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Excerpt from Rivers and Wells (Pastor Benjamin’s book on the anointing)

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This passage is an excerpt from Pastor Benjamin’s book RIvers and Wells.  The book can be purchased here.

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On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given,because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7.37-39, NKJV)

Incidentally, I much prefer the King James rendering of the phrase as “rivers of living waters.” Some modern translations use the phrase “streams of living waters”. I prefer the imagery of rivers of water flowing out of me, rather than streams. It just seems more powerful. The Greek gives the idea of water with a current – water that is flowing to a destination. Incidentally the King James translates a few phrases a bit better than the more modern versions. In Ephesians 6 the King James Version tells us to take up the shield of faith because of the fiery darts of the enemy. The New International Version tells us the enemy has flaming missiles. I do not know about you, but I would rather be facing fiery darts than flaming missiles!

So, by comparing these passages we can see that in John 4 Jesus is talking about the new birth and says that at the new birth a well of gushing water is placed inside you. In John 7, Jesus is not referring to the new birth but rather the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and he says the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not like a well inside you, but like rivers that flow out of you. These rivers flowing out of you are your ministry to others: laying hands on the sick, casting out demons, speaking the Word to people. This ministry is not just for the full-time ministers but should be part and parcel of the life of every Christian. Jesus said that whoever believed in Him would do the works He did (John 14.12). I know a lot of people talk about the end of that verse (“greater works”) and many theological people have argued about what greater works means. I simply do not care what greater works means. I do not. I am staying on the first part of the verse: I will do the works Jesus did. When I am doing them fully, then I will find out what the greater works are.

It makes me laugh when I hear theologians discuss and argue about what the greater works are when they have never even done the works Jesus did in the first place. You, Christian, should be doing the works of Jesus. That is the power of God that has been placed inside you: rivers of living water. Not just one river, but many rivers. So you can flow in the power of God and minister life and healing to those around you. Mark 16 tells us that those who believe will lay hands on the sick and the sick will recover. It does not mention apostles and prophets and pastors! It says those who believe. The highest calling and anointing for any Christian is the anointing and calling to be a believer. There are many people who would call themselves (and it is them calling themselves, because God certainly has not done it) apostles and prophets, and yet they have never even once functioned in the anointing of the believer. They have never laid their hands on the sick and seen them recover! It is time the body of Christ stopped arguing over titles and pre-eminence, got over our jealousy of one another and started doing the works that Jesus did.

Every Christian should be casting out demons, healing the sick, ministering life and love to the world and doing good. This is the most important issue when it comes to the anointing, not the prophetic and apostolic anointings. These are real, and Christians need to know how to relate to these anointings, but there is far too much emphasis on them within the charismatic move today. Let us focus on the main issues: every Christian should be ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit and have rivers of life flowing out of them changing their worlds. The church is so far removed from this. There are so many Christians who do not know that the power of God is inside them, that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives inside them, that they can do the works of Jesus, that they can place their hands on a sick person and the person will be healed. And yet, the church is arguing about who is a prophet and who is this, and who is that. Who cares?

The fact is most of the world needs a church that is filled with faith and glory. God’s desire is for the whole church to be doing the works of Jesus and extending the kingdom and rescuing people from hell. We have made church a spectator sport, like a theatre show. You pay your money and you put your backside on a chair so the pastor can boast how many backsides are on chairs, but you are not expected to do the works of Jesus.

You know you are destined for more than a bottom on a seat. You were designed by God for dominion, for destiny, to rule and reign over fear and over sickness. To change lives and demonstrate the kingdom of God. You know that rivers of living water will flow out of you.

Say this out loud: No more am I merely a bottom on a seat. I am a child of God. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is in me. The greater One lives in me. I have an anointing from the Holy One. In me is a well of water, out of me flow rivers of living water.

You need to keep saying this out loud until you start getting excited about this. You need to be so confident of this that when you walk out your house and see someone sick you offer to lay your hands on them. You offer to minister life to them. When you see someone sad, you are going to cast the devil out of them. You are going to do the works that Jesus did. You are going to believe the Word of God.

Run Through Romans (1:1-17)

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The text of Romans 1 can be found here. Please read it in its entirety before reading through my run through. If you want to read in a paraphrase so you can get a feel for the whole chapter, use this link.

Romans 1 has a very simple theme: the nations are not righteous. For a definition of the term righteousness, read our post What is Righteousness?

Romans 1.1-6 are Paul introducing himself to the church in Rome. It is beautiful to read. Paul uses fifteen words to describe himself, and then uses 82 words to describe the Lord. Even when introducing himself Paul cannot stop talking about the wonder of the Lord. Paul was completely God-focused. Verse 3-4 are important verses because they declare that Jesus is fully human and fully God. Most heresies originate because of misunderstanding that Jesus is fully God and fully human. Most people fail to move in the power of the Holy Spirit and see the miracles they should because they fail to understand Jesus ministered as a human under the anointing.

Romans 1.7-12 Paul announces who he is addressing: the Romans. He tells them that he wants to meet them to impart a gift to them, and he praises them for their faith. That must be fairly wonderful to have the apostle Paul praise your church for its faith!

In verse 13 -15, Paul has now got his introductions out of the way and tells the Romans he wants to preach the gospel to them. Now think about that for a minute – Paul is not writing a letter to a bunch of heathen or a group of people from another religion. He is writing the letter to people whose faith is spoken of around the known world (v. 8). Paul is writing to Christians, but he says to them: I want to preach the gospel to you.

If you ask the average Christian what the gospel is they would tell you that it is the new birth. It is the message that if you repent and put your faith in Jesus Christ then you will be born again and you will go to heaven when you die. Now I am not against that message – it is the most important message you can preach to a sinner. If I was standing in front of a crowd of sinners, my message would be the new birth. But preaching the new birth to a group of Christians is foolish – I believe the phrase is teaching Granny to suck eggs.

But if Paul’s desire was to stand in front of a group of people who were Christians – and not just any Christians, people who were world famous for their faith in Christ – and preach the gospel then I would have to conclude one of two things:

1. Paul was foolish. He enjoyed wasting his time.

2. What Paul meant by the phrase “the gospel” was not what we mean when we say “the gospel”.

Guess which one I choose. So the question is what does Paul mean by the gospel. Thankfully, Paul tells us what he means and defines it. In verses 16-17, Paul sums up the whole message of the book of Romans, and the gospel of Jesus Christ:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Here are the same verses from the New Living Translation:

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

The gospel has two elements and it is vital we know and preach both elements. The first element is that the gospel is the power of God for salvation of everyone who believes. Now this includes the new birth, but is so much more than the new birth.

The Greek word salvation is soteria. If you look it up in Strong’s it says this:

1) deliverance, preservation, safety, salvation

a) deliverance from the molestation of enemies

b) in an ethical sense, that which concludes to the souls safety or salvation

1) of Messianic salvation

2) salvation as the present possession of all true Christians

3) future salvation, the sum of benefits and blessings which the Christians, redeemed from all earthly ills, will enjoy after the visible return of Christ from heaven in the consummated and eternal kingdom of God.

Salvation includes: deliverance, preservation and safety.  The word is used in the gospels repeatedly to refer to physical healings.  Strong’s tells us that it is the sum of benefits and blessings which Christians will enjoy after the return of Christ.  I disagree with that: I believe we can enjoy the benefits of salvation now.  He heals now, He protects us now, He preserves us now.  He provides our every need now.  Paul tells us the power is available to those who believe, not those who die!

Christians know about the new birth (some don’t – they have had the experience but could not explain it or share what happened to another, and they need to be taught the new birth), but many Christians are not aware of the power of the gospel.  The good news is that Jesus Christ has not just covered up our sins and let us enter heaven one day some time when we die, but that Jesus Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law (Gal. 3.13) and that the blessing of Abraham is now on us.  We are redeemed from sin, from sickness and from poverty.  The gospel includes the new birth, but it also includes healing, prosperity, deliverance, protection and soundness.

We often think that God heals the sick because of some sort of divine fiat.  He looks down from heaven at all the sick people, holds a giant heavenly lottery and someone wins the healing.  We would never use those words, but we use phrases like “You never know what God is going to do”.  It is the same sentiment, just wrapped up in religious language.

Now we find out from Paul that healing is in the gospel.  It is the power of God for all who believe.  No wonder Paul wanted to get in front of the church in Rome, he wanted to tell them that Jesus bore their sicknesses, that Jesus redeemed them from the curse of poverty, that Jesus will never leave them, that the blessing of Abraham is theirs, that they can hear the voice of the Lord speak to them, that they are priests and kings before the Lord Jehovah.

Paul wanted to see the miracles of healing, of provision, of emotional deliverance that would happen when the Roman church realizes the power of the gospel.

I could spent several posts dealing with the nature of the gospel – one of the key things about the gospel is that it is good news.  It is news.  If you watch the news on the TV or read it in a paper you will realize that it is always events that have happened in the past.  The news does not predict the future.  The weather forecast predicts the future and can be – and often is – completely wrong.  The gospel is not the good forecast, it is the good news.  You need to know that your salvation, your healing, your prosperity have aleady been accomplished.  And the power is available to you as soon as you believe it.  It is an event that has past – the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Your healing is not a forecast of what might happen it is a revelation of what has happened – by His stripes, you WERE healed (1 Peter 2.24).  If you were healed, then you are healed – so don’t doubt and do without, believe and receive!

If this was all the gospel was that would be enough: the power of God for your soundness, deliverance, prosperity, healing and preservation and for the soundness and salvation of all who believe.

But it is more!  Paul tells us that in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed.  And this is the theme of the book of Romans: the righteousness of God is revealed.

Now if you look at the armour of God as outlined in Ephesians 6, you will find that we have a helmet of salvation.  Helmets cover your head.  Knowing about salvation affects your mind – it affects how you think.  But many, many Christians know they are born again, know they are healed by the stripes of Jesus, know that God supplies their every need.  But even with this knowledge, they still feel defeated, feel guilty, feel ashamed.  But the Bible also tells us we have a breastplate of righteousness.  Breastplates cover the heart.  If we truly understand the message of righteousness, our heart will be protected and our feelings will be protected.  Knowing the message of righteousness makes it easy to live by faith.  That is why the message is so important.

I have penned a great deal so far.  I wanted to run through Romans, but maybe I will be walking through at a slower speed than I first imagined.  In the next post I will cover Romans 1.18-32 and explain the key message of Romans 1: the nations are unrighteous and they have no excuse for their unrighteousness.  As we run or walk through Romans, we will find how righteousness is obtained, and the benefits it offers us.  If you follow us through, your heart will be protected from every attack and you will walk in a new level of peace, joy, health, wealth and soundness.
Every blessing,

Ben

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