An Address to the People of the Inland Empire
by John G. Lake
In the religious life, when one arises with a larger vision of God’s purpose for mankind then that usually presented by religious teachers, his declarations are received with question. Men who think desire to be convinced by word, by the Holy Scriptures, and by demonstration, that the teacher’s assertions at are not correct.
It was demanded of the prophets that the signs of a prophet should be seen.
Jesus never intended Christianity to be received and believed on any man’s statement, but provided that the statement should be accompanied by an exhibition of spiritual power that would convince the world, saying to His followers:
These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they [believers] cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;…they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:17–18)
This was Jesus’ own test of the truth, but also a test of true discipleship.
The people demanded of Jesus, “What sign dost thou show?” (See John 2:18.) They challenged His authority to forgive sins, until convinced by His reasoning and the healing of the palsied man, of His authority and power. Jesus was a reasonable man; He was not only willing to discuss the issue with them, but to heal a man in their presence, as He did, saying:
But that ye may know [be convinced] that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins…I say unto thee [addressing the palsied man], Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all. (Mark 2:10–12)
This was a mark or brand by which the world might know an impostor and also recognize the true faith of Christ. Christianity was to be its own witness through its power to deliver from sin and heal from disease all who needed deliverance. (See Mark 16:17–18; John 5:13–15.)
Paul warned Timothy to beware of those who have a form of godliness but no power of God in their lives, saying, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:5).
Paul further declared his own preaching was not based on men’s wisdom, but was demonstrated by the power of God through him. He said:
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
(1 Corinthians 2:4–5)
When Peter and John healed the lame man at the beautiful gate of the temple, the people demanded, “By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?” (Acts 4:7). And Peter replied:
Be it known unto you all, and to the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. (Acts 4:10)
Jesus gave a test of the character and quality of the Messenger and the power He exercised. He said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” (Matthew 7:16).
We contend, by the Word of God, that the world and the church have been robbed of the presence, power, and blessing of Jesus Christ, a present Healer, because the church has falsely taught that the days of miracles are past. The days of miracles never passed, only in the soul that lost its faith in God. Where faith is, there ever will be the evidence of God’s mighty power to save and heal.
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