This is the 3rd in an expected 6 part series called "Invading the Impossible". Part 1 is here and Part 2 is to be completed (Part 1 and Part 2 so far). This sermon was particularly moving to transcribe because near the end of the sermon Rob shares very humbly about someone in the church who recently went to glory despite much prayer for healing. Many other pastors and ministries in that situation would fall back on the over-used excuse of the sovereignity of God. Rob doesn't do that. He remains committed to his vision yet pastorally you can tell his heart is breaking. It had me in tears even though I didn't know the man in person. The series is giving me the feeling of something like an escalator - each sermon takes you higher. It's breath-taking and I can't wait for the next one!
City Church International, Hong Kong
"Wonderful - please open your Bibles to Acts chapter 5. Today I am going to share some things so powerfully that you are going to have to read the promises the way Chinese people read them - you are going to have to read them from top to bottom rather than left to right the way English people do! These are awesome promises because we are talking about invading the impossible and requiring the impossible to bow it's knee to us. We have been looking at Philippians 2 and it is the key to the highest release of anointing.
"Jesus, though equal with God in very nature, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but humbled Himself .... therefore God exalted Him to the highest place".
There is a future teaching on that which is coming soon. When Jesus did not grasp after equality with God because He was EQUAL with God - He had God's identity, God's authority and when He didn't grasp after it but made Himself nothing and was found in the form of a man - He came to fight against a devil that stole delegated authority from Adam. Satan tried to grasp after equality with God in heaven and God threw him out of heaven. The Bible declares in Isaiah that he tried to grasp for this but in the earth he tried to get that authority back and so went to Adam and tried to deceive Adam - yet from that moment Adam gave in he stole that authority.
God Himself did the opposite from the devil and didn't grasp after authority but humbled Himself. When Jesus died on the Cross He cancelled first Adam's authority and cancelled the laws and authorities and powers and was buried and raised from the dead. When He came out from the grave, He said in Matthew 28 He said; "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Me". He did not say that as GOD but as MAN. How did that happen? He gave up His authority as God in heaven and made Himself nothing cancelling Adam's lease at the Cross but as a Man, doing on your behalf so that we would walk in an authority even greater than the authority He had before the Cross. "Anyone who believes in Me - the works you do". Why?
We are walking in a re-inherited authority created for man through the mediation of Jesus Christ!
"But it's so far from where I am". It is closer than you think! Don't talk about that - talking about invading the impossible and making the impossible bow it's knee through the authority God gave to Him! But unless you get revelation of what you already have in Christ Jesus, you will never be able to reach for it.
For revelation is an invitation to a divine encounter to empower you to do what has been revealed to you. Revelation is something that is hidden but is now no longer hidden. As soon as you see it, you have access to an anointing to possess it.
If the church can't see it - they will have no access to an anointing to do it. The issue about equipping on a Sunday morning is a release of revelation to open your heart and mind to see what is yours in Christ - because when you see it, you have access into the anointing to do it. This is a progressive thing which we are doing little by little but there is an acceleration!
When Jesus did miracles on this earth, He did not do them to show us what God could do. He did them to show us what ordinary human beings could do through being rightly related to God.
We have the gift of righteousness so we are as righteous as Jesus is through a free gift through the Gospel! So the power of God can operate on us like it did in Jesus but we can operate in the authority that Jesus received after the Cross! There will be a Church that will walk on the water, that will multiply fish and bread, and the deaf will hear and the blind will see! There WILL be a Church like that in Hong Kong!
Jesus did not go through the blood and the guts and the horror of the Cross to have cute Sunday morning services - He went through that for the Church to carry a re-inherited authority and to carry it as men not as God!
That is our inheritance! How do you explain evil? Evil is the manifestation of illegitimate authority. It is witchcraft - it is selfish ambition. Evil is when a lower authority seeks to make itself equal to a higher authority. Last Adam who had legitimate authority gave it up and humbled Himself and re-inherited God's authority for those of us to invade the impossible! That is not just healing - this is in every area of life. You need this for your mental health, your marriage, your finances, your assignment and your mission by which you are here ordained and authorised to do the works Jesus did.
Where evil governs there is cancer and sickness and broken lives. The Church is waiting to go to heaven to get away from evil. Not the Kingdom! The Kingdom is meant to bring heaven to earth! I hate evil, I am tired of evil! I am tired of children being raped and abused! I am tired of the abuse of women in India! I am tired of the Church saying I want a comfortable life and want to go to a happy heaven! Jesus sent us as ambassadors of the highest government in the Universe with a high authority.
We are not talking about an earth getting worse and worse and worse and the Church being so weak and pathetic that we will have to escape to heaven one day. No we are talking about the earth getting BETTER and BETTER and BETTER and the government of God's peace breaking into the earth and evil being toppled and God's Kingdom invading this earth and manifesting God's Kingdom on earth!
The Anti-Christ and the Beast are not going to invade the earth and take it over. Read your Book of Revelation! The Church does! The power of God takes over the earth! And when you see this as your world-view and your vision for life of where the world is going then you understand why you need more than just a little anointing to survive a little life - you need a measure to enforce impossibilities to bow their knee and the hungry will be fed and orphans cared for! Amen?
The Holy Spirit has come upon every one of you without measure to position you to shape the course of human history. When the Holy Spirit was released from the heavenly realm and came upon the Upper Room, He came upon them with power without measure and the course of history was changed. "When He comes - you will change the history of mankind".
We need to go back to that original church and that original blueprint! The river started in purity and power and as it went down through the centuries, the Church had illegitimate tributaries that were toxic - man's traditions. If you want to know what church is - go back to the pure stream, go back to the original first release. That is the Church that is His desire! That is what we are going back to! That is what we are meant to have! God said to us; "I set before City Church two roads. One road is that you can become a successful large charismatic church with a few signs and wonders or you can become a Book of Acts church with signs and wonders that will shake Hong Kong but you will face much opposition. What choice do you want to make?". The consensus of this church was we don't want to be large - we want to be Book of Acts.
The fear of God isn't popular teaching because of the fear of man. Peter understood as an apostle this. In this account (Acts 5:1-10) there were two people and God killed them. Not the devil. God did. People say it is because they lied to the Holy Spirit which they did. Actually what they were killed for was not lying to the Holy Spirit although that is serious. Abraham lied but God continued to bless him. Abraham lied to a human king. Ananias and Sapphira lied directly to the face of a man under the authority of the Holy Spirit. God killed them because of an issue of self-righteousness. An issue of self-promotion. They sold a plot of land and they lied about the amount the land was sold for. They got more for the land and had publicly said they gave everything. That is self-promotion. That is trying to look good and gain man's approval. That is self-righteous and it grieves the Holy Spirit.
There was such power in this church that the Father did not want the power diminished through grieving the Holy Spirit and He killed them on the spot. Today you can grieve the Holy Spirit and you are safe because the power of God is not what it was then. He is so grieved by man's legalism and tradition and manipulation that He doesn't operate in the same power as He did then. Ananias and Sapphira went to heaven - I am utterly convinced that they went to heaven. They just went there a lot sooner than was originally intended. God had global influence intended for this church and they needed the authority and the power of the Spirit without measure to topple evil and get the government of God into the earth.
Peter himself almost died prematurely - he was lucky he did it before the Cross and before this level of authority was given. Peter thought he could lecture Jesus and be Jesus life-coach! Remember that? Humanity without Christ at the centre is demonic by nature. When Peter got more caught up with the things of man than of God - Jesus rebuked him and said "Get behind me Satan". He was more concerned with the purposes of man than of God. Peter could remember surely the day when Jesus told him to get behind him Satan when he confronted Ananias and Sapphira.
This fear of God is not a negative fear worrying he is going to kill you. This is not about you falling into sin - where sin abounds grace abounds much more! This is about self-righteousness and self-promotion. The fear of God is healthy and clean and the beginning of wisdom. The fear of God was safer than living in the fear of man! It is dangerous to live in the fear of man but safe to live in the fear of God!
You will never have the full measure of power if you do not have the full measure of the power of God.
Revived is to be what God intended the church to be under the leadership of the power of the Holy Spirit before the traditions of men came in and spoiled it. "Great fear seized them all". (v13) "No one else did join them". I wonder why? "Even though they were highly regarded by the people". (v14) "Nevertheless more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number". "All of them were healed". Don't look at the current state of the river - don't look at our current state. Four characteristics of true revival;
1. Great fear of God seizes the church.
2. People do not join the church casually like it was a club. They join not out of convinience but out of holy conviction.
3. More and more men and women believed and were added. Those being added were solid. Great crowds gathered around this church.
4. Because ALL were healed.
It is the absolute will of God for every church on the planet right now to be like this original! This is for busy Hong Kong. We are to be more concerned about the things of God so that evil can be toppled in Hong Kong. This should not drive us into shame and guilt but inspire us while we have breath in our bodies. This is the only internal relevance of my existance. My career is important as long as it comes under this call. We are all preaching and prophesying with our lips or our lifestyles.
Human beings accelerated the timings of God. The more the time is delayed, the more that people die prematurely of cancer, the more children are abused, the more die of famine, the more women have had their breasts cut off. If the world was more full of churches like this Acts church then the world would come under a power and manifestation of God and things would be changed. Jesus when He was born into this earth as a Man not from the sin lineage of first Adam but with a righteousness as last Adam.
Every person born again has the Spirit of God fully inside of you! Romans 8 says every believer has the Spirit within you - but that doesn't mean to say He is ON you. There is a big difference between the Spirit being in you and on you. The Bible refers to the Spirit in us about fruit - but on us about power. Jesus got the Spirit in Him when He was born. But at the age of 30 He looked up and saw the Spirit coming upon Him like a dove.
From that moment He walked out and did miracles right away. Imagine you feel a Presence come upon you literally and you feel it land on your shoulder and it is the most beautiful dove. You don't want to frighten it away and so that will affect the way you move. You would not go and speak to insensative noisy people and you wouldn't do it yourself. Your whole life now is captured by a conciousness of a consideration of the Presence you carry.
The Spirit in you? Wonderful but no demonstration of power. The Spirit on you - that is when the demonstrations of power begin. All Christians have the Spirit inside them. Very few have the power of the Lord upon them.
Rob how come Peter's shadow could heal the sick? Because your shadow will release whatever is overshadowing you.
If Jesus has got ALL authority that means the devil has got ZERO authority. If we give in to the devil's lies then we give into his lies and release authority to him.
(*At this point in the sermon Rob tells a testimony about someone in their church who recently went to glory from cancer - despite much prayer and coming under the power of God. It had me in tears even though I don't know the man. But note this;*).
What do you say to a woman who has been standing in faith for her husband to be healed? In that moment preachers are put under pressure to offer pious platitudes that contradict the Kingdom. So firstly I didn't say anything. I just held her. Then I told her he is in the glory realm. Then I told her that this is not the will of God. The day is coming when ALL will be healed. Jesus is perfect theology and if you find any doctrine that contradicts something in Jesus then it is not good theology. Jesus healed every single man or woman that came to Him - He never grieved the Spirit that came on Him without measure. She said; "Rob I agree with that". To say; "The Lord took him" means that is an evil God who steals. The problem wasn't in heaven and a lack of power. The problem was me. I am going to find out how to equip an entire church to move in that power. She said; "I don't want to go too quickly!". What she was saying was that she knew she had a mission.
The pressure is to accomodate your theology to your experience. But our experience must accomodate our theology in the Word of God.
I don't want to have any more experiences of looking at a child or a mother or father that have died to an illegitimate squatter on our experience. Because what we tolerate will inevitable dominate us. In 1981 we saw incurable disease being healed, demons being driven out. In that God called me to sign a contract about signs and wonders with a commitment and a resolve with no other option but to see an original Acts church. He has been filling in the details ever since of that contract. I signed the bottom of an empty page in 1981 no matter how many people left the church, side-lined me and rejected me. At the end of 1981 God said He would lift the power off me for a few decades until I could learn to steward this power without letting it go to my head. We are talking about a power to raise the dead and open blind eyes and multiply fish. You don't give that to an irresponsible generation. By 1985 I was terribly discouraged and I wanted to just be a Bible teacher and just not pray for the sick.
God sent a wonderful prophet called Bill Hamon to South Africa to encourage me. He would read and know their mail and he prophesied over Glenda and I and he prophesied; "Son your love has come up into the heavens and you have signed the bottom of the contract". That prophet knew NOTHING! But God gave me affirmation. We think this is such a price to pay - what we give up! Oh we have got to live in Hong Kong - it's so hard. I have been guilty of talking about the price for the supernatural being so big.
Bill Johnson said something that convicted me absolutely and shifted my whole perspective; "We carry in our hands little grey pebbles and these pebbles symbolise and represent all our strivings to gain the approval of man in man's eyes. One day as Christians God speaks to us in such an undramatic quiet whisper and He says "I want your grey pebbles". We are shocked and say "God! These pebbles represents my security, my identity!". God just smiles and says "I want them". As they leave our hands, He fills our hands with the most magnificent and gorgeous diamonds. Though it is painful to give away the pebbles, the pain goes away when you see what it is replaced with".
When the decision comes - are we going to be a comfortable charismatic church that is man-centred or a book of Acts church? Some may leave. The devil had to leave because God came! The devil was there and comes to church every Sunday because GOD ISN'T THERE! The demons are comfortable! But when God turns up and the demons aren't comfortable and must leave. God who you say you worship turned up and the demons must leave. When the awesome power of God comes people may fall or shake or rattle or roll because God is there! Some may laugh. You get uncontrollably happy! It is demonic to be unhappy in church! If I must make a choice between grieving the Spirit and grieving religious people - it is not a choice. I've signed the contract! People leave with an attitude of self-righteousness! "That isn't God". God turns up and they call Him the devil. It is very serious to accuse the Holy Spirit of being the devil.
I would rather grieve over people leaving that grieve the Spirit by making them feel comfortable with the absence of God.
If Hong Kong can't receive this, I will dust my feet and leave Hong Kong and go to a place that will receive this and topple evil.
There will be some who won't join us - their loss. Folks all I am going to ask in the 10 seconds in closing if it hasn't happened to you already (and it should have) I have fought for 3 years against a demonic realm that tries to discourage you and through you - me. I hope there are others pursuing this in Hong Kong. It may be that we are one of the very few and therefore targetted. I have got decades of ministry left in me and I want to target evil! I am in a war! I am committed! I am going to play onside with my King!
The outcome of nations, communities, churches, regions, goverments are all hanging in the balance - it depends on human beings who have been invested with an authority of One who made Himself nothing and re-inherited it to topple evil. 3 things;
1. Be possessed by the promise. "God I cry out to you - let the promise possess me!". If it doesn't, by tomorrow you will have forgotten this message.
2. Take your pebbles - the sum of your strivings and compromisings to gain the approval of man and let God have them.
3. There is an empty contract form from heaven - sign on the bottom line and let God fill in the details through the rest of your life.