Sunday, 11 March 2018

Lazarus Miracles

Scripture:  Luke 16 v 23-24: "And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame."

John 11 v 39-40: "Jesus said, Take ye away the stone.......Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldst believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God."

The New Testament mentions two men who were called Lazarus and the different circumstances surrounding their lives, deaths and after-death experiences, that could help us solve some of today's problems.

The first Lazarus mentioned in the Bible was a real (not a parable) beggar and a leper, who lay at the gate of a rich man's home hoping for a helping hand. The hard-hearted rich man died and went to Hell. He had never given anything to Lazarus. 

Lazarus died too and was taken to Paradise, a compartment of Hell where the righteous dead were sent. It was also called Abraham's Bosom. Jesus was the last person to ever go there!

Anyway, the rich man could see and talk to Lazarus and asked him if he could dip his finger in some cold water to cool the flames on his tongue. However Lazarus could not cross the great chasm between them.

The former rich man begged Lazarus to send someone to warn his family to live Godly lives to avoid Hell. Lazarus responded that if they ignored Moses and the prophets who would they listen to.

The second Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha, all of them believers and dear friends of Jesus. Lazarus died and his sisters were heartbroken. Four days later Jesus arrived and Mary said if only you had been here he would not have died.

Jesus told them to roll away the grave stone and shouted "Lazarus, Come forth!" Perhaps if He had just said "Come forth!" all the dead people would have come back to life. However Lazarus was resurrected to the rejoicing of all.

John 11 v 33 - 38: "When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, 
 34  And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
 35  Jesus wept.
 36  Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
 37  And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?
 38  Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it."

I find the above verses very important for those who are anointed Intercessors to take note of.  Jesus heard about the death of Lazarus and said He was glad He was not there.  He knew He must go there and raise him from the dead as part of our instructions in Christian ministry.

In verse 33 Jesus groaned in the spirit and was troubled.  In verse 35 Jesus wept.  Those around Him observed it as grief for His dead friend.  However, if Jesus was about to resurrect Lazarus, why would He be grieving?

Because He was interceding for Lazarus and the Holy Spirit within Him was groaning as seen in Romans 8 v 26 - 27: "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
 27  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God."

Jesus was troubled - to those who don't know about the deliverance from an evil spirit, in one case Jesus sent thousands of them, called Legion, into a herd of pigs which perished by jumping into the sea. (Mark 5).
In this case Ephesians 6 v 12 applies: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

When you minister deliverance to release people from bondage to demons, you bring the power of Jesus against them and they try to resist being sent back to Hell.  They try to trick us humans by sometimes causing their victim to scream or cry out in pain, pleading with you to stop!  Seasoned ministers are aware of these tactics and keep going until they know the deliverance is complete.  This process is called wrestling against evil spirits.

In the case of Lazarus, Jesus took the unseen demon on and was seen to be groaning and wrestling (troubled) as that spirit of death manifested out through Him.  He knew it was out when it wept through Him.  It knew it was going straight back to Hell and punishment for failing its assignment.

I believe this intercession that brought Lazarus back to life, was necessary not only for us to learn but it was the precedent, or dress rehearsal for Jesus to perform His own resurrection from the dead.  The wonderful Intercessor Rees Howells taught us about coming to the place of abiding.

This meant when you are interceding for a disease or a nation on some issue, you get a breakthrough, a knowing that in that situation God has heard and answered your long and difficult time of prayer.  This is the place of abiding.  If that same need arises for someone else in future, you do not need to start over from square one, you only remind the Lord that it has been done.  It may happen that there is some further need that the first person didn't have, but all you must do is pray about the additional problem until the Lord answers, then that too is a new place of abiding.  It saves much time and labour!

The lessons to learn from these two Lazarus Miracles are that no matter how small and hidden you are, Jesus knows you and if you suffer rejection and persecution, but remain faithful to the Lord, you will enter into everlasting life and escape Hell. Plus - death has no hold on those whom Jesus loves. He has conquered death and Hell and holds the keys (final authority) to both.

If you know without any doubts that Jesus Christ loves you and died in your place your eternal life is secure.

Heavenly Father every person mentioned in the Word of God has a lesson to teach us that should bring us closer to you. Let our lives be examples to those around us in small and great ways so they may all be with You in Heaven one day. In Jesus' name. Amen.