This amazing sermon was preached by Rob at City Church on Sunday 17th September 2006. I did Part 1 a while back and it was such profound revelation to me as to how we can much more effectively pray for the sick. The transcript of Part 1 is here.
"Open your Bibles to Ephesians chapter 3. This is our eighth teaching on the series - "God's willingness to heal". If you have missed it, it really is worth getting the series from the beginning. This is our second teaching on; "The Power of the Authoratative Command". A lot of positive feedback from people saying how much they learnt from last weeks teaching and how faith rose in their hearts.
I want to now talk about the dynamics behind the authoratative command. For those who weren't here, let me simply say this in 20 seconds. In the New Testament, in the Book of Acts and in the Gospels you see Jesus very seldom asking the Father to heal people. The same with the Book of Acts. What they did most of the time was to command healing to come and sickness to go. They commanded cripples to get up and walk. They commanded blind eyes to open, deaf ears to open and it was done by the authoratative command. We went into detail and we looked at Scripture to substantiate that.
This morning I want to talk about what is the dynamic behind that authoratative command. What can we do in our own hearts in order to nuture the outflow of the authoratative command? I learnt about the authoratative command in 1981 not in a Bible school or by reading a book or by some mentor. I learnt really by the Holy Spirit who helped me and I want to tell you this - the only way you are going to grow in effective ministry to the sick is that you have got to start! You learn on the job! The trouble with Bible schools is that they take people away from the life of the local church and then professors who have never planted local churches themselves - professors that have never prayed for the sick or raised the dead or have seen blind eyes opened or cripples walk - they teach people the academic principles and information about these things but have never done it themselves! There are professors at Harvard University who have never started a business but who teach people on how to start a business! These are just concepts! But the Hebrew model of life - the Christian model of life and the Kingdom of heaven model is about God-encounters and teaching out of experience and that is the model we need!
That is why I say don't wait to go away to Bible college and get all the Bible information dumped on you and then you come out of there puffed up with a lot of Bible knowledge but it is all academic and not experiential. I have to say which Bible college did Peter, James and John go to? They raised the dead! Where did the 12 disciples go to? They went to the college of the Holy Spirit! They learned by making mistakes!
If you learn to fail forward then you are going to grow! But if you are a person that is so perfectionist you will be frightened of making mistakes. And he that doesn't make mistakes - makes nothing!
It is impossible to learn how to do this except by making mistakes. I had to pray for a lot of blind eyes and rebuke a lot of blindness before I saw blind eyes opening. Some people will never see blind eyes opening because they never try to do it - once! You will learn while you are doing it! So in 1981 as a young man in the ministry, there was a young lady in our church called Dawn. She came to Glenda and I and said; "The doctors have just diagnosed me with breast cancer. I have got a tumour the size of a pigeons egg and they want to remove it in 3 weeks time - emergancy surgery". And she was going to lose her breast. So we said come on Sunday morning where there is a corporate anointing and we will pray for you! We were very new in this and had just started out. All our background upto then had not prepared us - the church we were a part of did not pray for the sick. They were just very conservative about it. We hadn't been mentored in this. But for 3 days I had been listening to Kenneth Hagin on faith and so I had come back armed with 3 days of experience.
I want to say to you that you may think you don't know the Bible well enough. Rob really knows it well. There is no one on the planet that knows the Bible perfectly! Bonnie is doing a theology correspondance degree at the moment and she is asking me some very testing questions! I am amazed at how much I don't know! But it doesn't intimidate me!
Because it is not how much of the Bible you know - it is how many God encounters you have had in portions of Scripture!
I know people that know the Bible from back to front but do not have a supernatural manifestation going on in their lives! The Pharisees and Sadducees knew the Bible! Jesus said "You search the Scriptures but they speak of Me! Here I am!". Knowledge of the Bible can just puff you up! Now it is important to know the Word of God. But if you just listen to the Word of God on Sunday morning, get the CDS, look at your notes during the week, turn up on Thursday nights where we don't do lectures on praying - we get God encounters where people learn how to petition, the prayer of faith, supernatural warfare - not by lecture but by Hebrew style of doing it! Doing it! I have just had a fellow elder from South Africa who planted the church with me in 1979 and he is an older man than me - he turned 70 yesterday. I gave him a call and he said "I just so wanted you to be in South Africa so I could publicly honour you for being my father and mentor in the faith". I was going; "Hold on now - I am 51 and you are 70!".
He said; "It's got nothing to do with age! Fathering in natural secular society is biological fathering. In the kingdom you can be younger and father someone and you did it because you invited me to come and do things. And I learnt more by doing things with you than by sitting in a lecture hall!". So this church is only 2 years old and we have got people who can pray now better than most Christians I have met. They have learned "doing"! That's why I get people out to pray for the sick because I want them to learn how to pray for the sick rather than spectate the guru doing it. That's why you have got churches around the world with a big man at the front or a woman who can do miracles and in the congregation you have got people who don't have a clue. That is not the Kingdom of heaven. All you have to do is be here on a Sunday morning. We teach the Word and you learn by God encounters experientially under the anointing - you grow in the understand of grace, faith, kingdom, godly government, how to run your home, management, family life in the kingdom. You are learning that week by week and over several years when you look back you will have grown in a whole lot of stuff!
Or you can go somewhere where there is no life and spend in an academic world with professors who have never "done the stuff" and come out armed with a whole lot of academic understanding and in my opinion that is the WORST thing that could have ever happened to the church that is led by people that have learned the ministry in an academic world of non-practice of the supernatural.
That is why they are academic and they have equipped millions of people to be like them - academics! Cerebral knowledge of doctrine and theology! And knowledge just puffs up.
"Rob so you are saying Bible schools are wrong?". Personally I think they are wrong! I can't see them in Scripture! Where did they learn their theology in the Book of Acts? They learnt it on the job! The apostles trained, taught and equipped! There are certain prophetic schools that are temporary where you go for a 2 or 3 month period but anything that takes you out of the life of a local church is wrong! The Bible has got nothing to teach about individual piety. Some Christians say; "I don't want to worship God in a local church - I just want to go and worship God on a mountain all by myself". They are talking about individual piety and you ask them; "Do you believe the Bible?". Well they are lying! Because the Bible says "Encourage one another!". The Bible says "Forgive one another - serve another!". How do you do that unless you are in a community of believers where you have got to work out your piety through relationships that get difficult at times. You can live in a fools paradise of how spiritual you are - you can be an expert in how to raise kids and be an expert - until you HAVE kids!
You can teach people on relationships and how to work out relational conflict from not being part of a local church until you become part of a local church and realise to your shock that other people are just as imperfect as you are. So I cannot see in the New Testament anywhere where they have Bible schools. You know what they did? They raised the dead, got cripples walking and turned the world upside down because they moved in the supernatural.
Under the Old Covenant there were prophetic schools. I would prefer to see prophets and apostles come to a local church and stay there for a few months and equip and train that local church. You take a few people out of a local church to go to a prophetic school and they come back all frustrated because everyone else hasn't caught it and they have got it! I think the New Testament does not have prophetic schools - the Old Covenant did. I am not saying people should not go to a prophetic conference for a while but I think in Hong Kong, that Hong Kong Christians are addicted to conferences and seminars. I have found that people who run after conferences and seminars and run after the latest en-vogue speaker coming to town are the most rebellious when it comes to local church and are the most independent and unhappy people often living under witchcraft because they do not have proper grace government of a local church where there are gates put in there by God.
People are not growing and advancing unless they are part of a grace government of a local church.
So Dawn came to us with a pigeon egg tumour. I had never dealt with a woman who unless God healed her could lose her breast and lose her life through cancer! So she came up on the Sunday morning and Glenda and I laid hands on her. I laid hands on her head! And we prayed "Father would You please heal Dawn in the Name of Jesus?". That week she phoned and said that the lump was still there and nothing had changed and I could hear the panic in her voice. I thought "Oh God what's happened? When you pray for the sick they are meant to be healed!". So I said "Come back next week Dawn!". Jesus prayed for someone twice! So she came back the next week and we prayed "Father heal Dawn! Heal her of this cancer! Heal her of this lump so she doesn't have to have it operated on! In Jesus Name!". The next week Dawn phones us in real panic now and says she only has a few days left and then needs surgery - her breast needs to be cut off. We are going "God what's going on!?". So I said; "Dawn please come and we will pray for you and He doesn't heal you then we will at least pray that He will guide the surgeons hands". If you are a woman and are going to lose a breast, that is big in terms of their sense of value and dignity or beauty - that is very serious psychologically. So she comes the next week and is due to have the operation in a few days.
So we lay hands on her and I am about to say; "Father please would You heal Dawn". But just before I pray I feel the Holy Spirit rise up in my spirit and He says; "Don't pray for Dawn! Command the spirit that is within that tumour and keeping that tumour alive! Command that force life to go and curse what is in that tumour and demand that the tumour shrivel up and die! Don't pray for her!". And before I knew what I was doing, I said; "I CURSE this tumour!". No asking! "I CURSE this tumour and I demand that the very life that is within this tumour that is demonic and it leave right now and I command that it vanish and disappear in Jesus Name!". That was the first time I had prayed a prayer like that! The second I prayed it - she got smacked through the air under the power of God.
So we finished the service and went home and the next Monday morning very early the phone rings. Picked it up and I answered and I couldn't make any sense because all I could hear was hysterical joy. "AGGGGHHHH!!". I thought it was Cantonese! She had her sister there and they were screaming and I thought "Oh no she is dying!". So I said; "Now Dawn calm down - what's happening?". And she said; "It's gone! It's gone! We have checked it! It's gone! It's totally disappeared!". And I am going; "It has?! It has!?". Now I am getting hysterical! So she went to the doctor and got it checked out and all surgery was not necessary and absolutely unnecessary!
Since then I have COMMANDED sickness to go and COMMANDED demons to go and seen greater increase of the miraculous!
Now when eagles make love - and have intimacy for conception they don't do it in the nest. They don't do it in the Bible school. They literally fly 5,000 feet into the air and lock their talons and then freefall towards the earth and somewhere between heaven and earth conception takes place! And in this meeting right now the Holy Spirit is calling us to lock in with Him and be raised up into the heights of revelation and we will conceive an increase of the supernatural in our lives. A greater authority to deal with the opposition and the miserable things that try to rob us of the quality of our lives and then they will help us to get people free from cancer, blindness, cripple-ness, pain in their backs!
Do you know that the word "conception" comes from the word "concept"? That the wrong concepts can cause a problem with conception! In fact you get the word "contraception" from the word "concepts". Wrong concepts can cause contraception to the conception of the miraculous. Wrong concepts about God! If you think God is just a mean angry Judge and if you think He doesn't love you or if you sin and mess up then God says; "That's it - I will use someone else". Those kinds of concepts will cause contraception to conceiving the supernatural of God in your heart!
In the Old Covenant the glory of God was hidden behind a veil and when Jesus died on the Cross, all your sins - past, present and future - were blotted out and God is not ever going to see sin in your life again! He has declared you righteous as a gift! You stand before Him with the very obedience of Jesus Christ being credited to your account as a free gift! Isn't it amazing that we got saved we understood that we couldn't deserve it or earn it and there was nothing we could do to get it. It was all grace! We received it as all grace and then from then on we tried to earn it and deserve everything else that God gives us. If you could not earn or deserve the greatest gift which is the righteousness of God then you can't earn anything else - it is ALL grace! A wrong concept of law and grace will stop conception like a spiritual contraception!
When Jesus said "It is finished!" - the veil in the Temple was split from top to bottom so that the Presence of God could come out to the people of faith! Now in the New Covenant it talks about a veil too! In 2 Corinthians 3. It speaks of a veil over the mind. What is that? It is having wrong concepts in your head about God, His Word and His grace. God has to strip the veil off our minds by enabling our minds to rid us of the conceptions or concepts that religion has brainwashed the church with for nearly 1,500 years so we can go back to where the church was in the book of Acts. Full of miracles, signs, wonders with no hierarchies, popes, archdeacons but humility and servant-hearted friends standing together and serving God.
When Jesus spat in His hand and put it onto the man's eyes and the man's eyes were opened to a new dimension of seeing - there are two places in a man's body where his DNA is most strongly represented or carried. That's in his saliva and in his sperm. There is a spiritual saliva from heaven that God wants to rub onto our eyes so that we can enter into a new dimension of seeing through concepts that have been working as contraception against us conceiving the supernatural of God! When we talk about this language; "Bridegroom" and "Bride" - please don't misunderstand that we are talking about physical sex between us and Jesus. That is not what Adam is saying or what I am saying. We are talking about the symbolism that the Scripture uses of the Bride of Christ and Jesus as the heavenly Bridegroom. Let me say this - in the book of Revelation and in chapter 17 there are two women identified in that chapter. There is what is called the harlot/whore of Babylon and the Bride of Christ. Now the harlot/whore of Babylon represents churchgoers who just want to go to church and be religious and have a gratifying religious experience but don't want conception. They don't want the responsibility of being impregnated. They are the harlot/whore - give me that good religion and positive experience! "I am not coming to church unless people make me feel good and treat me just like I want!". Indulgant gratification - that's the harlot/whore posturing and posing to be the Bride.
But the Bride of Christ - as much as the bride wants intimacy and gratification and enjoyment of her heavenly Bridegroom - she wants to conceive His DNA! She wants to conceive and reproduce His miracles! That is the difference!
You will see that difference between sheep and goats. God right now in the world - hear me now - I tell you the truth under the Spirit - God is seperating sheep nations and those that are goat nations. Goats represent those that are rebellious. He is seperating sheep Christians from goat Christians and is declaring and identifying those are goat churches and those that are sheep churches. He is taking goats out of sheep churches and sheep out of goat churches. He is bringing sheep from goat churches to sheep churches and taking goat churches out of sheep churches and relocating them to goat churches! You mark my words! There is a realignment happening in the Body of Christ worldwide.
The 11th September 2006 - last Monday - the prophetic anointing increased in the earth and prophets will speak much more confidently now. And pastor/teachers that have dominated the church in a pastor/teacher culture are going to have to move aside so the apostolic and prophetic can once again in signs and wonders - and not in academics! We have had too many apostles just teach and teach. New Testament apostles came in signs and wonders and raised the dead! No one should ever call themselves an apostle again from last Monday unless they are moving in the miraculous supernatural signs and wonders. No one who really is an apostle should even pronounce themselves as one - I know Paul says "Paul, called to be an apostle". But he said it as a calling. He didn't pronounce himself and neither did he call "that one and that one" and voted himself to announcing who is an apostle and who isn't! A lot of books that have been written on apostolic ministry by sincere people - but it may be better that they are burnt now and we just go and read the Bible and see what apostles are.
From the 11th Septemer - Monday - there is a seperation from pretenders to authenticity. Counterfeit Christians to the genuine. Contraception Christians to conceiving Christians. 11th September - I woke up on that morning which was when the Twin Towers came down five years ago and I just felt instantly inside my spirit that I knew that I knew. I knew that I knew that I knew that I knew that I knew that some things are just the Kingdom on the inside of us! I believe in science but if you reduce the Kingdom down to what science alone can show in a laboratory - science is a product of the invisible realm of God. The prophets have been so complexed about their subjectivity and the teachers that have been so objective teaching line upon line principles and have been so certain - so the prophets have begun to back off! But they need to stand up! Don't tell people you are a prophet or an apostle and definately don't put it as your title! Just stand up in confidence and say; "The word of the Lord is ... He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying".
The fruit is in the eating! God encounters! Real signs and wonders of fulfillment! Prophets have almost disappeared off the scene of the church for the last 10 years because of the moral collapse of some major prophets and because the church readily pushed them aside and made them have prophets conferences which a few go out from the church to get all excited about and come back to a church dominated by pastor/teachers. The pastors and teachers are important but they need to come in humility and bring teaching and revelation and teachers need to step up and start praying for the sick and stop hiding behind their theology! Paul was the greatest theologian this world has ever seen apart from Jesus! But he raised the dead and opened blind eyes and got cripples walking! You don't have to fight this or get intense about it because God is going to do it anyway! You just have to say; "Lord take the veil away from my eyes and my mind - put Your spiritual saliva on my mind - I want to have a new dimension of seeing". Prophets will say on that day a new release came!
If the Holy Spirit had not put spiritual saliva on my eyes as I stood in front of Dawn for the third time and helped me to have a new dimension of seeing - that concept in my mind that you have got to pray for the sick would have caused a contraception so that her miracle could not have been conceived and at least she would have lost a breast. At worst that cancer would have taken her life. So what I am saying is - this isn't playing church anymore! It's not about coming to church and hearing a little sermon from the guru or the vicar! It is "Lord I want the veil off my mind!".
I want you to look at Ephesians 3. I laid that as a foundation and I could almost stop where I am. (v20); "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine according to His power that is at work". The Bible has just said that God is able to do immeasurably more than our greatest prayer meetings could ask or think or imagine according to the power that is at work within US! Not at work just within a prophet or an apostle! But is at work within US! The Church! US! The Bible is saying that this power that can do immeasurably more than we can ask is not going to work from heaven. There is a power at work within us that is going to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine!
Some of you heard me tell the story of a man who took a day off sitting by the lakeside and watching a man fish. Every time a man caught a beautiful fish and he would get it up on the bank and measure it and shake his head and throw this beautiful fish back. And he did that with every fish after measuring it with a six centimeter stick. Finally he caught an emaciated little fish and got his stick out and measured this small fish and he was so happy and put the fish in his bag and the stick in his bag and put his hat on and started to go home. The man watching couldn't take it anymore and ran up and said; "Excuse me sir - why did you throw all those beautiful fish back after measuring them with that six cm stick?". The man said; "It's very simple. At home I have only got a six cm frying pan". Because of wrong concepts Christians sit while the beauty of the New Covenant is taught and take their concepts or six cm measuring sticks and measure the promises. Measure up what they are hearing under the anointing and say; "It doesn't fit into my concept". And they don't even know they are dismissing it! "Count me out God!". Because concepts are contraceptives to the supernatural. Hong Kong is going directly to hell. There are only a few thousand born again people here. There is seven million in this city of which most worship some style of idol. It is going to hell unless the church gets free from it's six cm measuring stick and wrong concepts.
Unless Hong Kong idol worshipping people see the dead raised, the blind eyes opened, the deaf ears hear, cripples, paralysed and lame walking in the Name of Jesus they are not by the millions going to believe!
So what we are talking about is not just a nice little church morning! God has been looking for decades for a church that will believe this stuff and He will dump His glory in them! How do we break the six cm stick? Very simple - by the power of revelation! Go back to (v14). Let's find out how to break that stick! "For this reason I kneel before the Father, from His family in heaven and on earth derives it's name. I pray that out of His glorious riches, He may strengthen you with power by His Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith and I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power with all the members of all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that goes beyond knowledge - that you may be filled to all the measure of all the fullness of God". Not just for the early church! "Throughout all generations for ever and ever!".
So you say; "Rob are you saying that an increase of the power within us is linked to a revelation of how much God loves us?". That is EXACTLY what the Scripture is saying! It says height, length, width and breadth of the love of God! A four-dimensional understanding of God's love! Why does he use all four? Hebrew people understood what a cube was! They understood that a cube represented perfection in all dimension! When God told Moses how to build the Holy of Holies He gave him the exact dimensions. 10 metres by 10 metres by 10 metres. When Solomon built the Temple he built it as a cube but expanded it to 20 metres height length and depth. The New Jerusalem in Revelation is 200, 000 km in a perfect cube! What does it represent? It means that the love of Christ is not short in one area towards you. It is a PERFECT cube - a full perfect total love towards you! In other words in some area in your life you are more holy and have got success in that area - you are tempted to believe that in that area God's love for you is a bit longer but in that area where you are still struggling with sin or failure or problems - in that area God's love is a bit shorter. What Paul is saying by revelation is that the love of God for you has to surpass knowledge and you have to get revelation that He has a perfect cube of love for you. He loves you in all four dimensions and His love for you is not short in one area towards you! He loves you unconditionally!
Romans 5 says that while you were yet a sinner and a rebel in your mind against God, God demonstrated His love for you in that He died for you. In John 17 Jesus said that the Father loves US the SAME way He loves Jesus! That is the end of people saying that He loved Jesus because Jesus was so perfect and so holy. No - He loves us! With the same perfection and it is every second of every moment of every hour of every week of every month of every decade! And when the veil of the wrong concept of God's love is removed from your mind and you go into that which surpasses knowledge and the power reveals to your heart together with all the believers by the power of the Spirit the height, length, breadth and depth of the love of Christ then you and I are filled to all the fullness of the measure of God on the inside of us - that God is able to do exceedingly above what we are able - to do - not that is at work in heaven! But that is at work within us! Out of that internal reality we speak healing commands and it manifests in external reality! If the power within us is condemnation, insecurity, inferiority complexes and condemnation, feelings of guilt - then what we will speak on the inside will come out on our external reality.
When we get a revelation of this perfect love of God for us - no matter if your father or someone else abused you - if you get a revelation that THIS father loves you then that which comes into your inner being is the measure of all the fullness of who God is! He was writen to the Ephesian church and they were saved, justified, baptised in the Spirit and spoke in tongues! He is speaking about something way beyond that!
That is why Jesus could stand up against a storm and say "Peace - be still!". Because storm out there was no match for the peace that was in here. His internal reality came out through words and then everything - cancer, cripples - has to surrender to the internal reality that is in the Church!
And ALL these concepts can be taken away - the veil - and the church walks in New Testament freedom and New Testament life.
If you read the New Testament with an Old Testament veil over your mind you will be in more bondage than if you just stayed under the Old Covenant! I have heard people say this and I did it myself years ago - that if they tithe under law how much more shall we do under grace. If you go a bit further then everything you see in the New Testament that looks like a command; "Avoid evil, don't do this, don't do that" - and the New Testament does talk like that - then you are talking on more law than you could ever imagine! The New Testament is meant to be spirit and life and the grace of God! You cannot mimic Christ's behaviour in the abscence of eternal encounters of the love of God and the grace of God!
These days are so exciting!