The Power of the Resurrection In the Kingdom of God
Acts 2:29-32 plus more
SHORTLY AFTER THE LAST MINI-MASCHIL came from the printers, I drove from Lincolnton, Georgia, to Washington, DC. I took the trip alone so I could have more time to think and pray. Not far down the road, I read again the article, When the Tomb Becomes a Womb. I knew there was a germ of Kingdom Life in it that still must work in my own life.
I had seen how the jail became a womb for the Apostle Paul, birthing him into a greater place in the eternal purposes of God. I knew what I had laid out in the article worked in him. Now, I had to consider how it was working in Glenda and me. We weren’t in jail, but we had walls of impossibility surrounding us. We might as well have been prisoners.
Then I saw it. God had called us to a task and straightway made the fulfilling of it impossible. He had shut us up into a situation that provided so much pressure that it seemed like a tomb, shutting us into death. I began to see it as a birth canal, bringing us into a new dimension of His life. He had brought us into a relationship with Him wherein only He could perform that to which He had called us.
Paul found this principle of Kingdom Life. He said, For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure—Philippians 2:13. Again, he said, But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead—II Corinthians 1:9
Because of our human inclinations, if we can do the task to which we are called, we will do it—asking God’s blessing upon it. But the demands of this end-time require a strength, love, wisdom, understanding and power beyond our own. Therefore, the present pressures are pushing us in to that place where He becomes Our Only Source Sufficient.
If we don’t know this secret of resurrection Life, we will arrive at the final day incomplete, knowing the Lord afar. Only with strength from Him in our bosom, can we stand in the most furious time mankind has ever known.
Now let us go on to the third text of Pentecost recorded in Acts 2:14-36. This is Peter’s first message to the new church in Jerusalem after the Holy Spirit came upon them. I have spent days, months—yea, years—considering the impact and importance of the following four verses out of this passage. It still draws me and challenges me. I believe this about it: as I share with you what I am seeing, its light and power will burst in upon you. It will ignite a flame of Kingdom power in you and help take you through the darkest hour the world has ever known.
We looked at two parts of Peter’s message in previous mini-MASCHIL editions. Look now with me at these verses as we break into the middle of his word. Here we see him entering a new dimension of boldness and authority because of the resurrection of Christ.
29 Men and brethren, let me FREELY speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
Recently, I have been speaking on this passage, especially to people who have been broken and processed by life’s pressures. A quality of faith and openness to the Lord exists in these.
What Peter says in the verses has been above the heads of most of us. But this is not remaining the case. Because there are things here so relevant to the awesome days we face, the Holy Spirit is opening our understanding.
There are two powerful points of light and power in this passage. First, we see that word freely in verse 29. It is from the Greek meta parreesía. It points to the "bold freedom" that becomes ours in Christ. Then, we see Peter’s reference to the patriarch David and the oath God made with him. It brought the Lord Jesus through death; it is now ready to open up unto us in this end-time with a release of life and power for the final day.
An old friend drew my attention to parreesía years ago, saying it is an important word for the closing days. It is a political term meaning "bold freedom to speak out," even in the face of opposition. It is sometimes translated confidence, sometimes, boldness. In Jerusalem, on the day of Pentecost, Peter used this word in declaring a new and open policy regarding the Throne of Christ. Its dominion was declared settled because of Christ’s resurrection. Nothing—from the realm of man or from the realm of Satan— could overcome the triumph of this Throne. Not even death itself!
Christ’s Kingdom is a realm of government so much higher than the governments to which most of us relate, that there is little around us with which to compare it. When His government comes in upon us, it far outreaches the devices, plans and manipulations of men’s political maneuvering. It also reaches over and dispels the movements of Satan’s government with all its darkness and disease.
Someone once told me there are some Scriptures for the closing years, some for the closing days, some for the closing hours. I John reaches to the closing hours. The following statements from it, all making use of the word parreesía, are exceedingly important. They are end-time expressions in line with what Peter said on the day of Pentecost. Their impact reaches over on us as we face the hopelessness and darkness of the final hour.
Oh, let your mind dwell on them! The truth of them can enter your spirit and bring to life in you the Substance of what they speak.
· I John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence (bold freedom), and not be ashamed before him at his coming (His Parousía).
· I John 3:21, 22 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence (bold freedom) toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
· I John 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness (bold freedom) in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
· I John 5:14, 15 And this is the confidence (bold freedom) that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
Oh, we are seeing something! This bold freedom brings us in before God. As well, it empowers us to stand before the enemy. And, it enables us to stand before man to make known the power and authority of God’s Kingdom—and to release its triumph.
Just as John made four powerful statements with parreesía in His first Epistle, the writer of Hebrews—I believe it was Paul— made four powerful statements regarding it. These bring us into the bosom of the Father with a bold freedom for the last days that will enable us to bear up under the pressures of the end-time hour.
· Hebrews 3:6 . . .But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence (bold freedom) and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end...
· Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly (with bold freedom) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
· Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness (bold freedom) to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, ... (This, of course, is only part of a statement regarding our coming in before God. Freedom to do this is obtained for us through the blood of Jesus. This means, when He died, He became the full propitiation for our sins, giving us bold freedom to stand in the holiest place of all, in the presence of God.)
· Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence (bold freedom), which hath great recompense of reward. (This is a last word for us. It means, "Do not despise the freedom that is yours in Christ. Do not neglect it or lay it aside. Do not doubt that it can be yours. Do not let it slip from you. Holding on to it through every trial brings great reward.")
NOW, I WANT TO SHARE SOMETHING that was happening while I was on that trip to Washington. It grew out of my meditation on the Acts 2 passage and the bold freedom that became Peter’s on that Pentecost day.
The day I left home, our friend, Pat Curry, went into surgery for the removal of a brain tumor from behind her eye. Her husband, Jim, leads a congregation of believers on Long Island, NY. As I drove that first day, I bore her, along with my own dear wife, before the Throne of Grace. There was a boldness in me to believe for them—two women of God with important ministries for the last days, both under attack.
I felt the bold freedom to hold them— through prayer and supplication—in the presence of God. I had not intended to go all the way to Long Island, but as I traveled northward, it grew within me that I should. Three days after Pat’s eleven-hour operation, Jim and I went in to see her. We might have expected darkness and gloom in a room with no hope, but there was a peace as we went there.
There she sat—a bold and bright miracle. It was black and blue around her eye where the tumor had been, but she was seeing. She was sitting up and smiling, rejoicing in the Lord. We wept together at the goodness of our faithful Father. She still rejoices and is planning the thousand-mile trip to see us.
REGARDING MY OWN GLENDA whom the enemy has sought to bring down: she is rising— after struggling three years with malaria, cancer and a spinal disorder. Her strength is returning. The anointing to minister has remained throughout the ordeal of pain and discouragement.
The other night we set out to attend a Benny Hinn meeting in Atlanta, hoping for the final part of Glenda’s healing. We arrived too late, only to be locked out of the Omni, already full to capacity. We stood on the sidewalk with several hundred other people who also came too late. Most of them remained—maybe stunned, maybe believing the doors would yet open, most likely kept there by the Holy Spirit.
All of a sudden, we became aware of the hurting people standing around us shut up into their tombs of despair and hopelessness. Out of compassion and with a bold freedom, we began ministering to them. For four hours, we stood on the sidewalk laying hands on one after the other releasing healing to them. There were so many, Glenda and I could not stay together.
Glenda saw two people in wheel chairs—one an older man, the other a beautiful young woman. A bold freedom came upon her. She stepped out of her own circle of need and pain to find that the young woman had never walked. She gently put her arm around the old man and the young woman and said to them simply, "Come with me." They both rose up and walked.
At one point, I looked over at a woman running around in circles outside the crowd, shouting at the top of her voice. I thought to myself, "either she’s lost her mind or Glenda just prayed for her." I didn’t have time to find out just then.
Much later, I met that woman. Glenda—who had hardly been able to stand before we went to that meeting—had ministered to her. The woman’s paralyzed hand had opened. She had a reason to run around in circles and shout.
We’d been there since 6 in the evening. At 10:30 we left to find our car, having no idea in which direction to go. We had been so taken up with watching the Lord move that we were disoriented.
Glenda had stood all that time with shoes that had elevated heels, something she had not been able to do before. I felt badly not knowing where the car was. She walked barefoot with me. We prayed. Then, all of a sudden, we looked up and there it was. It was no problem for the Lord to cause our feet to walk in the right direction.
Oh, God is faithful—and powerful—right down to the last detail of our lives! We love Him and praise Him. No wonder Peter became so wonderfully excited on the Day of Pentecost. Something powerful had been released when Jesus was released from the dead—and he was a partaker in it.
So we are partakers. Wonderfully, it becomes ours when we step out of our own circle of impossibility and weakness, receive His grace and become vessels for His honor. It is then He releases the bold freedom of His resurrection in us. Then we can minister His life to others.
There is more—so much more—for us to gain in understanding from Peter’s word. But for now, let us pray.
—Precious Lord, I step out of my own circle of need into the circle of need faced by others. Release the BOLD FREEDOM of the Resurrection into my life as I minister Your Life to those I approach. Oh, now I see You entering my circle! Amen. Even so, come on in, Lord Jesus!
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