God wants you to see miracles, the dead raised, and believers activated in the power of the kingdom. Can everyone do miracles? Probably not. Can everyone see miracles happen through their prayer and faith? Yes! There is a difference.
I want to talk with you about raising the dead because God is raising the dead. God is doing miracles. God wants you to participate in the working of miracles and raising the dead.
Jesus didn’t make raising the dead, or any miracle, into a “this is so easy, a caveman could do it” exhibit. Beware the concept that miracles that extraordinary are supposed to be commonplace, and especially the idea that anybody is going to become a superhuman “manifested son” anytime soon. Read that God did extraordinary miracles through Paul in Ephesus and recognize that Paul didn’t always walk in the same manifestation of power or simply go city to city doing a same miracle show. [See Acts 19]
Beware the currently-popular impression that God can’t wait to have everybody doing miracles and raising dead people, and the accompanying impression that the only reason this isn’t happening now has something to do with bothersome little things like leadership and accountability, or the fact that the ecclesia is “stuck inside a building.” While the ecclesia has been stuck inside building, that isn’t the blockage to miracles. Miracles happen! Building or no, public or private. While we should be releasing kingdom everywhere, it is spurious indeed to consider that Jesus hasn’t designed the ecclesia to assemble and that a preponderance of miracles should happen within that strategic assembly. The term ecclesia actually means “called together assembly” so we understand that God will do miracles in the assembly, but not exclusively so. Being on the streets and in a building are not two mutually exclusive forums.
We are to do what Jesus did and greater; building or no building, inside, outside, upside, downside. We are to do miracles and raise the dead. We shouldn’t fall into trap of making something common that God’s makes holy, however; God makes miracles special and uncommon because each has Divine purpose. We shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking we can do anything we want whenever or wherever… Not only is that an exaggeration, it is actually opposed to God’s purposes in miracles, signs, wonders, and dead-raising. God isn’t interested in us turning His miracles into something else.
Miracles are free but it costs you everything to release them. So, before you sign up and desire to walk in this gift and anointing, consider what you are seeking. Scripture does ask us to desire prophecy to edify, encourage, and motivate the ecclesia and touch those who come into our assembly. Scripture does not ask us to seek miracles, signs, and wonders in the same way it charges us to seek prophesy. Scripture most assuredly does not teach us to shun them, deny them, and label any as devilish because we are in the last days either! God wants everyone to pray with power to make great power available: James 5 says we are people with the same human passions as Elijah, and a righteous man’s prayer makes great power available – power to change weather patterns!
Something new is upon us now, and we see an increase of manifestations of God’s power, Glory, signs, and authority. However, I know some good people who aren’t performing miracles, people that no amount of whoopee and hi-fives will position to do miracles. I don’t know anyone who is exempt from praying in faith and moving mountains and making miracle power available. The Bible does say we should all desire to prophesy, but it doesn’t say that everyone who is saved will consistently, everyday, do the same stuff Paul did in Ephesus with sweat rags and work aprons being carried to the sick and demonized.
Since we are doing what Jesus did and greater, we need to look at Jesus to discover our motives and modis operandi for the miraculous. Both are of fundamental importance. To do what Jesus did, we need to do it for the same reasons Jesus did it. We need the same power; and, we need the same motivations.
First on the list of miracles and raising the dead is that someone needs a miracle, someone dies. In other words, some really tough circumstances frame a miracle or dead-raising opportunity. A miracle is a work of Dunamis power, spiritual power working in the physical world. Dead-raising is like ultimate healing-the person will eventually die again, not live forever.
A lying wonder or false miracle, so-called, is easily recognizable to people tuned into God’s purpose and synchronized to His motivations. Deception can be as equally easy when Christians or anyone else walk in wrong motivations and seek to accomplish purposes that vary from God’s. Miracles, signs, and wonders are not given to confirm you but your assignment and your message. No matter how great the miracle, the purpose of God in the miracle is more important that the power display or the people involved.
So, if you are not called to preach, no manner or method of miracle will call you. So, if you are not called to be an apostle, prophet, evangel, teacher, shepherd no manner or method of miracle will call you to be one. If you are not assigned to lead a ministry or ecclesia, no manner or method of miracle will make you a leader. Yet, no matter what your assignment, your prayer of faith can release miracle-working power available because the same Spirit that raised Jesus from among the dead abides in you.
Simply put, people who expect to be recognized as leaders, experts, or preachers who are not called, appointed, or assigned will not get a promotion through working miracles. Along with our teaching that God can use any one of His children at any moment to do anything, we need to affirm God’s strategic leadership that brings accountability to any one of these children. Miracles make the need for accountability greater; they never remove the need for accountability. No one gets to say, “Don’t question my words, life, or motives! I do miracles!”
Jesus on Assignment, verse 7 compare verse 15
The strategy of an assignment only makes sense within the context of the assignment. Jesus knows Lazarus is sick and will die from this sickness. Jesus knows the assignment to raise Lazarus, when and where, will have specific significance to His Messianic assignment. Jesus acts strategically throughout this specific assignment to raise the dead; His behavior is consistent with the greater assignment upon His life.
Beware the tendency “to do miracles” and “raise the dead” for its own sake. That is, the “forget the big stuff and just go heal somebody” mentality is juvenile, even childish, in motivation and ministry outcome. It is as silly to ignore the strategy of miracles as it is to not do them. As beautiful as the miracle is, a greater purpose awaits: Jesus wants you to know what to do when a miracle happens, because many people don’t. Jesus wants you to be big enough as a person doing miracles to be able to handle what happens after the miracle.
Jesus has a non-formalized ministry, so He certainly avoids formulas for raising the dead. Jesus does this to keep us two steps from magic show religion at the very moment we step into the miraculous. He teaches His disciples by shared spiritual experiences, correcting their motivations and false expectations, feeding their wonder while rebuking their juvenile cheerleading and false assumptions about what the miracles will produce for Him and them.
They want the miracles to make Him King so they could have a quick upgrade in respect and self-worth. He wants to show what His kingdom is like, what He does when He is King. They love the miracles because they make them feel that Jesus is winning and they have backed the right leader. They intend to cash in on the kingdom and Jesus’ miracles fascinate them. They misinterpret the meaning of the miracles, and Jesus feeds them full of revelation so they will be ready for the devastating reality of the cost those miracles to Him and them.
Childlike wonder should be part of our worship. Creeping cynicism comes as the pressure to perform mounts around us. The truth is that miracles push us into a crazy new world – a whirling, high-tech Disney ride gets built in people’s minds when miracles happen – and Jesus needs someone to establish kingdom with miracles amid the superstition and sensationalism hell and humanity flashes around them.
After the raising the dead, the dead must live. The living is harder than the raising.
If hell cannot keep you from miracles and raising the dead, hell will work to limit the impact of miracles on building kingdom, even making miracles a stumbling block for deception. In other words, if hell cannot keep the kingdom from releasing miracles, hell will offer the kingdom the wrong way, people, motives, outcomes, and scenarios for miracles to discredit them. hell is happy for your strengths to get stronger as long as your weaknesses get weaker.
The road is already strewn with the twisted, wreckage of delusion, miracle workers who bought into the hype and press of their groupies, men and women who began to see themselves and their power as the end of the matter more than the kingdom, leaving piles of people used and abused like circus freaks. Because they could see, speak, do, and perform like spiritual X-men, they wanted to be treated like rock stars; they avoided accountability.
Jesus on Timing, verse 6 compare verse 17
The timing of assignment is about when the assignment starts and finishes but also the timing of actions and behaviors within the assignment. Always see miracles as assignments; the word “miracle” says “a work of dunamis power.” Always see a life of doing miracles as a life on assignment so the assignment will define the proper motives for the miracles.
Beware the tendency to make a “life on assignment to do miracles” proof that “God still does miracles.” (God is doing no such thing!) Suddenly the confirmation gets misplaced. A couple of steps later, you will be using these miracles as proof of something other than the assignment. The timing of miracles and raising the dead will always function consistently with the greater setting of assignment, synchronizing with assignment.
Jesus keeps us two steps from scheduled ministry, from Day-Timer prioritization of time and sequence. We must avoid the assumption that miracles and raising the dead function in a vacuum, without context. There are no accidental, coincidental miracles. They are timed within a greater strategy of kingdom, and the timing of miracles fit the priorities of the kingdom agenda. The timing is always God’s, not ours.
Jesus also avoids the “magic moment” scenario of the miraculous, the “almanac phase of the moon” timing for miracles. We are going to have scheduled ministry, but this isn’t designed to Day-Timer God! This is the proper response to “they brought to Him the sick” and “they brought the demonized to Him.” It is also a valid response to “call for the elders” if you are in need.
So, this response, valid and Biblical, to set a place and time never detracts from the greater timing of you being “on time” with a miracle! This never detracts from you being trained through shared spiritual experiences, through what happens in front of you and around you as you follow leaders who disciple you. This never detracts form you releasing the same power anywhere, anytime! However, the timing of miracles isn’t in your control. Remember the example of Paul being troubled by the Python oracle girl in Philippi before he releases deliverance; he didn’t do the miraculous the first time he encountered her.
Changing water into wine is a good example. Jesus says to Mary, “It is not My time.” And, the miracle creates a wonderful, glorious mess. In fact, the miracles Jesus did contributed more to His death than what He said; they used His words against Him but the motivation for His death came from His miracles. Because of the undenial-ability of the miracles, His enemies were pressed to the wall. The raising of Lazarus brings the whole thing to its ultimate.
If you are thinking that I am detracting from the concept that every Christian should be a carrier of miracles and dead-raising power, forget it! The only reason I’m talking to you like this is to prepare you to live with that power released because when you start releasing it your life will be turned upside down! Most of you are not releasing this power within you because you are not ready for the mess miracles create. You want it both ways: “Lord, do miracles through me but don’t make a mess.” Sorry, not gonna happen!
Jesus on Target, verse 2 compare 39
The sister who anointed Jesus for His burial anoints her brother for his burial. Coincidental? Lazarus isn’t a reward for her obedience as much as her preparation for Jesus’ burial was preparation for her brother’s resuscitation. She was assigned to anoint Jesus because Jesus was assigned to raise her brother. Strategic obedience sets you up for strategic miracles. Jesus has a target for this miracle: Lazarus. Not everybody else dead. Lazarus wasn’t supposed to be dead yet.
Jesus on Truth verse 4 compare verse 14
The situation requires interpretation based upon the assignment; it can only be properly understood through the lens of assignment. In raising the dead, something greater than “He loved them” is required. Jesus loved them but Lazarus died. Jesus loved them but Jesus is raised on assignment, not because Jesus gets to be nice to His friends.
Jesus on Set-up verse 19 compare verse 45
The stage is designed by the assignment, the staging set tells the story of the assignment. Sometimes no one sees the miracle. Sometimes many see the miracle. The setting matches the assignment. Miracles have assignment tied to them. Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead sets Jesus up for His own death. You ready for that? Miracles will set you up for crucifixion, so don’t be surprised if God crucifies you before He uses you to raises the dead.
Jesus on Passion verse 33 compare verse 38
The passion of people and the passion of the Father are not the same. Something more that faith is required to function in faith. Jesus responds both to His Father and the people. Both. But the passion of the Father alone releases assignment, not the passion of people. Passion and suffering walk together; they are not strangers.
Jesus on Glory verse 40 compare verse 52
Raising the dead to see the Glory of God flows from the groans of purpose, assignment begun and finished, death begetting death, life begetting life, passion begetting purpose.