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God Has Done
By Malcolm B Heap, Midnight Ministries
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What 'great things' has God done for you? Have you considered them? Most people haven't. You need to take a look and see.
I recall the first time when I consciously 'heard' God speak to me. He said those two words: GREAT THINGS! I must admit I was a bit puzzled. I didn't know what He meant.
The occasion was at a meeting of about 200 -- a whole cross-section of individuals from various Christian backgrounds: Pentecostals, evangelicals, charismatics, etc... But they all seemed to have one thing in common -- they wanted to hear from God. So did I.
In this meeting, a prophet was speaking, explaining to those gathered that God is more ready to speak than we are to listen to Him! Which is why, too often, people don't 'tune in' to Him. They miss out on 'the prophetic'. But you don't have to, if you really want all that God offers!
Prophecy, or prophetic utterance, should be the most cherished spiritual gift in the Church. Paul wrote that all believers should eagerly desire to move in this gift (1 Cor 14:1,5). It builds up the body of Christ (14:12), because:
Everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort (1 Cor 14:3, NIV).
This gift is so valuable that he wrote:
For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged (1 Cor 14:31, NIV).
Jesus can demonstrate His presence in meetings by prophetic manifestations:
For the testimony of Jesus IS the spirit of prophecy (Rev 19:10, NIV).
Anyway, at this meeting of 200, the prophet asked God to cover those present with His 'prophetic mantle', which is fancy terminology for asking Him to give those present prophetic words to encourage others. He hadn't even finished his prayer when two words sprang into my mind: "GREAT THINGS"!
The object of the exercise was to prophesy to the person nearest to you, so I assumed that these two words were for the guy before whom I stood. I told him what the Spirit had put in my mind and he was encouraged. I didn't know what God meant, except that I assumed God meant that the man would do great things in his ministry.
He was a church pastor. I cannot remember who he was, but I dare say God has fulfilled His Word to that man. God is always faithful.
Whenever people follow the lead of God's Spirit, they do great things, because God inspires them to. God does great things with, and through, His chosen.
What I didn't realise at the time was that the word was a two-edged Sword. The same prophetic word was for me, too, although I didn't recognise it until later. God reminded me of this the other day.
We were due to meet together in our home fellowship. As I was seeking God's guidance for that, I was led to Psalm 126 which is a psalm expressing the jubilation of Jewish exiles returning from captivity to rebuild God's temple.
Their return followed an edict of Cyrus in 538 BC, the ruler of Medo-Persia (Ezra 1:2-4; 2 Chron 36:22,23). In 516 BC, the second temple was finished, 70 years after the Babylonians had taken Jerusalem. [Jeremiah had prophesied of this 70-year captivity (586-516 BC) (Jer 29:10).]
In Psalm 126 we read:
When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for them." The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy (Ps 126:1-3, NIV).
There was such exuberance, because of what God had done, like an earlier time:
[Pharaoh] took 600 choice chariots and all the chariot [units] of Egypt with captains over every one of them... and he pursued the children of Israel (Ex 14:7,8).
Israel was terrified!
Moses said to the people: "Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord..." (Ex 14:13.) ...The Lord said to Moses "Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea" (Ex 14:15,16).
...Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left (Ex 14:22). Then the Lord said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen." ...So the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea (Ex 14:26,27). ...Not so much as one of them remained. But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. So the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. (Ex 14:28-30.)
Thus Israel saw the great work which the Lord had done in Egypt; so the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and His servant Moses (Ex 14:31).
God does great things so that people may believe Him and believe His true servants.
In these last days, you're going to be hearing (and probably seeing) many great things which God will do to bring glory to His name.
...the people who know their God shall be strong and do great exploits (Dan 11:32).
But just as God's servants do great things, so will Satan attempt to undermine what God does through His people.
Satan's main agent of deception in Europe will be the pope and the false religious system he heads. A prophecy in Daniel foretold of this long ago:
I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man [showing that this represents someone], and a mouth speaking pompous words (Dan 7:8).
In the margin of the NKJV Bible "pompous words" are rendered "great things". Interesting!
Do you know why?
When God speaks of doing great things, He means what He does by His Spirit. So, when this false religious leader -- the final pope -- does "great things", it means he counterfeits what God does (up to a point), and claims he does such feats through the power of the Spirit of God. It's a lie, but only true believers perceive that. False believers fall for the lie.
In claiming such "great things" for himself, the pope actually blasphemes the name of God! He elevates himself to the level of God, and causes people to worship him. This vile idolatry will be crushed by Jesus at His return. This charlatan, and the entire evil system which he is a part of in Europe will be destroyed (Dan 7:11).
Everyone will have to choose between what is true and what is false. That's life's greatest choice.
"Great things" cannot save you, spiritually. Whatever miracles God performs do not save for eternity; they merely get your attention. Then you have a choice whether to believe God and continue to trust and obey Him, or whether to lapse back into the evils of the world, downplaying the significance of what He has done and why.
He does great things to draw people to Him. He wants to save them -- to save them from the consequences of sin (which is suffering and finally death). But everyone has to choose. And the choice you make is evidenced by the way you live.
Great things serve great purposes, but none can replace your need to submit to the loving rule of God in your life and in your mind.
The danger in miraculous power lies in your approach. Pharaoh saw all the miracles God did in Egypt, but they didn't change his approach towards God. He didn't submit his life to obey Him. The account records that he only "hardened his heart". In other words, he became obstinate and went his own self-willed, arrogant way. He didn't humble himself.
In contrast, this is the right approach:
But your eyes have seen every great act of the Lord which He did. Therefore you shall keep every commandment which I command you today, that you may be strong and [receive God's promises] (Deut 11:7,8).
Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes [on the forehead] (Deut 11:18).
The hand is depictive of DOING, and the forehead depicts BELIEVING. Your duty is to TRUST and OBEY. That is God's commandment to you today. It's the choice God lays before all as He does HIS GREAT THINGS in our time!
Don't fall for the counterfeits the devil is now designing to deceive many (Rev 13:13,14). Don't accept his mark of compromise and disobedience on your right hand and forehead (Rev 13:18).
Be steadfast and loyal to God and adhere to ALL His truths. Then you will have fulfilled the purpose of His GREAT THINGS, which are a prelude to eternal life with Him! Malcolm B Heap
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