The church needs to get back to the fundamental of what Peter said in Acts 4:20, “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Peter and John were going up to the temple to pray and they saw a man that was crippled from birth who was placed there daily at the temple gate called “Beautiful” to beg since he could not stand or walk.
Peter told the guy that neither him or John had any cash to give him but what they did have they would give him. Peter just took the man by the hand and told him flat out to get up under the power of the name of Jesus from Nazareth who is the Christ. The man stood up and his feet along with the bones of his ankles were instantly healed.
In Acts 4:10 the word “whole” means healthy. The man was now standing with Peter and John as they were being held by the temple authorities. The religious authorities did not want people even mentioning this Jesus. Peter said, “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.”
The miracle was obvious and intended to be a matter of course and not an exception. My wife and I were praying for our dog Amy who is having a time with arthritis. In the prayer the words, “the natural course,” were spoken. We were referencing her aging and decline and desired it be slowed so what time she did have would be a healthy time. Then I thought that sickness is not the natural course. Sickness is a result of corruption in the system. The original way of things designed by God was for life to be eternal and without corruption, sickness, decline or decay.
We know that sin brought forth death. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” This corruption brought into the perfect system was by free will that was permitted. Free will was permitted to offer a choice. God desires us to freely love Him as He loves us, but there is a consequence to the disobedience. That consequence is death brought into a perfect system.
However, God did not leave it at that but sent His only begotten Son Jesus to redeem that which was lost. Jesus came to bring the eternal life back. The whole system of this universe has been brought to imperfection because of human beings. Mankind was to have dominion but chose wrong. Now we are plagued with all manner of disease, decay and decline that leads to death of our physical bodies.
The thing is that Jesus went the extra mile when he went to the cross. He took those stripes on his back for our physical healing as well. Isaiah 53:5 says, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” The word “healed” in that verse implies to me more than just a spiritual mending. It implies to me physical healing.
It speaks to me that I do not have to live in suffering for my time here. Not that my body will not die, but that I do not have to accept and walk in a state of daily disease. There are examples in the Bible of men living out their whole lives and not walking in sickness. Yes, they all eventually died but they did not live daily being ill while they were here.
Peter and John demonstrated the power that Jesus wants us to walk in. Peter did not ask the guy for a resume and to make an appointment to discuss being prayed for. He just gave him what he had and that was the sharing of healing through the power of the name of Jesus. Not just any Jesus either. Jesus was a name that a lot of Jews had. The name is Joshua from the Hebrew translated to Greek and we see it in English as Jesus. No, this was a specific Jesus—Jesus Christ of Nazareth!
Since the real natural course is to walk in health, this is the fundamental that the church needs to get back to through declaring what we see and hear. We just need to be seeing and hearing what God has for us and not what the ritual of church services now have for us. Matthew 10:6-8 says, “But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”
One might say that was only for the Apostles. That is not true because Jesus sent out the 70 in Luke 10. If you look in Luke 9, you will see the same account as Matthew 10. Then in Acts 2 we have the gift of the Holy Ghost poured out on all believers who tarried according to Jesus’ instructions. There is the authority to raise up the lame, cast out devils and heal all the sick as we preach that the kingdom of God is at hand. The preaching and the works went hand in hand.
Notice the 70 came back to Jesus and remarked how even the devils had to obey them. Jesus pointed out in a matter-of-fact way saying in Luke 10:18-20, “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”
Jesus watched Satan be cast from heaven. Jesus has all authority over all the works of the devil. Jesus even has the keys to death and hell! It was not a big deal to him to equip those who have faith in him to go out and preach the Gospel with power. However, he said we should be rejoicing that our names are written in heaven and not over the power he will give to those willing to preach His Gospel!
Since our joy is that our names are written in heaven we should be sharing that news with others so they may have the same joy. The power needs to be declared with the message too. It all starts with a faith as small as single mustard seed that when planted in good soil will grow into something big.
The fundamental we need to get back to is to have that need to speak the things we see and hear concerning our Savior Jesus the Christ. In order for us to be able to speak those things we see and hear, we need to see and hear things. The simple fact of faith is that it comes by hearing a message, and the message is The Word of God.
It is like a big circle that leads us back to the source and out to preach to the world. The source of the miracles that go hand in hand with the preaching of the Gospel comes from the very same Jesus we are telling the world about. What do you need to see and hear to be able to go forth with authority?