"When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him?" — Psalms 8:3,4 "Debating Society or an Agent of God?" What is man? Is he the product of a series of evolution from some lower form of life or did he come direct from the hand of God? Is he simply an animal with more intelligence than other animals or is he the offspring of the Almighty? What are the limits of his resources, spiritually, mentally, and physically? How far has he come, how far will he go? What strange impulse has driven man from the ox cart to the jetliner? From dugout canoe to oceangoing luxury liners? From the makeshift flying machine of Kitty Hawk to Sun orbiting satellites? What strange mystic urge drives man on to conquer space, time and circumstances? Why does he have within himself a sense of eternity? Why is he unable to reconcile himself to the limitations of the physical senses? The Bible gives the answer by declaring that man is the offspring of God. This kinship to omnipotence will forever keep him on the quest for that which will deliver him from all human limitations, and cause him to walk on the mountains of eternity with God. With all the knowledge man has acquired through the centuries he is still a mystery to himself. Religion has endeavored to measure him by certain rules and contain him in arbitrary creeds, but given time man outgrows the measured rules and breaks asunder the enslaving creeds that make no allowance for growth and progress. Jesus Christ came revealing something of the mystery of man and the mystery of God. He was the perfect expression of God and at the same time, he was a perfect demonstration of what God intends man to be. The Bible teaches that Christ and the believer are one, and that nothing lies beyond the reach of those of daring faith. "He that spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, shall He not with Him freely give us all things." (Romans 8:32). Jesus did not come to bring God down to the level of man; He came to lift man to the high level of divine abilities. How much of God's power and authority does He entrust to man? Are believers authorized to speak and act for God, in His stead? Or, are they limited only to talking about God, not for Him? This is a vital issue of Christianity, for if Christians are limited only to talking about God, then the Church is merely a religious debating Society. But if believers are authorized and empowered to speak and act for God, then the Church is an agent of God on earth. When Jesus needed help in spreading the Gospel, He did not call angels to heal the sick and cast out demons, but he chose twelve ordinary flesh and blood men (Mark 3:14-15). Afterwards He called another seventy from among the common people, and said to them, "Behold, I give you power over all the power of the enemy." Luke. 10:19 We are called to be one with God. When Moses doubted that the people would believe God had sent him, God commanded him to cast his rod to the ground. It became a snake and when Moses picked it up it became a rod again. After this great miracle the rod was referred to as the rod of God and the rod of Moses. Lest we should suppose that our only responsibility is to pray and then wonder whether God will do anything about the matter, the Word of God gives us the answer. In Exodus 14, Moses prayed for God to deliver Israel as they stood helpless between Pharaoh's Army and the Red Sea. God rebuked him saying, "Wherefore cryest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel that they should go forward, but lift up thou thy road and stretch out thy hand over the Sea and divide it." God had given Moses power and authority to act boldly and unreservedly to overcome every obstacle that stood in the way of Israelis complete deliverance. At God's command, Moses divided the waters, and the Bible says God divided the Red Sea. This personal identification and oneness with God is the secret of the power to deliver. Just as the rod of Moses was the rod of God, so the words of Moses were the words of God, and the deeds of God. The most subtle and deadly work of Satan is focused on this vital issue. If Satan sells man the deadly deception that he has no power, and hence no responsibility, he can make the believers relationship with God hazy and uncertain and his actions impotent. Let me drive this vital truth home to you. The believer does have authority from God to speak and to act. He also has power to enforce his words and acts of faith. Believing this vital truth brings one into relationship with "the faith once delivered to the saints." To reject this truth places you among the scribes of all ages. The entire Bible form Genesis to Revelation affirms and reaffirms this vital truth. God gives power unto men to do His work, and He anoints, inspires, and authorizes them to speak in His stead. Jesus offered to common man the awesome power He possessed, telling them they could do His works. In Jeremiah chapter one, we read of the call and commission of the prophet. At first Jeremiah wavered under the call complaining that he was not able to speak for God; that he was like a child, and he feared the faces of men. God did not condone his unbelief even though it clothed itself in humility. God rebuked the attitude of fear in Jeremiah. "Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth, said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth." (Jeremiah 1:9-10). What a commission to give a mere man! What awesome power was put into the hands of a mortal! This has always been God's method of furthering the gospel. After this experience Jeremiah spoke with power and authority. Others of the prophets were able to say with power "Thus saith the Lord." Hannah had been barren for years, but when the High Priest Eli spoke the word, she became pregnant. The ministry of authority to speak and act for God was brought into this age by Jesus. He gave it first to the twelve, afterward to the seventy. Peter and John exercised this power at the gate of the Temple. To the cripple Peter says, "Such as I have give I thee..." He had the authority to give what he had. Peter did exactly what Jesus would have done. Exercising the authority of a believer, Peter healed the beggar. Peter had more than religion.
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