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Signs and Wonders (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
July 12, 2022 6:00 am

Signs and Wonders (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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July 12, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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So he's reading along how the spirit all is healing that he comes to chapter 5.

What is he thinking is no way to make converts. That's no way to build the church. God says oh yeah, it is so we have this doctrine of non-accommodation to the defined loop then inserts what we call verse 14. If you look with me and believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women. This is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of acts. Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about cross reference radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching, and now here's Pastor Rick in the book of acts chapter 5 with a brand-new message called signs and wonders will take verses 12 through 21 acts chapter 5 this message is entitled signs and wonders. Beginning in verse 12 and through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.

Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. Believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes both men and women so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches that at least the shadow of Peter's passing might fall on some of them also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits and they were all healed, then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him, which is the sect of the Sadducees and they were filled with indignation and laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. But at night.

An angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, and brought them out and said go stand in the temple speak to the people all the words of this life, and when they heard that they entered the temple early in the morning and taught, but the high priest and those with him came and called the Council, together with all the elders of the children of Israel and sent to the prison to have them brought looking adverse 12 and through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch now this through the hands of the apostles the many signs and wonders will the last sign and wonder we had was slaying of two people.

They were filled with Satan will Satan filled their heart to be hypocrites into the church of Safari Ananias and they were dealt with. We look back in verse 11, so great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things, that was a sign and wonder to I want to be careful to not pick on too much. Those who go around claiming signs and wonders. I think in most cases they don't know what they're talking about. I want to stick to what the Scripture has to tell us. And the Scripture tells us things not only to write out in a textbook collectively through context of events and this various ways is so thorough if we would avail ourselves of it. But God's stern response to Satan's influence of hypocrisy produce respect unbelievers respected the church and now it's going to produce compassionate healing for the presence of the Lord. That is, but first they had to be this purging the statement had to be made early in the churches existence when James wrote this in his third chapter the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, I wonder if he had these events in mind, it is important that we understand a will that we read all of that verse because you just can't fragment James 317.

This wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the willing to yield is not mean to yield to impurity reduces greatly the spirit of strife and contest and believers so the story shifts from the slaying to the healings now in the face of illness. We all want healing.

We all want to be delivered from what is hurting us. We want divine healing and get that, but I'd also like to see other kind of miracles. The miracle of no complaining, that would be a big one, the power to divinely impart loyalty into churchgoers who are not only churchgoers with born-again believers, Disciples of Christ, I like to see the miracle of the Holy Spirit multiplying conversions through his people and making more disciples these things to me are miracles. When I consider the people that serve here in this church. For example, I think that is just miraculous. The quality of care that they give because it is God's house we want the church magnified in a good way respected and this is what was happening at this time in church history. We want to see the Scripture embraced by Christians and not just said to be embraced and there's a lot of Christians that say they believe in the Bible within the they behave in church in a contrary way and signs and wonders being one of the abuses that takes place. God uses signs and wonders often in Scripture. Well I should put it this way. God uses signs and wonders in Scripture and the beginning of a great work that he is doing. And of course this is one of them at Aaron's rod butted right almonds to attest to the authority given to him when that authority was challenged by David and those who were with him and that is a miracle. It was just to stick a walking stick. It was completely dead and yet God made it clear by having it bring forth these right almonds that Aaron was God's choice, it attested to the authority as these signs and wonders. At this time in history are attesting to the authority of the apostles.

What would've happened to the church of God did not do these things. What would've happened to the church at this early stage. If God did not do these signs and wonders through these apostles is an interesting thought in the book of Genesis, we don't read of any human performing miracles. Of course God is in the beginning God created out of nothing.

Everything that we know and in physical creation, but not until the birth of Israel, and the giving of the law and the giving of the prophets and the coming of Christ and the birth of church were signs and wonders very pronounced. These special times when it was the initiating of the work that God was doing. As I mentioned, the law, the birth of Israel, the law of Moses given to the people, the prophets, when Elijah and Elisha came along, they were really the first of the miracle working prophets long before Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel.

God makes a statement through these things and and there in the Scripture for us to identify why is it that there were signs and wonders at critical points in the biblical history and not every day for us and I'm not one of those is ready to blame believers. I don't believe wells because we don't have faith.

I don't believe that at all because the Holy Spirit can give us. I think that God is doing other things and they are there for us to discover and join and get things done every day. The Christian wakes up. The Holy Spirit is saying to you, get her done go out and get her done. Be righteous to be the Christian preach the word in season out, be my witness be filled with the spirit today we have the completed Scripture the canon of Scripture the rule of Scripture. Paul wrote this to the Corinthians to for the Jews request to sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who were being called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God is no mention of signs and wonders being performed by them. It's preaching even though there was this craving for signs and wonders. There was this craving for these so-called sayings, the wisdom of men but policy and we just gave him the gospel and here we are today because of the work. These apostles did the Jews receive their signs and it was. It eventually became. Now you just have to receive the truth get to that in a minute, and Greeks receive their wisdom will Jews receiving the sign right here in an hour story. The Greeks were receiving wisdom when the apostles began to take the gospel to other countries. Other parts of the world.

Other societies, other peoples and then we have it, much of it remaining in the form of the letters. The epistles so we test the preacher's message.

Whether the preacher is a person preaching Christ as some lost soul or encouraging another believer or it's a preacher from a pulpit. We test those messages not by signs and wonders, but by truth. According to Scripture is what they are saying true, does the whole thing. Deuteronomy 13 God is saying listen is not the sign or wonder is are they agreeing with me.

In fact, God said, I'll let some of these people come along and do signs and wonders who would take you from the word of God and use should identify them stay clear from I have found all other religions fail the truth test. That's why I don't belong to other religions. That's why I belong to Jesus Christ because the Bible has passed the truth test he says here in verse 12 and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch is been an emphasis in these early chapters in acts by Luke or on the accord. The unity amongst the apostles now will be challenged. Of course, when Paul goes up to Antioch in James sends people to speak. Paul said he came to spy out our liberty is so frustrated with them because it was very difficult for many of the Christians who came to Christ to break from rabbinical Judaism not biblical Judaism there is a big difference.

The rabbis had so bloated. The teachings based on on their culture that they boxed God's word out and this is one of the reasons why they couldn't receive Messiah when he did come. Well, here they are at the temple in this portico, surrounded by the court of the Gentiles.

It was a common place for Jesus to be to teach when he was in Jerusalem. John 1023 and Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch and so there's that connection that these apostles had to this particular area at the on the Temple Mount fact, the angel, when he delivers Peter is going to send them to this through to the temple to preach the church had no building of its own that they had to preach on public places.

At this point in history.

In verse 13 is as yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly of this is in reference to what happened to Safire and Ananias very eye-opening.

This will I begin on this one well the starts out with the opportunistic people. Sophia and Ananias would happen with them sent a message to other opportunistic people not to dare go to the church and and play games. The church should be like nothing else in the world should be like the church, you have the same feeling when you go shopping in the grocery store that you do when you come to a church. I mean, this shouldn't be this this reverence. Maybe you don't like some of the people there maybe don't like the pastor if you go to another church, but with this God's house is beyond the people is more to it than just the people and this reverence from outsiders looking in is admirable because today people look at churches. This is want your money. Here they default on loans they just they don't preach the word, they become social centers.

They have political infighting. We talk about the structure of this church. For example, we don't have political issue please not that I know of. We don't have the lobby for somebody's you know desire to have a certain wall painted of certain colors. Some outreach that's not how it is handed to us in the New Testament with the apostles.

They had this pastoral authority that is essential it is.

It is not a dictatorship at all, but it is the rule in the house of God and word got around that you could not rip off the people in God's house and this caused that this reverence prosperity teachers dared not pretend to be Christian they do today that this is so shameful that people step into pulpits with authority and try to get in your wallet so that commercially meant to us in your wallet or prosperity teachers. If you're not careful that Susan your wallet passes don't have to come up and tell you to give and how much to give. You know what the Scripture says we come to it.

We discuss it. That's enough about that. It can go on a rant that one very easily anyway. Those sincere about the invitation of the Holy Spirit did not stay away from the church.

They did not stay away from the church because of what happened to Safire and Ananias. In fact, that brought people in the point is that the deficit death of those two served to filter out make believers.

Here's us a Spurgeon quote CH's Charles Haddon Spurgeon, one of the greatest preachers in the English language that which is offensive in the gospel is just that which is effective what men oppose is what God uses, if the offense of the cross has ceased the power of the cross would have ceased. Also, it is not left to us to cut and carve the doctrine of Christ we are to preach all the words of this life will be coming back to that the church had a repelling power at this time as well as an attractive power and is today a churches stands up his and others have been doing this would God is leading us to do is very attractive to many believers ended to others a lot we don't like that we want to have a say so well than in the repelled by that system.

That approach to the assembly here. It appealed to those as I said with a contrite heart and frightened the rest away and that filtered out those who would cause damage to the early church wouldn't stay this way the church would have to figure this out. Many have many have not. There was a real game to this. Still, there should be a measure of hollowed thinking hollowed intimidation in God's house, you know, do you do you see yourself, you know, just walking in the God's house eating a big sandwichsipping a coke or something you did with that that future picture of reverence, but there are people that would do that if they're not trained in the spirit. What did Theophilus think when he got the chapter 5 rim of that's the person that Luke is addressing the book of acts to open Theophilus, of all things Jesus began both to do and to teach and so he's reading along the power of the spirit all his healing that he comes to chapter 5.

What is he thinking is no way to make converts. That's no way to build the church. God says oh yeah, it is so we have this doctrine of non-accommodation to the defiant Luke then inserts what we call verse 14. If you look with me and believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women so that Stern leadership of Peter was used by the Holy Spirit to grow the church to save souls to help populate heaven with believers.

Those who thought Peter overdid it. They were wrong. Peter did not damage the church encouraged it to God using him. Of course it's all God leaders the vessel, and a willing vessel is a servant. He's a slave of Jesus Christ. Multitudes of of both men and women well and earlier accounts. We of course it was just the man but now Luke is saying is this the men and the women are coming into the church. Not that they were getting say before that that kind of blue gave us an idea of where these events were located at the Temple Mount. Now this is just the all Jerusalem and in the surrounding regions.

These that were coming to the church. Both of men and women were not recruited by well-meaning church people but they were one by spirit filled church people and there's a huge difference. I I don't think again we should be trying to get people to come to our church, knowing that Simon stopped them either.

But the motive is to get them to Christ.

Of course we can invite your plan to come to church with me of the you know you should get roughed up just like me sitting in the pew I should. You had be the only one I do believe we we should of course invite, but it's Christ were upholding and not the church and is very tricky. You know you can go to some churches need feel like they're all this coming at you with a sales pitch you all happy to see like a like number one of the Berlin world they never tell you that they told me that I think many obese people that I am privileged to pastor. They do it this way, they let the spirit lead them.

Their motive is Christ, and I think in some places it's gotten away from people they lost their identity. Or maybe they've never learned that our identity is to be spirit lead as many as are the sons of God, these are led by the spirit of God. RuPaul well-versed 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them while Peter does not stop the people from doing this. And what happened with again Safire and Ananias got the story is related on purpose. We have the slaying and now we have the healing here, the people drawn to and are drawn to Peter it's us. It singled him out of the 12 that the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on them. They never know what God is doing until he reveals it, and when he is later course of obedience for us. We follow that course as I don't know what he's doing with. He's a leader and I'm going to follow him. That's called loyalty.

Remember, in those days they did not have the hospitals and the pharmacies.

As we have today, hope for the injured is just very small. Remember the woman that said if I could just touch the hem of his garment. She had spent her life savings.

Looking to be healed well that still goes on.

People spend a lot of money looking to be healed. The pointers are up her desperation was not just hers.

There were others who were sick and desperate for relief. Now God is absorbing their superstition as they come to Peter.

What does that mean does God certainly doesn't endorse superstition, Christians will have to address this at some point we have no reason to doubt that they did not address this in the book of numbers. There is this Moses is leadership leading the people in the wilderness because of their unbelief there in the wilderness, and they begin to complain and faucet God and Moses about this manna every day were sick of it.

God let us out of the wilderness to kill us off in the Bible is very clear that they complained about God and Moses, so God sent serpents amongst the people, vipers, poisonous snakes and the people were dying but it got them to repent.

Many of them.

They began to reconsider what the their blasphemy and God told Moses. This number is 21 verse nine so Moses made a bronze serpent is what God told him to, and put it on a pole and so it was if a serpent had bitten anyone when he looked at the bronze serpent live. You exercise your faith and obedience to the terms of God, God would heal you if you were bullheaded and you are not looking. I don't believe it, then you would die. Serpents bite would do, you win. That is true to this day. Serpents bite put you in hell unless you look at the cross. And so Jesus said as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, and so now we have this parallel we have this teaching that God had ordained that moment, it spoke of a greater moment, but it became a superstition among the Jewish people.

Centuries later, when King Hezekiah is on the throne we find the Jewish people using this brass serpent of Moses as the superstitious kind of idle second Kings 18 verse four. Speaking of Hezekiah. He removed the high places. This is his Reformation attempt to get the people back to God away from the rivals. He removed the high places and broke up and broke the sacred pillars cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it and called it.

No question. So they are the people had become superstitious. They had taken a work of God, and they had devolved into the superstitious idle move you've been listening to cross reference radio daily radio ministry pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast. Today's teaching is available free of charge at our website. Simply visit cross reference that's cross reference would also like to encourage you to subscribe to the cross reference radio podcast subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick, you can subscribe cross reference or simply search for cross reference radio your favorite podcast to the next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of acts right here on cross reference radio

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