13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” Mark 7:13 NKJV
We've been in an ongoing study examining the lies religious tradition has taught the Church. Ideas and concepts taught with such conviction it almost seems blasphemous to question. Views taught for so long they form strongholds in the minds of many.
We've addressed the ideas that God is the author of sickness and disease, the sender of disasters, and the one causing evil so that some good may come. The concept that God is for your brokenness and poverty. As of late, we've dealt with the traditional views surrounding the Holy Spirit.
Today, it seems good to continue looking at the traditional lies surrounding the power of God. Here's a little humor to illustrate the views of traditional religion concerning God's power.
For years and years now, the Church in the West has worked overtime to de-supernaturalize Christianity. They've worked tirelessly to teach Christians that Faith is powerless and ineffective to change events or circumstances. That the Spirit has ceased from leading His people through dreams, visions, the inward witness and the still small voice within our heart. That physical healing and wholeness are only found in a physician's hands and no such promise from God exists for healing and wholeness. That financial well being is only found in hard work and bank loans and never from the hand of God, through blessing.
The religious tradition-minded put forth much effort to convince the multitudes that there exists no promise for the life that now is. They push hard against any talk of miracles and signs and wonders performed in Christ's name. They sow seeds of doubt and questioning the authenticity of any miracle or healing or wonder reported in the lives of believers. They push for all to accept the concept that skepticism is the posture all believers should take at the news of miracles.
The religious tradition-bound church has accepted that the only supernatural work of God is that of the one lost, apart from Christ, accepting Jesus' free gift of Grace and that one becomes a new creation in Christ. Apart from the new birth, there is no supernatural working of God. Their faith can only embrace this work. For anything else it is a whatever will be will be philosophy.
The religious have accepted and given doubt, skepticism, and unbelief a high place of honor in their thinking and in their midst. Wherein the Apostles spent much time in Scripture urging the Church to rise to a place where we go from Faith to Faith, the religious seemingly have diminished to a level whereby they go from doubt to skepticism to unbelief. Most disturbingly they urge all to embrace unbelief as a healthy way to live.
God has not called the Church to a place where unbelief is crowned with honor. God calls unbelief evil. God doesn't want us to tolerate it in our lives or in our midst. God tells us He wants us to grow and go from Faith to Faith.
Has God's power ceased? Has the day of miracles passed away?
11 Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed. 12 So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?...16 And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. Acts 3:11-12, 16 NKJV
Peter answers this question best. The lame man was healed. Peter though didn't attribute the healing miracle to his power or office of Apostle. He attributed this healing to Jesus' name and Faith. That is Faith in the heart and Faith in His name. So the real question isn't has God's power ceased but rather has Jesus' name lost its power? Has Faith in the heart and Faith in His name lost its power?
Track with me. Peter didn't attribute miracles to Apostleship alone. So that means regardless if the "last Apostle" passes away God's power doesn't cease being. He did attribute the miracle to Jesus' name and Faith. Sadly Faith and the use of Jesus' name have waned and weakened amid the religious church.
Why has the name of Jesus seemingly lost its authority and power? Why has Faith become seemingly impotent? Because the Word of God is being traditionally interpreted to create the illusion that God's power is not available today. Tradition uses circular reasoning to prove their view.
"We know the Gifts have ceased."
" How do you know for certain?"
"We don't see them in our midst."
"Well, why do you think that is?"
"Well, because the Gifts have ceased."
So what is the hope for the Church in the West? Know God doesn't give up on anyone or any ministry. Grace is for the "worst" of us. Look at this event in the life of Jesus.
The hope for the Church in the West and the cure for unbelief is the teaching of God's Word apart from religious tradition. There exist no passage in God's Word in this New Covenant that states or even alludes to the idea that miracles will cease or God's power will stop flowing. As I've said before if one would exclude all traditional views they've ever heard and just read God's Word through they see God is a Good God, that He wants the best for His people, and that His power is still working today, and is available to whosoever will ask.
In summation, God is a Good Father. His power and might have never weakened or waned! He is the same God today as when He walked the sand filled shores of Galilee ministering life and wholeness. We can place our trust in Him completely. He is still working and moving for our good today.
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