So once again, I found myself in Madras/Chennai, India, leading a team of evangelists in a series of crusades. The magnitude of the needs of the people was totally overwhelming, to put it mildly. Sprawled out before us was a sea of humanity whose infirmities read like a chapter out of the Gospels or the Book of Acts. I kept looking for a boat to climb into so I wouldn’t get crushed, but there wasn’t a body of water anywhere near us. There was, however, every kind of sickness and disease imaginable represented in the vast crowd that thronged to hear every word being preached.
Still, the message of hope rang clear: eternal security was at their possession! Longing to hear the words of life that offered comfort to weary souls, the multitudes hungrily devoured the engrafted Word. (Reference James 1:21.) Thousands responded as the call was given to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord of their lives. They rushed forward with tears of anticipation.
In India, people don’t just walk up to the altar — they clamber over people to get there! It was amazing to see the response of these precious souls receiving the greatest miracle of all: the born again experience! It warms the heart when I think of it.
However, at that moment of heart-warminess, a gnawing question rose up within my spirit. I immediately recognized it as coming from the Lord, and it shook me to the very core of my being. It carried a sense of tender compassion mixed with an intense desire. I heard these words resonate from within, “When will I be presented to the multitudes today as I was presented yesterday? Have I changed in two thousand years? Is it not still My desire to heal the sick and set the captives free?” My mind leapt to Luke 4:18-19 as these words reverberated through me. (Look the verses up, please.)
You don’t have to look very far to see the vastness of desperation among people straining under the vexation of life’s struggles. So often, bodies and souls are laden with torments, seemingly without any answer. Yet a clarion message is coming forth in these days that is restoring faith to the needy — Jesus Christ: the same yesterday, and today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
With so many voices screaming to be heard today in the Church, we must ask ourselves the questions: “Is what I’m hearing in accordance with the example and teaching of Jesus? Would Jesus have functioned in the manner being presented to me? Am I seeing a clear representation of His present day ministry?” Those WWJD? bracelets carried a more poignant question than we give them credit for!
The apostles, with their breaker anointing, create an apostolic people who have an understanding of the eternalness of Jesus Christ. They know He has not changed one iota in twenty centuries — never in the history of mankind. It takes something a little more than the average, that breaker anointing, to create in people an attitude that Jesus Christ is desperately desirous of blessing the people of His Church and of the world. The apostles, while operating in the signs, wonders and miracles of Jesus Christ, show that He aches for the people. He is passionate about blessing us!
Since Christ is absolutely incapable of change, His attitude toward sickness must, therefore, remain the same: “He healed all manner of sickness and disease among the people.” (See Matthew 4:23, 24; 8:16, 17.) We read in Acts 1:1, 2 and 17 of what “Jesus began to do and to teach.” The Gospels display the marvelous deeds the Lord began, and the Book of Acts tells of what continued through His Body in signs, wonders and miracles after His ascension. History has recorded incalculable examples of God’s continuing love and powerful interventions. Today, the apostles and apostolic people are writing the history of tomorrow!
Christ has not changed! He is still Jehovah Rapha. (Exodus 15:26; Isaiah 53:3-5) Our understanding of His personage and the attributes of His existence establish us in a greater faith, yielding confidence for the supernatural. In other words, the apostolic miracles breed more miracles. The blessings of God, represented by the apostolic, yield more blessings.
So I ask a question: Whatever happened to signs, wonders and miracles, dear readers?