Times of Refreshing
I am going to be speaking out of Acts chapter 3 tonight.
As we know, when Jesus ascended to Heaven, He left with the knowledge and foresight that He had given His church everything it needed to grow, and survive through His Disciples. Jesus established His church to not only bring the knowledge and presence of God back to His own people, Israel, but to the whole world. And these Disciples who were empowered at Pentecost through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, demonstrated the Kingdom of God that Jesus had preached about, and guided this initially small group of people into a force that changed the world, even our world.
This new group of believers lives revolved around a risen Christ, who was now seated at the right hand of God who was now interceding for His people. With a living Christ, the new church believed that their mandate was to bring heaven to earth as a living body to see others like themselves experience the freedom that came through Jesus Christ.
“As Hebrews 9: 15–17 makes clear, Christ’s death and the shedding of His blood put a new covenant into effect.” Horton, Stanley M. Acts. Location 56 Kindle Book
Hebrews 9:15 “Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. 16For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive.”
With the death and resurrection of Jesus, this new covenant that was a new relationship between God and man having the Holy Spirit living in us, so we have no veil into the Holy of Holies. We have direct access to God through Jesus our mediator so as it states in Hebrews 9, of us “who have been called” may receive the promised eternal inheritance.
That inheritance is not only an access to eternal life, but also the inheritance to access the power and freedom of heaven while we are living on this earth.
I believe the Lord sees that we tend to live from day to day with the stress of this world and we let it bog us down when we should be free through the Power of the Holy Spirit through the shed blood of Jesus, and that shed Blood gives us access to the overcoming power of heaven.
The early church took up the promises of their eternal inheritance and as Scottish theologian Williams Barclay put it, “they were the Church that carried on the life of Christ” because the work of Jesus did not end when He ascended. “Jesus continued to do and to teach” by the Holy Spirit through His Church.” Horton, Stanley M. Acts. Location 56 Kindle Book.
So the early church lived the Words of Jesus, and it was evident in their life as well and had impact on those they came in contact with.
In Acts Chapter 3, we see that the Apostles Peter and John were walking to the temple and saw the crippled beggar, and they healed him in the name of Jesus. Peter saying the famous scripture, “silver and gold have I none, but what I have I give you.” The people who saw this miracle were amazed, and the Apostle Peter spoke to them, and in verse 16 peter says:
Acts 3:16-22 “And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all. 17And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. 19Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. 22Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.”
And the Lord is saying to us, “listen.” His refreshing has been available to us since Pentecost, and we as His church should walk in that refreshing which is a promised eternal inheritance. In heaven, we will always be in that presence and be eternally refreshed, but that same refreshing we can receive here on earth, and it is an overcoming power.
We need to bathe ourselves in the promises of God to live that overcoming life in His presence. That overcoming life is a witness to God’s power. It is not only an example to us of His love for us, but shows His loving mercy on His creation who don’t know Him.
When times of pressure come on us, it is time for us to move into the Presence of the God as it states in verse 20 and receive refreshment comes from His Presence. That presence comes when we humble ourselves in prayer in worship, and consume the promises of His Word.
Coming into His Presence gives hope, and hope births faith, and faith causes us to believe, and that belief deflates the pressure that we feel from whatever mountain is before us.
Because our enemy the Devil wants us to be weighed down in doubt and fear. He knows doubt and fear will keep us from moving forward. He knows doubt and fear will keep us focused on us or the issue before us. That doubt and fear is a stumbling block for us and will bind us with invisible chains of darkness.
We are ever thinking: “When will this stop!”, or “When will I receive my healing?” “When will this stress stop?” “When will I be free from this anger against me?” or “When will this depression leave?” When, when, when, when to whatever the issue is.
A fear that our issue will never end or that there is no hope it to change. The thought that “I guess that this is the way it will always be.” When God speaks otherwise. Paul says frankly that we were not given the spirit of fear. Fear does not come from God, so why do we bow down to it?
Satan attempts to move our minds away from God into our issues. Worry, discouragement, and fear are his tools to bind the believer into an immobilized state. When you are immobile, you are ineffective, and when you are ineffective, you are definitely not any threat to Satan’s kingdom. Because the devil is afraid of Believers. Believers destroy his lies, and immobilize his kingdom. Believers know 1 John 4:4,
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
That is one of the most powerful verses in the Bible. Believers walk in truth. They speak with faith. They speak faith even in the midst of fire around them. They are confident in their God. They will not allow lies to be spoken from their lips, which are a curse, and they will not allow the stronghold of demonic power to enter their thoughts.
Many of you know my family buried my grandmother a couple weeks ago, and thinking of her, my grandmother knew this power. She uttered only promises. She never said anything that had doubt or unbelief. She learned as a woman in her 20’s when she came to a what I will call power faith, being a part of a church that believed and saw the demonstration of the Spirit through miracles, she knew the power of her tongue, and the power of her mind to reject lies. The power of the mind that was connected to the Spirit of God, and when she heard a lie, she easily rejected it.
And with knowledge and wisdom from the Holy Spirit, she could easily reject false dialog, false teaching, and all out lies and deception that the enemy threw her way.
As the family reminisced about her after her burial, we really came into a realization of the power of Faith and Belief she possessed.
We knew it, but there was now a more reverent view of her as we sat and talked, even with family in Alabama. It is sad to say now but being young and foolish we did not understand what she was saying to us when we said things. She would say, “Don’t be talking like that!” We would be only joking sometimes, and she wasn’t about the jokes. She knew the power of words and actions. “Good Lord” she would say when we said something in unbelief, said we were sick, or said anything that she perceived would open a door for us to curse ourselves with our mouths. “Don’t you be talkin like that.” And many times she would rebuke what we said, and now we understand why, she was reversing the spoken curse.
She was around 90 years old, I was visiting her, and she said to me looking right into my eyes with those eyes of steel, and said, “I have narry had a cold in my life, nor have I been sick with anything.” “Because I believe in the Word of God.” “I believe what the Word says, and I will not utter anything contrary to that Word.” When I start to fall ill, I rebuke it in the name of Jesus, and will not believe I have it, and I don’t. Then she spoke of people who received healings of all kinds of diseases, and other miracles because of faith and belief and the power of the spoken word of a believer.
Looking back to verse 16 in Acts Chapter 3, the Apostle Peter states, “And His name, by faith in His name.” We who are Believers must speak forth faith in His name. The name of Jesus. The Apostle Peter said in verse 6 to the lame man, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And the man walked.
What if we, who are believers, got into the practice that every time we were confronted with something that was contrary to the things in heaven, we would say, “in the name of Jesus”? And not just to say it, but believe in faith?
In the name of Jesus my son or daughter is going to come to Christ! My family prayed that over me when I walked away from God, and I couldn’t resist, I came back.
In the name of Jesus, sickness be gone! Even over myself!
In the name of Jesus, you fill in the blank, and we say this before any other thought begins to enter our minds, and we continue until breakthrough.
Also we say in the name of Jesus and also speak forth promises from the Word of God. It should be a regular part of prayer times to pray promises. Because of the power of the truth of God’s Word.
Now I made some handouts for you that are full of scripture.
Some I took from the IHOPKC website that we pray here during intercession, and other scripture I compiled or stole from what others had put together. I have scriptures just for healing, and another to pray against fear, and another about what Jesus said about prayer, and being anxious. I also have a copy of Key Apostolic Prayers and Promises compiled by Mike Bickle at IHOPKC to pray over yourself.
The Word of God is truth, and when we pray the truth, then any vain thoughts we have are cast down. Satan’s lies cannot stand up to God’s truth. So we must throw the truth back into Satan’s face just like Jesus did at the end of His 40 day fast. That is our trump card. That is how we win. That is how we overcome. That is how we bring healing into any situation.
Jesus died, so we would be free. Free from the imperfections of this world. That means free from fear, sickness, doubt, unbelief, and anything else that goes against the word of God. Jesus died so we would walk in heavenly power and be filled with supernatural joy, peace, and hope. We pray that here. Romans 15:13.
“13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:13)
God never intended us to live like mere humans. Paul spoke of the Corinthians acting that way. Acting like mere humans or mere men as in other translations. We are not mere “men”, we are Sons and Daughters of God. Sons and daughters of the most High.
When Jesus told His Disciples to go out and heal the sick, and set the captives, free and bring heaven to earth, they were to be partake too. Sometimes we may think that healing is for others and not us, but that is a lie.
Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)
“And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:22-24)
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:23-24)
We must be persistent. "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. "(Luke 11:9-10)
Speaking truths over our lives in faith brings a refreshment that those who do not know Christ cannot not fathom, nor experience. The calming peace of the Holy Spirit knowing that we are okay, or will be okay, is a greater feeling than anything on earth.
Jesus wants us to humble ourselves before His Father, so He can pour Himself out through the Holy Spirit to bring us comfort. He wants us to speak forth His name. Jesus wants to refresh us with a supernatural refreshing.
My thought was like a swim in a beautiful mountain lake surrounded by nature and its sounds after a hard day’s work. Pure bliss and peace.
Jesus wants us to listen to Him as he speaks to us through the Holy Spirit, so we can experience the full power of the grace we have received through His death and resurrection, but we have to be willing to focus on what He has spoken to us in His Word.
We must not get caught up in circumstance, but focus on promise. God’s Promises!
Freedom comes from the life in the promise, and refreshing follows. We must listen, and point our hearts and minds to our comforter, who is our way and our truth and our life.
I believe when we as the church become totally dependent on God’s Word and His promises, and there are so many, we will see such breakthrough at a supernatural level that those who do not know Christ will run to us to know Him so they will be free.
Plus, we will also see that outpouring that we believe will come, and it will come because the supernatural manifestations of the Spirit will be evident in an all believing church. Because those churches that don’t believe, will, when the Spirit is poured out.
I want to pray for us that our hearts will be open to the Holy Spirit, that the promises will be implanted in us so we can glorify God with our lives, to cause others to see the freedom we have in Christ.