February 2018 - The Gospel
I was reading the book, How Things Work, learning how such things as washing machines and car engines work. I came across the chapter called “How Nuclear Energy Works.” It caught my attention. I began to compare natural energy with supernatural power. Nuclear power plants provide 17% of the world’s electricity, as well as power nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers. When a single atom splits, an incredible amount of energy is released. Uranium is the heaviest and the best example of a naturally radioactive element. The most commonly used isotope in creating nuclear power is a material called U-235.
When it undergoes fission, an immense amount of energy is produced. This process occurs quickly — in about one picosecond, or one millionth of a second. For fission to be effective the uranium sample must be enriched so it contains 2-3% U-235. In a nuclear bomb, you want uranium to undergo fission as quickly as possible, releasing all the energy in an instant and creating a gigantic explosion. A pound of highly enriched uranium used to power a nuclear submarine or nuclear aircraft carrier is equal to about a million gallons of gasoline. When you consider the fact that a pound of uranium is smaller than a baseball and a million gallons of gasoline would fill a cube as tall as a five story building, you get an idea of the amount of energy available in just a little bit of enriched U-235!
THE PRAYER THAT ENRICHES FAITH
Just as uranium can be enriched, so can your faith. The first thing we need is knowledge of Dunamis, the God kind of power. What is this dunamis power? It is inherent power; power for performing miracles; moral power and excellence of soul; the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth; power and resources arising from numbers; power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts.
This power is in the blood of Christ and it cleanses us from the very root of sin. This power is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. Paul gives us a prayer we can pray in Ephesians. These are some of the words used to try to describe the great power that raised Jesus from the dead.
And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He wrought in Christ when he raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the Heavenly places. -Ephesians 1:19,20
…the limitless scope (Translator’s)
…incredibly immense strength (Johnson)
…great beyond measure (Laubach)
…extraordinary power…it is the enormous overmastering supremacy (Cornish)
…incredible outburst of his might (Centenary)
…transcendently great (Wade)
…super abounding greatness (Weust)
Just think about the resurrection power used to raise Christ from the dead. It was the same identical power that made you a new creation when you confessed Jesus as Lord. It is activated when you believe and speak the language of faith in God. Romans 12:3 tells us God has dealt to every man a measure of this faith substance. It is like nuclear power, but much greater. It is energy to explode and stop the power of darkness and death, and bring light and life.
Just as there is an exact formula in the substance of U-235, there is an exact formula of faith as well. The mountain moving formula which activates this resurrection power is believing with the heart and speaking with your mouth. It only takes a mustard seed faith to move a mountain. It is the identical faith God has. Jesus commanded us to have this God-kind of faith in Mark 11:22.
This faith can be enriched by praying in the language of the Holy Spirit. One of the first times I experienced this to be true was on a trip to Africa, as a young man, to preach. I spent a whole day praying in tongues and really had no great feeling of power at the time. However, that night in the service, the power of God was present and many people were healed and set free. “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,” Jude 20. “But you shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you...,” Acts 1:8. “Wait on the Lord, receive the power so you can run and not grow weary, walk and not faint” Isaiah 40:31.
PREACH THE GOSPEL: RELEASE THE POWER
There is power to heal the sick and change lives in the Gospel. Jesus came, preached the Gospel, cast out devils, healed the sick and raised the dead. He commanded His followers to do the same. After the day of Pentecost, Christians went everywhere preaching that Jesus died, was buried, and raised up by the power of God on the third day. Everywhere they went, there were confirming signs of the power of God following the preaching of the Good News.
In Acts 14, when Paul preached in Lystra, a crippled man heard the Gospel and it gave him faith to be healed. Paul shouted at him, saying stand up on your feet! And he leaped up and walked. Explosive energy called resurrection power was released as he believed the Gospel. The same power that is in the actual events of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is in the message of the Gospel. The devil is just as afraid of the message as he is of the events.
That power has not changed and is available for believers to walk in today. The Holy Spirit is still confirming the Good News with signs and wonders. We can all preach the Gospel and release the dunamis power of God to this generation!
On the day of Pentecost, the 120 people in the Upper Room were baptized into this power which gave them the ability to do the same works Jesus did with the same boldness in prayer and preaching as Jesus had. These 120 people were immersed into the identical power that raised Jesus from death. They all began to speak in languages they had not learned, telling of God’s goodness. Peter was so transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit that he preached mightily, and three thousand people were saved! The results of this baptism of dunamis power shook the world.
THE GOSPEL IS THE POWER OF GOD
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation, to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. -Romans 1:16, 17
The power of God is revealed in the Gospel — a spoken message, which releases great joy. It makes you glad. It is the language of redemption. It comes from the Greek word, evangelion. This word, together with its rendering of “good tidings and glad tidings,” occurs 108 in the New Testament, none of which intimate anything less than “finished redemption” in Christ. The classic Greek meaning is “Good news from the battlefield or a battlefield victory.”
Paul defined the word GOSPEL as being the message of the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Christ. Much emphasis is given to the declaration and explanation of it, as the Gospel contains the power of God. When you preach it, the Holy Ghost will help you. Angels respond because they desire to look into it (1 Peter 1:12). This good news is not man-made, but was announced by angels to the shepherds. The shepherd’s responses were to rejoice with exceeding great joy.
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you… for I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. -1 Corinthians 15:1,3,4
Here we see the Gospel is the telling of the message of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The significance of the resurrection of Christ is determined by the nature of His death. When we understand what happened on the cross, that Jesus took our curse, sin, and death, then we understand that His resurrection is our resurrection, our life, our blessing and our victory. Everything God did in Christ, in His death, burial, and resurrection was for us and is set to the credit of our account.
The more Paul walked with the Lord, suffered persecution, preached in the regions beyond, and was caught up in the Spirit, the more he desired to know Christ. After pouring out his life for the Church, going on his three missionary journeys and witnessing signs and wonders, the most significant experience of Paul’s life was the revelation of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the revelation of his union with Christ. The deepest cry of his heart was to know Him, not to keep the Law, but to possess Christ’s righteousness by faith.
[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing the wonders of His person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in the same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death. -Philippians 3:10, Amplified
WORLD MISSIONS PARTNER
Many thanks to you, our partners, for sending us to Lagos, Nigeria! Thousands from many African nations came to hear the Word day and night. It was astounding to see their spiritual hunger. These meetings included powerful outpourings of the Holy Spirit, great demonstrations of joy, and many received healing! Your partnership is a tremendous blessing in the furtherance of the gospel.
This month’s offer features two powerful ways to build your faith: a BRAND NEW set of four CDs, The Power of the Gospel and the book, Faith Opens the Door To The Supernatural for your offering of $25 or more.
We believe God with you for impossible situations to turn around. Our prayer is for you to know Christ more fully and we declare this blessing over you, “May God supply all your need according to His riches in glory, (Philippians 4:19).”
Mark and Trina