By: Shane Warren
September 10, 2015
When you read through the book of Acts, you find out that the apostles were doing such mighty works that people would come and worship them as if they were gods. That’s what happened to Peter when he arrived at Cornelius’s house (see Acts 10:25). These were ordinary men who were living such extraordinary lives that this sort of thing happened more than once, and each time they would have to say, “No, no, no! I am not God. I did not do this miracle!” and they would point the people to Jesus.
When was the last time you had the power of God operating through your life to such a degree that people wanted to worship you? I have not had that happen, and most likely you have not either. Most church people would object, “But, Pastor, of course we don’t have that happen to us today. That happened only with the first apostles.” To that, I suggest we look beyond the apostles for more examples. How about the man named Stephen and another man known as Philip? Both of these men were laymen, ordinary members of the church who had been elected as deacons. They were not apostles; in fact they were servants in the Body of Christ—table-waiters.
Wherever Stephen went, miracles happened: “And Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people” (Acts 6:8, rsv). Eventually, he was arrested and persecuted because of this. In the end, when he was being stoned to death, he looked up and said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56, kjv).
Philip was a good church member. He sat and listened to the apostles teach. His only official position in the church was to be a deacon, and he was always ready to serve in practical ways. Yet when he obeyed the voice of the Holy Spirit and went to a certain road where he encountered an Ethiopian man riding in a chariot and reading aloud from the book of Isaiah, and after he explained how Jesus Christ fulfilled those prophetic words, look what happened through him—and to him:
He [a eunuch who served the queen of Ethiopia] commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea. (Acts 8:38–40, nrsv).
The eunuch’s conversion and subsequent baptism in a small body of water alongside the road was just the beginning of amazing events, because after that the Spirit whisked Philip to Azotus by supernatural means so that he could share the Good News in that region, which was over thirty miles away!
Besides Stephen and Philip, we read about the exciting life of Paul, who had never met Jesus before His crucifixion and who had probably never met an apostle until after he was converted. He persecuted the new Church and by his own admission, he was “one born out of due season” (see 1 Corinthians 15:8). In other words, “I don’t even deserve to be a servant of Jesus Christ. I don’t have to come to you with a great message, but I can come to you with a demonstration of the Spirit and His power.” And that’s what he did, working miracle after miracle, year after year.
All through the Word of God we see ordinary people operating in the extraordinary power of God. Why are we not seeing these things today? Is it still true? Or is Jesus a liar, along with everyone in the Bible? Is this book the biggest farce that humanity has ever fallen for? Or is it all true and we just haven’t experienced it for ourselves yet?
September 8, 2015
Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. –Matthew 18:19, nkjv
The word “agree” is the Greek word sumphoneo; the English equivalent is “symphony.” So when we read in Matthew 18:19 that the sounds of prayer, uttered in agreement by faith-filled, worshipful hearts, obtain results, we have discovered one of the keys of the Kingdom of God. Heaven’s light shines forth into earthly darkness because of a symphonic sound.
The word symphony is a compelling word, deriving from two root words: sun (pronounced “soon”) and phone (“fo-nay”). Sun means “with,” which means that more than one thing comes together. Somehow or another, a bridge gets created and a combination results. Phone means a tone or sound. The tone or sound can be made by an inanimate object such as a musical instrument, or it can be the sound of a human (or heavenly) voice.
In addition, another Greek word comes into play, phaino, which means “to cause to shine and bring forth light.” In Scriptures such as these, it is translated as “shines” or “shining”:
And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:5, nkjv, emphasis mine)
And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; (2 Peter 1:19, nkjv, emphasis mine)
In other words, when there is an agreement on the earth among believers, a symphony of sound is released, and it provokes a response from Heaven. This convergence of sounds causes a breaking forth of light into the darkness of earth. I believe that this is what the Lord is doing in the earth right now, and I fervently believe that God wants my full participation, as well as yours!
As I travel the nation and the world, I am seeing the convergence of sounds from every denomination, tribe, tongue, and kindred. The harmonies created by the sounds that arise from the various parts of the Body of Christ on earth are releasing a new anointing for this final hour. People are agreeing in prayer, declaring their song from one group to another, learning how to bridge the culture gap and the generation gap and to mix the tones of the worship of the people of God from every tribe and nation. This is releasing light into the atmosphere, and God shows up. God says that if any two shall agree as touching anything together in His name––whenever they can combine their anointings and release symphonic sound––He is there in the midst of them. This is a revelation!
Full-bodied corporate worship is the key to unlocking Heaven! The unified body of Christ needs to arise release her symphonic sound in the earth right now! When the world is at its worst they need to see a church at its best. In this dark hour this can also be our finest moment.