Here is Part 3 in this awesome series. Still not chronological I know but one more day and then the five parts will be complete in all their glory!
“The Currency of Heaven - Faith”
Why don’t you open your Bibles for the heaven of it to Galatians chapter 3. For our international listeners, the good news is that Joshua and Janet Mills will be coming to “Grace and Glory” and will be here for the whole time and it will really create a powerful synergy with the prophetic anointing on Fini and Isi who are having a real move of God in Australia. Glenda, myself, Joshua, Janet - I really believe that we are going to go further into the cloud of glory than any of our previous “Grace and Glory” conferences that we have had in Hong Kong or Australia before. When a whole congregation comes or the majority comes it is far more than what you can get from one Sunday to the next.
What you have is four days - 2 meetings in the glory and we just focus on the Person of Jesus Christ, grace and glory, signs, wonders and miracles. You have one meeting and it takes you to another level in the anointing. Come back and have another meeting and it takes you further. That’s Day 1! And then you go to Thursday, Friday and Saturday! Last time we had it here, whole churches were changed and never have gone back and are still moving the move of God around the world. I want to encourage everyone in City Church International to take some leave and make some arrangements to be here.
Galatians 3. I am so excited about this message! We are talking about a series on being established in the gift of righteousness. I want to say this - we have done two messages in the series so far. Both are pivotal and foundational for the way that God is positioning this church this year. I believe they are prophetic and pivotal for the church around the world, as I gave that message on the first Sunday of this year and last week about being established in the gift of righteousness - it will answer a lot of questions about why Isaiah 54 is relevant. How no weapon formed against you will prosper and all those promises God makes that are not working in many Christians lives because there is one condition;
Not that you are holy enough or obey enough or are good enough but that you are established in the gift of righteousness.
Isaiah 53 is the picture of the Cross and the fact that Jesus was punished for our peace, He took our transgressions and our judgements - He was smitten for us and Isaiah 54 - God took an oath never to be angry with the New Covenant church again. Never to withdraw His love or His peace. And He says;
“You will be established in righteousness- your righteousness is of Me”.
He is talking about the gift of righteousness - not your works and when you hear about righteousness and hear a bit of teaching on it so it is in your sphere of thinking it will not reside and stay with you until you are ESTABLISHED in it! Those are pivotal messages for 2009 to position you to inherit what God is planning. But today is even more pivotal! Get today! Today pivotal to connect you to the last two. Today what we are talking about is the currency of heaven that connects you to the fullness of grace. What we are talking about is the currency of heaven that connects you to the blessing of the power of God. Just because I speak calmly doesn’t mean that you have to be calm in your response! You can know about grace and you can know about the gift of righteousness but if you don’t have the currency of heaven to connect and plug into those realities then all they are is academic theories to you. All they are is Bible information that you can win arguments and religious debates with.
God is not interested in us winning religious debates on grace and beating the Pharisees up[ with religious theological debates. God wants us to have the currency of heaven that connects with the manifest power of God and the blessing of God and when we walk in the blessing and walk in that power then the fruit is seen in our lives and THAT is the most convincing argument of all. I am so tired of the Western world mentality of thinking - where its engineering and architecture of theological ideas or debates. That is not Hebrew culture and it is not Kingdom culture!
Kingdom culture is “Can you do it? Can you demonstrate the power of signs and wonders? Can you demonstrate that God can meet all your needs according to His riches in Christ? Can you demonstrate the prosperity of God? Can you demonstrate how to have good relationships and a good marriage and a good life? Can you demonstrate joy when going through the tough times? Can you demonstrate happiness and miracle healing in you’re your body? That’s all I am interested in! I am not going to seminars that talk about theories and theological debates. The greatest debate is raising the dead, opening blind eyes, seeing the deaf hear and seeing God pour in multiplied millions of dollars that we can resource orphans and feed the poor and do whatever God has called us to do! We can put many men and women out on the field in China!
Millions is too small! I am talking about BILLIONS while the economic downturn goes down, the church will go up while we have this currency!
The exchange between heaven and earth is a currency of heaven called “FAITH”. If you haven’t got faith it doesn’t matter how much knowledge you have got about grace and righteousness or how much Bible knowledge you have got - there are people who know the Bible back to front but have zero faith. In this room everyone would believe and recognise how important faith is - I know that. Do we realise how important faith is? Most know that the Bible says in Hebrews 11:6;
“Now without faith, it is impossible to please God“.
Do we realise how impossible it is to please God without faith? The Bible says there is only two things that God cannot do. God is sovereign-ly by His unlimited capacity of His own self-existence - He has chosen to limit Himself in only two areas. 1. The Bible says it is impossible for God to lie. 2. The other area is actions into the earth - “Without faith it is impossible to please God”. I don’t care how moral or religious you are or how much Bible you know - that doesn’t please Me. That doesn’t produce a currency that produces a supernatural exchange into the earth realm.
The Bible doesn’t even say without love it is impossible to please God. Love is more important than faith (Galatians 5:6) - the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. If you don’t have love then the only thing that can please God won’t work. Because faith expresses itself through love. If I have got faith that can move mountains but I have not love - I have nothing. Faith is the only thing that pleases God. And it has to be expressed through love otherwise it won’t work. We have got a modern charismatic church that just says; “It’s love”. And they turn biblical godly love into a sentimental, syrupy, passive, shallow niceness. People with no authority to press into miracles, no authority to press through opposition or rejection. They are just sweet.
We don’t need the love that dies on a Cross. The love that lays its life down for friends and Gospel - that can forgive people when they spit on you and reject you. We don’t need a sweet sentimental love. We need a love that loves the world so much that we will press into God to get this currency of faith - that when we have faith in something, the love of God expresses itself in a way that carries the faith to the target itself and it manifests because God is love and then you will connect with Him - the God who is love.
You can love one another and if its not done in faith then it doesn’t please God. It is impossible to please God without faith. (Romans 14) “Anything that is not of faith is sin”. So all around the world where religious things are happening today and are singing songs and reading Scripture and doing religious things - if there isn’t a faith in a miracle working God - a faith to connect with the living God and pull heaven down to earth then it is sin. And it is not pleasing God. All the law obedience and external trappings of religious holiness - it is IMPOSSIBLE for that to please God!
This great God is a loving just God and for Him to require us to have faith to please Him is not unfair and unjust because faith is not irrational. Neither is faith intellectual because children can have faith and uneducated people can have faith - but faith is not irrational. Faith is not believing what you know is not true.
The reason why I believe certain things is because I have researched it intellectually and have enough evidence to know it is not true. I don’t have faith to just “make it be true“. Things are either true or not true. Faith doesn’t make things true because you just believe. That is modern existentialism. “Truth is whatever you want truth to be” - wrong answer. I have heard Christians say; “If the archaeology and science proved that the Bible isn’t true then I would still believe” - No! I will take the Bible and throw it away! I have heard His voice and seen His miracles! For 32 years I have heard His voice too many times! I was standing in Jerusalem years ago and such unbelief came over me and I had unbelief in Jesus in the Bible, in the existence of God and I am standing and have to go through all my intellectual evidence where I researched the Bible and went through the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, all the intellectual evidence. Then I went through all the times I have heard the audible voiceof God and what He told me was so true and accurate.
And faith rose up in me! At the end of the day faith is not illogical or irrational. Faith is not a blind leap into the dark but a leap into the light. (Hebrews 11:1) says faith is the evidence of things not seen. Faith has to do with evidence.
This is what faith is - faith is from the heart - a recognition by you of the goodness of God. Faith is a recognition that God is absolutely good all the time! That God’s nature is fully to bless you! If you have thoughts going through your head that argue with that then it shows that you still have trouble with heavenly currency. True faith is absolutely fully persuaded that God is good all the time and that He never acts in evil or makes you sick. God never curses and never judges you. God’s whole disposition and His whole being - His whole attributes and His entire nature wants to love you and do you good and bless you and help you fulfill your destiny. That’s what faith is!
How come so many Christians struggle with faith for miracles? Probably the majority of Christians in this world today have retreated into a rationalistic camp - a camp that says miracles have passed away - a camp that reasons away the supernatural.
Why is it that so many Christians struggle to have faith in the God of miracles? The answer to that question is the title to this sermon: “The Law Is Not Based on Faith”. Lets read it. (Galatians 3:2); “The law is not based on faith - herein is the ultimate insight to the real issue and the real problem as to the absence of true faith in many Christians lives. The law is not of faith - the law of God - the moral law - the 10 Commandments - the ministry of death written on tablets of stone that brought death - that law is not of faith. It’s not based on faith - it cannot produce faith in fact the law will KILL faith. The law will destroy faith (Romans 4:14) - says the law makes faith of no value.
Last year we had 3 healing meetings where we advertised healing. Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning and we had an amazing turnout with a lot of visitors. In the testimonies in the week after we had several dozen healings - certainly 12 that were clear and undisputable miracle healings. What was interesting to me was that most of the people healed were from City Church International even though we had many other precious, precious Christians from other churches come and join us for those 3 or 4 meetings. When we were praying for the sick, one of the things I began to diagnose very quickly was that many of our visitors were struggling to have the faith that connects with the power to get the healing. It is very simple and not derogatory or unkind but compassionate. The religious world that they were visiting us from - the context they were coming out of for a little visit into City Church International.
Their world was a world of law and rules and performances and the have-too’s to earn the blessing and the law is not based on faith. The law doesn’t produce faith and it kills faith. The law says you have to be good enough to get good from God all the time and He gives me what I don’t deserve so the law can never produce faith! It is anti-faith!
There were only two people in the entire Bible who Jesus commended for having great faith -not just good faith or big faith but great faith. He said; “I have never seen such great faith in all of Israel”. There was a Syro-Phonecian woman - she pressed into Jesus and said; “My daughter is vexed with demons, she is oppressed with demonic powers”. The disciples pushed her away and yet she pushed through the disciples - the thugs - the henchmen - the bouncers and she pushed into Jesus and said; “My daughter!”. He said “What have I got to do with you? I haven’t come for the dogs (meaning the Gentiles)” yet the next verse said that she worshipped Him and said; “But even the dogs eat the scraps from the Masters table”. He said; “Go your way, your daughter is made well - I have never seen such great faith in all of Israel!”. What a miracle!
The other was the Roman centurion that came to Jesus and said; “I am a man under authority and so I say go and they go and you need to just speak the word and my servant will be healed”. Jesus said “I have never seen such great faith in all Israel”. Now I hear people say an erroneous thing - they say the reason the centurion had great faith was because he was a man under authority so he knew Jesus would speak the word with authority. There is a truth in that faith dynamic. But what has a Roman centurion got to do with a home-maker Syro-Phonecian woman? What do they have in common that Jesus could say; “They have the greatest faith in all Israel” - greater than the high priests, priests, bishops, ach-bishops, arch-deacons and arch-demons. Greater than all the hierarchy of the Pharisees and Sadducee, Couldn’t-Sees and Wouldn’t-Sees! These two people had the greatest faith in Israel and what did they have in common?
They were both Gentiles and they never grew up into the law because the law is not based on faith, the law kills faith.
If you grew up in Israel in the time, the law was like your mothers milk. They would strap it to your wrists and your forehead and recite law. It was all about the law but the law is not based on faith! In Galatians 3:23 it says that before faith came we were held prisoners by the law - law will lock you up. It will kill your faith - it is not based on faith but on human effort, human earning, human deserving which is all anti-Gospel and it is anti-Christ and anti-anointing and it opposes the reality of the purpose why Jesus came to the earth.
Yet today there is a Gospel being preached around the world that mixes that which kills faith with grace. So they have got the thing that will give you some help mixed with poison that will kill what you have.
You will have faith for a while and then you will hear the next half of the message and that half will be the antidote that will kill it. So you will have faith for a while and then the law will kill it. That’s why around the world today there are people who can fast and pray for 40 days and come out and produce a week or two of a few miracles and signs and wonders because they are operating in a fading glory. They are operating under an Old Covenant fading glory that gives you a momentary glory.
We need to have miracles everyday - not once a week but every single day for the next sixty to seventy years! If you have got to go and fast for 40 days to produce a miracle then you may as well go and live with Moses and go and put on sackcloth and ashes and practice all the rituals and go and get circumcised and go to Jerusalem and pray at a certain place at a certain time and do all of that stuff! Or you can come over to what a Jewish apostle saw by revelation when he was caught up into the 3rd heaven. The champion of all champions who hated grace and opposed grace and killed and persecuted Christians and breathed out threats and slaughters against the church then ran into Jesus and fell to the ground under the power!
Is falling under the power biblical?!!?
The man that wrote most of the New Testament fell under the power and he heard a voice saying; "Saul, Saul why are you persecuting Me?". The man that was opposing grace was opposing Jesus and Jesus got a bit upset by it. So He opened the glory realm just a little bit and such piercing light came out at mid-day. What kind of light could out-shine the mid day desert sun!? And a voice came and Paul said; "Who are you Lord?". He asked and answered his own question inthe same sentence. Later on when he gave his testimony to the religious hierarchy, he said; "I met Jesus on the road to Damascus". He met Grace Himself who said; "You who are against grace are against Me".
Grace is not a theology - Grace is a Person. He is Jesus.
Now if this great legalist Paul can get saved and become the greatest champion of grace then there is hope for every person in Hong Kong who has grown up under law. Whether you are a Christian in Hong Kong or not, the majority grow up under secular humanistic controlled laws or religious laws. If you grow up in Great Britain then you will have grown up under religious laws. If you grew up in South Africa in most denominations thenyou would have grown up under religious laws. You would have to keep religious calendars and ceremonies and certain things, fast on certain holy days of themonth to become good enough for God.
All of that is not based on faith and what is not of faith is IMPOSSIBLE to please God!
All those billions of dollars spend on religion have got nothing to do with eternity - it is just dead works and nowhere in the New Testament does it say that we must repent for our sins. It says we must repent of dead works (Hebrews 10). The Church is confessing their sin and repenting of their sin. No - repent of unbelief! The only sin in the New Covenant is unbelief! Every other sin was dealt with at the Cross. This sounds radical but this is the New Testament!
Look at Galatians 3:5-6; "Does God give you His Spirit" - the Greek word there is "supply" which is the present, continous tense. "Does God continually keep moving in power by His Spirit and work signs and wonders among you - because you observed the law or because you believed what you heard?". This faith currency in grace and not being under law is about the moving of the Spirit and the working of miracles that God KEEPS (present, continous tense) supplying. We shouldn't have occasional miracles! There should be daily healings of the sick, daily miracles of financial provision, daily deliverance from depression, daily miracles in marriages, daily miracles of people being saved, of people living in joy, of acts of love and kindness and service!
But when you go back under law then it is not based on faith and without faith it is impossible to please God.
What do you think is the number 1 hindrance to signs, wonders and miracles and the power and Presence of God in the earth today? It is LAW. If you take the law off God's people long enough (and it takes years because they have been under it for centuries) thoughit comes back regularly, you keep getting it off. The preacher must keep preaching and eventually you get it off them completely. There is NO more condemnation, no more law thinking, no more earning and deserving and thinking to get the blessing! Once that has gone then; "I have never seen such GREAT FAITH in all of Hong Kong". That church will get such commendation in Hong Kong one day that FULLY gets the law off God's people.
Why can you go to a country like South Africa and grow churches into the thousands without being a book of Acts church? Without signs and wonders and miracles? Because they are preachinga mixture of law and grace - but then if you have slick services that are short, not too inconvinient for people with sophisticated musicians that are up-tempo, no heavy powerful anointing, just a light anointing to make you feel good - then a nice little talk and people will come in because it is not distracting for their week. That is not the Kingdom and that is not what Jesus died for! He died for what you see in Acts 5! A church full of glory, full of Presence, full of signs, full of wonders!
I don't want to go on T.V and argue theologically about grace in Hong Kong. I want to see this church so broken free from the law thatwe have such great faith that miracles become like pop corn and signs and wonders and then go on T.V and give the testimony of the miracles! I am tired of theological debates!
Go to Luke 13. Luke 13 is one of my favourite passges. I have to stay calm because if I don't I would get so angry when I read some of these things. And I shouldn't get angry because I was nearly a Pharisee once! I never quite became a Pharisee but about 12 years ago God said to me; "You are nearly becoming a Pharisee" and that was the turn around of my lifeThis year many Pharisees like Paul are going to be turned around and many churches that are labouring under that which kills faith will be turned around! Go to Luke 13:16.
Sorry oh sorry my goodness go back to Galatians 3! This is going to leap in your heart and will help you understand what this grace thing is really all about. (Galatians 3:9) - "So those who have faith" - heavenly currency. The thing that without it is impossible to please God. " ... those that without faith are blessed along with Abraham the man of faith".
What is faith again? Faith is a recognition that God's whole being and desire is one of TOTAL goodness to you and His desire is to heal you, give you blessing, give you health, establish you, strengthen you and give you success in the destiny that He has called you for.
"Those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham the man of faith". How many years before the law of Moses did Abraham live? About 430 years. There was nothing in the earth when Abraham was there that killed faith. There was nothing there that was not based on faith, that nullified faith. There was no law for 430 years! Abraham was not a Jew - he was a pagan and an Iraqui. He is a heathen more than likely worshipping idols and living an unholy life. He doesn't even know what it is to be obedient to God and is minding his own business when one day the Bible says that El-Shaddi (the God who is more than enough) showed up. Not the God who is "just enough". Not El-Cheapo! El-Shaddi! We always try and do things the cheapest way as Christians. This is the church and let's save money and have cake sales because God cannot provide.
He blesses people when they bring tithes and offerings into the house of God - there is enough! I repeat that we do not tithe under Malachi 3 but we do tithe the way that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob tithed 430 years before the law. We do not tithe to get the curse off us. Jesus got it off us at the Cross. We tithe into the local church where we are fed because we are partners with God investing into eternity so that the storehouses always have more than enough for the purposes of God. Abraham meets with the living God and the opening words of God to him (who doesn't know anything about law) is;
"I will bless you - I will make your name great - I will make you a blessing - I will bless all that bless you and all that curse you I will curse and I will make you a blessing to all nations".
Abraham does not have any law to measure up to whether he thinks he deserves it or not. He is not thinking law - the law is not based on faith! He is having a promise that is coming in the Presence of God and Abraham just says; "YES! I believe it!".
If he had been under the law he would have said; "Can't you see that I am not good enough or not deserving enough?". But he had GREAT faith BECAUSE he was not under the law!
He was like those two Gentiles in Israel who just believed and the Bible said that "God credited it to him as righteousness".
What is a righteous man? A righteous man in the New Covenant is someone that believes that the nature of God is to bless you.
That's what faith is! I believe that the nature of God is not to judge me or to kill me or to beat me up - but to make me a blessing, to make my name great, to make my name influential in the nations of the earth and to protect me when people come against me and curse me so that they get dealt with by God. Be careful when you attack righteous people! I am not talking about self-righteous people, law-keeping people but someone who has got faith that they are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus because their faith says; "I know God is good to me all the time!". (Genesis 13:1) says that God made Abraham very wealthy in livestock, in silver and gold. Genesis 14 and 15 - Abraham is winning battles over greater armies than him. He is prospering and expanding - he is a friend of God and living in the blessing of God - there is no law! 25 years of total blessing and then in Genesis 17 God requires him to be circumcised.
Then the legalists jump in! "See! He earned it through circumcision". Paul argues against this so well in the New Covenant. That circumcision came 25 years after God had already declared Abraham to be righteous and had already made him wealthy and a friend of God and given him victories. He was not being circumcised to be a keeper of the law. The law was still 430 years away! The circumcision in Genesis 17 is about his connection to the land of Israel that God was promising to his descendants. Then Abraham dies and Isaac is born and unbelievably blessed as was Jacob. Then we have got Joseph and the12 brothers who became the 12 tribes of Israel. Joseph ends up as the Prime Minister of Egypt and a descendant of Abraham so that his brothers come down in a time of famine because a seed of Abraham is giving wisdom to a secular, ungodly nation who have stored up grain though 7 years of abundance and have saved for the 7 years of famine so that they can resource the nations of the earth because they are not in debt through greed but a wise descendant of Abraham was there who knew how to prosper an ungodly nation.
When you are blessed, Hong Kong is blessed. When you are blessed, the company that you work for is blessed. Whoever is with you will be blessed if you have faith like Abraham had faith! But if you have faith like the people of Israel hadfaith under law - then it is not based on faith but on how hard you can work to deserve it. Now all of Israel is prospering in Egypt and growing and becoming wealthy and increasing in number. Then a Pharoh emerged that knew not Joseph. Joseph had been dead for a while and now a Pharoh appears on the scene. He says to his government; "Look how these Israelites are prospering!". Why? They were still under the covenant of Abraham! "Look how they are prospering - we have got to do something or they will take over Egypt!". I wish that Hong Kong would say; "Look how the church is prospering in the economic downturn! They are becoming more wealthy! Miracles! Healings! Blessing on their marriages and on their children!". So this Pharoh says; "We had better put them into slavery".
When grace brings prosperity into your life - the devil says; "We had better put them into slavery. Let's bring them into the slavery of religion. The slavery of churches that look successful (because they have got a lot of people turning up) but there is no book of Acts signs and wonders! Or the mighty Presence of God!". Slavery!
So they are in slavery and are crying out to God and the Bible says in Exodus that; "God heard their groans and He remembered His covenant with Abraham". What was that covenant? Law? No Mount Sinai had not arrived yet! Just grace! He raises up Moses in Exodus 3:3 and says; "Go and tell the people of Israel that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will bring them out of slavery". God brought them out with signs and wonders and miracles and split the Red Sea open! He did miracles in the desert in grace - He poured down manna from heaven and turned the bitter waters sweet.
Yet Israel murmered and complained and rebelled and not once did God judge them or punish them or reject them but He continued to bless them becasue they were in Abraham!
But eventually Galatians 3 tells us why the law was introduced. "Because of the sin of unbelief". Romans 5 says that the law was introduced to increase the transgressions. Why did God introduce the law? Do you think He wanted to bring the law in? I hear people say that God brought the law for the moral government of society. No! God brought the law in because of their unbelief. They did not believe in Abraham or the grace and goodness of God - they did not believe in His kindness so finally God said "Okay if you won't believe in grace then I will give you something that is not based on faith and grace - I will give you the law". Paul says that the law was introduced to increase sinning because of their unbelief in Abraham. After they took the law they started to sin more - while the law was still being given on Mount Sinai they were already worshipping a golden calf! They were already into idolatry because they said to Moses; "If God wants to give us thelaw then we will do whatever He tells us!". That is self-righteous arrogance.
Galatians 3:15-17 brings good news however! When the law was introduced - the covenant of Moses did not nullify the covenant that God made with Abraham which is grace and faith. So now God has got two covenants that Israel can relate to Him through. 1. A covenant of grace and faith and be blessed along with Abraham with faith like Abraham that God is good all the time. 2. The law.
They chose primarily to relate to Him through the law. Every now and then you see prophets of faith rising up and you see seasons of revival - temporary seasons but then a whole long period of low level anointing. You know what little seasons of revival are? Not the fasting that they went through or the warfare and the beating themselves up. Somewhere in the middle of that they got a glimpse of grace and they believed in the goodness of God and that pulled heaven down and for a year or two there were miracles and you then you watched while every revival STOPPED. It was because legalism came in. The law is not based on faith and without faith it is impossible to please God.
So Israel goes through little seasons of signs and wonders and revival and then back to law and death. By the time Jesus arrived - and remember that all four Gospels are still under the Old Covenant. The Cross hasn't happened yet! The New Covenant started on the Day of Pentecost just as Moses covenant of law started on the Day of Pentecost. Pentecost is 50 days after Passover after they came out of Egypt through the Passover they arrived at Mount Sinai. There they were given the law and it was called Pentecost! After the Passover of Passovers when the Lamb of God was slain on Golgotha - instead of the law being given from Zion, the Spirit of God was poured out on Jewish people!
In the Gospels Jesus was still preaching under an Old Covenant. He came to a society that had the option to go the Abrahamic way or go the law way but the Pharisees and the Sadducees had so blotted out Abraham that they had moved all Israel into the law. How do I know that? No miracles had happened for 400 years. No one had heard God for 400 years! What is that? That is law and it is not based on faith.
To hear God you have got to have faith.
No miracles in Israel for 400 years! In Luke 11:52 Jesus said; "Woe to you scribes and Pharisees - woe to you experts in the law - you have taken away the key to knowledge". What is the key to knowledge? Abraham! He had disappeared off the scope to Israelites as a way to get blessingfrom God. They were now fully under the covenant of law even though the law (Paul says in Galatians 3 did not nullify the covenant that God made with Abraham and any Israelite during those centuries could have said; "I am not going to live under law - I am going to live under Abraham! God gives a promise and I believe the promise with faith and grace gives me a manifestation of the power". The Pharisees and Sadducees had taken away the key of knowledge - the revelation of Abraham and they did not enter in themselves as well as stopping others who were trying to enter in.
The biggest break of my heart is to go to conferences and only have a few shots at believers who have been under law for years. You se them come up to you and say; "For years I have known something was wrong and I wanted to get into the Presence of God but I just couldn't seem to get into it". I want to ask - who are your leaders and what is the contentthey are preaching? I am not anti-leadership! I am for leadership! But I am anti-controlling leadership. John Maxwell said; "Leadership is influence". Yes that is true but only up to a point. We need to be careful!
Leadership is primarily to give people influence to empower the people and take control off the people and have fewer leaders in the church and have a mighty powerful priesthood of all believers - a royal priesthood!
Under Old Covenant they were called just priests. Under the New we are a royal priesthood!
Experts in the law don't enter into the miraculous or grace or the supernatural. They hold slick, well-oiled and well run effective services with a lot of loud music and sophisticated music that is impressive but you have an encounter with music and not an encounter with anointing! I have been in meetings where the music is so good that even the world can't do it that good but I come out crying and saying; "I didn't feel Your Presence at all - You weren't there. There was a lot of sweat and dancing and sophisticated music (which I love) but when I go to church, I don't want to encounter good music. I want to encounter God!
I will go and watch the Rolling Stones if I want good music! Leaders must get so full of grace and must get their hearts so free from fear of condemnation and so free from fear that maybe I am being deceived. "Maybe I am preaching a false gospel, maybe I am going too far in this". No you aren't going far enough!
One of the leading theologians in the world today - Michael Eaton - sat with Glenda and I at breakfast in July last year and he looked across, having listened to me preach the whole week. He had studied transcripts from the website that people had sent him hoping that he would criticise me. After a week of hearing me preach, he looked acorss the table and got up - walked over and said this - the leading theologian in the world today who reads his Bible in Greek and Hebrew - and he said; "Rob you are not preaching grace extreme enough!". Then he gave Glenda and I a prayer and left.
The law covenant never set aside the Abrahamic covenant. It came in because of Israel's unbelief in the goodness of God because the law is not based on faith whereas Abraham was based on faith and those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham. (Luke 13:16) " ... a daughter of Abraham". Abraham had been dead near 2000 years! " ... 18 long years" - Jesus could have said, "18 years" but He was making a point. "On the Sabbath Day" - that is the law! How did this woman find out that she was a daughter of Abraham? The synagogues would have been full when Jesus was preaching. The woman sat at the back and was bowed over and crippled and had been so for 18 years and it wasn't by God but by Satan. As a woman back in the male chauvinistic society wouldn't have even been visible to Jesus. But while He is preaching He was preaching about Abraham. Jesus would have preached the law to the self-righteous and Abraham to the broken and to the hungry.
How did she find out that she was a daughter of Abraham? It was the content of His messag.e He would have been telling them about the covenant of grace. He preached first to remove unbelief and wrong thinking! That is why long preaching is good! Thinking needs to be changed. (v10). Jesus taught, explained and unpacked truth. (vv7-9) - He is talking about the fig tree that needs to be cut down because it is not producing fruit. The fig tree represents Israel. There are two trees that represent Israel in the Bible. The olive tree and the fig tree. The fig tree represents the death of the law - the abscence of the supernatural, dead religion of Israel. Adam and Even covered themselves with fig leaves. It was their human effort. Jesus cursed a fig tree in Mark 11. If you want to talk about the supernatural however - the line of Abraham in Israel then you look to the olive tree.
The olive tree is the life of God. If you go to Romans 9, 10, 11 then you will see that it talks about the descendants of Abraham - not all are descended from Abraham. He had Isaac and Ishmael. Ishmael was the child of human effort and the flesh. Issac was born through the power of the Spirit in the supernatural of God. In Romans 11 it says that we - the Gentiles - have been grafted into the olive tree.
The olive tree is the anointing - the life of God.
If you read the context going back to Romans 9 then he is saying not about the law - the olive tree is a result of Abraham. True Israelites are descendants of the faith that Abraham had not the law! We are grafted not into the fig tree but the olive tree! We are not grafted into the law of Israel but into the faith of Abraham! We have got Christians today trying to be grafted back into the fig tree. How will Israelites get saved if we get grafted into the fig tree? They will get saved and envy us when we get saved and grafted into the inheritance of Abraham! The olive tree!
So Jesus is preaching Abraham! But when He gets to the arrogant self-righteous then He lays the law on them to expose how arrogant they are in not keeping it!
Don't take the outlandish things that Jesus says in the gospel and say 'I've got to live by that!'. See the context is that He is saying this to the arrogant people! Christians say; 'That is the new law of the New Covenant!'. Jesus Christ is preaching under the Old Covenant that you must not commit adultery but under the New Covenant even if you look you have committed it! Oh pleaseeeeee! There is no faith in that! We are all dead if that is the case! He was preaching Abraham to the broken and the hungry for God and He was preaching the law to the self-righteous and to the arrogant". He was preaching Abraham to the broken and hungry for God.
(v11); "Bent over" - she could not straighten up at all. You will never be able to straighten up under the law. "When Jesus saw her". How did He see her? She was sitting at the back, crippled and bent over. "You are set free from your infirmities". He is speaking in past tense but she is still bent over. (v15); "Praised God". As Jesus was preaching the wonder of Abraham suddenly in this woman's mind she realised that I don't have to be a daughter of the law! This wonderful Messiah is saying that I am a daughter of Abraham! Abraham's covenant is still available! I don't have to come to God through the law - I can come to God through Abraham! And I imagine that she got a little angry. She probably thought; "I have never heard the synagogue rulers tell me that I am a daughter of Abraham. All they told me was that I am a daughter of the law! They told me that to get the blessing I have got to keep the law and deserve it and be good enough and they told me that the reason I am sick is that God is against me and punishing me!". (Because the law is not of faith but rather kills faith).
But she said; "Today I realise that I am a daughter of Abraham! This means I can get healed today without deserving it!". I can get out of financial debt without deserving it! I can get out of depression today without deserving it! I can get out of bondage and addiction today without deserving it! When you reaon and think in your heart that I can get the blessing without deserving it then you are thinking the thoughts of faith - you are thinking faith. The law is not based on faith. The law will just tell you; "Forget about faith - just get good enough to deserve". When you preach Abraham - people realise that they can get the blessing without deserving it! That is what produces faith! Smith Wigglesworth said "God will ignore 10 million people in a crowd that don't have faith and find that one in the crowd that does have faith".
There was a whole synagogue full and Jesus found the one woman! She was sitting there and thinking; "Wow I am a daughter of Abraham! I am not a daughter of the law! I can get things from the Father who loves me! Things I don't deserve and they are available now through the currency of faith!".
This is the tragedy although the story ends well. On the first day that this daughter of Abraham got sick - healing was available that day. The 2nd year healing was available. The 3rd year healing was available and the 4th. But she never got it because only when she had a clear message on grace did healing kick in. For 18 years she had no capacity to have faith for her healing because the law is not based on faith. She saw herself as the daughter of the law not a daughter of Abraham. 18 years of bondage ended the day she understood grace! 18 years of bondage ended the day that she understood I am the daughter of Abraham. I am no longer a daughter of the law!
I hate it when I hear pepole say that miracles are only for a certain time. "One day in the right time". The right time for this lady was 18 years ago! Why did Jesus say "18 long years?". Isn't it amazing that Grace Himself said; "Should not this daughter of Abraham be healed on the Sabbath?". Why is He saying that? Who is He saying that to? He is saying that to the synagogue rulers. Jesus is saying that to the law people who have robbed the church of faith. Should not this person have come out of financial debt? Should not this person have a healing in their body? Should not they get a better job? Should not they prosper? He is saying that they SHOULD but theyare saying you should NOT! All heaven is obligated once they come out of law and rise up then heaven can't help but heal!
I don't care how big the tumour is or how crippled the person is- we cannot bring them in here after years of law and lay our hands on them and they are sons or daughters of law in their mind and not thinking they are good enough and faith will not and cannot work because they are under the law. Those who are of Abraham's faith are blessed along with Abraham - when the law is taken off people then we can get them all healed. That's why we preach this message year after year - it is important that you and I get to know this message. I pray every day that God will show how to share this message with the lost - how to share it with the unsaved. How to share it with Christians! I cry out to God - give me multitudes of people who are on their way to hell and a Christ-less eternity. Help me to move in the revelation of grace as a son of Abraham - that we may bring all the hindrances of faith off people.
It THEN doesn't matter how big the tumour is because it is no problem to God! It doesn't matter how many years he has been crippled - it is no problem to God!
Let me say - God doesn't do miracles because man has needs. I say that categorically. God never does miracles because people have needs. If that is the case then God is a cruel God. If God would just do miracles because we have a need then why doesn't He do it? Why are so many crippled and broken and poor? The Spirit of God only moves where there is faith! I am sorry to say that - but that is the truth! Without faith it is impossible to please God. With law over your mind it is impossible to have faith.
You may have faith for some minor miracles such as a sore shoulder or an ear ache but to see tumours drop off people's faces without effort? It takes not a great preacher coming to Hong Kong to hold a crusade. I welcome someone doing that. But that is not what it takes for they are just men and women with a powerful gif on them and while they are here miracles happen and when they go, the church goes back to normal. It takes local churches to consistently embody the New Covenant and consistently look to God to have their minds cleansed of the stinking thinking of the law. So that in community God will anchor a lightening rod of unprecidented miracles. When that happens you won't need to go on T.V. There won't be buildings big enough. Have you been to the hospitals in Hong Kong recently? They are like war zones. People lying in the corridors at 02:00. People are dying!
There are so many dying of incurable diseases. All of those that died this year and last year didn't have to. 18 long years. She couldhave been healed on the first year. I hate law and I hate it because of what it does to God's people. We are living with a hangover of Israel that God had to bring the law in. Now Jesus came on the Cross to redeem us from the law that the blessing given to Abraham can come on the Gentiles through the power of the Spiritby faith. We are still living under the law 2000 years later in the abscence of the greatest signs and wonders and miracles. 18 long years. 18 years is the number for bondage. In the book of Judges it says that Israel will be in captivity for 18 years. 6-6-6. 3 = perfection. 6 = human pride and human effort. The mark of the beast is 666 so what is the mark of the beast? Legalism. Human effort. Babylonian religion. Not the Gospel of the New Covenant!
She was bowed over for 18 years by a demonic spirit. She attended church for 18 years and the Pharisees didn't heal her. They made her a daughter of the law not a daughter of Abraham. When Jesus came she discovered that she was a daughter of Abraham. 18 years! What was she looking at for 18 years? Dust. The Bible says in the book of Genesis that God said to the serpant; "Dust you shall eat". She spent 18 years looking at the food of Satan. All she saw was human effort and people's feet. When Jesus touched her with grace, the first thing she saw in 18 years was Jesus. Messiah! When you live under the law you spend your life psychologically looking at dust and human effort and condemnation and disappointment and struggles. When the revelation that you are not a son or daughter of the law but a son of Abraham comes - when that revelation comes to you you will see that lovely face shining on you every day and you will move in a new realm of freedom and glory.
Can you believe that these synagogue leaders tried to oppose Jesus and stop Him bringing a member of their congregation out of bondage? That's how this religious demon has opposed you and me for 4 and a half years in Hong Kong as we preach this message. A pastor in the synagogue tried to oppose grace to keep a member of his congregation crippled! In the name of religion! (v14); "Indignant". Jesus responded? (v15); "You hypocrites!". Don't you like Jesus attitude to religious people?! He doesn't get sweet and back off. He just says; "You hypocrites!". This is the Jesus we love. I love Him! "All His opponentswere humiliated but all the people were delighted". In any culture Jesus was not ashamed of humiliating people that oppose grace because His eyes were on the broken multitudes that need grace.
He didn't hold a board meeting and discuss law and grace. He just preached grace and produced faith in the people. I promise you this lady would have got healed if Jesus had preached the law there because the law is not based on faith. He preached Abraham and she realised in that flash of revelation that I am a daughter of Abraham and that God gives me what I don't deserve!