Jesus has power, not just in heaven but on earth. Why do I pray every day? Why do I pray so much? Because God is listening. He hears. He answers. Do you realise how much God loves you? Jesus said to the paralytic, “So that you may know I am the Son of God - that I am not lying or deceiving you; so that you may know the reality and truth - get up and walk!” God has given us this same power through the Holy Spirit. Have you received this Baptism of Fire? Are you seeing miracles of healing?
Jesus entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.
When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” - He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” (Mark 2:1-12, NKJV)
Jesus said, “Which is the easiest?” - I am going to ask you the same question, ‘Which is the easiest?’ - “To say to this young man your sin is forgiven, or to say to this dying young man, get up and walk?” They are both impossible. How could his sin be forgiven? How can a paralysed man walk? Only God can forgive sin. Only God can heal the sick. Then Jesus said something amazing. He said, “Because I know you don’t really believe…” – I want to ask, do you believe, do you know who Jesus is? Do you know His power and His love. Do you know how much He loves you and wants to forgive you. And so Jesus said, “So that you can know that I am the Son of God; so that you can know that I am not lying or deceiving you; so that you can know the reality and the truth; so that you can know I am the Son of God, that God sent Me here to the earth; so that you can know that I have power, not just in heaven but power on earth; I say to you, arise and walk.” God’s power is not just in heaven, God’s power is on earth. Why do I pray? Why do I pray every day? Why do I pray so much? Because God is listening. Because God hears. Because God answers.
Baptism of Fire!
Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. (Acts 2:2-3, NKJV)
I remember what I said to God as a child. “I want the fire!” I began to seek God. I prayed, “You’ve said it in Your Word, now come and do it.” I remember that moment when the Fire came. I remember it like yesterday. The whole of heaven opened. The roof came off the building where we were meeting. All the angels of God came down. All the Fire and the Glory of God came down and began to fill me and burn, and burn, and I began to speak with other tongues. I will filled with the Fire and the Glory, and the Power. It was a miracle! Hallelujah! The Fire hasn’t gone out! It is getting stronger every day. That is the power of God.
Jesus will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with Fire. (Luke 3:16, NKJV)
You young preachers; you young pastors; ten years into your pastorate; now is the time to get the Fire. Don’t look back, look forward. Look to Jesus. Look to the Glory of God. Look to the Power of God. I’ll tell you this, I am not looking back. I am looking forward. My future is not behind me; it is in front. God is going to do more in these next years than He has ever done in all my life. I am going to get more filled with the Power and Glory of God.
I’ll tell you how I am going to see Jesus. I am going to be like Elijah. And when Jesus comes back I want to go up to heaven in a chariot of fire. Come on preachers, come on pastors, how do you want to go into heaven? Just flapping little wings going slowly through the clouds. I want to go up in a chariot of fire. Amen! I want to go up in a chariot of fire. On fire with the Power. On fire with the Glory of God. I want to see the Glory of God. I want to feel the Glory of God. Hallelujah!
The first miracle of healing
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My Name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 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. (Mark 16:17-18, NKJV)
One of the first people that I saw healed was when I was a very young pastor and evangelist in England. Shortly after finishing college, I left the church I had pastored as a student, in Dorking, Surrey, and I was called to take over a church in Harrogate, North England, and prepare for an evangelistic crusade. I was only twenty years old. Soon after arriving, Mr Corker, one of the men in the church, 73 years old, became ill. He refused to go to the doctor until it was too late – they had to rush him into hospital where they diagnosed terminal cancer. He was so sick, they took away most of his stomach, gave him a catheter to pass the water, and a colostomy – and sent him home to die.
The doctors expected him to live for just three weeks. As his pastor, I went many times to his home to pray with him and I discovered that although he had a difficult very blunt ‘Yorkshire’ character, this man loved God from the bottom of his heart. I saw him in a new way, not just as a dying man, not just as a difficult deacon in my church, but I saw how much he loved the Lord. One Sunday morning, I brought a group of people from the church with me to his home. I asked the others to join hands in a circle with me as I laid hands on him. I was only young and with not much knowledge about faith or healing in a practical way, but I commanded the sickness to go. I still remember how I prayed: it wasn't an instant miracle, but it's one of the most amazing stories of my life. For weeks after that, as I continued to visit him, I watched as day after day the catheter tubes would get blocked – only afterward I realised that I was seeing the cancer in small pieces come away from his body!
They took him back into hospital to take away the catheter and colostomy, to restore his normal body functions. But it seemed he had some sort of argument in the hospital and came out without any operation. He was so difficult – that’s how some people saw him. But God looked on his heart. God completely healed that man! Mr Corker pulled out the tube himself at home and God healed the water passage. He took off the bag; God healed the back passage. God restored all his body functions! He came out of bed; he came back in the church, completely healed at 73 years old. Why? God saw that man as an individual, saw that man's heart and his need. I marvelled at the power of such a God! The miracle was so great; as a direct result, his own son became an evangelist and missionary!
The Bible says these signs will follow those who believe. So, I prayed, and God worked the miracle. Who works miracles? God does in response to our faith. I believe the Word of God.
Fire of Revival used by kind permission of www.vinesong.com