WHERE ARE THE "SIGNS" TODAY?
17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they 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.”
Today, many Christians no longer believe in miracles, signs, and wonders; at least not anymore. I recently was rebuked and called a false teacher for believing what Jesus told His followers just prior to His ascension into Heaven. This crusader of "unbelief " - teaches against the very words of Christ and promotes the lie that: the gifts of the Holy Spirit, miracles, signs, and wonders, and all other supernatural manifestations found throughout the Book of Acts, and the New Testament no longer exist. Hmm, that is some serious theological commentary on his part - and way over my head. I'm just naive and simple enough to believe God meant what He said, and that the signs Jesus spoke of above in Mark 16:17 - will still follow those who believe.The irony, is he purports to be an expert in "exposing cults, heresies, and false teachers" in the Body of Christ. Talk about the fox in the hen-house protecting the chickens - Irony of ironies !
I know it's easier to not believe, (that takes no faith whatsoever), but to actually teach against something Jesus taught is a scary thing for anyone to do... the next logical step in denying the validity and truth of what Christ taught, and what the scriptures clearly teach us is to attribute the gifts and manifestations of The Holy Spirit to the devil! That dear friends - is blasphemy. Be very careful, very cautious before you renounce the words of Jesus as being null and void today... that would be a tragic mistake.
UNBELIEVING "BELIEVERS" / no faith = no signs following
You will not see signs, wonders, or miracles if you do not believe what Jesus says. Those manifestations are for those who "believe". When a person chooses to not believe, or cannot believe in the words of Christ - they have chosen to live in a world where God will not display His supernatural power and majesty... Signs follow believers not "unbelievers". God doesn't reward unbelief, nor is He pleased by it. I'm convinced that Jesus would not do many mighty works today in many of our churches because of one thing - and that is: UNBELIEF!
Today, unfortunately - we have a whole generation of church goers who are camped out in a "dead zone", where you don't need faith to serve God, at least not as we read about in the Book of Acts, or Hebrews. Nope - we now have vast hordes of "unbelieving believers"; an oxymoron of epic proportions if you stop and think about it. If it weren't so pitifully sad and tragic, it would be funny. IT'S NOT. To not believe God still does miracles, signs, and wonders is to me a gigantic slap in the face of God. Many will tell you: NO GOD DOESN'T DO THOSE THINGS ANYMORE. I pray you aren't camped out in that place of unbelief, death, and disobedience...
Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.
Mark 16:14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.
We never see Jesus rebuking or reproving anyone for "believing" in miracles, or the supernatural. Again, let me repeat this truth: We never see Christ rebuking or correcting anyone who is exercising "faith" in God, His words, or in Christ - Himself! On the contrary, we find Jesus sternly rebuking those who refused to believe or have faith when they had every reason for exhibiting faith. If it is hard to have faith when God is right there in front of your very eyes - doing signs, and miracles - then it must be impossible to have faith in His absence. The point of what I'm saying is this: Without faith, you will never see signs following you - or your ministry; that is solely the domain of those who "believe". The most uneducated man or woman in any church can witness great and marvelous miracles, signs, and wonders if they are just foolish enough to take Jesus at His word. I do - do you?
MY FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH DEMONS
After surrendering my life to Christ, and leaving my old life of living as a rock-and-roll musician just drifting from one bad experience to another - I finally found really meaning in my life. I moved out of the dope house I was living in, and moved in with my sister Bobbi, and her husband who had recently become Christians and were both going to church regularly and on fire for God. My appetite for the bible and spiritual things was insatiable - really. I was attending church as often as I could, and reading the Bible and other spiritual books and literature whenever I had time to do so. Although I was a baby Christian, there was no doubt that God was stretching and shaping me into a completely different person from who I was before coming to Christ. It was truly amazing what God was doing inside of me!
The room I was given to use as a bedroom was a strange room by anyone's standards. It had been their "get high" party room, and they had painted it completely black, with the windows completely covered and there was still dark light posters up when I moved in. With the light turned out, you couldn't see anything at all - not even your hand if you held it up two inches from your eyes. It was black, and so dark that it would make most people uncomfortable I'm quite certain. Oh, and did I fail to mention that this room was in their basement, so late at night it was also very quiet ; you could hear every sound in the house it seemed. I'm not afraid of the dark, so it really didn't bother me that much, though I had this creepy feeling that the room was too dark and needed to be brighter - and I planned to change the color and atmosphere of the room as soon as I had some free time.
ATTACKED BY DEMONS...
I remember coming home that evening very late, at the time I was working two jobs and was saving to go to Bible college. I undressed for bed, and after putting a few things away I turned out the light by pulling the string, and climbed into bed exhausted. After laying there for only a few minutes, I sensed something was in the room with me - it's hard to describe in words because I couldn't see a thing, but I felt a very evil presence near me. I've only been really scared a few times in my life, but never have I experienced such horrible fear and terror as I did lying there in my bed that evening. The best way to describe what was happening to me is to picture a bottle of "black ink" being poured into a bucket of water. I was literally "scared stiff".
As I lay there trying to reason with myself, and figure out what was really happening to me; I realized that I couldn't move - I was literally paralyzed with fear - fear that is beyond anything I had ever experienced before in my life. I've been scared many times, and knew what fear felt like, but nothing like what was happening to me then. I realized I couldn't move , I couldn't speak, I couldn't move my tongue or my lips - I was scared stiff, scared beyond anything I had ever known or could imagine! Laying there, completely frozen with indescribable fear, I could feel this evil presence - this thing that I couldn't see; move right next to me and then I heard a whisper - a voice speak directly into my ear: THIS ROOM IS OURS - WE AREN'T GOING TO GIVE IT UP.
THE NAME OF JESUS...
Being a new Christian, and unaccustomed to any kind of real spiritual warfare, I was not really sure what I could do; or if there was anything I could do at that moment. I started to panic, and was almost overwhelmed with a sense of complete hopelessness and despair; and at the same time there was a inky blackness that was enveloping my entire body that can only be described as being wrapped tightly like a mummy, or someone being buried alive - really, it was that horrible. In a flash, in a moment's time - I felt the urge, the need to think the name of Jesus in my mind. My body was paralyzed, my mouth couldn't move no matter how hard I tried - but my mind was still free - barely. I remember thinking: JESUS, JESUS, JESUS... BAM!! Like a bolt of electricity shooting through my body, I was free. I jumped up out of my bed, and turned on the light.
The sheer joy of being able to move freely, and to not feel terrified or scared was exhilarating and my soul was filled with thanksgiving to God for not letting me suffer or be tormented any longer. The entire episode only lasted less than five minutes probably, but it seemed like a very very long time as I endured it in the dark. I began to shout out loud; "I rebuke you Satan, I command you demons to go in the name of Jesus!" I'm sure my words were not exactly right, and sounded like they were coming from a "freshman" believer - they were; but make no mistake: THE DEMONS HEARD ME LOUD AND CLEAR! Unfortunately, so did my sister and brother -in-law as well; they opened the clothes chute, and my sister wanted to know, "What's going on down there Mickey?" I told her that I had just been attacked by demons, and she calmly told me to go back to sleep that they had to get up in the morning, or words to that effect.
THEY DON'T WANT TO LEAVE...
After calming down, and praying over every inch of my bedroom; I decided it was time to try and get some sleep. I turned out the light once again, and crawled back under the covers and began to try and fall asleep. Within a few minutes, I once again felt this eerie - creepy presence move up next to the side of my bed, and speak clearly into my ear: "We'll leave you alone, but this room is ours - we're not giving it up." I was not terrified this time, I was mad and confident that "in the name of Jesus", I had power over these demons. I jumped out of my bed and turned on the light, then I began to rebuke and command the demons to leave in Jesus' name. I must have prayed out loud for at least 3 or 4 minutes before I heard my sister calling out to me again, "Mickey, what's going on down there?" After explaining that I was fighting with some demons over the room that they didn't want to surrender - we both agreed enough was enough and went back to bed... I slept good after that - very good.
Although my experience with these demons wasn't a typical "casting out demons", in that it was a "room" and not a human body or animal as is the case in the scriptures; it was nevertheless very real - and taught me many valuable lessons. Later that same year, I would be face to face with a person possessed with many evil spirits, and would be more prepared for what would prove to be a most horrific battle with very powerful demons. I will share that confrontation with very powerful and stubborn demon spirits in my next message, but let me close now with some things God taught me about spiritual warfare, and the authority we as believers have over the devil, demons, and evil. We have nothing to fear, we have every weapon we need to not only defeat the devil and the demons who do his bidding; but we can have demons and the devil himself tremble and shake with fear when he sees us coming.
FINAL THOUGHTS... There is so much power, so much anointing in the name of Jesus - that if a Christian had nothing but "faith in the name of Jesus", he or she would be more than a match for the devil and all the demons in hell! My terrifying confrontation with demons in my sister's basement, in a room black as the deepest cave one can imagine taught me to revere and hold in the highest esteem the mighty name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Demons like darkness - that was something I learned very well, but they couldn't claim that bedroom as their own - they had to go in the "name of Jesus". I changed the room, and removed everything that was connected with it's sinful past. We as Christians have many powerful weapons at our disposal, the word of God, the power of prayer and fasting, and anointed music and songs; but please know that the name of Jesus, when spoken in faith - is all the power and might you will ever need to put to flight a legion of demons - the devil himself.
Blessings to all/michael/fool4CHRIST p.s. My next message/blog/Pt.3 - will be my involvement with casting demons of a woman severely tormented and bound by Satan
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Luke 9:1 (KJV)
9 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
Luke 10:17 (KJV)
17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
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I love God, people, and all of God's creation. For me there is always something or someone to write about...