B Kenneth E Hagin
PEOPLE OFTEN PUT GOD IN A BOX BY EXPECTING Him TO MOVE THE SAME WAY ALL THE
TIME. BUT EVEN THOUGH GOD ALWAYS MOVES IN LINE WITH His WORD, AT TIMES HE ALSO
MINISTERS TO PEOPLE IN SPECIAL WAYS. IT’S TIME WE LEARN THAT GOD’s WAY OF DOING
THINGS IS THE WAY THAT BRINGS GREAT BLESSING AND RICH REWARD
Several years ago, the Lord began to deal with me about holding Holy Ghost Meetings”. He said, “There is a move of the Spirit that will be lost to this generation unless you teach them.” So in January 1994 we started having Holy Gost Meetings.
The Holy Ghost Meetings are different from our healing crusades and All Faiths’ Crusades because the emphasis is on the Person and the work of the Holy Spirit. That just simply means that in these meetings, we’re open to the leading of the Spirit of God – to preach whatever He wants us to preach, teach whatever He wants us to teach, and to minister any way He may want us to minister.
You see, God doesn’t always do thing”, the same way.
Now for years in our regular crusades, we’d teach on faith in the daytime. Then in the night services, we’d preach on healing and minister to the sick as the Lord would lead. The Bible teaches the laying on of hands to minister healing, and it also teaches that we can receive healing through faith in God’s Word. So
in our crusades, we’d minister both ways and, naturally, a certain percentage of the people would get healed. But not everybody would receive his or her healing.
A pastor once asked me, “Well, if healing is right, then why don’t you get them all healed?”
I said, “Well, if salvation or the New Birth is right, then why don’t you get all the people you minister to saved? When you get all the people saved, then I’ll answer your question.”
Now I said that because I knew if he could understand why everyone doesn’t get saved, he would understand why everyone doesn’t get healed. You-see, faith has something to do with it!
Often people are not in a position to receive healing. We don’t, always know why that is the case. They may be saved and even filled with the Holy Ghost, but for some reason or another, they’re not in a position to receive healing by their own faith or through the laying on of hands.
So at times God moves by His power – by His Spirit – and manifests Himself in a special way to meet the needs of the people. Therefore, we don’t want to leave out the possibility of this kind of special ministry. We have to be open to let God do things His way.
Of course, it’s right to teach and encourage folks to believe God so they can get the results promised in His Word – and people should believe God. But then, on the other hand, we don’t want to leave out the move of God’s Spirit or the manifestation of His power as He wills, because a lot of folks will never be delivered any other way.
Now you could ask the question, “Why does God move in a particular way?” I don’t know why. I’m not God, are you? No, we just know that God does move at times in unusual ways.
For instance, you know the story about Saul of Tarsus in Acts chapter 9. He had letters in his possession; giving him the authority to imprison anyone who was found to be a disciple of the Lord. But as Saul approached the city of Damascus, suddenly there shined a light round about him that was brighter than
the noonday sun (Acts 9:3; 26:13). That was the way God chose to get Saul’s attention: by manifesting the light of His glory to him,
I Did you ever see the sun shining on pure snow? Do you remember how bright it was and how it glistened? Well, that’s exactly what the light of God’s glory looks like. I’ve seen it myself many times – I’ve even been caught up in it when it has manifested in our meetings as the glory cloud and it is brighter than the sun.
As we read the account in the Book of Acts, we also see that a Voice spoke from Heaven to Saul. God manifested Himself to Saul in an extraordinary way.
3 And as he [Saul] journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him A LIGHT FROM HEAVEN:
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard A VOICE saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6 And he trembling and; astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?…
Now I want to take a little side journey here because it fits right in with this particular passage of Scripture. I’ll get back to the main thought again in just a moment. But I want you to notice something. Saul was not going to Damascus to put Jesus in jail. He was going there to put the saints in jail. Yet in verse 4, Jesus said, “… Saul, why persecutest thou ME?”
Jesus said something similar to this in Matthew 25:40: “… Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto ME.”
You see, the Church is the Body of Christ, and Jesus is the Head. So if’ something happens to even the least member of the Body, it affects the Head, Jesus!
Boy, when you know that, it will certainly shut your mouth up. Why? Because you’ll realize that when you talk about your fellow brother and sister, you’re talking about Jesus. And when you persecute your brothers and sisters, you’re persecuting Jesus. That’s serious business, friends!
On the other hand, since we are members of the Body of Christ, then whoever takes a stand against us is, in that sense, taking a stand against Christ. They are really fighting against Jesus, and they haven’t got enough sense to know it. That’s something to think about.
Now let’s get, back to where we left off in Acts chapter 9. Notice that God’s way to reach Saul worked, because Saul changed lords immediately. In verse 6 he said, “…Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?… ” In other words, he said, “I surrender, Jesus. You are Lord. What is it that You want me to do?”
6 And he [Saul] trembling and astonished said, LORD, WHAT WILT THOU HAVE ME TO DO? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
Now here is something else we can learn from this verse. The Lord said to Saul, “…Arise, and GO INTO THE CITY, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” Sometimes before God can tell us what He wants us to do, we have to first go into the city, so to speak.
What do I mean by “go into the city”? That means to obey God in what He’s told you beforehand. And after you do that, then He can tell you what you must do next.
For instance, if God has already called you to preach, then why don’t you get busy preaching? Now that’s just one example. There could be any number of things God has impressed upon your heart or something in particular that He has called you to do. But whatever it is, you need to obey God and do it.
I’ve heard some folks say, “I’m waiting for’ God to tell me what to do.” But often God has already told them something to do, and they’re just sitting around, waiting. Well, they’ll still be sitting there a hundred years from now if they live that long! No, they have to first “go into the city” obey what God has already told them to do – and then it will be told them what they must do next.
Saul was in a position to receive further from God because he obeyed what God told him to do first. God told him to arise and go into the city of Damascus, and Saul obeyed.
6 … And the Lord said unto him, ARISE, and GO UNTO THE CITY, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
8 And SAUL AROSE from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but THEY LED HIM BY THE HAND, AND BROUGHT HIM INTO DAMASCUS.
9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
Now let’s continue to read further to learn more about the special way that God chose to minister to Saul.
10 And there was A CERTAIN DISCIPLE at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called, Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
Verse 10 says that there was in the city of Damascus a certain disciple – not an apostle, prophet, pastor, evangelist, or teacher, but a disciple. The Greek word translated “disciple” means a learner, a student, or a follower. In our modern day, we would call him a layman. (God uses laymen too!)
So if we were to translate that verse today, we’d say, “There was a certain layman in the Church at Damascus who was named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision……
The Lord gave Ananias specific instructions in that vision to go lay hands on Saul of Tarsus so that Saul might receive his sight. Well, Ananias argued with the Lord a little bit about that because he didn’t know what had happened to Saul out on the road to Damascus. The last thing he’d heard about Saul was that
he had wreaked havoc in the Church at Jerusalem and that he was coming to Damascus to put the Christians in bonds and chains. But the Lord revealed to Ananias a part of His plan and purpose for Saul, and then He sent Ananias to minister to him (Acts 9:15-17).
Now let’s gather up a few loose ends here. Remember, we’re talking ‘about cooperating with God – doing things God’s way, reverencing the Holy Spirit and following His lead. But have you ever wondered, Why couldn’t God have saved Saul some other way?
If you stop to think about it, do you know of anyone else who got saved the way Saul did? That’s not the way people ordinarily get saved. In fact, I only know of one other similar case:
in February 1952, I was holding a meeting in a church in Oklahoma. I had just finished preaching, and I was, standing on the platform giving the altar call while some singers from the church sang “Just as I Am.”
There were five sections of seats in the church, with double doors at the end of each aisle. All of a sudden, the double doors in the aisle right in front of me opened. A fellow came in looking sort of wild-eyed and bewildered.
The man looked around the church a little bit puzzled. Then he came down the aisle, stopped right in front of me, and stood there looking at me for a moment. Finally, he motioned to me. I stooped over from the platform, and he said, “Sir, I want to get saved.”
I said, “You’ve come to the right place.”
He said, “I was walking down the street, and I saw a big ball of fire in the sky. It’s cloudy and overcast outside, so I just thought the clouds had parted and a full moon had come out. But suddenly, that ball of fire came down and hung right over the top of my head. It almost scared me to death! I didn’t know what to do.
“That ball of fire started moving, hanging about three feet above my head and three feet in front of me, and I followed it. It went down the block, turned the corner, and came right up to this church. Then it went inside, so I came in behind it!” (That’s when we saw the man come into the church looking sort of wild-eyed. He looked as if he had seen something and he had!)
The man began to weep and said, “I want to get saved!”
Well, that’s not the ordinary way people get saved, is it? I mean, in more than sixty years of ministry, that’s the only time I’ve ever seen that happen. But I’ll tell you, if God wants to move that way, let’s go with Him!
Now don’t misunderstand me. We are to preach the Gospel because the Scripture says, Go ye into all the world, and PREACH THE GOSPEL to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shalt be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15,16). That’s usually the way people get saved – through
the preaching, of the Gospel.
But we don’t want to block God from moving in a special way either. So however God wants to move, whatever way He wants to minister to people, we should learn to do it His way!
Saul’s experience on the road to Damascus is a prune example of God moving in an unusual way or in a way out of the ordinary. But we do know that it was God at work because He said to Ananias in Acts 9:15:
“…. HE [Saul] IS A CHOSEN VESSEL UNTO ME, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” And we can also see ]the fruit that came as a result – later Saul, or the Apostle Paul as we know him, went on to write almost half of the New Testament.
Now have you ever thought about this: Even though Saul was saved on the way to Damascus, he was still blind. So why didn’t God just heal him? Well, it wasn’t really healing that Saul needed.
You see, Saul didn’t have an eye disease., In Acts chapter 22, when witnessing to King Agrippa and Felix, he said, “…I could not see, FOR THE GLORY of that light… ” (v. 11). In other words, Saul wasn’t blind because of a sickness; he couldn’t see because of the glory of the Lord!
So it wasn’t a matter of Saul needing healing, because he wasn’t sick. But Saul did have to be released by the power of God in the Name of Jesus through the laying on of hands.
17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and PUTTING HIS HANDS ON HIM said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, THAT THOU MIGHTEST RECEIVE THY SIGHT, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: AND HE RECEIVED HIS SIGHT FORTHWITH, and arose, and was baptized.
A medical doctor once related to me a similar demonstration of releasing people by the power of God that he had witnessed on the mission field. Years ago, he and a team of other doctors went to the Philippines on a medical missions trip. While they were there, they were invited to minister in a RHEMA graduate’s
The RHEMA graduate was a young single woman. She had pioneered a church way back in a remote part of the bush country that was under Communist control at the time. During the meeting, a couple of soldiers showed up with their machine guns. But the woman boldly stood in the pulpit and said: “I take authority over you in the Name of Jesus!”
The soldiers fell under the power of God, and their machine guns rolled
Off to one side. Those soldiers just lay there glued to the floor under God’s power for forty-five minutes till the service was over. They couldn’t get up until the woman minister went over to them, touched them, and released them in the Name of Jesus! –
Well, that’s scriptural, because we read in Acts 9 that Ananias had to lay hands on Saul to release him so that he could see. And when Ananias laid hands on Saul, Saul not only could see, but he was filled with the Holy Ghost too!
Now couldn’t God have saved Saul some other way? Couldn’t He have gotten Saul delivered and filled with the Holy Ghost another way? Yes, but apparently that was the way God wanted to do it!
You see, we have to do things God’s way. That’s why we need to be open to the moving of the Spirit of God.
Friends, we need to understand that we can’t put God in a box. But we can and we should stay open to the Holy Spirit and let Him manifest Himself in any, way, shape, form, or fashion that He desires to manifest Himself.
Of course, we don’t need to get over in a ditch with wrong thinking, wrong believing, and wrong doing. But if we just stay with the Word because the Holy Ghost always moves in line with the Word – we will begin to see more and more healings. We’ll see more miracles and more supernatural demonstrations of the Holy Spirit take place in our midst, as the Holy Spirit wills. And the lives of many more people will be blessed!
THE ABOVE MATERIAL HAS BEEN PUBLISHED BY THE WORD OF FAITH MAGAZINE, MAY 1996.
THIS MATERIAL HAS BEEN COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY AND RESEARCH