24 February 2015

True Messengers

Since all this* is true, we ought to pay much closer attention than ever to the truths that we have heard, lest in any way we drift past [them] and slip away. 
For if the message given through angels [the Law spoken by them to Moses] was authentic and proved sure, and every violation and disobedience received an appropriate (just and adequate) penalty, 
How shall we escape [appropriate retribution] if we neglect and refuse to pay attention to such a great salvation [as is now offered to us, letting it drift past us forever]? For it was declared at first by the Lord [Himself], and it was confirmed to us and proved to be real and genuine by those who personally heard [Him speak]. 
[Besides this evidence] it was also established and plainly endorsed by God, Who showed His approval of it by signs and wonders and various miraculous manifestations of [His] power and by imparting the gifts of the Holy Spirit [to the believers] according to His own will.  ~Hebrews 2:1-4 AMP     
*"This" refers to Hebrews chapter one, in which is laid out the Sonship and Godhood of Jesus Christ.
Things of which the earnest believer should take note:

Verse 1: It's not only possible to let truths slip away, for us to drift away from truths we have known, but it WILL happen unless we expend effort to attend to them.

Verses 2-3: We're presented with an amazing opportunity: salvation through Jesus Christ. Will we pursue it? Or will it drift past as we busy ourselves with other things?

Verses 3-4: Those who know Jesus not only proclaim Him. Miracles and wonders follow them. That's how the Almighty God of Heaven and Earth shows the listener the authenticity of those who proclaim Him.

Even the devil recognizes Jesus is Lord--but that same devil uses the name of Jesus to wage wars, persecute, and enslave. Signs and wonders do not follow those who proclaim Jesus' name, yet teach Him according to the flesh, or according to the desires of the enemy of our souls. We are given, in scripture, so we may know how to judge any who claim they are sent from God, or claim gifts (such as the title of prophet) or ministry under Him:
16 You will fully recognize them by their fruits. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?
17 Even so, every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit [worthy of admiration], but the sickly (decaying, worthless) tree bears bad (worthless) fruit.
18 A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear excellent fruit [worthy of admiration].
19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.
20 Therefore, you will fully know them by their fruits.  ~Matthew 7:16-20 AMP
 If someone says they are sent by God, are His chosen spokesmen, what is their fruit? If they seem to have pretty decent fruit, look closer. Fruit that is appealing on the outside can still carry decay in the core. Do the signs and wonders, miracles and healings, set as the example by Christ and His early apostles, follow them? Are they plentiful? Or apparently lacking? Do these people teach we should conceal those things, hiding the very instances of God showing forth the way He works?
As He passed along, He noticed a man blind from his birth. 
His disciples asked Him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind? 
Jesus answered, It was not that this man or his parents sinned, but he was born blind in order that the workings of God should be manifested (displayed and illustrated) in him. ~John 9:1-3 AMP
It is only in our weaknesses and infirmities that we see the power of God. When we're strong enough to take care of things, what need have we of His power?
But He said to me, "My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness." Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!
So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength).  ~2 Corinthians 12:9-10 AMP
 Not only should the signs that followed Jesus and His early apostles follow those that believe, but notice this:
I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father.  ~John 14:12 (Emphasis mine.)

I have grown wary of those who teach we should keep the miracles of God silent. Jesus told His disciples a sure sign of steadfast belief in Him is greater works than He did. As God, when He speaks, that thing IS. The opposite doesn't spontaneously come into existence later and supercede His word. Why would it be pleasing to God to conceal the very things He said would be signs of His followers? How could that further His work, or increase faith in Him? The man, blind from birth, was healed so he could be a walking testimony of the power of God. Not so he could pretend nothing happened.

Jesus didn't mess around with this kind of stuff. He doesn't mess around with you and me, either. If He taught something, then He meant it.

I believe Him.

And I'm looking for true messengers from my Father.