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Religion on the Attack

In my last post, we looked at how Jesus confronted the attack of religion against His ministry.  Today we’ll see another aspect of that battle.

Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there.  Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath.
Mark 3:1-2

I always read this account with amazement.  I can’t fathom the thinking process of the Pharisees.

I understand that they were starting to be annoyed by Jesus’ ministry.  I even understand how they were looking for a way to discredit Him.  But to use healing as the vehicle, doesn’t make sense to me.

In my last post, I talked about the traditions that the Pharisees had to bring more detail to the definition of work.  They had a lot of man-made rules concerning healing.  It’s the work of a doctor to heal so no work of healing could be performed on the Sabbath.

For instance, it was illegal to drink wine on the Sabbath, if you had a toothache.  That’s because if the alcohol in the wine deadened the pain in your tooth, it would be considered healing.

That’s all well and good for a doctor.  But there’s a huge flaw in their argument when they apply it to the Messiah.

Jesus didn’t work to bring about a cure in the natural sense.  He was able to flow in the power of the Holy Spirit.  In Jesus’ ministry, it was God who healed the sick.

Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”
Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?”  But they remained silent.
He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”  He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.  Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
Mark 3:3-6

It’s obvious from the above details that the healing was supernatural.  Jesus did absolutely no work to accomplish it.

That tells me that religion is blind to everything but its own ends.  It claims that it’s trying to serve God.  The actual truth is that religion is bent on proving its own superiority over anyone else.

They claim that by keeping the Sabbath pure from work, they’re following God’s will.  God, on the other hand, healed this man; proving that He had no problem with healing on the Sabbath.  Religion actually has the audacity to say that they’re more holy than God!

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking even creeps into the church.  Paul describes it this way…

…having a form of godliness but denying its power.  Have nothing to do with them.
2 Timothy 3:5

Religion couldn’t care less about the power of God in operation.  It’s the form that’s more important.  How you look and what others think about you.  Powerlessness is okay, as long as people think that we have a more superior walk of “righteousness”.

Unfortunately, it’s merely a form of self-righteousness.  It doesn’t impress God, and it doesn’t help those around us.

Our goal should be a spiritual walk.  Spending time in the spirit, listening for the voice of the Father, then, obeying what we hear.  That’s the example that Jesus leaves us with.

Question: Why do so many choose form over power?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2018 in Healing, Legalism, Power of God, Spiritual Walk

 

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The Rearview Mirror #Revivals past

Cathedral I believe that there’s a great revival coming soon to the church in America.  Sometimes we need to see how God has worked in the past, if we’re going to prepare for the future.

“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn; look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth.  When I called him he was but one, and I blessed him and made him many.
Isaiah 51:1-2

It’s important to see how far we’ve come.  Sometimes I get discouraged by the present condition of the church.  But when I look at where we started, it’s encouraging to know how close we are to Christ’s return.

Many talk about revival and restoration.  Do we really understand what that means?  We need to look at history because every move of God depends upon the truth He’s already restored.

Let’s go back 2000 years – to the infant church.  It was an incredible time in the spiritual realm.  Thousands of people were saved at a time.  Healings and miracles were commonplace.

The dead were raised.  Jails were opened up.

Yes, there were some “baby churches,” like Corinth, who weren’t walking in their call the way they should have been.  But the power of God was manifest throughout the known world.  The church grew incredibly for 300 years.

Then something earthshaking happened.  In 314 A.D., the Roman emperor Constantine declared Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.  In this act, he planted the seeds of destruction.  Constantine used Christianity to gain political power.

From then on that spirit started to infect the church.  Think about how the government runs the IRS, welfare, and healthcare.  Now picture the government running the church.

It’s no wonder that the descent to the Dark Ages began.  It was a downhill slide for the next 1000 years.

This spirit of earthly power took root in the church.  The Church, and specifically the popes, claimed the authority to rule over kings.  Many wars were started over this issue.

The practice of simony, the purchase of offices, was common.  Sanctuaries become more magnificent inside and out.  As the worship services increased in splendor, there was a decrease in spirituality.

At one point there was a meeting between Thomas Aquinas and Pope Innocent II.  The Pope showed Thomas the abundance of wealth that the church possessed – money, gold, and art.

Pope Innocent exclaimed, “You see, Thomas, the church can no longer say silver and gold have I none.”

To which Thomas replied, “True, but neither can she now say rise up and walk.”

These and many other abuses were prevalent in the Dark Ages.  As I look back and see what the Lord has taken us from, it gives me hope for our generation.

In my next post, I’ll talk about what God did to bring about a change in that dark period of church history.

Question: Are you expecting to see a great move of God in our generation?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2013 in Revival, The Church

 

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Tell Me What You Think – Possible Blog Changes

First of all, I want to thank everyone who has either subscribed to my blog or is a regular reader.

I’d like your input.  This blog is now about 6 months old.  My first goal was to prove to myself that I could sustain a daily blog with my schedule.

Having passed that hurdle, I now desire to take it up to the next level.  By that, I mean that I want it to move hand in hand with what I feel is the Lord’s calling on my ministry.  God has given me a message of encouragement.  I believe the that Spirit of God is stirring in His people.  My heart’s desire is to help awaken the sleeping church, and to prepare God’s people for the final harvest before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In order to accomplish this, I would need to change the way I post.  I believe the best way is to only post three to four times a week instead of daily.  By doing this, I would be able to give these posts a greater depth.  This would require them to be a little bit longer.  Right now I post about 100-200 words per post.  If I move forward with this change, they would increase to about 300-500 words per post.

I would also add pictures and attempt to make them more interactive by adding questions for discussion.

The content of the site would include what the coming move of God will look like, how to prepare for the move of God, general second coming teachings, as well as other topics dealing with growth and leadership issues.

I would like to hear what you think about these changes.  Especially if you are a subscriber or regular reader.  Let me know if you like it, dislike it, or have any other suggestions.

Blessings,

Pastor Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Rainy Days

Psalm 65:9-12
You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly.  The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it.  You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops.  You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.  The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.

Most people don’t like dark, rainy days.  Too many of them in a row tends to bring on depression.  In the same way we don’t like trouble and testing.  We even call days of trial “dark days.”

No one is exempt from testing, however.  We must all face our own particular trials.  But remember, as we face resistance, we gain strength.

If I want to have a beautiful lawn or garden, then it must be watered.  Rain is a part of the cycle of life.  We may not like it, but we need it to survive.  There are many drought ravaged parts of the world that would do anything for a rainy weather pattern.

It is the same with our inner life.  The only way to strengthen our faith is through difficulties.  There is no other course.  Testing is the spiritual rain that waters the seed we have planted in our hearts.

The end result of all this is abundance – abundant faith, abundant strength, and abundant victory.  Nobody likes problems, but if we face them without complaining and with the realization that they will strengthen us, it will help keep our focus on the Lord and our joy intact.

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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