TEXT: MATTHEW 14:1-2; MARK 6:20; ACTS 13:25
At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,
And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
Herod heard about the miracle of healing and Deliverance that Jesus did but the miracle of conversion did not come to him. He heard of Jesus, and of John too.
Mark 6:20. There was a time Herod desired John to speak because he saw him to be a holy, truthful and just man, and he heard him, and was willing to adjust many things. Some people will want to do same thing when they hear the word of God, but that is not an evidence of salvation. But when John became specific and said that Herod should not have taken his brother’s wife, both Herod and Herodias became annoyed with John.
This is how it is with preachers. When we preach about faith and other things, people are happy, but when we preach directly at sin, they become angry. Herod thought in his anger that he will cancel and put an end to the ministry of John, but he erred. There is no way he could have killed the messenger of God before his time.
He directly and clearly showed and declared Jesus to the whole world as the One to come. He fulfilled his ministry. Persecution and wickedness of people will not cut short your ministry. You will fulfill your ministry and no one will stop you halfway. Until you come to the end of your ministerial journey, no one will stop you.
When Herod heard about the miracles which Jesus did, he told his servant that John has rose from the dead and is the one doing the mighty works. I want to say three things about this: he was wrong, he misplaced the correct perspective, and he could be right.
The message today is titled: MIGHTY WORKS CONNECTED WITH RISING FROM THE DEAD. We are looking at three points:
- CONSISTENT “MIGHTY WORKS” BEFORE RESTING IN DEATH. Matthew 14:1-2; Revelation 14:13
Herod did not know that you don’t need to die and rise up before you can do wonderful works. As we look at the Old Testament, we see Abraham, mighty works, Moses, mighty works, Joshua, Elijah, Elisha, and Isaiah, mighty works before going to rest in death.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
We will finish our works for the Lord here on earth before you go home to rest. We look at three points under this segment:
- THE MIGHTY WORKS OF POWER BEFORE DEATH
(Deuteronomy 34:10-12; Acts 7:22; Luke 24:19; Mark 6:2)
Before death, Moses did many mighty works through the hands of Moses in the presence of Moses in Egypt to the wilderness in provision of Manna and water from the rock, victory over the Ámálékì tea, turning bitter water of Marah to sweet), and in all the land of Israel, there was no feeble one among them. Mighty works happening consistently even at that time. Moses was mighty in words and deeds.
Jesus was mighty in works and deeds till He went to heaven. His words and wisdom amazed all His hearers.
- THE MANY WONDERS OF PROPHETS IN DEMONSTRATION
(Deuteronomy 34:10-11; Joshua 3:5; 10:12-14; Psalm 105:4-5)
As we look at Joshua, he told the people to sanctify themselves because God will do wonders among them. And the river of Jordan was parted for the people to pass over, and the miracle of the Red Sea was re-enacted. The walls of Jericho which hindered them from making progress also collapsed. That is how the walls standing between you and your progress, success, and breakthrough will collapse.
Joshua defeated all the confederate kings. He commanded the sun and the moon to stand still so that he could finish the crucial battle on his hands. The Lord listened to his prayer in a unique way that day, nature stood still and he won the battle. Joshua fulfilled his ministry, you will fulfill yours and win all battles in Jesus name.
- THE MIRACULOUS WORD IN THE PRAYER OF DECREE
(Job 22:21-28; 1 Kings 17:1; Mark 16:20; Acts 14:7-10)
Before you die and people say RIP, receive the law from God and keep them in your heart. Darkness and its agents will vanish away from your sight in Jesus name.
1 Kings 17:1. Elijah decreed that there will not be dew or rain for three and half years, and it happened, same power is in your mouth, always decree good things on your life, family, on your children and spouse, and the church of God and the Lord will confirm them in Jesus name. Everything you say the Lord will take as a decree and it will be established in Jesus name.
Mark 16:20. When you speak in evangelism, when you pray in your contacts and fellowship, and when you touch the life of people with the word of prayer, the Lord will take it as words of decree, and fulfill them in Jesus name.
Acts 14:7-8. Apostle Paul decreed the word of authority to the impotent man at Lystra and he stood up and walked. This was a man who was crippled from birth.
This is the day of decree, you will speak the word of power to the blind and they will see, the lame will leap up and walk in Jesus name. The word of decree will come forth from you and it will come to pass in Jesus name. We will hear testimonies from your outreaches and evangelism and publicity, and rejoice with you in Jesus name.
You will not die, Herod will not cut short your life. He will hear of the great things the Lord is doing through you in Jesus name. Herod was a frightening personality, but that did not deter John from speaking the truth.
- CHRIST’S “MIGHTY WORKS” BEFORE REDEMPTION THROUGH DEATH. Mark 14:1-2
Christ went to the cross for our redemption and before He died, He was already doing mighty works.
Truly, Christ came to the world and did many mighty woods and Herod heard about it. It was so much that he thought that John has resurrected from the dead. Someone can believe the doctrine of the Bible and still not be born again. Believing Bible doctrines is not enough to save. The Pharisees believe in doctrines but were not saved. Has faith taken root in your heart? Have you repented of your sins? Are you born again and converted? Have you believed on Jesus despite all His mighty works?
- HIS MIGHTY WORKS OF TOTAL CURE
(Matthew 14:2,14; Mark 6:2,34; Luke 7:12-16; Acts 10:38)
Though Herod confessed that John has resurrected and did many mighty works, he could not say it openly. He only said it to his servants in private. This is how some people believe, but don’t have the courage to declare their faith openly for the world to hear and know what they believe. Where do you stand? Are you able to declare your faith for the whole world to hear?
Herod, No, this was not John the Baptist but our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer, the very Son of God who goes about, doing great things. He did many mighty works of cure and healing. God anointed Him with the Holy Ghost and power, and He went about doing good. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. That is why He said:
- The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
- To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
- And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
- And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
The Spirit of God was upon Him and His connection and partnership with heaven made all the miracles to happen, not because He died and rose up from the dead. He did all the miracles before He died.
- HIS MARVELOUS WONDERS OF TRUE CONVERSION
(Mark 2:5,9-12; Luke 19:5-10; Mark 10:28-30; John 6:60,66-71)
The healing and other miracles brought the people so they can hear the word of God. Once they hear the words of life, they will be saved. Christ came to seek and save all who are lost. He forgave the man sick of the palsy after healing him.
He visited and saved Zachaeus even though the Jews murmured about His coming to his house. But the good news is that Zachaeus became born again and did his restitution four-fold in the presence of all the people who were present.
There were conversion and cures.
- HIS MIRACLE-WORKING MINISTRY IN TENDER COMPASSION
(John 3:2-3; Acts 2:22; Hebrews 2:3-4; 8:6)
The Ministry of Jesus was that of tenderness and compassion. A ministry of signs and wonders which He did before He died.
- CONQUERORS’ “MIGHTY WORKS” NOW RISEN FROM THE DEAD. Colossians 3:1-4;
We were dead in sin and trespasses before Christ came and saved us. We died to sin and rose up, then we have to set our affection on things in heaven and therefore be able to do mighty works.
How can we, as believers work mighty miracles like our Lord Jesus and the apostles? Set your affections, focus and gaze on thibgs in heaven, not on things on earth, because you are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God. When you do this, mighty works will happen through you.
How can you be dead? Dead to:
- Sin and sinfulness
- Corruption, pollutions of the world
- Criticisms and comments of the world. For you to succeed in life and ministry, you must be dead to these.
- Persecution and pain so that you can do mighty works.
- Problems and Pressure of the world
- Anger and Annoyance of the world. The three Hebrews were dead to the anger, and bragging of Nebuchadnezer.
- Past fear, failure and timidity
- Past addictions
- THE MORTIFIED WORKS OF THE FLESH
(Colossians 3:5-10; Romans 8:13; Galatians 5:19-24; Ephesians 5:3-6,11-14)
If you are not dead to all the things mentioned in the text, you will be like a monster, wild animals. How do you conquer a monster?
Isolate, cage and starve it. It is what you feed that grows. It is the bad habit you feed that grows and pulls you down. But if you don’t feed it, it will die and you will be free to prevail and succeed. If you allow the things that minister to the flesh to thrive, your vision, strength, goal, and life will die. But if you disallow it, they will live. You have to choose which one is more important between your goals, dreams, vision, ideals and doing mighty works, and the fleshly desires and pleasures of a few minutes.
Feed the one that is important and starve the one that is not important. The one you respond to will live. And you, and your vision will live if you responds to the good things, and you will do mighty works.
Galatians 5:19-21. Once you feed the monsters they will grow and hinder you from getting to the Kingdom of God. You will not have the joy and privilege of the Kingdom.
vs 22-4. The fruits of the Spirit are what to feed.
- When did you have the desire to live? Was it when you had love or hatred? When you had love.
- When did you have the inner strength to run and move on courageously? When you had joy or sadness? When you had joy.
- When did you feel on top of the world and nothing could hinder you from getting to the top? Was it when you had peace or confusion. It was when you had peace.
The point is starve the things that bring you down, and destroy you and feed love, joy, peace and long-suffering. But if you are calm in the face of provocation and anger, and you don’t fight, you are happy and praise God. Continue to feed the long-suffering and you will be propelled to do mighty works.
But if you give chance to anger, hatred and short temper, if you were up, it will bring you down. But you will not come down. Feed the fruits of the Spirit and starve the works of the flesh.
- OUR MERCIFUL WORKS WITHIN AND OUTSIDE THE FELLOWSHIP
(Matthew 5:6-8; Psalm 18:25-26; Micah 6:8; Hebrews 2:17-18)
“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness…”
You must not hunger and thirst for unrighteousness, corruption, the corrupters, this will not allow you to do and achieve great and mighty things in the Kingdom of God. God has seen that they are hungry for corruption and earthly things. But if you are hungry and thirst after righteousness, God shall fill you.
“Blessed are the merciful…”
It is human nature to be cruel to those who hurt or offend us, but a nature that is changed will always seek to show mercy to others. The merciful shall receive mercy. At times some people show cruelty to others in order to receive the best responses from them, that is a contrary law. Life does not go that way. If you want mercy, show mercy, if you want compassion, show compassion.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”
You will see God when you pray, when you get home, and on the final day, you will see God.
Micah 6:8. God has shown you what He requires of you. To do justly and love mercy every time not occasionally. It is the will of God for us to be merciful at all times, whether people please us or not. We are to be humble as well.
- OUR MIGHTY WORKS OF FAITH ON THE FIELDS
(John 14:12-15; Mark 16:15-20; Acts 5-12-16; 19:11-12,18-20)
The apostles are gone, it is now our turn to do mighty exploits. As we go to the fields, and touch peoples lives, we will do mighty works. As toddlers, we tried to stand or walk, we fell down, but our mothers encouraged us to continue. When you called your father ‘dada’, he did not stop but encouraged you to keep on until you were perfect. When you begin, you may not be perfect, don’t be discouraged, go on and it will happen. You may pray for the sick and they are being healed gradually, don’t worry, keep praying for people.
If you don’t start, you won’t know you can do it. If you ask anything in His name, He will do it. Your victory and progress has come, you will do great and mighty works in Jesus name. Herod heard of the mighty works which Jesus did, he thought it was John who rose up from the dead and did the miracles. But No! We are the ones who rose, who are alive, and are doing great and mighty works.
Rise up and pray for yourself. Let every sinful tendency die and let the ministry of Peter, Paul and Philip manifest in your life. Great works of conversion, healing and deliverance will happen through you.
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