Part 8 of 25
Supply of Christ’s Indwelling Resurrection Life versus Outer Deliverance
As we read the Biblical record we note the many miraculous deliverances of
in the Old Testament by the hand of God. God miraculously provided everything for Israel Israel, day and night, during their 40 years in the wilderness, yet that generation that was miraculously delivered from “died in unbelief.” Obviously then, the children of Egypt were not inwardly changed by any of the miracles that carried them day by day. Outer miracles may delay our physical death but they have not power to transform us inwardly. Israel
The outward versus the inward also may be seen in this account of Jesus.
John 2:23-25 (AMP) But when He (Jesus) was in
during the Passover Feast, many believed in His name [identified themselves with His party] after seeing His signs (wonders, miracles) which He was doing. 24a But Jesus [for His part] did NOT trust Himself to them… Jerusalem
Here we see those who followed Jesus did so believing for “the miracles which he did” (v23) – yet Jesus “did NOT trust Himself to them…” (v24a) Why didn’t Jesus entrust His self to them? In verses 25b-25 we see the answer. It was because “He Himself knew what was in human nature. [He could read men’s hearts.]”
John 2:24-25 (24bcontinued) …because He knew all [men]; 25 And He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man [needed no evidence from anyone about men], for He Himself knew what was in human nature. [He could read men’s hearts.]
Jesus here did not commit or entrust Himself to these followers because He knew their hearts. Jesus knew they believed in His name “when they saw the miracles He did.” But He also knew they sought the temporal miraculous answers and disregarded the eternal promise that God and receive the message He preached from the time He began to preach – “the (eternal) kingdom was at hand” (Matt 4:17). They apparently were focused upon one thing – outer deliverance.
In Heb 4:12 Christ is referred to as “the Word,” that is able to “divide soul and spirit,” the one who is the “discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Every person’s true heart and motive is known to the Lord.
In all these accounts we can see the powerlessness of miracles to effect and real change of people’s hearts. Did you ever consider how very few of those who witnessed or were recipients of Jesus’ miracles were at the foot of the cross, where He died for them? Where was the mad Gadarean of Matthew 5, or blind of John 9, or all those who were delivered, and what of the 5,000 who were miraculously fed bread and fish?
Then also, that there was generation of
Israelwho was delivered from Egypt, through the Red Seaand the wilderness. They witnessed and received miracles daily for their existence – yet they died in unbelief. In Deuteronomy 1:1 we see Israelencamped “on the side of the Jordanby the Red Sea” – the very place they had started after they had miraculously crossed the Red Sea40 years earlier. Deuteronomy 1:1 (KJV) These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea… So, after 40 years they were exactly where they had begun, in the wilderness. Those years of wandering got the children of nowhere because they continually looked at the outward circumstances, never coming to faith as the evidence of “things not seen” – they continually griped, rebelled and looked for the outer deliverance. Israel
Following after and seeking the outer miracles from God, such as His miraculous healing and delivering power, misses God’s mark. We then miss out on that which is the most precious – we miss out on enjoying the power and benefit of the very life of Christ that has been entrusted to each believer as their overcoming life. We miss out on having the transformative power of the Spirit who would deposit that which is of “eternal weight in glory” (2Cor 4:17) into our soul.
Sadly, most Christians yet live by the “wilderness” mentality of their soul, looking for the miracles rather than crossing the
Jordan“by faith” into . When we are saved and leave the world it is as if we left Canaan Land Egyptand crossed the Red Sea. But then we must pass through the wilderness of the soul and cross the Jordan River before we enter into in the – the land of “living by faith,” as seen in Joshua and Caleb. Few Christians are spirit-led by faith; most persist to live by their fallen soul’s unrenewed mind looking to and seeking the things which may be seen, the outer. landof Canaan
At the cross Jesus said of
: “Father, forgive them they know not what they do.” God then held the door open to Israel in early Acts. God actually offered the King and His kingdom to Israel at Pentecost, and then also for several years after – if they would repent, be baptized in water, and receive the kingdom. During the Pentecostal period recorded in early Acts, we see a continuation of the outer sign-miracles Jesus had done, now by the hand of God through the ministry of “the twelve Apostles.” They offered Messianic Kingdom to Israel with outward signs confirming. But Israel did not believe and receive their kingdom gospel message. Israel
Of course we know that not long after Peter had said “Ye men of
” (Acts 2:22, 3:12)…you have killed the prince of life” (Act 3:15) they again rejected the King and His kingdom. They rejected the Holy Spirit’s witness by Stephen, killing him also (Acts 7:51-59). So at that time God turned to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46) by first saving Saul of Tarsus. Saul’s ministry, as the Apostle Paul, was to preach and teach a whole new dispensational relationship to the Gentiles and all men (see Gal. 3:28); one based solely upon “grace through faith…not of works” (Eph 2:8-9). Paul says the eternal destiny of “the body of Christ” is yet unseen, a “home in the heavens” (2Cor 5:1). Ours is not the visible, physical, literal, Messianic kingdom still yet to come to earth for Israel in the Millennium. Israel
It should now be quite evident to us that those miraculous days of outer deliverance seen in the Gospel accounts and the early Acts period did not convince
to receive its Messiah/King. Never since those days of Jesus and “the twelve,” has any representative of God on earth been able to heal, deliver or restore “ALL” that came, as they did in those days. This is because that was a unique time when God was calling Israel to receive its Messiah/King and His Kingdom, witnessed by the sign/miracles. Israel
That day ended as it diminished from the time of Stephen’s stoning in Acts 7 through Acts 28. The miraculous apostolic power of that time began to wane or “diminish,” ultimately ceasing as the dispensation fully changed due to “the fall” of
Romans 11:12 Now if the fall of them (
) be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles… Never since that day has “all” or “every one” that came been healed or delivered. Israel
We should also note the record of Paul’s latter ministry, comparing it to his earlier ministry. Earlier Paul went to the Jew first, to the synagogues, and even performed miracles. Though earlier Paul had healed and raised the dead, he now found that physical healing was no longer the order of the day. Rather than exercise miraculous power, Paul writes things such as this. 2 Timothy 4:20 Erastus abode at
: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick. Why didn’t Paul heal Trophimus? Paul also instructs Timothy to “take a little wine for thy stomachs sake and for thine infirmities” (1Tim 5:23). Why not lay hands on Timothy for healing? It was because the age had changed. Corinth
Israel’s final rejection of Messiah, and God’s rejection of through Paul as noted in Acts 28:28, the “signs and wonders” also ceased in Paul’s life. It was now a full dispensational change from the dispensation of “the Law” to “the dispensation of the grace of God.” Israel
All is not lost however. Today, God still may occasionally heal or deliver His own offspring outwardly. But no longer does He heal or deliver by the hand of any man as an intermediary, such as was with Jesus and “the twelve Apostles” during the early Acts period in which 1Corinthians was written. God now on occasion may intervene miraculously in the believer’s life, but He does so directly, no longer through men. This is not to say God would not at the same time use men, such as doctors as his instrument in bringing about healing.Nevertheless, that “time of miraculous deliverance” has ceased because Jesus of Nazareth is now seated in heaven and “the twelve Apostles” and their initial calling has passed. Jesus as Messiah now awaits His Father to “make His enemies His footstool” (Heb 1:13, 10:13). After the rapture of “the church, which is His body,” the tribulation will begin and all prophesy concerning
will be fulfilled. The many promises made to Israel will be fulfilled. Christ will then “arise,” as prophesied in Isaiah 60:1, to return to earth in Judgment at the close of the Tribulation. Then “the twelve” will sit on the twelve thrones to rule Israel (Matt 19:28). Israel