NASB) But John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?"
(Mat 3:15 NASB) But Jesus answering said to him, "Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he permitted Him.
Jesus came to bring Godís righteousness down to earth. In a world of sin and rebellion Jesus came to fulfill all righteousness. The religious leaders of the day who thought they were righteous were the least. The sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes, the lame, the blind, the deaf and the lepers who knew their unrighteousness got what they needed from God in abundance through Jesus!
(John 6:38 NASB) "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
Jesus also came to do the will of the Father. He came to establish His will on earth as it is in heaven. Now that is why sickness and sin fled away from Jesus because there is no sickness or sin in heaven. The Kingdom of God is a country where sin and sickness cannot rule because Godís righteousness and Godís will are established there. They are established in Jesus for all time. We saw earlier that He has the keys of death and hell at his belt to prove this fact. For all eternity he has power, authority and dominion over sickness, sin and lack in His kingdom. The enemy has no place there and cannot come in. Jesus showed this fact when right after his baptism he was lead by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted. Why was he tempted? To show his mastery over sin in every aspect of his being. He was a tripart being just like us. Body, Soul and Spirit. The first temptation was to tempt the body. He fasted 40 days and was very hungry. He could make stones into bread with a snap of his fingers for the very flow of Godís power was in him, but He knew that he must totally depend on God and not the suggestion of the evil one. The next temptation was a soulish or pride issue. To throw himself down from the pinnacle of the temple and have the angels catch him would certainly establish Him as someone special. Once again he new he must let God exalt Him and not Him Himself. The third temptation was a spiritual temptation. Satan had the title deed of the earth in his possession. Adam gave that to him. He offered Jesus a shortcut to earthly dominion by worshiping the wrong one. Jesus would not have to suffer all the cruelty and humiliation of the cross. All he had to do was to simply bow down and worship Satan one time. But Jesus knew what the will of the Father was and what he needed to do to fulfill all righteousness.
After the temptation Jesus went out in power and authority. He cast demons out at a word and healed the lame, the blind, the deaf and the sick. He walked on water and commanded the storm, he feed thousands with a few loaves of bread and a few fish. He did all this because the flow of authority and power was all through him and in him. Look at this story:
(Mark 5:25 NASB) And a woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years,
(Mark 5:26 NASB) and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse,
(Mark 5:27 NASB) after hearing about Jesus, came up in the crowd behind Him, and touched His cloak.
(Mark 5:28 NASB) For she thought, "If I just touch His garments, I shall get well."
(Mark 5:29 NASB) And immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
(Mark 5:30 NASB) And immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My garments?"
(Mark 5:31 NASB) And His disciples said to Him, "You see the multitude pressing in on You, and You say, 'Who touched Me?'"
(Mark 5:32 NASB) And He looked around to see the woman who had done this.
(Mark 5:33 NASB) But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him, and told Him the whole truth.
(Mark 5:34 NASB) And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your affliction."
You see when the woman touched Him with faith he knew that the power came out of Him and healed her. That power is the dunamis power of the Holy Spirit, it is the miracle working, wonder producing power of God Almighty. That power was even permeating the garment He wore for she touched just the hem of His garment and the power came out of Him.
Many will say at this point well that was just Jesus and He was special. That doesnít work in my life. Well brother that statement is half right Ė it is just Jesus!
Let me sum up what Iíve said because I want to go on to some very important points. Jesus incarnated on earth to: 1. Fulfill all righteousness and 2. Do the will of the Father. He operated in wonder working power and promised us we would do the same.
Now let us see how he plans to accomplish this astounding thing in his Church.
(John 14:16 NASB) "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;
(John 14:17 NASB) that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.
(John 14:18 NASB) "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
(John 14:19 NASB) "After a little while the world will behold Me no more; but you will behold Me; because I live, you shall live also.
(John 14:20 NASB) "In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
Wow! This is wonderful. Jesus planned to continue his ministry after he was crucified and resurrected by moving into his Church. Not only would He move in, the Holy Spirit and God the Father would too. He would save his Church in Spirit, Soul and Body and fill us up with his presence. Look at the statement "I am in My Father and you in Me, and I in you." Can you see the intimacy He desires with us and His Father and the Holy Spirit. It is Him in us and us in Him.
Now look at this!
Ephesians 5:29 (NKJV)
29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
Ephesians 5:30 (NKJV)
30For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
Ephesians 5:31 (NKJV)
31"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.
You see we are the Body of Jesus on earth. We are to do the same things as He did on earth. We are to fulfill all righteousness and to bring God's will down to earth as it is in heaven. How is heaven different than what most Christians are experiencing in their Churches and lives? Is heaven full of sickness, sin and death? Oh, that the Church would arise to her full place in Christ and show the world what the real Church could do!
2 Peter 1:2 (NKJV)
2Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
2 Peter 1:3 (NKJV)
3as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
2 Peter 1:4 (NKJV)
4by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Incredible!! He already has given to ALL things that pertain to life and godliness. The exceedingly great and precious promises all through the word, the promises of God that are always yes and amen, have made us partakers of the DIVINE NATURE! God IN us, us IN God, we already have all the things we need and we partake of the Divine Nature!!! NOW! HERE! Not in some future heaven, not in some foreign land but here and now. When this sinks into our spirits and souls God can transform us into the wonder working Church He intended us to be.
John G. Lake was a man that understood this principal well and walked in incredible power of the Holy Spirit. He relates a story about an Englishman, William T. Dugan, who came to one of his meetings in South Africa. He was a big man with a shock of bright red hair. As John's associate, Brother Fogwell, was explaining the mighty power of the risen Christ, the man rose up and said, "Old man, if the things you are talking about are all right, I am your candidate." He went on to relate, "I used to be a Christian. I came from Port St. Mary's Isle of Man, and I was a Christian boy. I came to Africa and lived the usual African life, and the result is that for three years I have been unable to do anything, and my physicians say I am incurable. If you mean what you are talking about, tell me what to do?"
He came down to the front for prayer and John G. Lake says, "We stepped off the platform, put our hands on William T. Dugan, and instantly, as a flash of lightning blasting a tree or rock, the power of God went through the man's being, and the Lord Jesus Christ made him well."
Three days later he came to Lake and asked you how to receive a cleansed heart. Lake showed him how to receive the mighty cleansing, sanctifying power of the Living God. Dugan prayed, "Lord God, I receive into my life the sanctifying power of God to dissolve every condition in my nature that is adverse to the Living God." Praise the Lord, William T. Dugan received that deep cleansing only the Righteous Father can do, the same way he received his healing.
Eventually Dugan went out in a healing ministry of his own. Lake heard reports about his ministry where hundreds were being healed. Lake decided to go down and minister himself in an area 200 miles away. Dugan, hearing he was to be in the area, met him there.
The next day they went to a house where there was a wife who had diabetes. They prayed for the wife and several others in the house that needed healing prayer. Presently the man of the house stepped into the kitchen and said, "Would you pray for a woman like this?" The poor woman had severely deformed club feet. Dugan said "Yes, Pray for anybody." He took the woman's right foot into his hands and prayed, "In the Name of Jesus Christ become natural." Instantly the foot moved and was made whole. He picked up the other foot and prayed again, "In the Name of Jesus Christ become natural." And again instantly the foot was made whole.
What was special about William T. Dugan? A hungry heart! A heart yearning for the Living God. That is all.
Are you hungry to see God's miracles again? Are you yearning to see the Church be the healing, compassionate Church is supposed to be? Pray that God would give you a HUNGRY heart for Him. He answers every prayer like that! If you have sin in your life you cannot defeat, step up to the throne and let the Lord dissolve it out of you. If he can do it for William T. Dugan, he will do it for you!!!!
Seek Him out every day, pray without ceasing.
Beloved, let us stop grieving our Lord so and step out into the provisions He has given us.
Oh, Lord our God, raise up your powerful Church again. Rend the heavens and bring your power and glory back into your people again. We are desperate for your presence and your glory. Hear our cry and revive us again. AMEN